Technology has brought innovation even to the traditional fishing pole. Today’s quality reels offer performance, strength, and convenience our not-so-distant ancestors would hardly believe.
These advances are not only for high-end gear, either. The established manufacturer Abu Garcia has created an affordable line of modern baitcaster reels that perform exceptionally well. These reels deliver the benefits of updated materials and design to countless anglers worldwide.
In this review, we’ll look at one of their most popular models, the Abu Garcia BMAX2 Black Max BaitcastReel. We’ll go over what makes this well-regarded reel a favorite, and explain its limitations too.
- Lightweight. Features one-piece frame made of lightweight graphite.
- 4+1 bearing system. It allows for easier and faster landing of your next whopper.
- Ergonomic. Just the thing for comfortable handling over a long fishing session.
- Possibiity of misalignment or breakage. A typical problem of graphite construction reels. On the other hand, that is a durable and proven design.
The first thing you notice about the Black Max is how comfortable and substantial the mechanism feels. The one-piece frame is made of lightweight graphite and weighs only 7.9 ounces.
Some consider graphite construction to be prone to misalignment or breakage, but engineering makes a big difference. Abu Garcia’s Black Max 2 has a proven, durable design that performs well.
The reel has ergonomic features for comfortable handling over a long fishing session. The compact bent handle is combined with an easily adjusted star drag, which lets the spool spin freely and also retrieve well. The reel’s foot is recessed for a low profile with extra support.
Casting & Retrieving
The reel uses the common gear ratio of 6.4/1, which is versatile enough for most lures and drag speeds. Abu Garcis’s own MagTrax system does a good job of keeping a constant braking on the line throughout the cast.
Retrieving is also exceptional, though it’s not perfectly quiet and smooth. There is some noise you might not find in a top brand.
The reel has 4 stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing, which make retrieval easy and firm. A proprietary Power Disk™ drag system also provides steady line pressure without grabbing or slipping.
The 4+1 bearing system also gives the reel the strength to land your next whopper. The assembly contains a lightweight machined aluminum spool for added support, and Duragear all-brass parts for extra strength in the reel’s moving parts.
There are quibbles about graphite reels being short-lived and easy to damage, but the Black Max design is suitably durable even under heavy use. This is not to say you can’t break the reel if you try, but it is rugged and considered a proven workhorse for most fishing adventures.
DurabilityThe Black Max uses quality materials and efficient design to produce a reel that will outlast many higher cost reels. It comes with a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship: plenty of time for finding problems in the assembly.
Even though it offers exceptional quality for the money, the Black Max isn’t a lifetime buy. The reel probably isn’t going to live more than a couple of years, even with good maintenance. Also, note that the warranty is only valid to the original purchaser.
Abu Garcia makes some of the most well-regarded and popular reels out there, and the Black Max 2 is a fine example of their baitcaster line. This reel is more than enough for most casual fishing enthusiasts–even some pros keep a Black Max with their gear because it’s so easy and enjoyable to use.
If you’re looking for a reliable baitcaster reel and are on a budget, it only makes sense to check out this Abu Garcia model. The Black Max2 is higher quality than its price would indicate, and it makes modern advances in reel technology available to anyone.