New Okuma 350 Low-Profile Baitcast Reels: Drop The Hammer

General Motors introduced the small block 350 in 1967.  Since that time, it’s become the performance standard for speed, power and durability. Surprisingly, it’s taken more than 45 years for the fishing industry to catch up, and for Okuma to release its 350, achieving the pinnacle of speed, power and performance.

Komodo 350

Refined and compact overall, there’s no missing Komodo’s massive drop down gear case. Holding a giant stainless steel main gear, the system offers plenty of room for an inspiring Carbonite drag system, capable of delivering up to 25-pounds of max drag. And to make that drag pressure usable, the levelwind on both Komodo and Citrix are synchronized with spool revolutions as line is both taken in and going out. This feature keeps the levelwind aligned with line on the spool at all times, especially important when fishing high-power braids on hard-running fish as sharp angles in the levelwind system increases actual drag pressure immensely and can lead to break offs.

Engines are most often discussed in regards to horsepower, and the word is also fitting here.  For the Komodo 350, horsepower would be an exceptional combination of line capacity (230-yards of 14-pound monofilament and similar amount of 50-pound braid), 25-pounds of drag output, and stainless steel main gear, pinion gear and drive shaft.  Turn the crank to throttle up and the high-speed 6.4:1 gear ratio eats up 31-inches of line with every turn of the handle.

The great ones are defined by more than the engine, it’s the total package, and here the Komodo 350 does not disappoint. The A6061-T6 machined aluminum spool casts effortlessly, riding on ABEC-5 spool bearings as a standard feature instead of an upgrade. To tame more freespool than most anglers require, the 7-position velocity control system dials-in spool breaking for exact needs.

Overall, the bearing system includes 11 bearings overall, ten High Performance stainless steel bearings and one roller bearing.  Still, when you turn the handle, you’ll feel the gears.  Consider it the low rumble of a sports car’s exhaust, there’s a lot of power in the stainless, there if you need it. Hook-sets and battles are backed by dual anti-reverse systems because redundancy is good when your tied to the fish of a lifetime.

All dressed up, the question is where to go.  Saltwater approved, the Komodo 350 was designed to take on trophy stripers, angry jacks, big bull reds and full gamut of powerful inshore species.  It’s equally at home on freshwater, taking down giant musky, more stripers, trophy largemouth and big cats. When it comes to freshwater, however, the Citrix 350 is an equally formidable option.

Constructed on the exact same platform as Komodo, the Citrix 350 replaces stainless gearing with heavy-duty Dura Brass and drops 10 bearings to eight.  Like Komodo, it still features an aluminum frame, aluminum spool, rigid aluminum handle side side plate and the identical tonnage of line capacity and drag output.

Citrix 350

An overhead shot reveals expansive capacity for monofilament or braid as well a revealing that Citrix, as well as Komodo, is available in left hand retrieve with a massive optional power handle.

One key deviation in the Citrix is the availability of a lower 5.4:1 gear ratio in addition to the high-speed 6.4:1.  Northwest salmon anglers that commonly troll 10- to 16-ounces of lead, big divers and the like will appreciate the extra cranking power, as will the giant catfish anglers.

While on the subject of cranking power, both Komodo and Citrix 350’s are available in both right and left hand retrieve. When it’s time to bear down, you have the option of using your best cranking hand instead of playing the proverbial monkey on the football.  Additionally, both Citrix and Komodo are available with a Power Handle as an upgrade to the standard dual paddle handles.

Be on the lookout for more from this 350 platform. From an excellent foundation, many models will come, just like the cars and trucks.  These reels fit the hand amazingly well, delivering comfort and confidence, and the combination of capacity, strength, speed and power suits an incredible number of fisheries as you explore the potential of the 350.

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