Okuma Trio Spinning Reel Review

Okuma Trio

Okuma Trio

Okuma has been making some serious waves in the fishing industry lately, leaping from relative obscurity to respected brand in short order. Part of their rapid climb up the ladder has been a series of innovative and fresh ideas, none more so than the Okuma Trio series.

We’ll admit, the Trio series looks cool – kinda like a Stealth fighter – is priced right (around $75) and boasts a laundry list of interesting features… but how does it fare out in the real world? We aimed to find out!

Key Features

Form and function

The main two features of the reel are what Okuma calls “Crossover Body Design” and “Crossover Spool Design.” Beginning with the former, instead of the single side-plate design for the body you see on most reels, Okuma uses a stamped aluminum stem with two graphite side plates. The idea here is that stamped aluminum is stronger than the die-cast stuff, so there is less chance for the gear and shaft housing to flex, keeping everything in alignment. The graphite side plates help reduce the overall weight.

According to Okuma, the Trio spool construction utilizes a multi-piece construction, housing the drag system in an Aluminum Drag Chamber for added stability and smoothness, while utilizing a lightweight graphite housing for weight reduction and distinctive styling.

Okuma’s Crossover Spool Design

The reel also features what the manufacturer calls its Dual Force Drag (DFD) system built with multi-disc Japanese-oiled felt drag washers on top of the spool and a carbon fiber drag washer on the bottom. This DFD system provides tension on the spool from both the top and the bottom – which they say makes the system smoother and better at dissipating heat. The Trio also has a Hydro Block watertight drag seal.

After I dropped my rod in the creek…there\’s water on the top of the spool but not down in it.

The Trio’s Hybrid rotor is made of stamped aluminum and graphite, which they say, also helps keep the flexing down – which especially important when using braid or pulling on big fish… both of which we did a lot of during the tests.

The rotor is designed to be light and tough

One other thing that was immediately appealing about the Trio was the heavy duty, solid aluminum, anodized bail wire, which looked burly as hell.

Not your typical flimsy wire bail here!

Other important features include the Trio’s Corrosion Resistant Coating Process, Corrosion Resistant, High Density Gearing, rigid forged aluminum handle and computer-balanced Rotor Equalizing System (RESII).

Specifications

We used the Trio 30, which has:

  • 9 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
  • 5.0:1 gear ratio (there’s a high speed, 6.2:1 ratio model available too)
  • 25″ Line retrieve per crank
  • Line capacity: 200/6; 160/8 and 110/10
  • Price: Around $75

On the Water Test

I started using this reel last fall while drifting roe for big fall Chinook salmon. Normally, I’d never use a reel this small for kings, but in the interest of this test, I took it out for a little roughhousing to see how it would hold up. Well, we caught around 15 or 20 kings on the Trio 30 (spooled up with 30lb. braid) and were very impressed with the drag system.

Big fish, small reel

The reel were subjected to extreme pressure from kings that took long and steady runs and braided line and it held up well without showing any signs of wear and tear. I also had some clients drop it on the deck and the heavy gauge bail hung tough.

Satisfied with the Trio’s performance with the kings, I then took it on a steelhead fishing mission to see how it would handle the lightning quick runs of coastal rainbows. This time, however, it was spooled up with 10-pound mono.

The reel casted beautifully but its super smooth drag was what really shined when I hooked several chrome dandies. The fresh from the salt steeies were hot and could burn 30-40 yards of line in an instant. Because the water was clear, I was using 8-pound leader and the buttery drag kept me from having any breakoff issues.

Trio in Action

On that trip, I dropped my entire rig into the water as I was helping a buddy land a fish. The Hydro Block drag seal seemed to do its job because I never had any changes in the drag’s smoothness the rest of the trip. In fact, I totally forgot the reel even went in the drink until now.

Conclusion

I’ve only used the reel now for about 6 months so I can’t vouch for its longevity, though between the kings and steelies, I’ve probably put it through more pain and suffering than most size 30 reels should see in a lifetime. I can say that I had a couple favorite reels with me on my latest trip and, subconsciously, I kept grabbing the Trio every morning, which, to me speaks volumes about how the reel felt in my hand and how it performed. You know how it is… a clunker quickly gets put on the bench.

But for me, it really comes down to the drag. I’m sure a Stella or Steez or any of those other $500 reels probably has a nicer drag system, but I’ve never had a reel with as smooth a drag as the Trio… including some in the $200 range. The word that kept popping into my head when a big king or steelie was ripping line was “luxurious,” which is an odd word for a reel drag but that’s just how it felt.

Overall, I feel the Trio performed like a reel that should cost at least twice as much. I really can’t complain about it other than the fact that I wish it had a wider spool with more line capacity. With those steelies and the mono, I felt like I didn’t have a lot of room to mess around if a fish decided to make a serious run. Also, it’s kinda of a bummer that it doesn’t come with a spare spool. Other than that, I’ve been extremely satisfied so far.

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Comments

  1. Travis says

    Had the same problem as tonrab! My buddy and I both bought this reel! I have been fishing with okuma for a long long time… it actually looks like okuma sponsors me… I have reels poles and my tackle bag is okuma! Very very disappointed in this okuma trio 30, they brag it up like its some work of art tough reel but I only got half a season out of it before the arm plate broke! Same thing happened to my fishing buddy! U give good money for these products and this one was built very cheap! Wouldn’t recommend this reel to anyone! Come on okuma! You can do way better than this!! Please change this design and make it the heavy duty reel u brag it up to be please!
    Thanks for letting me vent!
    Travis!

  2. tonrab says

    On my first use of this reel I was impressed by its smooth and fast retrieve but Okuma Trio doesn’t last long. The bail arm support pin (partially covers the compression spring) easily breaks. The portion of the rotor that separate the end of the kick lever and the bail arm support pin easily breaks too. May be the people from Okuma can change the material to something hard to break instead an easily breakable graphite.

  3. Ken says

    Did you have to use backing with the braid? The spool looks like it could take straight braid without it.

  4. Barry Sanderson says

    I have the 40 with 225 yards mono with some room on the spool left. I love this reel this will be my second season with it. I have a Mojo Bass 7 ft medium action and I use it for my spinner and swim baits . I would highly recommend this real it will always have a place in your arsenal

  5. Bob B says

    Hey, Has any one purchased the Trio 40S and if so how much 20lb braid were you able to put on it? Or any line? Please state Size and Yardage. I have purchased one and was not able to comfortable put 150 yds of 20 lb braid which is equivalent to 6 lb mono (.023). I called the manufacturer and they say that I should be able to put 270 yds of 8 lb mono which is equivalent to .025 thousandths. No Way, impossible… Has any one run into this situation? Is it possible that the reel was mislabeled from the Factory. The spool diameters are as follows. iner shaft is 1 3/16″ and the skirt is 1 15/32″. I’m looking to put together another Striper rod an reel. If the specs are correct for the 40S it should fulfil my needs but I think I have a 30 or 20 labeled as a 40, any help would be appreciated. thanx Bob

  6. Sean B says

    I’ve used the Trio 40 high speed for 12 months, I’ve caught a llot of fish using it as a “feeder” reel. In the UK we fish for roach and bream by using swimfeeders and quivertip rods, this equipment is a mixture of finesse and grunt. The reel has coped with everything I’ve caught including an accidental 18.5lb pike, it grabbed my rig on the way in and coped very well, while I was playing it I was thinking a similar thought about the clutch, silky smooth. The job of a ‘feeder reel is hard, constant casting and retrieving.
    The only downer is the stiffening up, I noticed this on a very wet trip, the following trip it took a while for the hard starts to disappear and smoothness return on the winding-I wonder what binds?

  7. Rudy Adams says

    I own my firts Okuma reel in 2001.Forgot what model but it was a good reel.One thing abt Okuma reels,if you have a problem with it,do not try to open it up and fix on your own do it only if you have the master experience.Send it back to agent or get a new one.Thats Okuma!

    • says

      This what I do. Loosen the drag knob. Pull out a couple ihecns of line with your hand. The line should pull easy. Then tighten the drag knob 1/2 a turn an pull a couple more ihecns. Repeat this as needed till line pulls under some tension but not so much that the line breaks. Stronger the line the harder you will want to pull. About half has hard as you think will break the line is usually good. This should get you close. When you have the rod an reel rigged with what you are going to fish check again. Cast out an set hook if the drag slips tighten it a little. Or tie to something solid stand back 20 feet or so an flex the rod slowly till the drag slips or you are getting a good flex in the rod. tighten or loosen accordingly. after doing this some an fishing some you will learn how much is enough. You may have to make minor adjustments depending on the exact fishing situation. A bit less drag is easily corrected too much an you might break the line.A.k

  8. Jason B says

    Love my Trio 30, but recently picked up the 40 high-speed (orange accents) for a recent trip to the Willamette river in OR. Ended up going bendo with three Walleye (all three over 25″), two Steelhead (26 and 32″, both hatchery), two Smallmouth, a 20 lb Chinook and a fiesty 14″ Rainbow. Hooked and landed Steelhead and Chinook on both reels and have no complaints what-so-ever!
    Planning on another trip to BC in Oct…the Trio 40 will be going with me!

  9. Antonio H says

    I own two Okuma Trios, a 40 & an 80A. I’ve had them both for less than a year & they are BOTH in need of new gears & piston gears! I bought my 40 first in January of 2012. It seemed like a good reel, light, fairly smooth, attractive, & fairly strong…..until I got that first skip in the gears pulling up a Mango Snapper. Then it was all down hill from there. Even the cheap plastic teeth in the crank eventually ended up breaking as well! It got to the point where I couldn’t even bring up a Pin Fish with it.

    The 80A I bought to fish for Grouper in May of 2012. I wasn’t crazy about the 22lbs. of drag on it, but everything else seemed “beefy” enough to meet the demand. It’s got a really nice power-grip handle, it’s a high speed reel (just what I need for Grouper), & it holds a LOT of line! I hooked one Grouper, everything was fine. I hooked my second….crraack! It skipped! Now I just use it for Mango Snapper even though a 14-15″ snapper will make it skip. For me the 80A was designed for salt water, but it just can’t handle too much before it gives up.

    I now have both reels taken apart & I’m looking for replacement parts so I can keep them as spares, can’t find any so far….guess I’ll have to go to my tackle repair shop & have them order the parts for me.

    Final conclusion: If you’re going to use these reels in salt water, DON’T! They can’t handle the abuse of the more powerful fish! For fresh water use I guess it would be fine for like Bass & Trout & stuff. But why spend your money on something that is just not going to last? It’s up to you but as for me, I’m buying Fin Nor! Hope this review was helpful in shopping for your new reel!

  10. Potomac Fisher says

    I had the Trio 40 6.2 ratio and from the first day I used it, there was an issue casting. The reel never laid the line on the spool smoothly, it would somehow lay over itself and cause hang-ups during casting 10lb Power Pro. Also, I am shocked that you guys have had luck getting the thing wet (especially with salt water) and the thing still works. I fish in all conditions, even in pouring rain. After fishing in rain, the next day the reel would be completely locked up. One day I couldn’t even reel a lure in hardly at all it was so locked up. I had to cut off my hook (I use weightless weed-less hooked Senko’s around me) and reel the reel hard and fast for maybe 5 minutes before it became smooth again. Some days the reel would be smooth, some days it would be rough, and even if it started off smooth, by the end of the day it would be rough and hard to start reeling in. I exchanged it at my local Dicks Sporting Goods for a Penn Fierce 4000 and I can cast almost twice as far with half the effort and the first crank after a cast is smooth and it puts a smile on my face every time I fish. With that Okuma Trio, I never knew what to expect and always got stressed out from the thing hanging up on casts and not reeling in smoothly.

  11. Bill Saggs says

    I just purchased this reel on the Tarvos 7″ rod at Walmart for $99.99.I was impressed with the way it looked and was made.After reading the reveiws,I think I made a good choice.Can’t wait to do some bass fishing with it,Idon’t think I will be dissappointed.

  12. Doug Privette says

    About 8 years ago on a salmon trip I broke 2 reels in 2 days. A guy in the bait store near where I was fishing recommended I try an Okuma. I have had hundred’s of salmon on my line since that day and I am still using the same reel. I have also replaced all of my other lighter outfits with Okuma reels. I am retired and I probably fish more than anybody except pro guides. I have never had any reel related equipment failures since I switched to Okuma products. I’ve had more expensive reels that didn’t even make it to the second year. I am a true believer.

  13. Mark says

    I checked out the Trio-30 at Sports Athority (84.99). I shopped around and found you can buy one at Sears online for 63.99. I Ordered one yesterday, and after reading these reviews, I ordered another one today. Can’t wait to put them on my Redbone rods and hit a grand slam.

  14. Antonio Gonzalez says

    I´ve had an Okuma Epixor EF-55a for 3 years. I use it to fish for snook and tarpon, but I´ve used it to fish red and mangrove snappers, small jacks and peacock bass also. I´m very pleased with the performance, so when I started looking for a lighter class reel, Okuma was my first choice. This review sold me on the Trio, so that´s the way I´m going.

    P.D. The Epixor has been used in both fresh and salt water, and it´s working great…no signs of corrosion.

  15. says

    I bought Okuma Trio 30 , I use it only in insore fishing ( light fishing ) , it is very smooth , very tough , then sudenly the bail goes out from its place , i tried to fix it but Ifailed , Ithink the bail need recheck from the Okuma Ingineers ..
    I think the spring of bail is weak ….

  16. Mahmoud Salem says

    Very encouraging review
    I intend to buy a trio-55 normal speed to use it for salt water bottom fishing in depths up to 150 feet, I would like to load it with 50lb braided line, can anybody help me with line capacity??

    Thanks and wish u great fishing

  17. Jeremiah says

    Thanks! I just picked up the 30 highspeed model and the 40. The 40 doesn’t look or feel that much bigger than the 30 and has all the line capacity you could need, 170 yards of 12 lb test. The 30 highspeed (6.2-1 ratio) picks up 31 inches of line per crank and the 40 with a little bigger spool picks up 28 inches. Now I can’t decide which one will be my new steelhead spinning reel!

    • Gabe says

      The max drag is listed as 18, I have have one and I can say 18lbs is a lot more than it sounds like. I have snapped 20lb spiderwire braid at the knot with it.

      With that much drag most manufacturers would rate this reel for 12-35lb test.

      Wonderful reel. My only issue with spinning reels is the bail tends to snap shut more often for the lefty casters like me. I’m not left handed, just a weirdo.

  18. Fand was ranklin Rudolph says

    I’ve used Okuma reels since my first one a few years back; the Alumina-40. It was only used for freshwater fishing (bass and anglers pike) but performed so well, I never had to take it apart for maintenance for 3 years. When the Trios came out in 2009, I gave a test in saltwater on the west coast of Florida and it was outstanding in handling inshore species including jacks Spanish Mackerel, sea trout and snook. The only problem with the Trio-40 was it gear ratio (5.0:1) That issue was resolved when Okuma came out with a high speed version of the reel- the Trio-40 S. The increased was just the ticket for speed reelin Kastmasters for macks. Overall Okuma has done a great job of providing anglers with reliable reels for varied situations.

  19. says

    I absolutely hate spinning reels. My favorite reel of all time is an older Shimano Curado 300 DSV, I fish 100% saltwater for big Redfish and more. But as a fan of La. Sportsman TV show, where the Okuma Reps go to try out new tackle. That Trio sure looks bad to the bone. And if ya can’t destroy a reel in Louisiana, on fish after fish after fish, it just can’t be done.

    Thanks for the review. I typed in Okuma Trio review and you popped right up!
    Nice thing about WordPress blogs…I run a Blogger blog myself and was thinking of switching over.

  20. james says

    ive been useing Okuma for about ten years or more and ever since ive seen them they caught my eye, they are hands down one of the top reels out there and would use one over many reels made, i use to go with shimano before but they are’nt what they used to be and Okuma is just a better reel, i am an avid salmon fisherman and used one of the older models and it was alot better than my old stand byes

  21. Robert D says

    Live in Newport Oregon…….how the do in in the tidewaters ????? salt, ete…and where do you get them here ????or in the valley

    • Jason B says

      Got mine at Bi-Mart. They may still have a few, but are phasing them out of stock. I’ve also seen them at the Bass Pro Shop in Southern Cal so online might be the best bet.

  22. cliff says

    I have been using Okuma reels for about 5 or 6 years (whenever they came out) and letting my grandsons use them also, never had a problem with them. Used them from Alaska to Mexico and for the price, can’t be beat!!!! Have not tried the Trio, now I will have too!

  23. JARED (JD) says

    Thanks for the review. It’s nice to get an honest review from a trustworthy source, especially with all the choices out there now. By the way, where can we get some FISHWITHJD swag? That beanie in the pic looks really cool. JD is my initials too. Online store in the future maybe?

  24. Troutzilla says

    Thanks for the review. I fish a lot with my two boys. This means that as a minimum, I need to buy 3 of everything. I need to setup 2 new outfits for this year’s shad run for both boys. This reel looks like it can be a good fit.

    • REDFISHSLAYER says

      Absolutely awesome for saltwater flats fishing. I have had no issues at al with corrosion after 100s of redish being caught on my Trio 40 and most of the time i dont even rinse it off after use!

  25. says

    Thanks for the review! One aspect that rarely gets talked about is how a smooth reel and comfortable rod can make a day of unsuccessful casts just a bit more bearable. When the bite is on it is easier to ignore a clunky reel but when you toss out hundreds of casts without a hit, you can’t help but focus on every little nuance of your equipment. I’m in the market for a new reel for delta largemouth and this one sounds like it may be worth a try.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] fishing, but I want to try it for salmon/steelhead as well. I ordered the Okuma Trio 40 see here:Okuma Trio Spinning Reel Review | Fish with JD which should be just fine for Salmon/Steelhead (the review uses a size 30 and was fine). Just a [...]

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