We graded each reel on a 1-5 scale in three areas:
1. Price
2. How the reel felt and reacted as the motorcycle sped away
3. How we like handling the reel

Then we made “judges deductions” for any beefs we had about the reels.

The Bauer McKenzie Extreme 4 (MX4 for short) is a pretty solid value at $545, compared to other saltwater models. It’s a line-cranker, with that larger profile, but the drag is nice also.
Score: 4 out of 5

How it “Met the Street”
If any reel gets the “wow, I didn’t think this reel could do that” award, it’s this Bauer MX4. We ran it at 25 mph, with no problems. Then we cheated and tried to fry it … ran it at 45 mph. Same smooth, wobble free drag, and very slick startup (a little dip on the first run). This reel couldn’t tell the difference. Bonefish, therefore, are definitely not a factor.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

Functional Review
We all dug the flashy duo-tone aesthetics, the larger spool, and its line-gathering capability. But when all was said and done, the drag was an exceptional surprise; Jeff the motorcycle man said, “I felt that one holding on to me” when he made that second, faster run. As you trend toward saltwater, that larger spool becomes more of a positive factor.
Score: 4 out of 5

If you’re not into the black and gold-ish combo (kind of looks like the ’55 Olds Burt Reynolds drove in W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings) there are solid alternatives. Maybe a touch on the bulky side for some people, but not us. It can be a knuckle-knocker on the high-speed runs. Decide if you like the larger diameter or not.
Deduction: .5

Total Score: 11.5 out of 15

Watch More Reel Tests:

Trout Reels Hatch 3-Plus Nautilus 5 Abel Pt. 5 Ross Evolution Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor Scientific Anglers System 2L Model 45L Bauer JM2 Bonefish Reels Sage 3400 Nautilus 8 Bauer MX4 Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor **Big Game Reels ** Orvis Vortex (VO2) 8-11 Nautilus 12 Hatch 9-Plus Abel Super 10