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Reel Review


Abu Garcia Raises the Bar in Their Quest for Speed : Revo5 RKT


Date: 8/28/23
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.33 - GREAT

Abu Garcia continues to challenge the speed barrier with their Revo Rocket platform, but with the latest, Revo5 iteration featuring the same retrieve ratio as the previous version, the Revo4, has physics and the laws of nature finally won out? Well, what if we told you, despite identical gear ratios, the Revo5 is actually a hair faster in inches per turn (IPT)? How is that possible? Join us for a closer look at the latest Revo Rocket from Abu Garcia.


Abu Garcia Revo5 Rocket Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/130
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 15.2 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
20 - 42.5
Weight 7.6 oz
Spool Weight 15 g
Handle Length 95 mm
Bearings 10+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 2 bearings
Rated Max Drag ~18lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $329.95

Introducing Abu Garcia's Revo5 Rocket

Impressions: In the bass fishing world, reel manufacturers refresh their casting reel lineups on a regular basis. Schedules seem to average somewhere in the three to five year time period for most of the popular lines. It makes sense, machining wears down, tolerances stray, and more importantly, new designs and innovations - even if they're just small tweaks sometimes - find their way to the foreground. For the Abu Garcia's Revo Rocket, it's always been about speed, but with the identical gear ratio to the Revo4 Rocket, how is the Revo5's variant a little more quick to pull in your line.


This new Rocket features the same 10.1:1 gear ratio as the previous generation


If you think about it, a reel's gears are not the only determinant of how much line is pulled in with each turn of the handle. Spool size, or more importantly, spool diameter matters too. Taking a pair of calipers and measuring the Revo4 Rocket's spool, I get a diameter reading of about 32mm. For the Revo5, this same measurement is 34mm. That's enough to make a difference of approximately one to two inches per turn of the handle depending upon how much line you have out at the end of your cast, pitch, or flip. That may not seem like much, but for those who count every bearing and weigh every gram, it's definitely a measurable.

But it's IPT is slightly higher because the spool is larger in diameter (Revo4 RKT left, Revo5 RKT right)

Real World Tests: Of course, that's not all that's different with the Revo5 Rocket, just the most relevant given the reel's moniker. To explore the other differences, I loaded that slightly larger spool with some Sunline Sniper BMS fluorocarbon and paired it with my Megabass Destroyer Phase 3 F6-611X Tachyon Hookset Special Bearing Down for some tests in a variety of applications.

Matched up with my Megabass Destroyer Phase 3 F6-611X Tachyon Hookset Special Bearing Down

Casting: What I was most excited to discover about this reel was the incorporation of Abu Garcia's IVCB-6 braking system. Gone is the previous generation's hybrid Infini braking system, and in is the more free wheeling IVCB. This system is centrifugal based with six brake arms that activate when you cast. Control over the degree of brake force applied is achieved through a dial on the sideplate that pushes a metal disc into or away from the spool. This determines how far out those brake arms swing and in return, how much brake force is applied during your cast. The downside to this system is it can be more difficult to tame in adverse wind conditions, but the plus is better casting performance with less effort than the previous options.

Loaded with some Sunline Sniper BMS and ready for action

Speaking of those wind conditions, they happened to be particularly gusty during the Rocket's test period. I found a good way to help tame the spool was is to simply tighten down that forgotten spool tension knob on the other side of the reel. I admit, I get so wrapped up in the brake system, I often forget about that knob. Desperate and in need of more control of my wily fluorocarbon, I finally remembered that adjustment. Casts don't feel quite as free as a result, but with fluorocarbon especially, a little adjustment of that knob goes a long way into regaining control of the spool when it's windy.

The Revo5 RKT features Abu's coveted IVCB-6 braking system

Once you have the Revo5 Rocket dialed in, casting combined lure weights down to about a quarter of an ounce is quite easy so long as your line and rod are properly matched for the task at hand. The Bearing Down is not a rod that's great with baits in the lower register, but for a few test casts, it's good enough to verify capabilities of the reel. Otherwise, I was actually fishing baits in the half to three quarter ounce range.

Although we use the spool's outer diameter in our inches per turn (IPT) calculations, in reality, it's not prudent to fill your casting reels beyond the bottom of the taper highlighted here in red

Retrieve: Abu Garcia continues to use a brass alloy main gear with this generation of Revo low profile casting reels to good results. For the Rocket specifically, a painstaking process is involved to achieve that coveted 10.1:1 gear ratio without sacrificing feel. It's easy to take for granted because turning the handle on the Revo5 Rocket reveals smooth, predictable performance, but according to Abu Garcia, they have a very low yield on what they deem acceptable, finished gears to install in their Rocket platform.

The Revo5 RKT is equipped with a nice, long, and straight, 95mm handle

Next Section: Rocket Retrieve, Power and Drag









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