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Reel Review

Abu Garcia's Workhorse - the Gen 3 Revo SX (continued)


Casting Range: The Revo SX is designed as a general purpose reel, so one shouldn't expect too much out of this reel on the low end of casting range. Matched with Phenix's M1 MX72H-B casting rod and spooled with twelve pound Sunline Super Natural Monofilament, we were able to comfortably cast and pitch baits down to about three eighths of an ounce. This is the sweet spot for many reels in this category so nothing extraordinary or below par with the Revo SX here.


More and more reels now feature a detachable sideplate. Fortunately, with reels where you don't have to open this plate up to access the brakes (like the Revo SX), it's not much of a problem.


Brakes: While the next reel up in Abu's Revo lineup, the STX, makes use of a dual braking system, the SX is equipped with magnetic brakes only. These brakes are adjustable from the outside by turning a dial that moves the brakes inward and outward from a flat surface on the spool's non-handle side. The brakes are effective though a little less refined than other magnetic brake options.


A nice buzzbait fish from the CA Delta thanks to the Revo SX.


Features: The Revo SX scores very well in the list of standard features we look for on a low profile baitcaster. The casting brakes on this reel are adjustable without having to open up the sideplate, the levelwind wormgear is supported by at least one bearing, each of the handle knobs benefits from two bearing support, and the dragstar and tension knob feature the positive reinforcement of a micro-click adjustment.


Features Ratings for Abu Garcia Gen 3 Revo SX

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Design & Ergonomics: The Revo SX comes equipped with a standard 80 millimeter handle and comfortable rubberized knobs. The size and weight of the reel make it comfortable to grasp and palm for a good long day of fishing. Where we ran into a little issue with this reel was during the breakdown for a look inside.


We found one bearing around the levelwind worm gear.


The magnet array for the reel's casting brakes, located on the inside of the non-handle sideplate can pop out if you're not careful. In the lab, our work surface is metal and when we placed the non-handle sideplate down on this table with the inside surface down, the casting magnets stayed attached to the table when we lifted the sideplate back up. It took quite a bit of effort to get those magnets to stay seated back in the sideplate because once they're loose, they have the tendency to want to pop out and stick to one another instead of stay put in the sideplate.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Abu Garcia Gen 3 Revo SX

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


There are two bearings beneath each knob.


Application: With two standard retrieve ratios to choose from, the SX is very worthy of workhorse status. The only applications where we wouldn't recommend this reel is for big baits (not enough line capacity and no low speed option) and for finesse fishing (casting range isn't low enough to cast finesse baits as well as other reels). These are limitations most reels in this price point are going to encounter as well.


Application Ratings for Abu Garcia Gen 3 Revo SX

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Abu Garcia Gen 3 Revo SX Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Surprisingly solid here 9.0
Performance Good, not great 7.2
Price Right in that workhorse wheelhouse 8
Features Good list of standard features 7.9
Design (Ergonomics) Just be careful with that non-handle sideplate 7.2
Application A good general purpose reel for the majority of applications 6.8

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:


+ Affordable price point - No low speed option
+ Good general purpose option  
+ Comfortable weight and size  


The Revo SX is a wonderful reel for general purpose applications...


Conclusion: It's great to see a manufacturer reinvent themselves. Abu Garcia has made a lot of noise with their Revo line of low profile bait casters grabbing market share and showing consumers it is possible to produce a full array of product options to suit almost every price point and not simply concentrate on one end of the market or the other. The Revo SX is Abu's answer to those anglers seeking a good solid product at a price point that's a little beyond entry level but not so high as to burden other areas in their lives.


... and as a reel for that budding enthusiast in your household.


It's obvious, the Revo SX is not going to move our Enthusiast scale, but not everyone is as afflicted in a similar manner to us. Even so, with its matte black finish and strategically placed red highlights, the Revo SX is a great way to get a little cosmetic flare in a reel without breaking your bank. Or if you, like us, have an up and coming Enthusiast in your household, the Revo SX will certainly speak volumes to them.


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