Cardinal 6 or 7 for Alaska Salmon?

Started by Whit, July 17, 2019, 10:25:43 PM

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I am rediscovering my Cardinals after....well...decades, and even expanding the fleet just a smidge to catch up with a couple that I had once lusted after (back in 70's I just didn't have much disposable income).

I'm thinking of using Cardinals for a trip to Alaska after salmon, in particular the C6 and C7 for Silvers and Kings. 

Question:   Anyone on this board have experience with these reels for this exact application?

Any comments valued,

Thanks in advance!



No personal experience exactly as you describe —

However, they will work great since the drive train is bullet-proof, and the spools are aluminum.

When fighting a heavy fish, particularly in running creeks and rivers — the rear, low, bottom mounted drag system is superior to others, IMO.

Only weak link, IMO, would be the plastic bail arm mount — I have seen a few of these fail, on rare occasions with large running fish in current — but Tommy will likely have better info.

The rod is possibly as important, or maybe even more important than the reel — in these conditions.

Great reels!


The Official, Un-Authorized Service and Restoration Center for quality vintage spinning reels.

D-A-M Quick, Penn, Mitchell, and ABU/Zebco Cardinals


"I have never been lost but I was bewildered once for three days." - American frontiersman, Daniel Boone.

Midway Tommy

Either should be quite adequate for your Salmon adventure. Unlike Fred, I have never seen their plastic bail arm or bail plate fail while fighting a fish. I suppose it could happen if the reel has been abused and left out in the sun for UV rays to weaken the plastic and make it brittle. I have seen them wear and need to be replaced, though. If your reels have not been serviced for a long time closely check the nylon block that connects the oscillation arm to the main shaft. They can become brittle and break under stress. Line capacity of the Cardinal 7, given the exact same line weight/diameter, is just under 25% (about 23%) more than the Cardinal 6. The only differences between the 6 and 7 are the rotor size, spool, bail and line capacity. All other parts are exactly the same in both reels.   
Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE

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