Strength Meets Style: Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Round Reel Review

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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One of the reels most preferred by professionals is the Malasian Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3. This company has been producing fishing gear for decades and its products are engineered to suit both beginner and expert anglers. So whatever your age or experience, the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Round Reel will suit.

I tested this reel several years ago when fishing in saltwater for coral reef fish. I found it to be well suited to dropping baits and powerful enough to reel in fish before they could hide in the reef. I did not find the casting distance to be as far as a spinning reel or the accuracy to be as good as a baitcaster. This review is based on my own personal experiences in using this reel.

Brute Strength meets Refined Style

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Description

The Ambassadeur C3 is a favorite among anglers for its versatility and is just one of Abu Garcia’s many high quality reels.

Abu Garcia C3 Ambassadeur Round Reel
  • Extremely Versatile Overhead Reel I Have Used For Dozens of Species
  • Gear Ratio of 5.3:1
  • Max Drag of 15 Pounds
  • 310 Yards of 30 Pound Braid Capacity

Click here to learn more about how we score.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Reel Features

  • Star drag design
  • 15 lb max drag
  • 5.3:1 gear ratio with a 26 inch retrieve rate
  • 6 pin centrifugal brake

Extreme Drag System

In regards to angling, dragging essentially defines the effectiveness of force that you can apply to land a fish. This involves two essential functions – the first of them is the force that you can exert, and the second is the smoothness of the action.

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Round Reel is going to give you up to 15 lbs of drag, although that differs in the eight models. In terms of smooth action, the function relies on the three ball bearings. All the bearings are steel plated and steel covered and will therefore remain safe and long-lasting.

Line Capacity

In the case of Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Rounded fishing Reel, you have a line capacity of 310 yards of 30-pound braid, which is impressive. This reel is suitable for catching some serious saltwater species.

Although the drag is on the low side, the line capacity means that you can let a fish run and tire itself out before dragging it in, so I don’t see it as a serious disadvantage. I have caught plenty of saltwater species with it and can attest to its power.

It also has a synchronized level wind system with improves the line lay. This keeps the line smooth and tight onto the spool so that you don’t get much line friction resistance when casting.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3

Body and Rotor

The body and rotor of the device are both made of carbon. This essentially reduces the weight of the device which is only 10 oz. This is lightweight for a 4500/5500 sized saltwater reel.

The handle of the reel, made with a Carbon Matrix, is again lightweight and comfortable.

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 is suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

It also has a centrifugal brake, which gives consistent brake pressure throughout the cast. What this means is that you are much less likely to get air knots or backlashes from the spool running faster than the line is being stripped.

Anti-Reversing Function and Slippage Protection

Anti-reversing helps in your cranking as well as in your line retrieval. The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 fishing Reel has one roller bearing which is attached with a gutter system. The gutter system helps in preventing slippage during a big fish dragging. On the other hand, the roller bearing stops the reversing function instantly.

You will experience a smooth action.


  • The reel is very durable with high-quality construction and premium materials.
  • The weight of the reel must be mentioned as it is only 10 oz due to its carbon matrix body, which is very low for a 4500/5500 sized saltwater reel. This makes a big difference to muscle fatigue after a long day of fishing.
  • I like the spool release button. It is easy to use and clearly visible.


  • The dragging force of the reel is only 15 lbs, which is less than other alternate options.
  • I found casting to be lower distance than a spinning reel and less accurate than a baitcaster. I would primarily use this reel for trolling or dropping bait.

Video Review


MODEL NUMBERC3-5500C3-6500
GEAR RATIO5.3:15.3:1
MAX DRAG LB15lb15lb
REEL SIZE55006500
WEIGHT9.9 oz10.7 oz


There are endless fishing reels in the online stores, but few of them possess all the features that you find in individual items. This Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 is one such overhead reel that integrates everything you need, making it one of the best devices effective during dragging, casting, and retrieval.

If I boarded a charter fishing boat and found they were using this reel, then I would not be disappointed.

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