Okuma introduced a new series of travel rods at ICAST in July 2013, and quite frankly by doing so convinced me not to produce our own very popular 30-40# class rod for the future. Ours did some things better in my humble opinion, made for a better dual purpose troller and caster, and with an extra section it also saved a few inches in traveling. But, Okuma did two things that I simply could not match. Given that they own their own rod factories, they can produce things at a much better cost – when it’s in their interest to do so. Further, their rod factory is quite good, as demonstrated by the Makaira series rods. So, upon seeing the new Xpress rods I cancelled our order for the CharkBait 30/40.
Here’s the run down on the Xpress Series: These are all three piece rods, seven feet in length, offering very good quality guides and blank construction. The Nomad series from Okuma makes use of better quality ALPS components, the Xpress series does not, the Nomad series rods also offer an extra rod tip in their package so you can cover an additional line class. But, take away those features and the cost drops, and it drops BIG. The new Xpress series rod run under $100! That’s simply amazing in my book, less than what I can produce a rod for, and that’s due to the size of this behemoth company. Okuma is a huge company, and when they decide to do something, they can indeed blow the socks of any other manufacturer in the sportfishing world. The rods all come in a nice storage bag for easy traveling and pack at about 32 inches for these three piece seven foot length rods.
There are two rod series within the Xpress line, inshore and offshore oriented rods. Inshore’s have the cork grips, offshore oriented rods the hypalon handle material.