|When you want an honest answer, it’s sometimes difficult to find the right person to ask. When Citrix rods and reels were introduced for 2011, our Pro-Staffers were ecstatic, they’d tested and had input in the development of the products. But we wanted to find out how top recreational anglers felt. The guys without the relationships, buddy deals and swag that goes along with some of the touring pros. We turned to the group at ultimatebass.com for some no-holds-barred third-party input.
This group is made up of the guys on the water next to you. They work Monday-Friday so they can fish on Saturday. When laying down the bucks for gear, every decision is a serious one. Ron Fogelson and a few others stepped up to put Citrix rods and reels through their paces. What follows is Ron’s review. For depth, thoughtfulness and thoroughness, we wish all reviews were this well done. And if you’re wondering, yes, we’ve made a few in-line changes based upon the information received.
Written by Ron Fogelson
|Tuesday, 26 July 2011 05:00|
|Back on February 23, 2011 I received two packages from Okuma Fishing Tackle as stated in my first article regarding this set up “Okuma Fishing Rod/Reel first impression”. The rod and reel were packaged very well with extra care to ensure both the rod tip and butt were protected with reinforcement inside a solid shipping tube. The Citrix Low profile 7.3-1 high speed reel was in its original reel box and placed in a second shipping box and packed just as secure. Both arrived safe, without damage and shipping was quick.
My preliminary point of view was the reel wanted to roll slightly to the right as I held it in my left hand. Please keep in mind that I’m left handed so with the natural position of the reel rolling to some extent to the right I’d hoped I could flip without having the line tangle in the reel handle as it sometimes does with other reels. Also, the rod was rated by Okuma as Medium Heavy for line 10 to 20 lbs and lure weight of ¼ to 1 ounce so the first thing I did was rig it for punching. This was a mistake as the action of the rod and tip speed proved “at least for me” that this was not the ideal application for this combo. Although it was more than able to handle the load and size of the ¾ ounce weight casting I found while flipping or pitching with any bait above about one ½ ounce caused the tip to slingshot my lure skyward.
It is sometimes difficult to compare rods as the blank/bait specific action/price point/materials and building technique all vary from company to company. It is of my opinion the citrix rod is on par than say a like type crucial rod, yet I found it lighter and better balanced than the same. Whereas Okuma’s ratting is of a Medium Heavy if I put it head to head with a crucial I’d have to match it more to a Medium crank bait rod yet it is still $40.00 less and has proven to hold its own in strength and durability and has the back bone to keep and retain control of fish bigger than you might expect when holding the rod for the first time. I’d like to praise Okuma for the aluminum reel seat threads, it is a great feature, but I’ve found that unless you snug them down quite hard the large threads tend to back off; letting the reel feel loose. Again I think the aluminum reel seat threads are way above par but would recommend they opt for a thinner tighter thread pattern.
The trigger in my humble opinion is about one half inch to far back on the rod. With the compact design of the reel, I find that the combo is difficult to hold over the course of a full day of fishing. I’m able to fit both my middle and ring finger in front of the rod trigger while with other rods only my middle finger is resting on the trigger. Also, the trigger when I first got my hands on this rod were very smooth where the two sections were joined together and stated so in my initial review. However, having to crank down on the aluminum reel seat so much to ensure it stopped backing off I’ve found a gap to be forming. It appears as the trigger has separated a bit but to risk sounding like a broken record on the subject I believe retooling the threads to a smaller tighter pattern will fix both issues.
The use of EVA foam is in contention from angler to angler. I normally prefer cork but that is based on my preference and that, over the years, I’ve found EVA to vary so much from rod to rod. Some times it’s way too soft and the sun makes it crumble over a short time. Or, it is so firm that it’s just too hard to keep a confident grip on the rod while in use. For me, the Citrix EVA foam was very comfortable, firm and has a tacky kind of feel; however, I found it a tad short for my liking and it tapers in at an abrupt rate so with bigger hands it feels like part of the grip is missing.
I remain impressed by the sensitivity of the rod and for a light weight blank it has the back bone to put good fish in the boat. I have found that it is an all around rod at home with top waters like a spook/PopR/chug bug as well as moving baits like a swim jig/rattle traps/vibrashocks/square bill crank baits and spinner baits along with light 1/4oz and under rigged soft plastics and for me excels as my wacky rigged flick shake or weightless fluke rod.
As far as the Citrix reel, I found and still believe that, for a high speed application, I’d buy this reel before I picked up another Curado. I’m not saying I believe the Citrix is that much better, rather I no longer believe the Curado is worth the additional price just for a high speed reel. The reel was and remains smooth as can be the handles are large and comfortable if not a little to firm for my taste. I am fond of the swept in drag star because I’ve found that while palming the reel “left hand” I’m able to reach under the rod and reel with my middle finger to engage the reel out of free spool to be ready for the hook set while pitching or flipping wacky rigged a Hatch Match Stick “Stick Bait” without having to let go of the line and use the handle to do so. I do like the big paddle style grips on the reel handle. However, I wish there was a little more flexibility to the material or were made with a tacky texture. In the heat of the day, or when my hands get wet lipping a fish or in the rain, they are a little bit slippery.
The Citrix reel is a lot of fun to use, it casts very well, and I’ve not had a single issue with its performance. It remains as smooth today as it first did back in February. The drag is strong and even when fighting a larger fish and has handled the surges at the boat with ease. I had some slight worries as the handle and star drag stick out a bit farther from the frame than other reels that I use. However, with the handle and star drag being swept back to the reel, I’m pleased that I can still (while holding the reel in my left hand) engage the reel with my middle finger by turning the drag star or handle as soon as the bait hits the water; without having to take my right hand off the line to do so.
The external centrifugal brake design is a fantastic option, very easy to set up and adjust on the fly with changing weather conditions or baits adjustments and is a highlight of this reel. The brakes are adjusted with a dial like with magnetic brake reels but uses the External adjustable centrifugal cast control system. Giving you get the speed and ease of adjustment of magnetics with the strength and time proven reliability of centrifugal brakes.
Over all, I believe that both the rod and reel are a good buy at the $119.00 price point. You are getting a quality rod and reel, that fishes as good as it looks for a reasonable amount of money. If you would like to upgrade or are a seasoned angler and want to add a combo to your line up without breaking the bank, Okuma, might have what you are looking for. I know full well I was picky on the few things I brought up, but when I do a review I’m equally as brutal with the products as I am with any praise if any are warranted because I’m very hard on my equipment and understand the difficulties we all face when looking to part with our hard earned money on the slew of fishing gear, tackle & accessories on the market. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the rod, reel or the pair as a combo to add to your line up because I believe Okuma understands the meaning of value.
See You on the water.
Posts Tagged ‘baitcast’
Now through May 15, 2012, consumers can take part in Okuma Fishing Tackles Free Pro Jersey and Reel Cash Rebate offers, delivering up to a $69.99 value with purchase of select Okuma low-profile baitcast reels. The Okuma Pro Jersey offer includes a free custom, die-sublimated Okuma tournament jersey by mail with purchase of either the all-new Komodo or Serrano low-profile baitcast reels. The Okuma Reel Cash Rebate offers $30, $30, $20 and $10 by mail with purchase of all-new Cedros saltwater, 6.3oz. Helios, Citrix and all-new Krios low-profile reels, respectively.
Rebate forms are available at retailers, or can be downloaded for printing here: Download Rebate Forms
2012 promotions include four all-new entries into the Okuma tournament low-profile product line. At the top end are all-new Cedros, Helios and Komodo baitcast reels, all of which feature high-strength drive systems (heavy duty Dura-brass brass in Cedros, tournament aluminum in Helios and Komodo), full Carbonite drag systems, ABEC-5 spool bearings and durable, over-sized EVA foam handles amongst a long list of elite level construction features.
Cedros low-profiles are dedicated saltwater baitcasting reels. Featuring Okuma’s proprietary T480 aluminum frame construction, the base alloy withstands 480 hours of alternating saturated saltwater and air, a period that deeply corrodes traditional aluminum alloys. Heavy duty Dura-brass gearing provides incredible strength in Cedros’ powerful 8.4-ounce build. A Carbonite drag system provides the stopping power, while a 7 stainless steel bearing system is effortless over the long-term. On the exterior, a titanium deposition coating fully protects the aluminum side plates for unbeatable durability in harsh environments.
The Helios, Okuma’s lightest baitcast reel ever, tips the scales at just 6.3-ounces while maintaining a handle-side aluminum side plate for long-term durability and alignment of internal components. Komodo, weighing in at just 6.5-ounces features an 11-bearing system, choice of high-speed 7.3:1 or powerful 5.4:1 gearing, right and left side aluminum side plates and availability of right-and left-hand retrieve in the high-speed model.
The Krios low-profile baitcast reel will radically redefine performance levels at the $100 price point. Featuring an aluminum frame, 6-bearing drive system, dual cast control systems and high-speed 7.3:1 gearing, Krios is as easy to own as it is to fish, and even easier with a $10 rebate!
Introduced in 2010 and 2011 respectively, Serrano and Citrix baitcast reels continue to prove themselves every day as exceptional performers in the category. Serrano for its exceptional ergonomics, versatile 6.4:1 gear ratio, Carbonite drag and absolutely fluid casting performance, and Citrix for bridging the gap between affordability and tour-level features like 7.3:1 gear ratio, 8-bearing drive system and aluminum framing for right- and left-handers alike.
Reel Cash Rebates and Pro Jersey offers end May 15th 2012.
If you’ve wondered what the graphic below is that’s suddenly appearing throughout our print ads (with more to come), it’s a Microsoft Tag, and it makes new levels of content immediately available on your smart phone.
Tags are two dimensional bar codes that allow an enormous amount of information to be stored in a compact format. Their design is meant to be scanned by the camera on smart phones including iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and Windows Mobile among the group. Before you can have fun with them, however, you need to know how to use them.
To get started, simply go to http://gettag.mobi on your web-enabled smart phone and download the Tag Reader. Then when you see a tag, simply scan it to unlock content that allows you to interact with Okuma materials in new and exciting ways. For example, most of our tags in print advertising will connect you to new product videos. Rather than wait to get to a store to inquire about the features and specifications of a reel you’ve seen in an ad… just scan the tag and take a quick video tour!
Microsoft Tags are still in their infancy, with uses growing quickly in numerous and fascinating ways. As we progress, we’ll continually look for new ways to allow you to get more from your experience with Okuma Fishing Tackle, with a goal of better fishing experiences every trip out.
Citrix is more than a new line of reels and rods. Citrix is a representation of a new direction in fishing tackle: a higher level of performance, brought within reach of more anglers than ever before. From a company 100% driven to create, construct and deliver equipment so good it becomes part of your motivation to go fishing… suffice it to say, we’re just a little bit excited.
Citrix low-profile baitcast reels lead an all-new extended family of baitcasters. The same ergonomic body design is found in the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta low-profiles also. As a group, these reels offer the largest selection of casting reels Okuma has ever offered in both right hand AND left hand retrieve. Citrix and family serve every casting preference, where ultra-premium Serrano and Cayenne bait cast reels are only available in right hand at this time.
Citrix low-profiles begin with Okuma’s ALC or AlumiLite Frame Construction, featuring a rigid die cast aluminum frame and machined and anodized Hi-Rise spool cut from A6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. This powerful center of strength prepares Citrix for the most demanding freshwater and inshore salt water fisheries. The drive system, including precision spool shaft, pinion shaft and machine cut brass gears come together in Citrix’s massive drop down gear box. Critical components are sized to their maximum within the housing, adding strength and greater surface area for long-wearing durability.
The gear system is a point of separation that makes Citrix low-profile bait cast reels unique in the Okuma lineup. Available models include two options in gear ratios. The first is a blazing fast 7.3:1 that’s available in both right and left hand retrieve. Picking up nearly 32-inches of line with every turn of the handle, this incredible speed pushes the limit of what’s available in the market today. Whether burning rip baits across a flat or extracting fish forcefully from heavy cover, the high-speed Citrix is a bass angler’s ally. Steelhead fishermen who drift fish or cast floats, where time between casts is time lost forever, will appreciate Citrix’s speed between presentations as well as its’ ability to keep pace with the fastest running fish. Top competitive products offering this gear ratio are priced at $179.99, $219.99, $299.99 and even $399.99. At an MSRP of $119.99, Citrix provides the avid recreational and aspiring tournament angler unhindered access to the latest professional performance features.
At 5.4:1, the low-speed Citrix, available in right hand retrieve, offers the most powerful gearing in the Okuma low-profile selection. Working even the slowest moving crank bait and spinner bait presentations with precision and accuracy, the standard speed Citrix does battle with steady, consistent pressure and a relentless attitude.
In either high-speed or standard gear ratios, Citrix casting reels are fluid performers. Featuring 8 bearings (7 ball-bearings plus one roller bearing), both casting and retrieves are set free from the feel of the internal mechanics, allowing anglers to focus on the presentation at all times.
With incredible available freespool, Citrix addresses the needs of casters with Okuma’s most desirable Velocity Control System: a patented, externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. All other Okuma baitcast reels feature an internally-adjustable centrifugal system or an externally-adjustable magnetic cast control system (or a combination of both). Citrix is the only bait cast reel in the Okuma lineup to feature the centrifugal system with external adjustment. With total control available on-the-fly through the external dial, spool velocity is easily and quickly managed under ever-changing conditions and changes to casting weights.
Lightweight and corrosion proof graphite side plates seal Citrix’s internal components with outstanding ergonomics that comfortably work with the hand. The smooth and powerful oversized disk drag system is dialed-in through the aluminum star that’s micro-click adjustable for precise drag settings. The handle is stamped from aluminum for strength. Cut slightly longer than traditional cranking handles, the increased throw is more natural, incredibly comfortable and provides for increased leverage when cranking big baits and fighting large fish. Outfitted with knobs suitable for adult hands, the ergonomics incorporated are well appreciated over a long day on the water.
Ready for braided superlines, Citrix’s Zirconium line guide insert is impervious to braid’s abrasive effects.
Citrix low-profile casting reels are a performance-driven package on all levels of speed, handling, performance, comfort and durability. To advance angler experience completely and in total, Citrix rods were developed as the ultimate compliment to the reels.
Put simply, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we’ve ever constructed. And if that’s not enough, they’re also the hottest looking sticks on the water. To deliver the total package, every feature was scrutinized and optimized to deliver total performance.
Citrix rods are constructed of Okuma IM8 graphite to deliver the desired fast actions and incredible strength with minimal weight. The guides feature ALPS ultra-light stainless steel frames for strength with braid-ready Zirconium inserts.
The handle assembly continues Citrix weight loss program while also retaining a total commitment to strength. The rear split grip features comfortable and supremely light EVA grips. The fore grip has been completely eliminated, again to reduce weight, but also to allow for direct finger contact with the rod blank to maximize sensitivity.
The rear of the reel seat is Pac Bay’s MINIMA design. The reel hood, however, operates on custom built machined aluminum and two tone anodized seat threads. Custom made in Okuma facilities, the reel seat threads are the single area where some weight was retained as a function of superior strength. Going even lighter was an option, but the ultimate fishing rod should also include ultimate security of the reel mounted upon it.
Independently of one another, Citrix rods and Citrix casting reels clearly and recognizably advance angler performance on the water. In combination, the pair will raise your performance and excite your senses with every cast and every fish.
In early 2010 the release of Serrano and Cayenne low-profile baitcast reels began what has been one of the most dynamic and exciting category introductions in Okuma Fishing Tackle history. These two
reels authoritatively raise the bar on performance: Serrano as a salt water optimized ultra-premium workhorse that’s also one of the lightest reels in its’ class, and Cayenne as the freshwater counterpart, delivering not just tournament-level, but obsession-level performance along with a dollar value that’s simply unmatched.
The reviews on Serrano and Cayenne baitcast reels, from both fishing media and consumers, have been exceptional. As these reels were proving themselves, however, our product development teams were putting the final touches on the next round of low-profile baitcast introductions: Citrix, Alumina, Calera
and Tormenta. With MSRP’s of $119.99, $99.99, $79.99 and $59.99 respectively, it’s these new reels that will reach enthusiastic Federation, club level and recreational anglers and bring them a better fishing experience through better equipment performance. To serve all anglers, we’ve made all four of these reels available in models for both right and left hand retrieve.
At Okuma we’re excited. Including heart and soul into each of these reels in order to make them exactly the reels we want to fish ourselves, at every price they are the best they can be. We want you to share our excitement, and our Reel Cash Rebate program makes it easy.
Now through May 15, 2011, make your best deal on a
new Okuma Serrano, Cayenne, Citrix or Alumina low-profile baitcast reel at an authorized retailer and receive a $30 rebate on Serrano, $20 on Cayenne or Citrix and $10 on Alumina by mail. Rebate forms are available in better stores or get yours on our website here: http://okumafishingteam.com/media_5.php
Rebate’s are limited to four per household, in combination and in total. Whichever reel fits your needs, we’re confident that once you try your first… you’ll be back for more!
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.
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. ”
” 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