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ICAST 2016 Coverage

Okuma Uses Advanced Materials to Make the New Helios SX Spinning reels Lighter and Tougher


Date: 7/13/16
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: As time goes on reel manufacturers gain access to new technologies and materials so there are more opportunities to make reels not only lighter but more durable, and while it may sound like an oxymoron, that is exactly what Okuma sought to do with the new Helios SX spinning reels.


The new Okuma Helios SX reels feature a sleek yet reinforced profile


Bring the Exoskeleton: I got to fish the new reels a few weeks ago in the Everglades in Florida. These reels are undoubtedly the smoothest and most powerful spinning reels from Okuma yet. What is Okuma's secret? Let's start with the fact that The body, side plate and rotor of the new Helios SX are constructed from C-40X long-strand carbon fiber. Where graphite reel construction utilizes powder suspended in resin, C-40X uses strands of carbon fiber that become interwoven thousands of times. The necessary quantity of resin is lower, and finished parts are both more precise and deliver superior strength. Parts constructed from C-40X carbon fiber are 25% lighter and 50% stronger than their graphite counterparts. C-40X construction is also completely corrosion-free.


The back shows the exoskeleton around the core of the reel


C-40X construction is not only stronger than graphite, itís also designed to be more rigid. By eliminating flex under normal fishing loads, C-40X delivers superior alignment of internal parts. Flex, and its associated movement, is what causes the most wear on internal parts. By maintaining a rigid structural platform, C-40X construction increases the longevity of all internal parts and systems.

Beginning with exceptional C-40X construction, the new Helios SX reels then utilize top design technologies. At the back end of the reel and including the reel stem and foot is Okuma Torsion Control Armor. This unique design anchors the reel body within a wide yoke. Under stress, this wide footprint virtually eliminates flex and twist. Furthermore, it maintains a firm connection between the internal gears. Under load, the main gear of a spinning reel wants to push outward. By firmly stabilizing the body from the exterior, positive gear connection is maintained throughout the life of the reel. This element is what gives the reel such a distinct look, it reminds me of the exoskeleton suit worn by Matt Damon in Elysium, pretty buff.

The carbon fiber is a nice touch


The C-40X Cyclonic Flow Rotor on Helios SX reels is more than just a pretty feature it is functional. Short of elite-level reels with fully sealed bodies, most reels seek to minimize water intrusion beneath the spool with extra structure. The issue becomes that water inevitably enters, and these partially-sealed systems then make it difficult to get that water out. On the Helios SX, the full rotor system is ported to an extreme level. Instead of guarding against water intrusion, the Cyclonic Flow Rotor focuses on evacuating water from the system and drying the reel out. The shape of the rotor envelopes the system in a circular airflow. By simply using the reel, water is purged from it and accumulated moisture dries quicker.

Helios SX spinning reels will be available in three sizes: HSX-20, HSX-30 and HSX-40. Additionally, the 40 size is available with high-speed 5.8:1 gearing, the HSX-40S. Internal systems include eight stainless steel and corrosion-resistant High Performance Bearings and one roller bearing. The main gear is cut from aluminum for light weight and outstanding strength while the machine cut brass pinion gear keeps the Helios SX extremely smooth. MSRP of Helios SX spinning reels is $129.99 and they come backed by a 1-Year Limited Warranty.

The new Komodo SS reels are mammoth and designed to take on top of the food chain predatory fish


A Bigger Dragon: It was good to see the new massive Komodo 450 size reels ready for primetime at ICAST. I first reported on these reels back on Marco Island a few weeks back and the mass production reels look great.


The Komodo will be available in 350 and 450 sizes, or as I like to call them big and badder sizes


The Komodo SS series includes two sizes, 350 and 450. The 350 size includes a 6.4:1 gear ratio that retrieves 31-inches of line with every turn of the handle and maximum drag output of 25-pounds. There are four models in the 350 size. The KDS-364 ships with standard twin paddle handle at an MSRP or $219.99. The KDS-364LX is the same reel in left-hand retrieve. The 350 size is then available with single, factory power handle in both right- and left-hand retrieve at an MSRP of $234.99 as the KDS-364P and KDS-364PLX, respectively.


The new Komodo SS reels make use of the company's new easy to adjust cast control system


The 450 size Komodo is now available in right-hand retrieve with two options of gear ratios and the anglerís choice of twin paddle handle or power handle. The KDS-463 features a 6.3:1 gear ratio, picking up 33.5-inches of line with every turn of the handle, and twin paddle handle at an MSRP of $259.99. The KDS-463P is the same reel with power handle, available at an MSRP of $269.99. For faster retrieve, the KDS-471 (paddle handle) and KDS-471P (power handle) include a hyper-fast 7.1:1 gear ratio, taking in 37.7-inches of line with every crank. MSRP on the KDS-471 and KDS-471P is also $269.99. In left-hand retrieve, the 450 size is available with the 6.3:1 gear ratio as the KDS-463LX ($259.99) with twin paddle handle and the KDS-463PLX ($269.99) with power handle. As usual Okuma provides anglers with a whole lot of reel for a very reasonable price.










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