Okuma Fishing Tackle’s Makaira and Andros platforms have revolutionized offshore conventional reel power and performance. Upon release of those products, Okuma’s attention shifted to saltwater spinning reels, with a focus on advancing strength, performance and durability in the wildly popular MSRP range of less than $130. All-new Okuma Azores spinning reels, the Z-55S, Z-65S and Z-80S, are the results of a multi-year engineering review that advances the category to new levels of strength and stability.
Azores begin with proven power features including die-cast aluminum body, side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gear and the Okuma Dual Force Drag system that utilizes a traditional top drag stack in concert with an oversized Carbonite drag washer beneath the spool to increase high-end drag output as well as spool stability under load.
It’s beneath the machined aluminum spool and inside the body where Azores gains massive separation from competitors. In an Okuma first, Azores features dual anti-reverse systems. The one-way clutch bearing is joined by a ratcheting anti-reverse that’s molded into the actual bottom of the rotor for increased diameter and larger teeth than competitive systems.
Delving inside the body reveals an all-new Okuma Mechanical Stabilization System. Molded of carbon composite, this three-part system enhances the strength of the aluminum framing and maintains critical alignment of internal parts while working in conjunction with the Okuma CRC (Corrosion Resistant Coating) process to stop the flow of electrolysis between the aluminum body and stainless internal parts.
Three components of the Mechanical Stabilization System include two hold plates on each side of the body and a one-way clutch housing at the top of the body. All custom molded to the framing for exacting fit, they provide a solid anchor point for the main gear, bearings and spool shaft while completely isolating stainless internal parts from the aluminum frame.
Running the centerline is Azores’ oversized 6mm stainless steel spool shaft. Over this foundation is an 8mm forged brass spool shaft sleeve that dramatically increases stability of the spool and drag system alignment when fished under heavy drag pressure.
In concert, Azores components combine to deliver a structure worthy of up to 44-pounds of maximum drag the family is capable of. And when under load, six corrosion-resistant stainless steel Okuma HPB bearings ensure buttery smooth cranking. The pinion gear bearing, the most potentially exposed to saltwater, is rubber sealed and features a full grease pack, as does the drive shaft bearing.
The Z-55S features a 5.8:1 gear ratio while the Z-65S and Z-80S utilize a 5.4:1 gear ratio. Per every turn of the handle, Azores models take in 39- 42- and 46-inches of line, respectively.