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ICAST 2013 Coverage


Okuma's Helios gets even lighter with a Magnesium Version, Enter the AIR

 

Date: 7/11/13
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Okuma
Reviewer: Zander








Introduction: The lightweight baitcaster battle is on and Okuma is in the fray with a brand new addition to their popular Helios line. While many other manufacturers are turning to carbon composites Okuma knows that there are some anglers that still prefer the feel of magnesium and this ICAST they rolled out their first low profile magnesium baitcaster... meet the Helios Air.

 


Pro Angler Scott Martin talks about the new Helios Air baitcaster

 

The Helios AIR leverages the same platform as the current Helios and features a compact yet aggressive form factor. The standard Helios is already quite a light reel at only 6.3oz. but when even .1oz. matters the company decided to transition from aluminum to magnesium in their new reel. The Helios Air makes use of magnesium in both the frame and sideplates and weighs in at only 5.7oz. That's right, every sideplate on this new reel is made out of magnesium, no graphite or composites here!

 


The Helios AIR is constructed out of Magnesium and we are talking not just the frame but both sideplates as well

 

The aluminum spool is machined to reduce weight and the guts of this reel make use of lightweight yet durable aluminum gears and shafts. The Air gets the company's quality carbonite drag system which should be capable of delivering 14lbs. of drag pressure quite easily. Take a closer look at the reel and the carbon highlights are impressive. Not only are the handle and drag star constructed out of actual carbon fiber there are inserts in the components on the handle-side sideplate as well that pair beautifully with the reel's gold highlights.

 


The aluminum spool is aggressively ported

 

The cast control system is hidden under the removable non-handle sideplate and here anglers will find a 7 position velocity system. Each reel comes loaded with 8BB+1RB and they felt extremely smooth when we cranked on the reels at the Okuma booth.

 


Compact and sleek

 

This reel may be light but the gearing is designed to handle big fish and high torque. The line guide is also Zirconium and can be used with even the most friction inducing superlines. In terms of applications this compact lightweight reel helps anglers cover water quickly or is ideal for power fishing with a brisk 7.3:1 retrieve ratio.

 


The non handle sideplate hides the 7 position cast control system

 

The new Helios Air not only looks premium it feels premium and Okuma is standing behind this reel with a 3 year limited warranty program. Anglers that like left handed retrieve (Like Cal) can rejoice as the reel will be available in both right and lefty versions when it becomes available in just a few weeks.

 


Brandon Cotton, Marketing Manager for Okuma shows us the exciting new Helios Air which just might be the best mix of performance and value in a all magnesium baitcaster on the market

 

Okuma continues to crank it up and with each season the company's reels not only become more and more impressive in form and function but overall refinement as well. It is clear that Okuma is now pushing the envelope when it comes to performance and value for consumers and the new Helios Air will retail for a very aggressive price of $269.99. This is extremely reasonable for a complete magnesium reel and we simply cannot wait to see how this new contender will handle on the water.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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