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Reel Review


The Impressive Middle Child : Abu Garcia's Zenon MG-X Casting Reel


Date: 1/12/23
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25 + EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Back around 2005 or 2006-ish, Abu Garcia shook up the casting reel market with the introduction of their original Revo series of low profile reels. Anglers were excited to have another solid option for their casting reel needs and dedicated fans of the brand were ecstatic at the re-birth of one of their favorite manufacturers. However, while Revo stirred things up in the entry to mid-tier market with the S, SX, STX, and later, the X, fervor over the higher end options seemed to be more subdued. That's all set to change. 2022 marks the introduction of Abu Garcia's new Zenon line of high end casting reels. Here's a look at the middle child, the Zenon MG-X.


Abu Garcia Zenon MG-X Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 10/135 : 12/110 (125m/0.29mm)
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 21.5 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
14.5 - 26.5
17.5 - 32.5
Weight 5.1 oz
Spool Weight 10 g
Handle Length 90 mm (on both models)
Bearings 10+1 (HPCR)
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 2 bearings
Rated Max Drag ~15lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $449.95

Introducing Abu Garcia's Zenon MG-X casting reel

Impressions: Abu's Zenon line of casting reels replaces Premier, MGX, and MGXtreme at the top of their low profile reel hierarchy. Aside from the Premier, I hadn't fished these platforms in some time, so Zenon comes to me like a fresh new platform. The MG-X variant is built on a magnesium frame (Abu's X-Mag Alloy) with carbon sideplates, an aluminum main gear, and a carbon fiber handle.

Our first look at the new Zenon reels was from BASS Pro Angler and Abu Prostaffer Hunter Shryock

We got our first look at the new Abu Garcia Zenon lineup when Zander traveled to Lake Champlain where he fished all three models with Andrew Wheeler, Director of Products at Abu Garcia and a number of Abu's prostaff including Hunter Shryock and Adrian Avena. At Champlain Zander was able to compare all three of the new reels and landed one of his biggest smallies on the trip with the Zenon X, the aluminum bodied Zenon, and most "affordable" of the three.


Zander with a Champlain smallie caught pitching with the Zenon MG-X


Since that time Zander has continued to fish all three and is currently working on a review of the highest-end reel, the magnesium bodied Zenon MG-LTX. This left the reel slotted right in the middle, the MG-X, for me to focus on first.


The most expensive and lightest Zenon is the MG-LTX


Styling-wise the MG-X is also right in between the two reels. It is dark grey in color, which is not nearly as bright at the silver MG-LTX, or as dark as the black MG-X. It has the larger handle and knobs like the MG-X as the MG-LTX is focused on ultimate light-weight performance at only 4.7ounces.


The Zenon MG-X sits super low in the reel seat


In hand, the MG-X is still very light and sits really low in the reel seat making it super comfortable to palm. It tipped our scales at five point one ounces (5.1oz). That's super light for a general purpose reel. Its kind of dark grey motif gives the MG-X a stealthy, utilitarian vibe not calling too much attention to itself, yet, when you begin to play around with it, you quickly realize appearances can be deceiving.

I wasted little time getting on the water with this reel

Real World Tests: What better way to get a reel to reveal its properties than to string it up and mount it on a worthy fishing rod. For the Zenon MG-X, that meant a fresh supply of #2 Spro Finesse braid and a 10lb leader of Sunline's Marboroshi FC leader material. Rod pairing honors went to Trika's C73MHF, a seven foot, three inch casting rod rated as medium heavy in power with a fast taper. The entire combo, with fishing line strung on the reel and all, weighs just under ten ounces at nine point nine (9.9 oz). A sub ten ounce (10oz) combo - not bad.

Abu's IVCB-4 brakes are very free and require a minimal casting motion

Next Section: Casting the Zenon MG-X









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