Building the Okuma Makaira Reels

We’ve all been out fishing and have seen a variety of styles and brands of reels on on various boats.  One reel that has really taken the offshore market by storm is the Okuma Makaira Lever Drag reel.  The Makaira is the flagship of the Okuma lineup, and has been so for a good four plus years now.  With extensive testing and input from the leaders in the industry, including Cal Sheets and the engineers at Tiburon, the Makaira was built to be the best reel on the market.

Makaira Cut Out

With a full family of sizes from an 8 to a 130, the Makaira has you covered.  Also available in a couple of Special Edition configurations, featuring open bearings, TSI-301 oil, larger handle design on a couple models, and a tuna etched on the side.  The Special Edition reel is also available in Gun Smoke, Silver, and a limited amount of Black.

Makaira SEaPeople often ask us the intricacies involved in building a reel like the Makaira.  It just so happens that a TV show was filmed in Taiwan over that past few weeks on the actual production of the Makaira Reels.  This was filmed at the factory in Taiwan and features some fun fishing footage, as well as some great insight into how these reels are actually produced.

As previously mentioned, the Makaira reels have been having great success and have accounted for hundreds of big fish.  In Southern California, the Makaira has become a staple in the long range fishery, and being fished by such sport boats as the Excel, Red Rooster III, Apollo, Royal Star, Intrepid, Maximus, and the list goes on.

Here are a couple of catches from the past couple seasons on the Makaira.
image (1) image Kevin Matson Okuma sign 20150221_045545_resized 20150221_113431_resized 20150222_025015_resized Apollo Rack

For more information on the Makaira lineup of reels, please visit




Okuma Azores Spinning Reels Poised To Make Major Impact On Saltwater Fisheries

Make no mistake; in the highly competitive world of fishing tackle manufacturing it’s not enough to produce another “me-too” style of product that currently exists in numerous forms in the marketplace. To have an impact, new product must advance the angling experience and/or bring a new level of performance members of the angling community where it did not exist previously.

For the avid angler, this competition means that the gear available today at any given price is simply leaps and bounds better than what existed in the past.  In this healthy competitive environment, the consumer wins.

A happy group of anglers showing off the fruits of a successful albacore trip.

Within all of the 2015 new product introductions from Okuma Fishing Tackle, the new Azores spinning reel demands attention as a product of seismic level impact.  To the discerning consumer, the Azores will rock your world.

Azores design is a joint project that was inclusive of the brightest engineering minds the United States has to offer, based upon parallel goals of increasing strength and majorly advancing corrosion-resistance, Azores delivers three core advancements that make this reel not only World Class, but the Class of the World at a modest retail price that begins at $119.99.

These three components include dual anti-reverse systems for the ultimate in confident pulling power, a larger and more rigid spool shaft than any competitive reel and a three-piece carbon fiber Mechanical Stabilization System that eliminates galvanic corrosion on the interior of the reel while also maintaining pinpoint alignment of internal parts. Of course, none of these advancements preclude Okuma’s existing high-performance features anglers expect:  Dual Force Drag system, aluminum body, sideplate, rotor and knurled-arbor braid-ready spool, water tight multi-disc drag, seven stainless steel bearing drive and high-density gearing.

As Azores approaches its release to the retail markets, we’ve pulled together some commentary from our product testers in the field.

“We’ve really been on a terror this week with the Azores reels,” said an excited Mark Coleman, one of Okuma’s West Coast-based product testers. “We’re up to 50+ albacore on the one and 30+ on the other. The third has about 20 fish. All reels are functioning like new. In the big scheme of things that is a lot of tuna on one reel. More than any of the others I’ve tested! Honestly this is the best saltwater spinning reel I’ve used.”

The Azores is right at home on both inshore and offshore waters.

West Coast Okuma Capt. Bob Woodard displays a quality dorado taken on the Okuma Azores reel.

Paired with an Okuma Maikara spinning rod, the Azores makes a sweet combo for all kinds of hard fighting fish.

“The Azores Z-65S is everything an angler looks for in a reel,” noted Jason Schall, another key Okuma tester based out of Charleston, SC. “The corrosion-resistant coating and gearing, the Mechanical Stabilizing System combined with the water tight drag seal is perfect. The rigid aluminum body and side plate give it the strong, solid, heavy-duty look and feel on the outside that it also is on the inside. I caught over 250 fish in a week on this reel, with most of them large sharks and very large redfish. One of the redfish I caught was only 3 inches from a new IGFA length record!”

In Southern California, Okuma tester Capt. Bob Woodard has been putting the Azores to use on one of the best SoCal saltwater seasons in a decade. Woodard has scored numerous yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and some quality dorado on a spinning set up consisting of the Azores 65-size reel paired with a Makaira MK-C-701M spinning rod.

While the majority of fishing for yellowtail is done with conventional outfits, Carmen Macdonald and Brandon Cotton, both part of Okuma’s Marketing front, switched it up a bit while on a recent fly-in trio down to Cedros Island, BCS Mexico.

Azores doing work in the surf on a quality striped bass.

“You might see a few guys on a sportboat fishing spinning tackle for yellows, but most guys are gonna be using conventional tackle most of the time. We’d caught a good amount of the forkies on conventional tackle already, so we figured let’s mix it up and tag a few on the new Azores spinners,” said Cotton. “I tell you what, that reel is extremely strong and stable, and the drags are super smooth and powerful.”

The new Azores will be shipping to retailers starting early November. Check out more information, plus watch the complete product video, here at