What is CFR?- Cyclonic Flow Rotor

With the introduction of the Inspira Spinning Reel in 2015 and the new Helios SX Spinning Reels, people often ask us about the features.  One of the key features we get asked about often is, What is CFR?  CFR stands for Cyclonic Flow Rotor.

          Helios SX CFR

 

The Cyclonic Flow Rotor (CFR) was designed to create a “cyclonic” airflow, which significantly increases air flow through the ported rotor.

Cyclonic Flow Rotor

This thoroughly tested design allows for a much faster drying time if the reel becomes wet, minimizing corrosion possibilities throughout the reel.

CFR also creates a lighter weight and a more rigid rotor which reduces the flex and rotational coherence and creates a more precise mechanical operation.

CFR Rotor Design

Within this light weight design, Okuma utilizes its C-40X carbon technology in its new Helios SX Spinning Reels.  The C-40X carbon technology utilizes a specially blended graphite polymer.  The carbon fibers in the material are elongated and reinforced, creating a substantially stronger composite than standard graphite materials.  At 25% lighter, 1.5 times stronger and 100% anti corrosive, C-40X translates into an extremely lightweight and durable construction. The Inspira Spinning Reels feature standard graphite with its CFR.

Inspira CFR

                  Inspira CFR

The CFR can be found in both the Inspira Spinning Reel as well as the new Helios SX Spinning Reels.

Helios SX CFR

Wire-to-Wire Victory for Lassagne at the B.A.S.S. State Championship

Weighing limits of 13-10, 11-10 and 12-4 at the B.A.S.S. Nation Regional Championship, Mark Lassagne from San Ramon, Calif. On the final day edged out Rod Brown and Jason Hemminger as the California State Boater champion advancing to the B.A.S.S. Nation Nationals. Lassagne also earned the A.R.E. Top Angler award of $250 as the top-finisher, using the brand’s truck caps.

lassagne_BASS_Western_Championship

Lassagne stated he had one goal this week, which was to win his state and advance to the Nationals for a shot to compete at the 2017 Bassmaster Classic. He added that he was very proud of his travel partner Michael Coleman who earned the non-boater championship for California. They will both be traveling back to the national event together.

“The practice session at Lake Mead started out tough,” said Lassagne. “I only landed a few fish each day, but those few fish gave me the confidence to expand on what little I found.”

The key was fishing into the fish rather than what’s happening right now. So many times we fish the fish that are biting right now, but are moving away from that pattern. Lassagne figured with the nice weather the fish would be on the move to spawn, but he knew most anglers would be targeting the usual spawning places. With that in mind he decided to look for the out of the way spots, those subtle places that others wouldn’t look. Each day after boating a limit, he had to search for new water for the next day as each of his spots only held a fish or two.

“I found all of my spots using my 1040XS Garmin,” he stated. “The depth shading option on the Garmin was the key. Since the lake was over a 100 ft down, the normal mapping would show the coves going way back but with the depth shading you could see exactly where each cove ended.”

Lassagne’s fish were caught in less than 2 ft of water on a 5 inch, green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko.

The western pro had his plastic wacky-rigged on a Gamakatsu #2 dropshot hook with 10 lb braid married to 8 lb Sunline fluorocarbon spooled on a 7 ft, medium-action Okuma Helios spinning rod and a 2500 Helios spinning reel.

Helios Spinning

 

“The Helios set up played an important role in my success as I needed a sensitive rod and a reel that could make a long cast,” added Lassagne. “I would position the boat about 30 yds. from the back of a cove and cast the open-hook Senko on to the bank. I would drag it in the water to about a foot deep, wait for about 30 seconds, make another cast and then head to the next cove.”

Helios SPinning Rod

 

Follow Mark Lassagne on Facebook www.facebook.com/marklassagnefishing or at www.marklassagne.com

 

Marine Bass Angler – Mark Lassagne, from San Ramon, California is a popular pro bass angler, former US Marine, outdoor writer, guide, promoter and top competitor. In addition Mark is the editor-in-chief of Bass Angler Magazine

Q&A With Okuma Pro Jeremy Starks

Five Questions answered by Okuma Pro Jeremy Starks on Bass Fishing in the Fall

426C9D0E-3870-4416-8E82-D0CA1002652FOkuma: What is your favorite technique for targeting Fall bass?

Starks: My favorite technique for fall is crankbaiting. The baitfish are grouping up and bass are not far behind. There are few things better that will help you on your next trip out.

Okuma: What type of cover/location do you look for first thing in the morning in the Fall?

Starks: If I’m on a river I look for two things to start the day. Current and creek mouths. This is a great time to fish below locks or damns on a river. Bass are relating to the bait and not necessarily to cover. So I can just fish open water with a crankbait and find bass schooled up on the bait. I use this same technique on creek mouths.

Okuma: What type of tackle setup or setups do you have on the deck in the Fall?

Starks: My tackle setup is pretty simple this time of year. I have three or four rods set up for cranking. I throw a squarebill and a small shallow running crankbait on an Okuma Helios 7′ med action and a Helios reel. For my medium and deeper diving baits, I use an Okuma C3-40x 7’6″ medium casting rod paired with a Komodo 5.4:1 reel.

Okuma:  How much, if at all, does your strategy change in the afternoon vs. the morning when fishing in the Fall?

Starks:  One of the great things about Fall fishing is the time of day doesn’t change the fish much. I tend to fish the same types of areas both morning,afternoon and evening.

Okuma:  Any specific tips you can give for targeting Fall bass?

Starks:  There are a few things that have helped me be more successful in the Fall. I try to match my bait to the size of the baitfish. On dark days or early morning I will use a brighter bait or even chartreuse. Fishing open water, the further you can cast the longer your bait stays in the strike zone. That’s where my Okuma reels come into play. I can get more distance than with any products I’ve used in the past.

Okuma’s Mark Lassagne Drags Home New Triton/Mercury Boat with Win

Mark’s 35lbs of bass helped spur the California team to a 1st place finish at the BASS Western Divisional on Clear Lake.

Mark’s main technique was fishing spawning coves looking for fish moving up in grass and then ripping vibrating baits through the grass provoking a reaction strike.

“The bite was tough where you needed to land every single bite making your equipment the most important part of the equation,” Lassagne said.  Using the Okuma 7’ 11” TCS Power Crank coupled with 8.1:1 Helios Reel and 15-lb. fluorocarbon line, Mark was able to land 7 of the 8 bites, which is pretty darn good using treble hooked baits.

The 7’11” Power Crank coupled with the Helios 8.1:1 reel is the perfect combination rod for yo-yoing vibrating baits, you can cast this set up a mile, the rod has the perfect tip action and a backbone to get the big ones hooked up and in the boat.  Many pros lock their drag down because they don’t trust the reel – not the case with the Helios. Mark would set the drag pretty tight and let the big ones strip line just enough so they wouldn’t pull out the hooks, the Helios smooth drag was key to landing more bites.

Tips For Bagging more Bass in Late Winter/Early Spring

By BASS Pro Jeremy Starks

Late winter/early spring is one of my favorite times to be on the water. This is the best time of the year to catch a giant and knowing a few cold water patterns will make your next trip more successful.

One of my favorite late winter techniques is a jerkbait. The right equipment will make fishing a jerkbait much easier. A lightweight combo will allow you to work the bait properly and without tiring your arm. I start with an Okuma Helios bait casting combo spooled with 10 lb Seaguar Tatsu. I choose the 7′ Helios casting rod in med action paired with a high speed retrieve Helios casting reel. The soft action with a fast tip allows me to cast the bait further and the med action is perfect for treble hooked baits.

Jeremy Starks with a fat early Spring Smallmouth.

As winter winds down the days are getting longer and the water begins to warm. Bass sense that spring is around the corner and begin their annual migration to shallow water. This movement makes locating fish a little easier.

Bass migrate from the main lake into creeks and main lake pockets. Large lay downs that extend over deep water is an excellent place to start looking for migrating females. Start by slowly working the jerkbait in front of the laydown and then along each side. It’s not uncommon to find numerous fish on one tree. Fish will use these locations as a feeding or resting location during their movement and can reload every few hours with a new group of fish.

As the water begins to warm further, fish will continue to move toward the back of creeks. This is a great time work channel banks with a crankbait. Again, the right equipment is paramount. I choose an Okuma Helios spinning reel paired with a 6’10” Okuma C340X spinning rod in light action. I spool the reel with Seaguar Kanzen 10-lb. braid. This combo can’t be beat for getting max distance from a lightweight crankbait.

Zach Meredith hoists a big largie caught on a Savage Gear Finesse Crank.

I start working by channel banks from the main lake toward the back. I like to parallel the bank and make certain to work the deeper water as well. Fish will often suspend 20-40 ft. from shore as they migrate further into the creek.

Working rip rap is another proven pattern this time of year. However, there are some techniques that can increase your chances for success. Looking for small high-percentage sections of rip rap will set you apart from other anglers. Look for sections that receive the most sun, sections that have additional cover (laydowns, wood, docks, vegetation), or just a small isolated section that differs from the surrounding cover. These areas are great places to throw a small crankbait,a shakey head or a finesse jig. I love to throw a 1/4-oz Keitech jig on this type of cover. I throw the little jig on an Okuma Helios 7′ MH casting rod and high speed Helios casting reel.

There is no need to wait for the warm days of late spring and summer. Armed with these techniques you can start the season a little earlier and start catching some fat pre-spawn bass.

Upcoming Okuma Shows and Events

Hello all!

Okuma will be in attendance at the following upcoming shows.  Be sure to stop by our booths to see what’s new from Okuma.

Feb 21-22        Big Game Bash, Marriot Hotel, Quincy MA

http://big-game-bash.castafari.com/schedule.htm

Feb 21-23        Bassmaster Classic, Birmingham AL

http://www.bassmaster.com/classic

Feb 27-Mar 2   World Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Suffern NY

http://sportshows.com/suffern/

Mar 5-9             Houston Fishing Show, Houston TX 

http://www.houstonfishingshow.com/

Mar 5-9             Fred Hall Long Beach, Long Beach CA

http://www.fredhall.com/

Mar 13-16         Louisiana Sportsmans Show, Gonzales LA

http://www.louisianasportsmanshow.com/

Mar 20-23         Ultimate Sports Show, Grand Rapids 

http://showspan.com/USG/    

Mar 27-30         Fred Hall San Diego, Del Mar CA

http://www.fredhall.com/

Mar 29-30          Sealy Big Bass Splash,  Lake Guntersville AL

http://sealyoutdoors.com/

 

Quest for Big Bass at Lake El Salto

On Monday, November 18th, Okuma’s Sam Brenner and I departed Los Angeles International airport destined for Mazatlán, Mexico. On arrival in Mazatlán we met up with our guests Woody Wood, West Coast sales rep for Okuma Fishing Tackle. He was accompanied by our special guest and former professional bass angler John Bidwell of Fisherman’s Warehouse tackle, located in Northern California. All four of us were greeted at baggage claim by Hono Elizalde, owner/operator of El Salto Adventures to start our trip.

Sam with El Salto topwater bass

Sam Brenner, Okuma Vice President of Sales and Marketing, displays one of many eager topwater bass.

Author John Bretza with El Salto Bass

Okuma Director of Product Development and author John Bretza with healthy El Salto bass.

As we loaded our bags and hit the road on a two hour drive destined for the world famous lake, our quest for big bass grew closer. The anticipation and excitement of all four anglers continued to grow as we exited the highway and pulled down a long dirt road. While getting knocked around on the uneven dirt road, we could see a set of lights come into focus in the distance. On approach it was obvious we were not pulling into the Ritz, rather a rustic old world Mexican charm that made this trip so unique and special. As the sun dropped down over the lake and disappeared behind the mountains it was truly pitch black, without a hint of city lights on the lake or in the sky.

The glow of a fire just behind the lodge’s kitchen drew us to the eating area, where Hono and Chef Susie treated us to barbecued steaks and freshly made chips and salsa. The hospitality was exceptionally welcoming. They go the extra mile to make sure that each individual angler was taken care of. It was a great way to kick off the trip and get in the right mindset prior to rigging our tackle for the early morning fishing.

In preparation for the morning events, each boat was well equipped with new Okuma TCS and Helios rods, as well as the latest Helios Air, Helios and Citrix reels. The tackle boxes were overflowing with Savage Gear lures, especially the Top Prey, Sand Eels, Sand Eel Slug and Vibra Prey which have all been proven performers on the lake. With the equipment prepped and anglers ready to rock and roll, we got a short 5 hours of sleep, meeting for a hot breakfast at 5:30am. The meal prepped us for a long day of fishing. A short 50 yard walk in the dark really surprised us, arriving to find two 18-foot Ranger bass boats rigged with Lowrance electronics and Mercury outboards sitting under the lights and ready to take us fishing. All four of us have fished El Salto previously, but the guides have always fished from basic aluminum boats, so this was quite an unexpected treat.

Okuma Fishing Tackle and Savage Gear lures

Each angler would be prepared with an elite level arsenal of equipment.

Grave Sites

Submerged tombstones remind anglers of the submerged city that lies beneath the surface of El Salto.

As we pulled away from the dock in the dark we heard Omar, the lodge handyman yell out “Buenas Suerte”. It was not long before we were fishing as the spot we started at was literally 100 yards from the dock. The first thing we noticed was the famous tombstones that anglers always mention about El Salto, partially exposed in the lake. Lake El Salto was a former town that was flooded by lake construction and all the structures we were fishing was remnants of the city such as the cemetery, houses and school. Hono yelled out, cast the Top Prey toward the Escuela and the action started. Sam and I were in the boat with Hono and we started by throwing Savage Gear Top Prey lures and using a “walk the dog” technique to draw surface strikes. We had several blow-ups on the baits which got our hearts pumping, but it was a strange feeling to think we were casting at half submerged schools and tombstones. It is this type of history and structure that make El Salto truly unique.

John Bidwell of Fisherman's Warehouse with a hefty carolina rig bass.

John Bidwell of Fisherman’s Warehouse with a hefty carolina rig bass.

Woody Wood with El Salto largemouth bass.

Woody Wood hangs a beautiful El Salto bass for the camera.

Woody and John started the day with a different approach. Rather than hammering the shoreline with topwater baits, they started throwing Vibra Preys, picking off a few fish and then their guide Jerry said, “Carolina rig”. These guys fished in 30-feet of water just in front of the resort and found the honey hole. It was Watermelon Sandeel Slug and prototype Savage Gear lizard that were the hot baits. On the radio we heard them report 5-pound fish right off the bat. Woody and John camped out on two spots in the same general area all day and finished with about 60 fish for day one. On the other boat, Sam and I finished day one with just under 40 fish, but the quality level of bigger fish went to John and Woody. Both boats averaged fish in the 3-lbs range, but big fish of the day went to Woody with a 7-pounder.

On day two the schedule was the same, but after talking with all the guys we realized that fishing was tough compared to El Salto standards that guys were used to when they come in the May and June time frames. Fishing in November is always a little slower, but there are always opportunities for quality bass. In addition, we were fishing on a full moon and battling Tilapia nets on every spot. These obstacles made us have to fish even harder and in the end we did well considering the conditions. Sam and I wanted to target big bass on top water again, knowing the numbers may be smaller, but there was a chance to see some big explosions on the surface. I got my biggest fish of the trip on day two, with a 5-pounder and Sam also nailed his largest fish at 4-1/2 pounds. The Top Prey was working and we missed some other truly big fish that exploded on the baits, but just missed the hooks. Our guide and friend Hono was also fishing with us and his Top Prey flew out of the water with an 8-pound bass connected to it, trumping Sam and I. It was awesome seeing these big fish blow up on topwater baits.

Hono with El Salto largemouth bass

Hono lands a slug on the surface with a Savage Gear Top Prey.

Woody and John had another great day on the water with very similar results on the Carolina rig. It was obvious that in order to get numbers you had to go deep and slowly drag the bottom. Not only were there more fish being caught with this technique, the fish were also bigger. John Bidwell commented that night at dinner that this was the best fishing trip he has ever had for multiple quality-sized fish. After fishing two days John had already recorded 7-pound, 8-pound, 9-pound-plus and 10-pound-plus fish. Quite an accomplishment even for a former tournament bass fisherman with several major wins under his belt. It was a great feeling hearing John say this was the best fishing trip he has had for multiple big fish.

Our third and final day of fishing came and we were all excited to see what would develop, especially since we all figured out what the fish were chewing on. Of course Woody and John stuck to their trusted Carolina rig that was a proven producer on the lake this trip, turning in similar result to days one and two. After a morning shot at topwater, Sam and I told Hono we were changing to a Carolina rig to put some numbers in the boat. As Sam was tying on his rig, I fired out a pearl Sand Eel working a ledge and it was an instant fish. Another cast and then another, all producing fish.

Savage Gear Top Prey

Savage Gear Top Prey in one of the many dozens of aggressive topwater fish.

It appeared we may have found the spot we were looking for. Sam finally got the watermelon lizard in the water and before he even dropped the bait down it got hit resting at the surface. It was obvious these fish wanted to chew and we pulled good numbers out of this hole on lizards, Sandeel Slugs and Sandeels. We had some bigger fish busting around the boat, but they were reluctant to hit anything on the surface.This was a mid-day bite in the extreme heat. As the day was slowly coming to an end, Hono said, “let’s see if we can finish off the trip with a top water bite”.

We headed back to an area where I had a lot of luck fishing the Sandeel Slug with the darter head. This was an area just off a cliff where the fish were holding. Sam and I both broke out Top Prey’s in the bone color and it did not take long. We finished off the trip with about a one hour long topwater bite. No monsters, but it was truly fun getting fish after fish on the topwater. We fished this into the dark until we ran out of light for the run back to the lodge.

Main Lodge

Under the beautiful desert skies, the resort offers an experience far away from any distractions.

El Salto is truly a bucket list trip for any angler.  It is a unique fishery that really gives you a shot at both numbers and quality fish. For a company like Okuma Fishing Tackle and Savage Gear, this destination offers us great testing grounds for our tackle with multiple hookups and big fish. Hono Elizalde, official Okuma product tester on this lake allows us to put our tackle to the test on a daily basis. If you are ever looking for a great experience fishing bass in Mexico, El Salto is a destination you should definitely look into.

Sealy Big Bass Splash

Sealy Big Bass Splash

Every angler dreams of the opportunity to go out fishing, catch a big largemouth, and walk away with a paycheck. We’ve all grown up watching the bass pro’s holding the giant paper check up over their head. Now there is a tournament series for the every day fisherman. The Sealy Big Bass Splash series is just that. It is an amateur fishing tournament series that takes place all over the south and affords the everyday anglers the opportunity to win some money for doing what they love. The Sealy events attract anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 anglers per event. The events will be going into their 30th  year this year, and plan to have a giant 30th anniversary event at Lake Sam Rayburn in April 2014.

Then event itself has a great pay schedule that allows everyone a chance to with great cash and prizes. Some of the top prizes include trucks, boats, and big paychecks.

The check-in takes place the day prior and run right through the night.

Once all of the anglers finally get checked in, they get out on the water and catch fish. There are hourly prizes that in some events, start as far down as 12’th place. It doesn’t always take a big fish to win some hourly money either. Dave Brown from Okuma fished the Lake Fork Texas event in September, and netted a 5th place hourly fish taking home a nice little $600 check for a whopping 2.12 pounder.

Some of the hourly winning fish were even smaller than Dave’s little guy, and netted themselves $1,000.

Once the fishing comes to an end, there is a great finale event with raffle prizes and big checks being given out. You don’t even have to enter to win. In fact, at next years 30th anniversary event, the plan is to give out 25-30 Dodge or Toyota trucks as prizes. Well over $1,000,000 in cash and prizes will leave the event that weekend.

There are many great sponsors that attend the event, and Okuma is one of them. For the 2013 series, Okuma stepped up and offered up an additional $10,000 if you happened to catch your fish on one of a few select Okuma items.

The next event is at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas on Oct 12 and 13th. Will you be there to hold that big check over your head, or perhaps drive home a new truck and boat?

Next years schedule is up and fisherman are getting excited.  Stop by the Sealy Big Bass Splash website for all the details.
http://sealyoutdoors.com/

 

Savage Gear 2012

The Future Is Savage, at least when it comes to supreme lure actions. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Savage Gear is the brainchild of Mads Grosell, a detail-oriented engineer 100% consumed by fish and fishing. With paper and pencil, Grosell has scribed, then constructed the ultimate baitfish actions in Savage Gear hard and soft 4PLay lures.  For pike, musky, halibut, bass and a host of inshore species, Grosell plays with predatory instinct with the full control of a puppet master.

The Savage 4Play is a complete line of hard and soft baits with extensive available sizes and diving characteristics.

Developed and retailed in Europe, Okuma Fishing Tackle has brought Savage Gear to the United States.  Our selection is concise, focusing on the most unique and productive of the selection, but be assured, there’s more to come.

For now, enjoy the 4Play lineup in all its custom configurations, the Larvae, Cutbait Herring and incredibly versatile Sandeels.

Check out the Savage Gear 2012 USA catalog here:  Savage Gear USA 2012 Catalog

See the footage of Savage Gear 4Play lure actions here:  Savage 4Play Video

Mark Romanack's Fishing 411 Now National

The Midwest is a sportsman’s paradise.

Mark Romanack with Largemouth Bass

Fishing 411 host Mark Romanack with a largemouth bass.

Through all four seasons of the year, anglers in the Upper Midwest  have the ability to chase a wide variety of game fish from small farm ponds to the big water of the Great Lakes.  For years now, we’ve sponsored Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 television with the goal of increasing angler success and enjoyment within the local markets of the Upper Midwest.

As it happens when you have a host that cares about the viewers and delivering information that will positively impact their fishing, Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 has gone national!  The show is now available on the Sportsman Channel at 8:30pm Saturday nights as part of the network’s Strike & Set Saturdays.  We’re excited for Mark and very happy to have another avenue for customers of Okuma Fishing Tackle to connect with the fisheries we all enjoy so much.

Fishing 411 centers on the bread basket fisheries of the Upper Midwest:  walleye, panfish, bass, trout, salmon, pike and musky.  The show provides the perfect platform to showcase the broad breadth of the Okuma product line from Trio spinning reels, to linecounters, to Citrix rods and reels and the technique-specific EVx rods.

Romanack’s format is educational, delivering not only the “where,” but the “how,” interspersed with helpful tips that will serve anglers well as they pursue similar opportunities in the fisheries local to them.

Marck Romanack with Great Lakes Salmon

Viewers of Fishing 411 will enjoy a wide range of the Upper Midwest's best fishing opportunities.

For news on upcoming shows, or to view past episodes, visit the Fishing 411 website at http://www.fishing411.net.