Looking at The Best Abu Garcia Rods and Reels

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As one of the most recognizable brands in freshwater fishing, Abu Garcia has a reputation for creating some of the most popular rods and reels on the market.

A number of retail chains, including Wal-Mart, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops all carry the brand’s products.

While you may need to visit fishing or outdoor-specific shops for some of Abu Garcia’s more expensive, higher-end models, you can also find some of the company’s more affordable items — including some rod and reels combos — at other retailers, bait shops, and marinas across the country.

Below, we are going to look at some of the best Abu Garcia rods and reels, which are likely to fly off the shelves in 2021.

First, however, we are going to take a brief look at the history of the company.

Old Abu Garcia Cardinal Reels
Vintage Abu Garcia Cardinal Reels (photo via Timtrent/Wikimedia Commons)

While Abu Garcia has become synonymous with fishing rods and reels over the past couple decades, the company’s origins are actually quite surprising.

Originally known as AB Urfabriken, the company was founded in Sweden in the early 1920s. Instead of producing some of the best rods and reels on the planet, however, their product line was much different. It actually specialized in making watches, timers for telephones, and devices used to calculate rates for taxi cabs.

In the 1940s, the son of the company’s founder decided to change the company’s direction, focusing on the creation and distribution of fishing reels. The famed Garcia Corporation eventually started marketing imported Abu Garcia reels in the 1950s. The cornerstone reel for the company was the Ambassadeur.

In the mid-1950s, the company released its ABU 444 line. This was followed up by the famed Cardinal series in the 1960s.

In the past half century, Abu Garcia has become one of the most popular maker of fishing reels in the United States. In addition to expanding their line of both casting and spinning reels, Abu Garcia has also released fishing rods as well.

As we look at the best Abu Garcia rods, reels, and combos, keep in mind that “the best” is always a relative term. We are not necessarily look at the most expensive products, but rather some of the most popular rods, reels, and combos at various price points.

The Best Abu Garcia Fishing Rods

While not necessarily as renowned or well known as their reels, Abu Garcia’s line of fishing rods are some of the most popular among recreational anglers today.

Part of this appeal has to do with the rod quality. Another part has to do with proximity. If you are picking up a rod at Wal-Mart, Bass Pro Shops, or Cabela’s, there are bound to be a few Abu Garcia models available for purchase.

Below, we are looking at some of the most popular stand-alone Abu rods on the market:

Vendetta Casting Rod

As one of the more affordable stand-alone fishing rods in Abu Garcia’s catalog, the Vendetta is a group choice for someone who is looking to invest in a nice, mid-range rod without necessarily spending too much money.

This versatile, fast-action rod is available in a variety of lengths and powers. It ranges from 6’6″ to 7’6″, and medium, medium heavy, and heavy power.

Buy the Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rod at Bass Pro Shops Now

Virtual Casting Rod

As a slightly more expensive model than the Vendetta, Abu Garcia’s Virtual Casting Rod is the type of rod that requires a bit of deliberation before purchasing.

That deliberation isn’t necessarily because of a price difference, however. This particular rod allows you to sync information directly with your phone, hence the name “Virtual.”

You can record catches, weights, weather conditions, and more.

As a tough-but-sensitive graphite rod, the Virtual Casting Rod also isn’t simply a tech-gimmick. It is crafted with the same engineering that has helped Abu Garcia develop its foothold in the fishing rod industry for years.

Buy the Abu Garcia Virtual Casting Rod Now

Veritas PLX Spinning Rod

The Veritas PLX is the first spinning rod from Abu Garcia on our list. The company is so confident in this product that they compare it to a “surgical instrument.”

At first glance, it’s easy to see why. This long, light-weight rod is glimmering white. It’s also designed with precision in mind.

It’s also made to be lighter than older Abu models while being 15% stronger. Coming in medium light, medium, and medium heavy power, it’s also a versatile rod that can be used for crappie, bass, and even channel catfish.

Buy the Abu Garcia Veritas PLX Spinning Rod

REVO Ike Rod: Spinning and Casting Rod

Those in the know realize Mike Iaconelli is one of the most respected names in modern fishing. The former Bassmaster Classic champion has earned over 2.5 million dollars in his fishing career because he knows what he’s doing!

“Ike” has shared his knowledge to help design the REVO Ike Rod, which comes in both spinning and casting models. Depending on your preference, you can take this light weight, balanced rod out to target both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

A 7-foot medium power, fast action rod, the Revo Ike is perfect for 6-12 pound line weight.

The Best Abu Garcia Fishing Reels

Now, what good is a rod without a reel?

Some purists and loyalists like to pair a particular brand’s rods and reels together. That said, mixing-and-matching really expands your options for any given situation.

When it comes to Abu Garcia, lots of anglers get started on one of the company’s rod and reels combos. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the Ike Dude Spincast Combo or the Black Max Baitcast Combo as introductory rigs, you won’t usually experience Abu Garcia’s best offerings on these economy-level combos.

That is especially true for the reels.

Below, we are going to look at some of Abu Garcia’s best stand-alone fishing reels.

Abu Garcia Max X Spinning Reel

If you are simply looking for a quick, easy, economy fishing reel without all the fancy (and expensive) bells and whistles, then the Abu Garcia Max X Spinning Reel might be worth checking out.

Similar to the types of rods you might find on the less expensive Abu Garcia rod/reel combos, the Max X won’t be making your fishing buddies drool over your latest purchase.

That said, numerous world records – including the world record largemouth bass – have been caught on vastly inferior reels.

If you have any doubts about the Max X’s ability to catch fish, then, think again! It might not be the most powerful or the smoothest, but rest assured that it will help you land smaller bass and catfish, as well as pretty much any crappie or sunfish out there.

Abu Garcia Silver Max Baitcast Reel

If you prefer using baitcasting rods and want an affordable Abu Garcia reel, the Silver Max Baitcast Reel is a great option.

Again, the Silver Max likely won’t win any awards for best overall fishing reel this year, but it is durable, reliable, and has a solid bearing system for its price point.

With a one piece, graphite frame and smooth handling, the Silver Max will

Revo X Spinning Reel

At first glance, the Revo X might look like your standard “economy” reel. From the solid black coloring to the fairly nondescript design, this might not seem like anything special.

That said, don’t let the lack of shiny chrome or bright colors fool you. The Revo X Spinning Reel is solid!

With a 7+1 bearing system, graphite rotor, stainless steel internals and mainshaft, and light, durable carbon body, the Revo X makes up for a lack of aesthetics with affordable functionality and performance.

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

For those who enjoy spinning reels but want a higher-end model, the Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel is a good choice.

With an 8+1 bearing system, computer-optimized machined aluminum gears, one-piece aluminum gearbox, and durable carbon body justify the higher price point for the Revo SX.

At 9.2 ounces with a 17 pound max drag, this is a great reel for folks target trophy-sized (and much smaller) bass.

Abu Garcia Revo STX REVO4 Baitcast Reel

Likewise, for folks who love baitcasters, Abu Garcia has numerous options.

While the Silver Max is a nice, affordable option, the Revo STX REVO4 Baitcast Reel is an upgrade for the serious angler.

As a 4th generation Abu Garcia reel, the Revo STX REVO4 is build with precision and performance in mind. The 10+1 bearing system offers one of the smoothest baitcasters available at its price point.

This is also a powerhouse reel. For folks looking to tackle high-level bass or walleye, the Revo STX REVO4 easily holds it own.

With a 24 pound max drag, most freshwater fish outside of pike, muskie, and large catfish will be potential options.

The Best Abu Garcia Rod and Reels Combos

Sometimes you just really need a rod and reel combination. While mixing-and-matching often is the preferred route once anglers have determined their specific needs, combos are great options for beginners or folks who are just looking for a quick, no-hassle rig without much guess work.

In fact, many anglers are introduced to Abu Garcia after picking up one of their rod and reel combos at their local big-box store.

Below, we will look at some of the best Abu Garcia rod and reel combos.

Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Spinning Combo

Abu Garcia’s Jordan Lee Spinning Combo was actually the first rod and reel package deal I ever picked up from the brand.

Since then, this combo has landed more species (and probably numbers) than any other rod or reel I own.

Before moving primarily to the St. Croix Panfish Rod for crappie and other sunfish, the Jordan Lee was my go-to slab slayer. While it isn’t necessarily engineered for smaller fish the way an ultralight panfish rod and reel combo may be, it certainly did the trick.

Also, if I ended up getting a bass, saugeye, or channel catfish on the line, I never had to worry about the fish breaking the rod.

Abu Garcia Revo Elite Max/Bass Pro Shops XPS Bionic Blade Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

If you are looking for an Abu Garcia rod and reel combination that is really tailored to almost any fishing situation, this is it!

Ranging from ultralight power (for small species like crappie and sunfish) to medium and even medium-heavy power, the Abu Garcia Revo Elite Max/Bass Pro Shops XPS Bionic Blade Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is an excellent economy/mid-range combo.

If you aren’t necessarily concerned with top-of-the-line precision, grabbing a 7-foot combo in medium power should be able to handle most conventional freshwater fishing.

Want to tackle mid-sized catfish? Upgrade to the medium-heavy.

Thinking panfish is more your style? The ultralight is the way to go.

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