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Event Article: 2008 ICAST Show - Las Vegas, NV

Enthusiast Style at a Value Driven Price, Okuma Makes a Big Splash at ICAST 2008

Date: 7/16/08
Location: Lures
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour



Introduction: What do you do once you’ve been recognized as a value leader in the tackle industry? Well, in the case of Okuma, after winning a Best Value Award in our Swimbait Rod Wars, you up the ante with a new product offering capable of redefining your company’s image from value oriented to innovative and exciting.


Hot off the production floor, introducing the Okuma C3 Carbon Cone Concept Rods

How do you do this? By thinking outside the conventional “what is a fishing rod” box, moving forward with some aggressive styling to attract the enthusiasts, and oh, by the way, staying true to your roots and actually keeping the relative cost of your new product to a minimum. Introducing the Okuma 2009 C3 Carbon Cone Concept Rods.

These very first prototypes were delivered to the ICAST floor just hours before the doors opened

Featuring a sanded split rear grip and cone shaped foregrip, this material gets better when wet and feels more like satin than raw graphite

Several weeks prior to ICAST we received a note from one of our friends over at Okuma, Marc Mills. In this email were several “what if” questions designed to tease us with possibilities and promises of something special. It wasn’t until the first day at ICAST 2008 where Marc was able to reveal to us, what they had cooking.

The grey, black, and moss green color combination only add to the C3's enthusiast-like appeal... check out the custom shaped winding checks on either end of the split rear grip.

The C3 Carbon Cone Concept Rods shown in these photos, are just that, early production prototype sticks, but prototypes that show a lot of promise. They are designed around high-modulus 40-Ton graphite blanks and feature sanded carbon cone-style grips, a ported Fuji Reel Seat, and titanium framed, Zirconum insert guides by both ALPS and Seaguide. 

Titanium framed Zirconia guides reduce weight and add high end cosmetics

Not missing a beat, these sticks even feature the obligatory, decorative butt cap shielded by a rubber ring to minimize boat noise when laid down on the deck.

These rods are built around performance first. Performance to attract both the bass and redfish angler and oh by the way, they were able to keep the price down to a projected $149 retail. The rods we felt at ICAST were light, pretty well balanced, and crisp. They had the cosmetics and feel of a rod costing at least 50% more than their projected price.

Take a standard Fuji reel seat, drill holes through the sides and what do you get? A very high tech look.

The rods will be limited, for now, to 6 casting models and 8 spinning models, as Okuma tests the market for these sticks making sure to get things right before expanding into a more diverse and aggressive lineup. Projected availability for the production model C3 Carbon Cone Concept rods is somewhere around Christmas 2008.

Marc Mills follows up his pre-ICAST tease with an introduction to one of his pet projects for the 2009 product year, the C3 Carbon Cone Concept Rods.


Conclusion: If things work out for Okuma and they are able to meet their milestones enroute to delivering these new sticks in time for Christmas of 2008, you better watch out, you better not cry, and you better get in line for what promises to be a best value stick with tons of enthusiast flavor capable of inspiring that giddy grin associated with a piece of tackle you just love to fish and cannot put down.











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