Just a little background, we owe our inclusion of this series of rods to a client of ours from Washington state. Very good angler, fishes all over the world, knows what works well with experience well beyond my scope. Rick B. spent some time yacking with me over the phone while I was working at the shop on a couple Sunday mornings. While I can be myopic with my thinking, Rick helped point me towards this new series of popping rods. Brought ’em in and we liked ’em a lot. The popping rod’s blank into handle design provide folks with a long rod alternative which travels like a 5 footer. Checking actions, components, well, we had to bring in the rest of the lineup of the Hawaiian Jigging and Popping rods. Excellent sticks, very good values, well worth owning. And, if Rick says it’s good, trust me, he’s right, and he’s taking one along with him for GT fishing…
The Okuma Hawaiian Custom Series rods are the latest addition to regional specific rods designed and built by local fisherman for the species and territory they are targeting. Utilizing the latest in technology, these rods were built for the extreme conditions put forth by the Hawaiian shore-based fisherman.
In this updated version of the very popular original Okuma Hawaiian Rods, they strive to meet even truer actions that Hawaiian anglers are craving. Having worked with local fisherman from various islands, these rods should meet the demands and specifications that are needed.
The components on the Hawaiian Custom Series rods are all top notch. The spinning models all utilize Fuji K-Series tangle free guides with Alconite inserts for the use of braided or monofilament lines and feature a split butt design for reduced weight and improved balance.
Now, for the “slow” jigging rods in this series, same strengths, Fuji components, 24 ton carbon, helix build with unidirectional fiberglass in a composite build. (Yes, Okuma has been looking at UC for design inspiration). Okuma got the bend right, got the build right and absolutely nailed the actions. I like the 6’3″ length, fine for vertical work but can also toss out a jig nicely. The conventional rods offer a trigger grip. Ridiculous power from such light rods, K-Concept Fuji guides and seats. Very nice jigging rods, and the price is exceptional if you’ve been looking at some of the niche players in this game. The Hawaiian “optimization” came from input from the guys at the islands who wanted a bit more leverage from their jigging rods. So, Okuma made the rods a tad longer and beefed up the handle area’s stiffness. You won’t find these rods bending thru the handle area like your typical Japanese style jigging rods which have little to no backbone – reminiscent of the old Kalen noodle sticks. The action is right on, and having a bit more control thru the handle section inspires confidence when you’re on a larger fish. Okuma did their homework again, and came out with some excellent specialty rods that fish beyond their intended application.