The Story of ABU Garcia

With thanks to &

I like many others (hopefully) have made the mistake of thinking that the “ABU” in “ABU GARCIA” was in fact the name of the proprietor of the company. I was expecting a chap of middle eastern heritage with an insane penchant for fishing. Turns out I was delightfully wrong.

The ABU stands for A B Urfabriken. Carl August Borgström whom founded the company in 1921 which started of with making less lucrative (:P) gadgets such as watches, telephone timers and taxi meters. Carl was a skilled craftsman thanks to his years at Halda which helped hone his attention to detail.

When WW2 started their taxi meter making business declined and the company endured difficult times. At this point of time Carl’s son Gote who was a fishing enthusiasts pointed the direction of the company towards fishing reels. They have never looked back since then.

In the early fifties ABU Garcia still known as ABU released their first series of fishing reels. ABU 444 was the first ever spinning reel made by the company in 1955. This was followed by the first model cardinals in 1965.

The company also made several breakthroughs. One of them being the world famous Abumatic that featured several engineering  innovations such as the low level wind. This was very helpful when tackling large game fish.


Their Ambassadeur series of bait casting reels featured some impressive precision engineering and elevated the status of the products as elite angling gear. The Ambassadeur is still continued till today and has gone through many generations, each featuring more cutting edge engineering than the one before.

The name Abu Garcia was only made official in 1984. This was when long time trading partner Garcia combined with ABU.

To this day Abu Garcia still remains as the porsche of the fishing world. There is no rolls royce as it will not be practical at all. There will also be no ferrari at it would be so troublesome.



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