First Look: Abu Garcia MGX Spinning Reel

Smooth gears and 7 a unique, effective casting system 8 make the Revo MGX a standout among high-quality reels.

Game & Fish/Sportsman editors got to take a first look at Abu Garcia's new $300 Revo spinning reel.

Until now, the Premier was Revo's top-of-the-line spinning reel. Now, like their baitcasters, Abu Garcia has upped the quality and price of the top-shelf spinning reel, and they call it the MGX.

Senior Editor John Geiger tested out Abu Garcia's new Revo 4 MGX on 4- to 6-pound smallies.

We were impressed by the smooth gear system right off the bat. We had recently published a spinning-rod and -reel review, so we took out those 2014 reels to compare. The MGX was the smoothest of the bunch — by far — and extremely light compared to the others.

"That's the difference you feel when you're turning the handle," said Andrew Wheeler, product manager for Abu Garcia. "The precision gearing is cut by CNC machine as opposed to being stamped like others do."

That may not seem like a great reason to drop'¦gulp'¦$299.99 on a spinning reel. But it's just one of a several features that make this reel tough to pass up.

After our first impressions, we took it out on the water to fish for pre-spawn smallmouth bass at Sturgeon Bay.

Senior Editor John Geiger tested out Abu Garcia's new Revo 4 MGX on 4- to 6-pound smallies.

The drags gave up line in a consistent way when a big smallie refused to come to the boat. Even when tightened down, line didn't come off herky-jerky.

The reel also has a redesigned spool lip and a new bail angler for farther casting.

Even the handle, a slick, stout carbon-fiber number, screams quality and style.

If you are still wary about a nearly $300 price range, Abu made it easy to back off on a few features but still get a lot of quality in their former flagship, the Premier. The reel has been updated for 2015 with features nearly identical to the MGX not as light (6.8 ounces versus 7.2 ounces for 30-sizes reels). The Premier will sell for about $249. Revo will also offer others, down to the basic Revo SX, which will have a street price of less than $150.

The styling MGX might not be the reel you'd buy if you occasionally use a spinning reel in your fishing arsenal. But if you do a lot of finesse fishing, cast-and-retrieve from dawn to dusk and value the latest technology, then the MGX is worth a spin.  — John Geiger

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