Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review - Abu Garcia 6600 BCX

Abu Garcia makes good reels. Their C3 Baitcast Round Reels are legendary. For this reason, when I needed to purchase a bait caster with a clicker for targeting large cats, I turned to Abu Garcia.

The reel I chose was the 6600 BCX . I bought it because it held a lot of line (330 yards of braid), has a clicker, and has a strong drag. Plus, it is made by Abu Garcia, which is a name I trust.

After about a year of use, I have mixed feelings about this reel. On one hand, it is a tough reel that can handle big fish. On the other hand, its quality and function does not live up the the Abu Garcia name.
We will start with the good.
Like I said before, it holds a lot of line. 300 yards of 30 pound test is overkill for use in a kayak. Line capacity is not an issue at all.
It is also beginner friendly. Backlashes do happen, but when they happen it is my fault. The brake works very well, perhaps too well. More on that later....
The clicker is loud and smooth.
I have not hooked into something large enough to pull drag. It is spooled with the recommended 30 pound test braid, so my drag is set to ten pounds. It takes a big fish to pull ten pounds of drag! However, when setting the drag, it seemed smooth.
It is a nice looking reel and is a good value at around $60.
Now for the not-so-good.

My biggest complaint is its casting range. I am very lucky to get 20 yards out of this without using a heavy weight. If i use a lure over 1.5oz, then it casts decently, but anything less and it wont cast worth crap.

It also gets much worse with use. It may cast 25 yards the first few times I cast it, but by the end of the day I am lucky to get 10 yards. I have to take it apart after each fishing trip and re-oil it or it is useless.

My next complaint is with its thumb release. This is a very convent feature, but causes a lot of headaches for me.

Like almost all bait casters, you depress the thumb release to put the reel in free spool, and turn the handle to engage the drag. Often, maybe every 5 casts, turning the handle does not engage the drag. It stays in free spool. I have to manually flip up the thumb release.

This is annoying and has resulted in missed fish.

This is probably due to its cheap internal parts. Most of the gears and parts inside this reel are plastic. I do not see it lasting the test of time.

Another (minor) gripe I have is with the clicker switch. It is very hard to turn on the clicker. I usually need to use both hands. This has gotten better over time, but after about 100 hours of use, it is still hard.
The reel is great for jigging below my kayak or for trolling, but is worthless for tossing baits.

If I could do it over again, I would pay an extra $40 and get something from the Abu Garcia C3 line. The BCX line just does not live up to the Abu Garcia name.

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