Abu Garcia Black Max Combo Review – Rod and Reel

Abu Garcia are one of the most popular angling brands in North America. The combination of quality and affordability are hard to beat, and the Abu Garcia Black Max Combo is no exception.

In summary before we begin, the Black Max Combo is a great, extremely lightweight, baitcasting rod and reel combo that is suitable for all beginner anglers. The graphite construction of both items make it incredibly lightweight but also makes it brittle and more likely to snap or break under impact than other materials of construction - although I have a graphite baitcasting rod I have used for years without any damage.

This is a review of the Abu Garcia Black Max Combo with baitcasting rod and reel, where we aim to give you an overview on the benefits and disadvantages so that you can make your own decision about whether it suits your purposes before purchase.

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Low Profile Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Fishing rod and fishing reel combo delivers exceptional sensitivity, durability, and power
  • Sleek, lightweight reel design with 1-piece graphite frame and graphite side plates.High density EVA handles
  • 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing for reliable operation and effortless retrieve

Abu Garcia have put together a great lightweight combination in this product. We have put together some of the key features and benefits of the Black Max Combo.

  • Getting both the rod and reel in the same package means you won't have any doubts about whether your reel from one manufacturer is compatible with someone else's rod
  • 1 piece graphite frame and side plates reel
  • 4 stainless steel bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Gear ratio of 6.4:1
  • Lightweight graphite rod
  • Available in both 1 piece of 2 piece rods

Benefits of a Combo

I have a particularly entertaining memory of when my father traveled thousands of miles to go fishing with me and purchased a brand new rod and reel. The problem was he bought a spinning reel and a baitcasting rod. They didn't fit together!

There are great benefits in buying a rod and reel that you know have been perfectly designed for one another. They take the same mounting brackets, the same fishing line, the same lure weights. They are just meant to be together - so you can eliminate any worry about getting the wrong rod or reel.

Lightweight Graphite Construction

Both the rod and the reel are made from graphite which is extremely lightweight. I have used graphite baitcasting rods for years and have found hem to be very enjoyable. You can cast all day and not get a tired arm or sore shoulders. If you are interested in active fishing with a lot of casting then graphite is a great option.

The problem with graphite is that it is brittle - under impact it can shatter and break. It is very strong under tension from a fish pulling in the correct direction, but it can be damaged if you strike it on the side of your boat or dropping it on a rock. Or even if it is not packed correctly during transport.

If you are a careful angler who takes good care of your equipment then graphite should be on your radar.


  • Gear Ratio: 6.4:1
  • Weight: 7.30 lbs
  • Braid Capacity: 140 yds at 20 lbs
  • Mono Capacity: 145 yds at 12 lbs
  • Max Drag: 18lb | 8.1kg
  • Reel Spool Material: Aluminum
  • Drag Type: Star Drag
  • Retrieve Rate: 26" | 66cm
  • Braking System: Magnetic
  • Bearing Count: 5

Pros and Cons of the Abu Garcia Black Max Combo

We have put together some obvious and maybe not so obvious pros and cons list to help you to get a clearer picture of this product. Does it suit your requirements?


  • The price - to get a high quality rod and reel for this price is unbelievable
  • The angled handle and drag system keep it all out of the way of your hand and gives a comfortable feel
  • Both the rod and reel are extremely lightweight graphite so you won't get tired after a long day fishing
  • Stainless steel bearings and guides ensure this rod and reel combo will last for years and survive most punishment


  • The rod is not as strong as something like an Ugly Stik Elite and can get tip damage from impacts
  • This is a great entry level combo but is not as high a quality of construction and materials as higher end options

Video Review

The video below is made by the manufacturer Abu Garcia, so take it with a grain of salt. It is good to get some visual illustrations of how the rod and reel work and a brief overview of their features and advantages.


In conclusion, Abu Garcia make a brilliant rod and reel combo in the Black Max. For the price it is hard to beat for an entry level model. The graphite construction for both items makes it incredibly lightweight and will not give you a sore arm after a long day of casting - although the graphite rod can be brittle and break under impact if its left in the bottom of your boat.

The baitcaster design gives great accuracy in casting to help you put your lure in the right spot around weed or under tree limbs.

This is certainly a recommended rod and reel combo for any beginners looking to get started in the world of fishing, and is also suitable for experienced anglers who will take good care of their equipment.

If you have used a Black Max and have some comments than please let a comment below to help other anglers make their own decision.

Happy fishing!

Russ Egan

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments