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New Rod and Reel

2187 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Scott Behn
I am planning on purchasing a new 5 wt fly rod and reel. Ive already found a rod id like. It is a WW Griggs 9 ft 5wt with an IM6 graphite blank. The reel im looking at is an Okuma 5/6 wt. This is my first venture into buying a rod and reel as i am still using my grandfathers hand me down flyrod. What kind of experience have you guys had with okumas??? Any other suggestions for a reasonably priced reel??? Thanks for the help.


Fish On!!!:thumb
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For the money go with an Orvis reel!

The RM Large Arbor is the best thing going! Spare spools are only $15 and you can't beat the guarantee. You get the same disc drag as the Battenkill for 1/2 the price. I like the GL3 5 wt rod by G Loomis. Its versatile enough for everything from bluegill to steelhead. Orvis Rocky Mountain reels are the best for the money, check them out before you pay for anything made in a communist country. Not that countries who persecute Christians, torture people, and suppress freedom don't make GREAT reels. Go Walmart and fly fishing contests!:thumb
I've got a couple of the Okuma Sierra's and I really like them. There's been a lot of debate recently on good low priced reels, you might want to try a search through the archives for some additional suggestions. I feel like the Okuma has a good drag, it's a bit heavy, but so is the WW Griggs rod, so it probably balances out nicely. Spools are cheap, so if you're looking for versatility, I think they're hard to beat. Other will have different opinions.

Tyler. Good reel those Okuma's. I have their 7/8 weight for saltwater and it's fine, good price too!

I recently dumped my Ross Cimarron on my 5wt for a Teton Tioga. I am trying to get rid of the reel on my 3 wt so I can get another Tioga for that. I am sold on those reels....absolutely flawless for me soo far. I love them and quite frankly wont own anything else from this point forward. Also, I didnt think my Cimarron would hold up on summer steelhead either which I will be chasing with my 5 wt. Price is not bad and they are great reels as well.
The BEST reel under 100.00 new or used! The Teton Tioga in standard or LA size. I got my wifes Tioga LA #8 Reel for 100.00 New...
Check it out!


Peter ><>

PS, the Okumas are the Best though under 50.00.

"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
Matthew 4:19
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You might want to go Washington Lakes .com (link from this site). There is a good article by the Frugal Flyfisher comparing reels in this price range. I believe your rod is mentioned in the article on fly rods.
I have a couple of the Sierra reels, so far no problems (2 seasons on them). Check the price at Sportco in Fife, cheapest that I have seen on those.
while talking about okumas, I have one and was wondering if anybody else noticed this... does it sometimes seem like the drag knob is really picky, like either on or off (not quite but it seems like it.) i wish they had a bit more knob turn to drag setting ratio. has anybody else noticed this? maybe im just a freak.... - Trevor

Money can't buy a perfect presentation
The price on the Okumas is great and Sportco sells alot of them. I fished with someone recently that took his Okuma out for the first time and had a problem repeatedly with the drag not catching. The reel would freespool several feet of line before it caught hold. If you get one you might give it a good backyard tryout before you head to the water. By the responses to your question, it looks like there are several satisfied Okuma users. You might also check E Bay as there are always alot of reels for sale, many are new with warranties.
I went through 3 Okumas and the drags were "Inconsistant" on all three of them; kept on moving out of its set position,etc. Great reel though under 50.00.
SA makes a better reel for around 65.00 at Sportco; has a "disc drag" rather than a "caliper type" drag. Having a "Disc Drag" as opposed to a "Caliper type" drag, could make all the difference in the world.

Peter ><>

"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
Matthew 4:19
Thanks for all the input guys. I have looked on ebay a little bit, but i will definitely do some more research. Thanks for the help, and tight lines to all!


Fish On!!!:thumb
I own a Okuma 8/9, I do notice the drag not always being as smooth as it sould. Your right its either on or off. Good to know its not just mine. I guess it all comes down to you get what you pay for. Hen:smokin
You aren't going to go wrong with that setup. I bought the similar set up 3 years ago, and I still like to fish it. WWGrigg rods are for the money exceptionally well made rods. Buying them at the Outdoor Emporium can even make the purchase better, as they are discounted pretty heavily there.

Money is saved on them by lacquering the wrappings instead of epoxying, and by using lower quality cork and reel seat.I also counted the guides on my 7wt, and found only 8 guides with one stripping guide. On 9' rods, 10 guides is standard, and on a 7wt it is pretty common to have 2 strippers.

If you have a buddy that can epoxy the guides for you, you can save on the hassle of doing it in a year or two. Even though I have rebuilt the rod now, I have left it with its 8 guides, as it casts quite well without the extra guides.

Okuma reels are this strangely controversial thing. Unless you start to fish with very light tippets, and I fish 6x without problems, you may not need another reel. Sure, it pays to grease the spindle and roller bearings so they don't rust, and the reel spools are a little smaller in capacity than I like, but they are great reels. This assumes that you can live with a scuffed up paint job. The reels are painted, and the paint will wear off in some areas. It doesn't bother me at all.

As to the drag settings, I have caught steelies on a reel that only had a click-pawl drag, and I really doubt the great need for a "flawless" drag except with very big powerful fish, and no steelhead or salmon meets my defination of powerful. This is not to diss steelies, but I am refering to tuna, jacks, roosterfish and the like in saltwater, which are a whole different breed. The drag system on Okuma reels is plenty good unless you are chasing these fish.

Why pay more?
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I thought I would add my .02 worth to the reel issue. I recently bought a new Okuma Magnitude Large Arbor for $59.95 at Sportsmans Warehouse, extra spool was $29.95. Contrary to the drag issues on the Sierra models, this magnesium reel has a huge drag adjusting wheel that has very tight and positive movement to it-set it and forget it. I also have the Orvis Rocky Mountain in a 5-6 and although the drag is good, the slightest bump against the adjuster seems to return the drag to it's lowest setting. I spoke to the dealer about this earlier this week and he admitted that some of those reels have had ineffective drag issues but said to bring it in and they would either rebuild the drag or give me a brand new reel. Now that Rocky Mountain has a large arbor reel at only $79 I would definately look into that as well. Big arbors treat your flyline a little better and are a real advantage when you have a lot of fish on the spool during the day-not quite so much high sped cranking required to keep up. Ive
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This topic has been interesting to me because as a novice, I am learning about all the different brands.

My first rod and reel was purchased through Costco online. I made this purchase because it seemed like a great deal that a seasoned fly fisherman mentioned I should look into. This person had the rod and reel combo and I used it on my first day out fly fishing. It worked well for me, casting was easy and the rod felt great.

Of course, being new, I don't know much about the idiosyncrasies of rods/reels. I do know the basics. What I have is a Marado 4 piece 9' 6 weight. It has been good to me considering that I am learning.

Are any of you familiar with this combo? What are your opinions on them if you are? Go ahead, be honest, I don't mind. This was just may starter rod and reel.

I have thought about getting an 8 weight in the near future because I'd like to get into the bigger fish but for now I just don't know enough to make a sound decision.

I always enjoy reading everyone's post. This site has been very informative and I look forward to any of your help.

If only I knew what I am doing....
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Heh there,
I don't know too much about the okumas, but for the same price at 56.00 I bought one of those RS2s. I LOVE IT. I especially like the sealed bearings and disc drag. Granted I have heard that these are discontinued now that Reddington is now it's own company again, but I don't know.
But for 56.00 including the shipping I figure it's a great deal. The fellow I bought this one from has more of them on ebay. So check him out. He has great customer service.
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