Citrix Rods and Reels-Uncensored

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

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

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.

Microsoft Tags: Scan It, View It

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.