Archive for the ‘Okuma Product Reviews’ Category

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

Makairas On El Matador In Puerto Vallarta!

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Some of our first reports of solid action on Makaira reels came from PV.  And one year later, testimony to Makaira performance continues to pour in.

Makaira MK-15II with angler and yellowfin tuna on El Matador

Makaira MK-15II knocks down a quality yellowfin on El Madador

Captain Manny Orcaranza owns and operates El Matador Sportfishing.  As a Captain, Manny’s star is on a fast rise as one of the top “young guns” in the business.  El Matador Sportfishing focuses on the big fish opportunities offered by locations El Banco and Corbetania.  With solid availability of large yellowfin tuna, along with blue and black marlin, El Matador’s fishing grounds also make exceptional proving grounds for equipment of all kinds, and for the last six months Captain Manny has been putting Makaira MK-15IIs, MK-20II’s and more recently MK-30II SE’s (gunmetal gray, open top 30 wides) through their paces, knocking back quantities of tuna from 50- to over 200-pounds along with plenty of billfish.

Catching up with Captain Manny, here’s the quick rundown of his applications for each size Makaira he uses.  Makaira Mk-15II’s are the everyday reels of the fishery.  Very few lures are ever trolled on El Matador.  The preferred method is drifting live bait (goggle eyes) amongst the porpoise schools.  For yellowfin from 50- to 200-pounds the MK-15II is the preferred model for its’ combination of fantastic drag, light weight and necessary line capacity.

Makaira Caught Yellowfin on El Matador

A big part of the draw in Puerto Vallarta is the accessibility of this grade of fish within a 12-hour trip.

The MK-20II comes into play when the tuna are obviously on the larger end of the scale, 150- to 200+-pounds, and as the everyday reel for baiting blue and black marlin.  In Captain Manny’s own words, “I’ve never had a reel that is as smooth.  Such a smooth reel… the drag… fighting fish. Two hour fights on tuna and it remains smooth.”

The MK-30II SE’s are relatively new additions to El Matadors arsenal.  “I’ll use them for trolling live skipjack for 200- to 300-pound tuna and marlin.”  The 30-wides are also the reel of choice for kite presentations.

“I personally think they are the greatest reels I’ve used,” finished Captain Manny.

The fishery in Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of the most convenient and accessible land-based opportunities for yellowfin of exceptional size.  Interested?  Look up Captain Manny Orcaranza and El Matador Sportfishing’s custom, air conditioned 35’ Cabo at: www.elmatadorsportfishing.com

Makairas Getting It Done In PV

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

It takes a while for the forward-thinking design of the Makaira and Cedros Lever Drag offshore reels to sink in.  And in many cases, it’s not until anglers experience the reels for themselves that the process truly begins. 

And then again, there are those that could honestly care less about advanced design features, so long as the reels excel in the performance arena.

And it’s all good with us.

Whether you appreciate Makairas for their technical advancements, power, performance or handling, it’s all about creating exceptional experiences on the water.  And that’s what makes reports like this one from Bloodydecks.com so gratifying:

“I was impressed with the Makaira 15’s. The fit and finish on them is very good and the drag was really smooth. Great live bait reel and made quick work of the 150lb class tuna using 80lb spectra. One feature that attracted me for PV use were the harness eyelets. From a guy who spent 5 hours pulling on a 300lber with a McGuyvered harness attached to a JX, I can see its benefit. Of course, only a season of PV style punishment will be the true test. I will likely buy a 20 and 30 for fly lining cabbies during cow season.”

When all the work in design and construction returns a day like these guys had… it’s why we come to work everyday.

What an outstanding trip.  Check out their complete report here:  http://www.bloodydecks.com/forums/mainland-mexico-fishing-reports-discussion/237769-sunday-tunafest-pv-6-6-10-a.html

Serrano Gets Two Thumbs Up From Tackle Tour!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

We’ve been happy to put the all-new Serrano low-profile baitcast reel in front of all members of the fishing press. TackleTour.com is one of the most recent to take us up on our offer. And like we expect, the reel shines.

Tackletour.com tests the Serrano in combination with an Okuma C3 rod.

Some of the highlights from TackleTour.com:

“One of the very notable retrieve metrics that the Serrano excelled in was the anti-reverse. The anti-reverse roller bearing does an excellent job setting quickly under extreme torque, and delivered immediate response unlike many other more expensive reels. Over the course of our field tests the brass gearing held up very well and the aluminum right hand sideplate did an excellent job holding the master gearing in perfect alignment. With a standard 6.2:1 retrieve ration the Serrano can be used for a wide range of applications ranging from burning spinnerbaits to finesse fishing plastics. The reel is so small that I found it very good for palming applications where the smaller profile really seemed to disappear in the palm of my hand. ”

A nice 5-pound largemouth for the testing crew!

” In the lab the Serrano was able to generate 11.3lbs of drag pressure at full lockdown which is slightly higher than the published specification. The new multi-disc carbonite drag system does a great job providing smooth stopping power…”

“Weighing in at only 7.2oz. the Serrano is light, how light? Try .4 ounces lighter than the Shimano Curado E and even .2oz lighter than the tiny Daiwa Sol. It features machine cut brass gearing and manages to pack in 10BB + 1RB some of which are Japanese ABEC-5 class. The rubber knobs on the Serrano might be a tad small for some anglers but they are ergonomically shaped and I found them to be comfortable both when slow fishing plastics as well as fast cranking reaction baits.”

See the complete review here:  http://www.tackletour.com/reviewokumaserrano.html