Okuma and Savage Gear sponsored Tribute Sportfishing 2.5 day report

What started off as a 2.5 day coastal trip for Ling Cod and the possibility at some yellowtail, turned into an absolute epic trip for VERY early season offshore pelagics. After hearing a report a week earlier that the Sportfishing boat, The Eclipse, got into some unexpected yellowfin tuna, our trip aboard the Tribute filled up fast. With a limited load of 28 passengers, this spacious vessel out of Seaforth Landing in San Diego, was the place to be. Once the reports hit, the boat filled fast.
When we all arrived down at the boat after work on Friday afternoon, we arrived to overcast skies. That in itself didn’t damper any of the thoughts of tuna and yellowtail that were filling the anglers minds.

Sunset view while at the bait receiver in Mission Bay


While anglers were getting signed in up at the landing, we took the boat on over and got her filled up with primed sardines, anchovies, and mackerel.

Pulling up to the bait receiver in Mission Bay


Scoop after scoop of cured, primed bait came over the rail. This was really good looking stuff too!

A big scoop of Sardines getting dropped into the tank.


Back at the dock, anglers were lined up and ready to get on board and start the journey. As the team of anglers was boarding the Tribute, they were greeted by Dave Brown, Promotional and Events Manager for Okuma and Savage Gear. He was in the galley handing out swag for the trip.

Swag for the trip included, Okuma Hats, Savage Gear Beanie caps, Okuma Rod Wraps, Savage Gear T-Shirts, and stickers.


The time came to shove off, and off we went. After hearing the reports the plan was to make the long trip down to fish offshore day one, and if it didn’t look good, we’d head inside and fish coastal or islands for yellowtail.

Tribute gets ready to pull away from the dock and make the journey south.


The boat departed about 9pm and off we went. We had about a 160 mile run south to start to get into the fishing zone. Along the way we saw plenty of sea life. Dolphin, Porpoise, and even a huge pod of Sperm Whales were sited. We all got a some rest that first night and when we woke up, well, we still had quite a ways to go. We were getting some reports of early fish from boats that had gotten down to the zone earlier, and it sounded really good. We were all getting really excited.
We dropped the trollers back mid day, and started the official trolling rotation shortly after that. About 3pm, we found what we were looking for. A nice pod of dolphin that were holding Yellowfin. Yellowfin…this is May right? Crazy! From that jig strike we only got a couple fish. No bait fish came up. Captain Mike Pritchard made the choice to pull the trollers so that we can get on down to the zone and not be stopped by 1 and 2 fish jig strikes. This was a great call. Once we got down into the zone it went crazy. Fish were spotted all around. Deep sonar marks, breaking fish, etc.

One of the day one fish that ended up being one of the biggest fish of the day. Caught on an Andros 5 mounted on a Makaira rod. Good fight, but worked that fish to the surface.


Here Jake is holding up a nice Bluefin caught on the Andros and Makaira combo.


Day one went on and we ended up with a pretty impressive count of about 35 various tuna and a handful of yellowtail

A look at a few of the fish for day 1 laid out to be cleaned and jackpot awarded.


After fishing was through, we all headed in for a delicious meal prepared by Tommy.

The first dinner was pork roast. It looked and everyone said it tasted absolutely delicious. You couldn’t even get these guys to look up for a picture they were so focused.

Hard day of fishing followed by a hot meal.


After the amount of fish we saw around the area, capt Mike made the decision to stay in the same spot. We put out the sea anchor and drifted the area until dawn.
When the sun finally came up, we started fishing. We trolled around a bit for jig strikes that came fairly regularly. Some jig strikes would turn into a 10-20 fish stop. The decks were getting pretty bloody, and the fish hold was filling.

After a jig stop.


On occasion, we would stop on some deep meter marks. The Bluefin would come up charging the boat. Some of these stops went on for a good while.

An anglers getting his bluefin to gaff. The Andros was the weapon of choice for this fish.


Andros getting it done again on another nice fish.


After getting a few fish in the box, it was time to have a little fun. I got some fish on bait and some fish on the slide with Savage Gear Sand Eels. It was time to take out the Komodo 350’s and put a whoopin’ on some Bluefin.

Dave Brown with a nice Bluefin taken on the Komodo 350 and Shadow Stalker rod.


The fishing just went on and on. We took every second of that extended trip to take advantage of MAY tuna fishing. It was incredible.

Here the Cortez 5 and Cedros Coastal rod did the trick. Artificials worked great on this trip as well.


I had some raffles, gave away some prizes, and even had a contest. Biggest fish caught on one of the Okuma set ups won a new Cedros Coastal Rod. Lots of anglers tried out the gear, and from what they said, we even have a couple of converts.
Here are two winners of the Cedros Coastal rods.

Okuma prize winners.


After stretching it out as long as we could, Captain Mike made the call that it was time to start the 17 hour journey home. But…after two days of looking, we found our first kelp patty. And wouldn’t you know, it ended up being a stop for right around 60 yellowtail.
Once all of the gear was packed up, anglers cleaned up and headed to dinner. Chef Tommy had a delicious Tri-Tip dinner ready for everyone.

Tommy hard at work at the grill.


Tri-Tip the last night to wind up the trip.


It was a great trip all around. The crew of the Tribute really takes good care of you. From keeping the boat clean, to the care they take in processing your catch. Not to mention Captain Mike Pritchard for going the extra distance getting us down on the fish.
I mean hey, this is May still right? Crazy!

For more information on upcoming Okuma and Savage Gear sponsored trips aboard the Tribute, visit www.tributesportfishing.com.

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

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.

What Is Dual Force Drag?

Spinning reels are being reborn.  From delicate drop shot presentations for bass, to float fishing for river steelhead, to speed jigging powerful offshore species… the spinning reel is climbing to new heights of performance and popularity.

Easy to own and simple to operate, the single weakness in all spinning reel designs is the fact that the line must make a 90-degree transition coming off of the spool and going around the line roller before heading to the first rod guide. Where conventional reels efficiently pull straight from the spool, this 90-degree angle on a spinning reel  introduces a pressure point on line that’s capable of taking knots and weak spots past their breaking point if not backed by a super smooth drag system.

Exploded image of Trio spool and Dual Force Drag system

Components of Dual Force Drag include the traditional top drag stack as well as the oversized drag washer located beneath the spool.

Enter Dual Force Drag, with far-reaching benefits that turn spinning reels into precision big fish and light line performers. First the easy part:  Dual Force Drag is an Okuma drag system that utilizes the spacious underside of the spinning reel spool to provide a large secondary drag surface that operates in concert with the traditional top drag stack.  Moving into direct benefits, Dual Force Drag delivers better heat dissipation, greater longevity, even pressure on the reel spool and higher available drag ranges.

Heat, in any drag system, is the enemy.  Heat swells internal reel parts, and when it comes to drag systems, heat creates wildly fluctuating pressures and deteriorates components.  By dramatically increasing the surface area of the drag system, Dual Force Drag dissipates heats much better than a traditional top stack.  Lack of heat means start-up pressures remain smooth and even, as do pressures when big fast fish make smoking hot runs.

When under the pressure of running fish, Dual Force Drag offers greater balance.  If you’ve ever used the brakes on a car where one side is worn, the remaining side pulls very hard when braking pressure is applied.  Same on a reel.  As drag pressure ramps up, a traditional top stack brakes only from the top of the spool.  The internal components receive the wrath of the one-sided load and are forced to carry the strain.  With Dual Force Drag, top and bottom of the spool receive the load evenly, and like your car, brake with even pressure that protects the alignment of all the other components.

Wahoo taken on a Cedros spinning reel.

Wahoo are known as some of the fastest fish in the ocean. Cedros spinning reels proved the right choice for Into the Blue hosts Scott Walker and Steve Roger.

And here’s the kicker: since Dual Force Drag delivers a massive increase in surface area, maximum drag outputs increase big time too.  Our 40-size spinning reels with standard top stack drag systems will output 13-pounds of maximum drag pressure.  The same 40-size spinning reel with Dual Force Drag, including Trio, Cedros, VSystem and Coronado series, will output 20-pounds of drag… an increase of more than 50%.  Even if you do not currently push your drag system to its’ limit, there’s good reason to enjoy the increase.  Most importantly is wear.  By operating in the low to mid-range of the drag’s capacity, the washers will last longer, heat disappears as an issue and buttery-smooth is operational norm.  And in the age of braided lines, should you want to put that 40-size through its’ paces, by all means, buckle down and drop the hammer.

As mentioned, Dual Force Drag is a feature on Trio, Cedros, VSystem and Coronado series spinning reels.  It’s also a feature on Makaira and Cedros lever drag offshore reels, but that as they say, is another story!

In all cases, the best thing you can do to extend the life of all your spinning reel drag systems, regardless of type, is to back the pressure off them completely after each use.  Finish the day, back off the drag.  Make it a habit and all your drag systems will operate better over the long term.