Abu Garcia SilverMAX Review
In this review of the Silver Max low profile baitcaster from Abu Garcia, we will take a look at a reel that might not have all the bells and whistles of some other models, but we think is an excellent option for a lot of anglers.
The Silver Max from Abu Garcia is a slightly stripped down version of their Pro Max model, but it still provides excellent functionality on the water and is a great baitcaster for those looking to get into the baitcasting game or who need a secondary or tertiary reel for their outfit.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the Silver Max and discuss some of its main features and how they translate to performance on the water.
Silver Max Pros & Cons
- High performance for price
- Decent retrieve rate
- Versatile gear ratio
- Not fatiguing
- Compact and ergonomic design
- Love the Rocket Clutch
- Excellent Brake system
- Smooth retrieval
- Easy to work drag
- Not a robust reel
- A little play in the handle
- Drag a little jumpy at high end of range
Silver Max Key Features
- Power Disk Drag
- DuraGear Brass Gears
- MagTrax Magnetic Braking System
- Rocket Clutch
- Single Piece Graphite Frame and Sideplates
- Recessed Reel Foot
Abu Garcia Silver Max: In-Depth Review
The Silver Max is constructed from a single piece graphite frame and graphite side plates which keeps the weight of this baitcaster way down. It also uses a ported, aluminum spool which further cuts down on weight.
While this is not the most robust reel regarding body strength, it is a reel that can be cast heavily all day without fatigue and is more than capable of standing up to everyday abuse.
While frame flex might and loss of efficiency might be an issue if you use this reel out of its intended fish targets, the graphite body is of high enough quality and constructed well enough to not be any type of issue with most fish.
In fact, it stands up a lot better than its price would make you assume.
Feel & Ease of Use
The low profile baitcaster has a dual bent handle that is extremely compact. It aids in the Silver Max’s agronomical feel, and the two paddle boat grips are easy to stay on point with.
Right next to the handle is the star drag, which also has a bent design that makes it easy to adjust during a fight.
There are a little play and wobble in the reel handle but not enough to impede retrieval. The reel is also designed with a recessed reel foot which sits it extremely low on the rod.
This helps the reel fit even more evenly in your palm giving your thumb play over the entire face of the reel.
We like the MagTrax magnetic braking system used on the Silver Max. Adjustments to the brake can be made easily and quickly with the dial that is located on the opposite side plate from the reel handle.
This brake system provides smooth pressure to the reel from initiation of the cast to the lure hitting the water. It doesn't completely negate possible backlash on the spool, and you still need some thumb braking to manage the line.
The gear ratio on this baitcaster makes it more ideal for slower but deeper retrieve techniques used with medium sized crankbaits, jerkbaits, and other diving lure techniques.
With some adjustments to the spool tension, the Silver Max is able to deliver these lures at surprising distances and with accuracy.
Another feature that aids in certain casting techniques such as flipping and pitching or even just letting line out is the Rocket Clutch technology.
Unlike other attempts at this feature, you do not have to keep hold down on the switch to keep the spool disengaged. Instead, you push down the clutch, and the spool stays disengaged.
When you are ready to engage the spool, you simply push down the switch next to the clutch. This gives you one-handed operation with engaging and disengaging the spool.
It's a neat feature that will come in handy with certain techniques, and the Silver Max has made it incredibly simple to use.
With the reels five stainless steel ball bearings and brass gears, the Silver Max has an excellent feel during retrievals.
The brass gears are built and aligned using Abu Garcia’s Duragear technology which greatly extends the gears lifespan and keeps them turning under heavy duress.
This drops the gear ratio slightly, but the reel makes up for it with excellent cranking power. This reel performs very well under the duress of heavy fish, and the gearing and bearing system is the main reason.
The line retrieval rate is around average for other low profile baitcasters of this size, and it is not the best option for high-speed retrieval techniques, but it can get the job done nonetheless.
The cranking power makes it excellent for deep diving lures and heavier lures. The braking system combined with the gear ratio also makes it one of the few baitcasters that can do pretty well with more finesse fishing techniques.
The Power Disk drag system uses synthetic washers and is capable of dishing out more drag than you will need for normal low profile baitcasting applications.
At the lower end of the drag range, the start-up inertia is negligible, and the synthetic washers provide a smooth and consistent drag pressure.
At the upper end of the drag range, it can get a little jumpy, but it’s nothing serious. The star drag adjustment located adjacent to the handle is easy to adjust with your thumb even during a fight, and you have very fine control of the adjustment.
The Abu Garcia Silver Max baitcaster is not the top of the line reel, and it doesn't have the features you are going to find on other $100+ low profile reels.
That doesn't mean that it isn't a good reel, in fact, we think the complete opposite of the Silver Max. It casts well, it feels good in your hands, and it can handle fish.
With those three things, you have an affordable low profile baitcaster that can keep up with you on the water.
It's an excellent starting reel for someone looking to get into the world of baitcasting, but it will please a lot of more experienced anglers as well. Do yourself a favor and give some thought to the Abu Garcia Silver Max.