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Reel Review

 

Forget the 4, This Revo Generation is About the X (continued)

Drag: Abu Garcia has three different drag stack options for their low profile Revo4 lineup. The X comes equipped with that they're calling their Hybrid Carbon Matrix drag stack rated at 18 pounds of maximum pressure. The stack consists of a carbon disc nestled up against the main gear followed by an aluminum washer, then a synthetic material disc, followed by a keyed aluminum washer, another synthetic material disc, and finally the aluminum cap.


The only difference internally is this Carbon Matrix Hybrid drag stack found only in the Revo X.

Out in real world conditions on the water, the reel's max drag never really came into play for me but I did manage a few fish that pulled drag at medium settings and am happy to report performance was smooth and consistent. The drag systems on the majority of reels we test these days are pretty darn good and Abu Garcia's Revo4 X is no different.


The pointed top plate gives this reel the appearance of being more narrow than the previous generation Revo.

Design & Ergonomics: With a new generation Revo comes a refinement of the reel's shape. Compared to the Gen 3 Revos, the new Gen 4's front plate is shaped more narrow and kind of Shimano Curado-esque though the width of the frame is really unchanged. It's just a cosmetic treatment that makes the reel appear more narrow in front.


Each knob features one bearing and one bushing.

Those who loathed the Gen 3 reels because of the oversized gearbox will be no more happy with the Gen 4 gearbox. Unfortunately, you can't have oversized gears without an oversized gear box.

The non-handle side of the reel is the same height as the Gen 3 version too so palming these new reels feels the same.


The Revo X's non-handle sideplate detaches from the frame so be careful when opening it up to access the bearing and spool.

Along with the ratcheted brake adjustment dial is a cast control knob and dragstar with full clickies. The Revo4 X even comes with one bearing and one bushing per handle knob (I was expecting 2 bushings) and 2 bearings on the levelwind worm gear.


There's a rubber gasket under the spool tension knob to keep water from getting into the reel at this spot.

Lastly, gone is the locking screw spanning across the reel to hold the non-handle sideplate in place, and in is a simple lever at the back bottom of that same sideplate enabling you to open or close that side of the reel. For the model X, this sideplate comes completely off, so be careful when out on the water.


The Revo X is suitable for everything except bait finesse applications.

Price & Applications: The Revo4 X comes in three different retrieve ratios from 5.4:1 on up to 7.3:1, and is able to cast a wide variety of baits really easily, so the list of applications for which it is suited is long. What's more, as mentioned several times in this article already, the reel is only $99! So if this reel suits you, filling out an entire arsenal with the model X will not be nearly as painful financially as other choices.

Ratings:

Abu Garcia Revo4 X Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Minimal play in the handle but otherwise a super solid build with clean lines and perfect transitions between parts 9.5
Performance Far better than I expected at this price point 9
Price At $99 this reel is a slam dunk 10
Features Bearings where you need them, three different retrieve ratios and even the lowest gear ratio in left hand retrieve! 8
Design (Ergonomics) If you liked the Gen3 reels, the Gen4's are a clear progression and refinement 8
Application Everything except bait finesse... the Winch version can be used for big baits in a pinch 9

Total Score

8.92
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
+ A budget option cranking reel - No super shallow spool option for BFS applications
+ Matt black finish is spot on - Non-handle sideplate complete detaches
+ No skimping on handle size or bearings in the levelwind  
+ Incredible price point  

Conclusion: I could be wrong, but I cannot, in my long or short term memory recall a budget priced reel (and yes I consider the $99 price point, budget) that I've enjoyed fishing as much as the Revo4 model X. The only real feature of the model X that is in line with its budget price point that I can discern is its simple braking system. MagTrax, though effective, is very unrefined - but as I said, it's effective.


I could be wrong, but I can't remember a budget priced reel I've enjoyed fishing as much as the Revo X.

 

I literally cannot find anything about this reel that annoys me or that I'd want to change. I like the color, the handle length, the handle design and material is the same as the other Revo reels, the dragstar... wait, ok, maybe the dragstar does look a little plastic and cheap. But the way in which Abu has redesigned the front end of the reel is appealing, it palms nicely, casts well, feels solid on the retrieve and oh yeah, it only costs $99!

 


I can't find anything about this reel that annoys me or that I'd want to change.

 

But the real capper for me is the fact that Abu Garcia has once again addressed one long standing, albeit quiet issue with me and that's the fact that up until now, there have been very few to none good, affordable alternatives in a low profile, left hand retrieve, low gear ratio cranking reel.

 


But how many cranking reels are available in left hand retrieve - let alone at $99?

 

13 Fishing's least expensive cranking reel is the Concept A at $175 - but only in right hand retrieve. Ardent doesn't make a cranking reel of which I'm aware. Daiwa's Tatula CT is available in a 5.5:1 for $130, but only in right hand retrieve. Lew's does offer their Tournament MB Speed Spool in a 5.6:1 for $140. Okuma doesn't make a cranking reel of which I'm aware. The Pflueger Supreme is available in a 5.4:1 for $100 but only in right hand. Quantum offers a cranking ratio in their Smoke S3 lineup for $170, but only in right hand, and I couldn't find a low profile, low gear ratio Shimano other than the Antares that's offered in both right and left hand retrieve with a 5.6:1 gear ratio but for $600!

 


No joke, Abu Garcia's Revo X has earned this Editor's Choice Award!

 

For the past few years, Abu Garcia did offer the Orra Winch for $99, but while this reel shared a similar shape and size to the Gen 3 Revo Winch, its insides were an obvious downgrade from the Revo lineup. With the introduction of the RevoX, the Orra line has pretty much been discontinued. So now we have a Revo pedigree reel, with the same gears, frame, ergonomics as its siblings, but at a price point that anyone who is serious about bass fishing can afford. Yes, there are upgrades and refinements to be had hence all the other Revo models that we intend to cover in the coming year, but honestly? I'm not so sure Abu Garcia is prepared for the demand the Revo X will generate. I intend to continue fishing this reel and hopefully deliver a longer term follow up review. In the meantime, this is no joke. Abu Garcia's Revo4 model X has earned this Editor's Choice Award.

 

Looking for a Abu Garcia Revo X?

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