ABU 506 v 506m

adriang

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Nov 5, 2018
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@Truly I've a couple of the alloy spools, and they are very tight in regards to tolerances. On one of my 506's.. I can't use them, as something is not 100% true, and the rubber 'o-ring' which is used as an alternative to the chenille, rubs.

From my experience, I've 6 or 7 506/506ms and a couple of 501s, I've found that the best spools are the originals, even if they are hard to come by, especially in decent condition. Then I like the remade plastic ones made by John Taylor services. They are not grooved to take chenille, but seem to be slightly better in regards to the tolerances.

Just took these pics... left to right.. alloy, JTS and original. (ignore the pink chenille, some experimenting) IMG_6427.jpeg IMG_6428.jpeg
 

Simon R

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It's a shame the spool for the latest 507 doesn't fit the older version - it's the same size but the securing lugs underneath are further apart.

You get three spare spools with the new 507 (Daiwa take note :p ) - I'll only ever use two of them I would imagine but owning a pair of original 507s I could have made use of all of them.

Simon
 

nejohn

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Apr 1, 2013
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Arguably both the DAM and Ryobi in pristine condition are better reels than the ABU, however keeping both of these reels in pristine condition is easier said than done. I have had all of them including the Daiwa 123m and 125 and the only ones that really stand the test of time and are almost 100% reliable are the ABU's. The DAM's are really nice to use however they have a tendency to self destruct after not a lot of use and the same goes for the Ryobi great when new ....but..!....there is a reason why both of these reels are rare on the second hand market.....they don't last well..! as for the Daiwa's I really didn't like them at all couldn't put my finger on it, just didn't get on with them. Shakespeare also did one but I think the least said about that the better. The only one that I haven't tried and would like to would be the kreck (I think that is how it is splelt) or the similar Milo version but they seem rarer than rocking horse poo
 

Dropon

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Jan 25, 2020
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I bought the Abu 506 model in 1973. The cowl was a darkish grey colour, which was changed to a more silver colour on the 506m. I think Reuben was pretty spot on with his recollections of the differences between the two models.
In 1973 I was an impoverished newly wed, who would have much preferred the Mitchell Match, which was the main rival to the 506 in those days. Sadly it was out of my price range, so I settled for the Abu. Even then I had to take advantage of Bennett’s of Sheffield finance package, which was popular in the day. I believe it cost £10.75, which was spread over 6 payments I seem to recall.

I regularly fished Bridgnorth waters on the Severn, trotting with this reel, and can never recall a time when the line didn’t end getting caught up behind the cowl, no matter how much I concentrated. Many said the same, and eventually Abu bought out a lightweight spool with a polythene type of skirt to prevent this occuring. It was better, but I still managed to trap it behind more regularly.Perhaps I was especially talented( or rather not).
I still have the reel after all theses years. Still works as well as it ever did. Over the years I have acquired several Mitchell Match reels, and in my opinion, it is the better reel. Obviously not everyone saw it that way in the day, and the Abu 506 was a very well respected piece of kit, endorsed by a lot of quality Midlands anglers. Happy days.
 

trotter2

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Feb 17, 2011
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@Truly I've a couple of the alloy spools, and they are very tight in regards to tolerances. On one of my 506's.. I can't use them, as something is not 100% true, and the rubber 'o-ring' which is used as an alternative to the chenille, rubs.

From my experience, I've 6 or 7 506/506ms and a couple of 501s, I've found that the best spools are the originals, even if they are hard to come by, especially in decent condition. Then I like the remade plastic ones made by John Taylor services. They are not grooved to take chenille, but seem to be slightly better in regards to the tolerances.

Just took these pics... left to right.. alloy, JTS and original. (ignore the pink chenille, some experimenting) IMG_6427.jpeg IMG_6428.jpeg
Your right about the metal spools with the O ring they don't always fit.
 

davepellet

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Jan 5, 2007
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1,859
For me, closed face choice was as much about aesthetics as about quality & practicality...

I'm a lifelong devotee to the Abu 501/503/506's, plus then later the 1044 as a modern (when I bought it) version

I agree they were never the best reel for the job, no closed faced reel could ever compete with a good fixed spool for line flow off the reel, but then again, the instant, smooth engagement of the pick-up pins compared to the potential fish-bumping flip of a bail arm could be argued to counter the line-lay argument, plus the protection from the wind offered by the spool casing sometimes puts the closed face user at an advantage

whether the Abu's were the best of the bunch is another debate that could rumble on forever, I would agree with those rating the Ryobi as the best performer, (the newer CF100 marginally better than the original CF1) but the drawback with that (and the original DAM Matchwinner - not the 'coffee-grinder' and the Abu 507/8) they are much bulkier than the 501/503/506... and for me that's a major issue... as a younger man I broke the middle 2 fingers on my right hand & have never been able to fully extend them since, this makes reel choice very limited for trotting, putting the 1044 as top dog, as it's the shortest distance of the all from reel seat to line opening... the 501/3/6 are not far off, but just a little more of a stretch...

also while I'm here

anyone remember that Silstar & Mitchell both did closed face reels, and I notice there's not many mentions of the old Shakespeare match international 2650 or 2660 I think... and let's just say, I'm not surprised
 

Terryb

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Jan 28, 2021
Messages
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For me, closed face choice was as much about aesthetics as about quality & practicality...

I'm a lifelong devotee to the Abu 501/503/506's, plus then later the 1044 as a modern (when I bought it) version

I agree they were never the best reel for the job, no closed faced reel could ever compete with a good fixed spool for line flow off the reel, but then again, the instant, smooth engagement of the pick-up pins compared to the potential fish-bumping flip of a bail arm could be argued to counter the line-lay argument, plus the protection from the wind offered by the spool casing sometimes puts the closed face user at an advantage

whether the Abu's were the best of the bunch is another debate that could rumble on forever, I would agree with those rating the Ryobi as the best performer, (the newer CF100 marginally better than the original CF1) but the drawback with that (and the original DAM Matchwinner - not the 'coffee-grinder' and the Abu 507/8) they are much bulkier than the 501/503/506... and for me that's a major issue... as a younger man I broke the middle 2 fingers on my right hand & have never been able to fully extend them since, this makes reel choice very limited for trotting, putting the 1044 as top dog, as it's the shortest distance of the all from reel seat to line opening... the 501/3/6 are not far off, but just a little more of a stretch...

also while I'm here

anyone remember that Silstar & Mitchell both did closed face reels, and I notice there's not many mentions of the old Shakespeare match international 2650 or 2660 I think... and let's just say, I'm not surprised
I recently managed to get hold of a silstar. It seems like a lovely light compact little reel that feels right on my 11’ acolyte. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet though so we will see.
 

davepellet

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Jan 5, 2007
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1,859
while I'm at it...
original DAM Matchwinner, a beast...
along with Mitchell Lightning 40... and a pair of Shakey's (note the anti-reverse lever on the newer Mk2)

and while I'm on a roll, a pair of Ryobi's
 

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davepellet

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Jan 5, 2007
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never used it to be honest, I remember it felt smooth enough & build quality was very good

the fact it's almost identical to that Mitchell hints it's the same reel rebadged, and I would doubt Mitchell would have blagged someone else's reel in those days... they'd got a very strong brand reputation to maintain so I reckon the Silstar is a rebadged Mitchell

I went thru a phase of buying loads of closed face reels in the early 2000's, and then sadly sold most off when I got bored of them...
the only ones I regret selling were a superb quality Abu 503 (outstanding) and a very nice 506, with a really dark blue/grey cowling... beautiful it was, but sold it anyway...

along with those mentioned I also had an Abu 704, an Abu 507Mk2, a Daiwa 120M (good reel) and a 123, which was okay, simple & usable... but I also had an Abu Dipomat 601, which was a different thing altogether... when I sold that on ebay, the buyer complained, saying it was a 'child's reel'...!!! cos it was really small

never owned a Daiwa 125 nor the original 507/8...
currently got 2 501's, 2 1044's & a 506M... but on the lookout for pristine condition 503 & 506 to replace the ones I regret selling...
 
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