First Look at
Okuma's new lightweight Helios and C3-40X rods
Okuma's new baitcasters
looked even better in person than the original product photos we obtained pre
ICAST. To match up with these new reels Okuma is introducing two new rod lines,
the Helios and C3-40X series, both of which feature forward thinking designs and
an emphasis on light overall total weight.
highest end freshwater rod is the new Helios series
A perfect pair, Helios and
Helios: The new
Helios reels look great and I personally like the styling of the reels, which
follow the Serrano footprint, better than the more angular looking Cedros and
Komodo. At 6.3oz. the lightweight Helios feels very light in hand and it was
only appropriate that Okuma introduce a new rod series to match their new reel.
rods are designed to pair with Okuma's new Helios baitcaster...
features the Serrano body and numerous performance upgrades including a superior
bearing count and weight reduction
The Helios rods are
positioned above both the previous and new C3 series rods and feature 40 ton
carbon blank construction for improved sensitivity. These rods are extremely
light and the lightest 7'0" rod weighs in at only 3.6oz. while the XH power 7'6"
rod weighs only 5oz., which is still very light for a rod capable of tossing
rods feature the Pac Bay MINIMA reel seats which provide plenty of access to the
The rods feature an
attractive dark silver blank which is finished with green highlights that match
the Helios reel. The rods are designed with the ALPS mini guide system and have
Zirconium inserts to deal with braided line.
feature ALPS mini guides
A zero foregrip design not
only provides extra access to the blank but was taken into consideration when
balancing out with the matching reel. One very nice touch is the reel seat
thread which is machined out of aluminum and finished with a Fuji hood. The
grips are all EVA and in true enthusiast fashion Okuma ditches any fixed hook
keeper and instead ships each rod with a Fuji moveable hook keeper which can be
adjusted into any position to match angler requirements.
rods feature machined aluminum reel seat threads
In all there will be five
Helios casting rods available at time of launch, which will be in the latter
part of this year. The rods range in length from 7 to 7'6" in length and are
designed to address lures from 1/4-2oz. in weight and have power ratings from
medium to extra heavy. I really like the way these new Helios rods look, and at
least from the brief look at the show floor seem to be the best feeling (and
looking) Okuma bass rods to date. All the new Helios rods retail for $174.99
each and for ultimate peace of mind Okuma rods come backed with a limited
features even more aggressive styling than the previous version
C3 gets an upgrade:
The original C3 rods elevated Okuma’s freshwater fishing rod game in a major way
and gave anglers a high-quality rod to pair with the popular Serrano. One of the
things that made the original rods so recognizable was the carbon grips. These
were not some dipped or painted simulated carbon, this was real carbon that was
sanded to create a unique soft touch feel. Those handles are back on the new
C3-40X upgraded rods which replace the original.
rods feature a Pac Bay MINIMA real seat on both casting and spinning models. The
reel seat is painted black, and yes those are green flakes
The C3-40X rods feature
the instantly recognizable green blanks paired with the soft touch carbon handle
grips and a new Pac Bay MINIMA reel seat that is painted black with green
flakes. The blanks are 40 ton carbon and is loaded with ALPS titanium guide
frames and loaded with zirconium inserts. Like the Helios rods Okuma decided not
to use a fixed hook hanger and instead give anglers complete flexibility by
bundling each rod with a Fuji moveable hook hanger.
The rods ship
with a Fuji moveable hook keeper
The series includes a
total of 24 rods including 10 spinning rods, 12 casting rods, and 2 casting
swimbait rods, the most powerful of which is an XH 7’11” rod with a lure rating
of 2-8oz. The rods are also very light and the shortest 6’6” M casting and
spinning rods both weigh in at a very wispy 3.4oz., paired with a new Komodo
reel the entire casting combo weighs in at only 9.9oz., and balances out well.
shows us the latest freshwater rods from Okuma, and they pair nicely with the
I really like the direction that Okuma is moving this season and the new
baitcasters look fantastic, both on paper and in hand. The company has always
delivered quality product at a reasonable price, but with offerings like the new
Helios reel and rod the brand will be further associated with performance and
style, and in very short few seasons Okuma has gone from being primarily known
as a “spinning reel company” that dabbles in the baitcasting market, to a
company that has a complete offering for serious bass anglers.