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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Reel Review

 

Watch out! Make room for the new Abu Garcia Revo STX low profile baitcast reel (continued)

Drag: The drag system of the Revo STX was the most impressive I’ve fished to date in such a small reel. In the lab, our Revo STX produced a killer 24 POUNDS of drag pressure when locked down. That's right!!! 24 lbs of drag pressure! At first the 12 pound line on the reel kept on snapping in the middle of the line during the test. We finally spoolled up some 20 pound line and that still snapped half of the time. So we had to up the line test one more time before we got the final result. After we tested out the 24 pounds of drag force, we thought our scale was going bad, so we replaced it with a spare and we were simply amazed by what the Abu Garcia can achieve. This incredible drag force can easily pull in saltwater game fish!! When it reached maximum drag power we were surprised that the drag pressure was still smooth and let out line consistently! We then proceeded to take apart the reel to see what’s behind this powerful drag force. This Abu Garcia baitcast reel incorporates their Carbon Matrix™ Drag System which consists of a set of carbon fiber washers. We also found something else inside. Underneath the main gear there is a washer typical of other reels, but what was surprising was its material. It appears to be a heat resistant composite material very similar to Quantum’s ceramic drag washer – a composition that has produced very positive results Quantum.

 

The Revo STX produces 24 POUNDS of force through these carbon fiber washers

 

In the field we tested the drag throughout its range by adjusting the clicking drag star. At each setting, the performed as expected – smooth and consistent with no hesitation. Cranked down, the drag can easily haul in big bass or put a dead-stop to big stripers on the run.

 

Palming is easy and comfortable thanks to the low profile design

 

Ergonomics: From the first time we held the reel at ICAST to our field tests, we found the ergonomics of the Revo STX quite good. The reel weighs only 8.75 ounces and feels well balanced with the rods we paired it up with. No matter how you hold the entire setup, either from the trigger or palming the reel, the low profile design is easy and comfortable to hold. The only thing that we found here that might bother some anglers is in the levelwind area. Depending on how you palm the reel you might find your index finger situated directly in front of the levelwind hitting the pawl cap screw. If you rest your index finger is on the rod, then this poses as no issue. In addition to the weight and low profile design, the Revo STX makes use of bearing supported, rubber handle knobs that are quite welcoming when retrieving large crankbaits or ripping an entire day.

 

The guts of the Revo STX

 

Durability: Though the time frame of our tests were only a month, we’ve put the Revo STX through quite a bit. It went through many fish, many hands, and a lot of stress from continuous use. Though it did receive minimal boat rash everything else passed our durability test. Of course, from a durability perspective, only time will tell, but today the reel still cranks very smoothly, the anti-reverse still shows no backplay, and it continuous to perform fish after fish thanks to a solid overall design.

 

A rugged aluminum chassis is designed to take on loads from the field

 

A Titanium Nitride wormshaft increases the longevity of the reel

 

In addition Abu Garcia has incorporated some premium spool bearings to the Revo STX. The HPCR™ (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings are made in Germany and instead of treating them with a rust resistant substance after the bearings have been fabricated, these high quality bearings are actually made from a rust resistant material. The end result is that these HPCR™ bearings can handle more stress, have a better dry-running behavior, can handle higher RPM, and if contaminated, they will still continue to run better than a standard bearing.

 

A closer look at the spool

 

Application: Built for bass anglers, the new Abu Garcia Revo STX can handle other freshwater species as well. The Revo STX is a good reel to cast many size lures from hardbaits to soft-plastics. The model we reviewed has a gear ratio of 6.4:1 and is a great all-around speed. Price wise, the STX is the top end of the series, and is priced to move at $199.99.

 

Though the Revo STX was designed for bass it can easily handle other freshwater species such as this landlocked striped bass

 

Ratings:

Abu Garcia Revo STX Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality

The overall construction of the reel is solid with the aluminum frame and side covers giving the necessary foundation it needs to be built on. The finish did receive boat-rash and can be improved, but all other components compliment the solid chassis very well

9
Performance

The reel casts different lures well, and the external cast control adjustment is a plus. The retrieves are powerful and when stopping power is needed, the carbon fiber drag provides a sure but smooth pressure

9
Price

New to the playing field some anglers might consider the STX high priced but if you consider its built quality and features it is a complete performing package

8
Features The reel is packed with features that increase its performance and durability such as the Carbon Matrix™ Drag system, HPCR™ and shielded stainless steel bearings, Linear Magnetic Brake™ system, Titanium Nitride wormshaft, Infini Spool II™ system, and much more 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) The small low profile design is easy to palm but depending on how you palm there could be an annoyance. Weight wise it’s not bad at all coming in at only 8.75 ounces 8.5
Application Designed for bass anglers to cast almost any lure you have in your tackle box but it’s also capable of other freshwater species 10

Total Score

9.0


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J 24 pounds of drag pressure! L Finger might hit the levelwind cap screw depends on how you palm
J Great design  
J Easy to palm  
J Smooth and powerful retrieve  
J Distant casts  
J High Performance Corrosion Resistant spool bearings  

 

Zander lands a few good ones with the Abu Garcia Revo STX such as this three pound largemouth bass on a crankbait

 
Conclusion:
The new Abu Garcia low profile reel ushers in an entirely new era for this reel giant. These reels are unlike anything they’ve offered in the past, and puts the Abu brand in front of many anglers that have only known their brand previously from their prominent round reels. The Revo STX is excitingly stunning! What’s more, the low profile design is very comfortable to palm. Packed inside the all aluminum frame and solid aluminum sidecovers is a powertrain that gets the job done. Casts are fluid thanks to the Infini Spool II system. Housed with 10 stainless ball bearings the reel runs quite silky, and since the bearings are shielded, they prevent dirt and other grit from getting inside, thus providing better long-term performance. The Abu Garcia Revo STX might seem to have a steep price for some but this reel is built to perform side by side with some of the industry’s best. Did I mention the drag system that produces a killer 24 pounds of force? That’s one of the highest in the industry. The Revo STX reels are available in two different gear ratios, 6.4:1 and 7.1:1 for those who require more speed. Abu Garcia has really done it right this time. The well thought out design compliments the performance very nicely. So watch out, and be sure to make room for the new Revo STX low profile baitcast reel....simply put, Abu has done right by their legendary brand with this new series! 

   

                                        


 

 

 

 

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