Quantum Exo and Cabo... Reel Review

Quantum Exo and Cabo reel review

This post was meant to be a simple review of the gear I have been using lately and it’s ability to handle big barra.

Then last week along comes an almighty northern bluefin tuna that dragged us 4.8 miles from hook up during a 2.25 hour fight.

Seriously, at one stage I had the boat up on the plane in hot pursuit, electric motor still in the down position with no time to lose or we would have been spooled. We learned some lessons from the fight that I would like to share with you but more on that later…

As some of you may know, I do a bit of tackle testing for Jarvis Walker brands to see how their equipment stacks up under the rigors of fishing charter work, tackling big barramundi such as the one pictured below.

Ian Cuneo joined the metre club last week with this 102cm winter barra.

Unlike Ian (above), some of my clients have done very little fishing for big barra, or are perhaps a bit rusty when it comes to tackling big fish.

In the case of an inexperienced angler, not only are we testing how the equipment stacks up against a big fish. We are often also testing how the equipment stacks up in the hands of the uninitiated. As you can imagine, this often places perhaps unnecessary strain on the friendship between angler and gear as they try and work together to win the battle.

In the following short video, I provide my opinion on these great little reels, reasonably priced, strong, tough, durable and best of all, pretty well waterproof which is very good news for me as I have to spend less time on maintenance.

Standing the test of charter fishing for big barramundi and threadfin (and tuna!) I cannot recommend them enough. And just so you know I have not been paid for this plug. It is purely my opinion having used them.


Now back to the tuna...

Last Monday we stumbled across a 15-18 kg northern bluefin tuna while using the Cabo 40 spooled with 20 lb braid.

This fish showed us exactly why you need to have top notch tackle and reels in good working order. I have harped on about this in previous posts and THIS IS WHY!!!

The fish took us 4.8 miles during a 2.5 hour fight and on it's first run I chased it for 600 metres with the boat on the plane to avoid being spooled.

Angler Trent had barely caught a fish before in his life when he hooked up this tuna freight train. By the end of the first hour I had him fishing like a tournament pro, working with the gear in unison to tame the beast.

In the end bad luck got the better of us and we lost the fish at the boat. Dropping the rod tip just a instant too fast allowed the braid to wrap around the tip. With no drag to ease the strain the line popped and the tenacious fish disappeared into the deep. Not only did we lose the fish, we lost the species 95 that hooked it.

Still... it makes for great viewing as I captured the highlights of the epic battle in the video below.

Keep an eye out at 4.40 as it tries to turn us inside out by charging the boat.


All credit to Trent. For an inexperienced angler he did an amazing job and it was just unfortunate that a bit of line twist from early on in the fight caught up with us in the end.

Winding the handle when the fish is running will spin/twist up the line. The longer the fight, the more it twists.

Any slack once it is twisted runs the risk of looping the rod tip - which is what happened here.


So... we hope you enjoyed the videos and found this content helpful.

We would love to hear your comments below about your epic battles and any lessons learned. Sharing our experiences benefits all. A rising tide lifts all boats!

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Until next week, ciao for now.


About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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1 Comment

  • Melissa Kenny

    Reply Reply June 28, 2014

    That’s awesome!!! Love your work Ryan & Trent

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