okuma/tiburon convergence

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by kidflex, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

    i was reading awhile back that okuma bought out tiburon and that tib engineers have been working to improve okumas reels. i have NEVER been a fan of okuma but love the tiburon reels. i think now okuma might be in the picture and taken alittle more serious and not used as a 100 dollar sinker,lol. the Cavalla 2 speed reels i saw on charkbait look nice though. time will tell if tiburon quality can improve okumas tainted reputation. Brian
  2. word-doctor

    word-doctor Senior Member

    I've been poking around for reviews of the Cavallas. I'm mostly interested in seeing what sort of drag #s they have on the 15-size.

    There's no reason why the company can't make a product as good as its competitors. Some of their spinners are just fine.

  3. Pope

    Pope Senior Member

    A few of you know I started a relationship with the owner of Tiburon recently and I asked him about it after seeing this today. Here is the low down skinny. Below is from Steve Bledsoe, co-owner of Tiburon.

    It’s true that Tiburon has a relationship with Okuma. It started three years ago in January of ’06.

    We have a marketing partner in Singapore named Lim Mok Toh. Lim Mok owns a company named SureCatch, which is the largest distributor of fishing tackle in S. E. Asia. He also owns the Anka fishing rod factory in Malaysia in which he was formerly a partner with Herbert Henze and Penn. That’s where all of the Penn rods used to come from.

    In a joint effort with Lim Mok to find a high quality offshore manufacturer for Tiburon reels, we tried several factories in China, Korea and Malaysia, none of which met our expectations. In December of ’06, Lim Mok and his son Alex asked if we would entertain the idea of talking to Okuma to make our reels. We were reluctant to do so because of Okuma’s reputation for big game reels that didn’t perform too well. We were aware of the fact that their smaller freshwater casting reels and spinning reels were of very good quality, but were wary of their reputation in the saltwater arena.

    Eventually, Lim Mok talked us into meeting with Charles Chang, personal friend of Lim Mok and the owner of Okuma, and take an opportunity to inspect some of their products. What we found when we looked at Okuma’s Titus reels (Okuma’s “International type” reels at the time) was that the Okuma workmanship was excellent, but the designs were not too good in some of the critical areas. What transpired over several months after that meeting was a mutually beneficial partnership.

    Today, my partner, Rich Duncan, and I serve as consultants for Okuma, and we have been instrumental in redesigning the drag systems and other critical areas of the larger Okuma offshore reels, which has helped them overcome some of their earlier problems. Tiburon, in turn, has benefited from Okuma’s manufacturing and engineering capabilities in Taiwan. My partner, Rich, and I have been very impressed with the quality and workmanship Okuma has been able to maintain in the production of our reels. The reel you have is a sample of the first production run of Tiburon Smart Shift reels from the Okuma factory in Taiwan. We could not be happier with the results.

    This story is one of mutual benefit. The Okuma guys were actually reluctant to try to help Tiburon for fear that the Okuma reputation would damage the reputation of Tiburon. We convinced them that we felt the relationship could work to our mutual benefit. So far, I think that has been the case. I think you will agree with me when you get a chance to see and use Okuma’s newest line of big game reels, the Makaira. This reel is in the testing stages right now and employs a Tiburon designed drag system and thrust bearing design. It is a fine piece of engineering designed nearly completely by Okuma’s engineering team in Taiwan.

    If you’d like to talk more about this for an article, we should probably try to do it by telephone some evening. Anyway, now you know what’s going on and you can now tell people that there is truth to the rumors. One of the main things I want people to know is that Tiburon and Okuma are still separate companies – Okuma did not buy Tiburon, or vise versa. I also want people to know that we find the Okuma people to be humble and generous and deeply devoted to improving the performance of their reels. I think you will be hearing some very good things from the general public about Okuma big game reels in the near future. I may even be able to get you the inside track to test some of their new products that have not been released to the general public yet.


    So there you have it. I spoke to him and he says Tiburon's reels are entirely their design and nothing has changed in the manufacturing process. Same materials and quality controls dictated by Tiburon. I am not touting for Okuma and have never used one. However, it does appear they will be turning things around very soon.
  4. LT1

    LT1 Member

    Great stuff. I spoke with Rich a week or two ago and he said Tiburon's new 50 size reel is going through field testing right now. Reports have been very good.

  5. Old Timer

    Old Timer Member

    I've been using Okuma's completee TG line for over 5 years with no problems. All were bought on line thru 3rd parties on e-bay. Their drag system is better than Avet reels, which I also own. I've engaged a number of Okuma "bashers" on line over the past several years attempting to get their specific experiences with Okuma. I have yet to find anyone who has specific negative experiences with the TG line. Also, Okuma's service is second to none, which I suspect is an attempt to rebuild their competitive position. Now that Okuma has come out with the Cavalla line, they no longer will sell thru 3rd parties on the internet. At least that's my observation. So Okuma now restricts sales to go through tackle shops, which typically mark up costs 100% to get to manufacturer's suggested, i.e., dictated, price and consumers loose.