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There are those out there who believe that we don’t like reels made overseas (from smaller brands) with a good value proposition. I’m talking of course about Taylor, Cheeky, Allen, and other similar brands. It couldn’t be farther from the truth! We test each and every reel exactly the same way, and the Taylor Revolution is a great example of a well-made reel that offers some serious saltwater performance.
While not quite as light as the 7 ounces claimed by Taylor, at 7.6oz, it’s still really light for a serious saltwater reel. It’s in the top 3rd of all reels tested.
The Revolution has a lot of good things going for it in the drag department. 10lbs of max drag (and probably more if we had a drag knob that was good enough to turn it all the way), reached in 2 full turns from a minimum of .28 lbs – enough to stop a free spool. Like most of the reels in this test, we saw a huge drop off between max drag and effective drag (the usable amount), but it’s still got quite a bit of power.
The only area that the Revolution doesn’t do really well in is half drag, where it drops off to 1.32 lbs – a mere 13% of total drag.
Don’t expect the satisfying hum of a Tibor. It’s very muted in both directions.
At 9.8 inches per turn, the Revolution ranks in the top 10 in line pickup. It gobbles up a 100’ of fly line in a mere 122 turns. It’s also got plenty of capacity with enough backing for the 8 or 9 weight line of your choice.
The Taylor Revolution is a great looking reel (though the colors aren't as vivid in real life as they are in our photos). It's fully ported, it's got a great color scheme. The only thing it's lacking some some of that made-in-the-USA machining goodness that would have put it over the top.
What kept the Revolution off the podium? Ergonomics. It’s got one of the worst drag knobs in the test. There’s not nearly enough surface area to firmly grasp it let alone dial in some serious drag pressure. It also has a handle that's a little too short.
Yet again, the Revolution delivers. It’s finish and durability are almost as good as Lamson’s. There's little in the way of damage to speak of.
Lifetime to the original owner + $50 fee.
The Taylor Revolution is a fantastic fly reel, and an even more fantastic reel at under $400. I can't help but wonder if Taylor had worked with some guides and done just a bit more R&D if this reel wouldn't have won the test. It's just missing a few things that could have made it truly epic. There's always version 2!