Quantum Hellcat 30 Spinning Reel Reviewed

Is the Quantum Hellcat 30 Your Next Spinning Reel?

Quality fishing reels are something I love to have but I hate paying too much for them. To that end, I’m really liking the Quantum Fishing Hellcat 30 spinning reel.

Quantum Fishing Hellcat 30 Spinning Reel
Quantum Fishing Hellcat 30 Spinning Reel

If you haven’t checked them out, they are as sexy as you get for a reasonably priced spinning reel and they have enough bearings to make them smooth to work with.  I’ll be honest with you.  I grew up in the woods of North Idaho and I don’t know how many bearings those reels we used had, but hey absolutely grated when you would reel them and the drags were dismal.  Hooking into a big fish was a nightmare with those things.  I likely would have killed for something this sweet back then.

The big features for me on this reel are first the price point. MSRP is $80 but I’m seeing them on Amazon for less than that plus if you have Amazon Prime you can get it shipped for free. I’ll admit it, I’m now an Amazon junky.

Next is the continuous stop. Those old reels has one stop, so you better hope that it was against it if you went to set the hook. A continuous stop prevents any line from playing out when you put tension on the line. It may not seem like a big deal, but when a trophy is on the line it definitely is!

Third is LOTS of bearings. The Quantum Hellcat line has 11 Bearings (10+clutch) so you know it will run smooth.

Quantum Hellcat Spinning Reel Specs

Here are some of the general specs for this reel that I pulled off the Quantum website for the Quantum Hellcat series of spinning reels:

  • 11 Bearings (10+clutch)
  • Lightweight aluminum body and side plate
  • Continuous Anti-Reverse™
  • 5.2:1 Gear ratio
  • Lightweight graphite rotor
  • Long Stroke™ spool design
  • LMS™ line management system
  • Heavy-duty anodized aluminum bail wire
  • Soft-touch EVA handle knob

The Quantum Hellcat spinning reels actually come in three sizes. I think they are all pretty reasonably sized, not too big but not so small that if you have a fish run you have to sweat it spooling you.

Quantum Hellcat Spinning Reels
Model Gear Ratio Line Capacity Bearings Weight.
HC20F 5.2:1 140 yds. / 6 lb. 10+1 10.0 oz.
HC30F 5.2:1 190 yds. / 8 lb. 10+1 11.1 oz.
HC40F 5.2:1 170 yds. / 10 lb. 10+1 11.8 oz.

Hellcat Spinning Reel Reviews

There isn’t a great deal of feedback in on this reel yet, but so far their is only praise for the Quantum Hellcat spinning reel.  Here are a few that I’ve found that seemed useful.

“Great Reel. very smooth and i love it. I’m using 8 pound Spiderwire Braided Line. Spooled up Smooth . My new favorite reel.”

“Great reel super smooth casting and retrieving great drag as well”

Final Analysis Of The Quantum Hellcat Spinning Reel

I have to go with it being a winner. At least until someone gives me some evidence to change that opinion.  If you are looking for a midrange spinning reel for yourself or as a gift, you aren’t going to go wrong with giving them one of the Quantum Hellcat spinning reels.

Check for the best price on the QUantum hellcat spinning reels

GSI Lexan Flask Review

GSI Lexan Flask

It has been a while since we first reviewed the GSI Lexan Flask and I wanted to touch on it again and update the page.  You will be happy to know that this flask that we put into service back 4 years ago (or more) is still going strong despite getting lost in our gear for a while and being kicked around on a variety of fishing trips.

GSI Lexan Flask

It is nice to review a product like this. Anything that can hold my booze and not break when it is dropped on the deck, or is beat around by Thomas’ driving is a great thing in my book!.

The GSI flask is really nice because it has a wide mouth for filling and un-filling, and a top that is easy to grip and take off or put on with one hand. Additionally it has a great profile that is easy to grip and non-slip. Best of all it is relatively cheap. We found our flask for under $10.

GSI Lexan Flask in actionIn Thomas’ words:
“This flask fits so well in my hand it feels like my hand was designed for it. It has more trouble leaving my hand than entering it. Too bad Cliff sits in the back and can’t reach the flask…well to bad for him only.”

To summarize, the GSI lexan flask gets a big thumbs up from me!

As I said, since we first wrote this review of the GSI Lexan Flask, it has been put through its paces.  It is dirtier now, scuffed up and not so pretty, but it still holds our booze like a champ, which is really what it is supposed to do!

I have read some other reviews that have complained that theirs broke when they knocked it off a table or dropped it, but I am not sure what they are doing to ours because it has been tossed in bins, dropped on the deck and generally abused and is still holding up fine.  I’m sure if you hit it hard enough it will pop, but then again what do you want for a $10 flask?

Best Prices on the GSI Outdoors 18 fl Oz Flask

Review of the EGO Rubber Landing Net

High quality EGO landing netWhen it comes to fishing, landing nets are all the same right? Obviously this is absolutely false as evidenced by our recent opportunity to test and review the EGO Rubber Landing Net. Anyone familiar with how our crew fishes knows that our equipment receives a lot of abuse and misuse. If a landing net can survive a few outings with us is doing pretty good.

The first thing that is apparent with the EGO Rubber Landing Net line is that the net is a wide rubber mesh. Traditionally this has meant two things. First that the net would be heavy and second, that it wouldn’t move through the water well. This is definitely the case of our last rubber mesh net. You had to get it under the fish and lift because there was no sweeping under. The EGO Rubber Landing net defies this and is light, weighing in at just over a pound. The netting also moves in the water better than older style rubber nets.

If you haven’t used a rubber net before, you might be looking at the relatively small net size and be thinking that it won’t hold your fish. In reality the mesh on the EGO Rubber Landing Net will stretch to 1.5 times its original size. Additionally the rubber material is gentle on the fish, which is important for catch and release situations. We caught many Pink and Coho Salmon ranging in weight up into the teens without any problems getting them in the net and in the boat.

One other really nice thing about the rubber netting on the EGO Landing Nets is that they don’t tangle up hooks. In the two weeks of hot and heavy fishing for Pink Salmon that we tested out our net on, hooks would routinely drop out of the fish as soon as tension was off the line. With a traditional nylon mesh or even a coated nylon net, those hooks usually got tangled up and had to be carefully removed. With fish biting twos, threes and fours, speed was critical, and not once did we have to untangle a hook from our EGO Rubber Net. Even if they came out of the fish and got hooked in the net, they came out easily!

Have you ever dropped your net overboard? Our crew fishes Puget Sound from our 19′ Alumaweld, and generally are at a loss for where to put the net when we are actively fishing. Where it usually winds up is on top of the canvas, which is fine, except for when we power up to go try a new spot with the net on top. We have nearly lost several nets this way. This is less of a problem with the EGO Landing Net because it floats! Having to go in because your net in the middle of the bite is not fun at all.

discount on ego rubber landing netIn addition to floating the EGO Rubber Landing Nets feels solid. The yoke where the hoop meets the handle is covered and there are no exposed rivets or metal pieces to snag or cut your line. The handle is comfortable feeling and the octagonal shape makes it easier to control, especially if you are fishing solo and have to land your own fish. The handle on the medium sized net that we tested is 30″ which is adequate for most smaller boats and comparable with other nets on the market.

We tested out the Medium Ego Rubber Landing Net, and while it was big enough for Pink Salmon, I would really want to step it up to EGO Large and Deep to give some extra room for bigger fish.

Overall the entire crew felt that the EGO Rubber Landing Net performed fantastically with no flaws. For fishing from a boat like ours or for fish larger than the Pink and Coho Salmon we usually chase, I would probably step up to the Large size to gain a few inches on the handle and a slightly larger hoop size. The price is very fair, especially for a rubber net, at under $50. All in all our crew give the EGO Rubber Landing Nets a big thumbs up. It is a keeper

Check for the best price on EGO rubber landing nets

Boomerang Swift Cut Knife Review

A Knife For Fishing From a Kayak You Won’t Lose!

Knife for Fishing From a Kayak With
When I started playing with the Swift Cut Knife that the people at Boomerang sent me, at first I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do with it or what I thought of it.  I am used to traditional knives when I am on the boat fishing and using them for cutting bait, line, and so on.  So what to do with this knife?

First off, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t want to gut fish with it.  It seriously isn’t built for that, but the blade is sharp enough out of the package to cut bait, though not delicately, but the serrations at the base of the blade were damn sharp and I had no qualms about it being sharp enough to cut cord/rope.

What would I use the Swift Cut Knife for?

The realization of what it would be perfect for came to me when I was looking at kayak fishing gear.  The Swift Cut Knife lacks a stabbing point so it is unlikely to jam into your boat (or leg) when you are bobbing around on the water.  It is about the right size to use to cut ropes and clip fishing line. This knife would be great to take with you when fishing from a kayak!

The overall build and the fact that it is on a retractable cord make it perfect for working with when you are limited in space and in a place where if you fumble your knife, it is on a one way trip to the bottom of the sea.

What Do I Like Best About the Swift Cut Knife?

The blade shape is great for utility work.  The flat, fairly dull tip is good for moderate prying (oysters anyone?) and the short wide blade is stocky.  The blade lock engages nicely and holds the blade firmly in place.

The blade does lack a spring assist to opening and closing which at first annoyed me until I realized that while it meant you can’t flip the blade open as easy, it also means that it won’t snap shut on your fingers.  Trust me, I have had a few near misses with my Spiderco knife that would have lost me some skin. Not something you want to replicate.  So the lack of a spring assist on opening and closing is a plus in my book.

The retracting cord works well, and I like the retraction button isn’t too tall so you aren’t bumping it on accident.  Overall the profile is smooth and fits in even my big hands comfortably.

What Don’t I Like?

Honestly, takes for what it is designed to do, I don’t have any serious complaints about the Swift Cut Knife from Boomerang Tools.  If any spring up after I have had it in use for a while I will update this page and let you know.

What I would say is that it is definitely a utility knife and don’t expect it to do fine knife work.  Additionally I am betting that the lanyard spring will be subject to rust, so a rinse down in fresh water and generous use of water displacing lubricant will need to be done to keep it working smoothly.

The Boomerang Swift Cut Knife Stats

For you lovers of cold hard statistics, here are the features and specifications for the Boomerang Swift Cut Knife:

  • 36″ Retractable Kevlartm cable and retriever (built in the USA) keeps your knife attached to you
  • Super Grip handle for safety and improved handling
  • One handed lock blade operation for quick maneuvering
  • Blunt end to prevent punctures of you or your boat
  • The Swift Cut Knife is ultra lightweight at 4.5 oz (127g)
  • High grade 440C stainless steel blade
  • Easy to find barrel thumb button to open the blade
  • Textured lock release
  • Holster included


  • Length: 4.5″ (11.4cm) folded, 7.75″(19.7cm) open
  • Width: 1.375″ (3.3cm) widest point
  • Depth: .635″ (1.6cm)
  • Blade: 3″ (7.5cm) total length, Fine 2″ (5.0cm), Serrated 1″ (2,5cm)