I would recommend this reel to anyone. It is not a top-of-the line reel that a pro would use. But I think it is all the reel most people need. Personally, I would save the money and buy more baits! More below.
I am a bass fishing enthusiast -- I fish every week and more if I can. I use all types of baits from soft plastics to topwaters to jerkbaits and crankbaits. I have fished them all on the PMax. This was my first baitcaster.
I have since purchased and used a more expensive Abu Revo STX reel. The Revo is a higher-end reel that is widely used by experienced bass fishers. The PMAX is the fast gear-ratio model, and most expensive reel in Abu's "standard" or "entry" level Max series. I have looked closely at intermediate-priced reels. In the context of my experience with both reels:
1. Feels very sturdy and well-made. Physically a solid reel. No sign of loosening, grinding, or any other negative attributes after several months of frequent use.
2. Performs suitably for a bass fishing enthusiast, serious enough to fish at least weekly.
3. Was fairly easy to learn on.
To elaborate on points 1 and 2: after comparing with other more expensive reels, this feels every bit as sturdy, and perhaps even more. It casts a 3/8 or 1/2 oz jerkbait or crank a mile smoothly, and cranks smoothly. The drag is smooth, and the star clicks between settings precisely, like it does on a higher-end reel.
I bought this reel not appreciating the importance of the brake and brake adjustment mechanism. If you are a rookie like I was - this is very important! Fortunately, the brake is very easy to adjust with just a turn of the adjustment dial. Not all reels have this type of easy adjustment dial, even some of the higher-end Abu Garcia reels. I found it's really important when you are learning to be able to make adjustments easily and quickly. I would not ever want to use a baitcaster without this feature.
The more expensive reels have some more features.