Tournament Concept Series Rod and Reel ReviewTournament Concept Series Rod and Reel Review Here's our thoughts on the Okuma TCS-C-691MH rod and reel after testing it in real-world conditions!
By Kent Smith
Scott Martin collaborated with Okuma to design the Tournament Concept Series line of rods.
I recently acquired a TCS-C-691MH rod and matched it with an Okuma Helios Air reel. The technical aspects of the reel are detailed in this article written by Glenn May.
Below are my thoughts after fishing the reel for the past several weeks.
My reel is the 7.3:1 version of the Helios Air. Weighing in at an incredible 5.7 ounces, this is a fishing machine. The reel is composed of a matte black magnesium frame housing Japanese ABEC-5 spool bearings and a multi-disc Carbonite drag system. The Velocity Control System is a centrifugal brake with dial settings as opposed to traditional pegs and weights. I found my sweet spot at the number three setting. My preference is to set it and forget it and so far that has been the case.
The reel was spooled with 20-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon. The white line spooled on the black spool and complimented with gold trim looks great. The finished product is a work of art, but that is only half the story.
The rest of the story is performance. Long casting and buttery smooth retrieve complete the package. The reel is light, strong and quiet. It compares favorably with high end reels offered by competing brands. Perhaps most importantly, the reel balances perfectly with the Okuma TCS-C-691MH rod.
Scott Martin designed the rod with a soft, but not wimpy, tip primarily for fishing crankbaits. I consider this the closest all around rod I own. It is a perfect for jerkbaits, but I have used the rod primarily with soft plastics. I generally fish technique specific rods and do not prefer to mix treble hooks and single hooks with the same gear. This rod is the exception.
The rod components include EVA foam on a spit grip design; ALPS stainless steel guide frames; and aluminum oxide guide inserts. Blanks are 40-ton graphite designed to be sensitive and able to stand up to tournament abuse. Reel seats are made from customized C-40X carbon.
The rod balances perfectly with the Okuma Helios Air reel. The top half of the rod is gunmetal blue, the back half black. The package is sleek and stylish.
Rated Medium Heavy, the rod has plenty of power, but at the same time is flexible enough to load for long casts. After fishing the combination I feel it is closer to Medium than Heavy Power. Maybe that is because I am fishing lures and baits that are 3/8 - 1/2 ounce.
Distance is good, but accuracy pays bigger dividends. Although the majority of my equipment is 7 feet or longer, I think the 6-foot, 9-inch rod accounts for better control.
This is my first experience with OKUMA, but it won't be my last!
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