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Reel Review

Okuma introduces their own Green Baitcaster and it is a good one, meet the Serrano (continued)


Casting:  We kicked things off with casting tests and found the Serrano to be both a quality long and short distance caster in a wide range of lure weights. The reel feels much more consistent than the previous Okuma baitcasters and the VCS (Velocity Control System) and moves up from a 6 pin to an 8 pin system providing more minute levels of control. The system works by turning the adjustment plate either direction which allows varying numbers of weights to move during casts.


The Serrano has a nice connected feeling when retrieved and the brass main gearing held up well


The system works and the only real downside is that anglers need to physically remove the sideplate, which detaches completely from the frame, to access the system. Unlike many other reels that have a screw accessible from the other side of the spool Okuma places a tension pin inside the plate that actually does a pretty good job holding the plate in place. To access the system just press down on the plate and it snaps open. I was very concerned that this plate would wiggle or move when palming but it felt secure throughout testing. The only real downside of the system is that the plate completely detaches so that you have to hold it when making adjustments.


A look at the low profile design


Retrieve: The Serrano felt very smooth out of the box and after a few weeks of use began to lose a little bit of that buttery smooth feeling only to feel more connected to the gearing. The reel continued to feel smooth but more along the lines of what we are used to experiencing with some Daiwa reels. The Serrano is noticeably smoother than the previous generation VS reels and makes use of 10BB + 1RB and does have bearing supported handles for that extra friction-free feel.


The reel features a 6.2:1 retrieve ratio


One of the very notable retrieve metrics that the Serrano excelled in was the anti-reverse. The anti-reverse roller bearing does an excellent job setting quickly under extreme torque, and delivered immediate response unlike many other more expensive reels. Over the course of our field tests the brass gearing held up very well and the aluminum right hand sideplate did an excellent job holding the master gearing in perfect alignment. With a standard 6.2:1 retrieve ration the Serrano can be used for a wide range of applications ranging from burning spinnerbaits to finesse fishing plastics. The reel is so small that I found it very good for palming applications where the smaller profile really seemed to disappear in the palm of my hand.


The name is screened on the side of the non handle sideplate


Drag: In the lab the Serrano was able to generate 11.3lbs of drag pressure at full lockdown which is slightly higher than the published specification. The new multi-disc carbonite drag system does a great job providing smooth stopping power and is definitely a step up for Okuma over the previous “rulidium” based drag system  used in the VS series. I got to really put the drag to the test at Lake Falcon and during the warmest day on the trip started fishing spinnerbaits with the Serrano. As we neared the shoreline I threw the spinnerbait in between the submerged treetops and really didn’t expect to catch anything other than small males but it didn’t take long for one of the big girls to come charging out of the timber and absolutely mash my spinnerbait. As I cranked down as hard as I could she went right back for the tree and pulled hard against the drag. The drag did exactly what it was supposed to do, let out line in a smooth consistent manner without shuddering or locking down.


Flip the sideplate down...


It was a good thing I didn’t have a crankbait on or I would have been snagged for sure, but after a full tugs I was able to start moving her away from the treetops and towards the boat. She gave one more good run but eventually tired out against the Serrano’s drag. When I finally landed her she weighed in at 5lbs. and had completely straightened out my spinnerbait. It is no wonder that they use heavy gauge wired baits out at Falcon!


...and access the Velocity Control System


The Serrano’s drag system held up well during field tests and remained smooth and consistent throughout. The drag star on the Serrano is also a major step up over the previous one used on the VS reels which was both heavy and bulky, the clicking mechanism has also been updated and provides a reassuring audible click as it is adjusted and I also found that the drag could be easily adjusted in surprisingly precise increments.


The sideplate holds the bearing which supports the spool


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