I recently purchased a gen 3 wench largely because I've had an original Abu Garcia wench I got right after that model was introduced, and I've been very happy with the performance of that original wench. So far I am just as pleased with this updated model. The gen 3 is lighter than the original, just as smooth, more comfortable, and casts effortlessly. I read an other reviewer who said he fished with a guide using a shimano curado and he could only cast half as far with the wench. First let me say I have nothing against shimano's at all, they make a fine reel, and so does Abu Garcia, will one cast twice as far as the other? No absolutely not, if the guy next to you can cast twice as far as you can don't immediate jump to conclusions that it's due to inferior reel performance, first thing to consider is rod action, length, and power. For example a heavy power extra fast action rod will not load up and cast a light crankbait the way a medium light moderate action rod will. The second thing to consider is line weight and type. If you are throwing a frog on sixtyfive pound braid chances are a guy can probably throw the same frog twice as far on spinning gear with six pound test, but six pound test will never haul a five pound bass and five pounds of slop back to the boat. Obviously you have to be able to cast far enough to fish effectively but keep in mind it's not a casting contests, if you're ripping weeds with your crank or fishing around cover sacrificing line strength for casting distance is almost certainly not worth it. I read an other review where someone said the level wind wouldn't function properly and even after sending back to Abu Garcia they had the same problem, I hope the reviews sees my review because I am almost 100% sure I can solve that problem, is there oil in the level wind? I had this problem with a reel some years ago and learned if the worm gear gets oil in it, it will cause the pawl to slip thus the level wind will go to one side and stay there. If you remove the worm gear and pawl and clean with break cleaner or alcohol my guess is your reel will function perfectly again. Remember the level wind is a dry system, well it may be wet from water and it will function just fine but if oiled it will not. I use one drop of oil on each bearing in the level wind and wipe off any excess when cleaning my reel. The other negative reviews I've read were all involving the centrifugal break, I read several reviews stating the breaks have engaged on their own. This sounds like a problem Abu Garcia needs to address, it hasn't happened to me so far and I never had any issues with the centrifugal breaks on my original wench even after years of hard use. That having been said reading those reviews did not discourage me from purchasing this reel, personally I rarely use the break and since this reel has two breaks if I have trouble with the centrifugal break I will probably remove the pins and use the magnetic break if I get into a situation where I'm casting into the wind all day. Still if people are experiencing problems seems Abu Garcia should offer an upgrade to that break free of charge, every time I've dealed with their costumer service they responded quickly and I believe if anyone is having problems they will address the issue if you contact them. All things considered I'm very happy with this reel, this reel is designed for heavy cranking and it is ideal for that purpose. I'd highly recommend this reel for cranking or any application where you are looking for a low geared reel.
November 30, 2013
Poor casting distance
I am experiencing the same problems as several other people who have reviewed the gen 3 winch. My centrifugal brakes keep turning themselves on and need to be reset every 10 casts or so. It is an otherwise smooth reel, but constantly removing the side plate gets a little old. Unfortunately, I'm outside of the 1 year warranty. I'm not sure how it can be fixed, but I expected more from a $200 reel.
November 20, 2013
Bad casting performance
When I bought this reel few months ago I was impressed: very light compact and smooth and decent casting performance. But lately it just became horrible. I can barely cast, at half cast the spool suddenly slows down. Tried to adjust with the dial the magnetic brake but nothing changed, seems like something is wrong with it and doesn't respond to my adjustments. When I retrieve the line the reel still runs nice and smooth. I haven't use the reel much and always maintained as suggested but its performance didn't last long. I'm very disappointed.
November 5, 2013
Great Customer Service
I picked up a Gen 3 Winch in August 2013 , at first it was amazing,super light, great casting distance and ultra smooth, after about a month the paint started chipping on the reel and it was not as smooth on retrieves. I sent the reel back with a note explaining the issue and within 4 days Abu Garcia sent me back a brand new reel and I have been satisfied ever since. I was really impressed with the quick turnaround time and the fact they choose to sent me a brand new reel. I will definitely purchase another reel from Abu in the future because of this positive experience. I have a suggestion for the gen 4 Winch, can you engineer it to be more narrow, I feel it's just a too wide and the more narrow profile will make it easier to palm. I know the wide width gives it the ability to hold 180 yards of 12lb test but 140-150 yards is fine for deep cranking.Keep up the great customer service Abu.
September 24, 2013