Okuma SST Spinning Rod Review

The Okuma SST spinning rod series meets elite-level performance standards almost irrespective of your preferred style of fishing.

With a balance between sensitivity and durability, the SST can be the definitive rod selection for a whole host of different settings from rods for surf fishing to your local fishing spot.

With a well-balanced weight distribution and high-performance materials at virtually every part and component, this fishing rod has got you covered.

That said, the SST is more of a mid-tier model that provides solid all-around performance at a reasonable price, but is it good enough to land a coveted spot in your rod locker?

Pros

  • Multiple technique-specific actions
  • Affordable fishing rods
  • High-end material construction

Cons

  • Selection can be confusing
  • Primarily two-piece models
  • Somewhat brittle tips

Review

Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)

The Okuma SST fishing rod features a graphite blank that weaves multiple types of carbon fibers together with an alternating pattern.

This type of construction rod blank ensures that you don’t have to worry about the graphite blank snapping due to standard tension– though it’s still susceptible to micro fractures if not handled delicately during transport.

Another quality of this fishing rod’s construction that stands out is its piece count which doesn’t go lower than 2-piece models but includes 3-piece and 4-piece models.

This design approach makes it significantly easier to transport the fishing rod– especially the longer models– but adds pressure points that some anglers might not feel comfortable with.

This fishing rod offers Sea Guide stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts, but it’s the design that stands out.

These are both double foot guide frames as well as deep press guide frames, making them exceptionally durable both in and of themselves as well as with their placement on the rod blank– though this can impact the taper a bit.

As a bonus, this fishing rod also comes with a stainless steel hook keeper.

Length

It’s not too often that a series of fishing rod lengths is something worth mentioning so long as the rods fall within the appropriate range.

However, because this fishing rod series provides models for everything from surf fishing rods to options with an ultra-light touch for delicate finesse and light line fishing techniques, rod length matters a bit more.

However, like most aspects of choice with the Okuma fishing rod, the wealth of options can easily lead to analysis paralysis.

While this fishing rod comes in the standard lengths of 5’6″ all the way to 8’0″, select models extend much further with lengths of 8’6″, 9’0″, 9’6″, 9’9″, all the way up to 10’6″ for long-casting surf fishing rods.

Material

This fishing rod features low-resin carbon blanks with an IM-8 graphite rod blank construction that uses multiple modulus carbon fiber threads.

Thanks to this fishing rod’s blank combination, the rod has enough flexibility to handle tough fights and the stiffness to provide plenty of backbone as well as crisp taper actions.

The 24/30-ton low resin carbon blanks provide a balance between sensitivity and durability, though don’t expect it to handle like a fishing rod with a fiberglass construction.

Still, the combination of different modulus graphite carbon fiber threads allows this rod to offer the best of both worlds in one neat little package.

This fishing rod employs stainless steel guide frames with zirconium inserts that avoid the groove-cutting effect of braided lines in saltwater conditions that you’re liable to see with aluminum oxide guides.

Some of the handles have grips with rubber cork accents, so be sure to keep those models dry to avoid dry rot.

One area you don’t often expect to mention the materials is with the reel seat, but this fishing rod offers a custom IM-8 graphite pipe reel seat or a custom 1-K woven carbon fiber pipe reel seat on model SST-S-802MH.

Compared to most competitors, these materials blow the rest out of the water and are generally found on more expensive options.

Action

With species-specific rod actions to suit virtually all fishing styles, this fishing rod runs the gamut of rod actions while still staying within an acceptable range.

While this fishing rod eschews the extreme rod actions, it still includes models with a moderate, moderate-fast, and fast action taper to fit most needs.

Oddly enough, it’s the fast action that comes up the least, meaning that this fishing rod will generally provide some additional casting distance at the expense of some casting accuracy.

It’s also worth noting the slower tapers aren’t quite as sensitive, but with all of the other factors boosting sensitivity, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Power

This fishing rod offers a wide range of different rod power ratings to choose from, starting with an ultra-light fishing rod all the way to a heavy power rating for the most powerful fishes.

That said, this fishing rod series tends to stay closer to the medium rod power rating and lower with part of the lineup dedicated entirely to light and ultra-light settings.

Regardless, the high-quality, hybrid construction of this fishing rod’s blank ensures you don’t have to worry about backbone as the lineup provides plenty of strength across the board.

Rod Guides

This fishing rod comes equipped with a Sea Guide deep-pressed stainless steel frame and zirconia inserts.

The frames may be durable, but it’s the zirconia inserts that steal the show.

The ceramic insert materials help dissipate heat to prevent line breakages while increasing casting distance due to its smoothness.

All parts of the fishing rod guide system from the zirconium guide inserts to the deep press guide frames are perfect for braided fishing lines.

However, this fishing rod’s guide system is more than just strong enough for a braided fishing line as the materials can handle plenty of light impacts without cracking as well.

Handle (material, shape, etc)

This fishing rod comes with premium grips, but the specific grip material– and some of the qualities– differs depending on the fishing model rod in question. For instance, the Okuma SST Trout and

Okuma SST G2 Limited Edition Spinning Rods both come with cork grips with rubber cork accents and a compressed cork butt cap.

Okuma SST New Generation Special Edition Spinning Rod comes with carbon fiber fore and rear grips that trade some of the comfort you get with cork handles to ensure anglers of sensitivity.

That said, a cork handle & tackle kit may not provide additional sensitivity, but the premium cork fores feel more comfortable in your hands for all-day fishing trips.

Uses (Who is this good for)

The Okuma SST spin fishing rod provides an excellent tool to land a string of catches from freshwater species wherever your favorite fishing spot sits.

With an excellent design for boat fishing and the versatility to work for virtually any fishing activity, the Okuma fishing rod won’t let you down when you need it most.

The Okuma also offers rods for surf fishing or saltwater fishing and the numerous powerful fish species up and down both coasts.

Of course, even surf fishing rods need to be matched to the style of fishing to make sure the rod models are a suitable fishing rod fit, so make sure you choose the right rod models with the appropriate specs

Beyond experienced anglers who understand the need for specificity, this fishing rod also translates especially well for beginners– depending on the model.

For most freshwater versions that don’t tackle salmon or steelhead, the SST fishing rod comes in at a fairly low price, perfect for anglers at all levels of commitment.

However, beginners should consult with a fishing gear professional as the sheer litany of different options and spec configs make it particularly easy for the uninitiated novice to get confused and accidentally choose the wrong rod for their particular needs.

Reel and Real Seat Compatibility

Depending on the model, this fishing rod features Custom reel seats made out of different carbon fiber materials with the majority favoring a carbon blend that follows the blank.

However, some of the heavier-duty models use an even stronger graphite carbon fiber material, making these some of the strongest reel seats out there.

However, using these high-end materials does more than increase the reel seat’s durability and also cuts down on the weight.

While weight reduction on its own increases the fishing rod’s sensitivity, the fact that these reel seats use fairly stiff graphite carbon fibers only increases that already solid boost to the pole’s sensitivity.

Conclusion (Wrap Up)

The Okuma SST fishing rods are made by enthusiasts for fishing enthusiasts with balanced weight distribution and exceptional sensitivity.

With a rod length that can range from longer surf fishing rods to an ultra-light fishing rod for finesse techniques, this core series has the fishing equipment you need– whether you need a salmon, steelhead, or trout rod.

Even better, you can find a fishing rod to suit your fishing preference¬†and¬†that’s a great deal for anglers in the fishing industry.

The art of fishing calls for high-performance tools and the Okuma fishing rod should more than meet your standards and give you something to brag about the next time you head out to the lake with your fishing buddy.

Other places to consider:

SST "a" Special Edition Rods