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Reel Review


Complete with a Prize Inside the Cereal Box : Abu Garcia's REVO EXD


Date: 4/19/20
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.17 - GREAT

Once upon a time, Abu Garcia introduced their new take on a low profile baitcasting reel. They called it, Revo. No doubt short for revolution because that reel revolutionized the way we thought of Abu Garcia and the utility and accessibility of a quality low profile baitcasting reel. I'll never forget JIP's revelation when testing Gen 1 STX's max drag at twenty four (24) pounds of pressure. It literally blew our collective minds.


New for 2020 is yet another REVO variant from Abu Garcia, the EXD


That was circa 2006 when there were roughly 4 models, S, SX, STX, and maybe Premier? I could be wrong. I didn't start fishing the Revos myself until Gen 2 or 3, but through the years, Abu Garcia slowly introduced more to the family including Winch, Inshore, Toro, Beast, MGX, MGXtreme, Toro Beast, Rocket, X, the list goes on. Even though I've fished most of them, there are certainly more Revo variants now, than I can keep straight.


The big news with this REVO is its TWO SPOOLS!


Abu Garcia not only revolutionized the way we, as consumers, thought about low profile baitcasting reels at the time. They really spearheaded the idea of manufacturers offering the same basic frame size and shape in all their reels, but changing the guts to define a new line within a family of reels. Before that, each model offered by the same manufacturer had different ergonomics. Of course, some still practice this approach, but from a manufacturing perspective, homogenizing frame size and shape can really help with cost.


The standard spool has the same capacity as the other REVOs and the shallow spool holds roughly 30% less line


Now, in the midst of Generation 4, Abu Garcia has really hit a comfortable stride, and they demonstrate this by stretching out Revo families with variants within variants. "Rocket" isn't just its own stand alone, super fast retrieve reel, but it's used to designate a super fast Revo - case in point, the Rocket Beast. "Beast" is used to describe an upsized reel with more robust guts and greater line capacity (e.g. Beast X). They also do this with "Winch." It's probably only a matter of time before we get a REVO IKE ROCKET TORO BEAST MGX - an oversized, purple, super robust, fast, reel with a super light spool.


Let's take a closer look

Abu Garcia really offers a Revo to fit every need and just when I thought they had explored every possible variant, 2020 sees a brand new REVO platform. This little reel has "enthusiast" written all over it without being overbearing. Yet, there is one feature of this reel that does push it over the top. Can you recall ever purchasing a low profile casting reel that came with its own spare, shallow spool? Well, now you can. Introducing Abu Garcia's Revo EXD.


Abu Garcia REVO EXD Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 10/145
Line Capacity - Spool Volume Shallow - 9 cm3 : Std - 12.6 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
5.4 : 1
8.0 : 1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated off standard spool
15.5 - 23.5
23 - 34.5
Weight 6.7 oz
Spool Weight Shallow - 11 g : Std - 13 g
Handle Length 90 mm
Bearings 8HPCR + 2EXD + 1RB
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 2 bearings
Rated Max Drag 20lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $299.95


Impressions: Abu Garcia's Revo EXD looks like just about every other Revo, Gen 4 reel, except it's not. It is built with an X-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon side plates, features carbon fiber pattern accents around the gear case, has a nice, long ninety millimeter, swept carbon handle, and purple highlights at the dragstar, cast control knob, knob caps, handle nut retainer, and spool. And yes, it comes with two spools, a standard, mid-depth spool for general purpose work, and a shallow spool for light line applications.


Can't get enough of the anodized purple highlights


Though the Revo EXD has a metal alloy frame, the feel of those C6 carbon side plates standout making it feel as if the reel is made entirely of composite carbon when you handle it. The Revo EXD comes with the company's somewhat standard contoured, foam knobs.

My combo of the year... REVO EXD + Phenix M1 MX72MH

Real World Tests: For that general purpose work, I spooled the mid-depth spool with a straight shot of ten pound (10lb) Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, and for the shallow spool, I chose six pound (6lb) Sufix Advance FC. I fished the EXD on two Phenix rods, the new M1 MX72MH and the new two-piece Feather FTX-C722MH.

The REVO EXD has an old school braking system

Casting: Abu Garcia has several different braking systems distributed amongst their many Revo models defined by price point hierarchy. Usually any reel up to about $130 will have MagTrax - a basic, but effective magnetic brake system. Their intermediate priced reels usually have Infini - a hybrid magnet and centrifugal system, but Abu mixed that up a little with Gen 4 because STX now has IVCB-6L - the braking system in their higher end reels. But Rocket, priced above STX, still has Infini.

Abu Garcia goes straight magnets for the EXD

I point this out because EXD is priced at $299.95, so my expectation was it'd have the hybrid, Infini braking system figuring this is really more like a $250 reel but bumped up in price because of the spare spool and that Abu probably wasn't going to provide IVCB brakes on a reel with two spools. When I flipped the reel's non-handle side plate open (and off) for a look, I was surprised to find only magnets. But while the magnets in the side plate resembled those found in the basic MagTrax braking system (only x2), the EXD's spool surface area to engage those magnets was much different.

Brake force is adjusted via this dial

Abu Garcia elevates that area off the spool so it sits closer to the magnets and is, as far as I can tell, yet another new braking system for Abu Garcia so find it odd that it doesn't come with a title like MagTrax II or something to that effect. Not that it really matters. The important thing to remember about this braking system? It just works.

Like all REVO reels, the EXD sits nice and low

Whenever I handle a new reel, and especially when it's a new reel with a new to me braking system, I try to remember and set the brake adjustment to maximum until I can get a feel for the reel. Sometimes I never dial it back, and sometimes, I forget to set it there and spoil the new spool of line on the first cast. I don't know how many reels' review cycles were extended because I blew them up on their first cast.

Standard is a 90 mm swept, carbon handle

Next Section: Casting and Retrieving the EXD...









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