Field Testing My NEW 14' Whipping Rod by Okuma!
A favorite fish for eating & hooking in Hawaii are Scads, also know as Akule for adults & Halalu for juveniles. Scads prefer deep water so having a long casting rod is needed. Okuma responded last year by introducing a long casting spinning rod. I've had this rod for awhile so thought it was about time to field test it. Rated for 12-25lb test line i went with 20lb Eminent Braid by Soft Steel. The thinner diameter helps me cast farther. I also chose a Blue Azores 4000. I put on +280yd with my Fishon Line Spooler. I used 8ft of 20lb fluorocarbon for my leader & a #4 hook w/a palomar knot.
I went with my best proven lure. A orange glow-grub called "Oh Baby" by Landon Yamamoto's Completely Hooked Lures (CHL). My main concern was what weight would i recommend for this rig? The rod is rated for 1/2 to 1-3/4oz. I chatted with a guy in Hilo who only fishes for Akule from shore for a living. He purchased this rod from local giant fishing tackle shop Tokunaga's. He told me he averages $150-350 cash a night when conditions are good. But he uses a 2oz lead egg, above the rod's rating. Seems he does what i do. I use fluorescent 3M thick tape to personalize the rod as mine but i strategically place the tape to also strengthen my rod. He does the same.
So i went to a windy & calm section using the same type of grub but different lead eggs (5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1.0 & 1-1/4oz). For me i rarely use more then half the rod's rating but with my tape reinforcement i could launch a 1-1/4oz really far directly into the wind. Without that reinforcement i'd stick to 1oz. Earlier i had hooked a large Cuda over 3ft, but it cut the line at daybreak. I came back 3hr latter & casted that same spot again. This time i hooked a much smaller Cuda. I did notice some rather large fish following it in. The Cuda chewed the leader off but refused to head back out. So i positioned myself to see 2 large +3ft Cudas on the surface & a slightly larger one below that kept chewing its lip. When it got closer to the surface i could see my orange grub in its mouth. That was the fish that got away earlier.
Now i understand why the smaller Cuda stayed within a foot of the shoreline. It didn't want to become lunch. I can highly recommend this rod to any whipper who craves distance. But if you're around obstructions such as boulders, trees, fences, etc i'd recommend a shorter rod. If you're using light weight lures my weight suggestions should be helpful. If you're using small jigs now you know what weights to use. Just remember if you use monofilament as your main line it'll cut down your casting distance due to the increased air friction of the thicker line. If your ordering online remember this is a 2pc 50/50 rod. Add 2-4in for the end caps for shipping.