The low-profile design of the Revo S gives it a comfortable feel.
I'll come clean. I'm a self-confessed tackle junkie. Shelves and containers overflow with the latest baits. Rods and reels lie in a pile in the corner of my office. Being an outdoor writer, I pride myself on giving most things fishy some significant water time.
Over the years, I've had a love/hate affair with fishing reels. I've tried most of the top brands, and through some punishing on-the-water use, small inconsistencies in craftsmanship, mechanical breakdowns, and inferior design have come to light.
This season I decided to replace each of my baitcast reels with the Abu Garcia Revo S. After some discussion with the folks at Pure Fishing — and after reading considerable online reviews —I thought I'd see what all of the fuss was about.
The first thing I noticed upon opening the box was the low-profile design. It was sleek, yet considerably smaller than most reels on the market, and definitely has a comfortable feel when palmed in the hand —a bonus as my hands are relatively small in stature.
A turn of the reel handle showcases its smoothness. With eight stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing, this reel is manufactured to provide a silky and effortless retrieve. There is no back play in the Revo S — a fault that I often come across with other models of reels. Speaking of the handle, the grips are easy to find, and the "indented" design (three circles on each side) ensure a non-slip hold.
Esthetically, it is a striking reel with a gunmetal matte finish. And although it is a tad bit heavier at 8.7-ounce than some of the newer reels on the market, this weight difference was not noticeable out on the water, making this point fairly moot.
After six months to "play" with this reel, I must say I have no real complaints thus far. Casting distance is excellent, as is the ease of which the line comes off the reel. The drag is smooth and works effortlessly, in part to the Carbon Matrix Drag system, which generates up to 24 pounds of drag. My first decent fish flipping certainly put this to the test when I needed to horse her out of heavy cover — not an issue to speak of.
The adjustable cast control is a slick feature, as it offers an audible "click" when increasing or decreasing tightness. This takes fine-tuning to the next level. Also hidden behind the side plate is a six pin adjustable centrifugal break. Visually it is neat looking and easy to operate. However, my one complaint is the need for a small screwdriver to access it. Not a big deal if you're fishing style stays relatively the same, but if you are one to make adjustments out in the boat, it can be a bit of a hassle.
Although only available in a 6.4:1 gear ratio, this will cover nearly all the techniques and tactics you come across. Although it would be nice to see a higher ratio model on the market for when you need to really burn in a bait, this popular ratio has worked well for frogging, pitching, cranking and spinnerbaiting.
The Abu Garcia Revo S has the features and mechanics normally reserved for reels much more expensive. Give these reels a look if you're searching for quality, craftsmanship, and fine-tuned mechanics — it definitely is the cream of the crop.