Okuma Tournament Concept Series Rod Review

Okuma Tournament Concept Series Rod Review Looking for a new rod? Here's a review of the Okuma TCS-C-701H rod worth considering.



A few weeks ago, I took delivery of an Okuma Tournament Concept Series (TCS) 701H baitcasting rod paired with an Okuma Helios Air reel. I put the gear through the paces. Below are my findings.
   The first thing I noticed about the rod is how light it is.  I know there’s a lot of light rods out there, but this one takes “feather light” to a whole new level. It’s really light at just 4.4 ounces!

   The TCS-C-701H rod has a heavy action rated for 12- to 20-pound test line and 3/16th to 1-ounce lures. It has a medium-action, sensitive tip with plenty of backbone to pull a lunker out of heavy cover. That said, it’s not as stout as other heavy-action rods I own, and that’s a smart design. Most people are going to use this rod with heavy braid. Braid does not give like mono. If you use a stout rod, then a lot of pressure is placed upon the knot and hook. Something’s going to fail. So Okuma’s rods are more forgiving to ensure every component works in concert. In addition, the rod features hard aluminum oxide guide inserts for use with braided line.


   I carefully inspected the rod, and noted the quality craftsmanship. It utilizes an EVA split grip and EVA foregrip for reduced weight and feel. Combined with the carbon reel seat, the rod has a comfortable fit and feel.

   A couple of features caught my eye:

  • The foregrip is designed so the reel seat threads are not exposed
  • The guides are smaller than average, but larger than micro-guides. This allows for improved knot clearance.
  • The hook keeper placement is in the split grip area for more versatility. I like it because my lures don’t tangle with lines on my other rods when it’s stored in the rod locker.

   Okuma’s website says the 701H is for jigs and worms, but I wanted to use it for medium-sized swimbaits instead. I decided to push the upper limits of its recommended lure weight. So I tied on a 1-ounce Jointed Glide Swimmer from Savage Gear.

   I was thoroughly impressed. I wasn’t sure a heavy-action rod like this would be sensitive enough to feel the slow swimming action of the lure, but I felt every pulse, twitch, and quiver. I could even tell when a blade of grass hung on the lure!

   The rod and reel combo made casting a heavy lure effortless. I found I could fish with it for long periods of time without tiring.

   Overall, I’m pleased with the combo, and impressed with Okuma. Obviously they’ve put a lot of thought and effort into the design, and it shows. Best of all, they’re priced below their competitors, at about $130 to $150 for the rod. Okuma packs a lot of features and quality normally seen in higher priced equipment. I highly recommend adding a TCS rod to your arsenal.

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