Chat with Mark Rogers of Okuma Fishing
Feb 27th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Slamr: MuskieFIRST Welcomes Mark Rogers of Okuma Fishing back into the Chat Room, thanks again for joining us Mark! Okuma_Mark: Thanks for having me Sworrall: Welcome, Mark MuskyRuss: hi Mark dougj: Hi mark! Tony_Grant: Hey Mark Slamr: Let’s open the room up for questions from the masses TommyZona: Mark, the fishing industry has been dropping off in years past, have you seen this, too?Okuma_Mark: Okuma has come off of another strong year Okuma_Mark: We are constantly improving product and bringing out what the public wants Rebel9921: What should we expect from Okuma this year???? Okuma_Mark: Well… We did our best to bring out the Musky stuff in the fall. I managed to get a small run of the 08 rods in early and a small batch of the Red Isis fish4musky1: do you have any reels good for big bucktails such as double 10’s? shawn entered the room. Okuma_Mark: That has been a popular question lately… The IDX reels have been doing pretty well for the guys using them for the 10’s dougj: I’ve been using the 400Idx for a while with the power handle , and it seems to work with the DCG’s ChadG: Mark can you describe the 8”6″ EX what is its intended purpose Okuma_Mark: The intent when I was working on it was bigger rubber baits. Okuma_Mark: Most of the rods for big rubber are very tip heavy. Okuma_Mark: I wanted a rod with enough power to cast but not rip hooks out ChadG: I was hoping that was your answer, just what I am looking for MuskyRuss: I’ve never used a Okuma reel…how would you compare it to a Calcutta 400te?Rebel9921: What’s Okuma’s answer to the craze concerning Shimano Trinidad??? Okuma_Mark: We don’t have an answer, the Trinidad is a good reel designed for salt. We don’t have a reel in that size that is machined aluminum.Okuma_Mark: we have some graphite reels that have an oversized gear, but not a machined alum. star drag.RICHARD: How many telescoping musky rods do you have now and any more in 2008-2009??? Rebel9921: but will Okuma venture into that? lambeau: the Induron/Isis seems to be working well for many people, what are it’s key features? Okuma_Mark: Aluminum frame and sideplates to keep the gears in alignment.Okuma_Mark: We have been working on the overall gear smoothness to match the gears longevity. Gear cutting is a very tricky thing.Okuma_Mark: The drag that we put in the IDX / RI reels also has made the reel a lot better. it dissipates heat hell causing the gears to stay trueRebel9921: Okuma reel manufactured where??? curleytail: Lots of guys talk about the power handle for hard pulling baits. How would you rate the grips and standard handle for general fishing? Okuma_Mark: I prefer the power handle for all my Muskie / Swimbait fishing for largemouth in California.Okuma_Mark: I have been using the Red Isis double paddle handles recently though… very nice.Okuma_Mark: we made the shaft 10MM longer and oversized the paddles. On the carbon shaft it feels really good. archerynut36: are okuma really good reels and how are the rods tuffdaddy: Bill, from my experience last year, the reels definitely are. Rebel9921: What are our choices when it comes to the rods as in length and action? archerynut36: because i am starting to guide this season and I am looking for using the same stuff that will be built to handle getting lots of abuse.Okuma_Mark: The reels have come a long way since we started making round reels.Okuma_Mark: There are a lot of good brands out there. Musky fishing is the toughest category on reels…. all reels at some point are going to malfunction… we are trying to improve our always to make them last longer and longer. dougj: Mark, I’ve heard that you are thinking about stainless steel pinion gears for some of your reels. is that still going ahead ? Tony Grant: dougj’s on here and has fished them since the beginning… he can chime in and tell you how they are.Tony_Grant: I have used many reels, Okuma can hang in there with any of them Tony_Grant: I will have the entire Okuma muskie line at the Ohio Muskie Show and Road Rules Columbus.Tony_Grant: The durablity over the years with Okuma has jumped much higher.Mark: is the 400ldx and Induron the same reel or are they different? sodak: Does Okuma plan on making any smaller sized reels for the musky market or do they already have one that I am not aware of? Okuma_Mark: We have a 250 with a traveling levelwind… same diameter of the 400 just narrower Rebel9921: Tony- what about the MN Muskie Expo???? ulbian: outside of the Sierra and Integrity reels, are there any other heavier weight flyreels in the works? archerynut36: okuma really doesn’t make rods for dawgs do they Okuma_Mark: I had a lot of guys using the EVX-C-861XH-T for mag dawgs and pounders dougj: The 8-6 XH will handle the big stuff. Got_Esox: Mark, could you explain a feature of the Okuma Red Isis Baitcaster , “helically cut brass gears” and what it means to the user. tuffdaddy: What do you think is the biggest killer of reels? Is it the fact that people are throwing heavier and harder pulling baits now that are ripped and burned, verses the suicks and mepps? RICHARD: How many telescoping musky rods are you bringing out in addition to the two you already have in 8’0″ and 8’6″?Okuma_Mark: I am thinking of coming out with 1 additional telescopic XXH for the guys that have to have a broom stick. Will_Schultz: Yep, I would be interested in seeing that XXH dougj: The telescoping rod are nice! Magruter: Mark, what kind of warranty do the telescopic rods have? Okuma_Mark: Lifetime warranty on the EVX zs440: Mark, any chance for a high capacity low profile baitcaster, similar to the curado 300? Okuma_Mark: Curado 300 type reel…. not at this time .crackpot: Where are Okuma’s manufactured? Okuma_Mark: Okuma has factories in China and Taiwan….. along with almost everyone else.tuffdaddy: I haven’t really used a telescoping rod, any issues with weakness at the point of expansion? (whatever it’s called lol) dougj: Doesn’t seem to be. Okuma_Mark: No weakness in the tests that we have run… the top rod blank actually broke before the connection… no problems Okuma_Mark: We will be introducing more items at ICAST in July for 2009… can’t quite let the cat out of the bag yet muskymike68: Any feelings on syncork replacing the gold standard? Pointer: How much is the Induron running for these days? Okuma_Mark: IDX’s are going for $119… and I will send you a free power handle.muskyboy: any idea how many power handles you have generously sent out? BruceKY: how short will a 8′ 6″ telescope down to? Okuma_Mark: teles go down to just under 7 feet I believe dougj: The telescoping rod are nice with small rod lockers. tuffdaddy: Have you seen good growth in the musky industry in the past few years? tuffdaddy: for Okuma that is. Okuma_Mark: In the last year…. the musky category has grown for Okuma, it’s the fastest growing category in the MidwestOkuma_Mark: The IDX reels have really spiked in the last 9 months… all of the growth has come from the Midwest for Muskie fishing.tuffdaddy: Very cool Okuma_Mark: It just means there are more people with problems like us.Rich_W: What is the difference between the swim bait and the EVX rods? Elby: Is there a place I can check out the 8′ 6″ XH in the Milwaukee area? Okuma_Mark: Elby… shoot me a PM when we are done and I will look into it. muskydeceiver: http://www.okumafishingteam.com/misc/dealers.html okuma dealer locater curleytail: What do you credit to the durability and smoothness of the Induron series of reels? And why don’t they cost a lot more? Okuma_Mark: We are one of the largest reel manufacturers in the world… 3.5 million reels a year… we have very few middle men and don’t pad our reels with a lot of advertising money archerynut36: Wow that’s a lot of reels Mark: what do you recommend for a line counter trolling reel? muskymike68: I have Convectors and love them! dougj: I recommend convectors! Got_Esox: Mark, What is the standard Rod Butt Length in the EVx Musky Series Rods? Okuma_Mark: The telescopics are 16 inches, the others range from 13 (i think) to 15 RICHARD: will okuma be at Ohio show ?Tony_Grant: The Musky Road Rules booth will have their entire muskie line in Columbus this weekend ulbian: what sets the integrity apart from other fly reels in it’s class regarding their drag systems? Slamr: Mark, can you tell me the difference between a Magda, Convector and the higher end trolling reels? Okuma_Mark: Magda has a graphite spool, standard anti reverse, and no frills. The CV series has aluminum spool, infinite A/R, oversized gears, better drags.Okuma_Mark: I recommend the CV series for Musky trolling, though there are a LOT of Magdas out there.MuskyRuss: Can you purchase one at any major retail.Okuma_Mark: Gander Mountain has some EVX rods in some stores… I’m working on more stores muskyboy: any large saltwater sizes that could be used for musky fishing? jigsyop: Does Okuma actually make the reels or does another company make them for you? Do you own your factory? Magruter: Mark, if I were to purchase one Okuma combo for muskies, what would you suggest for a good all around rod and reel combo? Okuma_Mark: one combo would be the EVX-C-861H-t / IDX-400A = $230RICHARD: how about a reel with a 45″plus line pickup with a level guide? Okuma_Mark: Not yet Richard.RICHARD: which GM STORES ?zs440: any new low profile baitcasters for bass from okuma? Thomas_Dace: Could you talk a bit about your fly reels? I’ve seen few questions on them and am interested in some answers Okuma_Mark: Who wants to win a rod? We’ll do the reel at the end. First one to answer wins the EVX rod of your choice.Okuma_Mark: Everyone ready? Rebel9921: Yep MuskyRuss: I do I do! Merckid: yup pink_muskie: yes smellslikebass: me floydss: all in DEMolishedyou2: sure RICHARD: COOL Pointer: im readyLambeau: (like Donkey from Shrek) PICK ME! PICK ME!!! Okuma_Mark: How many “Musky” rods are in the EVX series? muskydeceiver: 6 Rebel9921: 8 Got_Esox: 9 Pointer: 2 ShaneW: 2 muskei!_nut: 6 crackpot: 5 team_rhino: 2 musky911: 7 archerynut36: 7 pink_muskie: 10 zs440: 10 jigsyop: 12 MuskyRuss: 13 DEMolishedyou2: 5 Okuma_Mark: STOP muskydeceiver: 3 muskyboy: 6 BruceKY: 4 Thomas_Dace: 9000 Okuma_Mark: STOP!!DEMolishedyou2: 8 RICHARD: 6 Got_Esox: 7 smellslikebass: 14 Okuma_Mark: STOP!!!!!! tuffdaddy: 15 Okuma_Mark: First to say 7 was….. Rebel9921: Musky 911 Okuma_Mark: Musky911 Rebel9921: congrats Okuma_Mark: Shoot me a PM with your address and I will help you with the rod you want musky911: ok thanks okuma muskei!_nut: missed by 1muskei!_nut: lol thanks buddy Okuma_Mark: OK… I saw a question about fly reels MuskyRuss: where can we get one muskydeceiver: any suggestions for a fly rod set up for muskie? Okuma_Mark: I can’t get back to the fly question… was that yours Russ Okuma_Mark: Fly rod would be a Guide select 10 weight with a 10 weight Helios fly reel ulbian: it was mine…was wondering what makes the drag system in the integrity better than a comparable reel on the market? Okuma_Mark: The overall size ulbian: anything about the material used in it? muskei!_nut: drag on a fly reel? Okuma_Mark: it has some cork and SS drag washers… it may not be better but it’s pretty solid for bigger fish Slamr: Just for comparison’s sake, what % of your business would you say is in Muskie based sales, versus say….bass or saltwater? Okuma_Mark: Musky is less than 1% but we are just now starting to put out products that will hold up to Muskies team_rhino: I’m sure this was covered in the 1st questions but what is the best Double 10 reel by Okuma? ulbian: other fly question…besides the sierra and integrity, are there any other options in the foreseable future that will be available from okuma? Okuma_Mark: The Helios fly reel is being put up against $300 – $400 fly reels…. It has a retail of about $150 Lucy: Where can we order the EVX telescoping rods?Okuma_Mark: Smokies and Rollie and Helen’s have them right now Okuma_Mark: We don’t sell directly to retailers but shoot me a PM with where you live and I will find one close to you zs440: Mark, anything new for low-profile bass reels? Okuma_Mark: Low end for this year $39 – $49.Okuma_Mark: We have low profiles up to $139 right now Rebel9921: Where do you manufacture the reels? Okuma_Mark: Taiwan and China Rich_W: Does Okuma offer any of their rod blanks for sale? Okuma_Mark: Rich… just whole goods… no blanks Rebel9921: Blanks comes from who? Okuma_Mark: We manufacture our own blanks lambeau: what features distinguish your rods from other available products? floydss: where are you based out of? Rebel9921: manufacture using what? jigsyop: Do you own your rod factory? Okuma_Mark: Yes…we own our own factory. We don’t use factories out of Weihei to produce our rods like most others Okuma_Mark: We use the same materials as all of the higher end manufactures… we can offer a lower price and a lifetime warranty because of the sheer numbers we produce and the discount on materials based on ho tuffdaddy: Are you going to be making any 1 piece musky sticks in the longer sizes.Okuma_Mark: Unfortunately… no… they cost too much to ship Rebel9921: This might be a loaded question… but why should we purchase Okuma rods instead of custom rods?Slamr: Rebel, let’s just say that there are reasons to save $100-150, things like price.Okuma_Mark: Hmm… Okuma_Mark: Good question. One thing is for sure… if you have a problem with an Okuma product… You will know that it is going to be taken care of Steve_Jonesi: apples and oranges curleytail: How easy is it to order parts for the Indurons if they are needed? Okuma_Mark: Curley… shoot me a PM or call our customer service Okuma_Mark: very easy zs440: Mark, does Okuma produce rods and reels for others to sell under their name? Okuma_Mark: ZS440… yes dougj: Okuma muskie rod are all ready pretty good *the 8′-6″ are great) and I sort of expect more great things! MuskyRuss: you may have answered this…what the longest musky rod u make?Okuma_Mark: Longest is the 8’6″ telescopics… I’m working on possible doing longer telescopics though, need to do some research. Mark: Muskie equipment is 1% of your sales what type equipment has the highest % ? floydss: what is the turnaround time for warranty stuff Okuma_Mark: Warranty at okuma…we receive your reel… the clock starts. If we cannot repair your reel within 48 hours… a reel of equal or better value goes out at hour #49.Rebel9921: how would you rate your warranty service for both rod and reels? muskydeceiver: i have never used a telescoping rod, is there anything that locks the rod in place or is it just friction? Okuma_Mark: MuskyD…. its a snug fit… nothing locks.zs440: Okuma’s warranty service is better than anyone’s IME Pointer: Do you do better selling bait casting or trolling reels? Steve_Jonesi: What is the gear ratio of the 400 IDX ? Okuma_Mark: Steve… 5.1 / 1 MuskyRuss: are there local repair centers or do u have to mail it in.Okuma_Mark: For warranty… it’s back to California… we do have repair centers though many states.Got_Esox: Mark, can you explain “Helically Cut Brass Gears” and what benfits it offer the user of the Red Isis? Okuma_Mark: Not really… it’s a gear cutting process but I wouldn’t do it any service trying to explain it.Slamr: Gotta ask, you’ve chased trophy muskie, and trophy bass….what are the similarities and differences in the MINDSETS of chasing the biggest of the big? Okuma_Mark: I have caught a lot of big bass with big swimbaits…. in my opinion, there are no other fish that I could put in the same category. Okuma_Mark: both top predators (bass in cali…. muskies in the MW) Okuma_Mark: Both are adrenaline pumping fish muskei!_nut: any bass on a figure 8? Okuma_Mark: You were trying Gerard, weren’t you?lambeau: in your opinion, in what ways does Okuma’s experience with trophy bass gear help you in approaching muskie fishing issues?Okuma_Mark: A lot of the testing on Musky gear… I do while bass fishing. ‘The transition is very similar. Will_Schultz: What series would you suggest for trolling rods? Okuma_Mark: We have one trolling rod in the EVX seriesOkuma_Mark: it was developed by a candian guy…. it is far from what most guys use in the states Okuma_Mark: I am going to be working with Dougj to see what we need to bring out for trolling Will_Schultz: Is the EVX trolling rod a glass rod or just glass scrim? Okuma_Mark: Glass Steve_Jonesi: and linecounter reels? tuffdaddy: Jonesi, the Convectors. Okuma_Mark: Convectors yes dougj: Convectots work! Okuma_Mark: Lambeau… floydss: what is your website addy Okuma_Mark: http://www.okumafishing.com MuskyRuss: do all your reels have the clicker switch? Okuma_Mark: All trolling reels yes Okuma_Mark: IDX 250 and 400 yes Slamr: what is the difference between the Red Isis reels and the Indurons? Okuma_Mark: Red Isis is basically an IDX that we produce for the Japanese market. The differences spec wise are the amount of ball bearings Okuma_Mark: less in the RI but higher quality to resist saltwater intrusion Okuma_Mark: the other difference is in the handle, on the RI they are very expensive to produce hence the increase in cost.saint_1: What is the length of the evx trolling rod?Slamr: Which do YOU feel is harder to boat consistently, large bass or large muskie….allowing for the thought that you might know where they are? Okuma_Mark: What is large? to me a Large bass is 14 pounds and up Slamr: 14lb bass, 30lb muskie….but more in the getting them to eat factor Okuma_Mark: I have a lot of big bass and only a few muskies so I would say Muskies, bass by far. Merckid: how many of that size do you have mark? Okuma_Mark: Over 14…. Merckid: yes Okuma_Mark: I have about 11 I think… up to 15 pounds Merckid: wow Steve_Jonesi: OMG!!!!! Okuma_Mark: I live where we grow ‘em big Merckid: yes muskei!_nut: I dont think they look like bass at that point Will_Schultz: 15lb bass… what did it eat?? Okuma_Mark: 10 Inch Stocker Trout swimbait. Merckid: big ‘ol swimbait! Okuma_Mark: First time I fished Vermilion with that bait I had a big one bite it in half….on the first cast Okuma_Mark: shoulda brought more!dougj: I’ll trade a 15 lb LM for a 30lb muskie Okuma_Mark: Jonesi… I’ll trade out trip with ya.Steve_Jonesi: Deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will_Schultz: Are the guides on the EVX rolling rod ceramic or are they boat rod guides (all metal) RICHARD: When will the carbon handle Red Isis be out?Pointer: what is your main forage base over there? Got_Esox: Mark, Are your “Ergo grip” handles available for purchase separately?Okuma_Mark: if you want one to add to an older one… I’ll send you one for ….. Okuma_Mark: If you bought an IDX… I’ll send you one for free. capt_bigfish: Hi Mark, anyone you know catch a muskie on a swimbait yet? I know guys who throw them but any fish yet on those things? Duff Okuma_Mark: yes… alot of my buddies are buying the 10 inch Stocker trout Okuma_Mark: catching feesh on them, too. muskei!_nut: feesh???? Rich_W: What is the difference between the swim baits series vs the EVx series rods? Okuma_Mark: SLAMR… you wanna announce the free reel deal? Slamr: there’s nothing free….is there? Bret_Wold: lets do it!! lambeau: what rod do you suggest for throwing those big 10″ swimbaits? how do you fish them…straight retrieve? Okuma_Mark: I designed the GS swimbait rods for largemouth with different power than the EVX Okuma_Mark: I throw the 10 inch Stockers on the GS-C-7111XH but the EVX (either one) will work great. sodaksker: I caught a 48 on a 5.5″ swimbait this fall Slamr: The free reels is actually going to be a “free” reel CONTEST…. Slamr: the thread announcing the contest will become the contest entry point guest entered the room. Slamr: two conditions for entry Slamr: a. you need to post a picture of SOMEONE holding a fish, wearing Okuma bling.Slamr: b. you need to convince the judges (myself and Mark) of WHY YOU should win the contest… DEMolishedyou2: can it be anyone? Slamr: anyone.DEMolishedyou2: in the picture like random? Okuma_Mark: anyone Steve_Jonesi: LUNAR ECLIPSE!!!!! Mark: where do you get Okuma bling ? DEMolishedyou2: lol Okuma_Mark: http://www.okumafishing.commuskei!_nut: post where??? Okuma_Mark: Gerard… Slamr will put a post up on the general message forum Slamr: last questions….? Got_Esox: Sportsman Warehouse and Gander Mountain carry Okuma products, are there any other larger retailers than carry Okuma? Will_Schultz: Do you know if the Aventa float reels been received well in the great lakes region? Okuma_Mark: The VT-1002 has… not the 1000 Okuma_Mark: My fingers hurt.Mark: when you say fish do you mean Muskie? tuffdaddy: hint, check out Salmonfirst for some pics of Okuma gear. hint over muskei!_nut: I can post on the board is that alright? Slamr: i said muskie Slamr: i mean i said FISH Slamr: gah muskei!_nut: you did not!tuffdaddy: lol Okuma_Mark: fish is good Okuma_Mark: Here’s a couple of websites for california swimbaits if you want to look Okuma_Mark: tacklewarehouse.com Okuma_Mark: mattlures.com tuffdaddy: oooo, I found a picture already. tuffdaddy: Slamr and a visor Okuma_Mark: Thanks Tony .Slamr: I will have the contest posted in a few minutes guys, but let’s get some more final questions to Mark before the hour is up Rebel9921: Who will be representing Okuma at the Minnesota Muskie Expo? Okuma_Mark: Rebel… I’m not sure if my reps will be there. We will be doing more “Musky” shows next season… Okuma_Mark: We had to prove it was worth spending money in order to do so. dougj: Great job Mark! Okuma_Mark: Thanks Doug. capt_bigfish: Mark ,has Brett at Thorne come around for Okuma yet? I told him I’m looking for a couple of your new rods. Duff tuffdaddy: Thanks Mark! sodaksker: Mark, Thanks for the info and all your previous help. fish4musky1: where do we post the picture at? tuffdaddy: I found another picture. Okuma_Mark: I think we are on our way to becoming a player in the musky world. There are a couple reels on the horizon that I am excited about… I’m sure that MuskieFIRST will be the first place you see them. capt_bigfish has left the room. muskydeceiver: it has to be you wearing okuma stuff right????? Medford_Fisher: Thanks Mark…I was late (night class) but enjoyed what I could. Okuma_Mark: Thanks for coming Okuma_Mark: Slamr… seems like there are some questions about the contest Slamr: I can only type fast in one place at a timeSlamr: I am posting as we speak muskyboy: Thanks Mark Mag: Thanks mark Got_Esox: Thanks, Mark, FYI I love my 7’4″ EVx, it is bulletproof! Slamr: final questions before we wrap up the chat? Okuma_Mark: If you get a chance…. please tell me what YOU are looking for out of Okuma.Okuma_Mark: You don’t have to do it now… but feel free to shoot me an email or PM…WE DO LISTEN tuffdaddy: Found another one. To the highest bidder. lol Thomas_Dace: Why the polar bear as a logo? sworrall: Mark, thanks again for visiting with us tonight, and thanks for the contest tonight as well. Slamr: MuskieFIRST thanks Mark Rogers of Okuma Fishing for a great chat night tonight! Make sure to check out the contest and next Wednesday’s Chat Guest Doug Johnson.