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Reel Review

2009 Highspeed Reel Shootout Part 2: Abu Garcia Revo SX (continued)

Retrieve: On the retrieve, the Revo SX felt ok, though it’s not quite as refined a reel as that to which I’m accustomed. No fault of the reel’s really as it’s hard to expect too much more for a reel in its price range. Although this reel’s direct competitor is the new Curado E, and if I were to compare apples to apples between those two reels, the Curado would edge out the SX on smoothness of retrieve.

The non-handle sideplate then pivots off for removal.

Similar to the Quantum Tour Edition PT VI, actual torque of the reel was just ok. Mounted on an Evergreen Super Nova and employed as a cranking reel with thirteen (13) pound Sunline Defier, it did feel labored on occasion, trying to muscle in fish.

Which then affords you access to the spool.

On the other hand, though a bit fast for big baits, there were no issues retrieving baits like the afore mentioned Huddleston Deluxe eight inch, or other baits like 22nd Century’s Triple Trout, and Mattlures new line of hardbodied gill and bass baits. As a cranking reel, again, the SX is faster than I personally prefer, but the reel had no issues with the likes of Lucky Craft’s BDS3, LV500MAX and even Norman DD22s. It’s only when you hook up with a feisty fish where you notice the SX sometimes labors.

The Revo SX had the most line capacity amongst our shootout contenders.

Drag: Where I was excited to test this reel out was in the lab. I wasn’t present for the STX’s tests in our lab where the reel’s drag measured out at an astounding twenty four (24) pounds of pressure, so I was anxious to see what the SX had. Unfortunately, the reel I had maxed out at only eleven (11) pounds. Still very good for a reel of its size and right in line with the other reels in our shootout, but a far cry from how the STX tested out in our lab.

There is one bearing located directly on the spool.

Out on the water fishing for black bass, all this is moot as I never came close to needing the maximum drag this reel delivers anyway. On lower drag settings, giving the fish leeway to pull, performance was smooth and consistent.

This is the surface where the braking force is applied.

Design/Ergonomics: As mentioned previously, on appearances alone, the Abu Garcia Revo SX is a very attractive reel. Once you get to using the reel, however, a few things stand out. Number one is the reel’s weight. At eight point eight (8.8) ounces, it’s just a tad heavier than I like for a reel of its apparent size. It is not cumbersome by any means, and fishable all day, I’d just like it to be a tad lighter.

A look at the non-handle sideplate which houses another bearing, and of course, the magnetic brakes.

But of course, after using the reel for a while I came to realize, it’s really not as small as it first appears. The Revo SX has a relatively wide spool and the reel overall is among the wider reels in our shootout (tied with the Quantum Tour Edition PT VI) even though it sits very low on whatever rod you choose to mount it.

One of my favorite features of this reel are the ergonomic knobs.

On the plus side is the reel’s flat grey knobs with gripping divots. I’ve enjoyed these style knobs since fishing them on my discontinued Abu Morrum and superttuned AE74. Also, the Revo SX features micro click adjustments on the dragstar and spool tension knob


Not ideal for deep cranking, but it is the Year of the Crank on TackleTour!


Abu Garcia Revo SX Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A solid reel 7.5
Performance Touchy on the first few casts, a little strained under load 7
Price Best in our shootout 7.5
Features Pretty standard features 7
Design (Ergonomics) Handles like a slightly wider and heavier Daiwa Alphas/Sol 7.5
Application A good all around burner reel 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:


J Good Line Capacity L Lacks a little in power
J Has all the clickies L A tad heavy for its size
J Casts well  


Conclusion: Feelings are a bit mixed with the Abu Revo SX. On the one hand, I appreciate the reel’s design and proportions, but of course I can’t help but feel all this was borrowed from Daiwa. The added line capacity in this reel is nice, though in looking at it closely, the Revo SX is a bit larger than it needs to be contributing to the weight and width of the overall reel. Overall performance is just ok, but considering its price point, it feels about right – until compared to the new Shimano Curado E. In the end it seems I am struggling to find something to discuss about this reel that is clearly positive or negative but when I dig in, nothing is obvious.


The Revo SX makes a very good lipless crank reel!


The $150 - $200 range reel market is a very crowded place right now - perhaps the most hotly contestant segment. And while I appreciate the Revo SX's appearance and the fact it has bearing supported knobs and a clicking dragstar AND cast control knob, little else about the reel inspires me. It is certainly a serviceable reel and if you’re looking for a midrange, high speed reel in basic black, this could be the ticket. For me, it’s time to continue our 2009 High Speed Reel shootout and move onto the two manufacturers of which I am much more intimately familiar.


Looking for an Abu Garcia Casting Reel? Check out Tackle Warehouse











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