Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

by: Jason Sealock

I only have one our two spinning reels in my boat, I own six or seven combos but I just don’t fish them a lot. Partly because I’ve felt you could get a lot better baitcasting reel and that spinning reels sort of lagged behind in terms of performance, weight, etc.
I grew up throwing spinning reels on farm ponds and especially wading the Ozark streams in Arkansas. A spinning rod and reel was easy to tote, would throw any of the light lures that often were needed to tempt stream bass, and mostly because I had decent hand me downs that were spinning combos.
As I gravitated to fishing out of a boat more, I found I could do more with baitcasters. It was always odd to me that you threw your lightest baits on spinning reels, which were of the heaviest class of reels on the market.
Now it seems lighter, new technologies are making spinning reels a lot more comfortable to fish without sacrifice strength and durability. The Shimano Stradic Ci4 dropped the weight bar on spinning reels and added some enthusiast flare to the market. Now it seems their is another line of enthusiast based spinning reels to push the envelope a little further.
We’ve been testing the new Abu Garcia Revo Premiere Spinning Reel since October. On looks alone, you feel like you’re fishing with a new “breed” of spinning tackle. With the same black and gold styling used on the Revo Premiere baitcaster, this Revo Spinning reel looks like an enthusiast reel out of the box.
Several features stand out on the reel. The EVA Foam handle was very comfortable and was easy to grip, even in the rain. The Everlast bail spring is smooth. The bail opens and closes easily. Now one note, we do close our bails by hand on spinning gear. Closing the bail with the reel handle does take a noticeable amount of pressure. But I’ve always thought that’s a bad way to close a spinning reel and a good way to introduce line twist. The balance of the reel is noticeably different. It has a slow oscillation. If you’ve ever used a low-end spinning reel and reeled it pretty fast, you can feel this sort of undulating action in the rod. Like the reel is making the whole combo seem a little out of control. That doesn’t happen anymore with this reel.
Casting is very smooth on the reel. We fished both braid and fluorocarbon on the reel and actually preferred just straight fluoro on this reel. Fluoro can be very hard to manage on a spinning reel, and we really had no issue with the fluoro. The spool is a good size although we wish spinning reel manufacturers would develop shallower spools. I’d like to see a shallow spool that holds 90 yards of 8 pound line on a 20/2000 size reel. Almost like a freshwater version of a spinning spool. I don’t need 140 yards of 8 pound line for freshwater fishing on a spinning reel. That just causes me to go through my spools of line faster.
Back to this reel, the 10-ball bearing smoothness is evident on every retrieve and the sealed carbon matrix drag is silky smooth and micro-adjustable. What we like is that the reel’s guts seemed very strong with many steel components and carbon drag when we took it apart, yet the reel is very light at less than 8 ounces.
The reel frame is produced with Nano Technology. This was borrowed from the nuclear engineering industry. Basically you can coat normal graphite components and make then 300% stronger than normal graphite without increasing the weight. So you get components that are lighter than aluminum yet tough like metal. The technology resists scratching and chipping as well, so the reel will not only last for many years but also look good for many years.
We tested the reel fishing some light crankbaits as well as a drop shot and a shaky head on a few occasions. We paired the rod on a medium action Abu Garcia Veritas rod. The reel is extremely smooth on the cast and the slow oscillation seems to help with line management. The drag is easily adjustable during the fight as was flipping between back reeling and instant anti-reverse.
We really like what we see in the reel, however some folks will be taken back by the price. All this technology in one reel results in a $249 price tag. Yet it seems to be in line performance wise with the other $200 to $400 spinning reels we’ve tested. I can’t see me owning six of these reels as it would cause grounds for a divorce in my house, but I can see me having both my main spinning combos outfitted with two of these good reels in due time.
10 bearings and under 8 ounces in a spinning reel is crazy good. Having it be 300% stronger than its graphite predecessor is also good. Adding that enthusiast feel to the spinning reel line also is fun. We’ll see how it continues to perform over the course of the year, but so far we’re very impressed with how it feels and fishes.
To purchase this reel, visit

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