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Reel Review

See Things in Black and White with the Generation 3 Abu Garcia Revo S


Date: 2/2/14
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 7.41 - GOOD

No stranger to the reel game, when Abu Garcia launched the first Revo reels a few years ago, they instantly grabbed the attention of many anglers.  While many Bass anglers may have shunned Abu in the past, the Revo line represented a much needed change.  With the newly generated buzz, they were suddenly back in the game.  Featuring sleek, low profile designs and advanced features, they had Bass fishing written all over them.  While these first Revos received a lot of praise, they weren't perfect.  After some updates and changes to the lineup over recent years, the Revo family is now as refined as ever.


Generation 3 Abu Garcia Revo S Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/145 mono 30/140 braid
Gear Ratio 6.4:1 (26” per handle turn)
Measured Weight 7.6 ounces
Max. Drag 20lbs advertised
Number of Bearings 7 stainless steel + 1 roller bearing
Features X2-Craftic alloy frame, graphite side plates, swept handle and swept clicking drag star, carbon matrix drag system, D2 gear design.
Origin Korea
MSRP $129.99


As the “entry level” Revo model, the new S offers some interesting features and an eye catching appearance.  This reel has some stiff competition in it's price segment; after all, it's playing in the same ballpark as a long time fan favorite, the Shimano Citica.  Does this refreshed Revo have what it takes to score a home run?

The new Revo S sports a paint job that gives it a very fresh, updated appearance.

Impressions:  This is not your grandpa's old school Ambassadeur reel.  The new Abu reels are slick, compact, and advanced.  Despite it's affordability, the new Revo S is no exception.  Sporting a  black frame and white side plates, it's color scheme is drastically different from the last generation and looks much more up to date.  While these colors sure look similar to a certain Shimano casting reel, the Revo S is indeed a perfect match on a Veritas rod.  I have always been a fan of “storm trooped” cars (a white car with black rims), so this is basically the equivalent in the fishing world.  It also looks great on all the rods on my rack, from Loomis to Zombie!

There is no outer side plate spool casting control on the Revo S, just a simple trim cover to fill the space.

In addition to a cosmetics upgrade, the Revo S went on a diet, dropping it's weight down from 8.7oz to 7.6.  This is a very important upgrade, because to me you can't redesign a reel without at least a modest weight reduction.  With over an ounce of weight reduction, the Revo S nailed that category.

Real World Test:  The Revo S was put to work in a variety of south Florida lakes and ponds, and even saw light use on California's Lake Berryessa and the Delta.  12lb test monofilament was the sole line used on the reel.  The Revo S filled vacancies in the reel seats of a G Loomis CBR845, Powell Diesel 705CB, and a 13 Omen OBC73M.  I casted a wide variety of baits including spinnerbaits, lip less cranks, topwaters, and paddle tail swimbaits, to name a few.

The reel sports a sleek design with sporty outer lines.

Casting:  This third generation Revo S features a “pitch” centrifugal braking system.  The system utilizes 3 spring loaded and 3 non-spring loaded brake blocks located under the palming side plate.  The 3 non spring loaded brakes, each marked “pitch”, allow for the most control since they offer braking force through the entire cast.  The 3 spring loaded brakes are most useful for anglers like myself, that really like the spool loosened up for maximum distance.  They offer control for the first part of the cast, then turn off for the remainder, allowing the most distance of your lure.

To access the pitch brakes, simply unscrew the cam lock screw (can be done with your fingers if it's not on tight) to pop off the side plate.

I found that the braking system works good overall.  The Revo S doesn't rival any high dollar reels in terms of casting, but it does fling lures relatively well.  During tests, lures weighing from 5/16oz to 1oz were used.  The reel handles the spectrum of lures, but casting performance with the lightest baits left a bit to be desired, though it was still satisfactory.  Despite many brake adjustments, I was never able to quite get the reel exactly where I wanted it in terms of casting performance, but again, it was satisfactory.  For true light duty work, something along the lines of a Revo MGX or Core 50 will be more to your liking.  With the reel all dialed in to where I wanted it, at least the backlashes were very few and were always attributed to operator error.  Oh, one more thing, yes the cast control brake knob (handle side) clicks!

With a well trained thumb, anglers can effectively use this reel with just 1 or 2 of the brakes set

Next Section: Solid under pressure?









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