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Reel Review

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

Durability cont'd: I haven’t had the opportunity to fish the Premier in saltwater yet but did log many hours in the brackish water of the California Delta western region. The Premier’s X2-Craftic alloy frame proved to be very durable, as did the lightweight C6 carbon sideplates. The reel has also warded off boat rash admirably, and with the exception of a few cosmetic scratches on the bottom of the gearbox, the reel looks as good as the day it came out of the box. This new reel is also capable of handling braided superlines over the long haul thanks to a titanium coated line guide which improves durability as well as is designed to reduce friction for all line types.

After a season of use we noticed some wear on the gearing, but the reel was still smooth and powerful

Our test reel did lose some smoothness over the course of the season but it wasn’t anything a little oil was able to address. Most anglers will not need to open this reel up for maintenance each season but those anglers that desire the same smooth “new reel” feel will want to apply a little oil each season to the main gear which is accessible via a service port located at the bottom of the gearbox.    

While the reel was not as smooth as it was when new after a season a few drops of oil helped remedy this quickly

Price & Applications: The Abu Garcia Premier is the highest end Generation 3 Revo that is currently available and retails for $299.99. At this price point the Revo Premier competes with some higher priced reels from the old guard, reels like the Daiwa Zillion ($319.99) and the Shimano Core 100MG ($349.99) which is constructed out of magnesium yet weighs .2oz. more than the Revo Premier, and then there are other competing reels to consider including Quantum’s EXO 200 PT ($269.99) and Lew’s Team Pro Speed Spool ($299.99).

The Revo Gen 3 reels provide plenty of spool access

Yes the space is crowded at the top but the new Revo Premier will definitely be able to garner plenty of market share given the reel’s rich list of features, excellent performance and the fact that Abu continues to gain momentum, and fans, with their Revo Series as a whole. While many competing series reels are getting a bit long in the tooth, Abu Garcia is aggressively pushing forward in an effort to cultivate the growing series.

EVA grips are contoured for comfort

The Revo Premier is available in two gear ratios, 6.4:1 and 7.1:1 but unfortunately the ultra-fast 7.1:1 model is only available in right hand retrieve. The Premier is a great all round performer and even the faster model is robust enough for serious power fishing and the entire series is refined enough for finesse fishing with ultralight fluorocarbon line. Though lightweight the reel can also be used for inshore fishing in a pinch, but if fishing in saltwater is your primary application you can save yourself 50 dollars by going with the Revo Inshore model.

The Premier delivers both lightweight refinement and power all in one compact package

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Abu Garcia 7.1:1 Revo Gen 3 Premier Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great build quality with use of alloys and carbon come together to form a reel that is compact, light in overall weight and still manages to feel very solid 9
Performance Excellent performance when it came to casting and retrieves. Over time the reel did lose some of the out of the box smoothness but it wasn't anything a few drops of oil were not able to address. the drag system also performed well and the reel exhibited excellent overall durability 8.5
Price Not a cheap reel but priced inline with the competition and even cheaper than some of the older reels on the market which weigh more 8
Features The 3rd generation Revo Premier is just about as feature rich as they come 9
Design (Ergonomics) This is a tough one. For some anglers the Revo 3 is a absolute boon when it comes to light weight and will find it is compact and easy to palm, others may find the enlarged gearbox to be simply too big or awkward when palming. Depending on how you palm your reels or address your rod outfit when casting and retrieving this reel may either be excellent or cumbersome. Most anglers will find the reel quite good ergonomically and besides the colossal gearbox the reel does it right when it comes to low weight and the inclusion of comfortable EVA paddle grips paired to the bent carbon fiber handle 7
Application The Premier can do it all, whether you are finesse or power fishing this reel is able to manage a wide range of baits and the reel has plenty of power combined with a quality drag to take on big fish 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Excellent materials used in construction - 7.1:1 reel only available in right hand retrieve
+ Powerful gearing and connected feeling retrieve - Large gearbox may be an ergonomic concern for some anglers
+ Very low profile design  
+ Lighter and more compact than previous generation  
+ Able to handle baits at both ends of the weight spectrum  

Conclusion: As it is often the case as product lines become more mature there has to be a balance between what is kept consistent to tie the new series to past lines and what is updated. I feel like the Abu Garcia managed to achieve the right balance with the introduction of the new Gen 3 Revo Series. The fresh reels look like the previous Revo reels but offer anglers a bevy of advancements, and the Premier Series now successfully delivers increased refinement and performance in a more compact and lightweight overall package.


Abu is making yet another statement with the Revo Premier. They want the high end market and with reels like this their fans will not be disappointed

Like the name implies this reel is a “premium” contender and can battle with the best of them not just when it comes to specifications on paper, but out in the field where features like the Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake (IVCB-IV) system and the combination of the X2-Craftic alloy frame with the C6 carbon sideplates translates into a reel that feels both refined and powerful, all at the same time. Abu Garcia changed everything when they showed everyone that they were serious about making reasonably priced quality baitcasters and frankly many competitors were caught off guard, quickly giving up market share in the mid-range segment. With reels like the MGX and the new Gen 3 Revo Premier Abu is making yet another statement… they want to garner the high end market too. Keep punching out quality reels like the Premier and they will do just that.    


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