Crispy Critter!Crispy Critter! Okuma TCS-C-661M+ Scott Martin Signature TCS Casting Rod Review
By Kent Smith
I had the opportunity to fish my latest Okuma rod and reel acquisition yesterday, and again this morning. I'm ready to share my thoughts after using this set up on four trips to the water. The rig I chose is a very affordable package for specific applications. The blank is designated for jerkbaits and crankbaits. It is Medium Power/Moderate Action - soft but not wimpy. The construction gives it enough backbone for a crisp response when working a jerkbait and forgiving flex when fighting a fish. I am especially fond of this length for this technique.
The Okuma Scott Martin Signature Tournament Concept Casting rods are designed by Scott Martin for specific applications. I was able to cast a variety of weights with accuracy and good distance. The rod loads well and recovers nicely.
- 40-ton carbon, ultra sensitive blank construction
- EVA split grip and EVA foregrip for reduced weight and feel
- Foregrip designed so reel seat threads aren't exposed
- Customized C-40X carbon reel seats
- Hard aluminum oxide guide inserts for use with braided line
- ALPS stainless steel guide frames
- Intermediate guide sizing on casting rods for improved knot clearance
- Scott Martin specialty flipping guide on Mat Daddy and Flipping/Jig rod
- Hook keeper replacement in split grip area
- Limited lifetime warranty
The TCS-C-661M+ is a great value at a MSRP of just $139.99. The design contrasts a black base with blue and silver accents. This gives it a sleek, professional look. The rod matches perfectly with the new Okuma Cerros.
Cerros Lowprofile reel
This is a compact reel that palms beautifully. The aluminum frame serves as a powerful foundation. Nine bearings plus Quick-Set anti-reverse bearing enhance casting distance. My reel has a gear ratio of 6.6:1, but 7.3:1 is another option. The Cerros features magnetic brakes and a full 24-point magnetic cast control. I found dialing the reel in to be quick and easy.
The reel matches the aesthetic beauty of the rod and makes this quite a handsome outfit. I spooled mine with clear (white) Sunline Super Natural which makes the entire combination pop! At an MSRP of $99.99 this is an impressive reel.
Beyond the striking appearance, the TCS-C-661M+ saddled with the Cerros balance perfectly and project the illusion of being weightless. In hand the rod is slightly tip-up without a lure, a feature I find particularly attractive. I look forward to putting the reel to the test this spring and summer.
• ALC: Rigid diecast aluminum frame
• A6061-T6 machined aluminum, anodized V-shaped spool
• Multi-disc composite drag system
• 9BB + 1RB bearing drive system
• Micro-click drag star for precise drag settings
• External adjustable magnetic cast control system
• 24-point adjustment on cast control for precise settings
• Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
• Corrosion resistant graphite side plates
• Side plate access port for quick spool changes
• Light weight and comfortable EVA handle knobs
• Available in both right and left hand retrieve
• Cerros reels are backed by a 1-year warranty
I want to conclude by comparing my "new jerkbait rig" to the gear I have used for the past decade when fishing jerkbaits. This is a St. Croix Avid AVC66MF with a soft tip paired with a Shimano Scorpion. Although I have been very happy with the seasoned equipment, the new offering from Okuma feels better in my hands. Time will tell, but I am very excited about this combination. In a few months I will follow-up with an update on this review.
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