Review of Okuma Cortez CZ10 multiplier reel

After seeing the specification of the Okuma Cortez CZ-10CS, I was eager to get my hands on one. First impressions reminded me of a larger version of the old Shimano Speedmaster IIFSC, which is no bad thing, as the Speedmaster was a tough little nut.

At first glance the CZ10 looks like a cross between a Diawa Saltiga and a Shimano Trinidad - nice !

The CZ10 has the following main features…

– Graphite frame and sideplates

– Machined aluminium red anodised spool

– 4 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing (all stainless steel)

– Magnetic cast control

– 6.2:1 gear ratio

– Multi-disc carbonite drag system

Does exactly what it says on the tin !

The reel has the following line capacities…

Line capacity of the Okuma CZ10

Also contained in the box are some rod clamps and bolts and some low viscosity reel oil (but no spanner/reel tool).

Reel oil and rod clamp are included

A quick tour around the outside of the reel…

Large power handle and chunky spool lever

Ratchet and magnetic spool control knob

Stainless steel reel foot

The two things I noticed straight away were how light this reel was (considering it is not a small baitcasting type affair) and secondly, the spool is quite narrow – so it would probably be good for braid.

Lets take a closer look at the reel starting with the handle/drag…

Very flash !

The drag wheel clicks as you turn it – very nice. The components are stainless or anodised aluminium and are sturdy. The handle is a tad big – but that is probably useful on a boat if you really want to apply some power. The drag itself is incredibly strong – I held my thumb on the spool and turned the handle and it effectively locked out well before the star wheel was tightened. I suspect this is a reel designed to fight tuna and hard fighting fish. As well as being incredibly powerful, the drag is also very smooth, especially for a bigger reel.

On to the other components on the RHS side…

Chunky and well built

The end float knob is all pretty much standard fayre…

Everything looks good

The spool engagement lever is really chunky, just the thing when your hands are cold in the winter…

 Very chunky free spool lever

Turning the handle does not engage the reel when it is in free spool – you have to manually push the spool lever knob (above).

The spool looks the part – we shall look at it in further detail later…

The CZ10's red annodised spool

On to the other side of the reel. This houses the ratchet and the magnetic cast control knob.

LHS side of CZ10 showing ratchet and magnetic control knob

The magnetic control knob is indexed and clicks when you rotate the dial. A quick spin of the spool shows that the magnets can be easily adjusted to speed up or slow down the reel.

Next to open up the reel and take a look inside.

The first thing you notice is that there are no thumb screws, and the screws which keep the side plates on are star type and not phillips. Given the lack of a reel tool, this was a bit of a pain, and they were also easy to lose.

Fiddly non standard sideplate screws

You will need a special bit to unscrew the side plates.

One the side plates were taken off, there was another unusual thing inside the reel. There was a small plate stopping the spool from coming out…

PLate stopping the spool from coming out ?

Another even smaller screw (phillips this time !) was taken out and out popped the spool.

Spool, frame and side plate

The spool has inbuilt bearings with a tad too much grease, but no matter for us kayak fishermen !

In built spool bearing

Red spool, no knickers. No hang-on, that's not right !

A look through to the other sideplate to check everything is in order…





All fine and Dandy.

And a closer look at the end plate showing the magnetic brakes…

Brakes, ratchet and shims.

Close-up of magnets

When re-attaching the sideplates, yu need to be aware that there is a little lug and a peg which fits in it, so you know the spool and sieplate are aligned. A nice little touch…

Spool and end plate alignment is achieved using a lug and a small peg

That is about it. The main drive gear is an absolute beast; to be honest the whole reel seems to have been built to a high standard.

My conclusion… the only negative thing I can say about this reel is the lack of thumb screws make it awkward to take apart. On the positive side, its very well made from corrosive resistant materials, its light, and its very tough/powerful. Its like Okuma have taken a look at alot of the best tough reels available, like Daiwa’s Saltiga, Penns Mags and the Shimano flagship Trinidad’s, and encompassed alot of it into this reel, but at a fraction of the cost. This is not a reel for everyday kayak fishing, but if you need a really tough reel for rugged reefs – conger fishing or huss over very rough ground or winter fishing in the Bristol Channel, then this reel is not going to let you down.

The Okuma Cortez CZ10 is available from Veals Mail order priced £109.99…