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Reels and blanks are on order... Pretty sure I done good!

Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
Blanks - Super Seeker / Hercules - GTS 60XH
Action: Medium
Weight: 5.7 oz
Butt dia: .735"
Tip Size: 9
Line: 50-100

Here are some pictures... most folks take a little off the butt end. I'm going to wait to see how the blank loads up in person before taking any off either end. It is a medium action rod that starts off farily quick in the tip, but very evenly progresses backwards as pressure increases, eventually shutting off right ahead of the foregrip. Goal is to have a light weight rod that is fun for snapper, chunking, small fish, etc, but also has the backbone to bust a big grouper's booty. Pretty sure this is the ticket. I'm going to have it spriral wrapped and goal is to keep weight to a minumum. Not sure what guides I'm going to go with. Most likely foam grips and Alps C-Lock reel seat and Alps butt, though.

Here are some pictures of the rod loaded up. Some are the H (heavy) and some are the XH (extra heavy). I went with the XH after reading numerous posts that the H is actuually a faster action rod. Either would have done, but I"m glad that I have the XH just in case I ever want to put a bigger reel on it and have it handy for harness / standup big tuna rod. Lots of 200+ lb tuna have fallen to the blank on the west coast. According to all that have fished it, you will get some bend on small fish, but as the fish get bigger there simply is NO bottom to this rod. It just keeps on pulling, but still stops at foregrip. Awesome!

Pics...

Forum member Taz575 on 360tuna.com . This is the XH. If you notice the angle of the line is actually away from him quite a bit (towards the truck bumber, NOT straight up and down). I think you'll see more bend towards the forgrip where it shuts off if you were bottom fishing or doing a dead lift test. By something different, I mean, I think you'd see something like Billy V in the next set of pics where he's dead lifting off his porch.

20# of drag slipping
60XH20.jpg

25# of drag slipping
60XH20.jpg

30# of drag slipping
60XH30.jpg

35# of drag slipping
60XH32.jpg

Here are some pictures of Billy Vivona (one of the people that worked very closely with Seeker in designing this product line) doing some deadlift tests with the 60H. I think the line rating for the H is 40-80. Unlike the Shimano stuff with the 80-200# rating, I think this rating is actually pretty accurate.

580_Seeker_Proto1.jpg

32# of drag on a 35# AJ. This again is the 60H, not the XH. My only concern at this point is that I might should have stuck with the H instead of the XH. I think I'll be fine, though.
549_60H_on_35_AJ.jpg

Here's a 72.5" blue fin on the 60H. The rod is kind of ugly in this one, but keep in mind it's a spinner with the spine (IMHO) in the wrong place. ;-) I'm just a conventional reel kind of guy. I also think the butt had been cut on this one.
109235_s.jpg
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Feesh
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I think you get the point on the rod. Almost all positive reviews online, and the blank retails for like $100 on Mudhole.com. I may or may not cut a little off the tip. Will just have to see what it feels like in person.

After MONTHS of research and talking to blank mfgs I think this is the one. There were some more out there that I liked maybe just a little bit better, but they were $300+ just for the blanks.
"Whatcha doin' in my waters?"

Replies

  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
    REEL...

    In beginning I was considering the following.

    Accurate BX2-500
    Accurate BX2-600
    Saltiga LD 40
    Saltiga LD 50
    Trinidads 16 and 20
    Penn Torque Star 300
    Penn Torque LD

    In the end I was considering

    Okuma (yes, Okuma) Makaira 15
    Makaria 20
    Accurate BX2-600
    Saltiga

    I ended up ordering two Okuma Makaira 15s... they really need something between the 15 and 20... like a tall 10, or something. The 20 is most peoples 30 or 30W... and appropriately, it weighs in at 48oz! Just too much reel for what I'm looking for.

    680be87fdcff725754fa373f87d114ba.jpg

    Makaira 15
    High Gear: 4.7 : 1
    Low Gear: 2.1 : 1
    High retrieve: 33.5"
    Low retrieve: 15"
    Max drag: 34#
    Max drag at strike: 27#
    Weight: 26.8 oz.
    Capacities: Mono - 550/20, 410/25, 310/30
    Warranty: 5 years

    According to everything I have read, believe it or not, this is a bad little reel. That being said, it could just be excellent marketing, because it sold me. If you don't know the whole Tiburon / Okuma / Alan Tani / Cal Sheets story, look into it. According to lots of west coast and NE folks, this is the best reel on the market right now. It's been out a couple years, but I had not heard about it until a few weeks ago... (nothing new for things in the Florida panhandle).

    What sold me (in no particular order... I'm getting tired of typing):

    1. Silent double dog anti-reverse that's crank activated even when springs begin to give.

    2. Proprietary drag system that pulls spool into drag instead of pushing... reduces flex.

    3. Optional lugs even on a small reel

    4. Thurst bearing that disengages when lever pulled all the way back. SUPPOSEDLY as a result of this, you still have complete freespool when dial is set to max drag. We'll see. Almost hard to believe.

    4. Raving reviews from so many people... lots of accurate folks making this reel their go-to new purchase reel

    5. 5 year warranty - My local guy here in Panama City is Okuma's ONLY authorized warranty shop. This reel has been out for two years and he has not seen the FIRST one.

    6. The giant two speed button on the reel.

    7. Did I mention the raving reviews? It really is very difficult to find any bad reviews online... and that's saying something.

    8. Price - $459 on charkbait and my local guy honored it when I told him I'd like two reels adn that I was also having two $325 rods built in the back. He is also going to throw in some discount towards line since Charkbait offers 300 yards of braid free with purchase of this reel. Nice of my local guy. I really wanted to keep the money here, but if he wouldn't match charkbait (also a brick and mortar store) offer, then I was relecutnatly going to send my money to California... as if the Feds don't send enough of my money out there to begin with!

    9. GEARING! I am not a big fan of these reels with 6:1 (and higher) ratios as a high gear and then a granny gear that's down in the dirt. Granted, the Makarias low gear is pretty darn low, but I really like the 4.7 high gear. That was one of the big turn offs for me on the Saltigas (the reel that I looked at the hardest). In the end it was the high gear ratio of the Accurates and Diawas plus the warranty that pushed really sealed the deal on the Okuma.

    10. The fact that my local shop is the ONLY authorized warranty shop in the USA and he has seen ZERO of them. At least that's what their repair guy told me. That really makes me think that this reel is the REAL deal. Folks who have put their hands on them just say wow! I honestly believe that they have it underpriced and over-warrantied in a calculated effort to get them on the water, and it seems to be working. I would not be suprised if the warranty doesn't drop at some point. I fully expect the price to go up... a lot.



    If you want to read quite a bit on the reel from a very informed guy, check out these two links. They also have more pics of the reel in action.

    http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=1801.0
    http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=1141.0

    Downsides / potential downsides:

    1. Weight. Not the low 20s that the daiwas and accurtes are. Howver, 26.8 is fine with me. Better than a 50oz Penn 6/0.

    2. Capacity - LOTS of discrepancy here online. I have heard 400 yards of 100# hollow core spectra on the 15 and 350 yards of 50# on the 8. However the mono numbers published don't really match with that. We'll just have to see on this potential downside. I'm planning on spooling 80% with hollow core 60# and then splice about 100 yards of 80# into it for bottom fishing, and then I'll splice 30' or so of either mono into it... what weight will depend on what kind of fishing. Good news about the hollow core is if I ever know we're going to do a tuna trip... I can wind that 80# off and easily splice with 100% strength more 60 on top of the existing 60. I think with all 60 I should be able to get close to 500 yards on there.

    3. The marlin that is etched in the side. Cheesy! I wouldn't be suprised if tha goes away, because I'm not the only one who does not care for it.

    4. Drag. The Accuates and Daiwas all cranked out to 40. The Makaira only 34. HOWEVER, 34 is still a heaping pile of drag. ALSO... if what they say is true, then I may be able to do 34 and still have complete freespool. I don't know if the others can say the same thing. We'll see on this front.


    That's it!

    I'm excited. Now I jsut need to figure out colors for the wraps and then wait for the rod and reels to show up at tackle shop.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • MiamipescadorMiamipescador Posts: 696 Officer
    Im excited for ya!
    Those makairas are some bad *** little reels, even the reel repair master alan tani has approved them as one of the best for the buck.

    What type of line you gonna spool on it?
  • fishnfool73fishnfool73 Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    Those rods would be great rail rods on the long range tuna trips. I tested a few of those reels over there on my last trip. They performed decent. Drags a little sticky and not sure they will hold the drag you need for big copper bellies and reef donkies though. The line capacity is exaggerated some on them as it is with most reels. They are a step in the right direction but still Okumas. I would have gone with the Saltiga as I don't really like using my Accurates for heavy grouper fishing.
  • AlwaysAbuAlwaysAbu Posts: 476 Deckhand
    The only question about the okumas is will there be repair parts for them in 5 years. If I pay $400 plus for a reel, I plan to fish it while.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
    2. Capacity - LOTS of discrepancy here online. I have heard 400 yards of 100# hollow core spectra on the 15 and 350 yards of 50# on the 8. However the mono numbers published don't really match with that. We'll just have to see on this potential downside. I'm planning on spooling 80% with hollow core 60# and then splice about 100 yards of 80# into it for bottom fishing, and then I'll splice 30' or so of either mono into it... what weight will depend on what kind of fishing. Good news about the hollow core is if I ever know we're going to do a tuna trip... I can wind that 80# off and easily splice with 100% strength more 60 on top of the existing 60. I think with all 60 I should be able to get close to 500 yards on there.
    I tested a few of those reels over there on my last trip. They performed decent. Drags a little sticky and not sure they will hold the drag you need for big copper bellies and reef donkies though. The line capacity is exaggerated some on them as it is with most reels. They are a step in the right direction but still Okumas. I would have gone with the Saltiga as I don't really like using my Accurates for heavy grouper fishing.

    34# of drag is pretty darn hefty. Keep in mind we are standing up in the cockpit of a boat, not strapped into a rod sitting in a chair. As far as a "reef donkey" goes... I don't give a crap about what kind of gear I have for them. Last trip out we boated four over forty pounds on bass gear while trying to catch black snapper at night. The harder you pull on an AJ the harder he pulls back. Big whoop.

    Now... copperbellies... I do need a drag that can put it to one. That's for certain. I just can't imagine 34# not being adequate. We'll see.

    The sticky drag comment is concerning, but the first I've heard of it and I have researched it extensively. Trust me, I hear you on the "Okuma" thing. I'm dropping $800 / rig before line, and folks are going to see the Okuma stamp on the reel and laugh. I"m man enough to shrug that off so long as the reel is what it's been cracked up to be.

    My problem with the Saltiga was the 6.?:1 high gear ratio and it didn't have the waranty that Okuma has.

    Speaking of which...
    AlwaysAbu wrote: »
    The only question about the okumas is will there be repair parts for them in 5 years. If I pay $400 plus for a reel, I plan to fish it while.

    Very valid point. And soemthing that I had not thought about until now. Of note is the fact that I was at Okuma's one and ONLY authorized warranty tackle shop this very afternoon. So far their reel guy (who I spoke with) has not seen ANY come in for warranty and the reels have been out for two years. This... plus Alan Tani's blessing is pretty impressive.

    If they don't sell and Okuma discontinues the brand, the should have PLENTY of parts for warranty issues availble, wouldn't you think?

    I'm pretty pumped.

    Trust me, I wish they didn't say Okuma as much as the Accurate and Saltiga foaming-at-the-mouth crazies do. I really think its a quality piece though. Heck... of COURSE I DO... I'm spending as much as Daiwa or Accurate.

    Time will tell.

    Happy new year everybody!
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,354 Admiral
    You can not go wrong with the rod for sure and yes alantani speaks mega praise about the reel also. I saw the video he did while on a long range offshore trip out of Calif and Okuma supplied him with alot of rods and reels and he spoke highly of both. I believe you did well in your research.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,419 Admiral
    Sounds like you are ready to pull the USS Oriskany off the bottom.:thumbsup
  • fishnfool73fishnfool73 Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    I agree that if Alan endorses them then they must be good. The ones I used didn't feel bad just not something I would pick for bottom fishing. I don't even like using my Accurates if targeting gags or black grouper. Daiwa makes a lower gear one as well.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
    Daiwa - Their star drag is a bit slower... like 5.4 and 4.9 I think. But then you're only looking at max drag of 22 pounds. Which I'm certain that even my pewny littler arms and back can best for a brief moment to get a grouper coming.

    The Saliga lever drag two speeds all have a high gear of 6.3. That just seemed too steep to me.

    THe fact that Alan Tani gave a glowing endoresement of the Makaira is certainly encouraging. However, some of those types of endorsements mean a little less to me when you do ALL the digging and find out how much they hooked him up with free gear. That being said, there are "kind" and "soft" reviews that could be given after such a gesture from the part of a manufacturer if he had not been honestly impressed. What he as written does SEEM pretty honest.

    I was not trying to be overly defensive earlier... I have just spent WAY too much time trying to figure out what to go with. Almost to the loosing sleep point here. Beleive me when I say that I still have some aprehension. I have done very little bottom fishing with a lever drag, and I have certainly never purchased and Okuma. As of rigght now they are still on order.

    Time will tell.

    I'm off to the woods! Time for some doe eradication!
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,354 Admiral
    I agree that if Alan endorses them then they must be good. The ones I used didn't feel bad just not something I would pick for bottom fishing. I don't even like using my Accurates if targeting gags or black grouper. Daiwa makes a lower gear one as well.

    He not only endorses them he states they are the best reel in its class, and that for sure is saying something.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



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