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Reel Review


Number Four REVO Winch by Abu Garcia (continued)

Drag: Abu Garcia cranks it up a notch in the Winch's drag introducing their new for Gen 4 Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System. This system is nestled within the main gear of their low profile baitcasters from the SX on up. The Winch was my first opportunity to fish this drag stack that is rated at twenty four pounds of max pressure and it performed flawlessly.

Abu's new Power Stack Carbon Drag System features keyed carbon washers.

As I've mentioned in previous reviews, more important to me than overall stopping pressure is how smooth and consistent that drag is when a fish is pulling line out. Abu Garcia's Power Stack performs well in both areas.

The weight of the former Gen 3 Winch's main gear (in grams).

Taking the reel apart back at the lab, we reveal the intricate manner in which Abu's new Power Stack drag system is assembled. Normally, the keyed washers within a drag stack are the metal washers and the keys consist of two ears coming off opposite sides of the washer. These ears or keys hold the washer in place and gives the drag discs more fixed surfaces against which to resist spinning.

The weight of the Gen 4 Winch's main gear (in grams).

Abu reverses this approach with the Power Stack by giving the carbon washers teeth so they are held in a fixed position while the metal washers are able to move. In practical terms this feels like a six to one half dozen to another scenario but the visual impact is undeniable.

One of the few low gear ratio reels available in both right and left hand retrieve.

This reel sits very low in the reel seat.

Design & Ergonomics: The overall shape, size, ergonomics of the refreshed Winch is the same as that of the previous generation save for the 0.6 ounces in weight.

8 stainless steel bearings plus one roller bearing equals 9 in all.

I was a little surprised to discover this difference in weight didn't make an impression on me. Normally I'm sensitive to these things but maybe in my advanced years, it doesn't matter as much to me. At the end of the day, aside from the feeling of the brass gears, it really felt like I was fishing the same reel only a different color.

Abu Garcia performed these refinements while keeping the price of the Winch the same at $199.

Price & Applications: Abu Garcia performed these refinements while keeping the price of the Winch the same at $199. The reel comes with a deep spool, so it's easy to load up with heavier line, so if you want to use it for big baits, A-rigs, etc., along with your other cranking needs, the Winch can hold its own.

A closer look at the frames between Gen 3 (left) and Gen 4 (right).

All Abu Garcia reels feature Sweedish Engineering.


Abu Garcia Revo4 Winch Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Really solid feeling reel with minimal play in the handle 9
Performance Casts well and has just a slightly more refined reel than the previous generation 9
Price Nice to see that Abu was able to keep the price the same 7.5
Features Power Matrix Carbon Stack Drag, Infini Brake System, Aluminum frame and handle sideplate 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Nice, long, 95mm handle stock. Sits low on the reel seat. 8
Application Really good choice for any of your cranking needs 7

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:


+ Remains one of the few cranking reel options available in both left and right hand retrieve - Kind of liked the old color scheme better
+ Deep spool able to accommodate thicker line  
+ Brass gears for better long term durability and smoothness  

The Winch continues to be my favorite in Abu Garcia's REVO lineup

Conclusion: The Winch continues to be my favorite amongst Abu Garcia's REVO lineup. While the new Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system is impressive on inspection, for me, the difference is marginal. But I never fish my reels totally or even close to totally locked down. Where I appreciate the refinement in this reel is in the material upgrade to the main gear. Granted, I've yet to run into any serious issue with an aluminum geared reel, but brass is naturally more durable and less harsh when turning the handle.

This is a solid performing reel and the Revo Winch once again wins this Editor's Choice Award.


If there is one thing I'm not terribly fond of with this new Winch, it is the reel's color scheme. I can grow used to the silver sideplates, but the red highlights together with the black and silver motif just doesn't work for me. I may, over the course of the next few months find ways to change this up, but it's not really a huge deal. What I do appreciate is Abu Garcia's continued support in providing cranking reel ratios in both left and right hand retrieve. This is a solid performing reel and the Revo Winch once again wins this Editor's Choice Award.


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