makaira 10 II - field test results, 8/22/2010
maybe 4-5 months ago, i walked into my local tackle shop and the manager said, "hey, alan, want to meet the okuma rep?" sure, so i walked on over to say hi. i told him that i did a little reel repair and said that i opened up a makaira a while back and was very impressed. he said that's great and that he wanted me to take a look at a review that was written by this guy named alan tani. i chuckled, told him who i was and we both had a good laugh. then he said that if there was anything he could do for me to let him know.
a couple of months later, i'm getting ready for my long range trip and my buddy jim says that he is going to order some gear directly from okuma. with all the talk about the makaira, and all the talk from east coast guys asking why we on the west coast never use spinners, i decided to piggyback an order with him and check out both the conventional makaira and the cedros spinner. we got in touch with the okuma rep and i ordered up a pair of makaira 10 two speeds, a cedros 65 spinner, a cedros 80 spinner and a set of four nomad 3-piece travel rods. even with a factory discount, this stuff ain't cheap!
when the boxes arrive, it was like christmas! the nomad rods were very nice. i had two coventional rods and two spinning rods. they each came in a travel case with two tips. the cedros spinning reels looked great as well. i pulled all the bearings and packed them with grease, then i pulled out the stock felt drag washers and installed greased carbon fiber. the cedros 65 was loaded with 50# spectra and the cedros 80 was loaded with 65# spectra.
next, the makaira 10 II's were cracked open. the non-spool bearings were packed with grease, the spool bearings were cleaned and lubed with TSI 301, the drag washers were re-greased and the oversized 6/0 kolekar handle grips were bolted on. both reels were then spooled up with 400 yards of 65 spectra. the spools spun like crazy. the procedure was exactly the same as the rebuild for the makaira 50 II. http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=750.0
one of the makaira's was loaned out to a friend on a 7 day trip and the rest of the okuma gear came with me on a san diego long range trip last week. http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=1129.0
i grabbed a bunch of progear classic series 501's and all of my smaller accurate boss and atd two speeds, snuck in a couple of 533 newells, a couple of jig sticks, a matched set of calstar west coasters and grafighters, and hit the road.
for yellowtail fishing at cedros island, i would normally fish jigs with the newells or flyline with the accurates and calstars. 50# test and 15 pounds of drag is usually the minumum or you will get rocked or bagged. when the bite is slow and i get desperate, i drop down as low as 30# fluoro with my progear classic series 501's and my 8 foot calstar grafighters 800L's. yup, fishing 30# at cedros island is pretty desperate. you're just asking to get your line cut off in the rocks or get your fish stolen by sealions.
i did manage to hook up on a nice fish on the spinner on the second cast, only to have it grabbed by a huge sealion. i have a bum right shoulder and tennis elbow on the left. i figured out pretty quick that i needed to hand this one off, so my nephew took over and almost got the fish back to the boat. next time i will switch the spinners over to a right hand crank. if that does not work, i am done with spinners.
the makaira 10 two speed was a different story. after losing ANOTHER fish to the sealions, i decided to finally stow the progear and give the makaira a try. it had a 3 foot topshot of 40# seaguar fluorocarbon, it was casting better than my accurate 870 (50# topshot) but not as well as the progear. that second afternoon at cedros island was tough fishing, but i managed to scrape up two fish on the makaira. the low gear was very nice.
here are the three reels. on the left, an accurate boss 870-2 with 60# hollowcore and a 10 meter 50# fluorocarbon topshot with 15#'s of drag. this would be my standard live bait set up setup for cedros. in the middle is a progear classic series 501, it has a 6: gear ratio, 50# spectra, a 3 foot topshot of 30# or 35# fluorocarbon and a 10-12 pound drag setting. the progear is the reel that i go to when i'm desperate. on the right is an okuma makaira 10 II with 400 yards of 65 camo spiderwire braid, a 4.7: high gear, a 2.1:1 low gear and a max drag at strike of 27#'s. this last trip, the makaira was topped with 3 feet of 40# fluorocarbon and the drags were set to 14#'s. next time i will top it with 50# spectra and 18#'s of drag at strike. i hate losing fish to sealions.
casting distance with the makaira is less than the progear ......
.... but better than the accurate 870. all just because of the rod lenth and the overall spool mass.
i've fished accurates and calstars for a long time. this was the first time i fished with the makaira and i was favorably impressed. so let's take a look at the two, side by side. the smaller accurates have a 6.1: high gear and a 3.1:1 low gear, there are several different models to choose from. i have the first run b2's - a pair of 197's, a pair of 270's and a pair of 870's. the only small makaira's are the 10 two speed and the 15 two speed (which is just a wider 10 II). the gear ratios are 4.7:1 for high and 2.1:1 for low. the drag is rated at 27 pounds strike and 34 pounds full for the makaira. i could not find a rating for the accurate, but i'm certain that it's very close. spool capacities for the b2-870N and b2-870 are similar to the makaira 10 and 15. both reels have non-spool bearings that i have opened up and packed with grease. both reels also have had freespool work. for the accurate, i cleaned out the bearings and installed an bearing sleeve. for the makaira, all i had to do was clean out the bearings. both reels got monster handle grips. i'm not a big guy, but the larger handle grips help me tremendously.
the shifter on the accurate b2 has always been a problem for me. this has been corrected on the new accurate bx two speeds. the shift knob on the makaira is fine.
the preset knob on the accurate does not click. in some reels, the rubber gasket is so tight that it can be very difficult to turn. in other reels, the rubber gasket is so loose that you can accidentally bump the preset knob and change the drag when the lever is in free. i did that a couple of times with my personal accurates a couple of years ago at guadalupe. in the maikaira, the preset knob clicks. it stays in place when you want and turns easily when you want.
the makaira lever will ratchet. the accurate lever does not. both move when you push them and stop where they are supposed to stop.
the accurate does not have lugs. the makaira gives you an option. options are good.
the accurate has a cast control knob, the makaira does not. since i am casting small sardines with these reels, my problem is usually not enough freespool. too much freespool is never a problem.
so here's where i'm at right now. my own personal accurates have spool bearings that are clean out and lubed with TSI301, i've cut bearing sleeves for all of them (they're "blueprinted") , the non-spool bearings have been packed with grease, and i've added a 6/0 kolekar grip. they fish just fine. the makaira 10's also had the spool bearings cleaned out, non-spool bearings packed with grease, and a big handle grip added. for me, the only noticeable difference between the two reels is the gear ratio of the lower gears. i'm just an office jockey and i found that the lower gear ratio of the makaira was much easier to crank. i would be happy fishing with either reel, but there are some people for whom the makaira offers some significant advantages.
meet ed watson. he fishes all over the world. he likes fishing the salt for bigger fish and needs gear that offers him every possible mechanical advantage. his next trip is to the great barrier reef. on his last trip, he hooked in a yellowfin tuna from a skiff and he landed it with his boss two speed accurate. it was tough for him because the skiff did not have a rail and the reel did not have lugs.
right now he is pulling against a trailer hitch with my makaira 10, 65 pound spectra and 18 pounds at strike.
i asked him to try to turn the handle in high gear and he could not do it. this is with an 18# drag setting. but when i punched the reel into low gear, cranking the 6/0 kolekar handle was no problem. that's an 18 pound drag setting and a 2.1:1 gear ratio. the makaira offers ed a lower gear ratio than other reels. it's basically a granny gear and that helps him. it also has lugs. this will allow ed to harness in at the beginning of the fight. when the fish is straight up and down, he can pop the reel out of the harness and still have some strength left. and ed likes the big handle grips. it greatly decreases the fatigue factor during a long fight.
i did a quick check of retail prices and the bx2-500 is $585 at charkbait. the makaira 10 retails at $440. for a guy like ed, the makaira and nomad combo offers significant advantages. i'm going to send one of these with him on his trip so that he can check it out before he buys. sounds like he's going to buy one anyway. it's a great 50# rig. all we need now is a narrowed makaira 8 II for 50# spectra and a 40# topshot. alan