Okuma Spinning Reel Reviews – 2019 Updated Upgrades

If you’re in the market for a new spinning reel, there are endless angling brands to pick and choose from, but some stand out among the rest.

Okuma is a company well-known for effective reels.

In this article, we’ll walk through some of our favorite reel options among their wide range of products. 

Who is Okuma?  

Okuma is a Taiwan-based company created in 1986 by anglers who desired change and innovation in out-dated fishing gear. They now have retailers all over the world, providing anglers with affordable, effective products that make the fishing process easier. 

One of the pillars the Okuma brand was built on was maintaining affordability. The company prides itself on being accessible to all anglers, no matter their financial situation. They offer a wide variety of rods and reels, ranging from tough baitcasters to super sensitive spinning combos. All of their products are created with high-quality materials and designs geared toward easy operation. 

Okuma creates angling gear that can be used in both salt and fresh water; some of their most popular products are their saltwater spinning reels, which anglers praise for their strength and sensitivity. According to Okuma, their brand logo-- a bear paw breaking the surface of the water— symbolizes the power balance in the fight of man and the ocean. 

How Does Okuma Compare to the Competition? 

Although Okuma may not have the name-recognition of angling brands like Penn, Shimano, or UglyStik, they create high-quality products of the same caliber. Most avid fishers are particularly impressed with the lightweight and compact designs of the reels, which are low-profile and low price. 

Okuma definitely wins major points for the value of their products. The company doesn’t skimp on quality construction or material, despite the affordable price of each piece of gear. This is a great brand to turn to for budget reels and rods; many anglers may be surprised by the sheer amount of options in the mid to low-level price range. 

We’re also pretty impressed with the quality of each product. They utilize materials like high-quality carbon fiber, graphite, and aluminum, each of which are used to incorporate strength and durability, which will make the gear withstand the test of time. 

How to Choose an Okuma Spinning Reel

When browsing for your new Okuma reel, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Like any great spinning reel, these pieces of gear should have several qualities in common that make them set up for success on the water. Keep your eyes peeled for the following:

Powerful Drag 

One major calling card of a great reel is an exceptional drag system. No matter which reel you choose, it’s vital to ensure your potential pick has a drag system that provides not only pressure power, but also smooth control. Depending on the style of fishing you’ll be practicing and the fish you’ll target, you want a system that can provide upwards of 10 pounds of stopping power. 

Lightweight Frame 

When it comes to reels, almost always, the lighter, the better. A bulky, heavy reel can put a great deal of unnecessary pressure on hands and wrists throughout the day, resulting in fatigue and damage over time. Go for something that is lightweight to prevent pain. 

Easy to Use 

A thoughtful design results in an easier-to-use reel. Try your best to seek out an Okuma model that has conveniently placed adjustment levers, an ergonomic design, or other features that make the fishing process easier. 

Quick Take | Best Okuma Spinning Reels

Just looking for the top three best Okuma spinning reels? Here they are:

  1. Okuma Inspira
  2. Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Reel
  3. Okuma Ceymar

Review of the Best Okuma Spinning Reels

There are tons of Okuma spinning reels to choose from; here are some of our top picks! 

Best Overall:
Okuma Inspira

Okuma Inspira Carbon Frame Lightweight Spinning Reel, Blue- ISX-30B

PROS

  • Great Value
  • Cyclonic Flow Rotor
  • Smooth Operating Drag System
  • Powerful Enough To Hunt Big Fish
  • Lightweight and Comfortable To Use All Day

CONS

  • A Little Noisy
  • Not Braided-Line Ready
  • Not Fully Sealed For Use in Saltwater

What Recent Buyers Report

There are countless rave reviews for the Okuma Inspira spinning reel. Those who purchased were very impressed with several aspects of the reel, the main draw being the exceptional overall value at its reasonable price point. Among other things, buyers complimented the smooth and steady drag system and powerful performance.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were very impressed with the Inspira reel, which is why it makes the top spot on our Okuma list. Some of our favorite aspects of this spinning rig include it’s smooth-as-butter operation when it comes to casting and retrieval, which is thanks in part to a high ball bearing count. 

Who Will Use This Most

Like most Okuma reels, the Inspira comes at a super accessible price point for all anglers. Thanks to its powerful design, it’s suitable for pulling in mid to large-size fish, which can be done with ease. One buyer commented that it was a great option for throwing Senko and red rigs. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

Like any piece of angling gear, the Inspira isn’t perfect. One complaint that comes up with this particular model is the lack of sealed components. This can cause some issues in saltwater as bits of sand and salt can get trapped in the inner workings because of the open design. 

Bottom Line

All in all, the Okuma Inspira is an exceptional spinning reel at a great price and we’d be happy to recommend it to any angler looking to step up their fishing game. Although it could benefit from more sealed parts, as long as you’re careful, this reel can last season after season. 

Okuma ABF-30 Avenger Baitfeeder Spinning Reel (10lb/180yd)

PROS

  • Strong and Sturdy
  • Beautiful, Sleek Design
  • Smooth Casting Abilities
  • Lightweight Graphite Body
  • Convenient Bait Feeding System

CONS

  • Line Distribution is Slightly Uneven
  • The Reel Foot is Smaller Than Average
  • The Handle is Uncomfortable and Awkward

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased the Avenger reel from Okuma loved the special features included in the setup. Buyers raved about the bait feeding system, which allows the user to freely unspool line without opening the bail. Some were not so impressed with parts of the design, including the reel foot and handle.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

We’re huge fans of this baitcasting reel from Okuma for several reasons, mostly because of the awesome special features. The bait feeding system is a major draw for this model, as it adds extra convenience to spoil the user. We also love the sturdiness and strength it provides. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Avenger reel would be a great pick for beginners who are new to the field of baitcasting, as it isn’t super hard to figure out and it comes at a price that won’t break the bank if you’re just trying it out. But obviously, this is an awesome pick for the more experienced as well.

What Could Be Improved and Why

There are a couple of design flaws that could use improvements on the Avenger reel. First, there are many complaints about the handle design, which anglers say is uncomfortable and awkward. Buyers also wished the reel foot was larger so it could accommodate a wider range of rod sizes.

Bottom Line

In the end, the Inspira reel from Okuma is an awesome product that comes with some exceptional special features guaranteed to make your fishing experience easier than ever. Despite some design issues, this is still an easy recommendation from us. 

Best for the Money:
Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30

PROS

  • Quick Retrieval
  • Light But Durable
  • Large Line Capacity
  • Versatile Design and Function
  • Exceptional Value For the Price

CONS

  • Noisy
  • Drag is a Bit Stiff
  • Reel Foot Could Be Sturdier

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased the Ceymar from Okuma were, for the most part, excited by its performance and value. Buyers were pleased with the overall quality of the reel, which shined through in the thoughtful design, versatility, and sizable line capacity. Some said the drag system could be improved. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Ceymar makes an appearance on our list because of its excellent value. This reel is offered at a crazy-low price in comparison to the majority of reels on the market, and Okuma makes sure not to compromise the quality of materials and construction. This is reflected in the reel’s usability and performance. 

Who Will Use This Most

We’d recommend this reel to anglers looking for versatility in their angling gear. The Ceymar is corrosion-resistant, meaning it can be used in saltwater if you prefer, but it is also a great size and weight to handle a large range of fish. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

One complaint that came up more than once among users concerned the smoothness of the drag. Some buyers complained that it was stiff, while others wished there was more pressure power available. The Ceymar could definitely use a drag upgrade. 

Bottom Line

Aside from issues with the drag system, the Okuma Ceymar is an awesome option for those anglers who may need a reel that can provide a little more bang to their buck. Not only is it high-performing and versatile, but it is a great overall value, too. 

Crowd Favorite:
Okuma Helios

Okuma Helios SX HSX-40 Lightweight Spinning Reel

PROS

  • Fairly Powerful
  • Great Drag System
  • Durable Construction
  • Provides Smooth, Long Casts
  • Lightweight Carbon Fiber Frame

CONS

  • The Bail Wire Can Stick
  • The Finish Can Scratch Up Easily
  • Line May Fly Off Quicker Than Expected When Fully Spooled

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the feedback for the Okuma Helios ultralight reel is overwhelmingly positive. Buyers were, for the most part, very pleased with their purchase and had nice things to say about its super smooth operation and quality-made drag system. Some users wished the outer finish was more scratch-resistant. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Okuma Helios earns the top spot on our list for several different reasons, but mainly its overall solid performance as an ultralight reel. We were impressed with its excellent drag system and smooth-as-silk operation when it comes to casting and retrieval. It also comes at a fairly reasonable price, which we appreciate. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a versatile choice that can be used in a variety of fishing settings, targeting a wide range of fish. We’d recommend this particular reel to anglers who are seeking something lightweight but powerful enough to pull all kinds of fish. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

While this reel doesn’t have any major flaws to correct, every product could use some improvement one way or another. One complaint that came up with this Okuma reel was the durability of the outer finish, which some reviewers said was scratch-prone. Adding a protective sealant coating to the outside could improve this issue. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this is an easy recommendation from us. We’re huge fans of the performance that the Helios reel can provide, especially when it comes to control and casting. This reel is a great pick for any angler looking for a versatile ultralight reel.

Editor’s Pick:
Okuma Cedros

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

PROS

  • Super Quick
  • Easy On the Wrists
  • Large Line Capacity
  • Very Visually Pleasing
  • Elliptical Oscillation System

CONS

  • A Little Heavy
  • Could Be Better Balanced
  • Handle Style Isn’t For Everyone

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers of the Cedros reel from Okuma loved the beautiful, visually pleasing design, among several other aspects. Compliments were given to many parts of the reel including the large line capacity, special features, and quick retrieval. Some users wished the overall design was more well-balanced.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While we love how gorgeous the outside of the Cedros reel is, it’s what is on the inside that counts. Buyers can rest easy knowing this reel has exceptional construction and super thoughtful design that makes it easy to use and effective for pulling in fish of all shapes and sizes. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is primarily a saltwater reel, so we’d recommend this rig to anglers hoping to step up their offshore fishing game. It’s corrosion-resistant and has some sealed components that prevent grit and grime from making its way to the inner workings and gears. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

Admittedly, this reel is a little awkward for some rods. It’s on the heavier side, which is good for power, but not so good for balance. The handle design is also something that has divided reviewers— some love it, some hate it— it’s totally up to your personal preferences. 

Bottom Line

The Cedros reel from Okuma is powerful, easy to use, and pretty good-looking, too. While it could be more well-balanced, it shouldn't be overlooked as a great potential pick for your next spinning reel. 

Conclusion  

When it comes to Okuma reels, it is kind of hard to go wrong. Now that you know some tips and tricks when it comes to picking your next reel and some great general options to choose from, hopefully, you’re one step closer to your next angling excursion. Happy fishing!