Last Update: 05/03
Tackle Type:
Over all score:
Float Reel
Advantage Series
Eric Z.
Manufacturers Description:
"This center pin float reel was designed by Leon Hanson to fish steelhead and salmon in difficult weather and river conditions of the Great Lakes. It has been developed in response to the many requests for a superior float reel from fishermen “On the river”."

Size5" Diameter
Weight7.6 Ounces
Materials6061-T6 Aircraft aluminum and stainless steel parts
BearingsStainless steel ball (free running)
ClickerEnclosed detent clicker, lever activated
FinishBlack Hard Coat
Capacity50 yards of 20-pound Dacron backing, and 200-250 yards of .011 monofilament
DragAngler-Supplied by palming or feathering
MadeMichigan, USA

KnobsAnti-Fouling with pocket washers
Finger Spin HolesFor speed winding
ErgonomicsNarrow reel design for comfort
Recessed KnobsFor palming convenience
CastingDesigned for side or spin casting

First Impression:
I was impressed on how light this reel is. The machining is pretty impressive, it’s apparent that a lot of planning and thought went into it. The diameter is huge, the width small. It fits the hand very well and the bearing are unbelievable, the spool will spin for a long time even with the super light spool.

Ratings: (out of 10)
CriteriaRating # 
Performance:  6
Construction/Quality:  6

A great performer. Everything that the literature and advertising claims the reel will do, it does. It’s a very specialized reel that you’ll have to get used to. There are tradeoffs with the performance but if you can live with them it will do things that no other reel does as effectively.

Definitely on the top end of the “affordable” reels available. There are many contributing factors to the price of the reel including premium bearings, cost of machining to the exact tolerances, and materials used. For any amount of money there’s no reel like it.

It is apparent that much thought went into the construction process and improving the overall quality as compared to other reels. Made entirely from 6061-T6 Aircraft aluminum and stainless steel parts no expense was spared on materials. The machining is very precise, almost to a fault as the tolerances are so tight any dirt or debris will become instantly apparent. This is a first generation run so small “problems” are being worked out, Teflon coated screws are one of these but there is already a solution to that problem. At this time that is the only apparent concern.

Talking with Leon, the design was his biggest concern. He addressed issues he and others had with production models currently available. There were things they liked and disliked. They took the best, tossed the rest, and added a few features that no other reel had. For the full story check out An Interview with Leon Hanson.

You’ll either love or hate some of the features on this reel. The ones most will like include anti-fouling knobs and a large clicker lever perfectly located and usable while wearing gloves. A couple that you will either love or hate are the large ported spool, makes the reel very light but will allow dirt and debris in. Also the spool is almost too light to bat, on the other hand it will run even in the lightest current. Also, with regards to dirt and debris, the tolerances are very tight. It’s a precision machined reel that you really need to keep clean.

Plus / Minus:
Over all WeightPrice
BearingsDirt Sensitive
Spool WeightSpool Weight
Finger Spin Knobs 
Overall Design 
Spool Diameter and Width 
Made in the USA 

An impressive well thought out reel for even the most demanding centerpin fishermen. On the high side of the price range but worth every penny. The engineering is well calculated and you’ll enjoy the new features. Exact tolerances make this reel, in my opinion, not a great product for the first timer unless they can follow two strict rules, keep it clean and dry and keep it cased when not in use. If you can live with these guidelines you’ll absolutely love this reel, there’s nothing like it on the market.

For additional information on the reel, check out the Owners Manual.

Where to Buy:

Quest invites manufacturers to submit comments on this review. Comments will not change the review in any way, but will be added along side the information presented.

Additional Staff Comments:

Long Term Test:
I’m starting to have a problem with the play on the spool. It’s getting a little sloppy. Leon had warned me about this and told me when, if, it happens give it to him and he’d fix the problem. Seems there’s a slight problem with a Teflon coated screw that works loose due to the original thread locker not being able to bond correctly. He has since received some super locker from Loc-Tite and has the problem remedied. Fished with Leon on the 20th, gave him the reel and it was fixed the next day. That’s one thing about Leon, if there’s ever anything wrong with he wants to know about it and will make it a point to fix it immediately.

Warranty Work:

Must have gotten dirt into the reel. Started hearing a scraping sound within the reel. At the time Leon was in the boat with me and ask me what I did to “his” reel? I told him nothing… I guess I’ve got to be more careful about where I lay the reel down. That’s one thing I still need to get used to, making sure the reel stays clean, very clean. He took the reel to fix the spool play and said he’d clean it out for me also.

Ok, I thought I was doing a good job at keeping the reel out of the dirt, mud, etc.. Guess not. I’m starting to hear that scraping sound once again. Used a piece of paper in the clean out hole, then rinsed it with clean water; seemed to do the trick. Sounds much better now. The bearing are finally broken in pretty well now, the reel runs smoother now than when I picked it up.

Product Update:

The Advantage Series Reels now come with an option to purchase a heavier spool. Contact Hanson Reels for further information and pricing.