ABU Garcia Pro Max Review – Overview of The Reel

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I used to be surprised at how often I was requested to write a Abu Garcia Pro Max Review. Having used one, and having researched them a little, I’m no longer surprised.

It’s certainly no REVO, Tatula, or Curado. In fairness, however, nor is it priced as such. The Pro Max is a fine, honest reel with an honest and accessible price tag. 

It is also very capable, user-friendly, and cosmetically blessed. And that, in a nutshell, explains its popularity.

There’s a little twist to the story, however, that, in my opinion, has fuelled its popularity. It seems to get a lot of airtime. 

In other words, it’s constantly talked about and it’s always talked about in a positive light. And why not…it’s a pretty handy baitcaster.

Pro Max gets a lot of inquiries on-line. This leads plenty of Amazon driven, traffic steering,web profiteers, to push it and promote it.

This type of focus snowballs exposure, hence getting a reputation as the hottest thing in fishing since barbed hooks. 

That’s not to say the Pro Max is all hype or doesn’t deserve the exposure. On the contrary, most credible reports I read give an accurate and positive appraisal of a deserving reel.

Corporate marketing is reasonably on-point. And, in my experience, the ABU Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcaster will help the average angler on a limited budget catch plenty of fish. 

All with comfort, joy, and a minimum of fuss. Happy days!

Let’s Look a little closer.

What are The Best Features of the Abu Garcia Pro Max?

This is where you’ll find countless reviews diving into features and repeating each other’s appraisals, usually in similar formats, and frequently offering little in nuanced opinion.

I’m looking for an angel here. Something insightful. But the truth is, pedestrian as it sounds, that it…. it’s just a good reel. 

There’s nothing particularly standout, it’s not dripping with an impossible list of features as the suspiciously endowed KastKing’s and Lew’s tend to be at this price point.

The best feature of the Pro Max is that it covers everything a beginner, intermediate, and experienced angler demands in a baitcaster.

It does it cheaply and, importantly, if you treat it right it will last indefinitely.

Moreover, it will cover the lion’s share of inshore fishing applications, whether you fish it land-based or from your favorite vessel.

Ultimately, at this price point, the ABU Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcaster defies adverse criticism. Indeed, it can’t really be faulted. In my books, that makes for a very fine reel.

What Don’t I like?

In a word, nothing. For less than a hundred bucks there’s nothing I don’t like about this reel. 

Any criticism would be purely subjective. For example, I’m not a fan of bulkier low profile baitcasters, and I’m not a big fan of graphite frames.

But that’s me. If the Pro Max had an alloy frame and more refined features, it would cost a heck of a lot more. It’s not a fair criticism.

It is a little bulkier, but it wears it well. That bulk allows for 8kg (17.6 lb) of drag and a spool that will hold 140 yards of 30 pound. 

That’s a very fair trade-off indeed at this entry-level price point.

Unlike the more expensive reels, I would be less inclined to spool light and chase a smaller class of fish. 

While I don’t feel it would be overkill, the reel does seem better suited to mid-sized inshore species. Chasing big Largemouth? The Pro Max would be ideal.

Do I Own One Pro Max?

No, I don’t. I’m a surf and ocean rock specialist. I usually chase a much larger class of fish for which the Pro Max is not suited.

While fishing is my thing (obviously), I don’t carry huge arsenals of rods and reels that sit and collect dust. I have a modest front-line kit that’s well-honed for my specific applications.

Have I Used a Pro Max?

It’s a fair question to ask. I can tell you with all honesty, many of the reviews you read online have been written by people who barely fish, let alone use the reels that they write about. Sad…but true.

Yes, I have used one and had an absolute ball with it. I used one over a period of a week on a trip to Northern Australia chasing the famous Aussie icon, Barramundi. 

Interestingly, I fished with a baitcaster-only bunch of anglers.

I used several other reels, so I managed to get a pretty fair comparison. (sort of). The other reels I used were far more expensive than the Pro Max.

Barra (Barramundi) fishing is hectic, chaotic, and wild. I’m not kidding when I say it’s the fishing experience of a lifetime. 

You battle crocks, remoteness, isolation, and a fish that genuinely hates you. 23 inches is the minimum legal size, and they can grow beyond 40 inches, at 130lb. 

The average catch is about 25 to 30 inches.

I used the Pro Max casting various hardbodies into ridiculous amounts of impossible structure. It performed faultlessly. I dropped quite a few fish (poor skills) but landed a 31-inch monster. 

Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel (12-Pound/145-Yard)
  • Made using the highest quality components
  • Professional grade fishing equipment
  • Tested for durability and quality
  • Pro Max low profile baitcast reel from Abu Garcia for right-hand retrieve (Model number: PMAX2-1237070)

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Pro Max, while definitely working really hard, passed the test.

The other reels of note that I used on the same trip were a Shimano Tranx and a Quantum Smoke. 

I fell in love with the Quantum smoke. It’s critical to note, however, that a Smoke is over twice the price of the Pro Max. The Smoke fit me. 

But it wasn’t twice the price better in performance.

Just for your reference, the Tranx was magnificent. But the pain on my wallet would be unbearable. It cannot be fairly compared to the Pro Max.

Abu Garcia Pro Max Review

Drag

Smooth. Predictable (after I worked it out), and up to the task of really grumpy big fish. 8kg of drag delivers plenty of fighting power. 

Keep in mind, you give Barra nothing, else they take you to a nightmare of snags. It coped. And that is all I ask of a reel.

Spool Capacity

By Spec, the capacities are very generous. I can’t really critique as I was fishing close quarters in heavy structure where heavy drag pressure is the order of the day over long tiring runs.

Casting

Keep in mind I’m a spin specialist.

People can bang on for hours about the MagTrax brake system. Bottom line…good clean casting is up to the angler. I can’t say that I noticed the technology. 

However, having said that….

I cast into the most god-awful, lure-thieving structure a billion times over the course of a few days. 

The only time I got an irreconcilable birds nest is when I cast a heavy hard plastic into a tree. Otherwise, the worst I experienced was having to pull a little line out for a neat spool.

I can’t say if it was my skills or the ABU tech. But having not really noticed it, I chalk up a win for ABU. 

Having Tech that ‘just works’ while remaining inconspicuous is pretty cool.

What I can say is that after countless, and I really mean countless, lure changes…and casting into impossible areas, is that casting adjustments were easy. 

After about 45 minutes on the first day’s fishing I was pretty comfortable sorting out casting settings.

Size and Weight

Yep, it’s kinda bulky. However, it still felt like a good fit in my hands. It also gave me confidence pulling large fish from ugly structure. 

I felt OK about really leaning into the fish. It’s not what you’d call refined, but nor does it pretend to be.

Durability

I can’t really comment, because the reel I was using was only a month old, and I used it for less than a week. 

My guess is, however, that the Pro Max will be a genuine investment. The crew I was with handled nothing with kid gloves. It took the treatment and didn’t skip a beat.

The Verdict

I really appreciate quality kit. However, I’m not one of those reel boffins that can talk endlessly about tech inclusions comparing and contrasting insignificant tolerances to prove a case of “better than.”

The criteria I have reviewed above, in my opinion, are the things that really matter. Performance relative to investment is the most important thing. 

In my opinion, ABU has set a benchmark here. This is one heck of an honest reel, priced accordingly.

I like this from a manufacturer. 

And while I am aware that there has been criticism of ABU Garcia for several issues and products, I tend to judge each product on its merits. By and large, the Pro Max Low Profile Baitcaster deserves the popularity it has garnered.

Are there better baitcasters on the market? Of course, there are. But you’ll pay a heck of a lot for them. 

Will the Pro Max meet the needs of a discerning inshore angler chasing a larger class of fish? You bet it will, and it will do it predictably, and reliably, and after countless sessions? 

Of course, it will. Especially if you look after it.

Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel (12-Pound/145-Yard)
  • Made using the highest quality components
  • Professional grade fishing equipment
  • Tested for durability and quality
  • Pro Max low profile baitcast reel from Abu Garcia for right-hand retrieve (Model number: PMAX2-1237070)

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do I Recommend The Pro Max?

Would I recommend the ABU Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcaster? Well…As a rule, I cast ridiculously big live baits at fish so stupidly big, and lose more than half I hook. 

In other words, this style of reel is well outside my regular routine.

However. I’m a spin reel angler that had a tremendous amount of fun casting and battling with the Pro Max. I found it more than capable, and easy to use after a short period of getting familiar.

It’s a little chunky in my eyes. For a low profile baitcaster, I like something a little stealthier. Please understand that that’s not a criticism, just a personal preference.

This is a reel I’d recommend to many anglers – from experienced fish hunters to complete noobs. It’s a credit to the designers at ABU and will no doubt make a fine addition to your reel arsenal.

I hope this Abu Garcia Pro Max review helps you make an informed choice.

Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel (12-Pound/145-Yard)
  • Made using the highest quality components
  • Professional grade fishing equipment
  • Tested for durability and quality
  • Pro Max low profile baitcast reel from Abu Garcia for right-hand retrieve (Model number: PMAX2-1237070)

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Sean Ward

Sean Ward

Hey there, my name is Sean – OnTrack Fishing is my site. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch bass in the States, barramundi in Australia, trout here at home, and carp on the Danube delta. If I’m not fishing, or talking about fishing, then….I’m probably asleep.

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