Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Value Reel Part 2 - Okuma
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:00 PM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
Marine Scientist
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NYC, South Jersey, Eastern PA
Posts: 1,080
The first time I picked one of these reels up it was at a fishing tackle show in Las Vegas two years ago. I was amazed at the one-way bearing, specifically the smoothness with which the reel rotates in the direction of the in-coming line; you can give the handle a quick spin and the spool rotates freely for quite some time due to the bearing and very low resistance. I bought one a few weeks later and loved the smoothness (this was the model smaller than the 10/11). The only apparent drawback to the reel at the time was the weight of it; it seemed a tad heavy for my 9-wt. My first chance to use it came in Great Bay (between Tuckerton and LBI) targeting blues and weakies. The largest fish hooked that day was a weakfish that appeared to be in the 30" range, released at the side of the boat before it could be grabbed. Several blues in the 20-24" range were landed. The thing that I didn't like about the reel was the grainy feel of the retrieve I noticed before we headed in for the day. I cleaned the reel up though it had stayed out of the water all day and there were no signs of saltwater anywhere inside, and still the retrieve seemed to be a bit reserved (the spool would no longer "free-spool" as smoothly). I ended up getting rid of the reel on ebay and went on to a Litespeed. Apparently my experience with the reel was atypical of the performance others have experienced; be that as it may, I'm interested to see what owners of these reels will have to say after a few years of service have passed. If you're looking for a decent reel for under $100 and don't expect many years of service, than the Okumas might be just what you're looking for. The relatively high weight of the reels would do well to balance two-handed rods, I suppose. I'm sticking with my Litespeeds, though...
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