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Reel Review

Low Speed Cranking Reel Shootout Part 2: Abu Garcia Revo Winch is all about Muscle

Date: 8/17/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.5 + EDITORS CHOICE!

Abu Garcia’s robust lineup of Revo reels have enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity, and for good reason, these reels blend plenty of features and performance into a very compact package. The Revo Winch is designed to be the brute strength “cranker” of the series, and is the latest contender in our low speed cranking reel shootout.


Abu Garcia Revo Winch Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/175 (Rated)
Gear Ratio 5.4:1
Measured Weight 8.5 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 21.8 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 10 + 1 Roller
Features DuraGear (oversized main gear): CarbonMatrix Drag, Centrifugal brake system, HCPR bearings
Origin Korea
MSRP $199


The Abu Garcia Revo Winch has the profile of all the Revos with a unique color pattern


Impressions: The Winch makes use of the same compact profile as the other reels in the Revo series yet is instantly recognizable thanks to a two tone motif in which the frame is traditional silver and the sideplates are a rich blue color. The reel is further accented with gold highlights with the matching spool and drag star, overall the combination gives the reel a simple yet elegant look and feel.


The Winch sits low on traditional Fuji reel seats


Look under the skin of this reel and it becomes obvious that the engineers at Abu wanted to build a true powerhouse of a reel. The Winch comes loaded with a massive pure brass master gear that the company calls “DuraGear” because it is also specially treated for corrosion resistance. Adding to the reel’s corrosion resistant features are eleven HPCR (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings. The entire Revo series already has a reputation for having the strongest drags in their class, and the Winch makes use of the same Carbon Matrix drag system for smooth fish stopping performance.


The Revo Winch has a compact yet powerful gearing with a low speed 5.4:1 gear ratio


The Winch is available in both right and left hand retrieve and both versions are exact mirror images and weigh the same at 8.5oz. each. In the lab the reel felt solid but also was noticeably heavier than both the Quantum Energy and Shimano Curado reels which are also contenders in the shootout. We were eager to get the reel on the water and see what it could do when paired with some seriously deep diving lures.


The non handle side, notice the absence of externally adjustable cast controls


Real World Tests: To test the Abu Garcia Revo Winch we head straight for the California Delta and paired the rod with a variety of crankbaits. We actually had trouble finding deep enough water that was vegetation free for our deep crank tests so we also decided to fish a number of Northern California lakes including Clear Lake to finish up our comparisons.


The reel has a wide opening proving plenty of access to the spool


Casting: We kicked off our tests with casting a variety of lures and found the Winch to be a good caster at the heavier weight range and an average caster at the lower weight range. The Winch seems to start up a little slower than some competing reels, and while it is every predictable and easy to manage you do need to dial back the centrifugal weights if you want to fish completely weightless rigged plastics. But then that isn’t what this reel is truly intended for, the Winch is designed to be a cranking machine and the Revo casts these heavier baits perfectly.


JIP absolutely manhandles a Striper back to the boat

Next Section: More casting and a powerful retrieve









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