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Reel Review

The REVOlution Continues, Abu Garcia’s New Gen 3 Premier Baitcaster


Date: 12/17/12
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41 - GREAT

Introduction: Abu Garcia updates their Revo Series for a third time? It seems like just yesterday that the company was tweaking their original design but sure enough rather than resting on their laurels the team at Abu is looking to capitalize on their momentum with yet another update to their popular line of low profile baitcasters. The Generation 3 Revo Premier is at the top of the range in this updated series and features a lighter, more compact design that employs both aluminum and carbon elements to successfully dip below the 6oz. barrier. Does Abu sacrifice other areas in the pursuit for an overall lighter package? It is time to find out as we present our first review of a Gen 3 Revo reel, and why not start right at the top?


Abu Garcia 7.1:1 Revo Gen 3 Premier Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/145
Gear Ratio 7.1:1 (6.4:1 also available)
Measured Weight 5.9 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 18.9 lbs measured max drag (20lbs. published spec)
Number of Bearings 10HPCR + 1CRRB
Features Enhanced corrosion resistant bearings, alloy frame and carbon sideplates, new D2 gear design, Infinitely variable centrifugal braking design, titanium line guide, compact bent carbon handle, EVA knobs
Origin Korea
MSRP $299.99


Abu takes another turn at refining their popular Revo Series


Impressions: Abu Garcia has long been known for their round reels but since the introduction of their original Revo low profile baitcasters the company has taken the market by storm. Quickly garnering the attention of bass anglers these reels successfully competed right in the heart of the mainstream market. Were the original reels perfect? No, but with each season Abu made investments in not only refining the product itself but beefing up the lineup to address a wider spectrum of applications, ranging from finesse fishing with ultra light line to winching up inshore species. They often say that the third time is the charm and when Abu introduced the new Generation 3 Revo Series we were excited to see just what the company had in store for anglers.


The new reels feature the same basic form factor but come with a variety of finishes for easy identification

Coming off their recent success with the ultralight Revo MGX reel the stakes are already high. What would Abu focus on for this new series? Better feel, lighter overall weight, increased durability or perhaps superior ergonomics? When we first saw the new Gen 3 Series this past summer we actually didn’t know what to think. The new reels were obviously cleanly designed but from first glance they looked very similar to the Gen 2 reels. What did they change? Was this simply an “evolution” versus a “REVOlution?”

The Revo Premier is the highest end new Gen 3 Revo reel

While similar looking to the previous version, upon closer inspection it is clear that the new Gen 3 reels sport some subtle yet significant differences, most notably of which is the new larger gearbox that protrudes downwards to supports the new D2 gearing. There are plenty of choices in the Revo Gen 3 lineup ranging from the Revo S for $129 dollars to the Premier, and this season the company seems to have went out of their way to make the reels look physically different, with the use of varied paint finishes, for easier identification since all the reel’s share the same basic profile. The Premier does stand out from the rest of the series with gold highlights and an attractive compact bent carbon handle.

The reel features a lower profile and an enlarged gearbox

Every time we meet up with Andrew Wheeler, Product Manager, at Abu Garcia it is obvious that he is passionate about this particular reel series and at the recent ICAST show when he introduced the enhanced feature set now found in the Premier he outlined the fact that some of the high end features in the MGX had tricked down to the Premier, while other elements like the new D2 gearing debuted on the new series.

Examining the reel both before and after the field tests

When compared to previous generation reels the Premier gets a number of upgrades this season including the addition of the Abu Garcia’s IVCB-IV braking system which first debuted in the lightweight Revo MGX. The Revo Premier makes use of a combination of materials, the X2-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon sideplates which are designed to provide significant weight reduction without sacrificing any reel rigidity or durability. The Premier is a mix of both old and new technologies, and it was clear that it offered more than just a more compact design. But how would all this translate into actual real world performance?  

The new reel's gearbox can accommodate much larger gears for more power and speed

Next Section: Bring on the fish!









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