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Reel Review


Abu Garcia Makes a Case for (MG)Xtreme Value and Performance


Date: 4/28/19
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

It's true you don't have to spend a lot of money these days to get spinning reel that performs well. Of course, good enough probably isn't in the vocabulary of those seeking the perfection in the likes of Stella and Exist. The question may be, where's the middle ground? What if you want to feed your enthusiast soul with something better than "budget" but want to stay away from "extravagant"? The answer there lies in the dollar amount you consider the happy median. If you have a good amount of flexibility in that definition, Abu Garcia has a new flagship spinning reel that could very well feed your hunger. Let's take a closer look at the MGXtreme spinning reel by Abu Garcia.


Abu Garcia MGXtreme20 Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 8/130 4/65
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 9.0 cm3 4.8 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
Weight 5.7 oz
Handle Length 55 mm
Bearings 11HPCR + 1Rollerbearing
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Line Roller Bearings 2 bearings
Origin Made in China
MSRP $399.99

Ready for another flagship spinning reel? This is Abu Garcia's MGXtreme (20 size)

Impressions: First things first, $400 is still a lot of money for a spinning reel. Of course, given the flagship product from two other manufacturers easily eclipse that mark by 50% or more, everything is relative, right? Taking a closer look at the MGXtreme spinning reel reveals Abu Garcia delivers it in a nice, hard nylon clamshell case. Inside that case is the reel complete with two - yes two - aluminum spools (one shallow, the other more shallow). Remember when the higher end spinning reels used to come with a spare ALUMINUM spool?


The reel arrives in this attractive little case


The MGXtreme spinning reel is offered in two sizes, a 20 and a 30. I fished the smaller 20 size. Back to the reel case, also included are replacement options for the knob and two options for covering the handle shaft opposite the side you prefer to have the handle: a standard cap, and a drop shot weight holder. The afore mentioned knob options include a round cork knob and an EVA foam I-knob. The reel comes with a cork I-knob installed.

Also in that case is a spare aluminum spool

Real World Tests: I was pretty stoked at the included spare aluminum spool with the MGXtreme spinning reel but even more excited when I discovered both spools are relatively shallow, one rated for 130 yards of eight pound test, and the other even shallower rated at 65 yards of 4lb test. I spooled the deeper spool with YGK's G-Soul OhDragon sinking braid in 16.5lbs and topped it with a generous leader of 6lb Finatic 100% Fluorocarbon. I spooled YGK's 100% Tour Grade Fluoro in 5lb straight onto the more shallow spool.

Spare knobs!

Retrieve: The honor of which rod to match with the MGXtreme went to my G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX. A light, sensitive rod like this really highlights the smooth performance of the MGXtreme spinning reel. The manufacturer has loaded this reel up with a lot of catchy marketing terms to describe its internal makeup when really all you need to know is they've lightened up as much as possible.

A replacement side cap...

... in case you do not like the drop shot weight keeper

For those not satisfied with that simplified spec, Abu Garcia has engineered the MGXtreme's spinning reel out of a carbon fiber and magnesium parts. By combining these materials, strength and rigidity are added where needed the most while allowing the rotor to remain super light.

A light rotor minimizes the effort need to turn the handle while also giving the reel better balance as that rotor oscillates up and down. The reel's gears are an aluminum alloy further reducing weight.

Ready for some action aboard my 820DSR GLX

Drag: The MGXtreme spinning reel's drag consists of two carbon composite washers and two metal washers (one keyed) for a very smooth and consistent drag. This is very important when using light line and small hooks.

Drag washers are identical for both spools and consist of a single washer

Next Section: Power and refinement...









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