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The majority of Abu Garcia reels are made in China and Korea. But some reels are still made in the original factory in Svängsta, Sweden.
The Ambassador C3 and C4, and Ambassador 7000, are still built by the banks of the River Mörrum.
“Where was this reel made?” has become a general question over the last two decades, as many brands have outsourced reel manufacturing to Asia.
Asia, namely China, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand has become the global hub of all manufacturing.
For better or worse, it’s the reality. But it’s also true that it’s a mistake to dismiss the quality of a product because of the place it was made.
The brand oversees quality.
Refrain from blaming the factory if you receive a poor product from a particular location.
The brand, its quality assurance programs, and the company management are responsible.
Let’s check out the origins of AG’s fishing reels in more detail.
Are Abu Garcia Reels Still Made in the US?
Abu Garcia reels are not made in the US. However, the US has been instrumental in Abu Garcia’s market position and direction over the last 40 years.
While a legendary fishing company in Europe, the modern history of Abu Garcia is incomplete without Abu Garcia’s American story.
Where Does the Name Abu Garcia Come From?
In 1921 AB Urfabriken was founded as a watch, taximeters, and typewriter factory in Svängsta, Sweden.
They built their first fishing reel in 1941.
It’s from the company founder, Carl August Borgström, where we get ABU.
AB = August Borgström, and Urfabriken = factory. Hence, ABU.
In 1984 AB Urfabriken (ABU) acquired The Garcia Tackle Company. An interesting story all on its own.
Charles Garcia & Company was a US-based marketer and distributor of AB Urfabriken fishing gear.
In 1980 Garcia formed a partnership with French reel manufacturer Mitchell.
The Abu Garcia Tackle Company didn’t last long before AB Urfabriken acquired it. It’s this acquisition that gave the world ABU Garcia.
What Company Owns Abu Garcia Today?
While ABU Garcia is part of the Pure Fishing stable of fishing brands, Pure Fishing is owned by Sycamore Partners.
Sycamore Partners is a New York-based private equity firm specializing in retail-related investments.
The corporate journey of Abu Garcia is astonishing, given its humble origins in 1920s Sweden.
In my opinion, it’s not ideal that a fishing brand is under the command of a private equity company.
Perhaps it’s the modern way of the world, and there are some benefits to the corporatization of fishing.
I argue, however, that the passion that drives fishing is absent from the boardrooms that control the destinies of our favorite fishing brands.
Thanks to its proud history and endurance, Abu Garcia will always remain an iconic fishing brand around the fishing world.
However, its rare pedigree has been diluted by corporate machinations and its new status as a commodity to be traded.
What Are Some of The Best Abu Garcia Fishing Reels?
Here are 3 of ABU Garcia’s best fishing reels. The spinning reel and the low-profile baitcaster are made in Asia.
The round baitcaster is made in Sweden.
Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Baitcast Low Profile
The Abu Garcia Revo Toro is the legendary Revo series’ heavy-duty reel, giving AG a new lease on life in the marketplace.
Once you have your head around that it weighs 13.8 ounces, you realize that its 25 pounds of carbon fiber drag is there for a reason. Big fish.
The 60-size reel (about 400 size) is unashamedly heavy-duty. Spooled with 235 yards of 30-pound braid, you’re casting swim baits of 5 ounces or more at monster muskies.
It’s a versatile reel made for chasing trophy fish. While it’s designated as a freshwater reel, I feel that’s ridiculous.
It’s a brilliant reel for casting huge lures at massive drum that live under the bridges that cross our estuaries and bays.
While its braid capacities are fantastic, I’d never use braid under a bridge. I love that I can spool on nearly 200 yards of 20-pound mono.
With 5 stainless bearings, X2-Cräfticalloy frame and sideplate, power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag, Duragear, and DuraClutch, this reel is designed to last against the toughest of inshore targets.
>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<
Abu Garcia Revo MGX Spinning Fishing Reel
In the Abu Garcia stables, the Revo MGX Spinning Reel is mid-price.
Relative to other brands, it’s a lower-mid market segment.
With 10 stainless steel HPCR bearings, AG’s proprietary AMGearing, and a strong and rigid but lightweight body, the MGX has some serious high-end inclusions.
In many respects, it’s disappointing that there’s only a choice of a 2000 or a 3000. The MGX is an impressive spinning reel.
With drag capacities of 14 and 17 pounds, and mono capacities of 110 and 140 yards of 10-pound mono, the MGX is excellent for bass, pike, walleye, bluegill, catfish, and crappie.
Given the alloy, stainless, and carbon construction, I see no reason you shouldn’t poke the MGX at saltwater species like whiting, flounder, and others.
At only 6 and 6.4 ounces, both reel sizes offer fatigue-free fishing and superb ergonomics for casting efficiency.
Rocket Line Management, Everlast bail system, slow oscillation, and the Rocket Spool Lip Design makes casting a breeze, delivering length and accuracy with mono or braid.
Matching performance with the Japanese reels of a similar price, the MGX is a must-consider for all inshore anglers.
>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 Round Reel
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 Round Reel is one of Abu Garcias Swedish-made classics. It’s a phenomenal workhorse with a considerable fanbase.
It’s special for catfish anglers and those who chase big muskies and trophy pike. It’s responsible for countless trophy fish.
Its strength is in its simplicity, coupled with its outstanding quality and durability. It’s so easy to use; it’s great for beginners but deadly in the hands of the more experienced.
It’s available in two sizes, 5600 and 6600, with both sporting 5 bearings (4+1), 15 pounds max drag, and a 6.3 ratio.
Both reels have a retrieve rate of 30 inches, which is a great neutral pace for those who like casting lures and using natural baits.
At 10 and 10.9 ounces, respectively, they’re pretty light for their size, thanks to the alloy construction, yet remain incredibly robust.
The 5600 holds 240 yards of 12-pound mono, whereas the 6600 holds 320 yards of 12-pound mono.
While designated a freshwater reel, this is an excellent reel for surf casting and other saltwater applications.
This quality reel will endure years into the future, irrespective of who owns Abu Garcia.
>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<
How To Maintain Abu Garcia Reels?
It’s the same as any reel. One of the best things you can do is wipe them down with a damp cloth and dry them after every session – especially if fished in saltwater. Focus on hard-to-get places.
Depending on how often you fish, have a regime of greasing and breakdown cleans where you remove the spool, handle, and other moving parts for a focused clean.
Forget all the fancy expensive sealing. There’s nothing better for a reel’s longevity than cleaning it after every session and scheduled deep cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Abu Garcia a Good Fishing Brand?
Abu Garcia is a great fishing brand. And while it’s not gone in the direction I would have hoped, it still delivers quality gear, true to its origins.
Are Abu Garcia Reels Worth the Money?
This is a subjective question, difficult to answer with any accuracy. I believe Abu Garcia offers value for money across the bulk of its product line.
Can Abu Garcia Reels Be Used in Saltwater?
I might not be the right person to ask, as I do not differentiate between saltwater and fresh when considering reel applications.
I find it a particularly odd categorization. With my cynic’s hat on, I say the salt and fresh distinction is more about marketing and warranties.
All reels can be used in saltwater or freshwater, regardless of brand or manufacturer’s designation. I’ve done it for over 40 years without a problem.