They aren’t for everyone, but for those who appreciate the enhancements and have the highest demands, they are reels to die for. Okuma’s Makaira Special Edition Long Range reels take things to another level in terms of specific changes that some in the long range community have requested. Before getting into that, let me state clearly, the existing crop of Makaira reels are absolutely state of the art, and for most of us, myself included, there is little reason to head in the SE direction. The changes you’ll see in the SE series reels appeal most to fishermen who are uncompromising in terms of their demands upon gear, guys who regularly head out to tangle with cow size tuna on the long range boats or aboard a sportfisher off Puerto Vallarta, those that will benefit most will be our most dedicated long range enthusiasts. Those that will benefit least will probably be private boaters, guys who tend to put on heavy miles on their gear and don’t take the time to maintain ’em regularly. In a lot of ways the SE reels are custom shop offerings, based upon feedback from some of the most experienced anglers, guys who jumped on the Makairas early and fished ’em hard on the long range boats in 2010/11. To those, Okuma listened and responded, showing their sincere interest in building the best gear possible. The pricing of the SE series reels is a tad higher than the original Makaira reels, reflecting the change in handle and bearings used on these pieces. If you are seeking the best freespool performance, flylining live bait to large grade tuna, this series of reels will put a smile on your face and very likely result in a personal best on the boat.
Okay, now for what’s different on the Special Edition reels, the SE Series reels feature:
- Open Spool Bearings with TSI-301 oil. This increases freespool 2 to 2 1/2 times!
- All non-spool bearings feature FULL grease pack for maximum longevity.
- Special Edition Gun Smoke and Black anodizing.
- SE reels have a yellowfin tuna etched into the side plate to further distinguish them from the Golds.
- Frames have been machined out for increased clearance between the spool and cross bars.
- Larger Handles, MK-10/15 reels will feature MK-20 size handle knobs for greater leverage.
- Larger Handles, MK 20/30 reels use the 50 size arm and knobs.
- New LOWER GEARING on the 20/30 size – 1.3:1!!!
And, for folks who own current Gold series reels you have not been forgotten. If you’d like any of the modifications mentioned above, the folks at Okuma will update your reel for $29-59 depending upon what you’d like done.
New From Okuma, the Makaira 15T
Here’s another much awaited new reel introduction from Okuma, the Makaira 15T (tall), arrives for the 2019 season. This reel has been very much desired, with folks eagerly anticipating it’s release. We have a few, not many, most of our order went to folks who have been waiting for the reel for well over a month’s time. There will be more arriving, but since we do have some now, it’s time to present the newest Makaira.
The 15T carries on what we have come to expect from the new Okuma. These stellar performers have demonstrated quite clearly that Okuma is a major player in the long range fishing enviroment. The 15T SEA reels fit a void in the Makaira lineup. I own a couple MK 10’s and a 16. Love ’em both and have put the hurt on a couple 150 lb bluefin with my 10’s. Those darn 10’s punch well above their size class, and the 16 can tame fish well over 200 lbs. But, they needed something of similar proportion, not as wide and tippy as a standard 15, capable of greater line retrieve per crank than a 10 but lighter and more compact than a 16. Example, my 10’s are GREAT fishing live bait, but don’t bring in enough line per crank to work iron or jigs fast enough (from my perspective). I’d like more speed, greater line retrieve on a deep drop, but not as heavy or large as a 16. Well, the new 15T is really a 10 that’s a tad taller, same proportions, so we do pick up a bit more line per crank and that’s exactly what I wanted! Size is very comfortable to fish, again just what I and many others wanted to see. It’s something we’ve been waiting on for several years, and now they are coming into full production and arriving to the US market.
One point to mention, Okuma will be changing their anodizing finish for the gunmetal reels. These have been a unique color, not quite the gunmetal we’re accustomed to seeing. Over the next few months Okuma will begin changing models over to the new finish, may not be accomplished until late summer. We received both silver and the new gunmetal finish on the 15Ts we’ve received. If you are trying to round out your Makaira collection and you have gunmetal reels, you’ll need to move soon to complete your arsenal if you want the same colored reels.