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Reel Review


 

Set to Destroy! Okuma’s Hakai Might Just Change How You View the Brand’s Baitcasters Entirely

 

Date: 1/23/22
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.58 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction:
The Hakai is Okuma’s newest generation low-profile reels that have been developed by the ground up to raise the bar for the brand’s entire lineup of baitcasters. This reel makes use of quality materials like magnesium in a new compact form factor with and exciting new features to deliver an enhanced, and differentiated, user experience. Does the Hakai destroy when it comes to casting? Let’s find out.

 

Okuma Hakai (HDT100X) 8.1:1 Baitcasting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/110, 14/100
Gear Ratio 8.1:1
Line retrieve per crank 33 inches
Weight 6.0 oz. (5.9oz. for other retrieve ratio reels)
Bearings 6BB + 1RB
Additional Features - LiteCast magnesium frame: corrosion-resistant coating
- Oversized hardened machine cut brass main gear
- Multi-disc Stainless Steel and Carbon Hybrid drag system
- Super-tuned Flitespool developed by Dream Tackle Design
- Patented Fliteshaft hollow stainless steel main shaft
- Built-in, universal line diameter indicator
- External adjustable magnetic cast control system
- C-40x carbon injection star drag
- 6BB + 1RB stainless steel bearings
- 3-year limited warranty
Origin China
MSRP $169.99


The Hakai baitcaster doesn't look like previous generation Okuma reels

Impressions: Once known primarily for their spinning reels Okuma has made great strides over the years when it comes to baitcasters, which are still known more for their value then premium performance. The Hakai is designed to change everything that anglers think, and expect, from an Okuma baitcaster. The Hakai features a very sleek new form-factor that doesn’t look anything like previous generation Okuma reels. When you pick up a Hakai it feels even lighter than it looks, with the lightest 6.2:1 and 7.3:1 reels weighing only 5.9 oz., and the high speed 8.1:1 reel weighing in only .1oz. more.


This new reel was built from the ground up

Okuma engineers wanted to build a light yet very rigid reel so they used magnesium for the frame. To ensure durability in all environments this “LiteCast” magnesium frame is treated with a proprietary coating process. When I first held the reel at ICAST it was hard to identify what the center frame material was made of due to the piano-black finish. John Bretza, Director of Product Management at Okuma, helped confirm that during manufacturing the coating consists of a 3-layer process that includes a ceramic coat, an electro chemical process that allows for proper adhesion and a high-end automotive level paint to finish the reel.


The Hakai frame is made out of magnesium for low-weight

The sideplates are made of carbon composite and are kept raw matte for contrast between the frame and sideplates, as well as to provide a firm grip when palming. The non-handle sideplate also doesn’t consist of the entire side, which adds to the overall structural rigidity of the frame. The design is somewhat Shimano Bantam-esque, and like that competing reel the cast control is externally adjustable from a dial recessed within the lower half of the port.


The sideplates are composite for corrosion resistance

Other elements that anglers will notice right away with the Hakai are round EVA knobs, a carbon injected drag star, and a universal line diameter indicator that is positioned beneath the drag star. Overall, the Hakai is an attractive looking reel that seemed to pair well with every rod we put it on. There are a variety of Hakai reels and while the gear ratio is printed on the handle-side gearbox cover the easiest way to identify the reel is by the color of the handle-nut lock plate. Silver indicates a 6.2:1 retrieve, gold represents a 7.3:1 retrieve, and as you might have guessed the fastest 8.1:1 retrieve reels get a red plate.


These are the sleekest looking Okuma baitcasters to date

Real World Tests: We received a Hakai 8.1:1 mass production reel from Okuma shortly after it was launched at ICAST 2021 and have been putting it through the paces by fishing it on a variety of different rods and across both power and finesse applications. Since then, we have also received a 7.3:1 retrieve reel and have been able to compare the internals and how well the reel has held up to six months of use. We paired the Hakai with a number of different rods from G.Loomis, Megabass, and Ark and have fished it primarily with both mono-filament and fluorocarbon lines from Sunline and Seaguar targeting largemouth and spotted bass.


The magnesium frame is finished with a 3 part coating process for enhanced corrosion resistance. The reel is approved for use in saltwater

Next Section: Putting the Flite Spool to the test...

 

   

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