Okuma Azores Spinning Reel Review
- Great value
- Very smooth drag
- Hydro-block water tight
- Dual anti-reverse system
- A little heavy
- Warranty could be longer
Saltwater fishing is a world apart from freshwater fishing and requires specialized equipment. Okuma’s product engineers developed the Okuma Azores line of spinning reels specifically for saltwater anglers interested in improving their experience with the help of a competent spinning reel.
This new lineup features five separate models designed to cover a broad range of fishing experiences. The smallest reels have high speed retrieval ratios, while the larger options are great for wide casting and reeling in those heavier fish.
Overall, the Okuma Azores line is simple and easy to use, with a couple of consistent features which make the reels a joy to work with. Before diving into these characteristics, here is a quick rundown about the five current models and how they differ from one another.
The Various Models
Okuma Azores Z-40S
This is the smallest model available and ideal for anglers who are interested in small saltwater fish like a cunner or tomcod. This reel has a gear ratio of 5.8:1 and weighs around 12 oz., making it a lightweight option for the average rod. The interior features six standard ball bearings and the line retrieve is around 34.8 in.
Individuals interested in this rod will find it an excellent option for lightweight fishing, but need to be cautious of the 28 lb. max drag pressure.
Okuma Azores Z-55S
The Z-55S is super similar to the Z-40S with only a couple changes in the basic qualities of the reel. For example, it has the same gear ratio of 5.8:1 and only has a slightly higher max drag pressure of 29 lbs. The main differences are in the weight and line retrieve, which are 18 oz. and 39 in.
Okuma Azores Z-65S
The Z-65S is the first of the larger three spinning reels. It is meant to accommodate anglers interested in medium-sized fish and includes some changes, including a switch from a 5.8:1 gear ratio of 5.4:1. It weighs 24.7 oz. The line retrieve is also much longer at 42 in., and the max drag pressure is 44 lbs.
Okuma Azores Z-80S
Next in line is the Z-80S with similar characteristics to the Z-65S. The max drag pressure is once again 44 lbs. and the gear ratio is 5.4:1. The main differences are the Z-80S has a 46 in. line retrieve and weighs a slightly heavier 25.5 oz.
Okuma Azores Z-90S
Last but not least, there is the heavyweight Okuma Azores Z-90S for anglers after the big saltwater fish. Similar to the other large rods, this model has a total gear ratio of 5.4:1 and actually has almost exactly the same states as the Z-80S, including a 46 in. line retrieve, a weight of 25.5 oz., and a max drag pressure of 44 lbs.
The area in which the Z-90S stands out is in the mono line capacity, as this is the only Azores reel capable of handling 550/15 yards/lb.
When it comes to the actual performance of the Okuma Azores line, anglers will be glad to see a few consistent features that make these reels a joy to use. First and foremost, all of the internal and external components are made of the same machined and anodized aluminum which is coated to be corrosion resistant.
Okuma’s choice to use the same metal throughout is essential because it ensures the reel is as effective as possible. The pieces do not become jammed or rust easily, and it is also simple to find replacement pieces as needed.
Some other features which stand out include the six stainless steel ball bearings in each model (and each reel comes with a spare), the oversized spool shaft, and the dual anti-reverse system. The combination of these pieces result in a powerful reel capable of handling even the heaviest of standard saltwater fish.
Of course, the feature which stood out the most when testing the five models was how smooth the drag was. Normally, when you purchase a saltwater spinning reel, it can be difficult to find an option that doesn’t struggle to reel in the fish. Sometimes this is because the base components of the reel are terrible, but the truth is drag suffers when the interior corrodes or experiences electrolysis.
Okuma constructed the Azores line to maintain smooth drag by carefully sealing the interior of the reel so saltwater does not get inside. Combined with the reel’s durable construction, anglers will be able to pull in the most resilient of sea bass.
As an additional plus, these five Azores reels are covered by a limited 1-year warranty in case of manufacturing defects.
Is the Okuma Azores line of spinning reels worth the money? Absolutely. These reels not only come in five different sizes, but are also consistent when it comes to performance and a breeze to install, maintain, and use on a regular basis.
It is fair to say that the Okuma Azores is one of the best spinning reels for the money.
Models Specification Table
|Model||Gear Ratio||Bearings||Weight (g)||Retreive (cm)||Max drag (kg)||Mono cap (mm)|