April 23, 2012

Abu Garcia MGX/Villain : The Ultimate Lightweight Combo

At last year's ICAST event in Las Vegas there were quite a few new products introduced; some didn't impress me, some did, and then there were some that I immediately knew I wanted to use.  The Abu Garcia MGX reel was one that fell in to the must have category. The Abu Garcia Villain also fell into that category and I couldn't wait to fish with both of these.   Now that I have fished both I can say that they were worth the wait. Here is a review for the ultimate lightweight combo.

The current trend of reels being as light as possible has been taken to the extreme by this reel.  It's so light (5.4oz) that it's hard to believe a reel that weighs so little can have so much power. I don't even know where to begin with the features on this reel.  Besides being light, there are many reasons I have come to appreciate this reel.  Casting is effortless (due to the Infini II spool and braking system which allow 28 different settings).  The drag is a Carbon Matrix system which was silky smooth every time I needed it.

The appearance of this reel is nothing short of amazing; sleek and stylish (black with a carbon fiber handle) making it stand out among your other reels.  One thing I didn't like about this reel was the foam handles.  I have become used to these handles from my other Revo reels but I am still a fan of traditional handles.

The rod is just as light and seems like it was built just for this reel, probably because it was.  The Villain comes in a variety of sizes and actions in both spinning and casting models.  The rod I chose to review was a 7'1" Medium casting model.  I found it to be great for light texas-rigs and a variety of reaction baits.  All of the casting rods feature nine guides plus the tip.  I really appreciate a rod with more guides like this since it seems to cast much better.

Like I mentioned, the rod is very light.  Abu Garcia uses an "LRC Low Resin Content graphite technology" to help keep the weight of the rod down but also have the strength you need. The high density foam and "C6 Total Exposure reel seat" also reduce the weight. I really like the reel seat as it's unlike any other ones I have seen.

Overall, this is a dream set up for any serious bass angler.  Abu Garcia hit a homerun with these two products.

Scoring for the Abu Garcia Revo MGX
Price/Value: 2
With so many good quality reels at lower costs, it is hard to rate a reel higher when it costs $349.99.  The question is: Is a reel that costs twice as much twice as good?  You be the judge. Although, for all of the features, the cost makes sense to me.
Durability: 4
So far so good.  The true test of a reel is how it casts two or three years later.  If it is anything like my other Revos, it will continue to cast like it did the first day.
Performance: 5
This reel casts as good (maybe better) than you would expect from a reel in this price range.
Innovation: 3
It has many features, but none that I would consider ground breaking or truly innovative.
Availability: 4
Abu Garcia dealers, several places online and TackleWarehouse.com

Total Score: 18 - Good Buy!

Scoring for the Abu Garcia Villain
Price/Value: 4
$179.99 for this rod is well worth it.  Light, strong and stylish.
Durability: 3
Everything seems to have held up well over two months of testing.  The blank is pretty forgiving to scratches and boat rash.
Performance: 4
Lightness aside, this is a quality rod that is easy to fish.
Innovation: 4
I like the different things they have brought to the market; the reel seat, lightweight materials, etc. It is different enough to get a 4 here.
Availability: 4
Abu Garcia dealers, several places online and TackleWarehouse.com

Total Score: 19 - Good Buy!

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