When you’ve designed, crafted and delivered rods and reels of the very highest caliber, it’s a natural extension to put them in the hands of elite professionals and have them perform on the major fishing tournament trails. With the release of Helios rods and reels, Komodo high-speed baitcast reels and completely redesigned and upgraded C3-40X rods, that’s exactly what we did.
Scott Martin has been with Okuma Fishing Tackle since November of 2011, and just 6 months into fishing the gear, his performance on the Potomac River last weekend was dubbed “unstoppable” by FLW reporters, jumping out to a massive lead, then following up for three more days to seal the victory.
Martin focused on grass throughout the Potomac River FLW event with a three pronged approach: chatterbaits, stick worms and flipping. Here’s the gear that got it done:
The lightest rod and reel combinations in the Okuma lineup, Helios models are purely tournament-driven for extreme sensitivity, minimum fatigue and all-day comfort…necessities of four day, high-pressure fishing marathons. The Helios HS-262V weighs just 6.3 ounces total. Constructed on an all-aluminum drive system, featuring an aluminum frame and right side side plate, the reel defines refined power and strength. Premium ABEC-5 bearings are stock equipment, setting free absolutely effortless casting that’s governed by an internal 7-position centrifugal cast control system. In Martin’s chatterbait & stick worm applications, the 6.2:1 gear ratio delivers precise control over every presentation.
Helios Mini Guide rods begin on a foundation of 40-Ton carbon, fast-action blanks. The HS-CH-701MH weighs just 3.7-ounces, bringing Martin’s rod and reel combination to 10-ounces total, prior to line winding. To reach the minimalist weight while retaining all the inherent power, Helios Mini Guide rods feature ALPS Mini Guides with ultra-hard Zirconium inserts. Martin fished 17-pound fluorocarbon, but the guide system is up to the task of any line type desired. ALPS Mini Guides deliver 100% confidence in strength at micro-level weight. The system improves both sensitivity and casting by maintaining a superior, close relationship between line and the rod blank. At the handle end, Helios Mini Guide rods feature an EVA split grip, delivering outstanding balance and again reducing every bit of sensitivity-robbing weight. Rated for 1/4- to 1-ounce casting weight, the 7-foot HS-CM-701MH and Helios reel are perfect choices for the applications the conditions called for.
At 6.5 ounces in total weight, the Komodo KDR-273V delivers speed and power by the tonnage, again in a platform driven by comfort and minimalist weight. The Komodo features a full aluminum drive system, aluminum frame and both right and left side aluminum side plates. Eleven stainless steel bearings include ABEC-5 spool bearings…just as Helios does. Key separating features of Komodo from Helios are apparent in the massive gear box. For flipping, Martin relies on Komodo for the high-speed 7.3:1 gear ratio. Commanding 31.5-inches of line with every turn of the handle, the reel extracts fish from cover and puts them in the boat with authority and conviction, backed by the strength of the aluminum drive system and full Carbonite drag system. Komodo is an angler favorite also, with models available in both right and left hand retrieve.
The Helios Mini Guide HS-CM-761XH is a lighter choice in flipping rods for Martin. The cover on the Potomac is not as demanding as other locations. For heavy flipping, you’ll most often find the C3-40X, C3-C-7111H in Martin’s hand. He’s dubbed it the best balanced 7′11″ rod available in the market and relies on it’s longer length for increased distance and leverage. On the Helios HS-CM-761XH, features are exactly the same as the medium heavy: 40-Ton carbon blank, ALPS Mini Guides with Zirconium inserts, split EVA grips and Pac Bay MINIMA reel seats with zero fore-grip. The 7′6″ XH takes the lure ratings to 1/2- to 2-ounces, with exceptionally fast action.
For complete coverage of the FLW Potomac River event, check out FLW’s website here, FLW- Simply Unstoppable, and BassFan’s coverage here, North South Grass Combo Kept Martin On The Right Fish.