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Event Article

Shimano Debuts the TranX Prototype and Okuma Starts to Ship the Helios and Komodo


Date: 1/23/12
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Multiple
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: The ISE show is never usually a event to debut brand new reels but for many manufacturers it is a good checkpoint to see just where they are in terms of shipping the latest ICAST announced product for the upcoming season. Shimano bucks the trend with a surprise introduction for heavy fresh and light-mid saltwater applications by showcasing prototypes of their upcoming TranX baitcaster.


Shimano's TranX prototype was on display at the ISE Show


Shimano: All eyes at the show were on the new TranX, a heavy powered reel designed to take on everything from offshore species to the biggest baddest Muskie and Pike in freshwater.  The reel boasts specs normally found in a traditional round reel but has a form factor of a large ergonomic baitcaster. It is like a even bigger version of the Shimano 300 series reels. The reel boasts large line capacities (50lb/420yd. Power Pro) yet features a low profile design for easy and comfortable palming. When it comes to winding power the TranX is both smooth and efficient and comes in either High Gear (HG-6.6:1) or Power gear (PG-4.6:1) models.


For a comparison of scale the larger TranX is placed next to a Curado 300


The TranX will come loaded with features including X-Ship for a smooth retrieve and HEG gearing to help improve cranking efficiency. To maintain long term performance in saltwater environments the spool is coated with a special treatment to resist corrosion and S A-RB bearings also help prevent rust. The drag utilizes Dartanium II and should easily deliver over 25lbs of drag pressure. The reel will make use of a single ergonomic power handle grip that is colored white like the new Trinidad.


The Core 100Mg7 is basically the MGFV minus the Instagage II switch


The reel will weigh roughly 20oz. and the only cosmetic difference between the prototype and the final version is the addition of logos and the handle will match the dark color of the drag star.


The CoreMg7 features high speed performance in a more stealthy package, notice the red spool has been changed out in favor of a matte black spool


So how much will the TranX cost? It isnít cheap at $499 each and is designed for both crossover anglers and those serious about targeting big game with lighter lines in the ocean. Only right handed versions will be available initially and in terms of availability the reels should make it to store shelves by early March.


Eric and Dan (Bantam1) of Shimano show us the new reels


Also right around the corner is the addition of yet another Core reel. The new 100Mg7 is basically the Core MGFV (7.0:1) version minus the Instagage II switch. It is designed to be a lightweight workhorse reel and gone are the red highlights in favor of a more subdued stealthy look that matches up well with Shimanoís own branded rods or the higher end offerings from G.Loomis.


The Helios is Okuma's highest end baitcasting reel to date


Okuma: Anglers have been waiting since ICAST but the new Okuma reels are finally starting to ship and retailers are starting to sell the new low profile Okuma baitcasters, most exciting of which is the new Helios which bears the same basic form factor as the Serrano but with some major upgrades. The Helios is now the highest end reel from the Okuma lineup and features a 10BB design, aluminum frame and handle side plate design, carbonite drag system and a carbon fiber handle.


Okuma's Helios rods are designed to pair perfectly with the new reel


Even though the Helios is heavy on features it still manages to be light on weight and comes in at only 6.3oz., and to put things in perspective that is only .2oz. more than a magnesium based Shimano Core 100MG. Perhaps best of all is that this new reel is also reasonably priced at $219.99 each and we have found the manufacturer is offering a 30 dollar rebate at retailers like Tackle Warehouse which brings the reelís price to a very aggressive $189.99. Another point worth mentioning is that Okuma bucks the trend of a single year warranty with a 3 year warranty on this and other high end reels in their lineup. The only downside is that at the current time only a right handed retrieve model is available.


The aggressively styled Komodo has specifications that put it close to the Helios


Also new from Okuma is the aggressively styled Komodo reel. We first saw the prototypes at ICAST and the mass production reel looks and feels a lot more refined. This reel is available in both 5.4:1 and 7.3:1 gear ratios and the high speed reel is available in both right and left hand retrieve.


Woody shows us the latest offerings from Okuma and the highly anticipated Helios series looks like it might be a real winner


The Komodo features a diecast aluminum frame and handle-side sideplate and comes with 9BB+1RB and a T6 machined aluminum anodized spool. In many ways the Komodo is almost as good as the Helios and for many anglers it will come down to weight and ergonomic preferences and retrieve ratios as the pricing delta between the two is so close. The Komodo retails for $199.99 and currently Okuma is offering a branded tournament jersey with each Komodo reel purchase. 


Next up is part 3 where we recap the latest in rods and accessories from the International Sportsmen's Exposition









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