I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods tonight, picking up a new elliptical trainer to help keep me in shape this-coming winter. While I was there I took a walk over to the display case for reels and asked to check out the new Shimano Curado E Series reel and the Abu Garcia Revo SX.

Both of these baitcasting reels are comparable in size and within $20 or each other in price. The Curado comes in at about $179 and the Revo comes in at about $159. These prices seem to be the average when comparing large tackle outlets such as Dick’s and Bass Pro Shops.

I had never seen or handled either of these reels yet, so I wanted to make a side-by-side comparison of them and form an opinion of them based on just what I could see or feel there at the counter.

Let me tell you right away. I formed a definite opinion and came away from there having made up my mind as to which reel would be my next low-profile baitcaster when I buy new reels this Winter.

Here’s the scoop, along with side-by-side comparisons of the two reels… the Shimano Curado E Series and the Abu Garcia Revo SX model.

Let me first give you a couple of charts showing the specs for each reel, including weight, gear ratios, line capacities, etc.

Here’s the Curado E Series

Though its not noted here, the Curado E Series Reels have 7 Bearings.
6 Ball Bearings and 1 Roller Bearing.

Now Here Are The Specs for The Abu Garcia Revo SXAbu Garcia Revo SX Specs

Looking at these specs, the first thing that I noticed is that all of the Revos in this model line have 11 bearings total. 10 of these are ball bearings and 1 is a roller bearing. This is a considerable difference, especially in light of the fact that the Revo costs $20 less!

The Revo does weigh in at 1 oz. heavier than the Curado E Series, but this can probably be attributed to the fact that it has the 4 extra bearings.

The Curado E Series 200 models come in 5.0:1 and 7.0:1, while the Revo SX comes in 6.4:1 and 7.1:1. This is obviously a personal preference, depending on the application the reel will be used for.

Line capacity looks comparable, although the charts compare apples to oranges, with the Curado E Series listing capacity for 10 lb. line while the Revo SX lists the line capacity using 12 lb. line. Using averages, the line capacity is even.

Now, here are photos of the two reels.

First, the Curado E Series 200
Curado E Series 200
The photo shows the smaller size of the reel,
although the angle exaggerates the size of the handle and hand grips.

Now, here’s the Abu Garcia Revo SX
Abu Garcia Revo SX

As you can see in the photos, both reels have a greatly-slimmed-down profile, with large gear cases. Both reels are very small in appearance when compared to previous models.

OK.. so now we have specs, images, etc. Let me give you my own opinion on these reels, based on my handling of the two at Dick’s Sporting Goods last night.

I tried the two of them side by side, holding them in my hand, not mounted on a rod of any type. I also did not do any casting tests. I simply gave the handle of each reel a simple spin and watched and listened for smoothness and length of time that the reel would stay freely spinning. This was done with the reel engaged, not in free spool. I also pressed the thumb bar of each reel and then re-engaged it by turning the handle.

Here’s what I found and how I judged these reels for performance in my simple test.

When spinning the handle and letting go, the Shimano was smooth and stayed spinning for a decent amount of time. There was a small amount of noise, which could have been attributed to gears or bearings. It was hard to tell which, but was most likely gear noise. It was not major, by any means, but it was evident.

For the Revo SX, I spun the handle the very same way. Let me tell you that I was in awe at how smooth this reel was. When I gave the handle a spin, the reel’s spool and handle stayed in motion for a distinctly longer time than the Curado. In addition, there was no noise at all… just pure smoothness.

I picked up the Curado again and gave it another try. Then I picked up the Revo and tried it again. Same results… smooth for the Curado, but much smoother for the Revo.

OK.. so now I picked up a Shimano Citica, of which I own two. I wanted to compare a $100 reel to the other two models. I did the same spin test and I have to tell you, the difference was almost disgusting when compared to the other two! I mean it. The Citica was noisy and not smooth at all in comparison, especially when figuring in the fact that this is a $100 reel! Don’t get me wrong. The Citica is a nice reel, but when it is compared to the Revo and the Curado, it pales terribly in comparison, which it shouldn’t do when carrying a $100 price tag. In fact, let me be honest here and tell you that the Citica that I bought in the latter part of June has not been right from day one and now needs to be shipped back to Shimano for service, after being used for only about 2 1/2 months.

But back on track here… the Curado E Series vs. the Revo SX.

The Revo SX won me over… hands down. The Curado was nice. The Curado was smooth. But the Revo was nicer and the Revo was way smoother. There was very little comparison.

I have owned a handful of Abu Garcia reels in the past and have liked them all, but the Revo SX was, by far, the very best reel I have ever laid eyes on or handled. I will be buying at least a couple of them during this winter season. You’d be wise to consider doing the same.

Check out the Curado E Series, the Shimano Citica and the ABu Garcia Revo SX by clicking the Bass Pro Shops banner at the top of the page or by Clicking Here.

I hope this comparison of these two great reels will help you make an informed buying decision!

Now go bag a hawg!

Curt <><