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BFS Enthusiast Review


Abu Garcia's BFS Flex : The Revo Ultracast BF8


Date: 11/27/22
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.67 - GOOD

Following on the heels of my very positive experience with Abu Garcia Japan's Limited Edition LX992Z BFS casting reel, I was on the hunt for another reel to sample only this time, hopefully, in left hand retrieve. I came across a second candidate from the same manufacturer with a very familiar look. It appears the reel designers over in Japan borrowed from a USDM reel, the Revo IKE, tuning it for BFS techniques! Here's a look at Abu Garcia's Revo UltraCast BF8.


Abu Garcia Revo UltraCast BF8 Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 6lb / 55yds
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 4.5 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
8.0 : 1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
26 - 31
Weight 6.2 oz
Spool Weight 12 g
Handle Length 90 mm
Bearings 6+1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings 1 Bushing
Rated Max Drag ~15lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP 28000JPY (~$255)

No, this isn't a Revo IKE...

Impressions: The Revo UltraCast BF8 borrows the same overall shape and sideplate coloration from the USDM Revo IKE, but on closer inspection, that's about where the similarities end. The UltraCast BF8 has an aluminum handle rather than carbon and the knobs are I-shaped rather than round. Also missing on the UltraCast BF8 is purple highlighting on the cast control knob (it's silver instead). On the actual BFS side of things, BF8's spool is more shallow than that of the LX992Z rated for only fifty five yards (55yds) of six pound (6lb test). The brake system, on the other hand, appears the same - magnetic with an external adjustment dial.


It's the JDM Revo UltraCast BF8!

Real World Tests: I could think of no better stick in my arsenal worthy of the fun and mischief this purple powered UltraCast BF8 inspires than my personal build BFS stick from last year. Featuring a Point Blank Rods PB701LXF blank at its core, I built this casting rod with a spinning reel seat so there would be no trigger. It also has no rear grip and a spiral wrapped hybrid guide train of Fuji Ti/SiC stripper, transition and tip top guides, and REC Recoil Black Pearl runners. Before matching it up with this rod, I spooled the UltraCast BF8 with eighty yards (80yds) of five pound (5lb) Sunline Sniper FC.

BFS fun with the BF8 on my PB701LXF built from last year

Casting: Built with the same brake system as the LX992Z, casting performance for the BF8 is very similar and only slightly less free. Performance can be matched, but the external brake dial needs to be turned back several notches relative to the LX992Z, to achieve that same free feel. I suspect this has to do with the difference in grade of bearings at the spool. Otherwise, I had good success with the BF8 casting mostly micro-jig and Ned rig setups. The PB701LXF build I was fishing the BF8 upon is a better micro-jig rod than it is drop shot hence the limited range of baits.

The braking system features a series of 10 magnets

Good news with the braking system itself is those magnets in the sideplate can be moved around or removed entirely to customize the brake profile to your liking. Like the system in the LX992Z, five of the ten magnets are three millimeters in thickness and the remaining five magnets that are a millimeter and a half thick.

The 90mm aluminum handle

The BF8 comes with a brass gear

Retrieve: Turning the rather long (for a BFS reel), ninety millimeter (90mm) handle, reveals a smoother than expected operator. I assumed the BF8 shared similar internals to the LX992Z as well, but it turns out the BF8 has a brass gear not aluminum alloy. This reel is actually built more for the long haul than anticipated. Perhaps this explains the longer handle as well since the brass gear is better equipped to handle that extra bit of leverage a longer handle affords.

The quick rate of retrieve makes for an excellent companion to micro-jig techniques

Featuring a very fast, 8.0:1 retrieve, the BF8 picks up between twenty six to thirty one inches (26" - 31") of line for every turn of the handle. This is perfect for vertical bait techniques allowing fast and efficient pickup of slack line so you can get to feeling what's happening at the end of the line.

BF8 for an 8.0:1 retrieve

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