Okuma Cortez Test

By John DurrantNZ Fishing World
Okuma Cortez Test

There’s a huge number of jack-of-all-trades fishos out there who like to keep their hand in with a range of different methods. These guys and girls are probably less likely to buy several specialist outfits and may instead plump for a few applications that can do several jobs.

Okuma, a brand that always seems to be doing something interesting or innovative, has a little combo up its sleeve that will appeal to many.

The Cortez overhead reel, twinned with the 6-10kg Cortez rod, is certainly a multipurpose reel… and it’s one with a certain amount of attitude.

On first inspection, it immediately jumps out as a flash looking overhead – a striking mishmash of red, chrome and gunmetal grey.

Okuma seems to have a knack for producing hot looking reels – you might remember the NZ Fishing World reviews for the Raw II and RTX spinning reels, both of which were real show ponies.

The new Cortez can be used for several methods, from bottom bashing, sraylining, jigging and just about anything else you’d care to do.

It’s big and powerful with 8.3kg of drag and a gear ratio of 6.2:1.

On a recent test, the Cortez was comfortable to use with its big ergo grip handle. You can imagine that coming in very useful when doing battle with a wild kingfish.

It also boasts plenty high-end features that you probably come to expect from Okuma these days, such as a carbonite drag, a drop down gearbox and stainless steel main and pinion gear.

Matched with the Cortez 6ft 6in (6 – 10kg) rod it felt well balanced and easy to control.

At 397g it’s not exactly featherweight but it never felt cumbersome during testing.

We were lucky enough to find some good-sized spring work-ups with plenty snapper around the 4kg mark.

Time after time, the Cortez drag proved to be a smooth operator and easily handled all that the hungry snapper threw at them.

Was there anything to moan about with this new reel? On fish fighting performance, there wasn’t anything to gripe about.

Casting overhead reels is a tricky art to master and this reel probably wouldn’t be the best to learn on.

In learned hands it’ll cast well though.

The price point is another bonus for the Cortez. At $199 it’s considerably more cost effective than many of its competitors.

If you’re looking for a tool to use in a range of fishing situations, the new Okuma Cortez could well be the option for you. 


  • Line capacity: 410m/0.35mm, 305m/0.40mm
  • Bearings: 4 + 1
  • Line retrieve: 96cm
  • Max drag: 8.3kg
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Weight: 397g
  • RRP: $199.99


  • Looks great
  • Ergo handle
  • Smooth drag

Not So Much

  • Casting could be tricky for novices
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