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Reel Review

 


Delivering Performance Over Features : Abu Garcia's Silver MAX

 

Date: 9/19/16
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.02 - GOOD

Introduction:
Abu Garcia's MAX line of casting reels are designed to deliver the "maximum" amount of value for more than reasonable prices. Featuring similar a similar profile to the company's other two low profile casting reel families (Orra and REVO), MAX is stripped down in refinement, but how is the performance? Find out right now with our look at Abu Garcia's Silver MAX low profile casting reel.

 

Abu Garcia Silver Max Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/145
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 14.4 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
6.4:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
12" - 25"
Weight 7.3 oz
Spool Weight 20 g
Handle Length 83 mm
Bearings 5SS+1
Bearings per Knob Knobs are riveted onto handle - likely just two bushings if any
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Tested Max Drag ~17.8lbs (rated 18lb max drag)
Origin Made in China
MSRP $59.99


Introducing Abu Garcia's Silver MAX casting reel.

Quality/Construction: Out of the box, the Silver MAX's size and body shape looks almost identical to Abu's Orra SX, so naturally, the first thing I did was remove the sideplate for each reel and see if they were interchangeable. As it turns out, the Orra's sideplate can be made to fit onto the MAX's frame, but there's a noticeable gap at the top and bottom of the sideplate, so the reels do have different bodies.


The Silver Max has a familiar stance on the reel seat.

The Silver MAX comes with a, predictably, silver finish. It's a matte silver with no glossy coat or metallic flake in the paint. The frame is finished with a matte black paint and looking at the underside of the reel along the seam of the handle sideplate and frame, there are visible inconsistencies at the sideplate's edge - nothing major mind you and entirely cosmetic, but they are there nonetheless


This budget minded reel comes with 6 bearings.

The reel's handle has zero backplay, a small degree of movement into and away from the body of the reel, and the handle's knobs have a little in and out play to them as well. These knobs are riveted onto the handle, so there's no way to adjust their fit or swap/maintain the bushings or bearings.


Another look at the Silver MAX's silver finish.

Quality Ratings for Abu Garcia Silver Max

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
3
3
13
20
6.5


Spooled and ready to go with some 10lb Yozuri Hybrid.

Performance: I spooled Silver Max with some Yozuri Hybrid and mounted it on a Fenwick Elite Tech 6'9" medium heavy casting rod to see how it performs out on the water.


The 83mm handle is just a little longer than standard.

Retrieve: The Silver Max features a graphite frame and sideplates, and brass gearing. This combination makes for a smooth, but connected feel when you turn the handle. It has a 6.4:1 retrieve ratio which is a good, all purpose speed by today's standards. The graphite frame provides a lightweight alternative to aluminum and in the case of the Silver Max, held up well in rigidity tests with no unusual torquing or twisting out of shape.


The very normal sized gearing.

Performance Ratings for Abu Garcia Silver Max

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
3
3
4
18
25
7.2

Drag: Abu Garcia includes their PowerDisk drag system in the SilverMax for smooth and consistent performance. The reel is rated to 18lbs of maximum drag pressure and we managed to test the reel on The Machine to 17.8lbs of pressure. Pretty much right on the dot. Looking at the reel's Sweet Drag performance chart below, you can see at most settings, the drag is indeed very smooth and consistent. We've found anomalies in the curve at lockdown pressure are common and likely the result of variables other than just the drag (line stretch, digging, etc.).


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

Out on the water, the Silver Max's drag performed predictably with nothing to contradict results from the lab. I had the drag set mostly at half pressure giving the fish a fighting chance while getting a feel for how smooth and consistent the reel's drag performance really is in real world conditions. I'm quite satisfied with Abu Garcia's PowerDisk drag system.

Sweet Drag Performance for Abu Garcia Silver Max

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
1.9
2.0
2.5
3.4
10.8
Sustained
1.8
2.2
2.6
4.0
13.3
Lowest Value
1.5
1.9
2.2
3.2
9.4
Change in Startup vs Sustained
2%
6.6%
1.3%
19.4%
22.9%
10.4%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
18.3%
12.6%
16%
21.5%
29%
19.5%
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.


The Silver MAX has a single, ceramic drag disc inside the main gear.

Next Section: Power to crank?




 

 

 

 

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