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Reel Review

Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket! (continued)


Casting Range: The Rocket can easily handle baits down to about three eighths of an ounce on up to as big as you want to tie on. I had a very easy time casting Strike King's 10XD ( a lure rated at two ounces ) and Lucky Craft's SKT Magnum DR (3.25 oz) with this reel.

This screw extends through the frame to help secure the non-handle sideplate.

Brakes: I mentioned earlier that this reel reminds me of the Revo STX and that's because of its dual braking system (magnetic + centrifugal brakes). The best way we've found to take advantage of this braking system is to dial the magnetic brakes all the way down to start, then find your happy spot with the centrifugal brakes on the reel's spool. Once you have that setting, use the magnetic brakes (adjustable from the outside) to fine tune your control as wind conditions change.

Open up the sideplate to reveal the dual braking system.

Used in this way, the dual braking system is very effective, however, it's all a bit more cumbersome than I find necessary especially given the instances where I find the need to use both braking systems are quite rare. Really just one or the other system would be much more simple or even better since this reel shares a lot of its detailing from the Premier, why not use that reel's IVCB braking system too?

It's a little tricky, but once you locate the fastening screws, the Rocket comes apart relatively easily.

Features: The Revo Suite of reels always scores well in this department because Abu Garcia is very generous with bearing placements, almost always provides micro-click adjustments at the drag star and spool tension knob, and of course, provides externally adjustable brakes.

There are two bearings per EVA knob.

The reel's non-handle sideplate is removable and held in place by a screw that extends from the handle sideplate through the frame, to the non-handle side. This screw is spring loaded to ensure the sideplate doesn't accidentally unlock when the screw works its way loose (a problem we had with the MGX). Use caution not to open the sideplate near the side of your boat or over water as the sideplate does completely detach from the reel.


Features Ratings for Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

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)

And two bearings on the levelwind worm gear.

Design & Ergonomics: The Rocket, like its Revo siblings, is a very comfortable reel to fish. At 6.5 ounces as we measured it in the lab, it's light. The reel's profile is super low so it's easy to palm. The handle length is super long at 90 millimeters. The only thing I don't care much for are the EVA knobs and the difficulty in breaking the reel down. These are all issues previously discussed in our review of the STX, so there's no need to rehash them here.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

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

Turn the dial on the outside of the reel to move those magnets into and away from the flat surface on the spool. Push those red tabs on the spool away from the center to turn the centrifugal brakes on or push them in to turn them off.

Application: After my experience deep cranking with this reel, I'm not too sure there's much you cannot do with this reel. The only technique, out of the box, this reel is questionable in its performance would be presenting finesse baits, but with all the available aftermarket spools, there's likely a conversion kit to make this reel suitable for that as well. Otherwise, as long as you're disciplined with the speed at which you crank the handle on this reel, there's really not much it cannot do.


Application Ratings for Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

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

The Rocket is Swedish Engineered but built in Korea.


Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Well built like all Revo reels 8.0
Performance Really good across the majority of categories. With a more sophisticated brake system, this reel could be really special 8.2
Price Priced like the Premier but feels like the STX. $300 is a "fair" price for this reel, bordering on "good" but certainly not "great". 6.5
Features The Rocket scores high in this category, but I sure would love to see this reel with Abu's IVCB brake system 9.3
Design (Ergonomics) Light, easy to palm with externally adjustable brakes 8.4
Application A surprisingly versatile reel 8.4

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:


+ Super fishable despite a super fast retrieve - Just a tad high in price
+ Once you get into it, the reel's retrieve ratio is an afterthought  
+ Light and comfortable to fish  
+ Available in both left and right hand retrieve  


Conclusion: As it turns out, speed is just a number. Engineer a low profile reel with a large enough main gear and it seems that the leviathan is the limit with how fast a reel can go. I really expected to have a difficult time cranking deep cranks with this reel - especially given the fact I was using straight braid and a graphite cranking stick. Instead I was able to fish for extended periods of time with this setup and even managed to catch a couple of fish this way.

The Rocket certainly ignites my enthusiasm - this is a fun reel to fish!

The Revo Rocket, sporting an ultra-fast 9.0:1 retrieve ratio is a far more versatile reel than I would have expected just reading about it or checking it out at my local tackle store. Once you get fishing with it, it's speed is an afterthought which means Abu Engineers did their work and were able to deliver this super fast reel without sacrificing power and feel. If you're looking for the fastest, fishable reel out there, your search is over, the Rocket by Abu Garcia is it - that is, until the next ICAST.


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