Garcia ABU Ambassadeur 5000 6000 Fit for a King

Started by sandbar, January 27, 2024, 10:43:32 PM

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I hope this is helpful to someone.
Any guesses on what year this was published?
Thank You.

Robert Janssen

I didn't have time to read all the details, but before 1963 at least, and probably well before that. Might have time to look more tomorrow.


Thanks Robert.
The cutaway view looks hand drawn.
Looks very cool to me.


I am definitely no expert at all!
Looking at a few magazine articles online, I'm going to take a wild guess and say around 1953. I'm sure Fred will know lol!

Robert Janssen

Okay... firstly, this is really neat. Super cool; thanks for posting it. I love the vintage vibe of the old catalogs, along with the contemporary naïvité of what the future would bring just a few years later.

Secondly, just looking for absolute certainties, I noticed Garcias New York address, which changed around 1970ish. And, the lack of a U.S. Post zip code, which was introduced in 1963.
So, before 1963.

Thirdly, the appearance of three Ambassadeur models at the same time is important. The 5000 was introduced in 1954. The 5000A and 6000 some time later. So '55, '56 something.
Around here is where I had to go surfing, because although I know a thing or two about ABU, I don't know it all. We need a date of introduction for the 6000.

Collector and enthusiast Fred Ribb provides this on his website, where he writes,

"...Ambassadeur 5000A is added to the line up in 1955 along with the debut of Record Ambassadeur 6000 and is the first known "A" model. According to Simon Shimomura's studies, it became apparent that a large capacity spool was needed. Although never engraved with "A", 5000A is listed for the first time in Garcia's 1957 catalog. In fact, the 1957 trade catalog is Garcia's official introduction to the public for the Ambassadeur 5000, 5000A and 6000 model. It would be twenty years later in 1975, when "A" was engraved beside the model number."

Okeydoke. That pretty much nails it down. 1957.

Fred refers to Simon's research, which I know was very thorough. Sounds legit.

Having said that, I would like to add the general caveat about taking things found on the internet as absolute truth. Mistakes and misunderstandings can occur, after all.

You can always check with other collectors and historians, but at this point 1957 sounds good to me.
But, this looks like a stand-alone brochure rather than the yearly Garcia catalog. So there is nothing to say that it wasn't printed slightly earlier, or even later.



Thanks Robert!
I'm glad you enjoyed seeing it.
Here it is in a PDF.



Patience comes to those who wait


Quote from: pointbob on January 29, 2024, 02:18:58 PMthey had braided line in the 60s?
Not PE braid.

Great share though. Great perspective Re: lure sizes on old ambassadeurs.

My question is what is their definition of "more than ample fishing distances"

I'm not asking in a contentious manner I'm just wondering about their frame of reference.

To me, if I'm trying to determine if a rod-reel combo's ideal lure size, i wanna see what's the smallest it'll throw about 100' in negligible wind. That's just me though.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.


Quote from: pointbob on January 29, 2024, 02:18:58 PMthey had braided line in the 60s?
Dupont first began commercializing "Dacron" back in the 1940's (another of those WW2 "Wonder Inventions" and Dacron fishing lines began appearing in the early 1950's.  Of course much earlier than that were the braided "linen" lines that were referred to by their number of filaments, such as "24 thread line". - john

Midway Tommy

Braided nylon was the go-to spinning reel line before mono became popular. Most of the experienced baitcasters opted for lighter braided nylon rather than heavier dacron lines. I used Wexford braided nylon on my GM 304 up until I bought my first Cardinal 6 in 1970. Still have that 65 year old 8# Wexford on that 304 & would fish it today. It seems to last forever! :) 
Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE

Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing


The linen lines were twisted, not braided.  The first synthetic lines were DuPont nylon.  Ashaway nylon fishing line was one of the first commercial uses of nylon.  FDR remarked about how small and thin nylon line was while tarpon fishing in Port Aransas about 1939.  But, nylon has a lot of stretch so they started making offshore trolling lines out of dacron as soon as it was available.  Dacron was not very popular inshore because it has very little abrasion resistance. 

Before and during the war they couldn't get Japanese silk for making women's stockings.  So, another early use of nylon was for stockings because it is much stronger than the Rayon alternative.  After nylon was diverted to making parachutes and other military stuff, stockings could only be had on the black market and at exorbitant prices.    After the war the gov't was slow to make nylon available for civilian use again which sparked the "Stocking Riots".