Okuma VS PFlueger ~ Showdown at Steelhead Ranch: the poll.

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by mr trout, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. mr trout

    mr trout Trevor Hutton

    I am just wondering how the masses would stack up the okuma sierra vs the Pflueger Medalist for a cheap-o 8wt reel? I have used the OKumas a good bit on trout rods. I was just reading about the other new steelheader here and it got me thinking. So as an informal poll, should I get the Okuma Sierra 8/9 or the Meadalist 1595 (the rim control one)? Thoughts?:thumb:
  2. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    I've used a Medalist (1495 I think) for a few years on both steelhead and salmon. It's the chums that have deffinently given it's greatest challenges. And maybe a king thrown in there too. I love it. Really sturdy built and get's the job done with ease. Also holds a good amount of line/backing. Drag is pretty smooth too.
  3. Flyn'dutchman

    Flyn'dutchman Member

    For an 8wt go with the 1595 1/2. More room for backing. Bomb proof reels. Can't beat the price for the reels or for the spools. If you don't like the reel foot there are some custom ones available as well as custom drag washers. Will have to admit that I traded up to a Cimarron 4 though. I'm using a 1598 on my spey rod.
  4. pigburner

    pigburner Active Member

    I have used the Okuma Sierra 5wt on small steelhead/small water on the east side here, and have been very happy with it. You might also consider the Okuma Airframe. It is a large arbor, graphite reel you can get on-line for the low $30's. I bought one for my 8-wt (instead of a spare spool for another reel) and took it to Alaska this fall, where it had no problem at all with steelhead size bows (up to 27") in the big water of the Naknek. Smoother drag than some more expensive reels I have, and cheaper than a spare spool. Being graphite, it is a bit bulky, and the reel foot is thicker than metal, so it may have trouble fitting certain reel seats. Can't say how well it does after 30 or 40 steelhead (I wish I could), but I think it is excellent performance for the price.
  5. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    Pfluger Medalist until the new junk topples.
  6. WaFlyCaster

    WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

    i own...the okuma sierra 7/8 weight reel...and have a 7/8 weight rod..fish 7wt line... this okuma reel for its money has performed great.... This year alone ive hoooked and landed a 30lb king several smaller kings, like 25 frisky coho out in the ocean up to 15 lbs.. huge coho in the rivers... lots of pinks... and a couple of the largest chums ive ever caught.. (close to 25 lbs... ) and lots more of the smaller variety... and a steelhead ...now what im trying to say is that ive been taken into my backing alot... and this reel has performed as well as any reel ive used... the drag system for a 30 dollar reel cant be beat.(even by some more expensive reels)... i had this one chum litterally ripped like 50 yards of line out on me in like 3 seconds.....and this reel never failed me... in my opinion you cant go wrong for 30 bucks with an okuma sierra reel. wow i sound like a salesmen
  7. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    Okuma Integrity :thumb:

    The only reel I own, as I've mentioned before, in 5/6wt, 7/8wt, and 9/10wt sizes. Use the 7/8 the most, but love 'em all.

    I have never tried the Okuma Air Frame, which is the same as the Integrity only all graphite, instead of aluminum, but has the same drag system.

  8. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Never fished an Okuma but the old medalists are incrediblely durable. Have a 1495 that I bought in 1957. After 4 decades of hard use (my go to reel for every thing from trout to chinook) I semi-retired it. Though I did pulled it out last summer and caught a number of salt water coho on it and it never missed a beat - does "growl' some as a fish takes line but still operates smoothly.

    Used the medalist extensively in both fresh and salt with very little maintenance other than a good washing after the salt without problems. Without a doubt the best value of all the fishing gear I have acquired over the years.

    Tight lines
  9. AFJBugger

    AFJBugger New Member

    I have Okuma and Medalist reels, both are great. The price is right on both reels, I must admit I am not the most discerning customer. When it comes down to it I prefer the Medalist for Steelhead and a Okuma in different weights for the salt. Medalist feels a bit more tough than the Okuma in the 7/8 range. I also learned (as so many did) on a Pflueger Medalist so I may be biased, but that is just my lame brain opinion.

    Tight lines,
  10. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

    All I use are US made traditional Pflueger Medalists with the adjustable drags. I sold off all my "quality" reels (Lamson, Ross, Hardy, Orvis) years ago in favor of the near indestructible Pfluegers. I own lots of them. In fact since I sold my 8wts, I have two excellent 1495 1/2s and one 1496 1/2 (custom reel seat on this one). You can have them for $26 each and I'll pay shipping.

  11. mr trout

    mr trout Trevor Hutton

    sweet randy - I'll PM you in a day or so for your opinions, ,but I am leaning towards the rim control model.... I'm on the road in like 10 minutes...
  12. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    I like the Medalist. Rim control for salmon\steelhead. I really don't like graphite reels. Just a preference thing, i'm sure they work just fine. They just seem to plastic like for me.
  13. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

    I never have thought much about rim control. I had it on 4 of my old quality reels and never used it. I just set the drag for the kind of fish and tippet I'm using and then forget about it. I add or take away tension by changing the angle on my rod. If you look in any old book on flyfishing from salt to streams, you always see traditional Pfluegers without rim control and they did fine then and I do fine now. My fishing buddy, Dave(a lurker here), also uses the old style Pflueger Medalists for all his fishing and we catch everything from dinks to lunkers with no problems. Pfluegers and Maxima mono: don't leave home without them.

  14. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    Sure, you can do just fine without R\C. It's just another preference thing. You do have be careful to not get your knuckles busted when reaching up to apply a little more pressure..... On all my reels, I set the drag pretty light. Just enough that I don't get line overrun when I give it a good tug. Rod angle is used mostly after that, but if I want to try to stop a charging fish from hitting a fact chute below me or a log jam - palming can come in handly.
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    I've got Okuma Sierras (5/6, 7/8, and 8/9) and a Medalist 1594. Both work fine for me.

    Echoing Chad's last post, I like to set my drag similarly, and then add pressure (palm) to the rim if I need to stop a fish from going into a log jam, pilings, or chute. I caught my first couple of river-caught Chums (berzerk chromers) and Cohos on my Medalist, and I had to palm the rim every time to keep 'em out of the snags. Worked great.
    I've got the newer, made in China one, and I don't think the finish is as durable as the older American-made Medalists. Otherwise it seems fine.

    As far as Okuma Sierra, the drag will slip at first after you dunk the reel and get it wet, but it will dry off after a smoking run by a fish, so if it is wet and slipping, don't adjust it tighter in the middle of a fight...just palm the rim until it dries off and starts working again.

  16. Monk

    Monk Redneck

    Medalist bro. I melted my okuma 6 wt. reel on a summer run... and I mean melted. I have a medalist that has been fished at least 100 times a year for 20 years in my posession. I use it on my nyphing rod and haven't even thought about "upgrading"
  17. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Your not old enough to have fished with it for 20 years. :p :p :p

  18. Monk

    Monk Redneck

    It was my old bosses reel. I got it after me first year in AK. :p I started fishing that long ago anyways. I just couldn't throw an 8wt. sink-tip just then. ;)
  19. I have owned three U.S. made Pfleugers (1492, 1495, and 1495 1/2) for close to 35 years, during which time they've flawlessly handled thousands of fish, including salmon and steelhead (on the two larger models, of course). A couple of years ago, on a whim, I bought a 7/8 Okuma Infinity which locked up on its third chum. Okuma was good about repairing it, but I've never quite trusted the reel since then. I do own a couple of the smaller Okuma Sierras (4/5 wt and 5/6 wt) and consider them to be elegantly simple, attractive, and, apparently, quite well made. They are an excellent value for the money. Time will tell whether they can hold up as well as the Pfluegers.

    Oh, one last thought. I very much like the stainless steel line guide on the Pfleugers. I believe it helps lines last longer. You don't find this feature much on the more modern reels.
  20. It was an Okuma Integrity that locked up on me, not Infinity. I must have had cars or something on my subconscious. Sorry.