Every year at this time, the spotlight shines bright on tackle and equipment being introduced for the new model year—as it should. After all, every true angler wants to know everything about the next-generation gear, and whether it will make him or her more successful.
But my advice is: don’t let the dazzle distract you completely from the tried-and-true. Abu Garcia’s Revo STX baitcaster is a good example. It’s been a couple of years since it was centered in the spotlight, but if you’re looking for a solid all-around reel, it’s hard to beat.
I first fished the latest version on a Veritas rod on Lake El Salto and the combo easily handled the 5- to 10-pound largemouths that took 10-inch worms dragged along bottom, or flipped into standing trees and brush. Since then I’ve strapped it to a number of blanks of differing models, lengths and powers to cast cranks, spinnerbaits, topwaters, jigs and finesse baits and have been impressed with its versatility, including managing various line-types and weights.
Aside from the features you’d expect in a baitcaster worth fishing—a solid drag, precise brake system, good line capacity and minimum weight—a couple of features stand out. First is the wide range of gear ratios available in the STX. The standard reel offers 6.4:1; the high-speed version is 7.1:1; and the super-high-speed reel turns at 8:1. Pick your poison, but personally, the 7.1:1 does the most for me.
Second, is the price. At $199.95, it’s within range of most anglers, and it fishes like it should cost more money. If you’re looking for an all-around workhorse, this reel should be on your list of prospects.