It’s featherlight, and I paired it with two higher-end rods, which made for the lightest spinning-rod-and-reel combos I’d ever held; as a result, I didn’t grow tired casting into a stiff breeze from a rivermouth jetty for several hours. Imagine holding a spool of line, rope, or wire between your hands. Azores begin with proven power features including die-cast aluminum body, side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gear and the Okuma Dual Force Drag system that churns out up to 44 pounds of max drag. fbq('init', '2045670448804120'); Next to other reels with similar line ratings, the Azores holds a lot of line, because it’s a bit bigger. In my 20-plus years of fishing, I’ve come to learn that when you’re shopping for fishing rods—as for any tool—paying a little attention to a few key features can be telling before you even pick up one. These rods are available in the same wide range of sizes as the GX2 (for the most all-around versatility, we’d still recommend a medium to medium-heavy rod in the 6-foot-6 or 7-foot range), but they have a cork grip instead of an EVA foam grip and contain 35 percent more graphite, which makes them a bit stiffer and lighter overall. The amount of drag required varies by fishing method and the species targeted—but if you’re not sure, we recommend asking the locals, or going to a bait-and-tackle shop. This combo compares favorably to outfits costing twice as much. We also tested Shimano’s Saragosa, a supposed upgrade, but didn’t find anything particularly advantageous about it over the Spheros SW. OKUMA FISHING's Azores Rod Manufacturing. I found the Battalion to be somewhat lightweight for its action and recommended line weight, which you could easily solve by ordering the next weight up (for example, if you want a “medium action” rod, order the Battalion in “medium heavy”). Okuma Azores reels incorporate a number of features. Just in case anything does go wrong, all you need to submit to take advantage of the Ugly Stik’s class-leading seven-year warranty is photographic evidence of the damage, your receipt, and $10 to cover shipping. It has the same three-part pinion/clutch seal (the most important seal in a spinning reel, protecting the very center of the reel, which is virtually irreparable) as Shimano’s $1,000-plus reels. Weight is 25.5 ounces. Think of your hands as the integral part of the reel, and the gloves as the “drag” or the buffer between the gear, the integral function of the reel, and the spool, the part that holds the line. You could easily spend $2,000 on a fishing rod if you’d like something ultralightweight or designed for a specific species you’re targeting, but our pick will get the job done almost as well (if not just as well) most of the time. But to make sure you get what you need, look for the “maximum drag rating” on the spec sheet. Azores begin with proven power features including die-cast aluminum body, side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gear and the Okuma Dual Force Drag system that churns out up to 44-pounds of max drag. if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0'; It’s also a capable stand-in if the Battle II is unavailable, but it’s a bit too large to gracefully handle lighter-action artificial lures. The next most important specification you’ll want to consider is the material that makes up the guides—the loops that lead, or guide, the line from the reel to the tip (the skinny end) of the fishing rod. Spending less means losing out on long-term durability; spending more means you’re paying for features designed for specific kinds of fishing, or lighter-weight materials that are nice to have but unnecessary for a general-purpose fishing setup. © 2020 Rudow's FishTalk LLC. a-1 okuma 23090036 bail arm support pin for azores z-55s, 65s, 80s, 90s, 5000, 5500, 6500, 8000, 9000, 10000, 16000 z-8000h-blue & z-14000h-blue spinning reels This design might not affect other fishers as much, but I find it to be a nuisance to have to grab something so small when you’re hurrying to set the hook. As Alan Hawk discovered, it’s cast zinc. I’ve left it soaked in salt and sand, and even in a bit of marsh mud for two weeks, and I’ve seen no rust stains or any other signs of degradation. However, if you never plan on targeting anything larger than trout and small freshwater bass or small inshore saltwater species (about 1 to 4 pounds), you can get away with the ultra-light version of the Ugly Stik GX2 and a smaller BG SW reel (size 2500 or less) and save a few bucks. And finally, one small but brilliant finishing touch: The spool has a small hole drilled in it to prevent rust and allow trapped water to escape. The drag or “thrust” disc has a rubber seal mounted to it, and according to expert spinning-reel reviewer Alan Hawk, it’s constructed of the same polymer that makes up the thrust discs of the Penn Slammer III (which usually costs about $300). Daiwa’s original 35-year-old BG series has been a crowd favorite since its introduction but has fallen short as an all-around choice only because the roller on the bail (which guides the line from the reel to the guides on the fishing rod) was not built to handle braided line. More expensive (and usually sturdier) guides include inserts made of higher-quality materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) or titanium-framed silicon carbide (TiSiC), which are usually affixed to rods built for performance (longer casting and lighter weight). Also, most anglers won’t even notice the difference—I find that I don’t care one way or the other, and I’ve been fishing my whole life. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel Size 55 at Amazon.com. This slightly larger, more expensive reel is durable and has a high drag for targeting larger fish. DetailsTo battle monster saltwater fish, the Okuma Azores Blue Saltwater Spinning Reel is a heavy-duty and affordable option in a sleek blue color. READ THE FULL REVIEW Those are our overall picks for people who aren’t totally sure what kind of fishing they want to focus on. The all-new Okuma Azores Blue spinning reels are offered in four models, the Z-4000H-Blue, Z-6000H-Blue, Z-8000H-Blue and Z-14000H-Blue. I tested all of the rods and reels from beaches, rocks, boats, and riverbanks. The Quantum Cabo PTSE, which I picked up only after reading a rave review by Alan Hawk, was delightful to cast. First, it’s heavier than more high-performance graphite rods (which usually run about 5 ounces for a medium-heavy 6-foot-6 or 7-foot rod), and some people find that tiring. And now, for the question everyone's been waiting for: just how much does one of these reels cost? And by using the word "extensive," we mean we caught the heck out of fish with these spinning reels - ranging from grouper to snapper to cobia to amberjack. If you were to buy a cheap pair of synthetic wool gloves, you could perhaps apply more pressure and slow your friend down, slightly. 410.216.9309 This means it will perform well in the surf or at greater depths (60 feet or more), where excess line is often necessary. The reasoning is that the two drags work against each other, which theoretically makes sense and might explain the reel’s formidable drag rating. Azores begin with proven power features including die-cast aluminum body, side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gear and the Okuma Dual Force Drag system that churns out up to 44-pounds of max drag. We actually think pricing on them is quite good, because depending on size, you'll see them anywhere from just over $100 to the $150-ish range. Though I’ve owned and used these rods for nearly two decades, I won’t recommend them. That’s far better than the one-year warranty coverage from Shimano and Penn, and even from Shakespeare itself on its non–Ugly Stik models. This rod is a dependable workhorse, especially when casting heavier lures, but it may be too stiff for bait and bottom fishing. The 100 and 120 sizes are absolute brutes. Of all the reels we tested, the Azores had the highest maximum drag rating at 44 pounds (I didn’t quite get it there, but it came in close enough at 40 pounds on the scale). It should be a single-piece model, if you can accommodate it. The only issue I have with the Triumph (as with almost all other rods that aren’t Ugly Stiks) concerns the guides. But if you’ve never held a high-end spinning rod before, you won’t notice the difference. While the GX2 isn’t better than a specialist rod in either application, it is a capable performer in both—which can’t be said of the Ugly Stik Tiger or the Penn Squadron. Okuma Azores spinning reels are the result of a multi-year engineering review that achieves new levels of strength and stability. The Okuma Azores reels are simple but powerful, with a design and drag comparable to those of the Battle II, though they typically run about $20 … Regardless of what rod or reel you get, salt is the enemy—even with gear specifically designed for use in the ocean. Shimano’s Saguaro series is every bit as versatile as the Ugly Stik GX2, but the guides are nowhere near as durable as Ugly Stik’s Ugly Tuff guides. Annapolis, MD 21403 Our rod recommendation can do both things decently, but if you know you’ll be doing only one or the other, you should look into a more specialized setup. In addition to having a durable shaft, the GX2 is the only rod in its price category that comes fitted with one-piece stainless steel line guides, which can literally be smashed with a rock and still maintain serviceability. No matter what your favorite gamefish or style of fishing is, the Azores has you covered. The first two trims get a 5:8:1 gear ration which falls to 5:4:1 in the other trims. “Drag” on a spinning reel is provided by a stack of washers, which you can either tighten or loosen against the spool (the part of the reel that holds the line) to build friction to reel in a fish, relieve friction to allow for “play” in the line (so it doesn’t break), or let it swim away in order to let the hook fully set.1. © 2021 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Our spinning-rod pick: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2, Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2: Flaws but not dealbreakers, Our spinning-reel pick: Daiwa BG SW Spinning Reel, Daiwa BG SW Spinning Reel: Flaws but not dealbreakers, Runner-up reel: Penn Battle II Spinning Reel, Nintendo Labo Review: A Clever Building Kit for Crafty Kids, The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn, Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, The Best Garden Hose, Hose Nozzle, and Hose Reel. The Okuma Azores reels are simple but powerful, with a design and drag comparable to those of the Battle II, though they typically run about $20 more depending on the size you select (we recommend the Z-65S size for all-around use). If you’re a beginner, it’s much easier to pick up than either of the other options, and it’s far less likely to become tangled than a baitcasting setup. This is because Okuma uses a "DFD" drag that takes advantage of both surfaces of the spool, to maximize high-end drag pressure yet retain smoothness. Shimano introduced another $100-range line of spinning reels, called the Nasci. I found that the tip was just sensitive enough to pass for a bait-fishing rod (though I’d still primarily designate it as a lightweight artificial/jigging rod). If you're willing to spend $100 or a bit more, you’ll get all the makings of a reel that’s built to last. Shimano’s Spheros SW is among the smoothest spinning reels I’ve ever held, out of the box. Apart from the Saguaro’s less durable guides, the primarily graphite rod is more brittle, and less likely to survive a spill or a misplaced foot. While these materials are not necessarily stronger than stainless steel or lined aluminum oxide, they are higher-performance materials, and a lot more expensive. I’m thoroughly impressed, especially with the fact that Shimano includes a cold-forged drive gear (usually cast zinc in reels within this price range), though according to spinning-reel guru Alan Hawk, it’s made more cheaply than the higher-end drive gears. To supplement my own expertise, I enlisted the help of veteran spinning-reel reviewer Alan Hawk and also consulted Salt Water Sportsman editor-at-large and NBC Sports television host George Poveromo on what would be the ideal spinning-rod-and-reel setup for a casual fisher. This construction, combined with little or no preventative sealing to keep saltwater and grit from entering the mechanical parts, means that most reels less than $50 just aren’t worth the money. Learn more. Available in a Z-55, Z-65, Z-80 … Another problem with the Ugly Stik GX2 is that the guides are not always perfectly placed. The GX2 is the latest update to a classic line of rods renowned for their versatility and durability for nearly four decades. The top of the spool has a multi-disc felt drag system, and it works in conjunction with the secondary drag system mounted under the spool. Again, think back to how smooth that drag was. Additionally, the more pieces that make up the guide, the more pieces with the potential to fall apart. Our picks are functional, long-lasting mainstays of the garden. n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)}; The reel's body, side-plate, and rotor are also aluminum (die-cast), and the spool has a knurled band on the arbor to prevent braid from slipping around it - a common problem on some reels. If you’re looking to spend $200 on a reel, the Spheros is it, with the Quantum Cabo PTSE (more on that model below) so close behind that I’d recommend trying both before making a decision based on your own personal preference. Finished in stunning silver and black cosmetics, the Okuma Azores is an intelligently designed, tough and rugged performer that you will be proud to own and use. You might be spending summer (mostly) in and around your home, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a drag. If you were to wear Kevlar gloves, you could squeeze the spool as hard as you possibly could, and although you may not stop your friend, you’d slow their pace considerably, and your hands would remain (mostly) unharmed. !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) I grew up working on charter boats in and around Long Island Sound, and reliable fishing gear has been paramount not only to my profession but also to my life. The Daiwa BG SW and medium or medium-heavy Ugly Stik GX2 combination is more versatile and durable than anything else in the same price range. The dual anti-reverse system featured in this reel means the catch will come with ease. If you’re more experienced and looking for a specific rod and reel, apart from the size of the fish you’re targeting, you’ll also have to take into account what kind of fishing you’ll be doing: Will you be casting artificial lures (objects designed to look like fish or other prey with a hook attached), or using bait (smaller fish, worms, or other natural prey, either alive or dead)? That means a semisealed drag—for keeping out water, dirt, and corrosive salt spray—as well as an all-metal body. Shop Okuma Fishing Azores Spinning Z-80S Spinning Reel Okuma Azores spinning reels are the result of a multi-year engineering review that achieves new levels of strength and stability. Overall, the Azores is a capable reel, but its larger size and slightly higher price mean that the BG SW is both more versatile and a better value for most people. (St. Croix offers a five-year warranty for its Triumph rod, which we tested as a possible upgrade pick.). We also tried the Penn Battalion and the Shimano Teramar SE, which are both great rods. Cheap, flimsy aluminum-oxide guides are the industry standard at this price, so it’s nice to see Shakespeare, the maker of the Ugly Stik, take durability seriously. But within the interior is where Azores gains massive separation from competitors. On the Z80 S in specific (the second-largest model) you get a line capacity of 300 yards of 65 pound braid. t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); Apart from higher-end models that cost four or five times the price, I’ve never seen this feature in a spinning rod. The full metal body, sideplate, and rotor are durable as well as the dual force drag system that can deliver up to 44 lbs of stopping power. Additionally, keeping your reel packed with grease will reduce corrosion and improve longevity. Toward the end of the season, a 400-pound bruiser burned up the clicker on the spool, which isn’t a huge deal but worth mentioning. In order to stop your friend, you’ll have to apply tension. After 30 hours researching and testing reel mowers, we think the Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is the best pick for manual lawncare. I fished with lures in rivers for trout and salmon, and I set 1- to 1½-pound live baits from my skiffs, catching ocean fish up to 20 pounds with each rod and reel. But we also spent some time looking into alternatives for people who have a better idea of what they specifically need. The major issues I immediately had with the Nasci were the slightly uneven line lay (line doesn’t seem to collect on the spool as neatly as on other reels) and the tiny crank handle, which is bolted on and cannot be changed. Like most fishers, I’m not able to carry, store, or afford a different rod and reel for every species of fish or method of fishing. On a fishing reel, the drag is a stack of circular washers that can be made of anything from felt to cork to carbon fiber to metal (in higher-end gear). If you do happen to be fishing big game, you’ll likely have to step up in price range, or find a good deal at a garage sale. The size and line rating depend on the species you’re targeting and the type of water you’re fishing (ultra-light, UL, for panfish and small trout; medium, M, for fish weighing 3 to 10 pounds; medium-heavy, MH, for fish in the 10- to 25-pound range; and heavy, H, beyond that). Most lure fishers will want a stiffer rod composed of graphite (or mostly graphite) so that they can “work” a jig or plug to imitate the movements of prey, while bait fishers might seek out a rod that’s a little looser or more sensitive, so as to detect the slightest strike. As a casting reel though, at only 700g and with a very ergonomic design, it felt extremely comfortable to … Think of it as the “automatic transmission” version of a fishing rod and reel. Check out some of the action, in this short video we filmed about reef fishing in the Gulf. The ball bearings in the BG SW, for one thing, are the very same Minebea bearings that are loaded into Shimano’s Stella SW series of reels, which typically run for $800 to $1,400. One of the most important features is durability. *At the time of publishing, the price was $40. 1 The Best Okuma Azores Reviews of 2020 – Top Rated & Reviewed; 2 Top Rated Okuma Azores Reviews to Buy Now; 3 Okuma Azores Reviews Reviews on Twitter. Compared with the similarly priced Ugly Stik models, the Shimano Saguaro is a stiffer graphite composite. Okuma Azores spinning reels, the Z-55S, Z-65S and Z-80S, are the results of a multi-year engineering review that achieves higher levels of strength and stability. Okuma Azores spinning reels are the result of a multi-year engineering review that achieves new levels of strength and stability. If you’re paying $13 to $35, you shouldn’t really expect much, but if you need to have a fishing rod and want to spend less than $20, the FXS will do the trick for smaller fish—just take it for what it’s worth and don’t expect it or its guides to last. John Bretza, Okuma’s director of product development, put it into perspective: “Even when we fish North Carolina bluefin [tuna] (which can weigh hundreds of pounds), we use 18 to 22 pounds of drag for the strike and, most of the time, as our full-drag setting as well. You start seeing these only on rods in the $150 range, as opposed to the $40 to $50 range, so they’re beyond the budget of most casual anglers. It features a primarily graphite shaft for stiffness, along with a soft, clear, and flexible fiberglass tip. The rest, including the grip material and the number of pieces the rod itself breaks down into, is up to you. If you are looking for a large saltwater spinning reel without breaking the bank then the Okuma Azores is a good choice. Compared with the original, it includes more graphite and less fiberglass, giving the rod more of a backbone for working lures and handling heavier fish, while still keeping the soft fiberglass tip that makes it sensitive enough for detecting subtler strikes and smaller catches. While that extra 35 percent of graphite sounds appealing on paper, it’s still too early to tell whether that might decrease the long-term durability. Azores begin with proven power features including die-cast aluminum body, side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gea... , MORE, Fishing, Reels At the end of the day, be sure to give everything a solid rinse with freshwater and loosen the drags (to relieve straining pressure), whether your rig costs $20 or $2,000. Once finished, loosen the drag; if you leave reel drags tight, they tend to get stuck that way and lose their precision. When you’re shopping for a reel, among the first things you need to consider is how much drag you’ll need to handle the type of fish you hope to catch. The drag is astonishingly strong, and despite a couple of years’ worth of heavy use around the world, it still shows no signs of degradation or snags in the hardware or the sealed drag mechanism. (Daiwa’s 1500–2500 models are ideal for small trout streams but can also handle light inshore fishing for spotted seatrout and flounder, while the larger 5000 and 8000 models will handle larger inshore species and perhaps even small tuna and dolphinfish.).
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