The Little Assassin : Abu Garcia MAX X Spinning Reel
By Phil Foo
Last issue we introduced one of Abu Garcia’s most “toyish” looking reel; the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel. If you have kids and you want to pry them away from the PS4 consoles, Nintendo Switches, XBoxes, as well as mobile devices; and get them to take up fishing, the Abu Garcia MAX X is the reel to go.
[ Imagine being invited to a bear hunting trip with a friend, and he brings a Nerf gun. If you are wondering what the heck a Nerf gun is; they’re guns made by Hasbro, and not Remington, or Smith And Wesson. ]
The Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel does not look as serious as the many other fishing reels in the market. It’s like Lego blocks for fishing. Most kids love Lego blocks. Many adults love Lego blocks. Heck, I have my own collection of Lego blocks that takes up more space then my wife’s clothes. Lego blocks are fun. When we see them, an invisible tractor beam is sent out from somewhere and draws us in towards these blocks. The Abu Garcia MAX X too has that beam. Just bring one home and put it on the dining table. Then watch what happens.
One of my collectible toy guns and the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel.
Imagine being invited to a bear hunting trip with a friend, and he brings a Nerf gun. If you are wondering what the heck a Nerf gun is; they’re guns made by Hasbro, and not Remington, or Smith And Wesson. Yes, you see them in TOYS R US. They certainly look freaking awesome but they shoot foam bullets (some event shoots water). Some of them even cost more than some fishing reels; the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel included.
So, you question the mental stability of your friend who has lured you out into the wild, to go hunt and shoot some bears, yet brought only a Nerf gun. While you’re chastising him for his stupid stunt, a bear pops up and roars. You run back into the truck while your friend points the Nerf gun at the bear, and pulls the trigger. A loud bang ensues and the bear drops to the ground dead. He lifts his Nerf gun and blows the smoke of the barrel. You on the other hand, looks in disbelieve as the toy gun brought down the bear. You’ve been deceived.
The rotor of the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel.
Amazing story I hope, but this is how the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel is. You bring it to your favourite fishing pond where hard fighting fishes call home. Your fishing buddies think you’ve gone mad from staying home too long, no thanks to the freaking Corona Virus. You start threading your fishing line through the rings of your fishing rod guides as they continue to observe you pulling line of your “toy.”
They then take out their silver, chrome, grey, black, etc. coloured reel; serious looking reels that look like tough weapons, made to slay monsters, and a fix them to their killer rods. They too prepare for serious battles with gangster fishes, but they are more intrigued by what’s going on in your head; bringing a toy to the battle field, instead of a mean fighting machine.
The Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel staring down at the “arena” where hard fighting groupers lurk. Sexy rear end of reel.
You then cast out your soft bait and slowly drag the it on the bottom of the pond, anticipating the sudden pull of a gangster fish. Before long, one of your friends gather enough courage and asks you if today’s fishing is work (field testing and really serious), or is purely just full on fun. He then takes a closer look at the Abu Garcia MAX X and shakes his head.
But as he was walking away the rod bends and the little Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel lets out a scream. The fish shoots about underwater taking line out. Your friend turns around and looks at you, Well, he may be looking at you but he focus is on the reel. Your other friends too shifts their focus from where their lines are to your reel. They’re probably wondering how soon before the reel gives up its ghost.
The little Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel boldly taking on a hard fighting grouper.
It did not take long before you bring the tired out gladiator to the side and bring it up to land with a landing net. Your friends are amazed by what they have seen. A hard fighting grouper landed by that tiny toy of a reel. How is that possible? Luck perhaps. Well, perhaps. after all this is the only one fish. A hard fighting gladiator no doubt, but still just one fish.
After landing the fifth hard fighting grouper, your friends just cannot resist. They now want to try the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel. You hand them your tackle and watch them battle hard fighting groupers, one after another. You ask for your setup back but they are having too much fun, and they ignore you. The fun is too much, and they find it hard to let go of this fun little “toy” of a reel.
The Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel putting plenty of pressure on the hard fighting grouper. Although a small size 5 ultraight reel, it certainly has a god strong drag.
Unbeknownst to your friends, they are slowly falling in love with the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel. The more they play with it, the more the electrical charges in their brains keep shorting. Before long they want one too. They start asking for more details on the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel. In Malaysia we call this “kena racun” which translates to “being poisoned.” Your friends have “been poisoned” and now they want one.
Well, of course they want one. Although we are all adults, we still like toys. We gravitate to things that we can play with. Some play with cars. Some play with figurines. Some play with unearthly weapons, and weird clothing (cosplay). We anglers, we play with reels, rods, lures, etc. When a reel looks like a toy; our minds go short circuiting in a weird way. We wonder if it really works. We wonder if it is indeed up to the job. We even wonder what our friends may think of us should we use one.
Up comes the hard fighting grouper.
Now, all of what you have read may sound like a “what if story” of you fishing with the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel, written by me. But in reality, it is a story of me and my angling buddies, during a field testing session where we field tested the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel (size 5). The Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel performed really well.
Yes, the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel may look like a toy, but it is indeed a serious reel. We spooled it up with 10lb Berkley Fireline Braid, and fished a 3 inch Berkley Powerbait Pro Grub with Berkley jighead. The Rocket Spool Lip Design of the spool allows for good casting distances. The Rocket Line Management provide good line lay in the spools which helps make casting more efficient (line outflow).
Yummy looking handle.
The Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel is certainly a smooth performer with smooth oscillation, and smooth drag. While the MAX X5 may be a tiny reel designed for ultralight fishing, it has enough drag power to handle hard fighting groupers. We even managed to turn groupers away from seen snags. This feat prompted an angler who was fishing the same pond we did, to walk over for a closer. He then remarked in Malay (language), “eh, such a light setup can bring up these fishes…” He was surprised as he was using a medium heavy setup.
What can I say? I was surprised too by the Abu Garcia MAX X spinning reel. It is a lightweight reel that looks like a toy. Its rubber handle looks so yummy. But, it performed really well. It is smooth, cast really well, has an awesome drag, and slayed hard fighting groupers. This reel is definitely a good reel to mess with your angling buddies’ heads. This is also a good reel to get your kids into fishing with. It is light on the pocket but it works like a charm. Of yes, don’t hunt bears.
Field Tested Reel Information
Reel Brand: Abu Garcia
Game: Ultra Light
Rod Brand: Abu Garcia
Series: Super Ascalon Advanced Stage 3
Model: AAS602UL A
Action: Ultra Light
Main Line: Berkley Fireline Braid (Flame Green)
Line lb: 10lb
Baits / Lures: Berkley Powerbait Pro Grub
Size: 3 inch
Hooks / Jig-heads: Berkley
Test Conditions: Sunny afternoon with slight wind