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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking at reels. My Pfleuger medalist is functional for learning to cast but I'm getting an itch to maybe try catching some shad or maybe even a striper. There just isn't room on my pfleuger for any backing at all. (I think I may have 20 yards of backing on the reel.) I'm also thinking about trying some other lines. :D (I'm pretty sure that a Rio midspey for instance isn't going to fit on that reel.) I'm looking to fit 6/7 size lines. (To match a TFO 6 wt rod.)

I've been considering an Okuma reel. I know that I really should get a Tioga, but I've spent way more on tackle than I should have. You can get two Okumas for what a Tioga costs and about 5 or in some cases 10 Okumas for what some of the big name reels cost.

Some people seem to like the Okumas and other say they are horrible. I'm looking for some good objective information. It sucks! or It's awesome! isn't enough.

Should I get a Okuma 8/9, (or a 10/11 so I can try some bigger rods?) Or should I get Tioga #10?

Thanks,
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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457 Posts
Howdy Baldmountain, there is nothing wrong Okuma reels. I had four of them for stripers when I lived out your way. Two Sierra 8/9's and 2 Sierra 10/11. The 8/9 is a smaller reel but a wider arbor and holds an incredible amount of backing for the size it is and the 10/11 is crazy large too! I used the 10/11 on a 9 weight spey outfit and it held plenty of backing and a RIO midspey. The other good thing about Okuma reels is that they are quite durable. The finish leaves a lot to be desired, however, if function and price is what you are looking for, then the Okuma will be a good bet.

I also tried one of their newer large arbors and found them to be a well made reel with a better less chippy finish.

I bought a good portion of my gear at the Kittery Trading Post. They do have some really good deals when you can come across them.

I have not tried any of the Tioga products so I can not say anything about them.

Vinnie
 

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I have fished a friends Okuma occasionaly and have been on the water with him while he has fished it many times.

In cold weather (below freezing) the performance is sub-par in my opinion. I also found a little more inertia on the start up than I like. For the money probably not a bad reel overall but if you can spend a little more noe it will save you from replacing the reel in 2-3 years.

Of the two I would go Tioga before Okuma.

Gillie
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Considering the price the Okuma Integrity 10/11 is a great spey reel. The 10/11 Okuma's main draw back is line capacity. They are fine for all the Delta/WC length lines and as Vinnie says they will work for some of the mid length lines. The 10/11 is to BIG for the TFO 12'6"-6wt. There is no 9/10 size and the 8/9 is way to small for even a 6/7 Delta with much backing.
I know a guy that fishes the Columbia tribs for steelhead 2 or 3 times a week in season and has been to Alaska several times. He uses an Integrity 10/11. The finish is mostly gone but that reel is smooth and just seems to keep on ticking.

While costing twice as much a perfect match for those TFO 12'6" rods is a Tioga 10 standard arbor. It will balance 12' to 13' rods rods nicely and has enough capacity for a usable amount of backing.

Depending on the line being used an Echo 69 composite reel will work on the 12'6" TFO. I got a 9/10 Hardy Mach 1 line and 100yds of 20# backing on one. They are a tuff reel with a great drag that has been tested in Mexico, Alaska, and on bonefish. At $69.95 they are a good deal.
 

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High on the Sierra

My experience is with the Sierra line of aluminum, small-arbor reels. I don't think they're badly finished for their price range. More importantly, they have one of the strongest drag systems I've encountered, in terms of maximum resistance at the upper settings. This drag is absurd on the smaller trout size Sierras, but comes into its own on the larger ones. I've used the S8/9 extensively for chum salmon on a single-hand 8-weight rod; it stays in the fight relentlessly. The S10/11 is an excellent size for medium/large spey lines. Mine holds an XLT 8/9 with ample room for backing. I've heard that their drag will temporarily lose much of its power when wet. I wouldn't know, because I try to keep my tackle above the waterline.
 
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