Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Rod Review


Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #2 : Okuma Strikes With Value (continued)

Casting: With that very first cast on either rod from Okuma, the operative words from each editor was "wow, game on." These sticks can really launch a bait and that funky, molded butt end is truly ergonomic giving you a firm, comfortable place for your off reel hand to grip the rod making it easy to apply the necessary counter pressure to swing that rod tip forward and catapult your bait to the next zip code.

Ready for action, but which bait to choose?

The lure ratings for both rods are very accurate. At the top end, the GS-C-7111MH handled our roughly 3 ounce Black Dog Baits Shellcracker very well, but we did not like any baits over that weight on this rod. On the low end for this particular rod, we were able to cast and fish lipless crankbaits with ease. You want an extra long stick to fish lipless cranks in the grass? The GS-C-7111MH is tremendous in this application!


Loading up the GS-C-7111MH for a cast with Black Dog Bait's Shellcracker

You'd rather have your swimbait stick handle a wide array of swimbaits instead of being able to fish standard bass lures? No problem. Okuma makes this same exact stick in a couple of different power ratings. Case in point, our GS-C-7111XH. This stick is rated for lures from two to ten ounces! The biggest, baddest lure we had in our Lakewood Tackle Box to test this particular rod was the Jerry Rago 10 inch tool weighing in at 8.7 ounces. We were getting ready to order up a 3:16 Lure Company Armageddon or original Wake Bait, but even these bad boys ONLY weigh in at seven and seven and a half ounces respectively. The GS-C-7111XH handled casting duties with our 10 inch tool flawlessly. Truly remarkable to think you can actually cast and retrieve a bait that big. It's even more mind blowing to do so on a rod that costs less than the bait you're throwing! Swimbait fishing is a trip!

And yes, the bait really did land right up next to that tule berm!


Working Baits: The variety of big baits and big bait techniques closely resembles that of standard bass fishing fare. You have your soft plastic, single hook baits that are fished like jigs; your sinking and diving hard plastics fished on a constant or broken retrieve like a crank or jerkbait; your topwater baits that are also fished on a constant or broken retrieve (or just left to float on a deadstick); and a variety of hybrid baits and techniques. Each presentation has its own intrinsic needs and requirements when it comes to tackle.


A close-up of the Fuji New Concept guides with Alconite inserts featured on the Okuma Guide Select swimbait series of rods.

These big, seven-foot-eleven sticks from Okuma are best used in techniques that don't require you to work the rod too much. Reason being is their very long fourteen and a half inch rear grip. Where this handle is invaluable in launching your baits, it can get in the way when working a bait on any kind of jerking retrieve. You can compensate by modifying your technique and sweeping the rod instead of twitching it, but that grows very cumbersome.

Specifications for the GS-C-7111MH


On the plus side, when working a jig style bait or an offering that requires a constant retrieve, you can lock the handle of these sticks between your arm and torso or up beneath your underarm and find a very comfortable position while working your baits. In addition, when using an oversized reel in this position, you can then rest your hand either beneath the reel or up under the foregrip and have a strong, ready position for hookset once a fish strikes your bait.

Detail behind the forward portion of the rear grip










Copyright 2000-2023 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information