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Okuma Inspira Review

If you are looking for a great spinning reel without breaking the bank then you really have to look no further.  Okuma Fishing is a brand that has been around for just over 30 years manufacturing both fishing reel as well as fishing rods and seems to be bringing a number of quality products to the market at very affordable prices.

The new Okuma Inspira spinning reel that was introduced to the market in 2015 is an amazing reel for the money.  Just like its big brother the Okuma Helios SX, the Inspira has a C-40X carbon fiber frame and side plates that make it not only lightweight but also provide an extremely high level of performance, which I will go into more detail later.

The Okuma Inspira spinning reel is available in 3 models: the 20 (2000 series), 30 (3000 series) and the 40 (4000 series) with two color choices: an awesome blue and a standard clean looking white.

Okuma Inspira 20

The Okuma Inspira 20 which is a 2000 series fishing reel is the lightest of the three models weighing in at only 6.5 oz.  This is the perfect size if you like to fish the really lightweight tackle and will only be going after smaller trout and reds and maybe some freshwater fish as well.

Okuma Inspira 30

The Okuma Inspira 30 which is a 3000 series fishing reel is the next size up weighing in at only 7.4 oz and increases the line capacity by 25%, the drag is the same at 13 lbs.

Okuma Inspira 40

The Okuma Inspira 40 which is a 4000 series fishing reel and the largest of the three weights in at an amazingly light 9.1 oz. bumps your line capacity up another 40% and is just the ticket for the larger reds and snook while still maintaining a light setup.

If you looking for a great spinning reel to fish inshore that you can also use on the lakes then this is a great choice and the best part is that you can have this carbon fiber fishing reel for under $80.  YES, you heard me right, a carbon fiber reel with advanced technology for under $80.

The Bottom Line

  • Very lightweight reel due to carbon fiber frame
  • Smooth with 13lbs. of carbon fiber drag
  • Precision brass pinion gears

The Okuma Inspira is a lightweight performance reel and is available HERE.

Features

Light weight C-40X carbon frame and side plates – By using a new long strand carbon fiber technology that Okuma refers to as C-40X, they produce an extremely lightweight (25%) lighter than their graphite counterparts and 50% stronger design.  An additional benefit of this design is that it is 100% corrosion resistant so it will withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing.

Cyclonic Flow Rotor – The sleek and modern design of the cyclonic flow rotor not only looks great but the ported design allows for more even and increased air flow over the rotor which means that it will dry faster and reduce the chances of corrosion from saltwater.

TCA: Torsion Control Armor – TCA or Torsion Control Armor is a unique design that reduces the twisting effect that we sometimes feel on a reel.  By utilizing two arms like the fork of a bicycle a much stronger arm is created that is separate from the body.  By eliminating the twisting, it keeps all of the internal components in line for a smooth retrieve, under loads like a large redfish, the pinion gear wants to lean forward and this torsion control armor design pretty much eliminates any twist.

Carbon Fiber Drag – The Inspira uses a carbon fiber drag system with a multi ratcheted drag knob on top of the spool that provides for a very smooth and strong drag for the weight of the reel.

8HPB + 1RB stainless steel bearings – The Helios uses 8 corrosion resistant stainless steel main bearings and one corrosion resistant stainless steel roller bearing.

Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing – This makes sure that when you go to set the hook you will not have any slop on the reel.

Rigid, machined aluminum, anodized handle. – In design and testing, it was determined that a lighter weight handle could be achieved with the aluminum alloy that with a carbon fiber handle.

Heavy duty, solid aluminum bail wire – The Helios uses what is called a CDB or Centrifugal Disc Bail design that combines an aluminum bail wire with a new design that uses a heavy brass disc to create a very smooth and well balanced bail operation.

RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System. – When you combine the RESII with the Torsion Control Armor you get an extremely smooth and silky feel to the retrieve.

 Features at a Glance

  • Light weight C-40X carbon frame and sideplates
  • 8BB + 1RB corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
  • Rigid, forged aluminum, anodized handle
  • Lightweight, EVA handle knob
  • Precision Elliptical Gearing system
  • Machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool
  • Heavy duty, solid aluminum bail wire
  • CFR: Cyclonic Flow Rotor

For the inshore fisherman, I think that you will really appreciate what Okuma has done with the Cyclonic Flow Rotor.  The way that the spool is ported and the rotor is designed allows for a lot more airflow around the spool.  We know that one of the challenges with saltwater fishing is corrosion which comes from water sitting on the reel for too long and seeping into all the little areas of your reel.

While this design is not a substitute for a fully sealed reel, it is an excellent design innovation and has proven to make a big difference in corrosion protection.  When you combine this with the carbon fiber body and sideplates, you have a reel that if washed down in between fishing trips should last you for years.

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.  Inspira is available in Blue and White designated by the last latter in the model number.

MODELGEAR RATIOBEARINGSWEIGHT (OZ.)LINE RETRIEVEMAX DRAG PRESSUREMONO LINE CAP (yd./lb.)BRAIDED LINE CAP (yd./lb.)
ISX-20B5.0:18BB+1RB6.522.6"13-lbs190/4
120/6
90/8
130/10
110/15
ISX-30B5.0:18BB+1RB7.424.2"13-lbs200/6
160/8
110/10
180/15
130/20
ISX-40B5.0:18BB+1RB9.129''13-lbs270/8
190/10
170/12
215/30
150/40
ISX-20W5.0:18BB+1RB6.522.6"13-lbs190/4
120/6
90/8
130/10
110/15
ISX-30W5.0:18BB+1RB7.424.2''13-lbs200/6
160/8
110/10
180/15
130/20
ISX-40W5.0:18BB+1RB9.129''13-lbs270/8
190/10
170/12
215/30
150/40

I must say that I had taken the Okuma Helios SX for a spin first and I was very impressed with the reel and the price point.  When I next unboxed the Inspira and mounted it to a lightweight 7′ Ugly Stik GX2 I was very surprised to see that this reel which sells for 40% less that the Helios SX had nearly all the same features making this a 10 on our scale for value.

Currently, I have paired an Okuma Inspira ISZ-30B with one of my favorite fishing rods, the St. Croix Mojo Inshore.  Together this is an incredibly lightweight setup for inshore fishing that will handle everything I have thrown at it so far.

With a carbon fiber drag system and 9 corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings you have a smooth reel both when line if being retrieved and when the line is screaming off the spool.

Pros

  • Cyclonic Flow Technology
  • Price
  • C-40X Carbon Fiber Technology
  • Very Lightweight
  • Smooth Drag

Cons

  • Not fully sealed
  • Not braid ready

Alternatives

There really is nothing to compare the Okuma Inspira in the under $100 range of reels as this is a true carbon fiber reel.

For about $60 more you can take a look at the Okuma Helios SX where you will pick up a few additional features such as the higher end HPB ball bearings, a cyclonic flow rotor made of the C-40X carbon fiber material vs aluminum and higher end ALG Precision AlumiLite main and oscillating gears.  Read the full review of the Okuma Helios SX HERE.

Two other reels to compare would be the Pflueger Supreme XT and the Pflueger Purist.  One of the things that you get with the Pflueger reels that you do not get with the Okuma Inspira or the Okuma Helios SX is a sealed carbon fiber drag system.  Read the full review on the Pflueger Supreme XT Here.

Neither Penn, Shimano or Daiwa have anything to compare with at this price point and weight.

In Conclusion

I love to fish with lightweight gear and to teach others to do the same.  I am getting a few of these reels so that when I have friends down to fish for trout, reds and snook, we can go out and have some fun.  I think that if you combine the Okuma Inspira with a Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 say a model USSP702M which is a 7′ Medium Fast rod that you would have an incredible combination for under $125.

While I have just recently purchased these reels, I am looking forward to seeing how they will stand up after a year or so of fishing in the saltwater of SW Florida.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Okuma Inspira
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