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Anything but Ordinary – Okuma’s Limited Edition Chroma Spinning Reel (continued)

The most refined element on the Chroma is the spool which is constructed from machined aluminum and two-tone anodized giving the spool a matte look. The Chroma logo can be found on the spool but because it is finished in the same matte black it is easy to miss this subtle implementation, especially with all the bright pops of color on the surrounding components. On the other side of the spool anglers will find a unique laser engraved reel number. Only 1,000 pieces of the Chroma were built and this number designates the reel’s specific production number. Our test reel is numbered 467/1000.


On the other side of the spool is the individual reel number. Our reel was number 467 out of 1000

Okuma is clearly having fun with this reel and to further reinforce just how limited each reel is the company includes a double anodized bottle cap opener that is etched with a matching number and the phrase “Rising with every challenge – LTD Edition.” It is a very nice touch that further celebrates the nature of this custom-built limited release. 


Included with every Chroma is an anodized bottle cap opener with a matching limited edition number engraved into the tool

Performance: The Chroma will only be available in one size (CM-30LTD) with a gear ratio of 5.0:1, and weighs in at 7.76 ounces. It pairs well with most bass rods, and save for a few 13 Fishing rods, the bright colors will be the first thing that other anglers see. I paired it with other black rods with EVA grips like the Megabass Levante and Uribe Riverside rods, so that the colors would really stand out.


In terms of performance the Chroma feels similar to the Epixor Series and is smooth and comes with a quality drag

Even though the Chroma exhibits some frame elements from the affordable new Alaris Series reels when it comes to performance and refinement the Chroma feels more like the Epixor XT series. The reel is smooth and balanced, and the composite frame could easily be mistaken for an aluminum body based on how rigid the reel feels under load. I did feel a little bit of slop in how the handle matches up with the gearing but that is to be expected for any graphite reel. The drag on the Chroma tested out at 14.7lbs. of pressure in our lab, which is just shy of the 7kg (15.4lb.) rating, and when battling fish I found this drag to be more than powerful enough. 


The reel is only available in one size (30) and weighs in at 7.68oz.

What is more challenging to quantify is the sheer fun factor that the Chroma offers. These reels are anything but ordinary, and knowing that you are fishing with something rather exclusive only adds to the allure.

There is no doubt that the color choices and styling on the Chroma are polarizing, and yet the more I fished it the more I liked it, and really started to embrace the uniqueness of the reel. The Chroma garners a lot of attention and whenever I fished it nearby anglers would ask me what it was, and a surprising number of them even asked where they could get one.


Wherever I fished the Chroma other anglers would ask me about the brightly colored reel. It certainly has a bold presence and the fact it is so difficult to get does add to the mystique

Price and Applications: Okuma USA has confirmed that they have secured approximately fifty pieces of the Chroma reels and will be making them available on their site for the MSRP of only $79.99 dollars each. These will be sold on a first come first serve basis and judging from the interest in social media, and the fact that there is already an aftermarket for the reels, these Chroma reels will likely go pretty quick. With so few reels available we have already seen some buyers willing to pay more than 2 times the MSRP for these reels. Yesterday reel 376/1000 was sold for $265.00 on eBay, and last week reel 44/1000 received 50 bids on eBay and sold for a whopping $412 dollars!


Fishing should be above all a fun experience and the Chroma oozes fun-factor

Conclusion: Okuma is relatively new to the enthusiast game, and while the Chroma may not be sought after in the same circles as traditional premium JDM tackle like Ito reels for example, it is exciting that the company is actively embracing this audience. The Chroma shows us that Okuma is willing to take chances, break away from convention, and invest in producing reels that are hand built in small quantities.


While the Chroma isn't for everyone we appreciate that Okuma was willing to take risks and embrace the enthusiast community with something truly unique and collectible

I wasn’t sure what to think about the Chroma when I first heard about the reel's paint finish, and yet when I first saw it I simply couldn’t take my eyes off it. The Chroma grows on you, and while the design is definitely polarizing, this is also part of the appeal of the reel as it never was intended to cater to everyone. The Chroma is for the angler looking for something distinct, and the fact that it is difficult to procure only adds fuel to the collector’s desire.

I hope that Okuma, and other manufacturers, continue to take chances and embrace tackle enthusiasts with custom-made products like the Chroma. Fishing and collecting tackle should be enjoyable, and in this regard the Chroma’s bright colors, and bespoke nature, doesn’t pull any punches while delivering a fun-factor rarely seen at this price point.

Looking for the Chroma? Okuma USA will be releasing a limited number direct on their site.

 

Update 5/18/20 - Okuma released an undisclosed number of reels on their US site for $100 dollars each which included a bundle with a UPF Neck Gaiter and UPF Sun Sleeves. These bundles were literally sold out in minutes!


 

   

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