Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Micro

Fair comparisons?  An Abu Garcia thread.

Recommended Posts

Avid told us in the Shimano vs. Daiwa thread that Abuphiles should start their own thread. OK, here it is.

Abu seems to be the reel company people love or hate, or love to hate. I have't seen much in between. That's OK. But it seems to me that Abu isn't getting the credit it now deserves. Yes, it made some weird products in years past, but IMO it's current line-up takes a backseat to no comany, Shimano or Dawia. IMHO, the Revos, particularly the STX, are currently the finest reasonably priced baitcasters on the market. I know people are fond of the Tackle Tour comparisons. There isn't a direct comparison between a Revo and any other reel to my knowledge, though Shimano's flagship Calais and Abu's flagship Revo STX have been tested separately.

Here's how Tackle Tour rated them:

compare.jpg

http://www.tackletour.com/reviewabugarciarevostx.html

http://www.tackletour.com/reviewcastingkings.html

If you take these reviews seriously (I know some do when they favor a favorite reel), then the Revo seems to be very much the equal, or better than, much more expensive Shimanos. If that were a direct comparison, then I would expect the Revo to be the hands-down winner. It's price is $130 less, and it weighs less.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say that. And BTW, I don't get any money from Abu Garcia - but I should ;)

Viva Revo!

revo.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

amen. ;D

I cant wait to see what RW has to say about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listen, I'm not trying to tear down any other product, or insult anyone. I'm just saying that I perceive that Revos are still considered a step-down from higher end Shimanos, or can't compete with them. IMO, they are not, and they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't perceive them that way at all.  I've bought and sold plenty of reels over the years and the Revo's are every bit as good as the competition. Granted, anything LP put out by Garcia is going to get a lot of scrutiny given that companies pathetic offerings in that area of fishing reels in the past but it's clear they decided to pull out all the stops and produce a reel that's not only a match for the competition but is also beating them badly in the the price ranges offered.

Of course there's the durability question.  I've got a couple of year old Revo S reels plus a couple new ones.  I can't tell the difference.  The year old reels function just as well as the newer ones.  Abu seems to have come up with a solid performing reel that doesn't rely on high end materials or engineering to produce the same feel and performance as the higher priced competition.  If these Revo's hold up as well as their round counterparts and are as easy to service these things will be long term reels for anyone who owns them.  I fully expect to be retiring my Revo reels in 10 or so years, in good condition, when something better comes along.

Now, let the fighting begin!   ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abu's are just great reels that are built to last. Everything from the old round ambassaduers, to the good old torno, to the new revo. Just cant destroy them and thats what I love most about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abus are tough.  But it's not enough to be tough.  Reels need to be refined.  And that's what I like best about the current line of Abus.  The REVOs are refined.   But it's not just the REVOs.  The company seems to have seen the light and are producing some very good reels - the EXT, and the new 800, 700 and 600 series spinning reels.  

Abu finely seems to know what it wants to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Abus are tough.  But it's not enough to be tough.  Reels need to be refined.  And that's what I like best about the current line of Abus.  The REVOs are refined.   But it's not just the REVOs.  The company seems to have seen the light and are producing some very good reels - the EXT, and the new 800, 700 and 600 series spinning reels.  

Abu finely seems to know what it wants to be.

Well, to be fair to Abu, I have a feeling they've known who they wanted to be for quite a long time but the average Bass fisherman in America wasn't the person they were aiming for.  At least not to the point where their product line was being specifically designed for a market like the Revo's are now.  I'd also suggest the in-shore line of Revo's is specifically targeting the Redfish tourney trail.

When bass fishing first started taking off in the 70's Abu basically had the market by proxy.  There was no one out there selling quality baitcasting reels capable of the demands that bass fishermen were putting on them.  Abu was primarily selling to the Europeans and the light saltwater market.  That's where they've put their emphasis over the years.  If you look at Garcia's first LP type reel, the Ultra Mag XL Plus, it was an outstanding fishing reel.  It was also nothing more than a modified European reel redesigned to sell in America.  Later versions of those early LP reels (more like a cross between a round and the LP reels we know today), built specifically for the American bass fishermen consistently missed the mark.  They also were one of the first to start using graphite in their LP reels, not a good harbinger of things to come.  All that time their round reels continued to be built with the same quality and reliability (I'll be the first to admit the round reels of the 1980 and earlier vintage were built far better than later round reels).

In the meantime companies like Daiwa (with the Millionaire series), Pflueger, Lews and finally Shimano entered the market or built equipment as good as what Garcia was putting out.  Many may not remember but the reels Shimano started selling in this country weren't exactly great reels. The reliability of them left a lot to be desired.  The Daiwa Millionaires also had issues.  I owned a couple of them in the 70's and they were a POS compared to Garcia 4 and 5 thousand series reels of the day.

For whatever reason, Garcia never took the bass fishing market as seriously as they should have.  They've never really had touring pro's pitching their equipment, never spent much money on trying to reach the bass fishing market and more importantly, never seemed to take that market seriously enough to build a reel worthy of mention within the bass fishing reel market. They just put their round reels out there along with some pathetically designed LP reels and let it be.  They've finally hit that mark with the Revo.  Skepticism by many, especially those that spent way more on a reel than what the Revo's cost, is to be expected. I expect some will ignore them for fear of finding something better at a cheaper price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you.  I think Garcia has zeroed in on it's target now, and is building products to capture their fair share of the market.

Garcia spent way too much time trying to be revolutionary, instead of building what fisherman wanted.  For the most part, their products, even the odd ones, were well built.  But they built products that turned off most fisherman.

Who could forget the Abu Garcia Eon reel (once you saw of it to begin with).  

Ambassadeur_EON_PreDetail.jpg

Plantetary gears, a huge drag adjustment knob, and a dull, non-reflective rubber armor.    By most accounts, it was a very good performing reel, and apparently exceptionally smooth.   But did they really think anyone would buy it?   Did they believe anyone needed it?

It's a perfect example of spending time and energy coming up with a solution to a need that didn't exist.  That energy would have been better served refining existing reels and developing very good tradtional reels.  

There must be an American fisherman at the helm of AG now, or they have a good marketing research team.  They are finally hitting the nails on the head.   They know who the competition is and what fisherman want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I owned one of those Eons.  I had it for about a year and a half.  That particular model had the removable palm plate that allowed for access to the spool and brakes.  That removable palm plate had a nasty habit of coming off in mid cast and sinking to the bottom of the lake.  At nearly $40 for a replacment, I tossed the thing in the trash.

It was smooth.

It cast a mile.

The mechanics on it worked nice.

It was exceptionally light.

The drag knob was sorta funky.

The way I palmed it, the levelwind would come over to the palm side of the reel and pinch the skin on my thumb....ouch!

But personally, that reel just didn't feel solid.  It felt cheap.  I have the same opinion of the Torno series as well.  I owned a 3006 for 2 years.  Man that thing would cast a mile but the overall design and feel of that reel didn't inspire the same feeling I get fishing with a Revo, or even an old 1975 5000 series reel.  I still have a 2005LP reel, it's nowhere near the reel as the Revo but the Revo's don't have a model with a flippin switch (unfortunately).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary, Abu makes some stuff that makes me drool.  But they apparently don't sell it here.   Check out some of the rods.

http://www.purefishing.jp/product/abugarcia.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revo Mania is running WILD brother!! ;D

I can't participate from a historical perspective regarding Abu Garcia.  My history lies in Shimano and Daiwa and goes back over 25 years there.  I'll use what I like, what feels good in my hand and what performs on the water, regardless of the name on it.  I just happen to really REALLY like these new Revo's a lot.

I'll also add that if those Max series reels have aluminum frame (and they said "no corners cut" so they better) then they really should mop up in the $50-$80 low profile category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard nothing but GREAT things about the Revo line of reels. A very good friend swears by them.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all my Abus even my tornos and my eons .Abu has been in the game for how long 60 yrs ??? How many other reel companys have a guy (Don Ivino ) that pushes out custom reels ??? ABU FOR LIFE............ Im not disrespecting RW i have learned a few things from him but when he said he has been fishing  SHIMANOS since 1997 i thought wow i got Garcia reels way older then that ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"when he said he has been fishing  SHIMANOS since 1997 i thought wow i got  Garcia reels way older then that"

I've got my first baitcaster, an old red Garcia 5000 I got for my 16th birthday.  It's retired but aside from a regular cleaning and lubing and replacing the drag washers once, that reel NEVER needed service till it started making a clicking noise a couple years ago.  I could probably spend a whole $30 bucks and get it fixed but decided to let it rest.  It served me well.  

I'd love to figure my cost per year basis on that reel.  Reel cost (free) + parts and lubes ($20 total) / 31 years = 65 cents a year!    ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, the Don Iovino reel site.

500024k.jpg

gorgeous, and only $1500.   ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, My Flewgrrrr spinning reels have served me quite well, and a Supreme looked very likely to end up on a rod of mine, but, right now, I'm willing to spend the extra $90 for the Revo Premier. I just wish Sportsmans warehouse had them in stock. I have that $50 card burning a hole in my wallet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a Daiwa guy, but the Shimano outperformed the Revo in this comparison, but the Shimano got docked points for its price.  Now the new Revo Premier versus the 50mg would be a good shootout.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm a Daiwa guy, but the Shimano outperformed the Revo in this comparison, but the Shimano got docked points for its price.

For $200 more dollars, it should out-perform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most on this forum, I have a lot of other things to pay for and buy what my budget affords. For me it's what is either well priced or on sale for good equipment at the time I'm looking to spend. The revo's I own, 2 sc's and an sx, are the best equipment I've bought overall not controlled by circumstance. A case could be made for the mass avid sale but, had they not re-designed the line I would'nt own 4 of them ( I did buy 2 for $90 a piece though, and that's a deal  ;)). The revos are still regular-guy affordable even at retail. It's good stuff at a price the average joe can afford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI: The Low Profile Reel

The legendary Lew Childre, inventor of Lew's Speed Spool and Lew's Speed Stick. The Lew's Speed Spool was noted for its small size and narrow reel, designed to make longer casts. The Lew's Speed Spool and Speed Stick, revolutionized bass fishing and became one of the first pieces of mass-marketed competition equipment for bass fishing tournaments. Lew Childre also assisted in the development of the Fuji guide, which reduced line friction and resulted in longer cast and less line wear. Lew Childre's company was eventually bought out by Shimano after his death in an airplane crash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Im not disrespecting RW i have learned a few things from him but when he said he has been fishing SHIMANOS since 1997 i thought wow i got Garcia reels way older then that ;D

11 years for a couple of reels on sale for $79. (Discounted 2000 series Stradic when the 2500 was introduced). That seems like a pretty good run, and they are still running!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a couple of clarifications:

ABU was one of the first to come out with graphite frames, the others were Shimano and Daiwa. The graphite frames were only used in the top of the line reels for all three, the graphite frame was the hot new thing in the mid 80's. The Shimano 2000GT and the ABU Ultra Mag Plus were the most expensive of the respective lines.

Lew's Speed Spools were initially made by Shimano. These were the first reels ever made by Shimano. Shimano decided to manufacture their own line (the Bantams) and Lew Childre severed relations with Shimano. Lews then contracted with Ryobi to manufacture the Speed Spool reels. Evidenlt;y, the agreement with Ryobi was a little different because Ryobi sold reels under their name the were virtually identical to the Lews, except Ryobi use the deep V spool instead of the U spool that the Lews had. Shimano never bought out Lews. When the Childre family sold the company, it was sold to Brunswick and became part of the Zebco, Quantum, etc group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a couple of clarifications:

ABU was one of the first to come out with graphite frames, the others were Shimano and Daiwa. The graphite frames were only used in the top of the line reels for all three, the graphite frame was the hot new thing in the mid 80's. The Shimano 2000GT and the ABU Ultra Mag Plus were the most expensive of the respective lines.

Lew's Speed Spools were initially made by Shimano. These were the first reels ever made by Shimano. Shimano decided to manufacture their own line (the Bantams) and Lew Childre severed relations with Shimano. Lews then contracted with Ryobi to manufacture the Speed Spool reels. Evidenlt;y, the agreement with Ryobi was a little different because Ryobi sold reels under their name the were virtually identical to the Lews, except Ryobi use the deep V spool instead of the U spool that the Lews had. Shimano never bought out Lews. When the Childre family sold the company, it was sold to Brunswick and became part of the Zebco, Quantum, etc group.

Shimano Bantam Mag 10Xsg was the first baitcaster I owned. I think I got it in '82?? I still have that reel, and it still works fine. It was mothballed for quite a few years. It did see a LOT of action in the '80's though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest avid

I'm way to fussy about reels.  I know.

That's why I'm a die hard Daiwa guy when it comes to baitcasters.  

But I gotta admit the Revo STX sure looks like a winner.  Carbon drag, shileded stainless ball bearings.  Bearing supported handle. External infinite magnetic cast control, and did I mention 24 lbs of drag pressure  ;)

All at less than 9 ounces and 200 dollars.

Thank you micropterus for starting this excellent thread.  You could fish your whole life and never feel deprived with this reel.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×