Abu Garcia PMAX3 Review: Low Profile Fishing Reel

Photo: Abu Garcia

What We Like

  • More low-profile and ergonomic design
  • Well-built with a sturdy one-piece frame
  • Durable aluminum spool
  • Smooth drag performance
  • Comfortable high density handles
  • Effective anti-reverse mechanism

What We Don’t Like

  • A little too much play on the handle
  • Can be relatively noisier

Bottom Line

The low-profile of the Abu Garcia PMAX3 makes it feel smaller and lighter than it is and also more ergonomic to ensure anglers will have an easy time using it.

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A low profile fishing reel like the PMAX3 is built to make sure that your fishing tackle will always be more manageable as it will not add a lot of mass to it. This makes it perfect for use in different fishing situations.

Other things that make this reel worth checking out for both armature and professional anglers is the fact that it also has a solid construction with one-piece graphite body, a smooth drag system, and the nice aluminum spool.

Abu Garcia PMAX3 Review

Photo: Abu Garcia

Usage: Adaptable to Any Skill Level

Because this fishing reel is adaptable to any skill level, it will be a perfect choice for both anglers that are just getting into fishing and the more experienced ones that are often more demanding with the quality and performance of their reel.

To further make sure that it can be used by all anglers, it will come in both left and right hand retrieve options.

Also, this fishing reel is designed to take a lot of abuse, and it will be perfect for use in different fishing environments from kayak and canoe fishing to ocean rock fishing.

This fishing reel is also made to be tough enough to handle regular use and will hence work well for those that fish often. And for bass or trout fishing, it seems to excel but it should still be good enough for fishing a wide variety of other fish types.

Performance: Dependable for any Regular Angler

Dependability is what makes this such an amazing fishing reel as it is the kind you can always rely on to provide a superior performance no matter where you might be using it what you are fishing.

This dependable design stems from a combination of different features and design elements. Key among them is the MagTrax brake system that is designed to ensure that you always get an efficient casting control.

The reel will have a 7+1 bearing system that will include 7 stainless steel bearing and 1 roller bearing that will help deliver an exceptionally smooth retrieve and are also effective an enhancing the reels corrosion resistance.

Also, it has a more low-profile design that gives it a more ergonomic feel. The recessed reel foot is what gives this model the low profile design but the

Because this reel has a high speed, 7.1:1 gear ratio, it will be perfect for high-speed fishing tactics once you master the technique. Furthermore, with this high-speed gear ratio, you can still slow down your retrieve easily, but with the low speeds ones, it would take more effort to speed up the retrieve.

Construction: Sturdy One-Piece Frame

It should be obvious that your fishing reel will take a beating no matter how careful you might be and where you plan to be fishing. Hence, the best you can do is always to ensure that you get something solid enough like Abu Garcia PMAX3.

This fishing reel has been constructed for maximum sturdiness and will have a one-piece graphite frame. Graphite is a tough enough material that can take the abuse, and it will also be more resistant to corrosion. Better yet, it also does not weigh much.

Also, the side plates are made from graphite, which is not only meant to ensure uniformity for the reel but also makes sure they will be equally durable.

Other components like the gears are also made for durability as the company uses Duragear brass gear to ensure the gears will last as long as the rest of the fishing reel . And for the spool, a machined double anodized aluminum is used to provide superior strength but without the extra weight that often comes with this.

Drag System: Smooth and Reliable

This fishing reel uses the Power Disk drag system that will deliver a smooth and reliable drag performance to make fishing easier for you, while also minimizing the likelihood of getting a broken fishing line.

Besides the smoothness and overall reliability of this drag system, it will also provide a maximum drag power of 18 pounds. And this means the maximum drag power is within the acceptable parameter for bottom-fishing and can still work well enough for sail-fishing.

This fishing reel will also have decent line capacity for both monofilament and braid lines . For the mono lines, the capacity is 30/140 pounds per yard, and for the braided line the capacity will be 12/145 pounds per yard.

Also, the drag system on this fishing reel uses some high quality and large enough disks, which besides being able to withstand more friction are also built to offer maximum corrosion resistance.

Ease of Use: Fairly Easy to Master

Anyone that has used a fishing reel in the past should find this one fairly easy to master, and a few fishing trips are all it will take to get used to this reel and get the best service from it.

To ensure that even beginners can still have an easy time with this fishing reel, the manufacturer also provides some detailed instructions and there are even more comprehensive guidelines online.

The more ergonomic and streamlined design of the Abu Garcia PMAX3 also makes it easy to handle. Also, the compact bent handle makes this an even more ergonomic reel and hence easier to use. And the handles also have an EVA foam that will make them super comfortable on the hand and also helps to wick away moisture.

Because the MagTrax brake system that is designed to provide consistent brake pressure for a more accurate and long-range cast is externally adjustable, anglers will also have an easier time when it comes to the adjustment.

Weight & Balance: Feels Smaller and Lighter Than It Is

This fishing reel will feel smaller and lighter than it is thanks to the low-profile and ergonomic design, and this is what makes it such a pleasant model to use as an angler.

At 7.3 ounces, this reel is still fairly lightweight, and it will allow you to fish all day with no issues. But, the truth is that this is still nowhere as light as other premium quality fishing reel models out there.

When it comes to the balance, the weight seems perfectly distributed on the reel to ensure it feels perfectly balanced on your hand. And with the inclusion of the double handle design, the retrieve will also feel more balanced.

Price: Perfect for the Money

For a top-quality fishing reel that goes for under $100 like this one, you can be confident that it will give you a great bang for your bucks. But what truly makes it a great buy is that it will even outperform many others that cost twice as much.


Low-profile and ergonomic fishing reel that is designed to offer superior fishing performance for both beginner and highly experienced anglers.

There are several things that anglers will love about the Abu Garcia PMAX3 from the low-profile design to other things like Power Disk drag system, one-piece graphite frame, 7+1 bearing system, and nice aluminum spool. And to crown it all, it will also come at a good price tag.


  • Product Name: Abu Garcia PMAX3
  • Product Brand: Abu Garcia
  • Maximum Drag Power: 18 pounds
  • Gear Ratio: 7.1:1
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Body Material: Graphite
  • Mono Line Capacity (Lbs/Yds): 30/140
  • Braid Line Capacity (Lbs/Yds): 12/145
  • IPT (inch per turn): 29 inches
  • Weight: 7.3 ounces

Key Features

  • Durable and lightweight one-piece graphite frame
  • Low-profile design with professional-grade performance
  • High-density EVA handles provides a more comfortable operation
  • MagTrax casting brake for more efficient casting control
  • 7+1 stainless steel bearing system provides a smoother retrieve
  • Power Disk drag system for a superior drag performance
  • Duragear brass gear delivers a smooth operation for many years
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