Okuma Captain Spotlight- Keith Denette – The Constitution

We had the chance to sit down with Captain Keith Denette of the sportfishing vessel The Constitution who runs part of the year out of San Diego California, and part of the year out of Puerto Vallarta Mexico.  Keith owned and ran the Maximus for many years until it went down, and built quite the business on that boat.  Known for comfortable trips and big fish, Keith has come full circle in the industry, and we are proud to have him as part of the Okuma family.

Okuma- How long have you been in and around the fishing industry?

Keith- My whole life. Been Rodin reelin’ since I was 4. Had this crazy addiction to catch fish. Got a little serious when I was 11 years old when I worked on the Ellie M for Bob Levy in 1982 as a deckhand and deckboss Jon Barriqutro showed me what was up. Mom did not like me working on sportboats.

Keith at Fred Hall Long Beach

O- What got you started?

KD- My Father introduced me to river and lake fishing. My brother hated fishing and he would always take him over me. Totally sucked. He was 5 years older then me but  that was ok. Still found a way to fish the docks and beaches.

 

O- You have been a key player in the San Diego Long Range game for quite some time.  What are some of the boats you have worked on?

KD- Never been a key player at all. Always did what is right and always put my family and crew first. The rest falls where it needs to go. Always exceed our anglers expectations and never short them. Small boat knowledge when I was a kid mostly out of Channel Islands harbor Sea Watch, Ellie M, Morning Star, New Bluefin, Estrella. Worked my first yacht at 20 yrs old. Then it went all uphill from there. Channel Islands, San Diego, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. 40 to 72 footers. Calico bass to Giant yellowfin tuna. Bought Nicole and I our first home on Marlin tournament winnings at Catalina Island.

Constitution Yellowfin Tuna Puerto Vallarta

O- Clearly you had to work your way up to becoming a captain, and one of the premier captains at that, but what duties did you have along the way that most aspiring Sportfishing captains might not know they may end up doing? 

KD- Cleaning heads, vomit, etc.

KD- Still clean vomit from time to time. There is no rank on my vessel. Get it done attitude. If you wait for some one to get the job done for you. You may not have a job when we hit the dock. I have lived a life of cleaning and customer service. I have instilled it in my children and they follow it daily.

Constitution Yellowfin Tuna Puerto Vallarta

O- What year did you purchase your fist boat, and how did that all come about?

KD- Bought serveral skiffs not boats. Rod and reeled seabass and halibut and always enjoyed being on the water. My son Hunter wanted to work on sportboats and I chose to work with him and teach him right. We ran a 6 pk job in Channel Islands. Fished exclusively seabass and halibut. Purchased the Maximus together with the profits in one season together around 2007.

Constitution Yellowfin

O- With so much time on the water and south of the border, what made you take a serious look at the PV area and focusing your business on that area? 

KD- Fished Cabo San Lucas for a few years and had a great opportunity to run a 32′ Topaz for a highly respected friend from Ventura. He gave me the first opportunity to fish giant yellowfin tuna on my own. Been fishing Puerto Vallarta for 200 plus days a year for years then I can remember.

Constitution Yellowfin

O- The Maximus was well known as THE premier PV boat if you wanted to get down and catch big fish regularly.  How long did it take you to establish yourself in PV and gain a steady following?

KD- It took time. I was born In Port Hueneme California and my mother was born in Mexico City. Most of my family is from Guadalajara. I was able to get duel citizenship and start a business without any problems. I enjoy employing the locals of Puerto Vallarta. There I was able to get permits to operate.  I would run trips with 2-4 anglers. Whoever could get the time to come down I would run and take them fishing.  Very little food was put on the table at that time. Our family stuck together and made the best of what we have. May have not been the best desicions in life or the standard way of operation but I gave it my best. I give all the credit to my friend Brandon Hayward for showing me the light and released the first article in Western Outdoor News. Multiple page write up “Cow Fishing Vegas Style”

Constitution Double

Constitution Yellowfin

O- With what happened to the Maximus a couple years ago, did you have a plan to get back into a boat right away and continue on?  Was there some hesitation?

KD- Yes there was some hesitation. I was in a sort of depression. Not knowing what will happen. First time Nicole and I were unemployed and needed assistance. I was ready to take any job and do what ever it took to put food on the table and hang on to what we had. A fish Market came to mind. What turned the table was our solid customer base that insisted we keep the deposits for our upcoming season. They some how knew I was not out of the game. They were willing to wait a couple years for us to find the right boat. That inspired Nicole and I to find something that was safe and larger then what we had.

Sword Fight

Constitution Sportfishing

O- How did the purchase of the Constitution come about?

 

KD- Nicole and I walked the docks in San Diego and literally spent every day, all day on yacht world, dockstreet, and every resource we could find online. All it led up to was disappointment. One after another seemed we could make this one work or another. I had this crazy feeling a sportboat was going to pop up on the screen. Never happend. We made a full asking offer in Ketchikan Alaska to find out the seller got cold feet. One wall after another. Then one day we had lunch at a hotel in San Diego on our regular drives to San Diego and I decided to contact Frank Ursitti.

Constitution Sportfishing

O- Now that you guys are in full swing, how many trips a year are you guys running down in PV, and up in SD?

KD- Not sure how many trips I run. Honestly I leave that to my wife Nicole. All I know is I work everyday from Oct to May. Do some maintenance in May/June then I run everyday at the end of June to October. I think I’m on the water a little more then 300 days a year.

Triple

O- It has been incredible to see such huge fish coming over the rail regularly for you guys.  What is it about you that brings monster fish to the boat?

Monster Yellowfin

KD- Patience. We are always changing our game here. As conditions change so do we. I am constantly messing with the rigging that we use. I think we discuss as a crew what leader we should be fishing on every trip. Hook size, reel size, leader size and so on…I give credit to my crew. Stand alone we have the best operators, Deckhand’s and chefs available. Proud to have the same crew up to 10 years. Our passengers see it and feel it when they come onboard.

Western Outdoor News Cover Shot

Bottom Fish Too

O- As tackle has evolved over the years, is there anything special that you look for in gear? 

KD- Absolutely. Without the proper tools we have nothing. We have the funding to buy anything available on the market. I could care less what this company wants to give us this and that. What we have chose to work with is by far the best tools we can use to land anything that swims in these waters.

 

Rail Rod

O- Clearly your clients are looking for an incredible experience, and gear makes the trip. Are there any go-to set ups that you grab right off the rail?

KD- Sure. Plain and simple. Cost effective equipment that gets the job done. Okuma Makaira 30’s and 50’s is what we have onboard. Love to see a Makaira 50 narrow. I think that may be a game changer. I could see us with 50 narrows, topless 50’s and 80’s in the future.

Makaira SEa family

Makaira internal look

O- Anything else you’d like to add about you and Nichole or the Constitution business in general?

KD- Well she is my soulmate. We have been together since she was 15 and I was 16. We started a rockcod/shrimpfly gangion business when we were 17 years old. I worked in the fishing industry all my life. We have children. Our Daughter Isabella is 16 years old and my son Hunter is 19. Hunter just passed his 100 ton Captains course. NIcole answers the phone. Gives all of our angler all the nessesary information to guide our anglers to the best experience they can have. She never had the opportunity to fish the Maximus and she just got her first experience on the Constitution and got to experience how easy a female can come down and have a chance to catch a giant yellowfin tuna. Well she caught a 185 and a 302 lber. First time on her own boat. Pretty awesome I may add..

 

To find out more information on booking trips for giant tuna aboard The Constitution, please visit their website at https://constitutionsportfishing.com/

 

Komodo SS-Stainless Steel

The New Okuma Komodo SS Casting Reel not only has amazing levels of drag output to take on the largest fish, but it stainless steel main gear, stainless steel pinion gear, along with its heavy duty stainless steel drive, and spool shafts offer serious power and durability.

This powerful reel can take on the largest freshwater fish like pike, musky and salmon, along with the toughest inshore species like stripers, jacks and trophy calico bass. The ALC: Rigid diecast aluminum frame and sideplates form a rigid, but lightweight platform that is comfortable to fish, and ensures consistently smooth casts and retrieves.

The Komodo SS is corrosion resistant with stainless steel bearings. It’s available in both right and left hand retrieve, and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

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 http://www.okumafishingusa.com/product/view/reels/lever-drag-reels/makaira

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Okuma Metaloid expanding its family of reels

The Okuma Metaloid has been a solid reel in the Okuma line up for a couple of seasons now capturing many a big fish.  With the incredible SoCal Saltwater season we had last year, these reels were definitely put to the test.  This year, Okuma has added left hand reels into the lineup.  We have also added a couple new colors into the fold.

The Metaloid M-5IIB

The Metaloid M-5IIR

 

Here is a video by Okuma Product Manager John Bretza talking about the expansion of the Metaloid family.

Okuma Fishing Tackle prides itself on inspiring participation in fishing and creating a better angling experience. When fishing for hard-fighting species like tunas, yellowtail, groupers or stripers there’s no greater frustration than trying to bear down on fish with the opposite hand than is comfortable.  In follow up to the blistering success of the initial Metaloid lever drag introduction, Okuma is introducing a pair of 2-speed models in left-hand retrieve for 2016. Left-handed Metaloid introductions include the M-5IILX and the M-12IILX for exceptional versatility. Additionally, both the size 5 and 12 are now available with the angler’s choice of either matching red or blue spool, drag lever and handle arm. Same incredible reel, now in full black, black/red or black/blue.

Learn more about the Okuma Metaloid family of reels at http://www.okumafishingusa.com/product/view/reels/lever-drag-reels/metaloid
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Okuma Azores Reels Getting Serious Workout in Australia

Here at Okuma USA, we get reports from all over, but here’s a good one with some great photos from our Okuma agents in Australia:

I have been really impressed with the Okuma Azores 55 reel I have been using over the last 3 months.  I took it out fishing with me for over 60 days during this period.  I caught 112 fish on it, mainly kingfish and bluefin tuna, some over 20kg in weight.  I didn’t service it or oil the drag and it stood up to a good bit of a beating.  When I added it up, the reel would have caught over a ton of fish during this period, which is pretty good for a reel that retails for under $200!  I enjoyed using it  and the quick change handle from left to right and the removal of the anti-reverse switch are both great improvements.  I’m sure these reels will represent value for money.

 Cheers,

 Scott Gray

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.

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/

 

Cortez Reels: Extreme Versatility In The Salt

In the world of big game and tournament saltwater angling, there’s a ton of specialization with regard to rods and reels. For each species and sometimes even each fishing technique, there are unique constructions, gear ratios, anti-reverse and drag systems that optimize success. Day-in and day-out though, the average angler fishing saltwater is neither a big game angler nor a tournament angler. For these anglers, type III anodized machined aluminum frames are simply not necessary, and in a lot of cases, just not practical.

New Cortez CZ-5CS

With custom graphite frame and side plates surrounding an machined aluminum spool and all-star cast of internal components, the Cortez family of saltwater reels covers angler’s needs from the surf line to offshore waters.

For the everyday angler, a bulletproof graphite-framed reel with a workhorse drag system and top quality internal components serves every need they’ll ever have. And, they want to be able to afford a few of them without making withdrawals from their children’s college fund. To serve this very real need of tens of thousands of saltwater anglers, we designed and built the Cortez.

From surf and jetty, to private boat, to charter fishing, to traveling angler, the appeal of the Cortez is universal.

The Nuts and Bolts

Available in three sizes, a 10, 12 and all-new 5 size, Cortez begins with a custom, corrosion-resistant graphite frame and side plates. For the dollar-conscious, this is the number one area of cost difference between the $145 Cortez and the $290 Cedros star drag. Machined aluminum frames are expensive. For fishing 15- to 30-pound monofilament or 50-pound braid, the lines that cover 90-percent of saltwater fishing, Cortez’ graphite frame is light in the hand and a pleasure to cast for extended periods.

Striper on Savage Sand Eel

Northeast anglers will love Cortez for its ability to cast lures like the Savage Sand Eel for stripers and bluefish, while also having the power and capacity to venture offshore.

In the handle-side side plate is the exclusive Okuma Mechanical Stabilization System, or MSS. Where traditional reels use multiple mounts on the inside of the side plate to anchor and align the spool shaft, pinion gear, pinion gear bearing, drive shaft and main gear, the Okuma MSS system integrates all of these mounts into a single hold plate. When under heavy load, the individual parts of the traditional system move independently and can actually apply pressure against one another. With MSS, all components move in concert with one another, maintaining out-of-the-box alignment and greatly reducing wear over the long-term.

Cortez’ drive system leaves nothing to be desired:  Ergo Grip, anodized aluminum handle arm, XL Gearing, dual anti-reverse systems (mechanical and roller bearing) and four stainless steel ball-bearings on the way to the machined aluminum spool.  With regard to the aluminum spool, line capacities are 315 yards of 15-pound for the size 5, 350 yards of 20-pound for the size 10 and 400 yards of 25-pound for the size 12.  Increase all of those numbers substantially for 30- or 50-pound braid.

Louisiana Yellowfin

School tuna, snapper, amberjack, big jacks, they’re all in the wheelhouse of Cortez, whether fishing live bait or vertical jigs.

The drag system is multi-disc Carbonite, outputting 15-pounds of max. drag from the smallest CZ-5-CS and 18-pounds of max. drag from the larger CZ-10CS and CZ-12CS.

What Makes The Difference

Beyond the powerful gear train, generous line capacity and high-speed gearing, what makes Cortez truly a universal saltwater performer is its magnetic cast control system. Dubbed MCS, the system seals the highly-corrosive magnets within their own environment and any chance of corrosion is eliminated. Outfitted with the MCS, the applications for the Cortez expand far beyond simply a bottom fishing or light trolling reel. Cortez becomes a reel that can go anywhere, from the surf line to far offshore.

In the Northeast, Cortez will accompany surf rods and boat rods alike in pursuit of stripers, bluefish, fluke and school tuna. In the mid Atlantic states Cortez will fish drum, dolphin, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, amberjack and so much more. In Florida and the Gulf Coast, myriad snappers, cobia, jacks, assorted tunas and sailfish, whether bait fishing or vertical jigging. Out West, anglers will use Cortez to cast live baits, bottom bounce California halibut, throw surface iron for yellowtail or swim baits for albacore offshore and bottom fish inshore.

With three sizes and  a focus on fluid casting, internal strength and drag power, there’s little Cortez cannot do.

White Sea Bass

Delivering 18-pounds of max drag from the size 10 and 12, Cortez puts the brakes on structure-oriented fish like this beautiful white sea bass.

Makaira SE Reels -Taking Live Bait to the Limit

For most offshore anglers, a Makaira two-speed game reel will spend the bulk of its’ working life in a rod holder.  In tow might be an 8- to 12-inch trolling lure, maybe a skirt over a ballyhoo, perhaps a bridled skipjack.  At intervals the reel will be brought to life and engaged in a battle of wills, to which it will respond with the faithfulness of a dog and an overwhelming display of power and grace.

For the above outlined tasks, Makaira reels are constructed to far exceed the life covered by their 5-year factory warranty.  Spool bearings are protected by a 30% grease pack that allows for competent freespool, but more importantly protects the bearings. Non-spool bearings receive a 100% grease pack again placing protection of key components at a premium.  The gear ratios of the two-speeds offer versatility to take on any pelagic you might encounter from a sport boat.

The long-range fishing boats departing from San Diego, California present unique challenges to anglers. Certainly the yellowfin, wahoo and yellowtail are big, but that’s pretty basic. The larger challenges begin with the fact these fish are pursued primarily with live bait. Instead of stripping 100-feet of line to place a lure in a spread, excellence in this fishery requires clearing the boat by casting a light bait fish on 40- to 100-pound tackle.  Once in the water, the reel needs to feed line so effortlessly the bait fish swims as if it’s simply free-swimming. And the longer a strong swimming baitfish can be maintained, the more certain one can be that it will be eaten.

Makaira SE Family

From the MK30-IISEa down to the MK8-IISEa, this Makaira family has been custom designed for the live bait community.

At the moment of the strike the second challenge begins. In many cases, the boat is anchored and in virtually all cases, there is no chasing the fish with the boat. Every inch of line must be earned. The fish can be followed around the boat, but the boat is not repositioned to assist a single angler when 25 more are continuing their pursuit of a bite.

While Makaira reels have become renowned for their drag system and integrity of internal components, the long-range community, spearheaded by elite angler David Choate and reel technician Alan Tani, requested specific modifications to advance Makaira to the position of the ultimate long-range reels. The result is the Makaira SE.

Makaira SE reels are available in sizes 8, 10, 15, 20 and 30, all featuring topless (no crossbar across the top of the reel) construction. The primary modifications are straightforward, yet incredibly important to long-range anglers. The first is that the 35% grease pack on the spool bearings has been completely removed, as have the shields that protect their exterior. Instead, completely open bearings are lubricated with TSI 301 oil.

TSI 301 oil is not a petroleum-based lubricant. A pure synthetic ester, TSI 301 penetrates the pores in metal and bonding itself to the surface. Greatly reducing surface tension, the application dramatically cuts friction and reduces wear. When exceptional freespool is the difference between great reward and difficult fishing, this bearing system outperforms virtually all others. Of note is that their is no free lunch here. When bearings are opened and oiled instead of greased, they do require maintenance to maintain their peak performance. But the anglers willing to travel four days by boat to reach the world’s greatest fishing grounds do not shy away from their responsibilities to their equipment. These are detail-oriented anglers.

Makaira-20SEa

Click for a detail look at the Makaira SE anodizing and etched graphics.

The second modification is an oversized handle arm to deliver more torque. When you are unable to reposition the boat to the best advantage of the angler, the angler has to be able to authoritatively bear down on the fish. Makaira and Makara SE reels all incorporate powerful 17-4 stainless steel gearing and shafts that can withstand incredible stress. The longer handle arms allow anglers a significant increase in leverage and greater ability to move large fish.

The third modification applies to Makaira SE 20 and 30 sizes only. It’s a lower ratio in the low gear.  Where the standard Makaira is 1.7:1, these SE’s are 1.3:1. Again the purpose here is to increase leverage and keep the fish moving towards the boat. Very commonly, anglers will hang 150- to 300-pound yellowfin on these size reels and of absolute importance to the battle is to be able to actively gain line. The longer the fight continues, the more opportunity is that something will go wrong.

In a few final touches, Makaira SE reels feature gun smoke anodizing, an engraved tuna adorning the left side plate and all the frames have receive further machining to increase line clearance and reduce weight.

While Makaira SE reels are neither necessary and in some cases not recommended to the broader range of offshore anglers (if you do not regularly maintain your reels, the SE line up is not for you), for those seeking refined live bait performance the Makaria SE addresses the needs specific to the fishery.

Owners of standard Makaira reels that are interested in the modification can have them made at our California headquarters. The bearings and handle can be changed out for $29.99 which includes parts and labor.  On the 20 and 30 sizes, the bearings, handle and low-gear modifications can be made for $59.99 including parts and labor. Shipping charges in both cases are additional.