OKUMA CONTOURA REEL

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Corr, March 8, 2009.

  1. Corr

    Corr Well-Known Member

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    I wanted a reel that was smallish, light in weight, (graphite frame) had a shoulder on the spool for my thumb, at least 6:1 retrieve, casts well, all the modern gadgets like magnetic cast control, AR bearing oversize handle, and preferably not as expensive as the big brands.

    My research led me to this reel, I read good reports and it complied with my requirement. Unfortunately it was not available in S.A. at the time so I ordered it from the US and it duly arrived at my local post office two days ago.


    [​IMG]

    I bought it unseen and my first reaction was that it looked very nice, but the CR-453CS is much bigger then I had anticipated. It is roughly equal to a “50” reel though the spool is smaller, so I decided to rather see if I can get rid of it, however the temptation was just too much to spool it with some line and go make a few casts!

    I will “play” with the reel and write some comments and post pictures as I go along, this may be over a number of days as I try it and look inside.

    Yesterday I spooled it with 275mt Sufix braid of 0.36 mm backing and about 140mt 0.55mm Sufix XL strong mono. It was comfortably full and could probably take another 40mt mono.

    Then to the water where I made about 100 casts.


    I LIKED:-
    • The cool appearance, strong looking and nice finish
    • Easy cast and nice free spool
    • Very smooth retrieve
    • Very effective adjustable cast control
    • Lightness for its size
      • It weighs 670gr fully loaded with line, against my smaller Saltist 40H at 751gr.

    I DID NOT LIKE:-
    • Large bulky appearance compared with my Diawa and Shimano 40’s
      • Its as wide as a 50 size reel, but the frame diameter is 0.4mm greater then my other Diawa’s
    • Noisy cast
    • Insufficient drag for my liking
    Today I opened the left side plate to look at the inside and was impressed with the nice finish on the spool………the plastic bits look acceptable.
    The spool seems heavy when compared to other reels and the reason can clearly be seen in the diameter of the material and shaft. It all looks very robust.

    [​IMG]

    What is interesting to me is the way they have constructed the mag system, which also explains the reason for the large frame. Rather then adjust the magnets towards or away from the spool (horizontally), it move upwards (vertically) and completely away from the spool. The magnets are also encased in a plastic container, a nice touch!



    I LIKED:-
    • The solid appearance of the spool and shaft
    • Simple insides, easy dismantling
    I DID NOT LIKE:-
    • The heavy spool and assembly.
    • Screw holding bearing in place……is functional, but looks like an afterthought.
    • 6mm diameter bolt/nut holding handle in place.
    (to be continued)





    (Continued a few days later)

    I’ve made a few more casts with it, and unfortunately not caught a fish yet.

    Today I opened it to see if I can find a reason for the noisy cast, and improve the drag a bit.

    The first thing I noticed is that it is a completely different animal then the reels I’m used to, the whole right hand side containing all the working parts, detaches from the frame, not sure if this has any benefit, and you need to “hou kop” because you end up looking & working from a different angle then unusual.

    [​IMG]
    Checked the bearing, all 100% and no obvious issues anywhere, with the exception of the clutch lever assembly that has too much play in it and will eventually cause a problem. (I have this feeling about all the current clutch assemblies on reels, but they eventually all seem to last)

    [​IMG]
    Then took the drag apart, looks like Carbontex washers (they call it something different). All looks fairly robust. I faced the metal plates which should improve drag a bit, a tiny lick of grease and re assembled.

    [​IMG]

    Thus far I have no serious reservations about anything, the drag I’ll get the way I want it, the noisy cast is possibly the result of a heavy spool that is slightly out of balance. I suppose I don’t like the unusual way of dismantling the reel, but perhaps it’s just a bit of resistance to change. Once used to it, it could perhaps be easier to work on. I am disappointed that it used different size bearings to what I have for my other reels.

    I will report further after I’ve used it for some time or come across any problems.
     
    #1 Corr, March 8, 2009
    Last edited: March 14, 2009
  2. duckfb64

    duckfb64 Well-Known Member

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    awesome wright up. great report.
     
  3. Joey805

    Administrator

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    Great review!
     
  4. Corr

    Corr Well-Known Member

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    “1 & 1/2 weeks later”
    I’ve now caught two Yellowtail with this reel and am happy with the drag and the reel’s pulling ability. I now use completely dry drag washers and did some more work on the plates; it’s smooth and strong enough now.

    The noisy cast is still irritating me, and I can not find the cause without going to “extreme” measures witch I will eventually resort to. I have noticed a small burr on the spool shaft under the pinion which may possibly be the culprit and will attempt to remove that.

    I also had to use locktite on the clutch lever screw to keep it from working loose.

    I will use the reel exclusively for a few weeks and work on finding the cause of the casting noise.

    When I’ve figured the “noise problem” or have any other comment, Ill report again.
     
  5. uslynx

    uslynx Member

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    Very nice review/report. Thanks for the post.
     
  6. Corr

    Corr Well-Known Member

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    I have forgotten about this thread!:sad:

    I’ve now used this reel for more then a year, made thousands of casts, probably caught 50 Yellowtail with it. I made a number of minor modifications to it.

    I eventually wrote to Okuma Support to see if they know about the casting noise and have a solution for it. They immediately sent me a different spool all the way from China, so I can not complain about the after sales service. This fixed 90% of the noise problem. The replacement spool is a bit lighter and probably better balanced.

    Looking back and comparing the reel with my others of various makes and sizes, I will say it works well, but the build quality is not quite up to scratch and it has a lot of “slop” which bothers me. Having said that, I may ask if I need a reel that has been built to fine tolerances for my purpose, if this one works fine?

    Value for money I don’t think you can fault it.

    I do not regret having bought it and I may buy another if the famous brands keep on pushing their prices the way they have done, but I must admit it is not my favorite reel.
     
  7. Badger

    Badger Member

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    Started using Okuma's reels for hook and Line commercial. Seem to hold up fine, added 4 Countours to the mix for this year so we will see how well they hold up. For the price, you can't beat them. Cool to see the innards as I have not had to take one apart yet, not bad!

    The reason I like them is the slow freespool on clicker speed, dropping baits to the bottom that dose not whiplash the weighted baits.

    Cheers,
     
    #7 Badger, June 29, 2010
    Last edited: June 30, 2010
  8. sourcreamnjive

    sourcreamnjive Well-Known Member

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    Good write up Corr but, from experiences from friends have kept me away from Okuma all together I will pay the extra $$ for a much better reel.
     

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