The Okuma Alaris Spin is a new series of spinning rods, the US-American brand. I bought the smallest version of the rod, the Ultra light with 1.8 m and a casting weight of 2-7 grams. Okuma is known as a manufacturer of cheap rods and reels, so the longbow reels are known to have a great price/performance ratio. In general Okuma is much better represented abroad than here, so far I have liked all Okuma reels and rods. I also have a 30lbs boat rod lying around here untested, which I really like. So I went confidently into the test, which unfortunately was not quite worth it.
First impression and characteristics
The tip of my Ultra light rod is a little thicker than expected and overall the rod looks a little cheap. The cork handle is nice, but the material of the reel seat is not very nice, there are also some small processing imperfections visible, like small plastic remains from the production. Surely a manufacturer can save the most on the reel seat and the rings. For me it is also a little bit incomprehensible, why one attaches double-web rings to a UL rod. Sure, with the heavy models of the series this might make sense but not on a UL rod. The plug connections and ring windings are completely ok, here I am satisfied and the rod also has a hook eye, I like that. Also the rod rings are well wound and in alignment.
Another feature is the reel seat, which should give direct blank contact. Either the blank is thickened at the grip part or Okuma tells something about the horse. Of course I have more blank contact because of the recess, but it is not as direct as with the Skeletor roller grips.
The buffing test shows a slight buffing, the rod is not very fast but also not a total buffing rod. But it does not have to be for my purpose. Under heavy load the rod bends up to the handle. Otherwise it is rather semi-parabolic and bends up to the middle. For my purpose, fishing for trout on the stream is OK.
I had the rod with me a few times on the stream and also on the small lake and was a bit disappointed with its casting characteristics, as it makes precise casting somewhat difficult. Clearly light lures are already casting themselves to some extent, but really UL looks different.
My rod casts two grams of bait quite ok, but really good casts are only 4-5 grams of heavy bait. The rod casts 12 gram wobblers and spoons without the feeling of overload. So the real casting weight is rather 4-15 grams. Fish haven’t been on my rod yet, so I can’t say anything about the drumming characteristics.
The rod has a few blemishes, which one can get over with the price. But for a final conclusion I still have to drill a few fish. All in all I find the rod so far ok for the narrow thaler it is quite fishable. But for occasional trout fishing at the creek the rod seems to me to be well suited. For 10-20 € more you get a much better rod, for example the Magna Magic Lure from Balz, and I also like the Roy Fisher XS better for trout. Another rod ring and a higher quality reel seat would have suited the rod well.
Update: I gave this rod to a friend of mine who fished it in France on some trout rivers and was relatively enthusiastic about the rod. He fished with too big spinners, then caught up against strong currents and when he got bites, the rod didn’t give up. This also confirms my impression that the rod can take a lot. I also stood next to him when he drilled a 54 cm rainbow trout in his home waters. No problem for the light rod.