Okuma Salina Series

Saltwater Fishing - Helping you catch that fish of a lifetime

Okuma Salina Series

by Capt. Terry Rand

Okuma has come a long way over the years in developing new reel designs at very reasonable price points. Here we have the Okuma Salina Series. For our field testing purposes we chose the SA45 which is a perfect size for inshore and near shore fishing. The Salina is built with saltwater exposure in mind as well as showing off some of Okuma’s revolutionary spinning reel features. 


Gear Ratio

Wt. (oz)


Line Retrieve

Line Capacity






200/6 160/8 110/10  






270/8 190/10 170/12  






240/10 210/12 150/15






380/10 340/12 240/15






430/12 310/15 260/20






420/15 350/20 260/25

First Impressions

Here is a very sleek and attractive fishing reel. Adorned with a matte black finish on the frame and body and accented with a gold spool and trim start out the appeal but the real aesthetic attraction come from the sleek and tapered body design that comes from Okuma’s patented elliptical gear system that allows for a smaller gear box which slims down the overall profile of the reel and also reduces weight. Another noticeable feature of this reel is the rather thick and oversized bail wire that just screams durability.

The spool exhibits a somewhat long and tapered design with enough depth to allow for a comfortable amount of line. When removing the spool you will notice that the underside of the spool contains some large drag washers. This is the Okuma patented Dual Force Drag system. Washers on the top and bottom of the spool offer a very well distributed drag feature that squeezes the spool more evenly from both the top and the bottom.

When you give the reel handle a spin you notice a smooth, balanced rotation that feels like a reel of twice the price. Speaking of the reel handle, it should be mentioned that the Salina is fitted with an oversized knob on the handle that comfortably fits into the palm of your hand, giving you a solid anchor to the reel itself.

Field Testing

Our field test brought us to the lower portion of a tidal river during the North East spring striped bass run. We paired our Salinas with 7’6” medium-heavy action spinning rods to throw large soft plastics and swim baits in the 2 oz. class.

The Salinas were spooled with 30 lb. braided line and 50 lb. fluorocarbon leaders. Nine inch soft plastic lures were tied on and the day began. Repeated casting with these lures proved that casting the Salina is a dream. When you reach down to flip the bail before your cast, your hand lands on this thick bail wire which feels very solid as you flip it over. It does not have the usual thin wire feel that you’ve grown accustomed to with spinning reels. The line flows off the spool quietly and allows for nice, long casts. The bail returns easily with a quick rotation of the handle and not once throughout the day did we experience any bail failures during casting.

Retrieval with the Salina is just a breeze. The handle cranks the gears with a near effortless feel and it simply exhibits a smooth, comfortable and well balanced retrieve. Again, the smoothness of this reel makes it feel like it should have a much higher price tag.  

Shortly into our excursion we located some water that was holding some fish. Upon hook set on the first fish, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the oversized knob on the reel handle became an asset. The jolt of the strike was so jarring that I instantly wrapped my fingers around the knob and was quickly anchored to the reel without any fumbling or loss of timing. I was unaware if the drag was giving in to the fish at all because it was so quiet. A quick glance allowed me to notice the drag giving up some line on each head shake. Every surge was quickly absorbed by the drag without any of the jerky starts and stops that are often found in lesser quality drag systems. After a few nice runs and bringing the fish boat side a couple of times, we were rewarded with a 36” striper that put up quite a tussle against this Salina SA45. For the rest of the morning, the Salinas handled another nine striped bass in the 30” – 36” range without a problem.

In Conclusion

After completion of field testing it was determined that the Okuma Salina series is definitely a fine addition to the Okuma line up. It has a pretty solid feel for a mid-weight reel and doesn’t skip a beat when transitioning from that silky smooth retrieve to the bone crushing hookups of large, predatory game fish. This is a recent addition to the market so time will tell exactly how well the reel stands up to years of saltwater abuse. Because it is a mid-weight reel with an aluminum frame, proper maintenance should be used in caring for these reels. The aluminum should stand up to saltwater exposure for quite some time but a proper low pressure, fresh water wash down after each use should help to keep the aluminum body in top shape.

The Okuma Salina appears to be a great buy for the money. It offers the super smooth reel retrieve of much higher priced reels and still offers some revolutionary features such as the Dual-Drag system, the oversized bail and Instant Anti-Reverse for rock solid hook sets. When it comes right down to it, the Okuma Salina is a pleasure to fish with.

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