Abu Garcia Black Max Review | Why Is It So Popular?

​What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of bass fishing? The answer to this might vary depending upon angler to angler but for a majority of the novice anglers who are relatively new to the game, it’s the cost involved. They are intimidated by the same.

They see their more experienced friends doing it, watch videos on YouTube, read articles about it, learn about hi-tech gear, and form a conclusion that a select group of elite anglers are the ones meant to fish for bass. ​False!

The Black Max reel makes it possible for everybody to catch as many bass fishes as they want.

​Our Verdict On The Abu Garcia Black Max Reel

After comparing the baitcasting and the spinning reel in the Abu Garcia Black Max series, we found the baitcaster to be better. Moreover, it was easy to see why some anglers, both beginners and professionals, call it the best entry-level baitcasting reel.

Perfect for use in both deep, shallow, fresh and saltwater, this reel is able to hold even your favorite 12 lbs line with ease. If robust construction, durability, ergonomic design, ease of use, are your selling points and that too at a low price then this reel is a match made in heaven for you.​

It is not without reason that Abu Garcia has received the honor of being named “Purveyor to the Royal Swedish Court”.

Competitors Of The Black Max Reels

Product​Our Rating​Bottom line​Latest Price
​Black Max Baitcasting Reel
World-class performance at an entry-level priceCheck Out On Amazon
​Black Max Spinning Reel

​Performs with integrity without breaking your bankCheck Out On Amazon
Pro Max Baitcasting Reel

​Tough, all skill levels can adapt to it, performs in need Check Out On Amazon
​Silver Max Baitcasting Reel

​An impressive buy as a beginner to moderate skill reelCheck Out On Amazon
Kastking Spartacus Baitcasting Reel

​If you have some experience with baitcasters, this reel should be definitely triedCheck Out On Amazon
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

​With a breeze like cast, it’s worth every pennyCheck Out On Amazon

​Before We Begin

​But as we see our technology becoming more and more advanced, and new manufacturers popping out their head with good products from time to time, (that are not only low cost but perform well too) the competition is rising. ​This results in companies being forced to produce even better products frequently.

​Abu Garcia, one of the most popular fishing gear brands in the world, has been doing the same for years now. ​And one of their most prized inventions is the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel. Simply put, they have redefined bass fishing altogether.

Having snatched it right out of the hands of the elite few, they’ve made bass fishing accessible to common anglers like most of us.​ In fact, this baitcasting reel is suitable for both the new and the seasoned anglers. ​This Abu Garcia Black Max Review presents to you both the baitcasting and spinning reel in a completely new light.

​Detailed Analysis Of The Abu Garcia Black Max Range

Both the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel and the Spinning Reel took the fishing community by a storm after their launch. It not only wiped out some of its competitors but also forced other big brands to upgrade their products in a similar range.

​Such was the impact of these wonderful inventions by Abu Garcia. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go and check out what exactly do these reels have that makes them so desirable among anglers.

​1. Abu Garcia Black Max Key Features


​​User-Friendly Design

​Due to their durable construction, they do not contribute to an angler’s nightmare like most sturdy reels. In fact, they are very comfortable and easy to use. Due to their ergonomic design, you can solely focus on the cast and retrieval without other distractions to bother you.

The baitcasting reel features a small handle with a slight bend that enhances its comfort.​ Also, the baitcast version weighs around 7.9 oz whereas the weight of the spinning reels ranges from 6.40oz-13.30oz depending upon the model in question. ​Overall, these reels are fairly lightweight.

At least your arm and wrist won’t tire either when you pull in big game fishes or fish for long hours.

​​Comfortable grip

The Black Max reels come with comfortable and excellent grips. Even in wet conditions when your hands might be slime-covered, the handle doesn’t fail to provide a firm hold over the reel. We get to see such grips only on some of the more expensive reels in the market.​


Superb Construction Quality

Designed for longevity, the Abu Garcia Black Max Reels have a durable construction. Not only it is pretty smooth, but it also hauls in those heavy bass fishes easily. Sometimes it seems that it was designed for this very purpose. ​We have the reel body made out of graphite.

Featuring a one-piece design the reel doesn’t weigh much but still packs in some serious strength. With the side plates made out of graphite, we are looking at a very sturdy design. Every cast and retrieve is super smooth due to the anodized aluminum spool.

Since it is extremely strong, durable and consistently gives us smooth performances, this reel is a favorite among anglers who love basses.


A Bass Predator

These reels are a stunner while casting and retrieving, especially if you aim for those large bass fishes. The baitcasting reels boast of 4 stainless steel and 1 roller ball bearing whereas the spinning reels have a 3+1 combination of the same type. ​They are a charm to work within both deep and shallow water.

Our hook is always set securely with minimal resistance due to a state of the art drag system. ​Whether you are an amateur or a pro, you will find these reels extremely impressive.

​Smoothness guaranteed

​Have you ever been bothered by lines snarling around your spool when you tried to bring fishes in? If so, then your days of misery are over with this innovative wonder from Abu Garcia. With a superior brake system on the baitcasting reel, you can expect a smooth operation every time.

On the spinning reels, you have an Everlast™ bail system for assistance. The baitcasters feature a MagTrax™ brake system for a steady application of pressure while casting and retrieving. This aids our line in wounding back easily in without letting go of the fish we hooked.

Moreover, the bent handle design is convenient to reach. ​There will be no sound while retrieving and these reels continue to operate to the best of their abilities for a long time feeling like brand new every time.

​Unmatched Reliability

Since it features durable construction, it is perfectly capable of withstanding any kind of abuse a beginner can subject this reel to.​ And what’s there for the experienced anglers? Memorable performances. ​Not only we get super-long casts, but also the reel isn’t too ‘finicky’ when you try to tune it with a particular lure.

Even those thick and stubborn fluorocarbon function properly on this reel. The PowerDisk™ drag technology on the baitcaster aids in catching species which are hard to pull.

Maintenance & Repair Cost


Presence of brass in the gears makes it resistant to rust and corrosion. Thus they are capable to withstand any kind of abuse even in saltwater.


​Bringing with them a limited one year warranty, these reels give us true peace of mind and confidence in our purchase.



​Both the baitcasting and the spinning reels have been priced to fit almost any angler’s budget and not mess up their finances for the month.

​2. ABU GARCIA Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

ABU GARCIA Black Max Baitcaster - Review

Overall Score: 88


  • Durability
  • Ergonomic design
  • ​Low price
  • ​Impressive performance


  • ​Takes a hammering from really large fishes
  • ​A warranty of just 1 year may feel less

Machined Aluminum Spool

​4 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing

​Power Disk™ Drag System

For confidence in a smooth reliable drag when battling big fishes

​MagTrax™ Brake System

For user-friendly casting, accommodating a variety of lures and managing backlash

Duragear™ Brass Gear

​For a long reel life even after several rough uses​​​

Compact Bent Handle & Star Drag Knob

​​​​For ergonomic design and efficient hand movement

​One Piece Graphite Frame

​For easy and continuous​​ maintenance

Recessed Reel Foot

​Compact bent handle and recessed reel foot provide a comfortable grip

Graphite Sideplates

​​This upgraded version of the Black Max low profile baitcast reel i.e. the Black Max 3 is known to deliver a world-class performance while featuring a sturdy, light build. This new generation of Max reels ​scores high on style, value, and reliability.

​These baitcasting reels are excellent entry level buys which promise high-performance without an expensive price tag. It is hard to imagine a baitcaster of this quality at the price it demands (or doesn’t demand to be correct).

3. ​ABU GARCIA Black Max Spinning Reel

ABU GARCIA Black Max Spinning - Review

Overall Score: 84


  • ​Friendly price
  • ​Superb robust quality
  • ​Fatigue free casting
  • ​Loops eliminated


  • ​The handle can be a bit wobbly
  • ​Just a 1-year warranty

​Everlast™ Bail System

​​​​Ensures bail alarm engagement while cranking, thus avoiding auto-bail alarm failure.

​3 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing

For a silky smooth feel and support

​Rocket Line Management™ System

For legendary and accurate casting.

​​​Rocket Spool Lip Design™

​Eliminates looping and tangles

​Slow Oscillation

​For casting performances way above its category​​​ and a dead even line lay

​Lightweight Graphite Body And Rotor

​​​​For ergonomic design and efficient hand movement

​Machined Aluminum Spool

​​​​Whether its rivers, lakes, rocks, beaches, offshores or boats, the Abu Garcia Black Max Spinning Reel is your all-time friend in the entry level reel section. Whether you are a novice or a pro angler, do give this reel a definite try as it performs well, with integrity and that too without breaking your bank.

​Round vs Low Profile Baitcasting Reels

1. Feel Of The Reel

  • Low Profile
  • ​Round

With their primary gears on the side, sitting on the handle, we have a much better grip on the low profile baitcasters. Also due to the same reason, we get a slightly better grip on the rod. A low-profile reel is an awesome choice when we have to jig for basses or try buzzing a spinnerbait over a weed bed.

2. Line Capacity

  • ​Round
  • ​Low Profile

Round reels are a better choice in terms of line capacity. Most of the low-profile reels in the market are able to hold around 100 line yards. In comparison, round reels hold much more. This, of course, is dependent on its size and line weight.

When using heavier lines while going for big fishes like muskies, big pike, salmon, and catfish, anglers prefer to use round reels due to their line capacity.

3. Reel Power

  • ​Low Profile
  • ​Round

A reel works due to its gears. And as we all know, baitcasters are known for their ability to catch big fishes. Whether it’s pulling out those basses from the weeds or that crankbait workout for long hours, we need the power of a low-profile reel.

Want to work the bait? You need the gearing of a low profile reel. In contrast, round reels possess bigger gears. These are responsible for a solid connection and carry more power to winch in big fishes like salmons.

4. Speed Of The Reel

  • ​Low Profile
  • ​Round

If you want to use baits along the lines of spinners, plugs, etc. you would be needing reels with a faster retrieve ratio. In such a scenario, going fast would be in the best interest of you and your reel.

Conversely, round reels with a slow retrieve ratio, bring in more line per turn. That is not bad. They are just meant for use in a different situation, like when and if we want to go with live baits or slow presentations.

​5. Casting Distance

  • ​Round
  • ​Low Profile

​Round baitcasting reels are hands-down winners here. Since we use large baits and long rods, the extra line capacity sends that bait flying far away into oblivion. However, both reels, need a thumb to the spool for controlling the line.

​A saving point for the low profile reels here is that they have more adjustments to help slow the spool. This aids in mitigating a backlash because if a backlash does happen then it is tricky to untangle.


As mentioned earlier that out of the spinning and the basitcasting versions, we found the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcaster Reel to be a better choice. But if you are a spinner fan, by all means, go for the other one. ​Our angler readers have caught up to 5 lbs basses with the baitcaster reel and have been in control throughout the fight.

Further, it has a suitable winding power for techniques that aim at both deep and shallow water. ​Moreover, this reel was used in high winds during our tests and the line management and castability have been impressive, to say the least. Even for beginners, the simplicity of this reel​ allows you to learn about its operation quickly and easily.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to compare it with some higher-end models of Abu Garcia like the Revo X or the Pro Max but the Abu Garcia Black Max has still made its mark. We feel this has been a long review and it is time to bring it to an end.

Hope we were able to make you aware about the immense power of the Black Max reel series and you would be adding them to your arsenal very soon. Till then, totsiens.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

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