The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a well-made and relatively lightweight spinning reel that delivers smooth performance, making it ideal for freshwater applications. While it may not reach the level of a Shimano Vanford, it is a worthy alternative.
Abu Garcia’s Renowned Freshwater Fishing Equipment
Abu Garcia is renowned for its freshwater fishing equipment, and the Soron, a predecessor to the Revo line of spinning reels, marked a turning point for the brand’s success. The first Abu Garcia reel I added to my collection was a first-generation Soron, which I still use to this day. Since then, I have acquired several newer models from the Revo series.
Performance and Quality
The Revo line excels in all areas, from its smooth and powerful drag to its overall sleek performance. It truly feels like a premium reel.
It has good line lay, with both monofilament and braid. I know judging line lay can be a bit complicated, because different lines, or even diameters can perform somewhat differently. With that said, I feel the Revo, or at least the one I own does a good job. It is certainly no worse than comparable priced Shimano’s and Daiwa’s I also own.
The frame is built rigid, and if anything, it is slightly over engineered. There is very little flex even when underload.
The result is an excellent and durable spinning reel that offers remarkable quality and features at an affordable price point. The Revo was designed with precision.
Durability and Reliability
Despite being on the market for over a decade, the Abu Garcia Revo SX continues to stand out as one of the best value spinning reels available today.
Speaking from personal experience, even after enduring ten years of abuse in the harsh conditions of kayak fishing, my Revo still functions perfectly, albeit showing some signs of aging and surface corrosion. There is slightly more play in the bail arm, and some more resistance when reeling (might need a service), but it is not enough to reduce my confidence in its ability to handle big fish.
Longevity and Comparison to Shimano Reels
In terms of longevity, I have only witnessed comparable performance from my Shimano reels. Personally, I consider the Abu Garcia Revo series among the top spinning reels for trout fishing.
The Revo reels offer excellent durability and reliability, making them a reliable choice for anglers seeking a high-quality spinning reel. This durability does not always transfer over to saltwater, they are not the most corrosion resistant reels on the market, but they certainly hold up just fine in freshwater.
When compared with comparable priced reels from Shimano, there is not much in it. I personally feel the Shimano’s like the Vanford are slightly better made with tighter tolerances, they feel nicer under load. But the difference is small, and if the price difference is enough. I will not hesitate to go for a Revo.
I will also note, that at this price point Shimano reels are normally significantly lighter. The 1000 size Vanford weighs in at only 5.3oz, while the Stradic with a full metal frame is only 6.5. So both are quite a bit lighter than the 7.2oz Revo.
Variations and Different Models
While the Revo series offers numerous variations, I believe the Revo SX provides the best value for a trout reel. Its carbon frame ensures lightweight construction and corrosion resistance.
There are also two niche variations within the Revo series: the Rocket and the Revo Winch. The Rocket features a high gear ratio (6.2:1) for lightning-fast retrieves, while the Winch has a low gear ratio (4.7:1) for slower and more controlled presentations. However, it’s worth noting that the Revo Winch is currently only available in size 30, which might be on the larger side for trout spinning.
From personal experience, I have found that the speed at which you retrieve the handle also influences performance.
If you prefer the sturdiness of an aluminum frame while sticking with Abu Garcia, the Abu Zata is worth considering. My only complaints are in regard to its weight and questionable corrosion resistance. Just remember to keep it away from saltwater environments or be prepared to clean it religiously. Its specifications are highly comparable to the Revo series.
Size and Specifications
The Revo 10 provides 10 lbs of drag and can hold 110 yards of 6 lb line. On the other hand, the slightly larger Revo 20 offers an additional pound of drag and slightly higher capacity. Both reels weigh only 7.2 and 7.3 oz respectively, making them lightweight options.
|Model||Weight (oz)||Gear Ratio||Bearings||Max Drag (lbs)||Line Capacity (yds/lbs)|
|Abu Garcia Revo SX 10||7.2||6.2:1||9||10||150/6, 110/8, 90/10|
|Abu Garcia Zata 20||8.1||6.2:1||11||11||185/6 130/8 110/10|
|Daiwa Fuego LT 1000||6.4||5.2:1||7||8.8||4/250, 6/160|
|Penn Battle III 1000||7.8||5.2:1||6||9||235/4, 160/6, 130/8|
|Shimano Stradic CI4+ FB 1000||6.0||6.0:1||6||7||75/10, 95/8, 140/4|
|Shimano Stradic FL 1000||6.5||5.1:1||6||7||90/10, 95/8, 140/4|
|Shimano Vanford 1000||5.3||5.1:1||7||7||110/2, 165/4, 120/6|
In conclusion, while I like the Abu Garcia Revo SX spinning reel, it is not quite at the same level as the comparable shimanos and even Daiwa’s.
While it falls slightly short of matching the renowned Shimano Stradic in terms of overall quality and weight, the Revo SX still manages to provide a decent alternative with its smooth operation and sturdy design. However, while my reels have been real workhorses, it’s worth noting that some users have reported occasional issues with its performance and manufacturer tolerances, and it has some questionable corrosion resistance.
Despite these shortcomings, the Abu Garcia Revo SX can still be a viable choice for anglers looking for a spinning reel that offers a satisfactory level of performance without breaking the bank. They are also great value when gotten on special.