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Reel Review

Low Speed Cranking Reel Shootout Part 2: Abu Garcia Revo Winch is all about Muscle (continued)

Ergonomics: It is in the ergonomics department that the Winch could use some possible refinement. While the Winch is easy to palm it does weigh more than every reel in the low speed shootout minus the Daiwa Crazy Cranker. It balances out well with most rods, but on ultralight graphite based cranking rods the reel does feel a bit heavy. This is the sacrifice that anglers must make for that robust brass gearing and quality metal construction.


Another look at the two tone finish of the Winch


The knobs on the Winch are the same standard ones found on the rest of the series and while there is nothing wrong with them we would have liked to see slightly larger knobs on a reel so adept at deep power cranking. When it comes time to access the cast control system the Winch requires that anglers remove the non-handle sideplate.


On the handle side is the screw release for the sideplate


When we timed the adjustment versus all the other reels the Winch took the longest time to make changes to the cast control system. The Daiwa Crazy Cranker and Quantum Energy were by far the easiest to fine-tune in the field with their externally adjustable cast control systems, and the quick release sideplate on the Shimano Curado was just a few seconds slower to change.


The Winch requires anglers to remove the sideplate to adjust the brakeweights in the cast control system


Durability: The Winch gets high marks in terms of durability and is built like a tank. The rigid and solid construction gives anglers confidence that should this reel get dropped on the deck little would happen. We didnít experience any problems with the master gearing or drive shaft, all in all the Winch not only survived our extensive field tests but didnít even break a sweat after all these months. The finish still looks as good as new and the guts of the reel continue to perform just like the reel did when it left the factory.


The inside of the non-handle sideplate


Price & Applications: The Winch retails for a very reasonable 199 dollars, that is only 20 dollars more than the Shimano Curado and 10 dollars more than the Quantum Energy. The Winch features a metal sideplate construction and a much greater bearing count than both of those competing reels so the slight cost difference is justifiable.


The Revo Winch doesn't have a ceramic insert like other Revo reels, probably in an effort to reduce cost but also because the vast majority of anglers will use mono or fluorocarbon for deep cranking. We had to stress the reel with braid, and it survived just fine


The Winch also boasts a high line capacity at 12/175 which makes this a very good choice for inshore fishing where extra line is necessary to allow larger fish to run. The powerful drag system will stop these fish in their tracks. The company also goes the extra mile with coatings and components that are designed to resist corrosion. All of this makes this cranking reel better than the competitors for a wide variety of fishing applications.


Zander cranks up a Clear Lake bass with the Winch


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Abu Garcia Revo Winch Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great build quality with more use of metal alloys versus the competition which uses more graphite 9
Performance The Winch performs well in most categories and is a reasonably good caster with a very nice fluid retrieve. With a fish on the line the reel feels powerful and the drag is downright spectacular 8.5
Price Slightly more expensive than other competing reels but the extra use of metal can justify the cost 8.5
Features The Winch isn't so much about features as it is about raw cranking brawn. The reel is pretty much all business on the outside and the inside features extra corrosion resistance and that buff drag 8
Design (Ergonomics) The Revo Winch feels solid but a little heavier than competing reels. The cast control system is internal and there is no quick takedown sideplate so it takes a bit longer to make adjustments in the field 8
Application The Winch is better suited than competing reels to fish both fresh and saltwater with enhanced corrosion resistant components and a drag capable of handling big fish 9

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Excellent materials used in construction L Not the lightest crankbait reel (heavier than Quantum Energy and Shimano Curado E)
J Powerful gearing and smooth fluid retrieve L Adjusting cast controls takes longer than competing reels
J Enhanced corrosion resistance  
J Beastly drag  
J Reasonable price  

Conclusion: The aptly named Revo Winch is a powerhouse of a little reel with much more muscle than you would expect from such a petite frame. This reel is a solid performer that makes short work of even the deepest diving cranks, and not only helps reduce fatigue from long days of cranking on the water but has the power to pull up even the biggest fish from some of the nastiest structure. The Revo series continues to branch out and there seems like there is a Revo for everything, from finesse fishing plastics, to tossing swimbaits and now hardcore power cranking. The Winch is a great choice for anglers looking for a reliable and powerful low speed cranking reel. While the reel is a bit heavier than the competition and the cast control adjustments require a bit more time to adjust, if muscle is what you are after then the Revo Winch delivers in spades when it comes to both a corrosion resistant durable master gearing and a robust drag that puts other reels in the class to shame. Though not perfect it is these outstanding merits combined with the reasonable price that make the Revo a winner of our Editors Choice Award.


Looking for a Abu Garcia Revo Winch? Try Tackle Warehouse.










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