I've had good experiences with Abu Garcia spinning reels in the past, so I was super excited when I got word of their new REVO Rocket Spinning Reel. One of the biggest frustrations I've had with spinning reels in general is their lack of speed; if a bass bites and starts running towards your boat, you're in a tough spot while trying to quickly eat up line.
This new reel was designed to solve that problem. After a lot of testing with several different finesse techniques, my verdict is in.
Below are my full thoughts.
Building on the success of the REVO Rocket casting reel, the new Abu Garcia REVO Rocket Spinning Reel boasts a 7.0:1 gear ratio. This means that every time you turn the handle, the spool turns exactly seven times. That's practically unheard of in the spinning reel market.
Aside from its impressive speed, this reel is also designed with a Rocket line management system and Rocket spool lip design. These two features are meant to drastically reduce common issues such as wind knots and bird nests as well as increase casting distance.
Depending upon the size you prefer, the weight of the REVO Rocket Spinning Reel ranges from 6.9 ounces to 8.1 ounces. I've been testing the mid-sized RCKT30 which weighs 7.7 ounces and it feels excellent in my hands whether I'm ripping soft jerkbaits or dragging a finesse worm through thick cover.
Some additional features anglers will appreciate include a flat, easy-to-grip EVA knob, a machined aluminum braid-ready spool, computer optimized gear design and an Everlast bail system.
It's available for $199.99 and based on my personal experience with this reel, I certainly believe that's a fair price point given its impressive performance.
I like fast reels. The way I see it, I can always slow down but I can only speed up as much as a reel will let me. Aside from common line management issues, low gear ratios have been my most common complaint with spinning reels in general.
I can comfortably say that the Abu Garcia REVO Rocket Spinning Reel makes both of those issues a complete afterthought.
I was afraid that this reel would have some sort of extra-long handle to help with the high-speed mantra, but fortunately that isn't the case. Its compact, bent carbon handle makes the retrieve process no different than other Abu Garcia spinning reels. It's totally comfortable and natural regardless of your preferred technique.
The speed at which this reel eats up line is remarkable, to be honest. I do a lot of dragging when using a spinning reel—shaky heads, lightweight Texas rigs and even finesse Carolina rigs—and it's hard to believe how easy it has made the hookset process. No matter how much line I have out or which direction the bass is swimming, I'm able to quickly retrieve all of my slack and execute a fast hookset. This has proven valuable in my testing because as you know, bass will spit a bait in a hurry; especially when you're finesse fishing in tough conditions.
This 7.0:1 gear ratio has also helped me to better control fish throughout the fight. It allows me to manipulate them out of cover and into open water quickly and efficiently.
Abu Garcia's Carbon Matrix drag system is legit, as well. At no time has this drag surged or failed to engage while fighting a bass. It dispenses very smooth drag and consistent pressure throughout its entire range.
In regards to line management, I'm a big fan of this Rocket spool lip design. Essentially, the lip of the spool is tapered which allows your line—fluorocarbon, braid and monofilament—to come off the spool much more smoothly. The bail wire doesn't open as wide as you'd expect, but that actually helps narrow the coil as the line dispenses which, in my experience, does increase casting distance.
Finally, the REVO Rocket Spinning Reel feels good in your hands. Of course, the feel of a reel is largely personal preference, but its weightlessness and smooth retrieve really make this an enjoyable reel to use for an extended period of time.
This reel has quickly become one of my favorites of 2016. It addresses two of the biggest issues with conventional spinning reel designs and it has performed excellently thus far.