When I first started fishing, spinning reels were my preference. It was only up until the past few years that I started getting into using baitcasters. Once you learn how to use a baitcaster proficiently, it will probably become the most used reel in your arsenal. There are two reasons why many people prefer baitcasters over spinning reels. First, they can cast much further than a spinning reel. Second, they usually have a higher gearing ratio, providing a quicker retrieve than most spinning reels. Today I’m going to review one of Abu Garcia’s lower end baitcaster’s, the Silver Max.
Abu Garcia makes some of the best baitcasters around, but those top ranked baitcasters do come with a hefty price tag that could range from $200 to $300. However, Abu Garcia’s Silver Max baitcaster can be purchased for about $60. It doesn’t have as many features as the higher-end reels, but overall it’s still a pretty good buy.
Let’s go over some of the specs for the Silver Max: The Silver Max comes with some pretty high quality components. They have Abu Garcia’s MagTrax brakes and Duragear brass gears. They also come packed with 6 ball bearings, a high 6.2:1 gear ratio, cam lock, ADS waffle spool, and instant anti-reverse. These are some very nice features for a $60 reel.However, what’s critical is how the reel performs.
After using the Silver Max, paired with a 7ft medium action Berkley Lightning Stick, I did notice some pros and cons of going with one of the less expensive baitcasters on the market. One thing I will applaud Abu Garcia for is there build quality. This reel has been thrown around, whacked into rocks, trees, dropped in the dirt, and still performs the same as it did the day I bought it.
I also commend Abu Garcia on their MagTrax breaking system. Once I set the reel where I wanted it I would very rarely have to adjust the brakes again, unless switching to bait with a significant difference in weight. There are a few things that I noticed separating the Silver Max series from higher end reels. For me the Silver Max didn’t cast quite as far as higher end reels, like Abu Garcia’s Revo series.On average it casted about 25% shorter. Also, I very rarely have problems with backlash on high end reels; on the Silver Max I will sometimes get backlash a couple of times in a day of fishing. Having a reel backlash once or twice in a day of fishing isn’t really a huge deal, but it can still be a pain.
Over all, the Abu Garcia Silver Max is a good reel. If you’re looking for an inexpensive baitcaster, the Silver Max is an excellent choice. It is definitely a reel that holds up and will last you a while. However, if you are looking for a something with a little more quality, higher end components, and don’t mind spending a bit more money, I would look around for one of the lower end Abu Garcia Revo. You can find the for around $150, but they are definitely worth the money.
By Michael Falcon
Image by abugarcia.com