Okuma Cedros 10S Reel Review by Jay Riordan
About six months ago I was given the Okuma Cedros lever drag 10S with one very simple request. It was to test the reel out, see if it was really as good as the company touted it to be.
I scanned the outside of the box to get a quick overview of what class this reel was in. A speedy 6.2:1 gear ratio would be quick enough to adequately deep jig for jacks, groupers, and snappers. Plenty of line capacity with 380 yards of 20 pound mono would allow it to be used for live bait king mackerel fishing. Probably the most impressive thing I noticed was that Okuma gives a 5 year warranty on the reel. This is much better than the standard one year warranty offered by other companies.
After taking it out of the box, the first thing to catch my eye was the deep blue color of the reel with hints of black trim. The colors of the reel made it look tough, maybe even flat out mean and aggressive. However the sleek design of the frame showed that this reels wasn’t all about being brutish and clucky. It looked more like a sleek racecar, almost too pretty to use. This was the type of reel that you knew was going to get a second look when you did choose to bring it out on the water. It was like a pretty girlfriend. You secretly wanted the other guys to notice her, maybe even want her…but no, she was yours and they couldn’t have her.
Next it was on to how the reel felt. I did the oh so obvious like all of us fisherman do. I cranked the handle a few times, put it free spool and spun the spool to see how smooth the reel was. The handle was ergonomically designed, almost perfect for high speed jigging and cranking. The lever drag was engineered with a ratcheting system along with drag cam for precise settings. This is extremely important when you realize your dealing with up to 27 pounds at strike and 34 pounds at full. I also tried to flex the frame and handle but I couldn’t overpower this little beast of a reel. I was convinced, this reel was solid. Built like a tank but not heavy as one since it was only a mere 24.6 ounces.
I must admit I was curious to do a little research on this reel after giving it a quick look over and holding it in my hands. I discovered Okuma had patented the Dual Force Drag System. Basically the drag system was engineered to be mounted on the right side of the spool, therefore eliminating the spool pressure on the left side plate. Now you’re probably asking for that in English. That translates into less frame flex, maximizing drag pressure, and decreases tolerance alignment issues. The reel also comes standard with carbon fiber washers and Cal Sheet’s Universal drag grease. Many competitors’ reels have to be aftermarket modified to achieve that level of performance.
The most common things to fail on a reel are the gears and the anti-reverse so I really wanted to know what was inside this reel. I discovered the main and pinion gears, along with the drive shafts and spool shafts are all cut from 17-4 stainless steel. This hybrid material offers better corrosion and heat resistance (up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit) than comparable 304-grade stainless. The anti-reverse system was designed to be fairly simple. A very silent 12 point double-dog anti-reverse pawl system.
The frame, spool, and reel clamp are all cold forged and machine cut from 6061-T6 aluminum. For those not familiar with cold forging, it basically compresses more material into the same space for increased strength. The reel body, side plates, handle, drag lever, and spool are all Type-III hard anodized for maximum corrosion resistance.
So with all the technical stuff out of the way, your probably wondering how the reel performed. It can be summed up with one word, flawless. I used the reel for six months. It caught everything; cobias, kings, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, and tunas. It was used and abused, sometimes not even rinsed off after a hard day of fishing, and it still looks and feels as good as the day it came out of the box. No corrosion, no sticky drag, no loud bearings, no failures. Overall I am more than impressed with the Cedros lever drag 10S.