3/22/2020 – Welcome to our Weekly Specials, something we try to post each Sunday.

The latest news of COVID-19 has caused a lot of changed in California, our retail store will be closed temporarily until the California mandate has been lifted however we will continue all online operations so orders will be processed as usual. Some manufacturers may be affected by the new regulations as well which could have a bit of an impact on getting stock.

All of the landings have shut down and there won’t be any trips going out for a while, so it may be a good time to stock up on stuff for future trips since there is sure to be a frenzy as soon as the fear, uncertainty and doubts subside and we can all return to our normal lives.

In the mean time I’ve been able to finish adding the United Composites catalog to the website, so if you’re in the market for some of the best US made blanks and finished rods on the market you might want to check these guys out here. We now have every blank they make listed on the website, and you won’t find that anywhere else not even UC.

Okuma Makaira SEa Matte Black Reels:

This week we are running a big promotion on the Makaira SEa Matte Black reels, 10% off including free spooling so if you need one of the best long range or overall powerful reels you will not find a better deal anywhere else, this one isn’t on us but it also includes a 5 year warranty from Okuma which you will not find from any other manufacturer.

Okuma Alijos:

Brand new release and successor of the Andros series. If you remember the Andros it was a lighter and tougher version of the Metaloid with a more premium feel, this time around the Alijos shares more of a resemblance with the Makaira line of reels. They have big upgraded T-Bar style handles, with the same drag system as the Makaira’s even closer than the last generation Andros giving it a more satisfying feel. You’ll notice the frame is milled out a lot more than the previous generation giving it a lighter weight when the same handles are installed.

Salas Irons:

As always we like to support are California manufacturers, and none more so than Salas. The Salas jigs have been around for decades and are a staple of the California local and long range scene. They’re affordable, come with strong rigging and are available in the best colors for any of our applications. And best of all we have a 10% promotion running on them right now, so use coupon code “SALAS” when checking out.

Daiwa Lexa Winn Reels:

These guys are a new release from Daiwa, updating the color scheme of the previous generation. The 300 size has a redesigned frame that is much more open than the previous generation, and both reels feature the upgraded free spool button that the new Lexa HD has which gives it a big improvement in durability and feel.

Okuma Makaira Rods:

If you like the classic soft bend for your live bait fishing, look no further. The Makaira rods have been tested for the last decade and have proven to be one of the best rods for price to performance on the market. They have a softer tip which will improve your casting distance, and make it harder to pull hooks on big fish. Now 10% off including free shipping in the US which saves you another $30.

Z-Bar Machined Aluminum Surface Irons:

These are some of the hottest irons on the market right now, the shape provides a great kick and action in the water getting you bites other jigs won’t get you. Since they’re CNC machined they are perfect every time and guaranteed to swim so you won’t have to be swinging jigs for an hour trying to find the right one since they all work. When they first came out a couple of years ago they were $30 but we have been able to drop the price to $24 making them a great value.

If you have any suggestions, complaints, questions or comments about the website please feel free to email me at: sergey@charkbait.com or give me a call at the shop.

As always, thank you for visiting our Weekly Specials and hope to see you at the shop!

Sergey Smith

The 2019 Limited Edition Matte Black Makaira reels share the same features as the rest of the SEa lineup. Coming in a unique Matte Black color, Okuma has changed things up a bit from the last time they did a limited run of Black reels. This time you get more contrast with silver trim and a main color you’ll struggle to find on any other machined aluminum reel.

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!!!
MK-10IISEA4BB+1TB4.7:1 & 2.1:133.5″ & 15.0″34-LBS27-LBS460/15 (0.37), 380/20 (0.42), 280/25 (0.48)26.1
MK-15IISEA4BB+1TB4.7:1 & 2.1:133.5″ & 15.0″34-LBS27-LBS550/20 (0.42), 410/25 (0.48), 310/30 (0.55)26.8
MK-16IISEA4BB + 1TB4.3:1 & 1.3:139.2″ & 11.8″48-LBS34-LBS870/20 (0.42), 650/25 (0.48), 500/30 (0.55)40
MK-20IISEA4BB+1TB3.8:1 & 1.3:139.4″ & 17.5″55-LBS37-LBS870/25 (0.48), 660/30 (0.55), 530/40 (0.60)45.8
MK-30IISEA4BB+1TB3.8:1 & 1.3:139.4″ & 17.5″55-LBS37-LBS850/30 (0.55), 700/40 (0.60), 550/50 (0.70)48
MK-50IISEA4BB + 1TB3.2:1 & 1:137.8″ & 11.9″85-LBS60-LBS1000/30 (0.55), 650/50 (0.70), 400/80 (0.90)60.2
MK-80WIISEA6BB + 1TB3.1:1 & 1.2:145.7″ & 20.5″100-LBS70-LBS1000/80 (0.90), 850/100 (1.0), 660/130 (1.12)116

Okuma introduced the Alijos series of reels in 2020, with first models arriving early March.  This series replaces the Andros line, which were very capable reels. They became the casting/jigging version of Makaira series reels. Call them Makaira light, many similar features and benefits in a more compact, lighter bodied reel. The Alijos are lighter than a Mak, easier for most to cast, with a cast control operating mechanically thru the drag system rather than by way of magnetic system.  The Alijos reels to not offer helical cut gears like the Andros and Makaira series, these make use of spur cut gears, simpler production, less concern about sideload pressure. The new Alijos series reels offer high drag capability, super freespool performance, housed in a strong machined aluminum body.  Okuma makes use of their dual force drag system, smoothness of operation is ensured throughout the drag’s range.  For the Alijos series, Okuma made use of an extended handle arm with large T-Bar type handle for optimum power.  CRC (corrosion resistant coating) helps minimize saltwater damage to the reel’s finish, and 6 HPB corrosion resistant bearings are used in this series of reels. The Alijos series carries a 3 year warranty, that’s 2 years beyond most manufacturers. That says something in and of itself.

Checking out the reels, it’s obvious that they spin well and that this manufacturer is listening to us astutely.  Okuma again makes use of the TSI 301 bearing oil and Cal’s drag grease, for exceptional casting and smooth braking.  Handling the reels, you quickly note that these are well designed for long term use in a harsh saltwater world.  Note the drainage ports, 2 on the gear housing, three on the frame so you have nice drainage regardless of the reel’s orientation – whether on a rod or not.  This may seem like a small thing, but it’s something so many manufacturers neglect.  There are two narrow versions are offered, the little 5N and 12NS.  There are two high speed models in the line for those working iron and jigs @ 6.4:1.

The 12 and 16 are also being produced in single speed.  Both reels offer 6.4:1 gears, with a line retrieve rate of 48 and 58 inches per crank respectively.


  •   17-4 grade stainless steel main and pinion gears
  •   Carbonite Dual Force Drag system with Cal’s drag grease
  •   6-HPB corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings
  •   Spool bearings feature TSI-301 oil for unmatched freespool
  •   Rigid 1-pcs frame and left sideplate construction
  •   6061-T6machined aluminum frame and sideplates
  •   Cold forged, Type-II anodized, machined aluminum spool
  •   Silent retrieve system for ultimate cranking smoothness
  •   90mm handle arm, increases cranking leverage/power
  •   Oversized T-Bar handle on all models, for cranking power
  •   Lug and plug harness system featured on 12 and 16 sizes
  •   External adjustable cast control system on left sideplate
  •   CRC: Corrosion Resistant Coating process
  •   Alijos reels are backed by a 3-year limited warranty
AJ-5II6BB6.4:1 & 3.8:142.1″ & 24.8″24-LBS15-LBS620/12 (0.32), (430/15 (0.37), 340/20 (0.42)
AJ-5NII6BB6.4:1 & 3.8:142.1″ & 24.8″24-LBS15-LBS420/12 (0.32), 300/15 (0.37), 250/20 (0.42)
AJ-12NSII6BB6.4:1 & 2.1:16.4:1 & 2.1:134-LBS27-LBS350/20 (0.42), 250/25 (0.48), 200/30 (0.55)
AJ-12II6BB4.7:1 & 2.1:135.4″ & 15.7″34-LBS27-LBS560/20 (0.42), 420/25 (0.48), 320/30 (0.55)
AJ-12SII6BB6.4:1 & 2.1:148.4″ &15;.7″34-LBS27-LBS560/20 (0.42), 420/25 (0.48), 320/30 (0.55)
AJ-16II6BB4.3:1 & 1.3:139.3″ & 11.9″48-LBS27-LBS870/20 (0.42), 650/25 (0.48), 500/30 (0.55)

Over the past decade, we’ve been requested to stock this West Coast staple, a multi-generation producer of effective “iron” in the West Coast tradition. Salas invented, perfected several shapes of jigs that are classics, and they can be found in the tackle boxes of any experienced fisherman out here in California. Let’s just say, Salas is a basic part of our fishing culture here and a product line that is universally recommended by the long range fleet, just as Tady Jigs are well supported within the community. Salas and Tady are the standards out here in SoCal, and I doubt you’ll find any saltwater fisherman who does not own at least 20 jigs from each of these two firms. We own ’em and we fish ’em…often. While these have been West Coast standards, I have clients on the East Coast who also make great use of these lures. For a few of our charter guys, these are their “secret” weapons for when the fishing gets tough. The surface lures do great things on stripers, and no doubt the big iron in white will produce tuna for you just like they do for us. Amberjacks? Well if our yellowtail eat ’em like candy you can assume their cousins will too…and they do.

Salas makes a wide range of “iron” but they are most commonly associated with our “heavy iron.” (The 7 being the exception). Their products are all hand made, hand painted, typically sand cast, and very effective lures for yellowtail and many other species of fish. You could say that they’re the definitive heavy iron. Salas and Tady are the standards, and in all honesty I don’t think you’ll find a SoCal angler that doesn’t own at least 20 of each manufacturers iron…and we fish ’em. often..

One point I should mention, please do understand clearly that these jigs are not being made in China as many others are (Tady, Sumo…). These are hand made here by Matt Salas.  Do not expect perfection on the paint job or the rings. They are made to catch fish, not look pretty. The cosmetics are secondary, their effectiveness is legendary.- Mark

Delivering all of the power and performance that anglers have come to expect from the Lexa series, the Daiwa Lexa WN 300 & 400 Casting Reels offer even more comfort and control with the addition of custom Winn Grip handles. Built to handle just about anything, the Daiwa Lexa WN 300 & 400 Casting Reels utilize Daiwa’s Ultimate Tournament Drag that outputs 22lbs (300 Size) 25lbs (400 Size) of max drag, giving anglers true stopping power.

The new 2020 models feature a new color scheme and a new redesigned frame for both sizes, they also feature a more robust free spool button.

Daiwa’s Lexa series reels have been tremendous values and tremendous reels to own. Relatively small baitcasters with high drag capability make them great inshore reels with some serious offshore capability. This series first was shown at ICAST 2012, adding models in 2013 introducing a new 400 size, these have proven their merit for applications requiring greater capacity – in several  configurations. In 2016 ICAST Daiwa updated the Lexa series, added some models with asked for features like the clicker which is now available on some models, further refined gear ratio offerings, etc. For 2017 and beyond Daiwa refined the models further, and added new WINN grip handle knobs.

BearingsGear RatioLine Per
Handle Turn
Line Capacity
(Lb. Test / Yards)
LX-WN300HM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB6.3:128.8”11.6MONO: 12/240, 14/190
BRAID: 40/240, 55/180
LX-WN300HSM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:132.4”11.6MONO: 12/240, 14/190
BRAID: 40/240, 55/180
LX-WN300HSLM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:132.4”11.6MONO: 12/240, 14/190
BRAID: 40/240, 55/180
LX-WN300HS-PM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:132.4”12MONO: 12/240, 14/190
BRAID: 40/240, 55/180
LX-WN300HSL-PM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:132.4”12MONO: 12/240, 14/190
BRAID: 40/240, 55/180
LX-WN400HM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB6.3:133.4”16.4MONO: 17/245, 20/190
BRAID: 55/300, 80/200
LX-WN400HLM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB6.3:133.4”16.4MONO: 17/245, 20/190
BRAID: 55/300, 80/200
LX-WN400HS-PM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:137.7”16.9MONO: 17/245, 20/190
BRAID: 55/300, 80/200
LX-WN400HSL-PM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB7.1:137.7”16.9MONO: 17/245, 20/190
BRAID: 55/300, 80/200
LEXA-WN400PWR-PM / H2CRBB, 4BB, 1RB5.1:127.1”16.9MONO: 17/245, 20/190
BRAID: 55/300, 80/200

First shown at ICAST in July 2011, the Makaira series rods have a lot of positives in terms of components used, rod actions and appearance. Folks know that we are very supportive of both Calstar and Seeker rods, consider them the best made rods in the world, so convincing us to bring in an offshore produced rod is not an easy thing. However, in this instance Okuma got it right again. Like their Makaira series reels, they listened to the right people, and started from scratch to design an excellent series of rods. They learned much from Calstar, one feel of their jigsticks demonstrates that point very well. It’s also apparent that they learned much from their association with the Australian fishing community. These are flat out excellent rods, and they are offered at an exceptional value.

Makaira rods feature newly innovated carbon technology in the manufacture of the rod blanks. Light, strong and responsive are well deserved adjectives for these new “sticks.” The new rods are stunning in their appearance, with custom abalone decoration above the foregrip on the rods, and exceptional in their actions. They incorporate ALPS deep press 316 stainless guide frames with hard zirconium guide inserts for handling braided lines. Their jigsticks use x-wrap shrink tubing for the grip area for ruggedness and secure handling. Their heavier weight rods feature a custom ALPS aluminum reel seat with abalone underlay, for a truly custom look – with solid performance backing it up. Their IGFA standup rods feature custom leather wrapped foregrips! And their trolling rods use superior quality ALPS premium roller guides for large knot clearance. Their casting rods incorporate an integrated rubber butt cap/gimbal design (both spinning and conventional casting rods). On the heavier trolling and popping rods, an aluminum gimbal is included.

These are the Hottest Surface Irons Made

Originally the fellow making the jigs did so for his own use, and to give a few friends.  While on a trip he met another guy who expressed interest in getting involved marketing the lures. The originator, who trade-named the Z-Bar name and invented and refined the lure, allowed the other fellow to begin offering the lures to a few tackle shops in San Diego.  Word spread quickly as to their effectiveness. There was a falling out between the manufacturer and the fellow marketing the jigs. From my understanding, the guy marketing the product went to another machinist to have the jigs made at a lower cost. Not nice. The manufacturer of Z-Bar severed relations, told the marketer to quit using his trade name (thus the name OCT-10 on the copied lures).  I never like this sort of stuff, but unfortunately we see it more often than we should – remember Raider Jigs from Australia…  Well, the original manufacturer, the fellow who invented and produced the jigs got hold of me a couple years ago to tell me to quit using the Z-Bar name, which I did, and he told me the tale of what occurred.  Didn’t sit well with me, and I inquired about maintaining the product here at CharkBait.  The originator, who has a business to run, focused on that rather than the jigs he had made which were in his inventory.  Time went by…  I reached out to him again and we struck an agreement.  We would purchase the original lures and offer them to our clients. By doing so we eliminate one step in the distribution chain. We buy directly from the manufacturer rather than thru a distributor so the price is indeed better, and we have the real deal, the original Z-Bar!!!

Unique jigs, all CNC made, all made to swim perfectly – guaranteed by the manufacturer. Again, these are CNC made, each is exactly the same so they really should all swim well. That’s really key to iron, not all are the same, not all swim as well as expected. That’s a function of manufacture. As one would expect, a sand cast jig will vary more than something CNC’d. Unlike some jigs, Tady for instance, the Z-Bars are entirely made here in the USA. A good deal of time went into their design, and it shows. I want you to look at the images closely. Note the way the jigs are ground for their rings, also the nose and the hips. You will note one sharp side, one softer and the hips are not even. This stuff is not done for fun, the jigs are made to swim perfectly and what they’ve done in design ensures that they have a great kick. These are almost like tossing a Tady C – anyone can fish ’em, easy to make ’em swim on the surface, surefire swimmers, each and every one of them. But, they gain the mass of a 45 for longer casts and better kick. Weight of the jigs is 3.45 oz, 98 grams, rigged with heavy duty hooks and solid rings, easy casters for distance. We now able to offer these extraordinary lures for $24, not $30. Good luck finding these jigs let alone finding ’em for a better price.  And, given our direct relationship with the manufacturer our supply should keep these lures more consistently available to our clients.

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