I was really keen on buying a Curado 201E. Just my luck that my transaction was denied on a black November Sale. No matter! I’ll get a better one. A pal, Razvan, keeps insisting that I take a look at the Abu MGX, because he has read only good things about it.
I search the Internet for the next 2 days, and I finally get the feeling this is what I want on my lighter than air custom Kistler LTX 2 rod. It’s the lightest reel ever, weighing in a hammering 154g, and winner of ICAST Best Freshwater Reel.
I didn’t think too much about it, and placed the order. I am a lefty and luckily I’ve found a lefty for myself. I was desperate to have it. Lighter than a Steez, cheaper than the Steez, I was beyond inpatient. I opted for the 7.1:1 gear ratio. I know it had a smaller diameter spool, but 7.9:1 just sounded too fast, even if it was comparable to the regular reels that had 7.1-7.3 gear ratio’s. Mine would recup about 72cm/handle turn. I’ll be using it especially for fishing plastics, and spinnerbaits.
Two weeks passed and I finally got it. The “magic” black box that has “Abu Garcia For Life” written all over it. I hope not to fall into Abu’s trap, with the “For Life” thing. I kinda love diversity.
|Abu Garcia Revo MGX – L|
|Reel type||Low profile baitcaster|
|Line Retrieve Per Crank||28″ (71 cm)|
|Line Capacity||12\115yds (0.33mm\100m)|
|Maximum Drag||5.5 kg (12 lb)|
|Bearings||9 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing provides increased corrosion protection|
First impression (Design/Feel): As light as a feather. Matte black – I love it! Man this reel is light…crazy light! I’m just checking the weight of the reel, to see if I’ve got what I was promised. And what do you know? That’s exactly what I got, but half a gram lighter (not that it would make a difference). A 153.5 g reel.
The detailing is impeccable. It is very smooth, considering it had oil “leaking” of all it’s pores. It was over greased, but that was an easily solvable problem. It was very smooth, especially due to the 9+1 bearings.
I’m tightening the brake up… it works. More than that, it’s a clicking drag star. As on any other respectable reel. The tension knob, the same: clicking tension knob. With all these features you might wonder where did they shave all of that weight from, considering the extras.
The reel, as small as it is, is very comfortable, easily palmable. I’m already ecstatic. And I’m just 10 minutes into observing the reel, maybe even less.
Now lets take a look at the adjustable centrifugal brake – Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake System (IVCB-IV). It’s the first exterior adjustable variable braking system I’ve seen and used so far. The interesting thing about it is that the brake blocks act vertically instead of horizontally , as in the rest of the centrifugal braking system that other competitors use.
The carbon handle is equipped with EVA knobs, which seem more comfortable than the Shimano or Daiwa knobs so far. The handle is a swept design, which is a plus in what looks matter, at least from my point of view. Some still prefer the straight handle over the swept one.
Inside the Abu MGX (Gears and Durability): If anyone thought I might be sitting and observing this reel any longer, they might rethink it. I’ve had to open it up, degrease it, and regrease it. The worm gear seems to be DurAl, with a hard protective coating. The main gear seems to be made out of some sort of brass alloy. Seems to be the same material used in the legendary Abu Morrum’s.
The brake disks seem to be some sort of carbon material, which Abu calls Carbon Matrix Drag System. It’s utilized in all of Abu’s Revo reels.
The spool weighs in at an impressive 11g, bearing included. Impressive, considering the Daiwa Sol’s spool weighs in at 16g. I’m already starting to wonder how it does, casting wise. I doubt it’ll cast better than the Curado 51E, but I like imagining me casting it a country mile:). I bet it’ll be much more controllable than the Sol, and probably about the same as the Curado.
With all its guts out, I forgot to mention that only the frame is made out of actual metal. It’s made out of the X-MAG Alloy, proprietary to Abu, while both side plates are C6 Infused Carbon, which I guess is about the same material as the Zaion from Daiwa or the Ci4 from Shimano. This is where it probably shove most of the weight off. The reel seems sturdy, and doesn’t have the airy feel, you’d expect from this reel. Let me tell you an advantage you haven’t thought about for the C6 carbon side plates. Let’s just say that during winter months this reel is the most comfortable of them all. It won’t absorb the heat out of your palm as a metal reel would.
E.g.: I was fishing the reel without gloves, while Razvan was fishing both Abu Morrum and Daiwa Zillion with gloves . I bet you haven’t thought about it this way.
The trigger mechanism is mostly plastic, and a few key parts made out of metal. It seems to do the job for now, but we’ll have to see how it does in the long run.
If you’d expect a Japan made reel, than you’re definitely mistaking. The reel is actually made in Korea. I’ve seen a lot of very well made reels in Korea, and with the right supervision, some might even surpass Made in Japan quality.
Almost forgot to mention that it has an oiling trap door, that permits lubrication to the gears, if you don’t like to open the reel up to often.
Retrieve: Considering the whooping 153g it has, I’m testing the lightest reel on the planet. You’d expect it to feel a bit on the geary, or airy side… You should feel it’s something different, than a entirely metal reel, but it doesn’t feel that different, except the weight.
It’s very smooth. You don’t get the geary feeling, while it feels a bit aerated at times. The smoothness comes from all the bearings, and from the 4 bearings supported knobs (2 per knob). I’ve fished it with almost everything, except deep cranks. It handles the heat without any problems, and still feels as smooth as when I’ve bought it.
The funny thing about it being so light: for e.g. I was fishing spinnerbaits for pike the first time, and because of it being so light, and the C6 Carbon side plates, I get the feeling it acts as resonance chamber that amplifies the vibrations transmitted thru the line and rod. I mean that the entire reel acts as a resonance chamber. Until I actually got the feel of it I thought something was crooked, thinking it couldn’t handle the pressure, but what I was actually feeling was the vibration of the spinnerbait in the reel, which is an entirely new feeling, at least for me it is. I have no other reel that amplifies the vibrations from the lure. To feel what’s happening at the end of the line both in the rod and the reel needs some getting used to. It takes sensitivity (at least when fishing spinnerbaits) to a whole new level. You need to get used to it, in a good way…
The 7.1:1 gear ratio feels as powerful as the Curado 51E, but much smoother than the Curado, and very little back-play in the spool/overall, compared to the Curado (when you lock everything down).
After fishing it for a few months, it still feels silky smooth, and even smoother then when I bought it, after changing the spool bearings to Boca. Who would’ve thought that changing the spool bearings would make the entire reel feel smoother.
Line lay: The reel lays the line well, and evenly, so there’s no issue in this department.
Casting: As I’ve said earlier, I’d pair the MGX with my Custom Kistler LTX2 rod. The entire combo weighs in at 260g (9.17oz.), with the line aded to the reel, less than a Shimano Calais DC reel . The entire combo is lighter than you’d expect. Everyone who had it in their hands couldn’t just stop praising it.
Casting it with the 4 brake blocks was a breeze. Such a breeze, that after the first fishing game, I had to remove 2 of them to see how much further I could cast. Of course you can cast it further, but you won’t be able to set the brake to the minimum setting after this operation. I’ve casted everything with it, from 4″ fluke’s (Fin’s Shad – from Lunker City), rattle traps, and swim baits without a hitch. It casts just perfect, everything you throw at it.
I’ve went the extra mile and changed the spool bearings with ABEC 7, Orange Seal Boca’s. If the reel already was smooth to start with, now it’s in the ultra silky smooth league. It casts better, and further. Pitching is a also a breeze with this reel, while, skipping, with 2 braking blocks removed seems to be a bit harder to do, not to say… very difficult . It was doing well with all the 4 braking blocks, if it matters. If you want to do skipping with the reel, I’d advise not to remove any of the braking blocks.
Compared to the Curado 51E, it doesn’t cast as well, but close enough. The Curado is in a class of it’s own when it comes to casting.
Brake: The Carbon Matrix seems to do a very good job. It’s much more powerful than a Curado, Sol, Zillion or a Fuego. It can handle really good pressure. I haven’t fished it with 60lb test braid to see how much it can take, but it’s definitely much powerful than the above. You have to clean the brake washers, and regrease them for your liking to get it consistent. When I bought it… I had to jerk the line to get it rolling out at a constant pressure. Now it can handle 5.7kg of pressure, if you really tighten it up, that’s the equivalent to 12.5lb, a tad more than advertised.
|Abu Garcia Revo MGX – L - Ratings (?/10)|
|Design||Great shape, universal color. The ergonomics are good. The handle, and EVA knobs are really comfy. Ergonomics are good, and fits my palm perfectly. It has more plastic parts than you’d want from a reel, but so far it takes the beating.||9.0|
|Features||It has ball bearings in all the right places. Each handle knob is supported by 2 bearings. The gearings looks durable, especially with what I’ve already put the reel thru. It casts very well, easily manageable. The drag seems very sturdy, and I can cast everything I want with it. I wouldn’t go ahead and call it a finesse reel… It’s what it is, an everyday reel, light as a feather, smooth as it can be. Regarding durability… I’ll probably have to get back with a comment in a few years time. The lightest reel ever…||9.5|
|Application / Performance||I’ve thrown everything with this reel, from 3/16 oz (5g) up to 60-70g (above 2oz) without a problem. I’ve pulled 3-4kg pike out of dense brush with it, again without any problems. The only thing I didn’t try is deep crankbaits, which I’ll probably never try, considering I haven’t bought it for this application. I can’t tell how saltwater resistant it may be… i’d use it as advertised (freshwater reel).||9|
|Price||Much better priced than the Steez, in the same price range as the Core. It’s much more refined than the Core, and smoother as well. I’d say it’s a fair price for an astonishing reel, 200$ under the Steez, which was the lightest reel until Abu came out with the MGX. I’d say it’s not expensive, but not cheap either.||8|
Conclusion: This is a reel I’ll definitely keep for a long time. It’s not casting as well as the Curado, but not one reel I’ve had so far is. It’s light as a feather. It has lots of backbone, and is silky smooth. What more do you want from a reel?