Okuma Solterra reviews?

jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
Anyone ever use an Okuma Solterra levelwind?
I've been looking at this reel for a while and want to see if anyone has reviews good or bad before i pull the trigger and buy.

https://www.okumafishing.com/product/view/reels/lever-drag-reels/solterra
Hobie Kayak angler for life!

Replies

  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,349 Admiral
    I use the Solterra, but not the level winds. I use the high speed version. I use these for trolling for grouper/pelagics. best lever drag reels I've ever owned.
    What type of fishing do you plan to use it for?
  • troutman57troutman57 Posts: 3,691 Officer
    I have been switching all my spinners to Okuma lately simply for their excellent durability. I used many Okuma levelwinds when I guided on the great lakes for salmon and trout with excellent results. Not the specific model you speak of but a testimonial as to their quality.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
    I want a dedicated trolling setup for kingfish or live-lining for mahi and i'm keeping it light because i fish from a kayak. I usually make my jigging setup (daiwa bg30+shimano trevala) do double duty but its a pain to swap tackle often when i'm out there.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,349 Admiral
    I do not use level wind reels when using braid. Or when I'm after big fish. For me they tend to bury the braid in the spoolunder heavy a heavy drag. I've have had the levelwinds break under a heavy load. Also I think the non-level wind comes whith the 6:1 ratio.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
    Agreed, this setup will be for 30# mono.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
    I ended up buying the Solterra SLR-10L. I was going to buy the 15L originally, but BassPro was out of that model. Costed $150, but spent less since i used up some membership points. I just thought it would be helpful to update this thread with a review in case anyone ever used the search function on this forum.

    Specs:
    25oz, 5+1 bearings, 4.2:1 gearing, capacity is 20/380 or 25/280, strike drag 15# and max drag is 22#.
    Usage:
    I loaded it up with maybe 260 yards of 25# mono and added another 10 yards of 40# wind on leader ending in livebait hook. Paired the reel with a heavy 6'6" Trevala rod I had at home.
    Impressions:
    The reel is a sturdy looking unit and at 25oz was just perfect for kayak fishing duty. Lever drag is smooth and level wind worked fine, however I will say that there is a bit of play in the level wind arm that I am sure will be the Achilles heel in a few years. I attached a picture of one of the bonito I caught yesterday which has the reel in the background. The reel performed pretty well and I think it will do just fine for my frequency of use (once or twice a month); but I'm sure anglers who fish more frequently (and want something tough that they can service themselves) will probably pass on this reel.

    p90101631.jpg
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,349 Admiral
    Those reels are very easy to work on. I take my apart 1/year. Spray some lube in and around the gears, a little grease and it's good for another year. I have 3 my oldest one is 3 years old. It has taken some hard abuse by trolling for grouper with Bomber cd-30's at 4-6 knots. That puts a lot of pressure on the reel and the drags when they hit. Drags still work great. . Trolling surface lures is even easier on reels.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
    Bringing this thread back from the freezer for another update.

    I dropped the reel overboard 2 weeks ago and it took a tumble in the surf before it was reclaimed. By the time I took it to Captain Harry’s it had seized up and the store told me they do not repair Okuma reels. I am in the process of sending the reel to Okuma directly (California) for repair.

    There seems to be a shortage of certified Okuma service centers in south Florida. Unfortunately this has already shaded my reel purchasing decisions and I have bought a Penn Squall as my new primary trolling reel.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • BigTimeBigTime Posts: 606 Officer
    Man, you should have called me. I would have got you squared away. If you haven't put line on the reel yet let me know. I can probably save you quite a bit of money on a brand new one.
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    Frank @ 954-815-9463
    Big Time Outdoors
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  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,211 Moderator
    BigTime wrote: »
    Man, you should have called me. I would have got you squared away. If you haven't put line on the reel yet let me know. I can probably save you quite a bit of money on a brand new one.
    Darn. Too late, but thanks for the offer!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!

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