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Enthusiast BFS Review


The Ultimate Abu Garcia Reel for BFS? The Limited Run LX992Z (continued)

Retrieve: Click the spool over and that 90mm handle is quite welcome though it does feel a hair long on a BFS reel. Nevertheless, operations within the reel are smooth and reliable. The LX992Z, like most BFS reels, comes with a light, aluminum alloy gear for a slightly more connected feel than you get with brass. Durability of aluminum gears in general are less of a concern with finesse tactics, so it's actually an excellent implementation for smooth, reliable performance in a light package. You want that more connected feel when fishing finesse.

A look at the ~38mm alloy main gear

Oh but wait, another bite!

Power: Power is not really much of a concern when fishing 5lb test line. Any baits you throw, whether they be vertical or horizontal presentations will be super easy to crank back and when a fish does take your bait, the fight is more about the reel's drag and rod's taper than it is your ability to surf the fish back to you on the surface. There is no surfing with BFS.

The LX992Z comes with a very robust drag system for a reel designed for finesse fishing

This is my favorite clicking drag setup to date simply for the ease of disassembly and zero worry of losing tiny pins or springs

Drag: If there's one area where Abu Garcia consistently performs in recent history its in this department. The LX992Z's drag makeup is overkill for BFS. It consists of three carbon material washers and two aluminum washers rated at up to seven kilograms or fifteen pounds of pressure. I had it dialed way back and found performance smooth and consistent. There is an audible line alarm as drag is pulling out so those who like their casting reels to sound like spinning reels will like the LX992Z's drag sound. I'm kind of neutral on the whole audible drag on casting reels deal.

This shaft sits inside the pinion gear yet is separate from the spool. I found it a rather interesting design

I recall the last time I enjoyed fishing a right hand retrieve reel so much

Design & Ergonomics: Built with an aluminum alloy frame and tipping our scales at 5.7 ounces (gold spool installed), the LX992Z is very light. The fact it comes with two spool options ala the under appreciated Revo EXD, is difficult to believe. That long, 90mm handle feels unnecessary but at the same time is welcomed, but I think the best feature of this reel are those ceramic bearings at the spool. I'm quite certain those bearings are responsible for that extra bit of reach this reel gives you at the end of each cast.

The LX992Z was a limited edition reel for Abu Garcia. Here's hoping they make another run

Price & Applications: Now for the bad news. Abu Garcia's LX992Z lists for 45,000JPY which equates to roughly $410 given the exchange rate at the time I'm writing this article. That in and of itself is not so bad. The tough part is this was a limited edition, limited release reel, so finding one after this article reaches publication might be difficult. For a true enthusiast, that just makes this special little reel all the more appealing. For me, it makes it frustrating that I can't find one in left hand retrieve! If you do manage to find one to suit your needs, know that it is an excellent contender in the BFS reel market.


Abu Garcia LX992Z BFS Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Tiny but mighty, this reel is solid out of the package 9
Performance Casting performance is surprising. This is what Abu Garcia BFS should be all about. The two spool options, especially premium ported options, is a rarity these days 9
Price Not cheap but what we expect for a reel of this quiality and performance. The biggest problem is simply finding one to procure. The most likely way that most anglers will find one is via the used market 7
Features Simple yet very effective braking system, ceramic bearings at the spool and a spare spool 9
Design (Ergonomics) Compact frame, light, nice, long handle 8
Application A top contender in the BFS arms race, and a great entry from Abu in a market that is dominated by competitors like Shimano and Daiwa 8

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:


+ Excellent casting performance - Not a cheap reel, but par for the course with an enthusiast reel
+ Long, comfortable handle - Limited production so quite difficult to find
+ Light weight and ergonomic form factor  
+ Even though you don't need it, a robust drag  
+ Audible drag is a nice touch  

The LX992Z is an excellent contender in the BFS reel market and an Ultimate Enthusiast Prize... if you can find it

Conclusion: Limited edition reels really fuel the Enthusiast Tackle Market space. Most debut with a lot of fan fare. Despite the partnership with Katsutake Imae, I feel Abu Garcia kind of snuck the LX992Z in under the radar. Maybe it's just because it's a finesse tuned reel and not something for the main stream. Whatever the case, I don't feel it received the attention it deserves. Casting performance with this reel is really special and the fact it comes stock with ceramic bearings and a spare spool leaves little work for the tinkerers to do other than string the reel up and fish it. If you find yourself immersed or wanting to be immersed in the BFS movement and you come across one of these gems that is Abu Garcia's LX992Z, my recommendation is to act quickly. This reel is an Ultimate Enthusiast prize.









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