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Reel Review

2009 Highspeed Reel Shootout Part 2: Abu Garcia Revo SX

Date: 5/30/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.25


Introduction: The natural selection for Abu Garcia’s entry into our 2009 High Speed Reel Shootout would have been their top end reel, the Premier. Unfortunately, this reel is not available in a 7.1:1 retrieve. Next in line would be the Revo STX, but looking back in our archive, we already reviewed this reel in September of 2006. So by default, representation in this series of reviews falls on the shoulders of the SX, Abu Garcia’s workhorse line and our token budget reel for the shootout – that is, if you can imagine a $170 reel being considered as budget! Does this sub $200 reel have what it takes to compete with the next tier of $200 - $300 reels? Let’s find out. Presenting our look into Abu Garcia’s Revo SX 7:1.1 reel.


Introducing the Abu Garcia Revo SX High Speed


Abu Garcia Revo SX Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/140 (Rated)
Gear Ratio 7.1:1
Measured Weight 8.8 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 11 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 10 + 1 Roller
Size of Spool/Sideplate Bearings (IDxODxWidth) 5x11x4 : 3x10x4 : 5x8x2.5 (handle)
Length of Handle 80mm
Spool Weight 21 grams
Features DuraGear (oversized main gear): CarbonMatrix Drag: Linear Magnetic Brake System
MSRP $170

Impressions: Well, if cosmetics were our only criteria in this shootout of super speed reels, our answer to the question posted above would be a resounding yes. Abu’s SX line of reels feature a no nonsense, down to business, all black finish that I actually find more appealing than the silver of even their top end Premiere line. Maybe painted silver is just too over done these days.

The Revo SX comes in an attractive all black finish.

Of course, similar to the Quantum Tour Edition PT VI, I cannot overlook the similarities between the Abu Garcia Revos and Daiwa’s Alphas/Sol in overall design and proportions. These similarities are obvious to anyone who has handled those reels from Daiwa.

It is a comfortable reel to palm...

That aside, in hand, the Revo SX feels every bit of its 8.8 ounces in weight and comes in as the heaviest reel in our shootout. Bonus points are awarded the SX however, for having the highest line capacity of the bunch, together with high end features like having bearings under the handle knobs – not bad for a “budget” reel.

...provided you have large hands.

Field Tests: First stop for the Revo SX was our recent trip to El Novillo Lake in Mexico. I spooled the reel up with new braided line by Toray and on my first cast, it blew up on me with a professional overrun of elite magnitude! JIP looked over at me with a grin and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. The Revos can be kind of touchy if you don’t pay attention to the settings the first time you cast with it.” Gee thanks, there went a fresh $30 spool of line!

It does feel a tad wide after using it for half a day or more.

Casting: Day two out on the water with the Revo SX, I had it spooled with the hollow braid to fluorocarbon topshot technique shown to us by Dean Yoshizumi. I mounted the reel on my Damiki C761MCR and after turning the cast control mechanism to maximum and paying extra careful attention to the spool tension knob, I let go a nice, easy roll cast. The line let out smooth and easy just as I had hoped for that very first cast.

The Revo SX features an externally adjustable, linear magnet brake system.

Overall, the Revo SX is a very good caster and able to handle a wide variety of baits comfortably including some big baits. Yes, I’ve tried the reel with a Huddleston Deluxe 8” trout tied to the end of the line while mounted on a Mattlures Signature Series swimbait rod and the SX handled it all just fine.

Access to the spool is gained by loosening this screw on the handle sideplate.

Next Section: Time to get cranking with the Revo SX









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