After years and years of using my dad’s old Abu Garcia Ambassadeurs, I remember saving up money for an entire summer as a young buck and heading to the original Bass Pro Shops in Memphis, Tenn. to pick up my first low profile reel – a first generation Abu Garcia Revo S. Over 15 years later, I still have that reel and it functions flawlessly.
I say all that to bring up the point that I have always trusted Abu Garcia reels because to this point they have never let me down. As time has gone on, Pure Fishing’s engineers have found better, more efficient designs for the Revo line of reels, resulting in a several new generations since that time when I bought my first Revo many years ago.
This year at ICAST, Abu Garcia announced the newest generation of Revos and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Abu Garcia Revo STX LP Casting Reel before the general public has that access. Simply put, I was blown away.
Obviously the first thing you notice about a reel is the cosmetics, and the new Revo SLX LP has a sleek silver frame with black and red accents which looks incredibly sharp. Once I got my hands on the reel, I was instantly impressed by how smooth the reel’s 11-bearing system is, but also felt that it was light and felt great in the palm of my hand.
The Revo SLX LP was built to be a workhorse reel that can take on the heavy-duty applications like flipping and punching, but the IVCB-4 braking system provides incredible cast control and distance, making it a great choice for other techniques that require casting and winding such as crankbaits, vibrating jigs and even topwater baits. Another feature that immediately stood out was the 95 mm handle and oversized knobs. This provides anglers with extreme power and efficiency.
As soon as I noticed the large handle, and the fact that the reel I got has an 8.1:1 gear ratio, I decided to pair my SLX LP with a 7’3” Heavy Action rod and go flipping on the Coosa River. After heading up the river on Lay Lake, I tried on a trusty 1/2-ounce flipping jig and went to work. Despite the fact that I’m no “hammer”, I hooked up with a feisty spotted bass right away and immediately felt the power of the reel. Considering the SLX LP features a 25-lb max drag, that spotted bass stood no chance.
Later in the day, I decided to tie on a buzzbait and test the Revo SLX LP out with a bait that required much more winding. Cast after cast the reel performed flawlessly, even with a bait like a buzzbait that can often create inconsistent casting. After a few trips of putting the Revo SLX LP to the test, the one thing that stood out the most is how sturdy the reel is. The fully aluminum frame and sideplate are built to last. This is absolutely a reel that I would spool up with braided line and fish the thickest vegetation around.