Okuma Metaloid Baitcast Reel A Powerful Performer

Okuma’s Metaloid reel families center on powerful, no-nonsense designs constructed from the best available materials. A Metaloid reel is built to fish hard in the world’s most rugged environments. Joining Metaloid lever drag and spinning reels is the all-new Metaloid baitcast reel.

Metaloid

With a machined aluminum frame and side plates, the Metaloid baitcast reel will be a favorite of musky, pike, striper and salmon anglers.

Metaloid baitcast reels feature a machined aluminum frame, side plates and spool to provide a high-quality foundation of brute strength. The reel operates fluidly in fresh and saltwater on four stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing. Precision brass gears create smooth handling at all times. In addition to stainless steel bearings and premium aluminum and brass components, every part within Metaloid is coated with penetrating Corrosion-X HD during the assembly process for above-and-beyond with regard to corrosion-resistance.

The multi-disc drag system features Carbonite washers for long-wearing durability. Carbonite drag washers do not compress when stored under pressure like standard drag washers, and the system maintains its full range over the long term. Maximum drag output is 10-pounds, suitable for virtually all inshore species and large freshwater species like trophy bass, pike, musky, large catfish and salmon.

Casting is controlled by an internal 6-pin Velocity Cast Control. Aluminum drag star and aluminum paddle handle deliver exceptional strength and precise control.

The Metaloid baitcast reel is one model, the M-400, with a 5.1:1 gear ratio that retrieves 23” of line with each turn of the handle. The M-400 hoods 180-yards of 20-pound monofilament, or almost 300-yards of 50-pound braid. Because braid use is expected, the level-wind system remains engaged at all times. This ensures that line is always drawn straight off the reel spool when casting, or when fish are running. With non-stretch braided lines, any introduced angles between the level-wind and line coming off the spool can cause significant extra stress. Metaloid eliminates this issue, delivering even line flow at all times.

The Metaloid baitcast reel is backed by the Okuma 1-Year Limited Warranty.

New Okuma Komodo SS Baitcast Reels Advance With New Size And New Stainless Steel Gear System

The original Komodo 350 size baitcast reels has been the recipient of tremendous accolades. One of our favorites being from a 30-year veteran of big fish angling regularly referring to the reel as an “excellent value” or “best toughness and value I’ve seen.” For 2017, the Komodo family welcomes the Komodo SS, featuring a new 450 size and stainless steel drive system.

Komodo SS with Power Handle

Komodo SS reels are available in both 350 and 450 sizes, twin paddle or power handle, and models for right and left hand retrieve.

The the “SS” in Komodo SS stands for Stainless Steel. The Komodo SS is built around a heavy-duty stainless steel main gear, pinion gear, drive shaft and spool shaft to deliver an internal foundation of unrelenting strength and corrosion-resistance. In short, this is the major point of separation in new Komodo reels for those anglers who want to push these reels towards their maximum drag output of 30-pounds on large predatory fish.

Around this superior foundation, Komodo SS reels continue with premium components including: rigid, machined aluminum frame and spool, aluminum side plates, high-output Carbonite drag system and updated 6-pin Velocity Cast Control System.

Performance features include six or seven (depending upon size) stainless steel HPB High Performance Bearings, plus roller bearing, for outstanding corrosion-resistance. The synchronized level-wind system does not disengage for casting. This ensures that when fishing braided lines, the level-wind always maintains alignment with line as it comes off the spool. In systems where the level-wind disengages, a hot running fish can cause spikes in drag pressure as non-stretch braided lines encounter sharp angles when pulling from one side of the spool when the level-wind may be at the other side of the spool. Bait clickers are standard on all models.

The Komodo SS series includes two sizes, 350 and 450. The 350 size includes a 6.4:1 gear ratio that retrieves 31-inches of line with every turn of the handle and maximum drag output of 25-pounds. There are four models in the 350 size. The KDS-364 ships with standard twin paddle handle at an MSRP or $219.99. The KDS-364LX is the same reel in left-hand retrieve. The 350 size is then available with single, factory power handle in both right- and left-hand retrieve at an MSRP of $234.99 as the KDS-364P and KDS-364PLX, respectively.

The 450 size Komodo is available in right-hand retrieve with two options of gear ratios and the angler’s choice of twin paddle handle or power handle. The KDA-463 features a 6.3:1 gear ratio, picking up 33.5-inches of line with every turn of the handle, and twin paddle handle at an MSRP of $259.99. The KDS-463P is the same reel with power handle, available at an MSRP of $269.99. For faster retrieve, the KDS-471 (paddle handle) and KDS-471P (power handle) include a hyper-fast 7.1:1 gear ratio, taking in 37.7-inches of line with every crank. MSRP on the KDS-471 and KDS-471P is also $269.99.

In left-hand retrieve, the 450 size is available with the 6.3:1 gear ratio as the KDS-463LX ($259.99) with twin paddle handle and the KDS-463PLX ($269.99) with power handle.

Komodo SS series baitcast reels are covered by the Okuma 3-Year Limited Warranty.

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.

Mark Romanack’s Essential Walleye Rod and Reel Combinations

For every fishing situation there is a combination of fishing rod, reel and line that’s “perfect.” In other words, for the specific application, the rod and reel combination do everything right. It’s balanced, both in the hand and with regard to power. If the technique requires sensitivity, the rod delivers. If it’s a trolling application, the rod action and reel’s features and performance enhance success.
Mark Romanack, Jigging Walleye

It’s no secret that the number one essential rod and reel for walleyes is a jig stick.

Through direct contact between members of our Product Development and Pro-Staff teams, new product releases like Dead Eye walleye fishing rods and reels, or Cold Water line counter reels approach fisheries from a broad view, then break them down into their unique characteristics and angler techniques.  What follows are technique-specific products with actions, powers, capacities and features that are constructed to excel in these environments.  Within Dead Eye walleye fishing rods, that selection now includes 30 specific rod models for everything from jigging, to trolling bottom bouncers to big board rods and “slow-death” rods.

This is great for the serious angler.  The deep availability of options allow many choices to fit personal preferences.  For the more recreational angler, however, too many options can lead to confusion, and nobody benefits from that.
For anglers that simply need a place to begin on the best footing, or any angler looking to cost-effectively increase their walleye rod and reel selection, we asked Okuma Pro-Staff member and host of Fishing 411 television, Mark Romanack, to detail his walleye fishing systems. The goal is to provide a place to begin, and a plan to effectively add depth to the selection.
Romanack detailed eight walleye rod and reel combinations, beginning with what he views as “essentials” and advancing from there.
These first three combinations are, as described, the essential, day-in day-out workhorse walleye rods and reels Romanack relies upon.

1) Dead Eye DE-S-701ML rod (7-foot for 4-10# line) matched to new Dead Eye DE-25 spinning reel and 10-pound test super braid. This essential walleye fishing rod and reel is perhaps the most universal combo an angler can own. This single set up is ideal for pitching jigs tipped with soft plastics or live bait, it’s also perfect for casting slip bobbers, casting small crankbaits, slip sinker rigging and for vertical jigging with up to 3/8-ounce jigs.

2) Dead Eye DE-C-861M-T rod (8’6″ telescopic for 6-15# line) matched to the new Cold Water 203D line counter reel, loaded with 12# test monofilament. This rod and reel combination is ideal for trolling with both standard sized and mini in-line planer boards used in combination with crankbaits, spinners or spoons. The backbone of this rod is matched perfectly to handling the resistance of planer boards and trophy sized walleye. This workhorse trolling rod can also be used for trolling lead core line and bottom bouncers. The telescopic feature of this rod allows it to store nicely in the rod locker of any fishing boat.

Cold Water Line Counter Reels

New Cold Water Line Counter reels are available in sizes 15 and up, in both right and left hand retrieve.

3) Dead Eye DE-CBR861M-T bottom bouncer rod (8’6″ telescopic for 6-20# line) matched to the Akena-250 round baitcasting reel loaded with 12# monofilament. The ultimate set up for fishing bottom bouncers and if any rod and reel combination deserves to be designated to a single presentation, it’s bottom bouncing with spinner rigs. Among walleye tournament anglers bottom bouncing with spinners is considered the “money rig” as this simple presentation produces walleye in just about every body of water in North America. The Dead Eye telescopic bottom bouncer rod stores easily in the rod locker of any fishing boat and quickly expands to provide the perfect soft tip action needed for pulling bottom bouncers ranging in size from 1/2- to 3-ounces.

Romanack calls these next three walleye fishing systems “important.”  Not essential, but very nice to have to round out your technique on different water bodies.

4) Dead Eye DE-CSD-1062M Slow Death rod (10’6″ for 8-17# line) matched with a Citrix Ci254v low profile baitcasting reel and 10-12 pound test monofilament. The Slow Death presentation is practiced with a bottom bouncer, 4′ fluorocarbon leader and a single Mustad Slow Death hook baited with half a nightcrawler. This unique presentation catches walleye when other presentations will not. The extra length and super slow action of the Slow Death rod makes this set up especially deadly. The length is important because the Slow Death presentation is normally practiced with a pair of rods positioned in rod holders on either side of the boat. Bites are detected by monitoring the soft rod tip, which loads up when a fish is hooked. The soft action also makes it especially difficult for hooked fish to escape.

Trolling planer boards.

The Dead Eye rod series offers many options for planer boards and open water trolling.

5) Dead Eye DE-CBB-701ML Big Board Rod (7′ for 10-20# line) matched with a Cold Water 203D line counter reel and 12# monofilament or 30# super braid line. Fishing with a planer board mast and ski system requires a rod and reel set up specific to that presentation. The Big Board Rod is short enough to make it easy to reach the rod tip and grab the line which is in turn placed in a line release and attached to the tether line connecting the board to the mast. Secondly, the Big Board Rod features a soft tip that enables the angler to detect hooked fish by noticing an obvious bend in the rod tip. Thirdly, the Big Board Rod has enough backbone to fight stubborn fish flawlessly. Any angler who prefers to troll using a mast system will appreciate the value of the Big Board Rod. Line counter reels like the Cold Water series are invaluable to this style of trolling. Lead lengths are varied and monitored closely. When a fish is landed using a specific lead length, the line counter reel makes it easy to duplicate a productive lead length to other rods.

6) Dead Eye DE-CAP-701M-T All Purpose Baitcasting Rod (7′ for 8-17# line) matched with a Akena-250 round baitcasting reel and 12# test monofilament or 30# test super braid. This 7′ medium action baitcasting outfit will handle a lot of walleye fishing chores including fishing bottom bouncers as a hand-held rod, fishing jigging spoons or blade baits, casting crankbaits, flat-line trolling chores and trolling applictions involving mini in-line planer boards. Because this rod is telescopic it travels well and will fit in the rod locker of any fishing boat. The All Purpose Baitcasting Rod does a lot of things well and fills a unique niche among walleye anglers.

These final two walleye combinations fill in for special situations or provide extensions to specific techniques.

7) Dead Eye DE-601MHFRT spinning rod (6′ for 8-17# line) with Dead Eye DE-25 spinning reel and 10-15# test super braid line. The six foot one piece MH action Dead Eye spinning rod is ideal for some specialized jig fishing applications including rip jigging in weed cover and vertical jigging with heavy jigs often used in deep or swift rivers like the Columbia, Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. For vertical jigging applications the 10# test super braid is the perfect line option. For rig jigging, a little heavier 15# test super braid is a little tougher and better able to tear through weed cover without abrasion issues. In both cases using a short fluorocarbon leader of 8- to10-pound test is a good option.

8) Dead Eye DE-C-701M Dead Eye Crankbait rod (7′ for 10-20# line) matched with the Citrix Ci-254v slow speed (5.4:1) baitcasting reel and 10# test fluorocarbon line. This soft action fiberglass rod is designed for casting medium sized crankbaits, but is also useful for several other presentations. This same rod is a good choice for hand holding a bottom bouncer rig while fishing off the bow of the boat with an electric motor, structure trolling lead core line set ups in rivers or along meandering bottom structure and in a pinch this rod is also a good option for trolling crankbaits or spinners with in-line planer boards.
As gear becomes more technique-specific, there will always remain a core, highly versatile set of rods and reels that have proven themselves to be the most used, most productive gear on the water.
Mark Romanack

The best results come from beginning with a core selection of balanced rod and reel combinations, then adding as angler technique and interest increases.