Abu Garcia MGXtreme Abugarcia.com; $499.95 This reel impressed me the most at ICAST. The price tag is going to turn some anglers away, but for a gear junky like me, the MGXtreme is a gem. This reel weighs only 4.5 ounces, which is incredible. The magnesium frame and carbon-fiber sideplates not only keep the weight down, but also offer maximum durability. For a tiny reel, the blazing fast 8.1:1 gear ratio takes in an insane 32-inches-per-handle turn. The downside is that it has only 12 pounds of drag, but this isn't the reel you’d use to flip and pitch. That said, its ability to cast smaller lures with ease is unparalleled. The MGXtreme comes in one size, and is offered in both left- and right-hand models. Abu Garcia
New fishing reels were on everyone’s radars at the 2016 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, or ICAST, including mine. Picking out pricey, top-of-the-line reels was fairly straightforward. But finding the gold among the massive amount of new products took some digging. And I dug plenty. There were a couple of expensive standouts that clearly shined above the rest, but anglers need not fork out a mortgage payment to get a high-quality reel out of this year’s new crop. Here are my five top picks, with a little something for everybody.
Be sure to read our other reviews from ICAST 2016.