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Reel Review

Okuma introduces their own Green Baitcaster and it is a good one, meet the Serrano (continued)


Durability: One of the major elements that separates the Serrano from the Cayenne are the added durability features. The Serrano is coated with a special finish that Okuma calls “CRC” (Corrosion Resistant Coating process) and the reel is designed for inshore applications in addition to freshwater fishing. The spool is machined from A6061-T6 aluminum and anodized for extra durability and the main gearing is machine cut from brass. To handle superlines the line guide has been outfitted with a zirconium insert and the reel handled both standard PowerPro and Izorline braids just fine throughout tests.


The handle and components are all anodized, the body of the reel is finished with a corrosion resistant coating process and this reel is recommended for inshore use


We only encountered one durability problem throughout the tests and that was one of the handle knobs loosening up while at Falcon. After removing the plastic cap I found the screw that holds the knob in place loosening. After tightening the screw we didn’t have any further problems with the knob loosening up but it was something that shouldn’t happen under normal fishing circumstances. I deliberately tried to scratch the finish of the Serrano and found that it resisted damage very well and we didn’t observe any boat rash on the reel whatsoever after weeks of continuous use in California and Texas.


Just in case you need a reminder the line capacity is screened under the gearbox


Ergonomics: Weighing in at only 7.2oz. the Serrano is light, how light? Try .4 ounces lighter than the Shimano Curado E and even .2oz lighter than the tiny Daiwa Sol. It features machine cut brass gearing and manages to pack in 10BB + 1RB some of which are Japanese ABEC-5 class. The rubber knobs on the Serrano might be a tad small for some anglers but they are ergonomically shaped and I found them to be comfortable both when slow fishing plastics as well as fast cranking reaction baits.


The Serrano handled both mono and braided lines perfectly


The handle on the Serrano is similar to the Daiwa swept-handle design and is curved to allow for cranking closer to the body of the reel. The reel was also extremely easy to palm and it all but disappeared under my hand when fishing reaction baits and the short length of the nose made it easy to palm and keep my fingers on the line when finesse fishing plastics.


Under stress the Serrano's carbonite drag doled out plenty of fish stopping pressure consistently


Okuma must have confidence in the Serrano as the company backs it with a 3 year warranty (The Cayenne only has a one year) which is well beyond the one year industry average. Unfortunately if you prefer left hand retrieve you’re out of luck as there is not a lefty version of this reel currently available but Okuma has confirmed that based on the response to the current right hand version they are considering a left handed model in the future.


This is Okuma's most ergonomic baitcaster to date and it is very comfortable to palm


Price & Applications: Okuma has long demonstrated good bang for the buck performance and the Serrano continues that tradition. The Serrano retails for 169.99 which is 30 dollars over the Cayenne. Are the extra durability features and additional refinement worth the 30 dollar premium? I think so. Of course if you prefer a more traditional look the Cayenne features the more standard silver and red finish that is easier to match up with most rods, but I actually really like the lime green Serrano finish which not only pairs beautifully with Okuma’s own C3 rods but looks right at home on grey and black graphite blanks as well. If you don’t care about cosmetics the extra durability afforded the reel should be justification enough for any inshore angler or bass fisherman frequently targets bass in brackish water.


The Serrano is Okuma's best baitcaster to date and is a great deal for the money especially when you figure in the 3 Year Warranty


At 169.99 the Serrano is ten dollars less than both the Shimano E and Daiwa Aggrest reels. It is more expensive than the very aggressively priced Shimano Citica E and costs exactly the same as the Daiwa Advantage-A, but feels more refined and boasts a more compact footprint than both of those reels, not to mention the Serrano weighs .6oz. less than the Citica E and a whopping 1.3oz. less than the Advantage-A. The Serrano is already a good value but Okuma is trying to sweeten the deal, at least until May, with a 30 dollar mail in rebate on the Serrano (and a 20 dollar MIR on the Cayenne) which makes the reel a downright exceptional value at 139.99.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Okuma Serrano SR-200W Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very good construction that makes use of an aluminum frame and handle side sideplate 8.5
Performance Great overall performance, I had a problem with one of the knobs loosening up but once I tightened the screw it performed just fine. A good long distance caster and the reel feels smooth and connected during retrieves 8
Price A excellent price and overall value (especially with the 3 year warranty and current MIR) 9
Features Lots of features including a corrosion resistant finish, brass gearing and tons of bearings, including high end Japanese ABEC-5 spool bearings 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) This is Okumas most ergonomic baitcaster yet, it is easy to palm and is very light. Only real possible complaints are the knobs may be small for some anglers and the non handle sideplate needs to be removed to access the cast control system. 8
Application Great for both freshwater and inshore fishing, the extra durability and corrosion resistant features make this a well rounded reel and worth the 30 dollar premium over the Cayenne 9

Total Score

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

J Great all round performance L Adjusting cast control requires removing of sideplate which disconnects from body
J Reliable drag system L No lefty currently available
J Excellent durability and corrosion resistance  
J Three Year Warranty  
J Excellent price and overall value  


Conclusion: Let’s cut to the chase, the Okuma Serrano is simply the best low profile baitcaster that Okuma has released to date. This is the reel that Okuma needed to really get into the game and fixes two of the company’s biggest problems with previous generation baitcasters, the bulk and refinement. The Serrano while more expensive is the better value and for only 30 dollars over the Cayenne delivers durability and refinement that is well worth the small price premium. The question is can you take the bright green finish? While this green color is more of a love it or hate it than the darker green found on competing reels it no doubt stands out. That’s what the Serrano is all about, standing out and making a statement, and that statement is that Okuma is serious about low profile baitcasters. While the reel wasn’t perfect throughout tests it did deliver in all the areas where it counts. I personally really like the way the Serrano both looks and feels and while many anglers have not considered Okuma baitcasters in the past this reel has the potential to change all that. Retailing for 169.99 the Serrano is a great value and when you figure in the 3 year warranty it really stands out from the pack. To top it all off Okuma has a mail in rebate which brings the price down to a killer 139 dollar price point that might just be that extra nudge that anglers needed to give the Serrano a shot. Even without the rebate the Serrano packs in the right features, refinement and durability that make this reel the only product this year thus far to claim a “Best Value” award. Now let’s hope that the company comes through with a lefty. 


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