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Reel Review

Watch out! Make room for the new Abu Garcia Revo STX low profile baitcast reel

Date: 9/21/06
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 9.0

When we first heard that Abu Garcia was about to introduce a new series of low profile baitcast reels, we weren’t very excited considering few of us owned, let alone fished the current generation low profile reels. This quickly changed after we got a quick preview of the lineup. The Revo series is stunning in appearance, comes with impressive specifications, and is priced very competitively. Now it’s time to take the best of the series, the Revo STX, out on the water to see if this new challenger is as impressive as its specs lead us to believe.


Introducing the new Abu Garcia Revo STX


Abu Garcia Revo STX Specifications

Type Baitcast
Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/140
Gear Ratio 6.4:1
IPT 27.5 in
Weight (Measured) 8.75 oz
Bearings 10+1RB
Additional Features Aluminum frame and side covers, Linear Magnetic Brake™ system, Titanium Nitride wormshaft, oversized main gear, micro-click drag adjustment, clicking spool tension knob, Everslik coated pinion shaft and pawl, Infini Spool II™, oil and tool
Manufacturing Country Korea
MSRP $199.99


The reel sports some attractive details such as the highlights on the ported handle

Anglers who didn’t look twice at what Abu Garcia had to offer in terms of a low profile baitcaster in the past better take another look now. With a new, more ergonomic and attractive design, Abu Garcia hopes to even the playing field with its competitors. We were impressed with the Revo STX from what we saw at ICAST and now that we have one in hand, it’s time for us to delve into more detail of what this reel has to offer.


The ported spool in Sunset Gold color matches nicely with the rest of the reel


Let’s start off with the profile of the STX. This new reel looks pretty slick and has a nice low profiled design for easy palming. The reel is mostly silver in color but his highlighted with some exciting sunset gold touches on the spool and ported handle. The Revo STX has nearly zero plastic parts throughout it's construction. This reel features an aluminum frame and sideplates matching other component materials including a Titanium Nitride wormshaft and levelwind guide, as well as 10+1 stainless steel bearings. Abu Garcia has kept with tradition in the knobs of this reel which have a classic appearance but are made of an ergonomic material. On the non-handle side of the reel we find the dial for their Linear Magnetic Brake™ system, Abu Garcia’s magnetic cast control with an externally adjustable. There’s no doubt the Revo STX is the complete package, and we couldn't wait to see how it would perform on the water.


You won't see much plastics on the Revo STX


Complete Rig for Revo STX Tests


Airrus Ultra XL
G.Loomis Crankbait
Daiwa Steez


Abu Garcia Revo STX

Lines 12 lb. Sufix ProMix


Abu Garcia built the Revo STX for bass and it does an incredible job at battling these fish

Field Tests:
The Revo series may be brand new to the market, but we know Abu Garcia has put countless hours of testing into this low profile baitcast reel before ever bringing it to market. Still, this is hardly enough to stop us from putting the Revo STX through our barrage of TT tests! Our primary focus in fishing this reel was the pursuit of largemouth bass in our local lakes, but we put additional stress on the reel by subjecting it to several trips on O’Neill Forebay where we typically rip for striped bass.


Casts are distant with this low profile baitcast reel


Casting: The Revo STX felt good on every cast. For bass fishing we tossed various lures such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft-plastics. The Infini Spool II™ system allows the spool physically separate from the main drive train, reducing unnecessary friction so each cast is accurate, smooth, and distant. For striped bass we tossed our go-to Lucky Craft Pointers, Megabass Ito Vision 110s, and the new River2Sea USA’s Trophy Minnows. The Revo STX performed excellent while casting these lures, and when the winds at the Forebay kicked up, the cast control and spool tension knob was put to good use.


The Revo STX makes use of a magnetic cast control system that can be easily adjusted externally


Speaking of cast control, the Abu Garcia Revo STX applies a Linear Magnetic Brake™ system that uses five magnets to induce resistance on the spool depending on the setting. The cast control, adjusted externally, can be set from zero to max. On the dial you’ll notice there’s only an indication of Max. This didn’t bother me at all though understandably, some anglers would prefer visual marks for their settings. We dissected the Revo and after removing the sideplate holding the Linear Magnetic Brake™ system we found the adjustable metal plate that’s used to shield the magnets. At the minimum setting the magnetic cast control system cannot be turned off completely even when the shield is over the magnets, but we found it really had little affect on the spool. On our field tests, we dialed the cast control to the minimal setting and it was already freespooling faster than what most anglers want. Be forewarned that at this setting, anglers who don’t feather the spool might get themselves into some nasty birdnests. We’re happy to report, that on the other side of the reel, the spool tension knob comes with a very refined micro-click adjustment.


Top row displays the magnets exposed (max setting) and shielded. Notice the sidecovers, they are both made of aluminum. Also the reel uses German-made High Performance Corrosion Resistant (HPCR) spool bearings


Retrieve: First and foremost what I noticed on this reel was the zero degree of handle backplay. Thanks to the reel’s tight tolerances and handle design, the Revo STX has a very solid feel in this department: a feel that is extra reassuring when setting hook on a fish. The 10 stainless steel ball bearings deliver an actual retrieve that is both smooth and consistent. The oversized Duragear™ delivered surprising power when battling largemouth bass of up to five pounds during our field tests.


The handle knobs reflect Abu Garcia's traditional design but uses a more ergonomic rubber material


Never satisfied, to further test the performance of the retrieve we went ripping for schoolie stripers at O’Neill Forebay. On one trip in particular, after Zander hooked into a few good striper upon our arrival, we hit a dead period of about two hours. Then, suddenly, in the span of one and a half hours, I went from zero fish to over thirty! Such is the action one can experience fishing for striper at the right time of day. Though most of these fish were small by striper standards, they hit extremely hard and provided a solid battle with each barrage. All of which proved to be a perfect test for a new reel and while I was pretty beat up after that hour and a half of action, the Revo STX wanted more.


Here's the power behind the Revo STX


Next Section: Drag, Durability, and Ratings









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