Posts Tagged ‘Makaira’

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.

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

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

Okuma, Western Outdoor News and the Big Game 90

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Ever wonder what six days offshore on a premier sportfishing vessel would be like?  Okuma and the FV Big Game 90 recently partnered with Western Outdoor News to shed light on the topic… and the incredible excitement, comraderie and unadulterated fun that can accompany these trips. 

Should you have interest in a trip like this for yourself, look no further than the Big Game 90.  One of the many proving grounds for Okuma product like Makaira, Cedros, Andros and Cortez reels, Capt. Mike Jewett and his crew were chosen for thier ability to locate and connect with bigh fish, while taking tackle to its limits. 

 
SAN DIEGO — The late Sunday afternoon start for this year’s WON charter aboard the legendary sport fisher Big Game 90 meant it would be tough getting to Cedros in time for a decent bite the next day. But patience and trust in the crew would be the watchwords for this trip that paid off in the end.

With everyone aboard, BG 90 departed H & M Landing. Captain Mike Jewitt held his safety briefing and on-board fishing seminar with a wry sense of humor and wit while bait was being loaded. The plan to run south would include paddy hopping our way and a stop first thing in the morning past Isla San Geronimo at the Sacramento Reef to fish rockfish and possible yellowtail in the area.

Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield was on hand with Okuma Catalina Rods and Reel bags for all participants in the Won-Big Game 90 2010 Charter as well as the Okuma Soltera reel for a top raffle prize. Other trip sponsors Turner’s Outdoorsman and Sufix provided line spool ups and gift cards, while Lazer Sharp sent along dozens of hook packs. Williamson trolling jigs and jig packs and spools of Seaguar fluorocarbon rounded out the swag for charter participants.

• CHICK FARR WORKED THE IRON for a nice forkie gaffed by BG90 Chef Jacob Hensley.

• STEVE TOMIYAMA SOAKED SQUID to trick this bluefin displayed by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

• RUSS CARMONA WITH LING taken while fishing near the Sacramento Reef. The reef was named after the side wheel steamship that wrecked here in 1872.

BG 90 second-captain Justin Brands moved the boat down the line overnight in calm seas and light winds and at grey-light trolling rotation was begun. Just past 8:00 a.m. the first kelp paddy of the day showed off the starboard bow. Sliding up alongside, baits were tossed out and jigs thrown beyond the kelp.

“I’m metering plenty of fish down to 10 fathoms” called Captain Jewitt over the loud speaker.

Immediately, small 15-pound-plus yellowtail began to be pulled over the rails with 12 fish at this first stop. Definitely a good sign this early in a 6-day trip.

While working the paddy angler Steve Tomiyama of Poway fished a fly-lined ‘dine on one of his own custom rods for a lone 25-pound bluefin, gaffed and hauled over by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

After working each paddy for a short while and the bite having tapered off, Captain Jewitt would sing melodiously over the P.A., “ Up, up, up…let’s get back to work, looking around,” meaning it was time to reset the troll rotation.

The day continued without much distance covered when plenty of paddies holding fish fell along BG 90’s path to Cedros. As evening approached the captain announced we’d be fishing the “Reef” in the morning, then early the next day we’d be arriving at the island.

Anchoring in the darkness of the early morning hours Captains Jewitt and Brands along with the deck crew made squid using the crowder and hand nets for 30 scoops of bait. The current ran steadily southward forcing the crew to sweep the heavily-laden crowder net along from bow to stern as they loaded it with lively squid.

True to his word Captain Jewitt moved Big Game 90 to waters off the point, east of Cedros, at the salt works and the early morning hours were spent wrangling in bottom fish along with big yellowtail to 35-pounds while fishing dropper loop sardines and squid.

Okuma Rep Mansfield soaked a dropper loop squid from his Catalina rod and Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix line when his reel began screaming as line paid out on a big fish. Once the drag had done its job and the fish turned, Mansfield was joined by Captain Jewitt at the rail saying, “That’s gotta be a black sea bass! Go easy, and wind!”

• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water. • RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan. • GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.
• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water.

• RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan.

• GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.

After several runs by the fish, and a lengthy workout for Mansfield, the huge black surfaced near the boat amid cat calls and shouts from anglers at the rail. Mansfield decided to release the fish after a few quick pictures and the fish, estimated by the captain at 145-pounds, was carefully deflated and let go.

Twenty huge, almost cookie-cutter, 30-pound-plus yellowtail took crocodiles, jigs, and dropper
looped sardines before lunch.

The highlight of any long trip has to be the fishing but when the food is as good as the meals served-up by Big Game 90’s long-time chef, Jake Hensley there is always something to look forward. Hot spaghetti and meat balls for lunch and a filling pork loin dinner were typical of the delicious and tempting meals for the charter group.

Throughout the day stops around the area produced good numbers of yellowtail with a short wide open bite around 3:00 p.m. netting dozens of fish to 25-pounds. Ralph “Chick” Farr of Laguna Niguel pulled in several nice forkies using the Tady 77 scrambled egg surface iron for great success while saying, “Man there’s nothing like cranking the iron for yellowtail!”

Another open bite followed as Big Game 90 found the schools of mossbacks again and again.

Rick Rosano of Carson, and pal, Jacinto “Jack” Quisquirin of Murrieta, took their share of forkies at nearly every stop throughout the trip and usually could be found fighting fish side-by-side. “This trip has been outstanding!” exclaimed Rosano after the day’s catch was safely stashed in the refrigerated hold.

Okuma had sent along several rod and reel combos with their Cedros and Makaira reels rigged and ready for action. Testing out the equipment gave those aboard an opportunity to get acquainted with the gear in a real-time fishing environment.

More than half of the boat’s legal limit of yellowtail had been taken through the day and by sunset most everyone was ready for a rest. A final raffle drawing gave lucky angler Gordon Gould of Winnetka the new Okuma Solterra reel ready to be loaded with Sufix line.

Tucked in close to Cedros the anglers shared other feast, an hour or so making mackerel with Sabiki rigs and it was time to hit the rack.

The bright morning dawn found Big Game 90 working inshore at the cove near Punto Morro Redondo. Several stops produced plenty of whitefish, reds and a few sizable yellowtail throughout the morning hours when the captain announced, “We’re going to run back down and see if we can’t find the schooling yellowtail off shore.”

A little more than an hour’s run along the inside channel and a feeding school came up in front of the boat just as the engines were eased. The bite on 20-pound forkies would be a wide open frenzy that caught some anglers napping in their bunks.

Plenty more of the feeding fish filled the afternoon and around 4:00 p.m. Captain Jewitt announced that the boat limit had been reached and it was time to shut off the yellowtail action.

Plenty of discussion and argument about where to go next took place until the captain held an impromptu meeting in the galley to announce his plan. “You guys all did a great job,” said the skipper. “We are heading offshore to possibly find some tuna and work our way back up the line toward home. That way we can possibly hit a school of yellowfin and see what we can do,” he concluded.

The assembled anglers actually applauded the skipper for his success at finding so many quality fish and for going the extra mile by taking the boat out chasing tuna.

Overnight the boat moved offshore to a point twenty miles west of Islas San Benito and at dawn a small paddy produced a few football yellowfin and another shortly after that.

Heading northward trolling rotations kept up throughout the day and through the next until at last the final hours of the thirty hour return trip were winding down.

• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN'S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail. • OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action. • MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.
• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN’S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail.

• OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action.

• MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.

• JACKPOT WINNER KEVIN MARTIN with huge yellowtail taken while fishing a dropper loop squid near Cedros Island.

Longtime Big Game 90 deckhand Brad Morgan matched up the biggest fish of the trip to determine the jackpot winner and Kevin Martin of Lakewood proved to have the biggest catch with a yellowtail that looked to be close to 40-pounds.

Off-loading at H & M landing everybody enjoyed the fruits of their trip when bag after bag of fillets and plenty of whole fish hit the docks. There’d be lots of great stories and shared experiences to tide these anglers over until next year’s WON-Big Game 90 Charter.

Contact Info: H & M Landing www.hmlanding.com 1-619-222-1144 2803 Emerson Street, San Diego, 92106; Big Game 90 www.biggame90.com 1-858-270-7525             1-858-270-7525

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

The Makaira Revolution- See the book online!

Monday, March 15th, 2010

The Makaira family includes sizes from 10 to 80-wide.

The Cedros family of high-speed, single speed lever drags includes three sizes: 10, 15 and 20.

The release of the all-new Makaira family of two-speed offshore reels and the single speed Cedros offshore reels has certainly captured a lot of attention!

Of course, the questions follow, “What’s the difference between push-bar and pull bar drag systems?” “Why is the thrust bearing important?” “What grade of materials are used?”

They’re all great questions.  And to make the answers as easy as possible, we’ve uploaded our 24 page Makaira booklet online.  Within it, all aspects of design are detailed.  From materials, to drag systems, to gearing, to finish.

While the book focuses on the Makaira, the Cedros family of high-speed, single-speed lever drags share the same advancements in design and construction.

To view the book, simply click here:  http://www.okumafishing.com/makaira/