Saw only one Gunnison ever freeze up. It got smoked at Christmas Island by a trevally.
I have seen several bauers get smoked by king salmon and chum salmon. That was a while ago (1999) maybe they are better now??
The old lamson LPs broke down all the time. I've easily seen in excess of 25 complete drag meltdowns. The problem was with the old clutches, which they eventually fixed. The newer lamsons work a lot better.
I have an able big game 0.5 that has had problems with the spool siezing up (first Abel problem I've ever seen or experienced). Haven't sent it back yet but I need too. The failure rate on Abel reels is tiny but make enough of them and sooner or later one will fail. Same thing w/ the Gunnison. However, I don't think you get $300 more worth of reliability for your money with the Abel over other brands. You just get one of the nicest reels you can get for any price. For me I like my equipment so it's well worth it.
[This message has been edited by ktokj (edited 10 February 2005).]