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Reel Review


Okuma's Big Bait Slayer, the Komodo (continued)

 

Casting Range: The smallest bait I attempted to cast with this reel was a half ounce rip bait - Megabass's Ito Shiner. The Komodo handled it fine, though it probably would have handle it even better had I had lighter line on the reel. This is certainly not a technique I'd rely upon with this reel, but it's nice to know it can handle that situation in a pinch.


See that button at the back of the reel? It's to turn the reel's bait clicker on and off - a nice little feature for those who troll and baitfish.

On the upper end, well, if the Komodo can handle the Roman Made Mother (~ 11.3 ounces) there's little concern it can handle most anything else you want to try to cast.


Here's how you adjust the reel's casting brakes.

Brakes: The Komodo's braking system is centrifugal and is accessible by removing the non-handle sideplate. The sideplate comes off completely from the frame, so be sure you're not near the edge of the boat when accessing this reel's brakes or risk dropping that sideplate into the water. Accidents like this are known to happen around Zander and I, but fortunately, neither of us had this issue while handling the Komodo.


But be careful, the sideplate for this reel comes completely off.

Adjusting the reel's brakes is the familiar numbered, red dial found on a lot of Okuma's reels, and while it is a system that's reliable, it does feel a bit clunky and unrefined when compared to the competition.


The Komodo is currently only available in a 6.4:1 retrieve ratio.

Features: The Komodo stacks up pretty well in the features department. While it does not come with externally adjustable brakes, this reel does feature two bearings on the levelwind, two bearings under each knob, and micro click adjustments for the dragstar and spool tension knob. There's also the added feature of a clicker for the spool if for use when trolling or baitfishing to alert yourself when a fish takes the bait.

 

Features Ratings for Okuma Komodo 364/364L

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
1
2
3
3
1
1
11
14
7.86

 

Design & Ergonomics: Perhaps my favorite design feature of this reel is its handle length. I really like that long, 100 millimeter handle. The reel's knobs are alright, but I'd like to see a little flatter profile for easier gripping. They're just a little too rounded and because of the EVA material, difficult to grasp and grip. Palming on a 300 size reel is never going to score well with me I'm afraid. They're just too big and wide, but the Komodo is no better or worse than other reels of similar size I've fished, so it gets and average score there.


The Komodo features a double bearing supported levelwind worm gear.

Weight is another factor that's tough with reels of this size, but at 10.6 ounces this reel is on par with some of the competition, so it gets an average score here as well. Breakdown of this reel is fairly straight forward so maintenance is simple if you choose to service your own reels.

 

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Okuma Komodo 364/364L

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
3
3
3
4
18
25
7.2

 

Application: There's no doubt the strength of this reel is for throwing big baits - whether that be swimbaits or even the new generation magnum crankbaits, that's where the strength of this reel lies. Certainly, thanks to the clicker, this reel is built to fish other more unconventional techniques that don't apply to so much to bait fishing. On the other hand, no one will likely rely upon a reel of this size for finesse techniques, but when dealing with an objective rating system, that aspect needs to be referenced.

 

Application Ratings for Okuma Komodo 364/364L

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
1
5
3
17
25
7.2


Maintenance is relatively easy.

Ratings:

Okuma Komodo 364/364L Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid reel save for the slight amount of play in its handle and knobs 8.5
Performance A very solid performing reel 7.2
Price The Komodo is a good value at its price point 7
Features Throw in a bit more refined braking system accessible from the outside and this reel will score even better 7.86
Design (Ergonomics) For what it is, a large 300 sized reel, the Komodo does well 7.2
Application Excellent choice for big baits and a very good choice for cranking applications 7.2

Total Score

7.49
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ More refined than Citrix - Handle play is just a little bothersome
+ Priced just about right - No external brake adjustments
+ Excellent line capacity - Knobs are a little too rounded

Conclusion: Okuma's Komodo, from our experience, is a very solid reel that would feel more refined if the play in its handle could be tightened up and the reel's knobs be made a bit more ergonomic. I find it a little strange that while this reel scores better objectively than its sibling, the Citrix 300, my preference is to fish the Citrix because its knobs give me a better feel for the reel. If those knobs weren't riveted, I'd remove them and install them on the Komodo to see if that'd change my impression of the ergonomics of the reel.


When it comes to testing the power of a reel, we love putting that reel up against striper. The Komodo came away victorious!

Okuma continues to make strides gaining recognition and acceptance in what is a very finicky bass fishing crowd. The market is certainly ripe for good performing, affordable alternatives to the status quo and the Komodo is case in point demonstrating Okuma is stepping up to fill that void.

Looking for the Okuma Komodo? Try Tackle Warehouse

 

 

 

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