For as sweet at Abu Garcia’s new high-capacity, heavily muscled baitcasting reel fishes, they could very well have called it the Revo Beauty. But, I get it. The marketing guys would never go for it; not enough machismo in the word.
The company says The Beast was born to throw big baits—heavy umbrella rigs and magnum swimbaits. I think it’s got a place in striper and muskie angler’s arsenals for large wakebaits and spinnerbaits, too. My favorite features:
1. King-Size Handle; Monster Knobs
The extra-long handle provides more leverage when cranking a big bait. More leverage means less effort is required. And, if you’ve spent any time at all fishing big swimbaits, you know that less effort minimizes arm fatigue and maximizes productive fishing time.
Typically I prefer paddle-shape grips on both baitcasters and spinning reels, but the massive knobs on the Beast suit this reel, especially when you’re crawling a heavy jig or 10-inch worm and need to make a quick move to the handle on a hookset.
2. Line Capacity
For a low-profile reel, the spool is very wide and deep. It holds 180 yards of 30-pound braid or 130 yards of 17-pound mono.
3. Retrieve Speed
With a 7.1:1 gear ratio, the reel pulls 29 inches of line per handle turn. Sizzling speed comes at the expense of torque, but remember we’re not talking about chucking big-billed deep-divers. For the types of lures for which the reel is designed, speed is an advantage because the reel does most of the work for you. You’ll probably find yourself actually slowing the retrieve some, compared to other baitcasters in your arsenal.
4. Beefy Drag
Twenty-two pounds of drag force. What’s more to say? To jerk a largemouth out of the thick crap quickly you want a no-nonsense drag.
Superficial, maybe, but I really like the look of the Revo MGX and the Morrum ZX, and the Beast picks up on some of that detail.
In addition, the reel casts smoothly, and it didn’t require a lot of fiddling to dial in the adjustable brake and spool tension for maximum casting distance without errant line loops. The $349.95 msrp is serious, but so is the reel. And if you’re serious about fishing big lures, it’s worth the money.