How Much Lighter Can Fishing Gear Get?

By Joe Cermele

The reel pictured below is the brand new Abu Garcia REVO Mgxtreme, one of which just landed on my desk for a field test. Though I haven't fished it yet, I can tell you it's a work of art, constructed of the latest and greatest alloys and carbon fibers. Most impressive is that it weighs only 4.9 ounces, which Abu boasts is a full .5 ounces lighter than the generation before it. Thing is, its predecessor wasn't released that long ago. This new offering is keeping in line with the biggest trend I've ever seen in fishing: make it lighter. Whenever I'm at a tackle show and ask a company how this year's reel, rod, shoe, jacket, line, etc, differs from last year's version, "it's lighter" is undoubtedly part of the answer. The question I have is how much lighter can you make stuff?

If in the year 2013, Abu is able to produce a high-end baitcaster that weighs practically nothing, what will they weigh in 5 years? Technology is only getting better, and it makes me wonder if reels will get lighter and lighter until they disappear and we're back to a cane pole. I'm joking, of course, but the race to make the lightest (insert tackle item here) doesn't seem to be slowing down.

A lot of the trend, I think, stems from the world of pro bass fishing. These guys are making 1,000 casts a day, so they don't want gear that's going to weigh them down. Even though Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston did just fine with old-school "heavyweight" stuff, I guess I understand it if you're a bass pro. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with making things lighter, but there is still something that feels good to me about casting a fiberglass fly rod and using a well-made Penn Senator in the salt. It doesn't feel like they'll break if I drop them.

So as an average angler fishing weekends and days off, how much does light really mean to you? Is "lighter" a selling point when you shop for gear? Food for thought. Have a great weekend.