Abu Garcia Ambassadeur STX Round Reel Review

     For the past few seasons I have been exclusively using the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Winch for my day to day trophy fishing.  This is an excellent all around low profile reel.  This year with the addition of my snakehead rod I was in need of a durable reel that I could keep spooled with a smaller diameter line.  I keep 100 pound braided line on my Revo to fish for muskies, large catfish, and strong saltwater species.  Although it worked fine for bass (read overkill), I just couldn't get the casting distance I was after.  While doing my research I discovered this gem of a reel.
     The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur STX Round Reel is an update of the BCX series of baitcasters that was offered by Abu Garcia.  They are available in 2 sizes and in left or right hand retrieve.  It features a smooth 5 bearing system.  Four of the bearing are stainless steel to hold up to the riggers of fishing, and 1 roller bearing (anti-reverse) for consistent smooth casting and operation.  A 6 pin centrifugal brake for better casting control and a multi disc drag system for even pressure.  For me the most exciting updates to this reel are the recessed reel foot and sway back drag star and handle.  The recessed reel foot allows for a more compact feel in the hand since it places the reel closer to the rod blank.  Having the sway back drag star and handle make it more evenly balanced on the rod.  So that just leaves the big question of whether or not I like it?

     Well the short answer is so far so far good.  The reel performs as well any Abu Garcia reel I have owned.  I have used it to catch pike, muskies, and bass this season.  The drag is smooth and consistent with no hesitation and the recessed handle makes for a very comfortable "cockpit".  When I attached the power handle to the reel it didn't have the clumsy/slow feeling.  This is nice because I am constantly swapping reel handles depending on my target species.  The synchronized level wind keeps the line nice and tight on the spool and it doesn't appear to take away any casting distance.  However I do have a few little complaints.
     As I have fished with it over the last few months I have noticed that the side plate thumb screws have a habit of coming loose.  At least once a week I have to tighten them all back down or the reel flexes under load.  Also the reel seems to engage and disengage at random times.  Not all the time, but it happens enough to make me a little nervous.  I find that I click the spool button every once in awhile just to make sure that it is operating correctly.  Small things when you consider the reel as whole, but I thought they were worth mentioning.  So would I recommend the reel?
    The answer is yes and no.  If you are a new angler, on a tight budget, or are considering this reel as a backup, I wouldn't have any problems recommending it.  However, if this going to be your only reel or if this is intended to be your workhorse, I would save your money for one of the reels in the Revo line.  Still at less than $100 dollars it is a good budget or beginners reel.  It does what it is designed to do and it does it pretty well.  For more information about this reel or to purchase one of your own go to www.abugarcia.com.
     Tight Lines.

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