Okuma Helios Rod & Reel ReviewOkuma Helios Rod & Reel Review A review of the Okuma Helios rod and reel fishing gear. Find out if this rod and reel is for you.
By Keri May
Casting Rod – Okuma Helios HS-CM-701M, paired with Okuma's Helios HS-273VA 7.3:1 reel.
The trend these days in fishing gear is to make them incredibly light. This is the case with this Okuma outfit. It is a lightweight combination that's less than 10oz total! What more, it's well balanced and has a great feel. However I think what’s more important is the reason I chose this particular setup to review.
I was looking for a casting rod that could handle lightweight baits such as crankbaits and weightless Senkos. My old casting rod was short, beat up and several guides had been replaced multiple times. I chose the Okuma HS-CM-701M Rod for the 7-foot length. The extra length allows for easy casting and powerful hooksets. Also, it has a medium action and a moderate taper, which is perfect for light baits. This rod is perfect for Senkos and all but the deepest diving crankbaits. I had no problem fishing with either.
The Helios rods feature Alps guides, which is impressive for a rod in this price range. I chose the model with the mini guide system because I wanted the extra sensitivity, and I don't use leaders. However if you prefer standard guides, the entire Helios lineup offers your choice in either; something you rarely see from rod manufacturers these days.
One thing I really like, is the hook keeper. It's design allows you to place it anywhere on the rod, either in front of, or behind the reel. Plus you can place it on any side of the rod. It's extremely versatile and flexible, allowing you to "customize" the rod to your liking. It's a nice touch you don't see on most production rods.
I can honestly tell you I’m not disappointed. It seems this rod is a natural extension of my hands. When you’re fishing and NOT thinking about the rod, that’s a good thing. The rod’s construction is outstanding and as I’ve said before I don’t have a bad thing to say about it or any rod in the series.
This reel is loaded, 7.3:1 gear ratio, 9 Bearing System. It’s built with a rigid aluminum frame and sideplates, heavy duty aluminum gears and shafts, precision Japanese ABEC-5 spool bearings, and smooth Multi-disc carbonite drag system. Reel adjustments are extremely easy due to the 7-position Velocity Control system which gives it the flexibility of a pin system without the hassels. Okuma was really thinking on that!
Together, the combination is well balanced and comfortable. In addition, the colors match, making this outfit just beautiful to look at.
Between the rod and reel I figured I was set, so my husband and I headed to the lake. I was not only excited to fish, but also eagerly anticipated trying out my new Helios combo. I rigged a 4” Green Pumpkin Black Flake Senko on a 2/0 hook completely weightless. I like fishing with a weightless Senko and do so just about every trip, so this new combo will be put to the endurance test in the coming months.
I made some quick adjustments to the reel and soon I was flipping, pitching and casting without a problem. I must say I can cast this thing a mile which was what I wanted from this setup. I got my first fish in the boat. It was a 5.14-pound largemouth. The set up performed flawlessly which makes this excellent rod and reel the newest combo in my rod locker.
Great job, Okuma, and thank you.
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