Abu Garcia UltraMax Low Profile Reel



Abu Garcia is certainly well known for their reels especially their bait casting reels as that was where the Abu Garcia name begun. Of course their reels have gone from the old favourite rod reels to the low profile reels that we see today. While they still manufacture some of the best round bait casting reels, anglers in our part of the globe have taken a liking to the low profile bait casters thanks to the Abu Garcia Max series that opened doors for anglers with a lower budget to hop into the world of bait casting.

As more anglers pick up bait casting, Abu Garcia started producing more low profile bait casting reels and one of the latest to hit the market, from the Max series is the Abu Garcia UltraMax. This matte black beauty of a reel with silver handle bar, spool control knob, and spool is sure to fly off shelves fast. Well, let us take a deeper look at the Abu Garcia UltraMax low profile bait casting reel.


The Abu Garcia UltraMax with its swept handle and rubber knobs.

The Looks

In terms of looks, the Abu Garcia UltraMax looks small and sporty. A dark coloured reel will always look smaller than a light coloured reel. Looking at it from the side (removable side plate), the reel looks sporty and tiny; a pocket rocket. The reel looks elegant and expensive from the side where the handle bar is located. From the front it looks like the head of a robot. Over all the Abu Garcia UltraMax looks really good.


Simple and sporty looking reel. 


The Abu Garcia UltraMax feels solid and tough. I also feels smaller and sits comfortably in the hands. Abu Garcia seems to have gotten the measurements right by making their low profile reels lower. This provides for a much more comfortable grip. Not just comfortable but a confident grip as well. It just feels planted in the hands really well. The recessed reel foot certainly helps with this allowing the reel to sit lower.  


Front view of the Abu Garcia UltraMax

MagTrax™ Braking System

The control of the spool are done with the spool control knob and Abu Garcia’s proven magnetic braking system called the MagTrax™. Working together with friction of tension from the spool control knob, the magnetic brakes allows for a smoother consistent control of the spool especially at the end of the cast. This allows for smoother and further casting distances as well as better control of the spool by the angler thus eliminating backlash. Of course, settings and practise play a part.


The magnets of the MagTrax Braking System.

Duragear™ System

One of the most important gears in any reel is the main gear. A solid and tough main gear will be able to handle the heavy pressure from cranking in a heavy and hard fighting fish without giving up the ghost (breaking). Abu Garcia’s proven Duragear™ System uses high quality brass gears that are tough and durable; capable of withstanding hard fighting fish after fish.


The UltraMax comes with five bearings.

Machined Aluminium Spool

The machined aluminium spool used in the Abu Garcia UltraMax provides for toughness while maintaining a lower weight. Such toughness is needed too as it complements the powerful 8kg drag of the reel. A lesser spool will be crushed by the pressure. I have seen this happen on one of my fishing trips where a spool got crushed in the heat of battle.


The tough spool of the UltraMax.

My Thoughts

I have not had the opportunity to fish with the Abu Garcia UltraMax just yet but so far it looks really good. I like the way it looks and love the way it feels; like most higher end Abu Garcia low profile bait casting reels. It comes with proven features that have been in Abu Garcia reels for many years and have gone through improvements over time. In short, I like the UltraMax and if it is like its older brethrens, it will certainly not disappoint.


6.4:1 gear ratios. 

Features At A Glance

Compact bent handle and drag star provide an efficient design

Machined aluminum spool provides strength without additional weight

Power Disk™ drag system gives smooth drag performance

Duragear™ brass gear extends gear life for years of use

MagTrax™ brake system gives consistent brake pressure throughout the cast

Recessed reel foot

Graphite side plates

4 Stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation

One piece graphite frame

Gear ratio: 6.4:1


View of the side where the brake settings are located.

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