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Reel Review

The ultimate saltwater low profile baitcast reel, the Abu Garcia Revo Inshore (continued)

Ergonomics: You canít argue against the ergonomics of the Revo Inshore. The profile is the same as the Revo STX and I havenít changed my mind since the results for that reel were published. The differences now are the weight and the addition of a new handle. With the Extended Throw handle the Inshore comes out to be only 8.5 ounces compared to 8.75 ounces from the Revo STX. Alone, the Power Handle weighs 1.8 ounces. With either handle you can still palm this low profile reel and the balance is good even with the Power Handle attached.


Great low profile design allows easy handling


Durability: When comparing the Inshore to the STX, Iíd give the durability award to the Revo Inshore. Though the two reels might appear similar, the Inshore is made to be much tougher which makes sense since this reel was designed to be used in the saltwater environment. The X-Craftic alloy frame and sideplate, stainless steel HPCR bearings, and stainless steel crankshaft are just some of the components that give the Inshore its enhanced permanence.


A look at the interior of the Revo Inshore


After many field tests I tore the reel apart to inspect each component for any possible corrosion and intrusion of sea water. Sea water did intrude, and after much inspection the corrosive saltwater entered from the spool tension knob and through the bearing. From this it ran down onto the crankshaft and finally onto the main drive gear where some corrosion was seen. Thank goodness the crankshaft is made of stainless steel and no corrosion was noticed there.


The frame is made of an X-Craftic alloy


So why did saltwater enter the reel? I wouldn't say it's the reel but put full blame on myself because for one entire season of heavy use in the coastal waters I never did any maintenance on the reel after each use, not even oiling or greasing the bearings, just a quick rinse after each outing and that was all. If I had greased the components and bearings where water might intrude then this wouldn't have happened. Thus I wouldn't worry about the corrosion issue because with proper maintenance like any saltwater gear, it'll last time after time. By the way, the Revo Inshore still performed well even with the corrosion and no maintenance but I highly suggest any saltwater or inshore angler to do basic maintenance on your reel after each use.


Water intruded through the spool tension knob which ended up on the main gear after one season of heavy usage and no maintenance. Clean this up and grease the bearing where water came in there should be no concern


Application: In recent years companies have started to notice the potential of the coastal and inshore market, especially with the growth of the Redfish tournaments. The Revo Inshore is a great reel for the saltwater environments and have the design and durability to battle some of these game fish. Aside from inshore species we know the Revo Inshore can take on big game such as sailfish and is also good for freshwater species such as largemouth bass.


The crank-side sideplate is also made of X-Craftic alloy


The Revo Inshore, in its first year of introduction, is excellent in size and with the deep spool it can hold a decent amount of braided line. But in the future Iíd love to see an even larger sized offering, something comparable to Shimano Curado 300. The increased line capacity would take the Revo Inshore to the next level, giving it the ability to target even larger game throughout the world.


Another angle of the frame


Price: This reel is definitely worth the money. Iíd consider its performance very good and for an inshore reel that can stand up to big game fish and the corrosive saltwater environment with high grade components, the price is very competitive. Plus this is the only inshore reel that comes with multiple handle configurations allowing anglers the flexibility to switch per application.


The sideplate which comes off quickly to access the centrifugal brake system


Zander's take: There is no doubt that Abu Garcia reinvented themselves with the release of the exceptional Revo series. Abu bills the Revo as a revo-lution in reels for serious anglers, and that is exactly what the reel represents for their brand. Overnight the Abu brand went from the go to company for traditional round reels to a serious player in the low profile baitcaster market. It was no surprise to see the Revo Inshore introduced, as the reel already sported the Carbon Matrix drag that was more than inshore capable, in fact it seemed born for it. Up till now anglers fishing the inshore used the larger Shimano Curado reels or turned to the Daiwa Coastal. The Daiwa Coastal has value going for it, as it retails for a hundred less than the Revo Inshore, but when it comes to refinement the Inshore really commands that delta. The inclusion of the power handle truly makes this a crossover reel unlike any other currently competing in the inshore arena. While we would have loved to see either a slightly larger size or a lower gear ratio for even more power, it is hard to ding the reel for this as it does offer anglers a quality balance of speed and power that will appeal to both fresh and saltwater anglers. The entire Revo series is a triumph for Abu Garcia, but the Inshore in particular qualifies as a "must have" reel for anglers that are looking for a refined crossover reel.



Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Ratings (?/10)


Great construction using high quality components and its durability holds up nicely through the harsh corrosive saltwater use


Outstanding performance in all categories. Love the ability to be able to switch handles for different applications especially when more torque is needed. Super smooth drag system with 24 pounds of pressure


A competitive price with great performance and having the option to use either handle


Feature packed with saltwater resistant components such as the X-Craftic alloy frame and sideplate, stainless steel HPCR bearings, stainless steel crankshaft, Duragear brass gears, centrifugal brake system, and Carbon Matrix Drag that produces an insane amount of drag force

Design (Ergonomics) Low profile and lighter than the Revo STX, the reel is very nice and well balanced even with the Power handle 9
Application Designed for inshore anglers, this reel does an excellent job even at big game. The reel can also double for freshwater use 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Again, 24 pounds of drag pressure! L Would like to see a larger size with greater line capacity
J Compact profile  
J Two types of handles included  
J Powerful  
J Made for saltwater but great for freshwater  


JIP landed many huge Lingcods like this on the field tests


Conclusion: Remember when Abu Garcia introduced the Revo freshwater line and many people praised the low profile design? From one great reel to another, Abu Garcia is now on the right path and from seeing what the saltwater Revo Inshore can do in the lab and on the field, this baitcast reel is definitely a winner. The Inshore has all the same high performance characteristics as the STX like a smooth retrieve and a mighty 24 pounds of drag pressure, but Abu Garcia didnít just take the STX and make small adjustments. They did a complete makeover to build an inshore reel thatíll withstand saltwater environments for years to come. The frame along with the sideplate is made out of X-Craftic alloy and various parts are stainless steel for better corrosion resistance. By providing anglers with two handle options the reel can be applied for many types of freshwater and saltwater fish. The only thing we would like to see is an offering in a larger size for greater line capacity. The Revo Inshore is a quality reel with features that surprise anglers, as well as the construction and muscle necessary to handle inshore species. To put it simply the Daiwa Coastal just got it's biggest competitor in the new Revo Inshore, and the Revo is a must fish for anglers that are looking for a quality crossover reel. Whatever Abu Garcia has planned for the Revo line in the future they definitely shouldn't stop with the excellent Revo Inshore, which proved that the style and design of this series can extend beyond just freshwater applications. For an exceptional balance of features and performance the Revo Inshore is the first Abu baitcaster (and first Abu reel since the 2005 Record round reel) to take home a TackleTour Editors Choice.


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