Joe SillsWritten by

Okuma’s New Makaira 15T Packs a Battle Tested, Compact Punch

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The Makaira family of lever drag reels have been a staple on long range boats up and down the coast for several years now. Now, the new Makaira 15T will find its way onto the rail with its extreme capacity and fish stopping power. This incredible range of lever drag reels, has just gotten more powerful. 

The Makaira 15T came about to fill an obvious void between the Makaira 15 to the 16 size reels. The new 15T is a taller, more compact body design than the existing Makaira 15. We talked to Okuma’s Director of Product Development, John Bretza, for the inside scoop on the new reel’s development and target audience.

“The new Makaira 15T is a reel that has been highly anticipated by anglers,” says Bretza. “During the initial launch of the Makaira series some nine years ago, the 8, 10 and 15 sizes all shared the same tooling and were differentiated by a different spool , and different frame widths for line capacity purposes.

“The taller, narrower body design of the 15T will give anglers an edge over wider reels. With the taller profile, you will gain more line per turn of the handle even with the same gear ratio.

“Over the years, the original Makaira MK-15II has been well-proven on the tuna grounds as a go to weapon based on the line capacity and drag output. As we roll the Makaira series into its 10th year of production, our goal is to constantly find ways to improve on our success.”

See the video breakdown here: 

“The majority of today’s offshore anglers are fishing braided line or some type of combination,” Bretza continues. ” This allows anglers to fish smaller reels for bigger fish.  In order to improve on our success with the original MK-15II, we developed a new platform that we refer to as “T” which means “Tall”.  This new platform offers a narrower, but larger diameter frame and spool.  The key to the larger diameter spool is that with the same gear ratios, we can now offer increased line pickup in both high and low speeds without sacrificing cranking power. In high speed, anglers will gain an additional 5.4 inches of line pickup and in low speed an additional 2.1 inches.  The other major key to the increased spool diameter is that we can also incorporate a larger diameter drag system.”

Okuma says the new Makaira 15T can output up to 18 percent more drag pressure, generating 32-lbs at strike and 40-lbs at full.  The narrower frame also offers the advantage in that it reduces side-to-side wobble when cranking, because it offers a more compact design, while still offering about 5 percent more line capacity compared to the original 15-sized reel.  The new Makaira 15T is one of the most highly anticipated new reels from Okuma and is a true workhorse based on the numbers that this reel can generate.

The Makaira 15T will come in both gun metal and silver special edition body colors and will feature the same 4.7:1  & 2.1:1 gear ratios as the Makaira 15.  The big difference will be the line pick up, gaining 38.9” of line per turn of the handle in high speed.  This reel has a big capacity holding over 350 yards of 65lb braided line with an 80 yard top shot of 50lb mono.  The Carbonite Dual Force Drag system featuring Cal’s universal drag grease puts out up to 40lbs of drag.

Okuma Makaira 15T Key Selling Points   

  • Taller profile
  • Increased line pickup
  • 18 percent more drag pressure
  • Narrow frame
  • Workhorse performance
  • 350 yard capacity with 65lb braided line
  • Carbonite Dual Force Drag system
  • 3-year warranty

The Makaira 15T reels have a retail price of $549.99 and backed by a 3-year warranty.  For more information, please visit www.okumafishingusa.com.

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