THE Salina range of reels are the new workhorses from Okuma. Starting at the SA30 and going up to the SA80 they offer a practical range of models at a very reasonable price. I have been using the SA-40 and SA-55 for about nine months now and have given them a thorough testing. The Salinas look slick with a classic matt black/gold finish and a slimline body profile and what appears to be a robust construction.
The handle has a comfortable oversized grip, which gives good purchase under load.
Looking inside at the technical side, Salinas come with four water-resistant ball bearings, which support the drive system. The helical cut main gear is claimed to be 50 per cent stronger than standard gears and when combined with a brass pinion gear provides for a strong, smooth and efficient drive train. The patented Elliptical Oscillation System system is impressive and provides for a very smooth and even distribution of line on the spool without upsetting reel balance. Okuma’s Dual Force Drag provides for heavy drag settings but still allows for a steady release of line under load. This drag works especially well with braided lines with near lock-up drag pressure being achievable. I’d say the drag quality of all the Okuma reels is comparable to significantly more expensive reels.
There are, however, a couple of issues. The first is that the body casing isn’t fully sealed. It is fair to say that most reels aren’t truly “sealed” but the Salina has an exposed rear end in the form of openings that expose the inner cogs. Any water spray or especially any kind of dunking will fill the gear housing with water. On the good side, it does make access to the gearing easy for oiling and general maintenance.
My biggest personal gripe with the Salina reels is the left to right conversion system. To switch the handle from one side to the other involves different components for a left hand and right hand thread assembly.
It requires the operator to remove several fasteners and a grub screw and replace them with the opposite thread. The is neither convenient nor practical although I will grant that once in place it is a very tight and solid system. However, if you do not ever envisage swapping your handle from one side to the other, then this design feature will be of no concern to you. Maybe the next generation will have dropped this system.
On the whole, when you consider that these reels retail for well under $200 for the largest model and the fact that Okuma offer a lifetime warranty they represent very good value for money.
They only come with one spool but I think that’s reasonable for the budget these reels represent.
Contact: Rapala Freetime on (02) 9780 8200