Quantum Fishing is a reasonably well-known fishing rod and reel brand that’s been around for almost four decades but also got its start specializing in baitcasting products.
Whether rod or reel, Quantum Fishing understands where the primary value of any of their products lies, focusing broadly on every segment.
The Quantum Smoke S3 casting rod keeps in line with this principle as the fishing pole is not necessarily the best performing rod on the market but is a well-made mid-tier option.
However, identifying what it does well and what it doesn’t do so great can be a bit tricky– especially when it comes to mid-tier markets.
That said, this casting fishing pole takes an interesting approach to find a better balance between casting distance and casting accuracy.
The real question is whether or not whatever flaw the Quantum Smoke S3 has is catastrophic to your fishing or more than a good trade towards overall value.
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
The Quantum Smoke S3 casting fishing rod surprises here with one of the more durable builds coming from the exclusive graphite camp of blanks.
Granted, a big part of this has to do with the fact that the blank’s graphite is exceptionally high-quality, but the other build factors also come into play.
That said, don’t expect this rod to compare to fiberglass or even composite blanks in terms of durability, and the absence of a meaningful scrim doesn’t help.
However, the one-piece design combined with the solid materials and build result in a surprisingly sturdy rod blank that’s got a lot of backbone to it.
It’s not often you see something unusual in the realm of “lengths” when it comes to casting rods, but even when you do, it’s usually centered on the number of options.
However, part of the Quantum Smoke S3’s unexpected approach comes from offering longer rods than you would normally expect.
This starts with the fact that this rod’s shortest length is 6’10” while its longest is an almost unwieldy 7’10” with stops of 7’0”, 7’2”, 7’4”, and 7’6” in between.
This allows you to get a bit more distance on your cast but would otherwise reduce the accuracy and limit the size of the space you can fish in.
A big part of how Quantum Fishing achieves its high-performance levels is by using solid materials at every step of the process but taking special care with the most important parts.
That holds true with the materials choices more than most aspects of the rod with the blank given the most attention and care.
While graphite is one of the two primary materials used for fishing pole blanks, the Quantum Smoke S3 rod uses a higher quality graphite than most.
The HSX64 high-modulus Toray graphite is a surprising level of material used in a relatively inexpensive mid-tier baitcasting fishing pole.
In line with allocating care and attention in descending order of importance, the guides also use alconite, a high-quality ceramic blend with aluminum-oxide.
Finally, the handle uses EVA foam which isn’t really good or bad, though people generally tend to prefer a cork handle for comfort over the long haul.
Rarely do you have to make much of an observation about a rod’s action except to explain why the manufacturer chose only to offer “fast.”
However, the Quantum Smoke S3 actually takes a completely different approach, and this is the second half of the design choice that leads to the rod’s unusual approach to balance.
Rather than either offer only fast action or even offer other actions with a fast center, this baitcasting pole actually focuses more on an extra-fast action while expanding into the slower, “fast” action.
This significantly increases accuracy and bumps sensitivity, but it reduces the casting distance– something accounted for by the increased length.
This is another area where the Quantum Smoke S3 casting pole offers a few more options than you might expect, though not necessarily in the way you’d expect.
For longer rods that only use graphite for the blanks– regardless of the graphite’s grade or quality– you expect the pole to lean on the heavier side of power to increase durability.
With this fishing rod, however, the lengths tend to follow an increasing scale where the longer rods employ heavier power ratings.
This implies that the rod is precisely tuned for a specific type of fishing which bodes well if you follow the suggested recommendations but limits appropriate versatility and requires a bit more experience.
Still, you have the option of heavy, medium-heavy, medium, and medium-light, so you can find the right rod for most of your fishing needs– it just might not be ideal for all of your fishing needs.
As you might expect, all of the high-end materials used in the Quantum Smoke S3 baitcasting fishing rod also incidentally contribute to a lightweight design.
No matter where you look, there are few places where you can reduce the weight even further without also reducing the pole’s effectiveness.
That said, these poles are heavier than other models because they are just physically larger and there is simply more material.
As such, you should expect this rod to weigh a little heavier over a full day of fishing, but it still shouldn’t be anything onerous that unduly fatigues you.
A sharp eye will note a fair number of factors and confluences all conspiring to increase the Quantum Smoke S3 rod’s sensitivity.
Keep in mind, the features chosen actually weren’t, by and large, selected for their ability to increase sensitivity– certainly not the features that advertise that effect.
The HSX64 high-modulus graphite transfers vibration better than most materials and the lack of structural reinforcement increases the rod’s sensitivity in proportion with its decreased durability.
The extra-fast action rods also have more sensitivity than most of the competition as a matter of consequence.
While the blank is easily the most important part of a fishing pole, the rod guides don’t sit that far behind, and the Quantum Smoke S3 baitcasting rod shows it.
Much like with the blank, Quantum Fishing relies on exceptional materials to do most of the heavy lifting rather than really innovate.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that this pole’s Alconite rod guides are some of the best-performing regardless of the situation.
This material provides the silky, smooth action to prevent knots and tangles– especially during the cast– with a hardened composition that can stand up to the abuse of a braided line.
It’s also worth noting that the guides are made by Kigan and have a pseudo-microguide design that increases your casting accuracy even further without conflicting with leader knots.
Uses (Who is this good for)
If you just look at the “box specs,” it would seem like the Quantum Smoke S3 baitcasting fishing pole is a good enough value for virtually everyone– and technically that’s true.
The price you pay for the materials used in the rod’s construction is almost unheard of– but how they’re used is just as important in this context.
That’s because this rod’s construction lends primarily to one type of fishing or another but not really to “fishing” in general.
This means you need to select the model of rod that specifically applies to the type of fishing it’s used for, but this doesn’t really take that much experience to do– so long as you’ve fished for multiple species.
Basically, the power of the rod generally increases with its size, mapping pretty well to the size of fish that you catch with them.
As such, while this rod might be a great all-around value, it’s probably best reserved for more experienced fishermen who not only know how to get the most out of the rod but also know when and where to use it.
The Quantum Smoke S3 casting fishing pole, like all Quantum Fishing rods, comes with a 5-year warranty which is about what you would expect for a mid-tier rod.
However, this ubiquitous 5-year warranty at least means that the company expects to honor that length of time and shouldn’t give you too much trouble when trying to redeem it.
As you can see, the Quantum Smoke S3 casting rod is a solid mid-tier option that offers plenty of value, but it’s not designed to be used by every fisherman.
In fact, beginner fishermen should probably look elsewhere for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that the mid-tier price tag is a bit rich for someone still figuring out whether they intend to keep fishing or not.
However, more experienced fishermen are liable to fall in love with one of the configurations or another as this rod offers surprisingly precise models.
Granted, that value heavily depends on what kind of fishing you do, but thankfully, that precision is focused around the kind of fishing the average person buying the rod is liable to do.
Still, even if you don’t happen to fall within the fairly broad lines this rod targets in terms of quarry, it’s a good value for the occasions in which you do.
If nothing else, the materials used at the price charged offer a significant enough value that it might not be a bad idea to start finding reasons to use this casting rod.