Background Information

The Okuma Calera Low Profile Baitcasting Reel reviewed herein has a gear ratio of 6.6:1, a line capacity of 130yd/12#, and has been in use for approximately eight months. It has seen heavy use for all sorts of bass fishing applications from finesse to power fishing and even some saltwater surf fishing. Lines used with this reel are 10# P-Line Fluorocarbon, 12# Izorline Platinum Copolymer, 15# Yozuri Hybrid Copolymer, and 30# Sufix Braid.Okuma Calera Baitcasting Reel

Reliability

This reel has seen mostly freshwater use, with one saltwater use and has only ever been serviced once. While surf fishing, the reel was submerged in sandy beach water, causing sand to infiltrate the reel’s internal workings. This created some unpleasant grinding and difficulty reeling at first, but after a quick rinse with bottled water, it functioned smoothly again. The reel was serviced that night with a thorough cleaning and oiling, and has been running smoothly ever since with no visible signs of corrosion.

The thumb lever remains flawless and as crisp as it was when new.

The star drag system is smooth, but isn’t as strong as I would have liked. With most baitcasters, the use of your thumb as an extra drag is also a viable option.

Reliability Rating: 4.5/5


 

Durability

This reel has seen abuse during transport and during use. It has been tossed in a car a countless number of times, knocked around while climbing trees and blazing trails, and has hit the dirt more times than I can count. Only very minor paint scratches have been visible, with no chipping evident. Functionally, the reel remains perfect despite all of the abuse it has been through.

The reel can also withstand quite a bit of torsion, as I have locked down the drag and pulled on the reel to get a lure out of many tough snags.

The only complaint I have is with the painted numbers on the cast control dial. This side of the reel is subject to constant rubbing from your palm, and the numbers will eventually wear off, leaving you to guess which is the high and low setting. With enough use one can memorize the settings, but I would prefer the numbers to be etched into the graphite body in future updates.

Durability Rating: 5/5


 

Ease of Use

The 6061 aluminum spool and graphite frame make the reel very light and easy to handle. The crank handles are comfortable and slightly tacky to provide extra grip in case your hands become wet. The thumb lever comes with a comfortable and grippy pad that adds a little extra comfort when operating.

While casting, the line comes off of the spool smoothly, however, the cast control settings could use some refinement. This is especially obvious when too much line has been spooled, which increases the rotational mass of the spool and can cause your reel to backlash significantly. I recommend leaving about 1/8th inch of spool showing so that your cast control works more effectively and doesn’t become overloaded. When using monofilament, copolymer, or fluorocarbon line, I also recommend to use no more than 15# test, as a line diameter any thicker than this will create difficulty when casting. Braid works very well in this reel, as it is equipped with a zirconium line guide insert for great abrasion resistance and low friction.

The cast control dials are easy to use and access, though some trial and error may be necessary to find a good setting for everyday use.

Ease of Use Rating: 4/5


 

Conclusion and Overall Rating

This casting reel can be found for sale between $80 – $99. For the price you pay, the reliability and durability is excellent. The reel also looks sleek and classy as an added bonus. Some parts of the reel may not feel as tight as some people would like, but functionality is not affected negatively, and the reel still does what it is meant to do very well.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5