Okuma Axeon VII Fixed Spool Reel & Prologic Spod Rod

Sat 17 May 14

 

Any angler looking for a reasonably priced combo to tackle the rigours of casting heavyweight spods and other baiting equipment would do well to consider this pairing.

Okuma have a reputation for offering good quality at great prices, and in our opinion, they have succeeded again with the Axeon VII (AXII-60) reel. Is it a ‘big pit’? A dedicated spod reel? Something else? We think it could possibly be all three, but is perhaps most often listed as a ‘surfcaster’ offering unrivalled power and performance, and therefore perfect for baiting work! It’s a fairly typical large fixed spool with all the features you would expect from Okuma and, in truth, perhaps a few more. The main reel frame is of good weight with a genuine ‘solid’ feel to it and no plastic panels to break, snap or warp; the body appears to be all metal (die cast or anodised?) with the exception of the backwind switch, so it will withstand some serious use. It is supplied with two spools, one graphite, one aluminium, giving the option to switch quickly between applications and each holds a fairly hefty 260yds of 18lbs line.

The Axeon series has the excellent Okuma worm shaft transmission system, and this model offers a gearing ratio of 4.5;1 and runs on four ball and one roller bearing, so it’s silky smooth even when under considerable strain. Rotor equalising engineering adds supreme balance and the oversize roller gives smooth line lay to aid casting and recovery. The front drag is responsive and easy to operate. One particularly pleasing addition which UKMA noticed was the brush on the underside of the rotor arm which clears water and other muck from the spool as it oscillilates to prevent damage behind or line trap under the rear of the spool. We are sure there is a technical term for this idea, but it worked well and we had no issues with tangles or intrusive muck.

The reel also has a cast aluminium handle which is long to provide real ‘crank power’ on the retrieve and is set far enough from the body so there is no danger of fingers or clothing getting caught up to cause issue. The ergonomic design of the handle ensures it is easy to grip in the worst conditions with the coldest of fingers! There are perhaps a few other points to consider, including a superb line clip,but overall, it’s a top notch reel at a price you wouldn’t expect to pay; what more could you ask for?!

Twinning the reel with the Prologic 12’ 4.5lbs Spod Rod gave us a fantastic combo which would suit most budgets. The rod itself is constructed on a high modulus carbon blank, set with six SIC eyes tastefully attached to the rod with understated whippings and has a quality DPS reel seat. Like most rods, it’s a two piece instrument, without flashy or gaudy graphics, finished in graphite/grey which oozes functionality and is supplied in a cloth cover.

Piecing the rod together and attaching the reel, it felt extremely well balanced just above the butt and was comfortable to use during extended periods of baiting with a hefty Spomb at ranges to around fifty yards. We did give it a few casts out to much further distances and the fast action really punched the loaded Spomb out easily despite a stiff crosswind. The very slim, uncomplicated butt section gave a good grip and didn’t get in the way whilst casting, and is long enough to allow the angler to really get under the rod and compress it quickly to give power and distance. The stiff blank and fast action unloaded smoothly to propel a fully laden Spomb with accuracy every time!

A couple of things to note; the 50mm butt eye is superbly positioned to allow line to spill off the spool without friction; too close and casting distance is lost, too far and spool tangles can result…this one delivered without any problem during extensive use. The large tip eye also allows an awful lot of power to be transmitted directly to the spod/Spomb without losing any to friction…..worth noting when looking for a rod which will deliver a big load; a 3lb test curve carp rod just will not do what this rod will…
So, when in use, how did it perform? A few casts with just a lead to allow our man to ‘clip up’ at the correct distance and the largest of the Spomb family was attached. If you are unaware of the Spomb (where have you been?!) it’s a rocket shaped delivery system that our tester prefers over the spod, which does the same job, but better! Loading the Spomb with a variety of goodies, and ensuring feet were correctly placed, it was fired out towards our mark. The trajectory followed by the Spomb had much to do with the rod and a nice high curve resulted in the Spomb being bang on target as the line hit the clip on the Okuma Axeon. The rod is stiff enough to remove any chance of overshooting the target area due to bending too far; it may sound insignificant, but if the rod goes too far, then accurately putting bait under willows becomes a nightmare scenario of a Spomb in the trees…..

During the day, the only inaccuracy was down to our tester, and certainly not due to the equipment! The rod and reel performed brilliantly, consistently and accurately; it really is a baiting delivery pairing which will do the job every time and at a price to suit many pockets.

The Okuma Axeon VII reel has a RRP of £79.99 and the Prologic Spod Rod has a RRP of £49.99.

 

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