The Revo Beast baitcasting reel is a further variation of the Revo 3 clan of baitcasting reels from Pure Fishing Australia. It features a low-profile design similar to the other Revo models and utilises the familiar X2 Craftic alloy frame. This model also has robust X Craftic alloy side-plates which are titanium coated for increased scratch resistance. The Beast has long black, inward-swept handle with distinctive mega-size eva power knobs and a glossy charcoal finish. Specifications detail that the Beast has seven High Performance Corrosion Resistant ball bearings plus a one-way roller bearing. Access to spool, cast control and bearing lubrication is available via the palming side plate. This is achieved by releasing a spring-loaded thumbscrew shaft located just above the level wind before applying a short twist to the side-plate to disengage the bayonet style locking lugs.
Interestingly the Revo Beast incorporates an internal centrifugal cast control plus an externally adjustable magnetic dial cast control. The centrifugal adjustment comprises 6 sliding brake blocks each of which can be turned on or off and primarily come into play when the spool is subjected to high revolutions during the initial part of the cast. As the spool slows, this brake disengages and the magnetic control then comes into its own, applying its influence during the latter stage of the cast.
The Revo Beast reel has brass gearing and applies ABU’s D2 gear design to provide a smooth cranking experience. The star drag wheel has a broad range with an audible click to take the guesswork out of making fine adjustments and employs ABU’s well-proven carbon matrix drag set-up. When the drag is cranked up, it’s almost fully locked and difficult to pull line off the spool. Maximum drag pressure I managed to achieve was just over 7kg against a spring balance.
The test reel had already seen use in the recent Barra Nationals held on the Daly River before coming across the test bench so it was already spooled with 30 pound Spider Wire Ultimate braid. Because the Revo Beast has dual cast control systems, I was quite interested to see how it would perform on the casting paddock. As received, it had three centrifugal casting blocks deployed and the mag control set midway between maximum and minimum. I then adjusted the mechanical end cap brake knob so that there was just a hint of side-play in the spool. I chose a typical barra lure of 100mm long and 17 grams in weight and set about the task of casting utilising a variety of settings to see what differences were apparent. As set up initially, casts were satisfactory and the reel showed little tendency to overrun.
Distance averaged just over 20m. By varying just the magnetic setting between maximum and minimum, the difference in casting distances achieved was about 8-10m on average, with the minimum setting achieving an average of 30m and, at the maximum setting, just 20. I then turned off all the centrifugal cast control blocks and, on a mid-range magnetic setting, I was still achieving about 20-25m but had to resort to some very active manual thumbing of the spool to negate overruns. After trying quite a few different settings, it became clear that the best compromise was to engage 2 or 3 of the internal casting blocks and then fine tune using the external magnetic setting. Of course, this set up might differ if using a lure featuring differing dimensions.
Being low profile design, the ABU Revo Beast balanced very nicely on the rod and was comfortable to use. The 7.1:1 gearing felt smooth and whipped lures back quickly once out of the strike zone.
The ABU Beast features great ergonomics and is well finished. With an all alloy frame and side-plates this reel should withstand plenty of hard use. I liked the oversized eva handle knobs and smooth running gear train. I think the dual cast control works well, so much so that even novice baitcaster users will easily become casting proficient the Revo Beast.