Just wanted to share some stuff regarding one of the largely overlooked Okuma round baitcasters. This is a quick and dirty tutorial, that I might update during the next few days. Feel free to ask questions to those steps not shown in this tutorial.
The Okuma Akena is the latest round baitcaster following the Okuma Induron, San Juan, Chromer etc, and this tutorial can be used on many of the Okuma round baitcasters. This reel is popular among Musky and Pike anglers, who use it to trow 3-10 oz plastic or jerkbaits with. I know a lot of you guys here are into saltwater, but I am not so much, so my way of doing reels, are specific to the need of Musky/Pike freshwater guys. The Akena is a entry level reel, but not an easy one to work on, so I don't recommend taking this one apart as your first job.
On this reel most of the bearings(6) was in a fine condition, so i left them as is, except for the left spool bearing that had to be replaced because of rust. I replaced it with an open bearing Alan Tani style, and also refer to what Alan has already been writing on this subject, so I wont go too much into details with that. Neither do I go into details with what type of grease, or oil kind of questions. but in general I use yellow Rocket Fuel on levelvind, bearings and IAR, grease on the rest.
After opening the reel, the first thing that caught my eye was the rusty metal bar, that supports the thumb bar spool release. Rust is a common problem with Okuma reels, but that they also rust after being used in freshwater is chocking!.
Next thing I did was to disamble the thumb bar, and clean up all the parts. The spool release is the Achilles heel on Okuma round baitcasters, so I gave this part some extra attention.
The metal bar supporting the thumb bar was the source of the rust here, so I cleaned it up using some WD40 and a piece of steel wool. Here it looks like Okuma have been using plain low quality iron.
I didn't forget the inside of the thumb bar, a pipe cleaner comes handy for this job.
Cleaning of the levelwind is pretty basic on this reel, pretty much like any other round baitcaster. The levelvind was greased up from Okuma, but i used oil instead on this one as it does not collect dirt the same way.
Next thing was to rebuild the levelwind as well as the thumb bar, before replacing the left side spool bearing.
By the way, I oiled the metal bar inside of the thumb bar, here grease will keep hold on the moisture inside of the plastic thumb release, and I did not want that.
The Bearing is relatively easy to remove, not unlike on a Shimano Calcutta, just remove the little spring and tap it out from the rear side through the openning on the left side of the reel frame. I opened the new bearing and rinsed it using lighter fuel, then gave it some yellow Rocket Fuel before putting it into the reel.
Notice how the centrifugal brake has worn off the inside of the brake collar here!, never seen that before.
Now, lets take a look on the drive side, so far things looks great and clean. Remove the two screws, and the clutch holding the drive gear sleeve.
I removed the pinion gear, and took a look at the thumb bar mechanism. Om this reel it was full of dirt and moisture so i took it completely apart.
I cleaned all the parts of the thumb bar release mechanism, re greased them, and put them back on together with the pinion gear. Here extra attention is needed, to put the parts back to their correct position when rebuilding the mechanism, i used a photo I took before taking it apart as reference.
Next thing was to clean the gear, and the drag. The gear was in a fine condition, even after 200 hours of pulling magnum blades and rubber.
The Okuma Akena has greased carbon washers, and can easily pull 15+lbs of drag, and these had got sticky so i cleaned them up. Musky/Pike guys might prefer dry carbon washers like me, so I left them dry. Seems as Okuma had used a basic grease on the washers in this reel, not teflon grease?. If you want to re grease the washers for saltwater use, i refer to Alan's stuff on the subject.
The IAR bearing was also checked and had a few drops of oil. This part together with the drag, belongs to the strong points of the Akena.
Rebuilding the drive side is pretty simple, so I will not go into details with that.
Tight lines(or knæk og bræk as we say over here)