In this installment of the EVERYMAN Series, we are looking at the Abu Garcia Black Max baitcasting reel.

I’m not new to the Black Max reel by any means but felt it deserved some time as it is the quintessential candidate for the EVERYMAN Series.

EVERYMAN is not just about price but also about quality.

Abu Garcia Black Max Reel $40

abu garcia black max reel review EVERYMAN


The Abu Garcia Black Max is a reel I have bought a few times over the last couple of years. It’s not a bad reel. The spool spins pretty freely but won’t overrun on you. The adjustment points work well by having a brake you can set on the side plate as well as a spool tension knob. Probably my favorite feature on the reel is actually the price. At $40 I have been able to buy them, use them, and give them to others as a still functioning reel, especially to folks who want to learn how to throw a baitcaster.

The Black Max has a good feel in the hand and has surprisingly few plastic parts for a bargain priced reel. That being said, if you need to repair it, it’s just as cheap to go buy a new one many times unless you can do reel repair yourself. I’ve had two of these reels lock up if they even sniffed saltwater so be wary if you are a coastal fisherman. For freshwater guys, this could be a great budget reel for you.

Overall, pretty good for the price and it works in many applications.

In the Green Hat Rating Scale (1 to 5 with 5 being best):

Price Point: 5

Functionality/Performance: 3 for freshwater or 1 for salt

Components: 4

Abu Garcia Black Max Reel

 12 out of 15  80% Recommended for freshwater

 10 out of 15 67% Recommended for saltwater



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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Abu Garcia Black Max Reel”
  1. Good beginners bait caster for sure at that price… does it come in a left handed model?

  2. Agreed. Relatively reliable, since only I’ve had one line guide come loose (repairable) out of three owned. Abu continues to improve the BMax now currently in its third gen (BMax3). Available in a lefty even at this price point. It should be what all more expensive b/c reels must exceed in performance.

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