I try my best not to buy into the hype when new, exciting products come out. It’s my job to look at them from an objective and practical viewpoint, test them thoroughly and beat the heck out of ‘em. But I’ll be honest on this one, folks—I was pretty excited to get my hands on the Abu Garcia REVO Rocket.
After using this reel in both guide trips and tournaments for the last several months, I’ve been very pleased with its performance. It’s durable, lightweight, easy to cast and of course, ridiculously fast.
Yes, the speed makes a big difference
With all the gadgets and gizmos bass anglers have in their boats these days, we’re bound to get a lot of questions. I’m usually asked about my graphs and other electronics, but that has changed recently. What I’m about to type might sound crazy, but it’s true.
The REVO Rocket has been the biggest conversation piece I’ve ever had in my boat. Almost everyone who gets in my boat or walks by asks me, “Is that the new Rocket? Is it awesome?” That’s pretty dang impressive for a fishing reel.
In case you haven’t heard yet, this reel has a blistering 9.0:1—yes, you read that correctly—gear ratio and an impressive 37 inches per turn. Although I was a little skeptical when I first heard rumblings of a low-profile reel boasting such an impressive gear ratio, I’ve been made a believer time and time again.
I can honestly say that the speed this reel offers has allowed me to catch several bass I shouldn’t have. This past weekend, the REVO Rocket played a huge role for me as I won the biggest team event in my state while fishing solo. I flipped into a nasty, gnarly tree, felt it get heavy and got totally locked-up when I set the hook. The fish was wrapped up and pulling one way, I was pulling the other. But I kept winching with the Rocket and after about 20 seconds, the 6-pounder came out of the tree and into my boat. A regular ol’ reel would not have gotten that fish in the boat. I promise. And without that big bass, I wouldn’t have won.
The REVO Rocket’s speed has also proved invaluable whenever a bass swims right at the boat after a hookset. It’s a horrible feeling knowing you have a giant bass on while barely being able to keep a bend in your rod—it sucks. I have yet to have that problem with this reel, however. They can swim at me as fast as they want because I can keep up with them without any problems whatsoever.
Built like a tank
I have beat the tar out of the Abu Garcia REVO Rocket—I’ve caught several hundred bass with it, bounced it around in my rod locker for hours at a time, banged it around in johnboats and let it ride in the bed of my pickup. The pictures speak for themselves. It still looks brand new.
More important than the aesthetics, however, is the mechanical integrity. After several hundred hooksets, bass fights and boat swings, I remain very impressed by the Rocket’s durability. There is no “play” anywhere in this reel, either. Nothing jiggles, rattles or clanking around. The entire reel acts as one cohesive unit.
I’ve also really enjoyed the Rocket’s drag strength. I’ve yanked some seriously big bass out of some pretty precarious places with this reel and I’ve never had the drag slip. I keep it tightened down when pitching and flipping and have yet to have the drag slip even the slightest bit.
Lightweight and comfortable
I have a lot of reels that are mechanically sound but feel like a cinderblock on your reel seat. Those reels get retired and aren’t used again. As much as I fish, I need to use the lightest and strongest reels I can find. After a ton of fishing with this reel, I can confidently say it’s very lightweight and comfortable to fish with for days on end. For a 9.0:1 reel to only weight 6.75 ounces is pretty incredible in my opinion.
I’m so happy that Abu Garcia decided to utilize large EVA foam knobs on these reels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve busted my knuckles open on drag stars after my hand has slipped off a hard plastic knob on the hookset. That hasn’t happened a single time with the Rocket. I’ve used it in cold weather, hot weather, sunny weather and rainy weather without any slippage to speak of. I’m able to quickly grab a solid hold of this reel and use the Extended Bent Carbon Handle to horse giant bass out of the crud.
Easy to set up
I don’t like finicky bass fishing reels. Some folks say that they really let you “customize” your settings and all that stuff. I don’t buy into it. I want a reel I can yet clients use and be able to cast, flip and pitch easily without hours of setup. Fortunately, I’ve been able to do that with the REVO Rocket.
It took me about 8 or 10 casts to get this reel dialed in to my preferences. I can make any type of cast to any type of cover without touching its settings—that’s not because I’m a great caster. It’s because this reel is very forgiving and super easy to set up.
If you flip or pitch, save your money and give this reel a try. It gives you total control of each fight and the ability to land big bass quickly. If you’re a shallow power fisherman like me, you can’t ask for anything else in a reel.