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Reel Review

Finesse at the Entry Level: Abu Garcia's Revo S20 Spinning Reel


Date: 10/13/14
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 7.24 - GOOD

Abu Garcia's Revo line of baitcasting reels has been a big hit since they first dropped into the scene back in 2006. With the success of those reels, the brand took it one step further and introduced the first Revo spinning reel in 2010. Now spanning several levels of pricing and performance, the Revo family continues to enjoy epic popularity. In this review we dissect the entry- level Revo spinning reel—the S20 model—to see if it has mean performance that exceeds its friendly price tag.


Abu Garcia Revo S20 Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds)

Mono: 130 yards of 8 pound
Braid: 190 yards of 8 pound

Gear Ratio 5.1:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) 27
Weight 8.5 ounces
Handle Length 50 millimeters
Number of Bearings 7 total
Bearings Per Knob 2 bushings 0 bearings
Roller Guide Bearings 1 bearing
Origin China
MSRP $129.99

The Revo S20 looks appealing and matches perfectly to Abu's Veritas rods.

Impressions and Quality: Much like its baitcasting counterpart, the Revo S20 shares the same black and white color scheme. The body is comprised of an X-Craftic alloy frame, along with a graphite stem and polymeric rotor and body structure. It also sports a machined aluminum braid-ready spool and a thicker-than-standard bail wire as part of the Everlast bail system.

A look at the non-handle side of the S20.

The reel is a mixture of shiny and matte surfaces. Overall the S20 is put together quite well with no glaring or bothersome problems. I recently fished a Revo SX20 spinning reel and the S20 model seemed to have about the same build quality. The lettering on the spool could be a bit sharper and a couple spots could be slightly more refined, but these issues are very small and don't affect functionality one bit.

Zander and Cal tell me that taking this reel apart back in the lab was tricky!

Quality Ratings for Abu Garcia Revo S20 Spinning Reel

Finish (1-5)
Construction Tolerances (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

The rotor, body, and stem sit independently in our lab.

Performance: I brought the Revo S20 along with me primarily for largemouth bass here in South Florida and up at Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee. I used it along with 20 pound Sufix braid on a Daiwa Steez SVF rod.

Here's a look at the Carbon Matrix drag stack.

Casting: You will appreciate the Revo S20 when the bite calls for using small baits with thin-diameter line. The standard spool differs from that of the next-level-up Revo SX in that it is deeper for increased capacity. Despite the difference in spools, the S20 casts without drama. The bail clicks open firmly and stays that way, thus adding to the confidence of hard two-handed casts.

The bail spring is revealed beneath the cover.

Retrieve: Similar to the SX20 I fished, the S20 is satisfyingly smooth but not as butter-smooth and silent as in a high-end product. The guts of the reel are comprised of a one-piece gearbox design with a stainless main shaft and components, along with Duragear brass gearing for improved rigidity and durability. There is ample power on tap for any appropriate species you'll tangle with, and hook sets are quick thanks to no handle back play. The fact that the structure of the reel exhibits so little flex also undoubtedly keeps everything lined up nicely.

Next Section: Drag performance that doesn't disappoint









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