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Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel Review
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Kistler Rods Magnesium 2 Review
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DUO Realis Onimasu Swimbait Review
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First Look Inside Shimano's New Compact Curado
 


 


Reel Review

 

A Workhorse Reel at a Budget Price : Abu's Orra SX

 

Date: 3/31/16
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.35 - GOOD

Introduction:
When Abu Garcia revamped their low profile reels nearly ten years ago and introduced us to their vaunted Revo lineup, they shook the low profile baitcasting reel market to its core and quickly grabbed market share from the big two, Shimano and Daiwa. Now with a full suite of nine different Revo reels ranging in price from $129.99 up to $499.99, Abu has focused their attention on a new suite of reels offering Revo like performance for a fraction of the cost. Today, we take a look at the new $99.99 Orra SX from Abu Garcia.

 

Abu Garcia Orra SX Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/145
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 14.4 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
6.4:1
7.1:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
12"-25"
13"-28"
Weight 7.1 oz
Spool Weight 20 g
Handle Length 80 mm
Bearings 7+1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Tested Max Drag ~24lbs (rated 15lb max drag)
Origin Made in China
MSRP $99.99


Introducing the Orra SX by Abu Garcia.

Quality/Construction: Abu Garcia's Orra SX is essentially a lower cost version of the company's workhorse, REVO SX. It shares a very similar overall profile and shape, but is styled far less aggressively in its medium grey painted sideplates and matte trey finish frame. The edges between the frame and sideplates are clean with only very minor, knit picking inconsistencies found on the bottom side of the reel.


The Orra SX shares a similar profile to the REVO SX.

The swept handle of the Orra SX has a very tiny degree of backplay and the reel's knobs have a little wiggle room as well. This reel is built well and aside from the understated color scheme, feels like a reel worth more than $100 out of the box.

 

Quality Ratings for Abu Garcia Orra SX

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
3
15
20
7.5


Ready for action aboard a Kistler Magnesium 2 casting rod.

Performance: I spooled the Orra SX with some old school, ten pound (10lb) Maxima Ultra Green nylon monofilament and mounted the reel on a Kistler Magnesium 2 casting rod for some test trips.


The Orra SX is available in 6.4:1 & 7.1:1 retrieve ratios.

Retrieve: The Orra SX benefits from a solid brass gear that delivers very smooth performance each time you crank the handle. It's available in either a 6.4:1 or 7.1:1 retrieve ratio, and we tested the 6.4:1 reel. If you spin the reel's handle freely right when you take it out of the box, without any line on the reel, there are some very minor noises and knocks but these stem from the handle assembly not the inner workings of the reel. Out on the water, working a bait, that play in the reel's handle is quickly forgotten the reel's smooth gears lead to worry free fishing.

Performance Ratings for Abu Garcia Orra SX

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
3
3
4
18
25
7.2


Abu Garcia's Power Disk Drag System consists of one ceramic disc inside the reel's main gear.

Drag: The Orra SX features Abu Garcia's Power Disk Drag System which consists of a single, ceramic disc inside the main gear. This drag is rated at fifteen pounds (15lbs) maximum pressure..


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our Abu Garcia Orra SX.

Out on the water the Orra SX's Power Disk Drag System performed predictably with no noticeable stops, stutters, or slips when battling largemouth bass up to five pounds. I'd have preferred to test this reel's drag against some hard pulling striped bass, but the linesides eluded me yet again during another Fall fishing season.

Sweet Drag Performance for Abu Garcia Orra SX

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
2.0
2.4
2.9
4.2
13.8
Sustained
1.9
2.5
3.2
4.62
18.55
Lowest Value
1.6
2.1
2.7
3.9
10.35
Change in Startup vs Sustained
1%
7.4%
9.5%
10.1%
34.5%
12.5%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
20.1%
17.5%
15.6%
14.8%
44.2%
22.4%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.


80 mm handles used to be standard issue but now seem short.

Power: The Orra SX has sufficient power for most all applications. Its gear is not as oversized as that of the REVO SX, but it has good, just not great power. I wouldn't use it as a dedicated for deep cranking for instance, but if you're ripping a lipless crank or chatterbait through grass or flipping in the tules, the Orra SX will suit.


To access the spool, you need to push this bar at the front of the reel away from the non-handle sideplate with your thumb.

Next Section: Casting Range and Brakes


 

 

 

 

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