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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Cody Wakefield Lands 420-Pound Blue Marlin- Solo

Check out this fantastic story from Cody Wakefield. What an awesome email to receive at our Ontario, California headquarters.

I started out in the early morning of October 1st 2015. Headed out of Oceanside Harbor solo in my 20’ Skipjack around 7:00am with only three rods on the boat. Got the killer bait: sardine, anchovies and mini-mack mix. All 4-6 inches, the prime bait for the smaller tuna/dorado that we have been catching at the time.

Thankfully, a radio call was answered or Cody Wakefield might still be somewhere off the coast of California.

Thankfully, a radio call was answered or Cody Wakefield might still be somewhere off the coast of California.

My mind was set on a wahoo. Landed a nice 70#-80# fish two days prior, so i set out with my mind on a wahoo…

Cruised for 25 to 30 miles or about three hours for nothing. Then finally, I ran into two nice kelps about 50-yards apart from each other, so i pulled right in the middle of the two and tossed a few live baits in the water and instantly watched fish boiling on my bait.

Tossed one on a hook and landed a nice 12-15lb dorado, On the second bait that hit the water I landed a 8lb yellowfin tuna. The 3rd bait, another yellowfin tuna- 4th bait yellowfin tuna- 5th, 6th, 7th, every bait that hit the water was inhaled within seconds of hitting the water. Had the tuna wide open in the corner….
Started having fun throwing bait in the corner watching them do what they do and act like piranhas. At this time two big 10 or 12 foot hammerheads are chasing tuna, doing circles around my boat. I’m still chumming the tuna, watching this show in front of my eyes unfold and just enjoying every minute of it. In the meantime I’m rigging up a shark leader, hoping a wahoo is gonna swim through here next and I might just try and bait a wahoo….. DREAMING BIG!
So I get done Rigging a 9/0 hook on a 175# steal shark leader. Tied the shark liter onto a clip swivel to straight 125-pound Spectra with only about 250-yards of line. Tied that onto the heaviest rod I had on the boat, a 5’5” Sabre Stroker Lite, 20-50lb weight with my Okuma Titus TG-15 two-speed.

At that point the two hammer dogs were gone so I proceed to keep chumming the fish in the corner and get them all stirred up and they were still there. I pinned on a bait to catch another tuna to hopefully pin onto my shark rig and hopefully a wahoo would swim by and eat it.. still dreaming big.

My bait is in the water about 10 seconds and not bit. Within the blink of an eye the craziest thing happens. The tuna ball up under the boat and act like a frightened bait ball and swim really fast all bunched up in different directions. Here comes swimming through a massive blue marlin all lit up and colorful under my boat chasing tuna. I wind in my bait the marlin gives it a look as he is now chasing my chum and hanging out around my boat giving me a full show of his magnificent colors. I honestly did not want anything to do with this giant creature, but then again I am a fisherman at heart and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of my eyes….
I pinned on a fresh yellowfin tuna from my fish box that was still freshly colored. I was not gaffing the fish so there wasn’t much blood or a wound on them. I then dropped the tuna straight back under the boat and watched it flutter down with a beautiful shine.  It didn’t get 30 feet under the boat when i see the Blue come cruising through with his mouth wide-open and the tuna disappeared into his belly. I let him eat it for 10-15 seconds and put the reel in gear and set the hook with all i got and it was GAME ON!!!!!

Fish finder lit up with some major fish.

Fish finder lit up with some major fish.

First thoughts that went through my head were “OH SHEEP, HERE WE GO,” I’m in for a long battle. I fought this fish and drove down on him for the next 30-minutes while we fought each other for our lives. At this point It was to hard to drive down and reel on him at the same time. I figured that I had heavy line and a big hook so I pinned the drag down on that Okuma as tight as she would go and let him tow me around.

Titus Gold two-speed getting run out of line by the big blue.

Titus Gold two-speed getting run out of line by the big blue.

It was a battle of a lifetime. I had this fish hooked in the belly and injured him pretty good within the first hour of the battle. He was about 50 feet under the boat doing giant death circles which was a little scary going from one side of the boat to the other. I didn’t have any idea how i was gonna get the fish on the boat so I eased up on the fish and got on the radio on Channel 72 where all the local skiff guys talk. Got Some help from another guy, Kevin Stewart, and about 30-minutes later he boarded my boat.

It's bittersweet when a billfish dies, but the young man won this sea battle.

It’s bittersweet when a billfish dies, but the young man won this sea battle.

I fought the marlin another hour or so and finally reeled him to the surface where he floated upside down and we stuck two gaffs in him, tail wrapped him and tried to get him on the boat but we couldn’t. Kevin Mattson and one of his buddies jumped on my boat and helped us get the fish on.

Adrenaline was through the roof at that point. I literally laid on that fish kissing and hugging thanking it for giving its life… But the fisherman won this battle. 

Blue Marlin

Cody Wakefield weighs his 420-pound blue marlin that died during the fight.

 

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.

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