Okuma’s RTX Spinning Reels Deliver Carbon Fiber Construction for Less than
Just a few weeks ago we checked out Okuma’s new
Helios spinning reels at Lake El Salto in Mexico. The Helios spinning reel
features Carbon Fiber framing and aluminum gearing to create a reel that is both
lightweight, extremely strong and more corrosion resistant. When viewed in the
bright sun at El Salto we could clearly see the long strand carbon fiber in the
John and Sam show us the new Okuma
Helios family of reels
Instead of using a standard
resin with a powdered filler for strength the reel’s long strand carbon is
interwoven thousands of times enhancing the connections and increasing the
strength of the overall frame, and because less resin is required weight is
reduced by 25% over standard graphite frames. On the new Helios anglers will
find both the frame and rotor benefit from this “C-40X” construction.
The new Helios spinning reel
celebrates carbon fiber design and construction
To complement the C-40X
carbon fiber frame and rotor recognizable carbon fiber inserts constructed out
of resin-impregnated carbon cloth are used on the side plates, drag knob and
handle arm. These functional pieces also help minimize weight and deliver an
excellent strength to weight ratio.
The handle makes use of carbon
fiber as well
The internals feature
aluminum gearing and a brass pinion gear, 9+1 bearings, and carbonite drag
washers underneath a waterproof drag seal. The Helios spinning reel will be
available in 25, 30, 35 and 40 sizes in a standard 5.0:1 gear ratio and the 25
and 40 sizes will also come in a high speed 6.0:1 ratio as well. The Helios
spinning reels will retail for a very reasonable $139.99 for all sizes.
The RTX makes use of long strand
carbon fiber and aluminum construction but the most exciting thing about this
reel is the price. This carbon fiber reel breaks the 100 dollar barrier!
While the Helios reels
garnered plenty of attention the company also surprised attendees with the
unveiling of another carbon fiber based reel called the RTX. The RTX also
features long strand carbon fiber framing and the same basic form factor as the
Helios. The RTX also featured an anodized aluminum main gear, oscillation gear
and slider as well as a brass pinion gear for smooth mesh and a fluid feel.
Close up you can see the carbon
The RTX has a 7+1 bearing
count and makes use of Japanese oiled felt drag washers versus the carbonite
washers employed in the Helios. The RTX also makes use of more traditional
aluminum components for the handle and comes with a two toned machined and
ported aluminum spool.
The Helios now shares the same
platform as the Komodo
The RTX looks like a
compelling offering and features a lot of what we liked about the Helios, but
what really makes this reel so exciting is the aggressive price point. The RTX
delivers carbon fiber design and performance for only $99.99 dollars! When it
comes to bang for the buck the new RTX is going to be hard to beat.
The move makes it possible to make
left handed Helios reels....finally
On the baitcast front Okuma
also made a move with the Helios baitcasting reel and has migrated the reel over
to the same profile as the Komodo. This move was made to increase the size of
the reel's gearbox and make a left handed version possible. The new reel
features eight bearings including ABEC-5 rated spool bearings and a Carbonite
drag system. The new reel makes use of a carbon fiber handle and green
highlights just like the current generation reels.
The new reel still makes use of a
carbon fiber handle
The current Helios weighs
Komodo weighs 6.3oz. and the Komodo weighs 6.5oz. and the new reel, while it may
look like the Komodo, also weighs in at the same 6.3oz. as the previous reel.
While we like the ergonomics of the current generation reel one thing we find
admirable about the new reel is the price has bee reduced 20 dollars for a MSRP
of only $199.99, demonstrating Okuma's commitment to performance and great