Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel Featured Image

Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel Review

Okuma Cedros

Okuma set out to make a high-speed spinning reel that will conquer oceans and lakes without killing your pockets. The result is the Cedros —an affordable reel with high-end features.

To me, there’s nothing quite like saltwater fishing. I’m hyper-aware of all the big fish ready to pounce, so every cast is an adrenaline rush! 

But there’s one thing that can kill my mood lickety-split —using a saltwater reel that sucks! It’s an aggravation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. 

That’s why it’s smart to research reels and know what you’re getting before you buy. It’s the best way to avoid the dreaded “crappy reel scenario.” You know…backlash, missed fish, poor casting and plenty of cussing.

But finding the best reel reviews isn’t easy —so I’m here to help. Here’s my review of the Okuma Cedros spinning reel —It’s a solid saltwater/freshwater reel worthy of a look.

It’s one of my favorites, but you can make up your own mind after you get the facts. So without further delay here’s everything you need to know about the Okuma Cedros —

Crafted for Saltwater Fishing

The Cedros is designed to withstand saltwater and haul in big fish. So if you’re looking for an affordable reel for ocean-fishing this may be your huckleberry. 

The Cedros is designed to withstand saltwater and haul in big fish…

You can also use it for freshwater fishing. Lots of anglers use the Cedros to target big bass and catfish. It comes in models ranging from 11.2 to 23 ounces —so whether you’re going after sailfish or largemouth, you’re covered. 

As far as fishing line, it works great with monofilament and super braids. Its ability to work with braided line is crucial when battling a striper or marlin. You won’t have to be scared senseless that your line’s about to pop. 

Reap The Benefits of a High-Speed Reel

When you’re saltwater fishing, your reel’s gear ratio is important. This is because you might be fishing at depths of over 100 feet, and using a standard-speed reel would take forever to retrieve your bait or lure.

When you’re saltwater fishing, your reel’s gear ratio is important…

Oh, and in case you’re wondering —the gear ratio is the number of times the spool turns per crank of the handle. So if the spool turns 6 times per 1 full rotation of the handle, the ratio is 6.0:1.

The gear ratio for the Cedros is 6.2:1 —which is considered high speed. But remember that the heavier models of this reel have a lower gear ratio.

Docked Fishing Boat
Docked Fishing Boat

Good for Deep-Water Fishing

You want a reel with a high gear ratio and retrieve rate, so you won’t have to do as much reeling. Getting your hook back in faster also allows you to make more casts and be more productive while fishing. 

TIP

High-speed reels are also ideal for deep-water jigging, because they have a higher retrieve rate. That makes the Okuma Cedros a wise choice for jig fishing. 

Easy to Operate —Great for Novice Anglers

Beginners looking to hit the ocean and catch fish could benefit from this reel. Compared to baitcasters, spinning reels are easier to use. 

This is crucial when you’re saltwater fishing because it’s all about making long, accurate casts. So if you’re still gaining experience as a fisherman, then a spinning reel is ideal. But if you’re a more experienced angler, then feel free to roll with a baitcaster. 

Some Light Maintenance Required

The main complaint about this reel is that the gears break down over time. This usually happens due to saltwater damage. 

NOTE

Although the Cedros is built to weather the harsh effects of salt, it needs to be rinsed with normal water after fishing. Heck, it wouldn’t hurt to rinse it several times while you’re using it —especially on all-day fishing trips. 

This is a pretty vital step in helping it last a long time. So if you don’t like the idea of babying the Cedros a bit, then consider going with a more expensive reel that handles saltwater a little better.

Okay now that you know some basics about the Okuma Cedros, I’ll dive into some of the details. But first here’s a quick overview of what the reel brings to the table —

The Okuma Cedros —The Best of Both Worlds

Okuma Cedros Body
Okuma Cedros Body

Quality, Duality and Affordability 

Okuma set out to make a high-speed spinning reel that will conquer oceans and lakes without killing your pockets. The result is the Cedros —an affordable reel with high-end features. 

The coolest things about the Cedros are its duality and affordability. It can be used in saltwater or freshwater —so you don’t have to switch reels when you switch bodies of water. Plus, it’s made from materials you find in more expensive reels. 

The Cedros is the culmination of a long line of Okuma spinners looking to deliver a solid medium between price and performance…

The Cedros is the culmination of a long line of Okuma spinners looking to deliver a solid medium between price and performance. With recent innovations in material and hybrid construction, this reel pretty much set a new standard. 

You won’t get the most ball bearings, and the gear ratio could be higher. There are definitely more expensive reels out there if your budget allows. But being the thorough, practical guy that I am —I must say this reel hits the sweet spot. 

A Few Quick Pros and Cons for the Okuma Cedros 

Pros 

  • Stands up to saltwater corrosion
  • Built to handle big fish 
  • A stellar drag system
  • High quality, yet affordable 
  • Designed for smooth reeling —easy on wrists
  • High-speed reel for saltwater fishing 

Cons 

  • Has 5 ball bearings —which is pretty average 
  • Requires rinsing the gears after use to avoid corrosion
  • On some models, the gear ratio is a little low for a high-speed reel
  • Some anglers say it doesn’t feel “solid” like more expensive spinners

Now it’s time to plummet head-first into the nitty-gritty. So no more teasing — here are the specifics about the Cedros spinning reel —

Protective Technology

The Cedros is infused with “High Density Gearing II Technology” and a corrosion-resistant coating. They work in tandem to protect the gears from strain, plus prevent saltwater damage.

This is a crucial feature if you’re going after trophy fish like marlin. Monster fish like that can test the limits of your reel’s strength and durability. 

if you don’t rinse this reel frequently then saltwater might damage the gears over time…

As stated, if you don’t rinse this reel frequently then saltwater might damage the gears over time. So in a sense, how long it lasts is partly up to you. 

An Average Amount of Ball Bearings

Some spinning reels have 10 or more ball bearings. The Cedros has 5, which some anglers view as a low number. But this reel still manages to produce a smooth cast and retrieve.

True —how smooth a reel casts and retrieves is said to be linked to the bearing count —the more bearings the better. But the Cedro’s high gear ratio and retrieve rate offsets its mediocre bearing-count. 

Can Handle Heavy Fish and the Elements 

If you want a reel with an aluminum build and solid drag system then here you go. The Cedros is made from aluminum and graphite —this hybrid construction checks the boxes for quality and durability.

If you want a reel with an aluminum build and solid drag system then here you go…

As mentioned, some anglers say it doesn’t feel as solid as more expensive reels, but that’s mostly when it comes to lighter models. All models have brass pinion gears built to perform and last. 

A Strong, Comfortable Handle for Reeling

The Cedros also packs an anodized machined aluminum handle. I know this may not sound all that amazing, but it really helps when you’re reeling all day. The last thing you want is wrist-cramps or blisters. 

It also helps a ton when a big fish is on the line. Cranking a handle you can grip makes all the difference in the world. Plus, the handle is made of cold-forged aluminum, so the fish will break before the reel ever will. 

Handle May Throw off the Balance a Bit

Some anglers say that the balance is thrown off a bit by the huge knob on the handle. Personally, I think it helps keep it smooth —but others seem to think it’s awkward.

Okuma Dual Drag Force System Technology
Okuma Dual Drag Force System Technology

A Damn Good Drag System

Fish like tuna, stripers and snapper can put up a hell of a fight. So can big bass and catfish. Whether you’re hitting the lake or the ocean, you need a drag that won’t let you down. 

There are some really good things going on with the Cedro’s drag system. Okuma made a more innovative drag system that’s ideal for taking on big fish —

Caution: “Dual Drag Force” at Work 

Its “dual drag force” gives you a more powerful drag through increased force. It redirects pressure from the side-plate and strengthens the lower frame. In turn, this minimizes tolerance alignment issues.

NOTE

All this probably sounds a bit technical. But in a nutshell, Okuma leveraged the sweet art of mechanical physics to evolve their drag. It’s a step above the rest —in fact you’d have to modify most reels to get a drag like the Cedros’. 

Hydro Block Water-Tight Drag Seal

This is how Okuma protects your drag system from the elements. Any saltwater looking to foul up your reel gets rejected. 

Corrosion kills drag systems every day on the ocean —so this feature is actually pretty vital. It keeps your drag bucking big fish in a smooth way. 

Quickset Anti-reverse and Multiple Max Drags 

The max drag and line capacity vary across all 6 models, but each one is capable of handling big fish. Even the lightest model weighing 11.2 ounces has a 20 + pound max drag. So again, this reel gets my nod on laying down the law for lunkers. 

The Cedros also comes with an anti-reverse feature that some reels lack…

The Cedros also comes with an anti-reverse feature that some reels lack. This helps ensure that big fish can’t take off and twist your line around structures. 

Overall, its drag is designed to disperse heat across the spool better. That translates into a smooth drag that stops you from losing fish. 

It also allows the gears in the drag to last longer. Heat is the main thing that messes up your drag, and Okuna found a way to minimize it.

Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel Side View
Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel Side View

A Spool Designed for Larger Line

The Cedros has a two-tone anodized ported spool. What the heck is that? Well, it’s not what it is —it’s what it does!

Its spacious spool allows it to hold larger line than other reels. That means less line breakage and swearing. It gives you the advantage when it comes to hauling in trophy fish. 

Narrow Shape to Ease Wrist Fatigue 

As mentioned, this reel comes in various models with various weights. But even if you roll with a heavier model, it’s still easy to reel. 

designed for smooth rotations —which means less wear on your wrist…

It’s designed for smooth rotations —which means less wear on your wrist. This comes in handy when you’re grappling with a sailfish and you need to show it who’s boss. 

If you’re a fisherman with carpal tunnel or arthritis this little difference could be huge. If you’re looking for a reel that’s easy on the wrist then give the Cedros a look. 

NOTE

But keep in mind that this is not an ultralight spinning reel. The lightest model is 11.2 ounces, which is not considered “ultralight”. To be in that category, a reel should weigh less than 9 ounces. 

An Elliptical Oscillation System for Better Balance

This feature is Okuma’s attempt to irradiate spool jumping. Basically, the gears have a patented elliptical shape that demands a smooth spool stroke. 

It keeps the line-lay even and tight, so the spool stays balanced. You won’t have to worry about wobbling or spool jumping.

This comes in especially handy when you’ve got a monster fish on the line. A wobbly reel can steal your focus and cause you to lose the fish. With EOS in place, your reel stays tightly fixed and steady. 

So Where’s the Proof that The Okuma Cedros Works?

Okay, so as it turns out I’m not the only one that fell in love with the Okuma Cedros. I didn’t take long to find a video from an Okuma representative, plus an angler using one to catch a 30- pound tuna —

Check out this professional breakdown of the Cedros by an expert at Okuma —

Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel

Here’s a guy landing a 30-pound yellowfin tuna with the Okuma Cedros

Okay, you’ve heard it from another expert, plus seen it in action. Now let’s look at a few other reels that might pique your interest —

Cadence CS6 Spinning Reel

This saltwater reel is less expensive than the Cedros, but still packs some pretty sweet features. It’s also built for saltwater, but can be used in freshwater.

Cadence CS6 Spinning Reel

This saltwater reel is less expensive than the Cedros, but still packs some pretty sweet features. It’s also built for saltwater, but can be used in freshwater. 

The Cadence has a higher bearing count but doesn’t have the same type of quality drag system. If you’re on a low budget and looking to do some saltwater fishing, then this could be your poor man’s version of the Cedros —

  • Boasts 8 ball bearing —that’s 3 more than the Cedros 
  • Is about half the price of the Cedros 
  • Offers comparable strength and corrosion resistance 
  • Has an EVA handle —not quite as good as the Okuma’s handle 
  • Good for saltwater and freshwater fishing as well 
  • All models have max drag of 29 pounds 
  • Weighs less than the Cedros 
  • Lightest version has a slower gear ratio

Check out the Cadence and see if it’s for you.

Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel

This reel is pretty darn heavy-duty. If you’re looking to target tuna, jack or marlin —here you go.

Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel

Okay, this is a saltwater reel built for something big. No not Jaws big —you’re not going to “need a bigger boat”. But this reel is pretty darn heavy-duty. If you’re looking to target tuna, jack or marlin —here you go. 

The reel models range from 14 – 43 ounces, so it’s built to handle a hog —plus the salty water. From the price to the drag system, everything is a bit different than the Cedros —

  • Built for heavy-duty fishing 
  • A max drag of up to 60 pounds
  • IPX6 sealed system with Dura Drag that keeps water out of gear box and drag
  • It’s a more expensive spinning reel 
  • Some of the heavier models have a low gear ratio —but that’s to be expected
  • Lighter models have a decent gear ratio —6.2:1

Make a move on this heavy-duty beauty and snag something huge.

Daiwa Coastal TWST-Wing Reel

The Daiwa Coastal is a good choice for the seasoned saltwater angler. Casting with a reel like this takes some practice, so it’s not a good choice for novice anglers

Daiwa Coastal TWST-Wing Reel

Okay, here’s another hog —but this time it’s a baitcaster. It’s a pricey reel but I wanted to throw it out there in case you have a formidable budget. 

The Daiwa Coastal is a good choice for the seasoned saltwater angler. Casting with a reel like this takes some practice, so it’s not a good choice for novice anglers —

  • Highly Corrosion Resistant 
  • Has an enormous drag capacity of up to 154 pounds —yeah, that blows the other reels out of the water
  • Packs 8 ball bearings —same as the Cadence, and more than the Cedros 
  • Custom EVA handle with loads of cranking power 
  • Magforce cast control for long, accurate casts 
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum spool 

Wrapping up

Alright my fellow anglers, it’s that part of the journey where I part ways with you. But it’s a good feeling, because I know you’re a bit more informed than you were 20 minutes ago. And hopefully you have a better idea of how to avoid buying a crappy reel. 

Now you know there are some reliable saltwater and freshwater reels out there —the Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel, in particular. Between its killer drag system, affordability and performance —you can’t really go wrong with it. 

One thing is for sure —it will help you avoid the dreaded “crappy reel effect”. There will be no backlash, broken line or missed fish. Check out the Okuma Cedros and avoid the hassle —and enjoy the fishing!

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