Honestly, we really don’t spend much time looking at low end reels here. Their disposable nature moves our focus to something hopefully longer lived. BUT, there are times when we miss something special, and I’m admitting I did just that by skipping over this reel when first announced. Okuma’s Surf 8K is indeed something special, and I’m offering that I blew this one, didn’t recognize it for what it was – a very nice reel for a person seeking extra casting distance from a surf spinner while trying to keep the budget down. Why a long cast spool, the line comes off better for distance casts, less lip overhang. Okuma is getting stronger in the niche pieces to complement their bread and butter more general purpose rods and reels.
There’s a lot to talk about on this unique reel. You get an on/off auto trip bait feeding system, dual force drag, carbon drag washers, brass Dual Force Drag and spool shaft stabilizer, corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings, quick set anti-reverse bearing for zero back play in handle. Corrosion resistant casting process, machined aluminum screw in handle, slow oscillation system for improved line lay, corrosion resistant graphite body and rotor, hydro block water tight drag seal, machined aluminum spool…and a 1 year warranty. Yep, lots of features and that’s surprising at this price level. The reel is robust, and it’s long cast design makes it something of interest for our surf focused fisherman. Beta, our Huntington Beach shop manager actually “discovered” this reel when preparing for a Costa Rica trip. Costa Rica is becoming his target location for fishing, and likely retirement down the road. He was looking for a couple useful rods and reels for his last trip and stumbled upon this one. Bought it, used it, can recommend it strongly. The reel is a serious value, and offers serious performance, and only runs $100! That makes it something very attractive for opportunistic fisherman looking to take advantage of surf fishing options while on a vacation. Grab this reel, one of Okuma’s Nomad traveling Surf rods or one of the Toro Surf Explorer models while available… You have yourself a wonderful companion for almost any vacation, and with a travel rod to match you can travel with peace of mind knowing your gear will arrive in fishable condition.
Back to Beta, he also brought down some longer rods in a strong secure rod case. Sure enough, the baggage checkers ruined all of his rods! Broken guides on each one piece rod he brought down, when TSA opened up the case and put it back together, incorrectly, the handlers stripped guides off all rods…except his travel rods which traveled in their own small cases. Not the way one would like to be greeted upon reaching your destination on a well planned fishing trip. If it weren’t for the travel rods he would have been one grumpy guy, as it was a vacation was salvaged because he had the travel rods. Back to the reel: In my estimation it’s a $200 reel being sold at $110, could be the perfect take-along for a vacation.