GEAR REELS By: Gary Elliott, Ambassador Reel Review: Abu Garcia Revo ALX Baitcaster A detailed pros-and-cons review of the Abu Garcia Revo ALX baitcasting reel (Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott) I recently had the enjoyment of trying out Abu Garcia’s new Revo ALX baitcaster reel. This baitcaster came in at $249.95. I wondered if the cost was really worth it, so I compared it to the Johnny Morris CarbonLite baitcast reel, which is listed at $119.99. It’s not a fair comparison because of the price difference, but I wanted to compare castability. Both the ALX and CarbonLite have a 9+1 bearing. Now keep in mind that more bearings mean further and smoother casts, but it doesn’t always mean better quality. I used both reels enough to give the advantage to the ALX over the CarbonLite. Both casted well, but the ALX with the HPCR bearing system casted much smoother and further. The HPCR bearings are rust-resistant, shielded, stainless steel ball bearings. That is not to say the CarbonLite wasn’t good; it also casted well. The ALX is a mere .3 ounces less in weight, but over a day of casting may make a difference in your arm. The X-Cräftic alloy frame provides better corrosion resistance and handles more stress, runs better dry and at higher RPM, and if ever contaminated, will continue to run better than a standard bearing. Overall, this material is more durable and lighter than regular aluminum and very corrosion resistant. Even though I am not an expert baitcast caster, it didn’t take me long to set up and begin throwing lures. I did so with very little bird nesting at first and within no time I was casting with no issues. This is very important because I don’t have the patience to sit and micro manage a reel, but the reel allows for anglers to micromanage. The ratio on this reel was 6.1:1, meaning I was getting around 2 feet of retrieval per one revolution of the reel. An 8.0:1 has a retrieve of 32 inches per one revolution of the reel. The lube port allows for quick and easy lubrication of the reel and the ergonomic design of this reel is sweet, leaving no fatigue to the hands. Part of this is contributed by the low profile of the reel which is one of the many features of this reel. (Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott) There are four reels in this series: Revo ALX (6.4:1 gear ratio) Revo ALX-L (Left handed) Revo ALX-HS (High speed with 8.0:1 gear ratio) Revo ALX-HS-L (Left handed high speed) Specifications: Carbon Matrix drag system provides smooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range Infini II spool design for extended castability and extreme loads MagTrax brake system gives consistent brake pressure throughout the cast Compact bent handle and star provides a more ergonomic design Flat EVA knobs provide greater comfort and durability Aircraft grade aluminum main gear provides weight reduction without sacrificing durability Ti coated line guide reduces friction and improves durability Recessed reel foot allows for a more ergonomic reel design Max drag: 17 pounds Drag material is carbon fiber Mono capacity (yard/pound) 145/10 120/12 105/14 Braid capacity (yard/pound) 155/50 115/30 80/50 Reel spool material is aluminum Anti-reverse Lube port for easy access maintenance Weight: 5.47 ounces Overall, I could go on and on about this new reel from Abu Garcia. They are known for great rods and reels and the ALX series only proves it. As much as I dreaded learning to use a baitcaster, or at least a higher end one, this reel really put me at ease. I actually got enjoyment out of casting this reel and getting the most of my desired distance and accuracy. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a way to go, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. MSRP is $249.00 for any of the four reels, which puts them in the mid-range and obtainable price. For more information, please visit www.abugarcia.com. Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of www.Facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.