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Reel Review

The REVOlution Continues, Abu Garcia’s New Gen 3 Premier Baitcaster (continued)

Drag: The entire Revo Series has always exhibited a powerful drag system, which hasn’t always proven to be most refined, but is hard to beat when it comes to sheer stopping power. The Premier gets the same Carbon Matrix drag system which is used in other Revo reels and it was able to deliver 18.9lbs of maximum drag pressure in our lab, which is just a little shy of the 20lb manufacturer rating. We also found that this particular drag was actually very consistent and the use of so many drag surfaces allowed for a surprising amount of minute adjustment selections, providing quality drag pressure across the entire range.

A look at the multi-disk carbon matrix drag system

The refinement of this system continues to improve in this multi surface drag and the micro-click drag star provides audible and tactile feedback for anglers looking to make quick adjustments during the heat of battle. During tests the drag proved more than enough for keeping largemouth bass out of snag ridden cover, as well as helping to hastily tire out Stripers.

The carbon fiber handle really is a thing of beauty

Ergonomics: While the weight reduction (up to 29% on certain models) on the entire Revo Series is a welcome addition the one aspect of the reel that can be somewhat polarizing is the size of the new gearbox coupled with the stance on the new reel. One of our very first observations of the new series was how large the gearbox looked protruding down the handle-side sideplate and in terms of ergonomics this element is noticeable when palming and positioning your fingers all the way over, or during transitions from hand to hand. While the gearbox is considered big the reason it seems abnormally large when mounted on a rod is because the reel sits so low on traditional seats. The new Revo Gen 3 reels are so compact that the reel height is nearly 20% lower than the previous version so they palms extremely close on the non-handle side.

The Premier's new Gearbox hangs down the side...

Abu’s new gearbox delivers in the performance metrics but for some anglers that have a particular preference for the way a low profile baitcaster feels in hand may find the gearbox distracting, or in some cases uncomfortable. Most anglers, including myself, are okay with how the reel feels in hand, though I do find myself holding the reel a little differently with my fingers split around the bulbous gearbox.

While the non handle side is much more compact

Those that are most likely going to notice and take issue with the gearbox ergonomics are “transition” casters. Those that like to hold the reel in palm when casting with the right then pass the outfit over to their left to retrieve. I personally often do this and while I do detect the enlarged gearbox it doesn’t affect the way I fish to any great extent, or my overall appreciation for the reel as a whole. At the end of the day this may or may not be an issue for you, and it really comes down to the way you personally fish and palm your reels.

This reel has all the nice "clickies"

In the other ergonomic areas the Revo Gen 3 Premier has made major advancements including a weight of only 5.87oz. which is actually lighter than some competing reels which make use of magnesium! The Premier is able to achieve this with the new compact design and use of carbon sideplates and handle as well as EVA knobs which also are ergonomically shaped for comfort and leverage.  

With a Striper on the line the Premier delivers plenty of winding power

Durability: Though Abu Garcia obviously pushed hard to make the new Premier more compact and lightweight the company didn’t sacrifice an ounce of durability. Our test reel has held up very well, and after a season of fishing we broke the reel down to examine all the critical components. We did notice a small amount of wear on the teeth of the master D2 gearing but nothing that seemed to alter performance or even feel.

This reel is capable of fishing everything from plastics to fast moving reaction baits

Next Section: A closer look at long term performance









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