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). Additionally, keeping your reel packed with grease will reduce corrosion and improve longevity. 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. 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. Since 1968, West Marine has grown to over 250 local stores, with knowledgeable Associates happy to assist. I will suggest that, if you can accommodate it, a one-piece rod will almost always outperform a two- or three-piece rod. The Azores is equipped with Okuma’s Dual-Force Drag System, which has one set of washers in the top of the spool and another larger, single washer at the bottom. Those are our overall picks for people who aren’t totally sure what kind of fishing they want to focus on. What makes the Ugly Stik GX2 so much more durable and versatile than other rods is that it uses both graphite and fiberglass to provide sensitivity and strength without sacrificing too much of either. I tested all of the rods and reels from beaches, rocks, boats, and riverbanks. 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. 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. It’s strong enough to handle salmon and other saltwater fish, but sensitive enough for trout. Shop with confidence - get free shipping to home or stores + price match guarantee! In the Daiwa, you get a reel with build quality and durability comparable to those of models costing $200 or more. 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. It's compact enough to handle small fish gracefully, but it has enough drag to land saltwater fish, as well. 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. 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. Okuma AZORES Blue Saltwater Spinning Reels CHOOSE YOUR MODEL,Z-4000H-Blue,Z-6000H-Blue,Z-8000H-Blue,Azores Blue 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 utilizes a traditional top drag stack in concert with an oversized Carbonite drag washer beneath the spool to … 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. 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. 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. The all-new Okuma Azores is a specialist heavy duty spinning reel that advances the saltwater spinning reel category to new levels of strength and stability. The GX2 is the latest update to a classic line of rods renowned for their versatility and durability for nearly four decades. The one that impressed us the most? Shimano introduced another $100-range line of spinning reels, called the Nasci. In order to stop your friend, you’ll have to apply tension. Again, think back to how smooth that drag was. 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. Okuma Azores Z80 S Fishing Reel Review While on a recent trip to Crystal River, Florida we had the chance to extensively test an Okuma Azores Z80 S fishing reel, at the same time as we tested lures like the Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Pencil. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. And now, for the question everyone's been waiting for: just how much does one of these reels cost? This design also represents an upgrade from the old Ugly Stik, which had two-piece pop-out guides that were the only weak spot in an otherwise bulletproof rod. Cheaper reels come with cheaper drag systems made of felt or lower-quality carbon fiber, which disintegrates quickly. Learn more. This rod is known for its strength, durability, and versatility. The Azores’s drag is wonderfully smooth, but definitely not soft! 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. You could easily spend thousands on a fishing rod and reel, but most casual fishers (and even some experts) would be happier with something more versatile and less expensive. Shop, read reviews, or ask questions about Okuma Spinning Reels at the official West Marine online store. Since fishing rods are often exposed to sun, salt, sand, dirt, fish parts, and general wear and tear, glue is simply less than ideal (as is plastic); a single piece of relatively rustproof metal is incomparably sturdier. Our picks are functional, long-lasting mainstays of the garden. (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.). Compared with a baitcasting or fly-fishing setup, a spinning setup is more comfortable to use and is usually easier to repair; it also requires less finesse to cast. fbq('init', '2045670448804120'); 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. If your friend weighs, say, 150 pounds and continues to run, applying that pressure will put a great deal of strain on your hands—if you try to bring your friend to a stop with your bare hands, the spool will tear your fingers to shreds. n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; 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. 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. The line lay is impeccably even, and despite being largely plastic, the Spheros is sturdy where it counts. The added stiffness makes the Elite ideal for manipulating lures and giving them “action” (a fishing term for making lures dance or hobble like wounded prey). A design with more pieces means more jointing and fastening, which usually requires glue. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. In fact, if it costs less than $100 and it’s not an Ugly Stik, I’d just as soon use a hand line. Azores Blue 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 utilizes a traditional top drag stack in concert with an oversized Carbonite drag washer beneath the spool to increase high-end drag output as well as spool stability under load. 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. The Elite is usually only about $10 more than the GX2 at any given length, which isn’t a lot of money, so you might be wondering why it isn’t our top pick. It offers a choice of five trim levels: the Z-40S, the Z-55S, the Z-65S, the Z80S, and the Z-90S. An Okuma Azores reel is specially designed for saltwater fishing and they have special features including a sleek die-cast aluminum body which prevents corrosion and stops the flow of electrolysis. But the GX2 is more versatile and cheaper. Compared with our previous pick, the Penn Battle II—not to mention many higher-end Penn and Shimano reels—the BG SW is equipped with a more durable rotor, as well as stronger, individual springs for the anti-reverse clutch (which keeps the reel from spinning backward), and most notably, the very same ball bearings included in Daiwa’s and Shimano’s most expensive models. if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0'; Wirecutter is reader-supported. 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. Regardless of what rod or reel you get, salt is the enemy—even with gear specifically designed for use in the ocean. I beat up these rods and reels, from the mouth of the Hudson River in New York to the Cook Strait of New Zealand. 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. I spent several days fishing freshwater rivers for trout and smaller salmon, and a couple of days fishing private ponds and lakes for largemouth bass. 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. That said, if you plan to do a lot of bait fishing from boats, buy a conventional open-faced reel with a more dependable dual drag system. After putting sand and salt through the reel and taking it apart, I was surprised to find that the spool was just as clean inside as the Penn Battle II, the Daiwa BG SW, and the Shimano Spheros SW. That bodes well for the long-term durability of the Azores, despite the relative lack of internal grease compared with the Penn. OKuma Azores spinning reels are the result of a multi-year engineering review that achieves new levels of strength and stability. So I picked an affordable, high-quality spinning-rod-and-reel combo that can work in as many fishing conditions and settings as possible—including saltwater and freshwater. Once finished, loosen the drag; if you leave reel drags tight, they tend to get stuck that way and lose their precision. *At the time of publishing, the price was $116. 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