Posts Tagged ‘aluminum’

Introducing Okuma T480 Aluminum and Raw II Spinning Reels

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

At Okuma Fishing Tackle, over-and-above the conventional tackle, the baitcast reels and the rods, more people know us for spinning reels than any other product. Spinning reels are our roots as a manufacturer, having brought tremendous advancements to anglers, including Elliptical Oscillation and Dual Force Drag, and having made top-end features and technologies more accessible than ever before.

Corrosion of standard aluminum reel frame after 240 hours

This is a standard, unfinished baitcast frame after 240 hours (10 days) of continuous, alternating salt spray and air. Notice the very serious white oxide compound taking hold.

In high-stress fisheries like saltwater, salmon & steelhead, stripers and big cats, aluminum reel bodies are a fact of life. Within these fisheries, more and more anglers are fishing braided Spectra fiber fishing lines. These fibers do not stretch like Nylon monofilaments, and instead of cushioning stress, they transfer it directly to the rod and reel. Stronger and more rigid than graphite reel bodies, aluminum resists flexing under these loads to maintain the alignment of internal components over the long term.

New T480 Aluminum at 240 hours of saltwater testing

New T480 aluminum, uncoated, at the same 240 hour mark as the baitcast reel frame.

Aluminum’s weakness? Corrosion. Though aluminum is better than steel, aluminum can corrode over time. Of course, anodizing, paints and Okuma’s CRC (Corrosion Resistant Coating process) in concert with regular cleanings and maintenance can stave off corrosion. But what if you could multiply the corrosion resistance of base materials? Aluminum is aluminum, right? Wrong. There are tons of aluminum alloys, with more in development each day.

New T480 aluminum after a full 20 days of testing

New T480, unfinished, after a full 20 days, 480 hours of alternating salt spray and air testing. Both the 2nd casting and 299th casting show minimal corrosion, if any. Of course, in actual reels this aluminum is anodized and painted to protect it even further.

Okuma T480 aluminum alloy, showcased in new Raw II spinning reels, just may eliminate corrosion for the modern angler.

T480 derives its name from testing conducted in concert with materials suppliers. It stands for Timeline 480 Hours. In testing, raw, uncoated T480 aluminum was subjected to a continuous 480 hours (20 days) of alternating saturated saltwater spray and air. This process greatly accelerates the effects of corrosion by providing the perfect environment for it to take hold. Within the 480 hour timeline, the process leaves standard aluminum alloys deeply pitted, severely enough that you’d probably be shopping for a new reel. T480 on the other hand, is virtually untouched.

In the actual reel construction process, T480 is hardly raw. Frame parts are anodized, then painted, then treated throughout with the Okuma CRC process (a penetrating coating of Corrosion X HD). Only then are the products assembled. Which leads to Raw-II spinning reels.

Raw-II spinning reels were developed to revolutionize mid-range saltwater spinning reels by delivering the most powerful and corrosion-resistant reels in their class. Raw-II frames, side plates and rotors are all constructed of T480 aluminum, delivering a full metal jacket. Priced competitively to reels that utilize standard aluminum frames, graphite side plates and graphite rotors, Raw-II reels showcase power and long-term durability in the saltwater environment.

Raw II Size 80

In the larger sizes, Raw II utilizes a plate aluminum handle arm and oversized EVA knob for absolute confidence and control when bearing down on the largest fish.

With a powerful foundation, Raw-II’s drag system applies the full strength of the reel to battle with large fish. Featuring Okuma’s first greased all-Carbonite Dual Force Drag in a spinning reel, the Raw-II 80 can turn out up to an amazing 50-pounds of liquid smooth drag. The Carbonite drag washers do not compress over time, and therefore a consistent range of drag pressure remains available over the life of the washers.

The Raw-II spinning reel family includes 30, 40, 55, 65 and 80 sizes. Seven HPB stainless steel bearings provide fluid mechanics while Okuma High Density gearing keeps Raw-II’s footing secure under the most extreme pressures. Sizes 30 and 40 are outfitted with custom carbon fiber handle arms to minimize weight, while the 55, 65 and 80 sizes feature heavy-duty aluminum plate handles. Click here to view the complete Raw II family.

Casting, jigging or pitching live baits, Raw-II spinning reels deliver a complete package that addresses not only the fish and techniques used to catch them, but the harsh nature of the environment that these epic battles will take place.