The Makaira line of reels from Okuma have gained a popular following because of their durability, drag systems and cranking power. But Okuma saw a need to offer a new Makaira reel built especially for the Southern California long-range crowd with some souped-up gearing and a faster free-spool. With that in mind, Okuma came up with the new “special-edition” or Makaira SE reels and will be unveiling the first models at the upcoming Fred Hall Show scheduled for March 7-11 in Long Beach, California.
The new Makaira SE reels will come in five different sizes, including an 8, 10, 15, 20 and 30. These reels were built to catch big fish using today’s super-braid lines and are packed with features.
“The whole lineup is geared toward the Southern California style of fishing,“ says Okuma Marketing and Promotions Manager Brandon Cotton. “I’m sure the reels will have applications elsewhere but for the most part we made changes that were requested by West Coast long-range anglers.“
The reels will feature open spool bearings soaked with TSI-301 oil, which more than doubles the freespool so you can fly-line baits back quickly and make super-long casts.
Open bearings are easier to maintain once you have the reel open, and since they’re soaked in the TSI-301 oil they give the reel exceptional free-spool, but need to be maintained more often, at least once per season. The Makaira SE is a fine-tuned, high-performance reel, so you’ll want to keep it lubed up and ready for action.
“Open bearings are easier to service,” Cotton says. “The top reel guys all prefer open bearings so we listened to the market and decided to do that. It does take a little bit more maintenance for peak performance.”
All of the other, non-spool bearings receive a full grease pack for maximum longevity.
The reels sport a slick, stealthy look and come in a Gun Metal, anodized finish with a yellowfin tuna etched into the side plate, unlike the marlin that you’ll find on the gold Makaira reels.
Okuma thinned out the front crossbar on the frame to allow for more clearance, which will help if you’re winding like mad to gain line back on a big fish and don’t have time to guide the line back onto the spool, causing the line to bunch a little bit to one side. “You have a little bit of wiggle room so the spool doesn’t bind up,” Cotton says.
The MK 8, 10 and 15 will feature a MK 20 handle knob while the MK 20 and 30 use the MK 50 handle arm. These larger handles will give the angler a better grip for some powerful cranking. And, when that fish goes deep, the new 1.3:1 lower gear ratio featured on the 20 and 30 will help you gain back line and dig deep.
If you have an existing gold Makaira reel that you’d like to upgrade and get the SE handles and gearing, Okuma has several packages available and they’re pretty reasonable. Anglers can purchase the beefier handles and bearing upgrades by contacting Okuma at www.okumafishing.com or 909-923-2828.
Make sure to stop by the Okuma booth at Fred Hall and get your hands on these new Makaira SE reels.
MODEL *YDS/LB. MSRP
MK10-IISEa 460/50 $479.99
MK20-IISEa 750/100 $559.99
MK8-IISEa 400/40 $479.99
MK15-IISEa 600/100 $499.99
MK30-IISEa 600/130 $579.99
* The line counts are for Spectra braided fishing line.
For more information on the Fred Hall fishing and boating shows, visit www.fredhall.com.