The Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit is a fishing rod set complete with reel and carrying case. But, before we go into the details on the Okuma, let’s talk about spinning rods in general.
A spinning rod is a fishing pole made from fiberglass or graphite, around six feet long, with a foam or cork handle. Unlike other kinds of fishing reels, the reel is hung beneath the rod instead of resting on top, and is fastened by a locking or sliding reel seat. A spinning rod usually has between five and eight line-guides along the length of the underside of the rod, to control the line. As you move out toward the tip, the guides (or eyes) become smaller, meaning the guide nearest the handle is the largest.
The simplest spinning rods are used to catch North American freshwater sport fish, such as trout, bass, walleye, and pike. More complex spinning rods, longer, with stronger reels and a handle sized and shaped for two hands, are primarily used to catch saltwater fish.
The reel used with a spinning rod is easy to use, and not prone to backlash. There are three types of spinning reels:
– Ultra-light reels handle fishing line ranging from two-pound test to six-pound test.
– Light reels, the most popular, are meant for light-tackle catch-and-release fishing, and use fishing line from six-pound test to twenty-pound test.
– Heavy reels are intended for use with lines up to fifty-pound test, for trolling, surf fishing, and bottom fishing, but, most of all, for catching those really BIG fish.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a spinning kit should be, let’s look at the Okuma Voyager Travel Spinning Kit. Intended for hiking, camping and casual fishing, the kit has a six-foot graphite-composite five-piece rod with a cork grip, ceramic guides, and a stainless-steel reel-seat. The 20-size reel has a ball-bearing drive, a brass pinion-gear, and a corrosion-resistant anodized one-piece aluminum spool, holding up to 100 yards of six-pound line.
Now, let’s move on to the evaluation. The Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit is intended as spinning reel set that casts easily for catching small pan fish — the rod and reel assemble easily, perfect for that moment when you come across the perfect fishing spot. The light weight (2.4 pounds) and the soft-sided carrying case makes this kit perfect for hiking, backpacking, and camping. The bulkiness of the case may throw some people off, but the bag is that big only to carry the rod sections and reel separately so that the components don’t bang around and damage each other.
During some actual fishing, the reel, which would be considered an ultra-light, worked quite well, both on casting and retrieval. However, the joints of rod can loosen after several casts, and must be pulled back together and tightened every so often.
Now what about the company that makes this kit? Okuma was found in 1987, and for quite some time, made fishing tackle equipment for other companies before coming out with their own line of brand-name products. Today, Okuma is considered one of the country’s premier fish tackle companies, committed to the varied needs of both casual and serious fishermen. As part of that commitment, if your rod or reel is damaged, Okuma promises to service the damaged component at any of its nationwide network of Authorized Repair/Warranty Centers.
The manufacturers suggested retail price is $45.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d rank the Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit a 4.