Okuma Citrix Travel Rod ReviewOkuma Citrix Travel Rod Review Looking for a travel rod for your fishing adventures? We put this one to the test. See the results inside!
By Jeff Howell
Having become very familiar with travel rods over the years, I have gotten to know what I like and do not like about them. This knowledge allows me to fine tune my rod selections for the types of fish I am fishing for, as well as the types of baits I wish to present to them.
Until recently, there were only a couple options for throwing larger swimbaits for bass on a travel rod. These rods consisted of heavy overpowered broomsticks, which quite frankly didn’t get the job done. Mainly built for other species, these rods were made for trolling or vertical jigging- not chucking big swimbaits all day.
Fast forward to last month. I acquired an Okuma Citrix Travel CIT-C-7114H. Upon getting the rod in the mail, I quickly opened the box to find a nice, convenient travel rod tube. After opening the tube, I found a pleasant surprise - the 4-piece rod was packed into a pouch that has a slot for each piece to fit in, to protect each piece even further from damage while the rod is broken down. This is something that I had only gotten from my top of the line $300+ travel rods before. Until this point, I was stuck asking my wife to sew me these pouches for my other rods. I am sure she was as happy as I was to find this rod come with it from the factory, and she didn’t need to make one for this rod!
The first things you notice are the aesthetics after the rod is assembled. It looks as if it comes straight from Japan, with its JDM flashy colors and trim bands. The black EVA grips accented with metallic burnt orange trim bands really pop on the flat grey IM8 graphite blank. The Pac Bay MINIMA reel seat is very comfortable, and securely holds the reel to the rod.
Each guide is wrapped with a shiny black wrap to really flow well with the rest of the rod. The guides are ALPS stainless steel guide frames with Zirconium line guide inserts for use with braid or mono lines. The size and spacing were great for travel, as one of my biggest complaints about some of my other travel rods were the guide sizing. Most put oversized guides on the rods, which seem to get beat on while putting the rods in and out of the storage tubes, as well as while on the water on the boat deck. These guides are closer to a standard size and seem to hold up well.
Next thing to do was take it on vacation with me and put it to the test! Off to Lake Baccarac in Mexico which is one of the best big bass factories in the world!
After getting the combo put together and stringing it up (I opted to go with 20lb flouro) I needed to decide what bait to try first. The ratings on the rod are 1-5oz and 15-30lb line, which covers most of swimbait needs. There is one power higher in the lineup rated 2-8oz if you want to throw even larger baits.
First bait to try was a Huddleston Deluxe 68 special, one which I have had success on before at this lake. Throwing this bait on my other travel rods, I felt as if I needed to lob cast and always doubted whether or not the hookset was going to be enough. Not so with this rod. It seemed to have plenty of power to drive home the mightiest of hooks even with bigger, single-hook baits. I threw numerous baits, both hard and soft, with single hook and treble hooks. The bite ended up being a Texas rig bite, but that didn’t stop me from throwing baits like a Huddleston Deluxe 68 special, Triton Mike Bucca Bull Shad, Mike Shaw’s slammer, 22nd Century Triple Trout, Black Dog Lunker Punker as well as the one that ended up tricking one of my largest fish of the trip, which was the Savage Gear Real Trout in baby bass color. This rod handled them all with ease.
This is a serious contender swimbait rod that contends for top of the list. No need to worry about the performance or quality - it is there. I have recommended the Okuma Guide Select rods before for guys wanting to get into the bigger bait game, but no more. At around the same price and functionality as the Guide Select series, this will be my recommendation in the future. Same performance, similar price and easier transportation make this an essential rod in my book!
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