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Reel Review


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

Power: Both sizes of the MGXtreme spinning reel come with a 6.2:1 gear ratio retrieve. This equates to between 25-33 inches of line take up per turn of the handle depending on how much line you have out of course. By comparison, a Revo4 casting reel at 8.0:1 will pick up anywhere between 15 to 32 inches of line per turn of the handle, so on the high end you're looking at close to an 8.0:1 equivalent for the MGXtreme.

The spare shallow spool allows you to go with a super light line for situations just like this. I re-rigged to validate my theory we were in an area with a lot of sunfish that were nipping at our baits causing missed strikes

How that translates into actual power potential for this reel is difficult to discern, because I didn't fish it in anything other than finesse applications with light line. Any situations where I tried to power a fish back to the boat were met with a soft rod, and lightly set drag. While both spools are somewhat shallow, you can probably get enough line on the deeper (red) spool and use this reel for more general purpose applications if you choose. I've little doubt the reel is powerful enough to suit most bass fishing applications.

Bail operation is very reliable

Bail Operation: The MGXtreme's bail opens and closes with a reassuring "click" when operated by hand, with the only difference coming if you close the bail by turning the reel's handle. In this case, the internal tripping mechanism pushes the bail over with a bit more force for more of a "thud." The bail operates reliably in either scenario.

Bearings, knobs, cap options galore, the MGXtreme comes with a lot of accessories

Line Twist: As you might expect from a flagship spinning reel, Abu Garcia equips the MGXtreme with two bearings under the line roller. This helps the line roller spin freely as its guiding your line back onto the spool thus reducing friction on your line and hopefully reducing the instance of line twist. Yes, it still happens with all spinning reels no matter how careful you are, but having a free rolling line roller helps. The MGXtreme's ability to help reduce line twist is slightly above average.

The reel's rotor is made from a carbon magnesium blend

I'm usually pretty good about watching my line and paying attention that my line has a little tension in it before I begin winding line onto the reel, so problems with loops in my line or line falling underneath the rotor are usually few and far between with me. I experienced some of this with the MGXtreme, but it wasn't very common.

In case you need it, the MGXtreme does feature Abu's form of corrosion protection (Salt Shield) making it safe for fresh or saltwater use

Design & Ergonomics: One of the reasons I covet Daiwa's top end freshwater spinning reel, the Exist, is for its combination of smoothness and light weight. The 3000 sized reel I reviewed back in June 2018 weighed only 6.4 ounces. In fact, its weight was the reason it edged out Shimano's the Stella FJ in our shootout published the same month. Abu's MGXtreme20 tipped our scales at 5.7 ounces. Granted, it's a size smaller than the previously mentioned Exist and Stella FJ, but what a super light reel it is. Throw in all the amenities of a carrying case, spare aluminum spool, knob options, and that drop shot sinker keeper, and the MGXtreme's value begins to soar.

One more look at the spare knobs included with this reel

Price & Applications: Speaking of value, Abu Garcia's MGXtreme spinning reel complete with all the afore mentioned amenities retails for $399.99.

The MGXtreme is not a smooth as Exist and Stella, but it's also a few hundred dollars less expensive and probably priced just about everything being equal. The deeper spool gives you some all purpose potential with eight or ten pound test line, and the shallow spool allows you to use super light line with out wasting a lot of it on the spool.

$399.99 may sound like a lot at first, but considering all the extras you get with this reel, it's probably priced just about right


Abu Garcia MGXtreme20 Spinning Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very refined reel from Abu Garcia 9
Performance Really excelled at everything 9
Price Not cheap, but not out of orbit expensive either considering all the extras you get 7.5
Features Carrying case, spare knobs, spare aluminum spool, shallow and deep spool options, full of HPCR bearings, the list goes on 8
Design (Ergonomics) Love the reel's overall weight, good length handle, a knob to even suit my finicky taste. 8
Application Thanks to that spare spool, good for general purpose to finesse applications 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:


+ Spare Aluminum Spool! - Not as refined as the big two's flagship spinning reels
+ Shallow spool option  
+ Super light  
+ Spare knob options  
+ Carrying case  

Conclusion: If I have one super knit picky criticism of the MGXtreme spinning reel it's that the reel is not as smooth and refined as Exist or Stella. I only bring this up because it is Abu Garcia's flagship freshwater spinning reel and there will be those out there with the question of how it compares to those two reels. But what the MGXtreme lacks in ultra-buttery smooth performance it more than makes up for in price and amenities. I cannot tell you how much it pleases me that this reel comes with a spare ALUMINUM spool. Not only that, the spare spool is even more shallow than the already shallow primary spool.

No, the MGXtreme might not tick all the right check boxes to satisfy the Enthusiast in me, but Abu Garcia packs it with enough options and performance to earn this Editor's Choice Award.


Abu Garcia didn't even give me an opportunity to gripe about my most common criticism of spinning reels these days - their knobs. By supplying the MGXtreme with spare knobs in different configurations, each end user can select their poison. The fact the reel came with my preferred knob already installed was just icing on the cake. No, the MGXtreme might not tick all the

 right check boxes to satisfy the Enthusiast in me, but it makes more than enough sense at its price, with its amenities, and out on the water given its performance, to make it onto the list of this Editor's Choice Award winners.


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