Fishing Reel Background Information
Okuma RTX Spinning reels are designed as a light weight freshwater and inshore spinning reel. The frame and rotor are constructed of their proprietary C-40X carbon graphite, which means this reel has a total weight of only 6.6 ounces (smallest in the series)! Okuma claims that this construction is 25% lighter and 50% stronger than competitor’s graphite spinning reels. Manufactured with eight smooth bearings and quality lightweight aluminum components, this reel has been quite a treat to use.
The reel used in this review is the RTX-40S (4000 series) which weighs in at 8.2oz, and it was used for both freshwater and saltwater applications. The gear ratio on this particular reel is 6.0:1. The Okuma RTX series reels have an MSRP or $99.99. It has been rigged up to catch large mouth bass, surf perch, and striped bass from the municipal pier. It is spooled with 20# P-Line CX Monofilament and 30# Sufix Braid.
This reel has seen most of its use for surf and inshore fishing applications. It has been intimately introduced to salt water and sand during surf fishing, but no noticeable reduction of performance is noted. The reel’s eight bearings still remain smooth as if the reel had never been in contact with sea water or sand. There was, however, a small amount of debris that entered the bail’s spring mechanism, making it difficult to keep the bail open. This was remedied with a thorough cleaning under water and some lubrication to the moving parts. After the debris was removed, the reel functioned flawlessly afterwards.
I am most impressed with the powerful drag on this reel, which is advertised at 13lbs, however, I believe this is an underestimation of the strength. The drag functions smoothly and effectively to allow you to fight a big fish without worry of being spooled.
The anti-reverse engages instantly, disallowing any unintentional backwards play.
The spinning reel is nicely balanced and fairly lightweight for its size which makes for a very pleasant reeling experience.
Overall Reliability Rating: 9/10
This reel has not seen as much abuse as my other freshwater reels since most of its use is on open beaches and on piers that are typically free of obstacles and other potentially damaging objects. It is difficult to comment on the actual durability of the reel, however, based on the solid feel of the reel’s construction and materials, I would be willing to bet that the reel can stand up to significantly more abuse than I have inflicted on it. The light weight aluminum spool is practically indestructible when used appropriately, and the graphite frame and rotor feel very dense and solid, giving the reel a durable and tight feeling.
The anodized bail wire and some parts of the reel that might contact the ground show minor signs of paint scraping, but this is of course completely normal and to be expected of just about any used products.
The reel’s internal gears are constructed of a lightweight, high strength aluminum to reduce natural wear-and-tear and ensure that reeling will feel smooth throughout its entire life.
Overall Durability Rating: 10/10
Design and Features
This spinning reel is just as easy to use as any other quality spinning reel. The primary differences you will find with similarly priced reels is in the light material and excellent design of the reel.
While other reels may use aesthetics and marketing to dictate their high price, Okuma uses truly quality components and designs the RTX reels to look sleek with a touch of flare, not gaudy and needing of attention. The RESII (Rotor Equalizing System) works well to keep everything feeling tight and uniform while the high strength graphite frame and rotor keep the reel light and quick.
The tactile drag knob with its deep cutouts makes it easy to adjust your drag in an active fight. A lot of finer design details are also included, such as a nicely skeletonized spool, a large easy-to-grasp bail wire, a knurled surface for your initial line tie to hold on; the list goes on.
Overall Design and Features Rating: 10/10
Closing Comments and Overall Rating
The Okuma RTX series spinning reels can be appreciated by a person who values performance and practicality over all else. With a relatively high bearing count (eight), design features and material selection that improve the user experience, this reel is everything you need and nothing you don’t. Freshwater, inshore, and even deep, the Okuma RTX will serve you well in almost any scenario. It calls for a reasonable MSRP of $99.99; a bargain considering the excellent materials and detailed design.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10