Abu Garcia® Abumatic™ 476i Spincast Reel
It's decent but not great
Purchased the 476i based on past experiences with Abu Garcia products and the success I had with them as far as durability and performance. The information I read online and some reviews of 476i, sold me and I bought it. Overall, it's a decent reel and gets the job done. On the down side, it's bulkier than I preferred and getting the drag adjusted to where I like it was not easy.
I would not recommend this reel for anything smaller than large bass, catfish or larger freshwater fish. It is definitely too big for pan fish.
June 28, 2012
For the last 4 years, I've bought my wife one of Garcia's reels including this one. Doesn't matter which one or how expensive, Each was good for one year only.I found a shop to rebuild them, but the cost was as much as the reels. Last year, I bought her a Zebco Omega. Still going strong as new, & she uses it almost daily. What happened to the Garcis quality?
June 5, 2012
My Wife's Favorite Reel
My wife uses this reel on our frequent hybrid bass fishing trips. She has no problem casting it and the drag holds up well to the powerful runs common with these fish. I spend less time messing with gear and more time fishing and both of us enjoy the trip. I have a bucket with several Johnson's and Zebcos in various states of repair/disrepair. I plan on dumping them in the trash and buying 1 or 2 more Abumatics.
A good reel at a good price.
May 22, 2012
Solid value for price, I think.
I bought one of these to put on my 6ft med action fiberglass Zebco "authentic" rod that came in a combo with a Zebco "authentic" 33 reel (the zebco reel wore out, nothing against Zebco lots of people like them so maybe I got a bad one). The reel is a good match for the rod, comes with me in my canoe for a versatile and easy to use set-up.
I put 14lb Stren original on it (I like the gold golor) and have fished it twice so far without problems. I will try to post a subsequent review once it gets fished more.
PERFORMANCE: No trouble so far, functions as designed casts and reels without event. Not going to win any distance contests, though I think it would cast further with 10lb or 12lb than the 14, or if I would use a heavier lure (was chucking 1/4 oz). Some have said the drag is weak; I agree it could go heavier but turned up to max it seems about right to me for the 14 lb line.
FEEL: Feels heavy and solid compared to my old Zebco. I can feel the gears a little bit when reeling-- it doesn't affect my fishing but it does not inspire confidence that this reel will last forever. Anti-reverse is very good for a reel in this price range.
QUALITY: The spool cover is very solid, will not bend or warp, and threads very solidly to the reel -- this is better than some competing reels and should ensure smooth pick-up and reeling for a long time. Though this reel is not designed for saltwater use, I used it in brackish. Cleaning it a few days later I had small amounts of surface corrosion on the inner spool cap, I was able to clean them off. If using this reel in brackish or salt water I would rinse in fresh water ASAP after use every time and oil it well before using again. I really don't recommend it for brackish or salt water for this reason. Because I haven't had it for long I can't speak to its durability.
SUMMARY: In all respects this reel appears to be a versatile, easy to use piece of tackle at an attractive price point. I expect that if I keep it clean and use it as it was designed it will last for at least a few years of regular use, but I am not sure if I would give it "for life" type confidence. No idea what some of the others who gave negative reviews are doing to this thing, I have no hint of the kind of problems they report. If I ever need to replace it I might try a Zebco Omega or Omega Pro, or the Abu Garcia 1276 SLi, but more out of curiosity than necessity.
RATING: Assessing quality alone it would be a 3 but I gave it a 4 because I think at that price its a good value for an easy to use, versatile reel. Just clean and oil it after use, don't try to reel in a tarpon, and don't let it bang around in the bed of a pickup truck all week and it ought to last just fine. I like this reel plenty and recommend it to anyone shopping in this price range.
SPINCAST TIP: I have found that many spincast reels can be picky about what line is on them. Standard "smooth casting" mono lines seem to work best (this one seems good with the Stren line noted above). Avoid lines with lots of memory, like flourocarbon. If you are getting lots of jams try slightly increasing or decreasing the line weight, or try a heavier lure. They most commonly jam when casting into the wind or when there is a lot of slack (try to always keep light tension on the line). If you get a jam, take off the outer cover and then the inner cap, the tangle is usually below that inner cap.
November 16, 2011