January 10th, 2013
Abu Garcia’s Revo Rocket – Product Reviewby Grant Pentiricci June 11, 2014
Abu Garcia has really made some amazing improvements over the last few years in its low profile baitcasters. The redesign of the Revo lineup has re-energized Abu and many anglers seem to be flocking to this manufacturer. Abu Garcia’s Revo Rocket is in our hands for some product testing and heres what we discovered!
During ICAST 2013 a little red reel caught our attention as well as all the buzz surrounding the Abu booth. Our team knew that where there was smoke there was fire and our interest was peaked. The Revo Rocket was hailed as the fastest reel at the show and Bassmaster Elite Mike Iaconelli called it his new go to reel for super fast speeds. So what did we do?
We contacted Abu Garcia and got our hands on the Revo Rocket for some unbiased testing. I am particularly curious about the Rocket because it’s exactly the type of super fast reel I look for as a Bass angler when getting in close to cover. The question I have to answer for myself is: Does the Revo Rocket deliver in terms of speed, durability, features and price?
Revo Rocket – First Impressions:
The Revo Rocket came in a super nice black box. I know, I know, it’s all marketing; but for me that’s what really set the stage. It almost felt like opening the box on a Steez or something in that super unattainable price range. I think the marketing company that designed the packaging got it right. The reel had a really nice deep red finish. As I gave the reel its first inspection I was impressed with the craftsmanship, finish and overall feel. It was super smooth when I spun it and the drag seemed smooth as well. I did notice that it was heavily oiled. I mean it had A LOT of oil all over it and I took a paper towel and wiped some excess off, as well as cleaned my hands.
On closer inspection of the finish I noticed a small blemish in the paint by the gear case that was clearly from manufacturing. It was very small and hardly noticeable. Considering how good this reel looks I was a little dissapointed now that every time I look at it I notice it. But its very small and I’ve seen worse come from factories abroad…
This leads me to my next point. Being made in Korea isn’t a surprise, or a negative. It’s expected with many reel manufacturers nowadays. However, there are still anglers that insist on “Made in Japan”. You will have to decide for yourself if this will make you shy away from the Rocket. There are anglers out there that will insist on “made in Japan” or “made in USA”.
I really liked the oversized EVA knobs on the Rocket. Since I fish in colder weather I’m often wearing gloves. The bigger handles really come in handy in instances where you need to wear your gloves and fish. The longer handle will also come in handy when I need to haul fish out of cover. I like it!
The presence of a clicker on the fine cast control also was a big one for me. I like to be able to quantify how much I’m adjusting the fine cast control so I know if I’m too tight I can back off a click or two. Believe me, when you’re focused on fishing you don’t want to try and remember if its a quarter turn- or was that an eighth?
I also noticed that the Rocket doesn’t have an oiling port located on the gearbox like the other Revos. It was closed up on this model…
Revo Rocket Infini Brake System
I’ve been using Shimano and Diawa reels for years now and have become very familiar with both centrifugal and magnetic brakes. Both designs have their strengths. Centrifugal brakes such as the ones found on the Shimanos use centrifugal force to slow the spool. This design is most effective when your spool is spinning its fastest; which is at the beginning of your cast. As the lure slows down the brake looses effectiveness and bird nests become more probable. Thumbing the reel is the common solution for this.
Magnetic brakes utilize magnets to slow the spool and prevent bird nests. The magnetic brakes are most effective when the spool is spinning at its slowest- the end of your cast.
Abu has taken both designs and incorporated them into the Rocket. This brake design seems like it’s the best of both worlds and Abu has named it the Infini brake design. It is highly adjustable, but anglers will definitely want to take the Rocket out on the water and experiment with it before they start fishing. I think that this system is definitely superior for anglers who are willing to take the time and set up their Infini brake system to their casting style. I think I’m going to really like this design as I’ve often struggled with bird nests.
For anglers that want an out of the box ready to fish type deal, I’m not sure they’re going to be thrilled with the need to invest time setting their rocket up. This may be too much for some people. Likewise for those who want to set it and forget it. The dual brake design is best when adjusted to changing conditions.
Revo Rocket Weight
Last thing I want to mention is weight. Man is this thing light! At 6.75-oz, it is super light! This puts it up there with the Diawa Steez in my mind, a $600 plus reel (almost; the Steez is 5.7-oz and Okuma Helios is 6.3-oz). The Rocket’s super light weight will make fishing long days a lot easier. Anglers with tennis or “fishing-elbow” or that suffer from fatigue will really appreciate this reel. The low weight is thanks to Abu’s X-Craftic material used for the frame and sideplates.
Revo Rocket Price
The Revo Rocket MSRP is $299.99. This places it in the Daiwa Zillion/Okuma Helios category for most anglers. It is definitely not going to be your first reel as it is highly specialized. I see this as a serious tournament-angler reel, or for an experienced angler looking for a technique-specific setup. For guys who are serious about technique specific equipment this price seems bang on. It may seem expensive to the casual angler, but I don’t think the Rocket is meant for them anyway.
Revo Rocket Features
This baby is packed with all the best Abu has to offer:
- 10 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing provides increased corrosion protection
- Rocket fast gear ratio of 9.0:1 provides superfast line retrieve of 37” per turn, for picking up line quickly
- X-Cräftic™ alloy frame and sideplates for increased corrosion resistance
- Carbon Matrix™ drag system provides smooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range
- D2 Gear Design™ provides a more efficient gear system while improving gear durability
- Infini™ brake system allows almost limitless adjustability to handle any fishing situation
- Infini II™ spool design for extended castability and extreme loads
- Extended bent carbon handle for increased cranking power
- Large EVA knobs provide improved grip
- Ti coated line guide reduces friction and improves durability
Revo Rocket Drag Testing
With a max drag of 20-lbs, the Rocket seems to have a ton of drag and the Carbon Matrix drag system seems to be unbeatable. We’ve heard that these drag claims can be exaggerated by manufacturers, so we tested this for ourselves. We found that the Rocket tested just over 19-lbs tightened by hand. This is more than enough!
Revo Rocket – On The Water:
I have to be careful to not turn this into a how-to at this point. The Revo has some definite strengths and anglers who purchase this need to be aware of how to optimize this reel. At 37 inches per turn, this reel is suited for burning baits, pitching, and topwater applications.
We went out on the water and paired this reel up with a 7′ heavy-fast frogging rod from St. Croix Rod for some topwater action. The speed of the reel really came into play and helped keep my bait in the strike zone. I was also able to get some really solid hooksets that nearly ripped the rod out of my hands. The drag didn’t let up and was really smooth when I loosened it; overall a very positive experience.
When reeling in fish, it was also very apparent that the oversized handle length on the Rocket really came into play when torquing in fish out of heavy cover. I usually use an STX for this purpose that has a shorter handle, but the Rocket felt so much better. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the reel performed under load and how smoothly it functioned.
My co-angler noted that anglers should be careful which rods they pair this reel up with. It is easy to unbalance your rod/reel pairing with a combo that isn’t in the same general weight range. I agree with this. Best thing to do is to try the reel out on the rod and even fish with it if possible to see how well it balances out for you. Nowadays rods are super light, so the lightweight Rocket will match up nicely with premium rods weighing in the 5.0 oz. range. In my opinion if you don’t want to go too much heavier than that.
The Revo Rocket is an amazing reel for serious anglers looking for technique-specific gear. It delivers performance and speed when called upon and has all the features needed. The light weight construction of the reel is rugged enough to withstand heavy hooksets and everyday use. It is a great reel for pitching, topwater and burning and highly recommended; A++ in my books!
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci