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Reel Review


Complete with a Prize Inside the Cereal Box : Abu Garcia's REVO EXD (continued)

Anyway, the first bait I set the EXD up with while mounted on my Phenix MX72MH was Catch Outdoor's Air Quake (1/2oz bladed jig) with a Berkley The Deal trailer. First few casts were with the brake dial set at or close to max so I could get a feel for the reel then I dialed back to about two thirds (2/3rds) max. That was right on the edge of what the wind conditions and fishing line would allow me. That Sufix Advance FC is some stiff stuff. Even with all of that, the distances I was getting with that rod, reel, bait combo, was more than expected given how much effort I was putting into the cast. The EXD performs really well here with standard size/weight baits.

General applications, check

One thing I should point out is the reel makes some noise when you cast. Best way I can describe it is as an old school whine or almost scream. The sound reminded me of some of my very first low profile casting reels. They made the same sound on the cast and the EXD had me feeling kind of nostalgic. It must be the result of the braking system doing its thing.

Now time for something a bit more finessey

On the lighter side of things, I paired the REVO EXD with a Phenix Rods Feather series FTX-C722MH - a two-piece, seven foot, seven inch stick rated at medium heavy, but actually fishes more like a medium or medium light. I switched out to the finesse spool when paired with this stick and fished some quarter to half ounce (full lure combo weight) Neko rigs with this outfit. That lighter spool casts really easily as well and is actually less noisy than the standard spool.

How about a Neko Rig on 6lb test FC?

Retrieve: Turning the handle and engaging the spool, the REVO EXD is super smooth but a little hollow feeling from those carbon side plates That sensation takes some time to get used to, but when paired with Phenix's M1 at least, has the benefit of making the rod and reel feel like one solid, cohesive unit. I should also mention the EXD is available in two retrieve ratios (5.4:1 & 8.0:1) in both left and right hand retrieve - a definite benefit.

The EXD is available in two retrieve ratios. We fished the 8.0:1.

Inside, that thickness on the outer edge of the main gear has an old school feel to it

Power: The EXD's guts are made from brass with a more old school looking gear. I fished the 8.0:1 reel and it delivered very good power and torque despite its high rate of retrieve. Additionally, that ninety millimeter (90mm) handle gives you plenty of leverage.

So does that drag stack

Drag: Abu Garcia also outfits the EXD with a more traditional drag stack instead of the new Carbon Stack Power Matrix assembly. It consists of three carbon washers and three metal washers, one of which is keyed. The stack is rated at twenty pounds (20lbs) of max pressure and delivers nice, smooth and consistent performance out on the water.

Under each knob are two bearings

Design & Ergonomics: The REVO EXD comes with the exact same ergonomics as all the other standard sized REVO reels. It is comfortable to palm, easy to engage for casting, has a nice, long handle, and weighs in at six point seven ounces (6.7oz). The biggest deal with this reel, really is that spare, shallow spool included in the box and the use of a nice, simple braking system.

From finesse to...

Price & Applications: Abu Garcia offers the REVO EXD at 299.95. This is the same price point as their Premier and Rocket casting reels, so the EXD is priced at a premium for Abu. Considering that extra spool, it all makes sense, but it is also less expensive than the MGX and MGXTREME reels that are a little more finely tuned for finesse applications. With its dual spools, the EXD gives you unparalleled flexibility.

... general application with the same reel, thanks to two spools.


Abu Garcia REVO EXD Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The EXD is worthy of the REVO standard 9
Performance Casts well and has good power... smooth, consistent drag... really fun reel to fish 9
Price A bit of a premium, but considering the spare spool, not bad at all 7.5
Features Spare spool, simple but effective brake system, long, carbon handle, brass gears, dual bearings at the levelwind, the list goes on 8
Design (Ergonomics) Comfortable size and weight 7.5
Application Effective as a general purpose AND finesse casting reel 8

Total Score


Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Spare, finesse spool included - Carbon side plates give the reel a hollow feel
+ Light and comfortable to fish - If you don't care about the spare spool, price point is high
+ Two available retrieve ratios in both left and right  
+ Purple highlights  
+ ...  

If you'd like an aggressively styled reel with a little, out of the box versatility, the REVO EXD is just the product to help you tackle your enthusiasm

Conclusion: Just when I thought I had a handle on all the REVO variants, Abu Garcia throws in the EXD. Finding that spare spool inside the box is like opening up an old school box of cereal. It's a little more fuzzy where the EXD fits into the hierarchy, but considering its styling, spare spool, kind of old school guts, maybe the EXD is more of a step sibling returning to the fray just to cause a stir and mess things up for the other, more established REVO brands. Based on my experience fishing this reel, I'd say mission accomplished. I love the idea of including a spare spool and delivering a braking system that can do both general purpose and finesse. If you'd like an aggressively styled reel with a little, out of the box versatility, the REVO EXD is just the product to help you tackle your enthusiasm.


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