Posts Tagged ‘Okuma’

Okuma’s Newest Bass Offerings Help Scott Martin Take Down FLW Potomac Event

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

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 bested 145 top professionals, leading the tournament from day one through the finish.

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:

Chatterbaits & Stick Worms: Helios HS-262V reel on Helios HS-CM-701MH Mini Guide rod.

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.

Flipping: Komodo KDR-273V reel on Helios HS-CM-761XH.

Scott Martin, Day one Potomac River

A monster bag on day one provided a powerful lead, and continued clean execution brought the win home three days later.

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.

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.

The Bass Federation-A Model Of Success

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Youth, Conservation, Fishing, the foundation principles of The Bass Federation. If there are three better concepts to build an organization around, we have yet to see it. Okuma believes heavily in the Federation model.  It’s important. And because of that we sponsor the State Federations of Florida, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, Northeast Mississippi and Idaho. These groups don’t ask for much, and return far more to the sport than they ever take from it. We’re very proud to be involved and appreciative of the feedback we receive, from photos to product feedback on rods and reels like Komodo, Citrix, Krios, Helios, EVx and more.

bass federation

Since 1968, the independent state bass Federations have worked together to support the grassroots growth of fishing and the growth of the entire sport fishing/outdoors industry in their states.

If you’re an avid bass angler, there’s little doubt that you’re already familiar with The Bass Federation. If your new to the sport, or simply haven’t connected with an organization, the following outline, provided by the Tennessee Bass Federation, provides a lot to look forward to.

The Bass Federation

TBF is a 100% member owned company; it’s owned, controlled and governed by its members through their home state federations like the Tennessee Bass Federation. The “federation,” TBF, is the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing organization in America, the only member owned national fishing organization. Our sole purpose is to support our core values, which we have held for more than 40 years; youth, conservation and fishing.

TBF is made up of individuals and groups that believe in the organization and its future as a way a life, not just a company, but a “family.”  As a family, TBF’s members step up as club leaders, officers and presidents all over the country, without these volunteers TBF could never be successful. Unlike other companies, TBF’s national office line is always open, and there’s never, never an automated response. The TBF family takes care of its family.

Tennessee Jr. Bass Federation Championship

A great bunch of kids involved in the sport thanks to an exceptional group of adults. There will never be "an ap" for this.

TBF’s sponsor partners make the federation unique in the industry, as well as, successful long-term. They offer federation members and their clubs an array of member benefits and opportunities. TBF’s sponsors partners make it possible for TBF to pay back 100% of membership dues to member programs, which include industry leading insurance coverage, a host of No–Entry Fee events, a TBF member-only online store, individual member discounts, falling price auctions, tons of special offers, and massive support of their youth, conservation, state team, and state federations. Taking advantage of one or more benefits can save any member more money than their yearly dues costs to belong to BOTH TBF and FLW Outdoors, plus so much more.

Speaking of tournament opportunities, on a national average a TBF member pays less than $200 a year in total TBF member dues and entry fees to fish through their state, to the divisional, the Federation National Championship, the BFL All-American and the Forrest Wood Cup. You cannot fish for less anywhere…. on any circuit, much less one that offers berths in the biggest events in the business. It really does pay to belong to TBF.

Tennessee Bass Federations State Team

There's a lot more to the Tennessee Bass Federation than competitive tournaments and Okuma is very proud to have their state team wearing our jerseys.

Though being a TBF member is a bargain unequaled in the industry, TBF is about so much more. The federation is youth, conservation and fishing, not just tournaments. It is about the next generation, conserving our natural resources, fighting for clean water, as well as, saving money and qualifying to advance. All those things are important to the federation but they do not define what the federation is. The fun and camaraderie and the family-feel is what TBF is all about. Fishing for fun and bragging rights with life-long federation friends, and protecting the future of fishing and the rights to fish with our kids and grandkids is why TBF has grown and has continued to grow all these years. Family and fishing is why TBF exists; it exists 100% for its members and to support the things, the sport, they love. And like its members, TBF will continue to support the sport of fishing for decades to come.

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.

Citrix Rods and Reels-Uncensored

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
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.

Author Ron Fogelson

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.
Ronald Fogelson
Ultimatebass.com Administrator

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

Okuma Free Pro Jersey and Reel Cash Rebates, Now Through May 15th!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

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.

FLW Cup Champion Scott Martin shows off the Okuma Tournament Jersey

The custom die-sublimated Okuma tournament jersey is the same as shown here on Okuma pro and FLW Cup Champion Scott Martin.

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.

Look for Okuma Rebate and Jersey displays in better tackle shops nation-wide.

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.

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

Team Rezkill Wins Islamorada Dolphin Tournament!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Conditions were downright ugly for the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, which took place on June 4th and 5th, but not unfishable. Capt. Luis M Perez, Ryan Smith, Audie Lim Sang, Mike Walker and Ray Ragolta pulled off the dock Saturday morning with a full load of goggle eyes.

Team Rezkill 36' Contender

Team Rezkill's fishing platform is a 36' Contender with triple Yamaha 300's.

The plan for the tournament, run-and-gun using feeding birds to locate the dolphin that were pushing up bait from below. “Run” might be an overstatement, as 10-12 foot seas made the going slow and the visibility challenging. The rig of choice: size 65 Cedros baitfeeder spinning reels loaded with Sunline 40-pound mono. 60-pound leaders, looped via Bimini Twist and finished with 8/0 Gamakatsu offset hooks.  Live goggle eyes were cast to schools, baitfeeder released to allow the bait to swim freely, then wait for the take.  Allowing plenty of time to eat the bait, with a turn of the reel handle the baitfeeding function is ceased and the drag system engaged.  A straightforward approach, and in calmer conditions, a ton of fun.

Dolphin at gaff

Big seas made for few photos and interesting conditions for locating solid fish.

Thirty miles Southeast of Islamorada, the birds became plentiful, as did the fish. The problem…small fish. Loads of 5- to 8-pound models. A dime a dozen. The kind of fish that make for a fun day, but not a tournament win. In the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, teams are allowed to weigh just 2 fish a day, with the top three fish creating the final team weight (if a team weighs 4, the smallest is dropped). Quantity in this case is of little value, it’s quality and locating good fish on each day that wins.

Taking a beating at every turn only to find ongoing numbers of small fish, Team Rezkill changed the plan mid-morning. Instead of looking for the next school in hopes of scoring a quick big fish, they chose to sit on a large school in hopes of working a larger fish from below the more aggressive bailers. The tactic produced a standout 9-pound fish in fairly short order. Sticking with the approach then yielded the first really solid fish, an 18-pound cow, but no more from the school.  Rezkill is forced to go back on the hunt.

Whale Shark

A visit from a whale shark is taken as a good omen and always a welcomed sight.

Now getting late, the next batch of birds has just two fish beneath it. One beautiful bull that takes 2 baits but spits them both, and a 20-pound cow that finishes Rezkill’s day one total weight of roughly 38-pounds.

Day two is no nicer than day one, although Rezkill’s 38-pounds has them in second place behind a weight of 42-pounds.  In the running, motivation is as high as the seas.

Fishing is tough.  Again lots of small fish, but no quality.  The day becomes a long grind and finally after 3pm, the bow is pointed for the marina.  Still working for fish on the way in, a very thin weed line shows off the starboard side. With no fish on board and a never-give-up attitude, two baits are set to slow troll the edge of the weeds on Cedros CLD-20 lever drag reels, custom rods and the same line/leader setups.

Team Rezkill and Tournament Big Fish

Team Rezkill with the both the tournament's big fish and the one that put them into first place.

Not 30 minutes into the trolling effort a 17-pound cow awakens a clicker.  Now with one worthy fish on the boat, the visions of a second place finish are growing stronger.  Short on time, new baits are slid out the back and it takes less than 10 minutes for a 27-pound bull, the big fish of the tournament, to inhale the bait.  Bottom of the ninth, two outs and Rezkill jacks one out of the yard.

In baseball the game would be complete, but in sport fishing you have to make the dock. With less than an hour and a half to make weigh-in and still over 20 miles out, Rezkill had to press the 36′ Contender and triple Yamaha 300’s through the still relentless 10- to 12-footers.  Victory often comes with a bit of a price.

The last minute 27-pounder sealed up first place honors paying $6,000 and the tournament’s big fish honors, worth another $1,000.  Bragging rights until 2012, however, are “priceless”.

Congratulations to Team Rezkill from all of us at Okuma!

Microsoft Tags: Scan It, View It

Monday, March 7th, 2011

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.

Okuma Citrix Video Tag

Scanning this tag on your smart phone will run our new Citrix baitcast reel product video.

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.

Andros Video Microsoft Tag

This tag for the new Andros product video is rendered with what Microsoft calls their helper text.