Quantum Smoke S3 Baitcasting Reel Review [Top Pros & Cons]


We’re switching it up today!

For the last 20 years I’ve strictly used spinning reels for inshore fishing.

It’s not because I had anything against baitcasters, but it’s just that spinning reels were better for the type of fishing that I was doing…

That was, until a few months ago when I found an application where I actually prefer baitcasting reels.

Baitcasting reels are perfect for fishing heavy lures under docks.

In this video, you’ll learn why I prefer baitcasting reels in this situation, plus you’ll see a review of my the baitcasting reel I’ve been using, the Quantum Smoke S3.

Check it out below!

Quantum Smoke S3 Baitcaster Review [VIDEO]

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Here’s a direct link to get the Quantum Smoke S3 Baitcasting Reel:

➡Quantum Smoke S3 Baitcasting Reel

And here are my top pros and cons for it:


  • Lightweight (less than 7 oz.)
  • Powerful (25 lbs. of drag)
  • Quicker retrieve speed (so you can quickly get fish out from under docks)
  • Over-sized spool for better casting performance
  • Smooth


  • No clicking sound like spinning reels have when a big fish is pulling drag
  • It’s harder to skip lures under docks with a baitcasting reel than a spinning reel (you have a higher chance of getting backlash)
  • Easier to get backlashes in general with baitcasters vs. spinning reels


quantum baitcaster review

After exclusively using spinning reels for inshore fishing for 20 years, I now take a baitcasting reel with me almost every time I go out fishing.

They’re perfect for fishing heavy lures (like the Power Prawn) under docks because they have quicker retrieve speed and they’re powerful.

You don’t lose casting ability with heavier line and the faster quicker retrieve lets you get fish out from under docks faster.

You can get the Quantum Smoke S3 Baitcasting Reel from our shop here:

Have any questions about this reel?

Have you used it before?

Are there any other baitcasters you recommend?

Let me know down in the comments!

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1 year ago

Can you please explain how the Acs brake system works on this real? Can’t find it anywhere. Thanks

Justin Ritchey
1 year ago
Reply to  Lou

Excellent question, Lou! And it looks like Quantum doesn’t have much information on their own feature either (how ironic). I have tinkered with the Quantum S3 Baitcaster before, and my understanding is that their ACS Brake System is a Centrifugal Braking System that is sort of “Tiered”, if you will. Instead of having all the small braking knobs/tabs on the system exposed on the same plane, they seem to have 3 different tiers (high, mid and low) that each have 3 knobs exposed that you can utilize, depending on your desired distance for the cast and which type of lure you plan on using.

However, in trying to play with each Centrifugal Brake knob on this reel, I was able to engage each little brake, but I couldn’t disengage them very easily until I put the side plate back on and adjusted the clicker on the side of the reel (which I thought was odd). Overall, I think the idea/concept makes sense (i.e. having variable influence on your cast depending on what stage the cast is in–beginning, middle or end), but in application I don’t know that it deserves Rave Reviews.

I agree with their product video that brings focus & importance to the overall sizing of the spool; that IS indeed very important. Larger spools help with needing less inertia, and therefore help you cast a little further than smaller spools. But how they branded/advertised the ACS 4.0 was a little lackluster, to be completely honest.

Overall, I think these are great little reels, but for $180 compared to other products like the Daiwa Tatula SV TW, I don’t think there’s much to compare between the two.

Judy Baker
2 years ago

Hey Luke, thanks for the review. Based on your feedback and the reviews I’ve seen online, I decided that I would pull the trigger on this reel. I have never used a baitcaster so any tips are most welcome. I was wondering if you would mind sharing the settings you have on your reel. Thought it might be a good starting point until I get used to adjusting the tension and drag. If there are too many variables then no worries. As always, appreciate all that you and the Salt Strong do for us.

Judy Baker
2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Luke- thank you for the tips. This baitcaster very user friendly and I was trying it out within a couple of hours of getting it. Another quality product recommended by the Salt Strong team!

Christopher Lara
2 years ago

I see a lot of folks commenting on the Daiwa Coastal SV…I would like to see a review on that, the Shimano Curado K, or Lews. Shimano and Lews have been the popular brands in the folks that I have talked to in this area, i throw a Curado K, but I keep hearing more about the Daiwa Coastal. Maybe it will make the cut for the fishstrong store 😉

Capt. Ray Markham
2 years ago

As far as skipping lures and getting or not getting backlashes is concerned, try the Daiwa Coastal SV or Tatula SV reels. The SV type reels are made for skipping lures without backlashing and without sacrificing distance on casts. Proven by thousands of bass tournament anglers who perfect that type of fishing, use these reels. The Coastal versions are saltwater protected.

Sean Shimmel
2 years ago

Capt Ray, thank you for the specific details. While I’m not sure I’d actually try out a baitcaster, I’m always impressed by Daisy’s entire line of offerings

Douglas K York
2 years ago

All I have ever do with a bait caster is troll . If I try casting way out there all I get is backlash . Never a fun day playing that game.

Darren Corlett
2 years ago

I use Quantum Tour MG reels. They’re titanium and magnesium. With a Duckett White Ice rod, the reel and rod together weigh 10.47 oz. As far as skipping a lure, I’ll raise the rod tip as it’s skipping. It definitely takes practice.

Gregory Thebeau
2 years ago

Luke, for docks and grass (fresh water), for casting I use (frequently) a Kastking Perigee II 7ft Med Heavy rod with a Abu Garcia REVO4 HS SX (7.3:1 retrieve). Great casting control, pulling power and sensitivity. Take a look. None of this set up is expensive.

George Layton
2 years ago

Thanks for your review Luke !! I am a die-hard for using a baitcaster for topwaters & fishing under Mangroves with bottom baits !!

Ron Bremer
2 years ago

What rod would you pair this bait casting reel with

Rick Holloway
2 years ago

Like bait casters when using top water bait us on fresh and salt water


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