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Rod Review

 

Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #2 : Okuma Strikes With Value
 

Date: 1/1/07
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.6
+ BEST VALUE AWARD!

 

Introduction: First up and out of our rod locker for our 2008 SuperCast Shootout Swimbait Rod Wars is the representative from Okuma. Okuma's Guide Select series of swimbait rods already has a faithful following and a well deserved reputation for being a lot of rod for relatively little money, but reputation means little to us here at TackleTour as we base our scores and opinions on actual field tests. Introducing Okuma's Guide Select GS-C-7111MH and XH swimbait rods!


Okuma Guide Select GS-C-7111MH/XH Specifications

Material IM8
Length 7'-11"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 14.5"
Line Wt. 12 - 15 lb (MH) : 15 - 40 (XH)
Lure Wt. 3/4 oz - 3 oz (MH) : 2 oz - 10 oz (XH)
Pieces One
Guides 10 + Tip (Fuji New Concept w/Alconite)
Power Rating MH & XH
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 7 oz (MH) : 8.9 oz (XH)
Manufacturing Country China
MSRP $99.99

 

Impressions: The single, most significant, impression one gets when introduced to the Okuma Guide Select Swimbait Series of rods deals with this product's price. With an MSRP of one cent below $100 it's difficult to really expect much from these rods, let alone take them seriously. But to discount the utility of these rods on price alone would be a serious mistake. Lift one out of the display rack, and the journey begins. Perhaps not the lightest, or most balanced rods we've ever felt, but taken in context with their length, they are really quite respectable. The question, of course, is whether or not "respectable" is enough to cut it in the Swimbait Rod Wars.

 

Introducing the GS-C-7111MH shown here with a Limited Edition Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Black Sheep 250


Lab Tests: All of our early attendees to the Swimbait Rod Wars have been put through the paces with our RoD WRACK. Needless to say, despite sharing a similar purpose, there still exists several different classifications in power amongst swimbait rods, and therefore, the data we have so far, spans a wide spectrum on our deflection chart. How appropriate it is then, that we start with two rods in the same lineup with different power ratings. To lend some perspective to the curves, we charted both Okuma sticks against standard bass rods as well as two of the heaviest hitters so far in the Rod Wars.

 

Fig. 1 : This RoD Deflection Chart shows the deflection characteristics of both our Okuma swimbait sticks as compared to several other rods.

 
Rate of Deflection (RoD): The question most people have, when starting out in this technique is what makes a swimbait rod a swimbait rod. Why can't I use a standard heavy or extra heavy powered rod? Referencing our RoD Deflection Chart above, you can see that while the GS-C-711MH might seem to share a similar deflection curve as our MBR844C GLX, the jump in power to the extra heavy sticks at the bottom of our chart, including the GS-C-711XH is quite significant. Throw in the additional length factor in the majority of today's swimbait sticks and you have quite the different animal from a standard bass rod.
 

Lab Results for Okuma Guide Select GS-C-7111MH/XH

Model
Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Action/ Taper
Spine
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Okuma GS-C-7111MH
1.47
Mod-Fast
Top
7 ounces
9.5"
Okuma GS-C-7111XH
0.87
Mod-Fast
Top
8.9 ounces
10.5"
Lamiglas XC807
1.04
Fast
Bottom
9 ounces
10"
Dobyns Rods 807MAGH
0.83
Fast
Top
9.9 ounces
5.5"

 

Spine, Weight, and Balance Point: As mentioned earlier, for their length and power, the Okuma sticks are quite respectable in weight, but as one might expect, because of their length and split rear grip design, they are a tad tip heavy. Certainly not to a point of being cumbersome though. By comparison, the Lamiglas XC807, even with it's full rear grip and foregrip design, has virtually the same weight and balance characteristics as the Okuma GS-C-7111XH while the Dobyns 807MAGH is heavier yet much better balanced resulting in a lighter feel by comparison.

 

Okuma's Guide Select series of swimbait sticks feature Fuji New Concept guides with Alconite inserts

 

Real World Test: What better time to test the capabilities of a swimbait stick than during the Fall striper run on the California Delta? We matched up or two Okuma sticks with a variety of conventional and non-conventional swimbait reels including a Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Black Sheep, Shimano Calcutta 401TE, and even a supertuned Shimano Chronarch 101a. Our criteria for reels is simply anything that sufficient capacity to hold at least 100 yds of line rated 17lbs or above.

 

Complete Field Test Set-Up for Okuma Guide Select GS-C-7111MH/XH

Rod
GS-C-7111MH
GS-C-7111XH
Reel(s)
Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE BlackSheep 250
Supertuned Shimano Chronarch 101a
Calcutta 401 TE
Line
20lb Cuda Copoly
22lb Sunline Defier
20lb Cuda Copoly
Primary Baits Fished
Black Dog Bait Company Shellcracker
Rago 8" Raptor & 10" Tool


We'd rate both Okuma sticks in our Rod Wars with a Mod-Fast taper


Let's get to casting those big baits!


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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