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Reel Review

 

Breaking Free of Middle Child Syndrome, Abu Garcia's Revo4 STX (continued)

Retrieve: The gen 4 Revo (Revo4) STX is available in three retrieve ratios although the fastest, 8.0:1, is only available in right hand retrieve. Abu Garcia changes things up in gen 4 and is now using brass gears in the STX instead of aluminum. This move delivers a heavier STX, but one with a slightly more solid feel.


Knobs are made of EVA foam.

Aluminum and aluminum alloys are lighter than brass alloys, but are also a lot more rigid. In fishing reels, this translates to a more connected feel from the handle knob through the drive shaft to the main gear. Aluminum transmits all this vibration. Brass on the other hand, absorbs more of the gear mesh and inner working vibrations, so you get smoother retrieve. Manufacturers interested in delivering the lightest reel possible use aluminum main gears to save weight and brass gears when durability and a more refined feel are the goal.


The STX sits very low on the rod.

To aid in the Revo4 STX's more refined feel, each handle knob is supported by two bearings for friction free spinning. Abu Garcia has done a nice job delivering an STX with a more high end feel when you turn the handle during your retrieve.


There are two retrieve ratio options for left hand retrieve, and three for right.

Power: The main gear on the Revo4 STX is the same size as the previous generation as is the handle length. Any differences you can feel in power are likely the result in change of main gear material. I can't discern any difference. STX has always had sufficient power for my needs and when I need more, I simply turn to the more torquey and lower gear ratio Revo Winch.


Abu Garcia's Carbon Stack Power Matrix Drag.

Drag: The Revo4 STX benefits from Abu Garcia's new Carbon Stack Power Matrix drag that features two mutli-keyed carbon washers sandwiching a metal washer all nestled within the reel's main gear. The result is a very strong, reliable, smooth and consistent drag. I wasn't able to coax any monsters to bite to truly test this combo's power, but the STX performed flawlessly with the few fish I was fortunate enough to wrestle with.


If the bulge from the reel's oversized gears bothered you in the past, it is still there.

Design & Ergonomics: The weight difference between the gen 3 and 4 Revo STX models is noticeable but not to the point where the gen 4 model is cumbersome. Abu Garcia didn't really change anything else. The new version looks more narrow, but it's an optical illusion achieved by redesigning the top front of the reel. The frames are the same width as are the reel's spools.


The weight difference between the gen 3 and 4 Revo STX models is noticeable but not to the point where the gen 4 model is cumbersome.

One change I almost forgot to mention is the fact the non-handle sideplate on this model now flips open and swings away in a gull wing design rather than detaches fully. In the past, Abu Garcia made use of a locking screw accessed from the handle side of the reel to fasten the sideplate. The manufacturer now uses a simple lever on the back side of the non-handle sideplate. Flip this switch, and the sideplate pops up granting you access to the spool and those IVCB-6L brakes. Very simple and secure.


The Swedish engineered STX retails for $199.99.

Price & Applications: As with previous generations, Abu Garcia makes all these adjustments and refinements in the Revo4 STX but holds the retail price consistent. The Revo4 STX comes with an MSRP of $199.99 - walking that fine line between high end and affordability. Available in three retrieve ratios for right handed enthusiasts, and two retrieve ratios for left handers, it is a versatile reel and lineup that can be used for a variety of applications.

Ratings:

Abu Garcia Revo4 STX Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Less flashy finish, but refined in its own way 9
Performance Smooth operation, solid drag, but oh those casting brakes! 9
Price Walking that line between high end and affordability 7.5
Features IVCB-6L brakes in the STX is a very welcomed improvement 8
Design (Ergonomics) A familiar and comfortable profile 7.5
Application Better if you're right handed but still moderately versatile 7.5

Total Score

8.08
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
+ Casting Brake upgrade to IVCB-6L - 8.0:1 available only in right hand retrieve
+ Robust Drag  
+ Smooth operation  

 

Conclusion: The STX was the last gen 4 Revo I fished in a flurry of spring testing to sample all the refreshed and one new model (Revo X). Quite honestly, next to the Revo X, the STX surprised me the most.

 

I was really just expecting the same gen 3 model with a new brass gear and upgraded drag, so I wasn't very enthused or excited to fish the new STX. But when I flipped open that sideplate, I was thrilled Abu Garcia decided to give the middle child STX some real oomph outfitting it with their IVCB-6L brakes instead of the same Infini braking system.

 


The STX was the last gen 4 Revo I fished in a flurry of spring testing

 

In fact, the Revo4 STX was well on its way to winning this Editor's Choice Award until I discovered that the 8.0:1 retrieve model is only available in right hand retrieve. Talk about curbing my enthusiasm. In recent years, Abu Garcia has really stepped up and offered the majority of their casting reels in all retrieve ratios to both their right and left hand audience. This stopped when they introduced the Ambassadeur Beast Round Casting Reel, and now we're seeing the same thing happen with the Revo family in the Premier and STX lines.

 


In fact, the Revo4 STX was well on its way to winning this Editor's Choice Award until I discovered that the 8.0:1 retrieve model is only available in right hand retrieve.

 

I praise Abu Garcia for providing good, low cost and quality low gear ratio options in both left and right hand retrieve with the Revo X and Winch, so I'm obligated to point out when they are not doing this with other models and gear options. If you're a right hand retrieve enthusiast, the Revo4 STX is prepped to break out of that middle child syndrome. If you're a fan of left hand retrieve reels, you have to resign yourself to not living life in the fast lane - at least not with the STX.

 

Looking for a Abu Garcia Revo4 STX?

Try TackleWarehouse


 

 

   

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