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ThomasMcAllister

Abu Garcia Black Max

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Is it just me, or does the Black Max seem like a piece of crap? Dont get me wrong I love Abu Garcia but this was the first bait caster i bought from them. When i first got it i thought it was amazing, but when i saw how other reels perform, this one definitely wasnt doing anyhwere near as good. ive never been able to cast over 100 ft with it, if that. Ive tried cleaning and lubing it. Either im doing something wrong, or its just a bad reel. Ive been thinking about getting A lews reel. I hear they are great.

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I think the Black Max is a $ 50.00 reel? My experience with bait casting reels in that price range is that they perform pretty well in the beginning. However after time and use their performance will degrade at a much more rapid rate than a better reel. If you are knowledgeable about servicing your own reels and replacing worn down parts you can bring them back to life.

I have always found that in the long run a baitcasting reel in the $ 120.00 range was a better investment. You hit a certain level of quality in the components that prolongs the life of the reel. I fish very frequently and year round so I have switched all my baitcasters over to the Lews SuperDuty series.  

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23 minutes ago, Turtle135 said:

I think the Black Max is a $ 50.00 reel? My experience with bait casting reels in that price range is that they perform pretty well in the beginning. However after time and use their performance will degrade at a much more rapid rate than a better reel. If you are knowledgeable about servicing your own reels and replacing worn down parts you can bring them back to life.

I have always found that in the long run a baitcasting reel in the $ 120.00 range was a better investment. You hit a certain level of quality in the components that prolongs the life of the reel. I fish very frequently and year round so I have switched all my baitcasters over to the Lews SuperDuty series.  

Yes, its a $50.00 reel. thanks for the help, i didnt wanna just go spend money and it be a waste.

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Never used a Black Max, but am sure there are those on here who have and could give you an answer from practical experience.  100 feet isn't a bad average, but I'm sure more is definitely possible.  As Turtle said, a little more money will buy you a better reel.  However, $120 isn't necessary.  The original Tatula can be found for $95 and sometimes even less.  It is a very nice reel.  The Lews Tournament MB can be found for a little under $110.  Another very good reel for the money.  The H20 Mettle from Academy Sports can be had for the price of a Black Max or even less when on sale.  From what I read I'd have to say that would be my choice over the Abu any day.

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I have some Abu  cheaper  reels and some better reels.. I don't  think the Silver Max and the Pro caster will last very long. My Orra  sx  and my Revo stx are my better reels.. I will be buying  more Orra sx and Revo's  as the cheaper one's  wear out but for now the cheaper one will do.

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I have one Black Max and my only major problem with it is the casting distance.  Especially with mono, I can never get it to cast very far.

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On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 9:44 AM, Wind Knot said:

I have one Black Max and my only major problem with it is the casting distance.  Especially with mono, I can never get it to cast very far.

Reel set up and rod choice could be your problem.

 

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I bought a  five-bearing Black Max several years back for around $70.  It's good.  A buddy of mine got the $50 three-bearing one from Academy recently and it doesn't cast near as well... not sure what all changed (aside from the obvious).

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The $70 or $80 dollar Black Max is a decent performer and one of the better reels at that price point. The biggest problem with reels like this is that if you fish a couple times a week they tend to decline a lot faster and it has to do with components. It has a graphite frame which can flex under stress and the bearings and gears are way over lubricated as most buying these reels will never maintenance them so the extra grease and oil will last a little longer. Here is the thing with this reel, it is designed to be a disposable reel, if the gears go bad in 2 seasons or the bearings go, the price to replace those along with time just doesn't make sense as you will be close to the cost of another reel in that price range.  

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In this case, the Black Max accomplished the original aim... The OP learned how to cast a baitcaster. Now he is ready to move forward to a reel with better components and more features. As a comparison, Shimano makes very fine spinning reels, but they also make entry level reels. Most companies make entry level reels for novice users. Some people don't use their equipment enough to ever want to upgrade. However, most users here enjoy gear that allows them to accomplish their aims at the highest level. Yes, a Ferrari is more fun to drive than a Kia. 

I have numerous setups and I like all of them, but most of my reels are around the 200 price range. I like my Curados, Lews, and Revo STXs. Yes, replace your Black Max with a better reel, but don't feel like your reel was junk. It did what it was designed to do at the price point

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A friend of mine bought those value abu garcia (round 5500 size ambasssador S)from wally world for big swimbait. He used it a few time and complaint about casting distance. I opened up and show him how much grease they stuff in that reel, I clean it out a bit and have him try again. He said way better than before. Then I have hime try my 6500 c3 with power handle. Guess what? he returned that reel to walmart the next day.

i did not say blackmax is not good but they do have their market, but if you want better smooter last longer reel then you might have to go up  a step.

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The Black Max is a linear mag braking reel with a very heavy spool.  If distance is what you're after look into a centrifugal braking reel.  If you want to stay under $50 look at the Kastking Spartacus.  If you are willing to spend up to $100 then look at the Daiwa Tatula CT with its centrifugally activated magnetic braking.

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my bmax and promax are still newer, maybe 200 casts each, and they still cast a mile.  im still getting used to the smaller size reel.  1 thing i did with them is i took out the tension knob bearing.  it just seemed like overkill with the other 2 big bearings on the spool.  a little less than half on the brakes with the knob loose and i can get 50 yard casts with a 3/8 jig or medium square bill.  for under $40 if they last a couple years illbe happy.

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Black Max was my first baitcasting reel.  I paired it with a $50 Daiwa Laguna M/F rod and it does what I need it to do.  I bought it over three years ago and still use it today.  

 

It's not necessarily a BAD reel, it's just not built for heavy use.  There's an obvious difference in quality when compared to a $200+ Revo, but Revos aren't marketed to the everyday Joe who fishes just once a month.

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I can't speak for longevity, but I used a Black Max (the black and red one) this spring for about two weeks, and it worked fine. I lubed the worm and spool bearings as it was sitting around a while, and it worked well for spinnerbaits, swimbaits and flukes. Would I buy one? no, did I love it? no. Did it keep me from catching fish? no. 

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On 11/3/2017 at 12:14 AM, Thomas L Reid said:

I was out looking to see if others were having same issues with the black max. My pflueger trion, same price range, puts it to shame.

I've not used a Black Max, but had 2 of the older Trions (were $100 new, but I bought used).  Gave one to a deserving young man.  The other is on a 6'10" HF Tour Edition and is a casting machine on that rod, and I have not backlashed it once since mounting it on this rod.  Pflueger almost never gets mentioned when it comes to casting reels.  I have been very pleased with mine.

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I have a couple black max reels. Like others said, it works fine new, but wears out quick.

at Walmart silver max is only 10 dollars more. I have 3 of them ,they are are much better than black max.

for another 10 dollars you can get  the pro max, which is better yet. Plus it has a higher gear ratio

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I bought a black max/Vengeance mh combo as my first baitcaster set up 3 years ago. It has been great for an introductory level baitcaster. No big issues with it. The typical newbie birdnests. But it is relatively forgiving. Fast forward to yesterday.....the reel is having issues engaging after a cast. i made another thread about it, and apparently there is a spring in there that may have broke. But sounds like it is a repairable item. So its a good time to go through it and see if i can resurrect it. I paid like $80 for the combo. For the money you cant go wrong. If i had to buy a new combo for under $100 i would go with the promax. Granted, i have no experience with higher end reels. My other combo is a lews laser speed spool that i scored for under 100 at cabelas. I love the rod, but have a love/hate relationship with the reel. 

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