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ICAST 2011 Coverage

Okuma Introduces four new low-profile baitcasters


Date: 7/8/11
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: In advance of the upcoming ICAST 2011 show a number of manufacturers are starting to release information about their new products. This ICAST we expect to see greater emphasis on higher end freshwater products and Okuma kicks things off with four brand new low profile baitcasters. 


The Cedros is Okuma's new saltwater baitcaster and features numerous provisions to enhance durability


Cedros: The Cedros is positioned at the top of Okuma's new lineup and features an aggressive profile that is similar to the Citrix and features a diecast aluminum frame and sideplates. If the finish looks familiar you probably guessed that the reel makes use of a titanium coating process similar to what we have seen on competing reels but the Cedros is finished with an additional corrosion resistant coating. The Cedros is specifically designed for saltwater applications and makes use of other durable elements including heavy duty machine cut dura-brass gearing, a stainless steel clutch slider, and a multi-disc carbonite drag system which is capable of delivering 14lbs. of drag pressure. The reel has a 6BB + 1RB bearings and a 7.3:1 high speed gear ratio. New for Okuma is the use of sculpted EVA handles which are designed to be both durable and lightweight. The Cedros weighs in at 8.2oz. and will retail for $249.99 and is available in both right and left hand retrieve.


The sleek looking Helios weighs in at only 6.3oz.


Helios: Positioned at the top of the top of Okuma's freshwater baitcasters is the new Helios. As the name implies this new reel is designed to be lightweight and even though it is constructed out of aluminum versus magnesium it weighs in at a very aggressive 6.3oz., and also features a corrosion resistant coating process. The Helios is loaded with 8BB + 1RB and has a micro-click carbonite drag system like the Cedros. The Helios features a familiar profile and looks like a souped up Cerrano. A carbon fiber handle is a nice touch and gives the Helios a sleek look and feel. The reel features the company's proven 6 position VCS (velocity control system) and a zirconium line guide insert for use with braided line. The Helios is available in a 6.2:1 gear ratio and will retail for $219.99 but like the Serrano will be available only in right hand retrieve, for now.   


The Komodo is Okuma's new workhorse reel and is available in multiple gear ratios and left and right hand retrieve


Komodo: The Komodo is positioned directly below the Helios and above the Serrano and features a good balance of features including the same swept handle and EVA knobs as the Helios but with the same basic profile as the Cedros. The Komodo series is the new workhorse of the Okuma lineup and is available in both right and left hand retrieve in the high speed 7.3:1 gear ratio and there is also a power cranking 5.4:1 model only available in right hand. The Komodo is just a bit heavier than the Helios and weighs 6.5oz. (all models). Interestingly the Komodo actually has a higher bearing count than the Helios and will retail for only twenty dollars less at $199.99 each. 


The Krios is the most aggressively priced new baitcaster at only $104.99


Krios: Not all the new reels are positioned at the 200 dollar price point and for half that Okuma is introducing the Krios which is positioned beneath the popular Citrix and will retail for only $104.99. This reel features a high speed 7.3:1 retrieve ratio and will be available in both right and left handed configurations. While the new Cedros, Helios, and Komodo reels all come with a 3 year warranty the Krios is backed by a 1 year warranty. The Krios features a more traditional handle and knob design and unlike the other reels features both an internal 8 position velocity control system and a externally adjustable magnetic cast control system. The Krios weighs in at 8.4oz. and makes use of an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates.


Conclusion: Judging from what we have seen from the Daiwa and Okuma camps thus far we expect this to be a very exciting ICAST show. With the economy on the rebound many manufacturers are once again investing in new higher end freshwater offerings, and the team at Okuma have definitely upped the ante. Stay tuned as we report on additional new products from Okuma including new spinning reels and rods, including a redesigned C3 series as well as new Helios rods that match the low-profile reels perfectly.









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