The Abu Garcia Black Max is the baby or introductory offering in Abu’s Max line of baitcaster reels.
The other models are the Silver Max and the Pro Max with both models adding a step up in terms of casting performance and drag quality.
It is also available as part of a combo, this combo is probably one of the best baitcaster combos available for those looking to get a low-cost baitcaster setup that still has all the quality and reliability you would expect from a brand like Abu Garcia
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The Black Max reel is aimed at beginners or those on a budget. It offers a low-cost option for those looking to dip their toes into the world of baitcasting reels.
Despite this it is more than capable for an intermediate angler and if you are anything like me you may like to keep a cheaper spare set up in your truck as a backup or just for a quick cast after work with a handful of lures.
Although you can use it in saltwater providing you rinse it thoroughly after every use I would normally go for a higher-end reel that would have better seals and corrosion-resistant materials.
Abu Garcia Black Max
The Black Max is built from a lightweight graphite frame and body. It weighs in at just under 8 ounces.
A reel built from graphite will generally be light, but that lightness will come at the expense of the structural rigidity of the reel casing.
If you were to try and use this reel on very heavy gear for large saltwater fish then that lack of a stronger frame would become apparent.
However, that is not the intended use for the Black Max as it is a light to medium rated baitcaster.
For casting medium-sized lures for bass in freshwater it is more than competent.
The spool is made from machines aluminum and for a reel at this price free-spools quite smoothly.
Casting is quite good thanks to its magnetic brake system and is especially forgiving even for a beginner.
It has a fairly low profile design so you need to be careful that the rod you pair it with does not have a high rod grip that may cause some line rubbing during casting.
What rod to use with the Black Max?
Firstly if you are new to fishing then you need to understand that there are spinning rods and casting rods.
As the names imply a spinning rod should be matched to a spinning reel and a casting rod should be matched to a baitcasting reel.
It is best to pair the Black Max with a medium power rod in a 6’6″ or 7′ length with fast action.
Abu Garcia Black Max Line Capacity
The line capacity for the Abu Garcia Black max is:
- 145 yards of 12 lb monofilament fishing line
- 130 yards of 30 braided fishing line
This is more than enough line for most freshwater baitcasting setups.
Best line for Abu Garcia Black Max
As good a reel as the Black Max is if you pair it with the wrong line then you may have created a recipe for disaster.
What line to put on the Black Max?
If you are a beginner then I would recommend a 12 or 15-pound monofilament. For a more advanced user than 30 lb braid.
Monofilament is cheap and if this is your first baitcaster then you may well end up with lots of bird nests that need to be cut off of the spool. Buying a high-quality large spool of mono will not break the bank.
It is also a little bit more forgiving than braid on a baitcaster as if we not bed into the previous layers when wound into the title.
Braid fishing line, however, is a little trickier to get right but given its stronger rating for the same diameter, you can use it for a lot more types of fishing.
Given the choice between 12 lb mono and 30 lb braid when fishing beside deep cover or thick weed beds for bass I would choose the braid every time.