Posts Tagged ‘live bait’

Makaira SE Reels -Taking Live Bait to the Limit

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

For most offshore anglers, a Makaira two-speed game reel will spend the bulk of its’ working life in a rod holder.  In tow might be an 8- to 12-inch trolling lure, maybe a skirt over a ballyhoo, perhaps a bridled skipjack.  At intervals the reel will be brought to life and engaged in a battle of wills, to which it will respond with the faithfulness of a dog and an overwhelming display of power and grace.

For the above outlined tasks, Makaira reels are constructed to far exceed the life covered by their 5-year factory warranty.  Spool bearings are protected by a 30% grease pack that allows for competent freespool, but more importantly protects the bearings. Non-spool bearings receive a 100% grease pack again placing protection of key components at a premium.  The gear ratios of the two-speeds offer versatility to take on any pelagic you might encounter from a sport boat.

The long-range fishing boats departing from San Diego, California present unique challenges to anglers. Certainly the yellowfin, wahoo and yellowtail are big, but that’s pretty basic. The larger challenges begin with the fact these fish are pursued primarily with live bait. Instead of stripping 100-feet of line to place a lure in a spread, excellence in this fishery requires clearing the boat by casting a light bait fish on 40- to 100-pound tackle.  Once in the water, the reel needs to feed line so effortlessly the bait fish swims as if it’s simply free-swimming. And the longer a strong swimming baitfish can be maintained, the more certain one can be that it will be eaten.

Makaira SE Family

From the MK30-IISEa down to the MK8-IISEa, this Makaira family has been custom designed for the live bait community.

At the moment of the strike the second challenge begins. In many cases, the boat is anchored and in virtually all cases, there is no chasing the fish with the boat. Every inch of line must be earned. The fish can be followed around the boat, but the boat is not repositioned to assist a single angler when 25 more are continuing their pursuit of a bite.

While Makaira reels have become renowned for their drag system and integrity of internal components, the long-range community, spearheaded by elite angler David Choate and reel technician Alan Tani, requested specific modifications to advance Makaira to the position of the ultimate long-range reels. The result is the Makaira SE.

Makaira SE reels are available in sizes 8, 10, 15, 20 and 30, all featuring topless (no crossbar across the top of the reel) construction. The primary modifications are straightforward, yet incredibly important to long-range anglers. The first is that the 35% grease pack on the spool bearings has been completely removed, as have the shields that protect their exterior. Instead, completely open bearings are lubricated with TSI 301 oil.

TSI 301 oil is not a petroleum-based lubricant. A pure synthetic ester, TSI 301 penetrates the pores in metal and bonding itself to the surface. Greatly reducing surface tension, the application dramatically cuts friction and reduces wear. When exceptional freespool is the difference between great reward and difficult fishing, this bearing system outperforms virtually all others. Of note is that their is no free lunch here. When bearings are opened and oiled instead of greased, they do require maintenance to maintain their peak performance. But the anglers willing to travel four days by boat to reach the world’s greatest fishing grounds do not shy away from their responsibilities to their equipment. These are detail-oriented anglers.

Makaira-20SEa

Click for a detail look at the Makaira SE anodizing and etched graphics.

The second modification is an oversized handle arm to deliver more torque. When you are unable to reposition the boat to the best advantage of the angler, the angler has to be able to authoritatively bear down on the fish. Makaira and Makara SE reels all incorporate powerful 17-4 stainless steel gearing and shafts that can withstand incredible stress. The longer handle arms allow anglers a significant increase in leverage and greater ability to move large fish.

The third modification applies to Makaira SE 20 and 30 sizes only. It’s a lower ratio in the low gear.  Where the standard Makaira is 1.7:1, these SE’s are 1.3:1. Again the purpose here is to increase leverage and keep the fish moving towards the boat. Very commonly, anglers will hang 150- to 300-pound yellowfin on these size reels and of absolute importance to the battle is to be able to actively gain line. The longer the fight continues, the more opportunity is that something will go wrong.

In a few final touches, Makaira SE reels feature gun smoke anodizing, an engraved tuna adorning the left side plate and all the frames have receive further machining to increase line clearance and reduce weight.

While Makaira SE reels are neither necessary and in some cases not recommended to the broader range of offshore anglers (if you do not regularly maintain your reels, the SE line up is not for you), for those seeking refined live bait performance the Makaria SE addresses the needs specific to the fishery.

Owners of standard Makaira reels that are interested in the modification can have them made at our California headquarters. The bearings and handle can be changed out for $29.99 which includes parts and labor.  On the 20 and 30 sizes, the bearings, handle and low-gear modifications can be made for $59.99 including parts and labor. Shipping charges in both cases are additional.

Introducing the Andros 5II, Multi-Disciplined Two-Speed

Monday, November 29th, 2010

In 2010, the introduction of Makaira two-speed and Cedros single-speed offshore reels demonstrated Okuma’s commitment to wholesale advancement of the offshore reel category.   In 2011, one example of this continued commitment goes by the name Andros.

Completely new, from concept to completion, the Andros 5II lever drag reel showcases what’s become possible with 50- to 80-pound Spectra fiber lines.  Andros delivers incredible strength, handling and capability from… get this… only 15.2-ounces of refined excellence with a capacity of 430 yards of 50-pound braided Spectra.  At less than a pound and fitting in the palm of your hand, Andros houses a ton of ambition to take on larger challenges with a smaller reel than ever before possible.

Okuma Andros design prototype

Every aspect of Andros went through thorough prototyping for design, fit and function.

At the heart and soul of Andros capability is its’ unique and advanced frame design.  Andros’ frame and left side plate are precision-machined as a single continuous piece from bar stock aluminum. Additionally, the reel foot is machined as an integral part of the frame support.  The design eliminates wasted space and redundant structural elements while allowing for the largest possible spool diameter and Andros’ low profile mounting position in reel seats.

Competitive reels utilize a reel foot that’s separate from frame elements.  Within this design both the frame and reel foot require independent structure to deliver strength.  The result is that the main frame sits elevated over the reel foot, which introduces wobble under high stress and necessitates a reduction in spool diameter in order to maintain a compact overall size.

The centerline runs across the center of spool locations. Notice the lower position of the Andros reel seat. The Andros sits lower, yet carries more line capacity.

In all offshore applications, spool diameter and the resulting line pick-up is of critical importance.  Thanks to the frame design, Andros delivers a spool diameter of 54.5mm while top competitors deliver spool diameters of only 46mm and 47mm.  The bottom line here is that Andros, whether in high or low gear, can pick up as much as 30% more line per turn of the handle.  This massive point of separation is where Andros confirms itself as a true big game performer.  When on big fish, the ability to gain line is an absolute necessity.  It’s the difference between performance and punishment.

The right-side side plate finishes Andros framing structure.  Again precision-machined from bar stock aluminum, the mounting system continues Andros superiority.  Utilizing male and female aluminum connection points and just a single screw, Andros eliminates even more corrosion points and allows for simplified maintenance access.  Where it’s common to find five or six screws on competitors, each a potential point for electrolysis to take place, Andros single screw frame design represents long-term thinking and respect for the investment in a reel designed for life.

Andros’ commitment to excellence touches each and every interior component.  The drive shaft, spool shaft, main gear and pinion gear are all cut from 17-4 stainless steel.  Strong, rigid, durable and highly corrosion resistant, this high-grade stainless allows for the reduction in parts size without compromising structural integrity.  The gears are helical cut (cut at an angle) to provide progressive meshing instead of the noticeable hard slap you can feel in straight-cut gears.  While obviously smoother, helical cut gears are also more durable over the long-term.

Okuma Andros perspective photo in hand.

It takes perspective to appreciate Andros compact design and capacity. This two-speed can fit in your pocket!

Andros features six EZO bearings from Sapporro Precision Incorporated of Japan.  Andros’ two spool bearings are ABEC-5 rated, delivering ultimate freespool performance.  As an industry first, Andros non-spool bearings are fully grease-packed from the factory.  While this does introduce slight handle resistance, it minimizes water intrusion and ensures long-life durability.  The spool bearings feature a 30% grease pack with respect for freespool.  The right-side spool bearing is unshielded and immediately available when the right side plate is removed.  This allows anglers looking to maximize freespool performance to easily remove the grease and replace with oil.  If this is done, please incorporate a rigorous maintenance schedule to protect the bearing.  The left spool bearing is shielded, but only because its’ size is not available from Sapporro without the shield.

Andros drag system is Carbonite, greased with Cal’s drag grease.  The system delivers 15-pounds of drag at strike, 24-pound at full, each while maintaining complete freespool.  In front of the drag are Andros’ two-speeds:  6.4:1 on high, dropping to 3.8:1 at low.  Andros’ high speed keeps pace with sailfish, wahoo and other speedsters while delivering exceptional action from vertical jigs.  In low, Andros bears down on tuna, jacks and other powerhouses.  The 3.8:1 ratio assures that even in low gear and with half a spool of line in the water, sufficient line is being retrieved to bring large fish to the boat.

Hero shot of Andros 5II offshore fishing reel

In addition to Andros stunning good looks, notice the minimal frame rise above the spool. Exceptional materials and tight tolerances are the secret to the Andros 5II's superior line capacity.

Mounted on a rod, Andros sits low and stable thanks to the reel foot’s inclusion as part of the frame structure.  Its’ drop down gear case places the machined aluminum handle nearly in line with the rod blank for superior power and balance while nearly eliminating wobble when cranking under pressure.

With a ratcheting lever drag, 16-point double dog anti-reverse system, large and accessible shift button, oversized Ergo grip and Okuma’s Corrosion Resistant Coating process throughout, Andros completes itself as a premium performer.  Designed to showcase braided line, its’ performance is nothing short of exhilarating, connecting angler and fish with less interference than ever before.

Andros’ multi-discipline design elements refuse to be categorized as simply a jig reel, casting reel or live bait reel.  Combining forward-thinking design with the best materials available, Andros does it all with no-excuses performance.  Excelling with fish up to 100 pounds, quickly Andros will become your most often used and most enjoyed piece of premium fishing equipment.

For a full list of specifications, click here:
http://okumafishingteam.com/family/395262