Trending: High-speed Spinning Reels

There have been significant advances made in reel design over the last several years. Today’s reels are smaller, lighter, stronger, smoother, and in many cases, faster than ever before.

Many of these innovations were driven by Abu Garcia, with game-changing models in their popular Revo baitcaster line.

While innovations in baitcasters have been dominating news in the reel market, there have been some massive upgrades in the spinning market as well, prompted by anglers who demanded platform improvements to take full advantage of breakthroughs, particularly in fishing lines. When angler acceptance of superlines picked up strength, it was only natural that anglers wanted to use them to their full potential.

Spinning reels built for 10-pound-test mono were now being strung with 30- to 50-pound-test braid and thrust into fisheries that would have been considered insane a few short years ago—a redfish or giant bass with a size 20 or 30 spinning reel? The craziness goes on from there, in both freshwater and saltwater.

The results, of course, were disastrous for anglers with reels that were not designed for the tasks assigned. Part of it is self-inflicted. Anglers grew used to buying low-end spinning gear that was good enough in the days before braids. Now, there is growing acknowledgement that there is a need to upgrade to high-performance spinning gear engineered with quality components, including tougher gearing, better drags and rigid frames that can handle the heavy pressure of big fish.

Abu responded to the demand by applying their considerable knowledge and world-class R&D power to the task of building great spinning reels.

The wait was long, particularly for those who caught wind of the spinning initiative. It was also worth it.

Abu unveiled part of its new line of Revo spinning reels at the ICAST show last summer, and now anglers are getting their chance to fish the results of many years of dedicated work.

All reels in the new Revo spinning line are geared a speedy 6.2:1. The MGX size 30 brings in a blazing 35 inches of line per turn! Compare that to the classic Abu Cardinal, which is geared 5.2:1 and brings in 20.5 inches per turn.

I’ve become a huge fan of speed. It’s simple math, but not as simple as “cover more water, and catch more fish.” More inches per turn means more line pickup for quicker hooksets, a huge deal when making long casts or fishing slack-line presentations like jigs, jig worms, grubs or Fluke-style baits.

Not only are new spinning reels getting stronger, tougher, lighter and faster, but they’re also getting smaller and providing the performance of bigger reels. What may have been a standard size for bass fishermen 10 years ago is now one size smaller. Personally, I find myself fishing more size 20s and 30s than 30s and 40s, especially when paired with today’s near weightless rods. I can go lighter with the entire setup, while still maintaining the awesome power, drag and overall engineering of the reel (the Revo MGX20 weighs a mere 6.2 ounces).

Often overlooked, it’s this kind of balance that helps anglers catch more fish, keeping fatigue at bay and helping us detect bites better. Of course, that makes for a more fun fishing experience. Give these and other new reels a try and ask the clerk at the sport shop to put one on a feathery spinning rod. These days it’s nothing to create a balanced combo that weighs under 10 ounces but with loads of power.


Steve Pennaz excels at finding and catching fish on new waters, a skill developed over 30 years of extensive travel in search of giant fish. His television series, Lake Commandos, Man vs. Lake vs. Man, helps anglers understand the steps to building successful patterns on the water.