Okuma Fishing Rod/Reel first impression

Okuma Citrix Reels

I received two packages from Okuma Fishing Tackle Ontario Ca today, both the rod and reel were packaged very well, extra care was taken to ensure both the rod tip and butt were protected with extra packaging and reinforcement inside a solid shipping tube.

Package one contained a Citrix Low profile 7.3-1 high speed reel and the second package held a Citrix 7’ one piece medium heavy casting rod. First thing my wife said when she saw them was “Oh those are pretty” I must agree that they look great but,,,, I do believe I’ll use the adjective “sleek”.

From Okuma website

Citrix Rods Features-
IM8 graphite blank construction
Lightweight EVA split grips for reduced weight
Zero foregrip design for improved balance and weight reduction
ALPS stainless steel guide frames
Zirconium line guide inserts for use with braid or mono lines
Pac Bay MINIMA reel seat for reduced weight
Custom anodized aluminum reel seat threads for strength and balance
Stainless steel hook keeper
Citrix rods are backed by a limited lifetime warranty
Model Ci-C-701MH Foregrip N/A Guides 10+Tip/Titanium and SS guide frame with Zirconium inserts
Handle B Length/Action 7′ 0″ – Medium Heavy Line Wt. 10~20 lbs Lure Wt. 1/4~1 Rear grip 9-3/4″ Sections 1-pcs
Price $119.99

Citrix Reel Features:
ALC: Rigid diecast aluminum frame
A6061-T6 machined aluminum, anodized V-shaped spool
Multi-disc composite drag system
7BB+1RB bearing drive system
Micro-click drag star for precise drag settings
External adjustable centrifugal cast control system
Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
Graphite side plates on both sides
Easy change palm side plate access port
Ergonomic handle design allows cranking closer to body
Zirconium line guide inserts for use with braided line
Available gear ratios: 7.3:1 and 5.4:1
7.3:1 gear ratio available in left hand retrieve
Citrix reels are backed by a 1-year warranty
Model Ci-273V Bearings 7BB+1RB Capacity 160/10, 130/12, 95/14 Gear Ratio 7.3:1 Line Retrieve 31.6″ Max Drag 11 lbs Weight 8.4 oz.
Price $119.99

Ok I know everyone can go to the site and read up on most everything I just posted, I wanted to provide some back ground on the rod and reel I have and what Okuma uses to inform the customers as to what each item offers.

The Ci-C-701MH rod is light, not sure what the official weight is but my scale weighed it at 3 ounces, there are 10 eyes to include the tip, the stats on Okuma’s page and others tend to show 9+Tip/8+tip/10+tip whatever and I’m never sure if manufactures are saying 10 guides and the tip for eleven total or if they are saying 10 guides to include the tip; Okuma includes the tip. All guides look to be firmly held in place and protected with an additional epoxy cover. The guides all follow the spline of the rod, without any deviation left to right or in height, nice smooth flow from the first guide to the tip. Not sure if it is the color, style of the forward reel seat or what but I did notice there looks to be a bit more space between the reel and the first guide. Still not sure what it is that causes this allusion to me as it gave me enough pause that I measured the space “18.5 inches” as I thought it may have been greater than other rods I use. However I’m glad to report that the 18.5 inches when compared to three other rods I have here in the house I found one to be the same, 18.5 inches another to be 20 inches and the last one was 22.25 inches and yet it still puzzles me.

The reel seat is very compact and smooth with no rough lines to it. Feels very comfortable in my hand and I love the way you can finger the rod blank without feeling a coarse edge or unevenness between the reel seat and the rod like you can with some rods. This rod is built with EVA foam split rear grips, the EVA foam is very firm with the same feel as cork but provides additional grip to the angler. One key aspect I found interesting was the aluminum threaded cap used in the reel seat. I don’t believe I’d ever have to worry about stripping them while tightening down a reel for years to come.

Now for the reel, the Citrix Ci-273V is a burner geared at 7.3:1 and is available in both right and left hand retrieve, the V is right hand and the VLX would be a left hand retrieve. If you need more cranking power you should take a look at the Citrix Ci-254V geared in 5.4:1. I do like a reel with external adjustable brakes even if I am more used to the internal brakes. So far so good, it is very easy to make adjustments on the go with a choice of tuning from free to 9. The frame is aluminum with dual graphite side plates bringing this reels weight in at 8 ounces on my scale. The wiffle spool allows me to tie directly through the spool as I like, it is plenty big enough to hold around 100 yards based on the line I use and maybe this is what made Danielle say the set up was pretty but the spool is color matched to the outside of the reel and rod.

I’ve read that reel is an eight bearing drive system all I know is it’s smooth. The initial free spool test was over 20 seconds. The drag adjustment takes you from zero to a max of 11lbs and has a click adjustment to tell you how much you have increased/decreased the drag as you go. Yet you are free to remove side plate completely with a simple quarter twist of the left cover in a downward motion.

I have a love hate thing going on right now with the handles. Well it’s not the handles per say and definitely not hate as I love how they feel in my hands. They are nice big comfortable paddles supported by the swept-in handle design that helps bring your hand in closer to the reel as it is used. The thing is it all still sticks out a bit more than I like. Not that it is uncomfortable to use, as I have said it is very smooth and sits at ease in my hand.

Palming the rod and the reel I found the combination’s balanced in my hand front to back well. In fact I can hold my index finger just in front of the aluminum threaded cap of the reel seat and the rod w/reel will balance,,,,, however. It is of my personal opinion even with the swept-in reel handle and fact this reel is a burner it tends to want to roll to the right. Now I know I wouldn’t use a burner for crankbaits or spinnerbaits and I almost never use one for a trap so the thought of having the reel in my hand wanting to angle the handles down will never be an issue for me but it was something that did drawn my attention to. For the upside of this detail I love to flip and with other reels that sit a bit more left to right level I get my line caught in the handles from time to time. With this set up the reel naturally rolls a bit right and moves the handles out of the way for me. Sitting here flipping tonight I didn’t get the braid caught in the handle once.

Bottom line this is a brand new set up for me, very limited time in use to date. First impression both rod and reel are quality products at a reasonable price. After further research and inspection I believe they are quality items with design details similar priced products lack. I’m looking forward to long range testing for product durability and sustained performance and believe Okuma is something I’d recommend to other anglers looking for a change.

See You on the water. Fogy Ronald Fogelson Ultimatebass.com Administrator

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