First of all, thanks a lot for the overwhelming response over our review on the Abu Garcia Black Max. We received a lot of appreciation from you folks and a few suggestions as well.
It feels great that you anglers are constantly engaging with our content, loving it and are also committed to making us better through your feedback. So, the next logical step was to write this review for the Abu Garcia Pro Max.
We wrote about the younger brother and now it is time to educate ourselves about the elder one. Yeah, we see Pro Max as the elder brother of the Black Max. Don’t ask us the reason, we just do!
Our Verdict On The Abu Garcia Pro Max Reel
We used the Pro Max for spinnerbaits, soft plastics, topwater baits, etc. and put them to work in every adverse condition that you can imagine right now. Day and night, we tried to wreak havoc on this reel and oh boy you should’ve seen it perform. Looked like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in their prime.
Knocking off opponents so effortlessly. The Pro Max reels offer a buttery smooth and easy cast. Add to that some respectable distance in casting and no fear of backlash. Want to own one of your best reels ever? These are certainly worth your time and money. It is your escape from the tedious experiences in fishing to blissful heaven for angling.
Made with some of the most advanced technology and materials, the Pro Max reels are precision-engineered through rigorous testing for improved performance and experience when you take it out into the waters. As expected, these charming reels pass with flying colors in performance tests and user reviews.
Competitors Of The Pro Max Reels
|PRODUCT||OVERALL SCORE||BOTTOM LINE||PRICE|
Pro Max Baitcaster
Will give you the most memorable days at fishing.
|Check On Amazon|
Pro Max Spinning
|84||Equally smooth casts as the baitcasting version.||Check On Amazon|
Silver Max Baitcasting
|n/a||Awesome beginner to moderate skill level reel.||Check On Amazon|
Black Max Baitcasting
|n/a||A friendly bass predator for the weekend angler.||Check On Amazon|
Revo SX Low Profile
|n/a||Tiny in size and mighty in everything else that matters.||Check On Amazon|
Ambassadeur C3 Round
|n/a||A classical reel with the toughness of nails.||Check On Amazon|
Before We Begin
The Pro Max reels remain to be the most popular reels from Abu Garcia in the market. Needless to say, the baitcaster enjoys immense popularity over its spinning counterpart. In Pro Max, not only we get a high-end performance but also it comes at an affordable price.
Even if you are new to fishing, your learning experience with the Abu Garcia Pro Max reels is going to be one of the best. Abu Garcia is one of the most trusted and extremely popular reel makers and they certainly didn’t disappoint us with their Pro Max reel. Looking for a change in your arsenal of fishing reels?
Go for the Abu Garcia Pro Max, the most preferred reel by pro anglers. We would be primarily focusing on the baitcasting version of the pro max in this review.
Detailed Analysis Of The Abu Garcia Pro Max Range
After thoroughly testing both the spinning and the baitcasting version by Abu Garcia, we found the Pro Max low profile baitcasting reel a better buy than the spinning one.
In case you are wondering, why the baitcaster performed better on our parameters, we have done an in-depth analysis of both the reels and presented the result to you in an easily understandable form. Don’t get too confused or overwhelmed while making a choice.
Simply choose one as per your needs. Both are trusted products from a highly reputable company. So let us dive into the key features section now!
1. Abu Garcia Pro Max Key Features
Balance, Grip & Handle
The Pro Max baitcasting reel comes with a recessed foot due to which it sits low on the rod. This helps in maintaining the overall balance of the rod and align the rod and reel to make them feel like one single piece of equipment. Since it is a lightweight reel, it snugly fits in our palm and is very compact too.
Therefore, there is no question of you feeling tired after a long day of fishing. We get a bent double arm handle with the star drag sitting really close to the reel. And they are quite easy to adjust. The presence of a paddleboat grip due to high-density EVA handles provides a super strong hold in tough conditions.
Weight & Looks
Talking about the weight of both the reels, we found it to be somewhere in the middle. Neither it is extremely light nor it is terribly heavy. Thus you can expect to fish with them for a long duration. The baitcaster is a low profile reel with no odd protrusions or indentations which may leave you uncomfortable.
The reels are aesthetically pleasing too. The baitcaster has a predominantly black body with a couple of golden parts. Whereas the Pro Max spinning reel has copper colored areas on the same black body. Both the baitcasting and the spinning reels don’t look cheap either and are actually pleasant to look at.
This may not help you catch fish but at least you won’t be distracted by an ugly color scheme while fishing.
The baitcaster has a graphite frame along with side plates that imparts a solid feel to the reel. Further, you would not be finding any flex either. The spinning reel also has a lightweight graphite body. While closely examining the reels, you will find how Abu Garcia has done a remarkable job while fitting the graphite pieces.
It is easy to see that the transition points are seamless. How does it help us? In simple terms, it keeps the gears aligned while dishing out cranking power. One noteworthy fact about the Pro Max low profile baitcasting reel is that the entire body has not been made out of graphite.
The construction of the reel handle and spool have been done using double anodized aluminum. Also, the spool has been designed in such a way, so as to cut down on any excess weight.
And finally, with a heavy duty brass construction on both the reels, we can be assured of extreme durability which will enable these reels to serve in our angling arsenal for years to come.
Advanced Braking System
Let’s start with the brake adjustment first. It is located externally and that too on the opposite side plate.This helps us in making quick adjustments for the cast. The magnetic MagTrax™ feature gives the Pro Max baitcasting reel an advanced brake system.
Not only this system is adjustment sensitive but it also provides constant resistance to our spool when and after we cast. Backlash is greatly reduced when our thumb comes into play along with the magnetic brakes.
We have tested so many reels but the Pro Max stands out in the braking system department when we compare it to reels in a similar size and price range.
Speed & Smoothness Combined
We are blessed with incredible speed with the Pro Max reels. The baitcasters come with a gear ratio of 7.1:1 whereas the spinning reels have them in the range of 4.8:1-5.2:1. Also, a high line retrieval rate gives us high speed retrieves with our favorite buzz, lip-less crank and spinner baits.
Apart from being incredibly fast, these reels are ultra smooth too. Now you can pull that line back with minimal effort. Even if the reel in under a lot of pressure, the Duragear™ brass gears not only stay aligned but they also maintain smoothness while retrieving.
Now don’t expect it to be as smooth as those times when you are simply reeling in your lure, but what we meant to say was that you would be feeling a minimal difference in the two situations.
Distant Casting & Accuracy
There is no negative impact on the casting ability of these reels due to the presence of ceramic line guides. Moreover, it helps to distribute the line evenly on the spool. The line lay and spool design of the Pro Max reels maximizes the casting distance which we can achieve with them.
You will find the level wind to be wide enough so that it doesn’t interfere with the cast due to any added friction on the line. In case you are able to make some minor adjustments to the tension in the spool, you would be rewarded with the ability to fling a variety of weighted lures.
The amount of control we have due to its design enhances our accuracy in those shorter casts that require some technical know how. The thumb clutch also comes to our aid here. The Pro Max spinning reels have a Rocket Line Management System™ which allows great casting distance while reducing wind knots.
Coming on to the thumb clutch, thankfully it worked perfectly during the testing period without getting stuck even once. We found both the reels to be easy to use and you can easily get a hang of them after a couple of casts.
Power & Line Capacity
Though we can fairly claim that the Pro Max reels have a decent cranking power, the high gear ratio does decrease the amount of power it can generate. Now, this is not something to worry about as this is the case with most reels we have out there. These reels have enough lifting power for your medium to large freshwater species.
We were pleased to see that these reels can hold a lot of line.
High-End Drag System
Also, there is the Power Disk™ drag system on the Pro Max baitcasters which uses synthetic washers. They are easily able to dish out 18lbs of max drag pressure. This is a number more than what we would ever require considering the application or situations the Pro Max is meant for.
A star drag adjustment is located next to the handle. It provides a delicate and audible drag adjustment through fine increments. After the drag engagement, our spool is under constant pressure from the moment we cast, till we reel in the catch completely.
Many a time we experienced the drag pressure getting a little jumpy when at extreme limits especially when the fish was changing its direction. You can deploy some fine techniques or deep diving lures but we cannot say that this is what it is best suited for.
Superb Ball Bearings
Both the Abu Garcia Pro Max reels have a lot of bearings given the price they come at. This makes them way ahead of their competitors. All in all these bearing are of great quality which imparts a certain amount of smoothness to its casting.
We haven’t encountered any backlash even after 1200+ casts spread over a week and the retrieves were quiet which our ears are very thankful for. We are not claiming the reel will never backlash, it is just something we didn’t come across. And along with all these, we get an instant anti-reverse feature too. Isn’t that great?
While we were adjusting the drag and the spool tension knob, there was a recurring click sound with every movement. This greatly helped us in making precise adjustments. This is not something the world has never seen, but we weren’t expecting this feature in this price range.
Maintenance & Repair Cost
Peace Of Mind
The high-quality materials used in construction kind of laid the foundation for durability. To top it, the reels had an intelligent design too. All this meant one and only one thing that these reels will stay with you for a long time while remaining in good working condition.
So constant hassle of repairs or huge maintenance costs is not something to worry about with the Abu Garcia Pro Max reels. Brass gears provide suitable resistance against corrosion from saltwater. Take reasonably good care and these reels will last you many years.
Both our testers and readers have had the experience of dealing with Abu Garcia for many years. During our interactions with them, a common point came up above repeatedly. Their customer service has been top notch, no matter who talked to them or from where. Maybe this is why they are one of the best.
Our personal experience with them was very pleasant too. The folks over there are always polite and very helpful. Further, when one of the reels was sent for servicing, the turnaround time was minimal in comparison to most brands. We can safely say that it would be the same scenario in case your reel needs repairs.
The reels come with a limited one year warranty from the date of purchase. Further, this warranty covers personal use only, and not any kind of industrial or commercial use. The company honestly has you covered in case something goes wrong and this is a big relief for us.
Worth Every Penny
These reels are surely a bang for your buck and will pay several times over the price they demand in terms of performance and the happiness that they will give you. Their price is one of the most amazing features we came across as after the first use it was unbelievable what an epic reel we had landed.
A hearty thanks to Abu Garcia for making the Pro Max series. It gives a tough competition to the high-end reels which are far more expensive than these.
2. ABU GARCIA Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
Overall Score: 90
+ Extensive control
+ Helps casting accurately
+ Strong, yet not too heavy
+ Intelligent design
– Low power
– Limited one year warranty
- Machined double anodized aluminum spool
- Power Disk™ drag system
- Duragear™ brass gear
- MagTrax™ brake system
- Compact bent handle and star
- Recessed reel foot
- One piece graphite frame
- Graphite sideplates
The Pro Max baitcasting reels take design inspiration from the Orra® and Revo® lineups and has been engineered to take abuse day in and day out.
3. ABU GARCIA Pro Max Spinning Reel
Overall Score: 84
+ Pocket friendly
+ Distant and accurate casting
+ Eliminates wind knots
– One year warranty on personal use
- 6 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
- Lightweight graphite body and rotor
- Machined aluminum spool
- Everlast™ bail system
- Slow Oscillation
- Rocket line management™
- Rocket Spool Lip Design™
Just like the low profile reel, the spinning reel also takes design cues from the Orra® and Revo® lineups. Upon using them we found that the Pro Max™ spinning reels were equally smooth if not more.
The Abu Garcia Pro Max gives you all the experiences you can get with high-end reels except the price tag. Along with improved casting performance over the Black Max, these reels gives us a faster line retrieval. Pair them up with a decent rod and you are bound to have a memorable day at fishing.
The reels are convenient to use and do not boast of some new fancy technology that has never been heard about. The features are tried and tested, which you have probably heard about many times but what makes the Pro Max stand out is the fact that Abu Garcia has actually put in the effort to optimize these features for better performance.
You can catch a lot of different types of fishes with both the baitcaster and the spinning reel but in case you are a somewhat experienced angler, please go for the low profile baitcasting version of the Pro Max. We highly recommend it as we found it infinitely better than the spinning option.
Try the Pro Max reels and you would come home chirping like a kid. At least our testers did! They are kind of gadget freaks and had a lot of good stuff to say about these reels. But we want you to try them out yourself and tell us about your experience. Till then, agur!