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Rod Review


Okuma Nomad Express – Freedom for Big Bait Anglers


Date: 3/20/19
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.58 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction: How many times have you been traveling and come across some pristine water that you just knew would be holding some big fish and wished that you had your trusty rod and reel with you? Even better, armed with your swimbait rod? Okuma’s new Nomad Xpress Travel rods are designed to provide anglers with easy to transport rods that pack down small, and yet are capable of handling some of the largest swimbaits available.

Okuma Nomad Xpress 7'11" Heavy 4pc Travel Rod Specifications

Material 24 ton carbon (spigot ferrule)
Length 7'11"
Line Wt. 12-25lb
Lure Wt. 1 - 4 oz
Pieces Four
Guides 11+tip Aluminum Oxide
Complete Handle Length 21-1/4" inches
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Medium Fast
Rod Weight 8.8oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $119

Do you like hiking into secluded bodies of water or wish you had a full sized swimbait rod that was easy to transport with you at all times?

Impressions: A lot of anglers have rods that they travel with, but many of these rods are not actually “travel rods” that are designed to be portable. Lower powered rods like trout and panfish rods have always been great candidates for travel rods due to their petite size and ability to break down small enough to fit into rod tubes, but whenever I needed to travel with my bass rods, and especially swimbait sticks, I preferred to simply ship or hand carry my everyday arsenal in a full sized rod tube, rather than rely on the lower-end three piece rods which always seemed to leave me wanting more in terms of power and refinement. Big rods and giant travel tubes bring with them logistical challenges, and these issues only seem to multiply the more flights or further and more remote your travel takes you.

Okuma's Nomad Xpress swimbait rods are four piece models that pack down small

Okuma saw a niche here and leveraged their existing travel rod expertise to create two new four piece heavy and extra-heavy travel rods that pack down into an included compact travel bag, and yet are capable of handling baits all the way up to 4oz. and 8oz. respectively.

These rods sport a clean utilitarian styling with black matte blanks and split grip cork handles. The rods are equipped with a graphite reel seat that is sleeved over the blank and stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide guide inserts.

There are two rods in the series and can handle a complete range of big baits

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Nomad Xpress is how the four pieces connect, and rather than a traditional tip over butt design Okuma decided to go with a European spigot ferrule design to achieve the strength and action that they felt were necessary in such a robust series of rods.

Putting these casting rods together takes less than a minute

Real World Tests: To test the Nomad Xpress Travel Rods we traveled with them as much as we could this past season, and utilized them not only when traveling to fish but also when hiking the water’s edge looking for less pressured areas. To test the range of these heavy and extra heavy rods I also used them for fishing large one ounce jigs, but the vast majority of tests consisted of fishing both hard and soft bodied swimbaits that weighed 3oz. and up.

The Extra Heavy Model is capable of tossing large and heavy baits that top out near 8oz.

Next Section: A legit swimbait rod?









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