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Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Watch maker Abu Urfabriken got its start in 1921 in a factory located in Blekinge, Sweden. However, the founder's son, Göte Borgström, was passionate about fishing and was responsible for turning the company's focus to fishing reels in the 1940's.

Meanwhile, outdoor goods distributor/manufacturer Charles Garcia & Company was growing into the Garcia Corporation (1947 to 1978) and becoming the leading distributor of fishing tackle headquartered in NYC. In the late 40's, Garcia was looking at importing and marketing ABU's many reels, including the famous Ambassador reels. Garcia was already involved in importing, marketing and distributing the Mitchell 300 from France. in 1980, ABU AB acquired Garcia Tackle changing their name to Abu Garcia. The company ultimately came under the Pure Fishing/Berkley umbrella where it thrives today.

Abu Garcia introduced its series of fishing reels in the beginning of the 50s. The Swedish built ABU 444, the company's first spinning reel, was introduced in 1955, followed in 1965 by the first model of the Cardinal series of spinning reels. Beginning in 1957, the company became known for its advanced spin cast reels (Abumatic) featuring several engineering innovations such as level wind mechanisms (oscillating spools), under rod spin cast reel designs (the Abu 500 series) and improved drags for fighting larger gamefish. The Ambassador series of bait casting reels was introduced at the New York World's Fair in 1964, and became known for its advanced metal alloys, ball bearing friction interfaces, and precisely cut gears. Today, they still continue the Ambassador line, along with a branched off line of low profile cast reels using the Revo name. For more on their reels click


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