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Reel Review


 

Abu Garcia's Unicorn : The REVO Toro Beast!!

 

Date: 3/20/16
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.34 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction:
Big, strong, and slow - big bait fisherman are always on the look out for a reel with these three characteristics: big in terms of line capacity with twenty to thirty pound test nylon monofilament; strong in terms of power, frame rigidity, and drag; slow in terms of gear ratio. Like the ubiquitous triangle of desire, you can usually find two of the three traits, but to have all three in concert - especially if you prefer a left hand retrieve reel - well, that's the unicorn.

 


Introducing Abu Garcia's REVO Toro Beast!

 

The default reel in this category, for years has been the Shimano Curado 300, but this large capacity reel has a gear ratio of 6.2:1 - slow enough, but not exactly ideal for crawling a Huddleston along a submerged point. Our recently reviewed Okuma Citrix 364 and Komodo 364 are both "300" sized reels but both come with a 6.4:1 retrieve ratio. Quantum's EXO 300 comes in a 5.3:1 but it's only available in right hand retrieve and Daiwa has the LEXA 300 with a 5.1:1 retrieve ratio, but once again, only in right hand retrieve.


Finally a large capacity reel available with a slow gear ratio AND left hand retrieve.

At ICAST 2015, Abu Garcia introduced us to their new large capacity low profile bait caster that is in fact available in two sizes - big (50) and bigger (60) - both of which come in either 4.9:1 or 6.2:1 and in left or right hand retrieve for all four models! It's the merger of their vaunted Toro baitcasting reel and their built for destruction, REVO Beast. Here now is our review of Abu Garcia's REVO Toro Beast 51.

 

Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51 Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 14lb/210yds (mono) : 50lb/165yds (braid)
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 30.8 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
4.9:1
6.2:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
7" - 23.5"
8.5" - 30"
Weight 13.4 oz
Spool Weight 31 g
Handle Length 110 mm
Bearings 7HPCR+1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings 2 bearings
Tested Max Drag ~29lbs (rated 25lb max drag)
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $349.99

 

Quality/Construction: Abu Garcia's REVO Toro Beast is available in two sizes - a 50 size and a 60 size. Both sizes are available in two different retrieve ratios and all four models are available in left and right hand retrieve. We fished the left handed 50 size in standard 4.9:1 retrieve. Specifically, the REVOT2BST51 (Revo Toro 2 Beast 51). This reel is finished in all black with glossy black sideplates and a matte black frame. There are anodized blue highlights at the cast control cap, base of the handle, and on the handle and knobs at various spots.


This is a big reel but still feasible to palm.

The frame and sideplates align almost perfectly but the non-handle sideplate extends beyond the frame at the front of the reel by about half a millimeter. Otherwise, everything lines up perfectly. The reel's insanely long 110mm handle does have a little back and forth wiggle to it and the large-ish knobs also move in and out from the handle a little.

 

Quality Ratings for Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51

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

Performance: I spooled the REVO Toro Beast 51 with some twenty pound (20lb) Sunline Super Natural monofilament and mounted it on a Fantasista FB79-6 casting rod for some big bait action earlier this year.


Loaded with 20lb Sunline Super Natural and ready to go.

Retrieve: The 4.9:1 retrieve ration on the 50 size version of the REVO Toro Beast equates to roughly seven to twenty three and a half inches (7"-23.5") of retrieve with each turn of the handle depending, of course, with how much line you have out on your cast. But this means a nice, relatively slow, pace to your bait once you have it out there.


The Toro Beast's 110 millimeter handle is a very nice feature.

The REVO Toro Beast's main gear, like that of the standard REVO Toro benefits from Abu Garcia's Duragear Heavy Duty design - it's a brass main gear that helps contribute to the reel's overall smoothness. The reel's frame and handle sideplate is made from an aluminum alloy (X-Craftic Alloy) and doesn't flex when under load.

Performance Ratings for Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
5
3
3
20
25
8.0

Drag: Abu Garcia uses their Carbon Matrix Drag System on the REVO Toro Beast to deliver 29lbs of max drag pressure as tested in our lab. The reel is rated to 25lbs max pressure. As you can see on the reel's Sweet Drag Performance chart below, at all but full lockdown, that drag is pretty smooth and consistent in performance. Most reels we test have very erratic curves at full lockdown. This systemic of everything from line stretch to the line digging in on itself and releasing momentarily so erratic lockdown curves are nothing of which to be concerned.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to hook into anything to really put the REVO Toro Beast's Carbon Matrix Drag system to the test, but nothing with what I did experience led me to doubt what we charted back a the lab. Abu Garcia's drag system in their REVO reels has worked well for us to date.


A look at the reel's extensive drag stack.

Sweet Drag Performance for Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51 (#.# Turns to Lockdown)

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
6.3
6.2
12.2
18.1
16.5
Sustained
6.3
6.8
13
18.1
24.2
Lowest Value
5.9
6.0
11.6
16.7
11.6
Change in Startup vs Sustained
0.6%
8.6%
6.6%
.03%
46.8%
12.5%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
6.2%
10.6%
10.5%
7.7%
52%
17.4%
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.

 

Power: This reel has power to spare. With the extra long handle, large line capacity, and slow gear ratio, this reel pulls baits like Strike King's 10XD and Lucky Craft's Magnum SKT cranks like they're shallow running square bills. The power this reel delivers is very reassuring and if not for its size, it'd be my new cranking reel of choice. As such it's a wonderful reel with which to cast and retrieve big baits like GanCraft's Jointed Claw 300!


The reel's extra long handle affords you greater leverage, but that oversized gear box is where the real power comes from.

Brakes: Abu Garcia uses their InfiniMax Braking System in the new REVO Toro Beast. This is a dual braking system with adjustable centrifugal brakes on the spool's rotor together with a mag dial adjustable through a dial on the reel's non-handle sideplate. This dial moves a set of magnets into and away from the spool's rotor to control its spin.


Abu Garcia's InfiniMax Braking system is a two in one design with adjustable centrifugal brakes on the spool and ...

I've written before that I find the dual system unnecessary and with big baits involved, on the REVO Toro Beast, I typically backed off as far as I could with the magnetic brakes and relied upon the centrifugal brakes on the spool for my brake control. Centrifugal brakes are favored in long cast situations over magnetic braking systems as the latter can have the effect of choking off your cast prematurely.


... magnetic brakes on the sideplate adjustable with an external dial.

Features: The REVO Toro Beast, as with all of Abu Garcia's REVO reels, does very well against our standard checklist of features, but what we do not score, and what the Toro Beast comes with are two extra power handles. Normally reserved as aftermarket items you have to purchase, or simply not offered at all, these power handles have just one knob and are great when you want to take the reel out in pursuit of inshore species or other, big, powerful fish. Additionally, this reel has a non-disengaging levelwind meaning the line guide tracks back and forth while line is being pulled out of the reel with the drag engaged.

 

Features Ratings for Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast 50/51

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
2
2
2
1
2
11
14
7.86

Next Section: No bones about it, this is a BIG reel


 

 

 

 

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