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Reel Review

 


Unleashing Abu Garcia's Original REVO Beast

 

Date: 6/23/16
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

Introduction:
While some manufacturers are spending their design dollars going smaller and lighter, in 2014, Abu Garcia focused their attention on going stronger. The REVO Beast, introduced two years ago, is the same size as its other REVO siblings (S, SX, STX, Rocket, MGX, etc.) but is built for so much more with a big, oversized handle, deep spool, titanium coated sideplates, and brass instead of aluminum gearing. We're a little overdue but here now is our look at Abu Garcia's REVO Beast casting reel.

 

Abu Garcia REVO Beast Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/180
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 17.8 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
7.1:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
7.9"-28"
Weight 9.3 oz
Spool Weight 19g
Handle Length 95mm
Bearings 7HPCR+1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Tested Max Drag ~29lbs (rated 22lb max drag)
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $349.99


The REVO Beast has spawned an entire sub culture of reels within Abu Garcia.

Quality/Construction: As mentioned above, the REVO Beast shares the same overall shape and size as its S, SX, STX, Rocket, MGX, and so on REVO siblings. It features sideplates that are coated with titanium for durability. This coating gives the reel a metallic finish. The interior frame is painted matte black and the seams between the sideplates and frame are perfectly aligned. The handle as no backward play in it at all, but because of it's length, there is a tiny bit of wiggle in the handle when you pull and push on the knobs.

 

Quality Ratings for Abu Garcia REVO Beast

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
4
4
18
20
9.0


We finally take a closer look at the original.

Performance: I spooled our REVO Beast with twelve pound (12lb) Silver Thread copoly and mounted it on an Evergreen Light Cavalry two-piece stick in an effort to uncover the story behind this beauty.


The REVO Beast sports titanium coated sideplates with fun claw marks.

Retrieve: In this era where each manufacturer is making an attempt to go as light as possible with their low profile baitcasting reels, brass gears have been virtually abandoned all in favor of lighter weight aluminum alloy gearing. Light weight is what consumers want and I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but when you go old school and pick up quality a reel (new or old) that has a brass main gear, it's like getting slapped in the face when you turn that handle and feel that signature, silky smooth, buttery retrieve.


What makes this reel so beastly? Among other things, it's the use of brass for the main gear.

The REVO Beast has some of that that old school feel, but there's a slight audible grinding noise too as you crank the handle. I thought this might be from a mix of gear materials, but of course, both the main gear and pinion are brass, so I'm not quite sure where the noise is coming from. The result is a reel that's not quite as smooth as I would have expected. Additionally, for me at least, the oversized knobs on the handle feel out of place on a reel this small.

Performance Ratings for Abu Garcia REVO Beast

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
5
4
3
19
25
7.6


The drag stack produced a whopping 29lbs of max drag pressure for us in the lab.

Drag: Abu Garcia builds the REVO Beast with their signature Carbon Matrix drag system. This consists of three carbon fiber washers sandwiching one large metal washer, and another large metal keyed washer all housed within the reel's main gear made of brass. It's a fairly typical configuration by today's standards and one that Abu Garcia rates at twenty two pounds (22lbs) of maximum pressure in the REVO Beast. We tested this reel out at twenty nine pounds (29lbs) of max pressure!


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Abu Garcia REVO Beast.

Looking at the REVO Beast's Sweet Drag Performance chart above, we can see this Carbon Matrix drag system provides the reel with a very sweet (smooth and consistent) performance that I was able to somewhat validate out on the water. I didn't have this reel in time for our Fall testing on the California Delta, but it didn't matter anyway since I couldn't find any schools with good sized fish this past year. What I did manage to test this reel against were largemouth bass to about four or five pounds and with these fish, the drag performed perfectly fine.

Sweet Drag Performance for Abu Garcia REVO Beast

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
4.9
5.9
7.9
14.1
18
Sustained
4.8
6.1
7.7
14.3
23.9
Lowest Value
4.3
5.4
7.1
13.6
17.4
Change in Startup vs Sustained
3.4%
2.9%
7.8%
.8%
33.3%
8.4%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
10.3%
11.6%
8.7%
4.6%
27.3%
12.5%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.

 


For testing, we spooled it with some 12lb Silver Thread Copoly.

Power: The REVO Beast comes in a 7.1:1 gear ratio and a massive, ninety five millimeter (95mm) handle. This retrieve ratio is not one normally associated with a powerful reel, but thanks to an oversized main gear, the Beast can more than hold its own with super deep diving crankbaits like our L.O.U.S. baits, Strike King's 10XD and Lucky Craft's SKT Magnum cranks. The reel's massive handle also really helps with leverage as you crank.


Mag brakes are adjustable via this dial.

Casting Range & Brakes: The REVO Beast features Abu's Infini braking system that consists of both centrifugal and magnetic brakes. With this braking system, I tend to leave three of the centrifugal brakes on and then use the external dial to fine tune my cast - if necessary. The magnetic brakes in this system are pretty powerful and have the tendency to choke off your cast if set too high, but they're good to have when the wind picks up and you need a degree of control throughout the cast.

 


But inside, on the spool, you can also adjust the centrifugal brakes.

Otherwise this reel can comfortably handle baits anywhere from about three eighths of an ounce (3/8oz) on up to whatever you feel brave enough to tie to the end of your line. I maxed out at the three plus ounce Lucky Craft SKT Magnum 120 Mag DR and the REVO Beast had no problems both casting and retrieving this bait.


Where the REVO Toro Beast was low speed, the original Beast is a 7.1:1 reel.

Next Section: Beastly features




 

 

 

 

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