Easy to produce various jig movements and equipped with power!

Equipped with new gear for 100 cm per reel! Studio Ocean Mark BLUE HEAVEN L80, L100 [Mid Gear

The gear ratio of a reel can affect fishing results in many situations. In 2024, Studio Ocean Mark will introduce the Blue Heaven L80 and L100 models, which are mid-gear models with gear ratios in between high gear and power gear (low gear). What led to the development of these settings, and what are their uses? We spoke with tester Yasuo Nishimoto during an actual fishing session.

Equipped with new gear for 100 cm per reel! Studio Ocean Mark BLUE HEAVEN L80, L100 [Mid Gear

The Blue Heaven L100 and L80 are now joined by a mid-gear model with a 100 cm per turn handle; the L80 goes on sale in May 2024, and the L100 in late June.


Blue Heaven, gear ratio lineup to date

Studio Ocean Mark’s Blue Heaven reels can be said to have led the jigging bait reel scene in Japan. The 120L size was first introduced to target large fish, followed by the more versatile 50L size for inshore waters, and then the lineup was expanded to include the 30L, 80L, and 100L sizes. Some models were partially upgraded after their release, and Blue Heaven has evolved along with the evolution of jigging, becoming a strong ally of anglers and a favorite. The Blue Heaven has been available in two gear ratios, Pw (power gear) and Hi (high gear), but a new mid gear has been developed for the 2024 release.

Anglers select gears when purchasing a reel in order to more reliably hook and attract fish, as well as for comfort and other reasons. Each gear has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are various reasons for choosing which gear to use. Power gears require less rewinding per handle revolution, but have more rewinding torque. High gears have more take-up, but less take-up power than power gears.
As such, power gear allows anglers to close the distance to the fish more efficiently after a large fish hits, and it also causes less angler fatigue when using heavier jigs. However, because of its short reeling distance, it is good for fine-tuning the depths of the water, but it is not suitable for quick jerking and quick reeling. On the other hand, a high gear has a long take-up distance, making it ideal for fast jerking, instantaneous retrieval of spools of line, and high ability to catch fish. The choice of which gear to use depends on what you are targeting and how you are going to target it. What is the target and how to make the jig bite? It depends on what you are targeting and how you want the jig to bite.
As an example,
If you want to catch large amberjack, you should choose a high gear because you need to jerk fast to lure the fish away from the bottom and get it to bite,If you want to keep fish that hit near the bottom, use a power gear, and if you want to get the fish off the roots as quickly as possible, use a high gear,Power Gear: “If you want to lure large tuna migrating in the middle layer by mainly using a slow pitch jerk fall, Power Gear is advantageous for handling the fish after it hits the bottom,
If you need to quickly release the jig from the roots after it hits the bottom, use a high gear,
High-gear is the most efficient way to retrieve heavy-weight jigs.
These are just a few examples, but each angler’s thinking will probably differ from the others. Incidentally, the Blue Heaven lineup of lures from Studio Ocean Mark to date has consisted of two gears, high gear and power gear, as a result of our pursuit of efficient lures and post-hit interactions as described above.

The gear ratio when choosing a reel depends on what you are aiming at? What do you want to target? How do you want the jig to bite? The selection depends on these factors. Most bait reels today have two types of gears, high gear and power gear, but Studio Ocean Mark has added a mid-gear to the mix. What is the true reason for this?

How and why the new Mid gear was introduced

In addition to the normal Blue Heaven model, there is also the Ota Garage Model OGM, which is a new model that is designed to be used with bait reels. This model is the ultimate in sensitivity, lightness, and increased strength, thanks to carefully selected materials for each part and body shaving. The idea of a mid-gear came to him during the development of the 100 size.
The high and power gears of the normal 100 model were released, and we started developing a 100 size OGM model,” said Mr. Kurokawa. It is 100cm per roll. When I tried this, I found it easy to use for various types of fishing. When I started jigging, reels with 100 cm per reel were common, but I think this gear ratio can be used for a wide range of applications.

On the left is the normal Blue Heaven Mid-Gear model. On the right is the L100 model (proto) of the Blue Heaven Ota Garage model OGM. The Ota Garage model is already in production. We are looking forward to the release of this model. Its performance will be reported in a later article.

While developing the OGM model, we decided to start development and testing by adding a mid-gear model to the lineup of the normal Blaenheim L80 and L100 models. The high gear model has a gear ratio of 5.9:1 and a handle turn of 113 cm, the power gear model has a gear ratio of 4.9:1 and a handle turn of 95 cm, and the new mid gear model has a gear ratio of 5.4:1 and a handle turn of 100 cm. L80 has line capacities of No.5 550m, No.4 600m, and No.2 1200m, making it ideal for mid- to deep-sea fishing for large fish such as amberjack, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, root fish, etc., kineme and black rockfish, etc. L100 has No.8 400m, No.6 500m, No.5 600m, and No.4 750m line capacities, and is suitable for the same targets as L80, plus bluefin tuna. In addition to the same targets, it can be used for bluefin tuna and deep-sea jigging.
The 100 cm per turn is well balanced. It is easy to adjust the amount of reeling to produce jig movements that make fish bite, whether it is fast reeling, large jerking, or slow pitch jerking. Also, the 110 mm (100/98 mm) handle works well with this handle. Longer handle is good for deep water fishing such as for lingcod, but for fishing to target amberjack, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, and large root fish by producing various movements, 110 mm handle is easier to operate and the reeling length of 100 cm per rotation also makes it easier to adjust jig movements.”

For this fishing trip, we took the “Nagisa Maru,” a boat that departs from Kagoshima Kawauchi, to the Uji Islands to target big-sized amberjack using the L80Mid. The main depth was 130 to 160 meters. Jigs were mainly 300g. Lines were Xbraid SHINJI and ODDPORT #4 and #3. Since the main target was amberjack, the main lure pattern was to lure the fish from the bottom with a fast one-pitch lure while reeling up the line, then jerking slowly to make the jig bounce up and fall down.
Mr. Nishimoto uses a mid-gear model to find the answer to such enticing techniques. The mid-gear model proved to be a versatile model, as it was smooth to lure fast, middle-speed, and in-between baits, as well as to retrieve the lure. As for the results of the fishing trip, we fished for one day due to the weather and the tide was bad from start to finish, so small amberjack were occasionally caught. As a result, no big fish showed up, but the Mid gear supported Nishimoto’s fishing well.

Uji island group is a dream field where you can expect to catch large amberjack and large root fish. It is a field of dreams.

Nishimoto imagines the movement of the jig in the water and adjusts it as he explores. 100 cm per revolution of Mid gear makes it easy to adjust the jig’s movement to catch fish. 110 mm handle and Mid gear are a good match.

Mid gears are not as powerful as power gears, but their reeling power allows anglers to close the distance to the fish as fast as possible.

Smooth retrieval even in deep water and with heavy jigs. Good for mid to deep water fishing and targeting deep water scampi.

The power of Mid because of Blue Heaven

As those who have already used Blue Heaven’s L80, L100, L120, and other large numbers will know, Blue Heaven reels are characterized by “powerful reeling” among large Japanese-made bait reels. This is because it uses a forged aluminum machine-cut gearbox and frame, and in addition, the large-diameter, large-tooth surface Mountain Module gears bite firmly into the gearbox and wind it up. In the L100 model, the pinion gear is supported by two bearings, eliminating pinion gear shake under heavy loads and improving transmission efficiency during winding. The power input from the handle is smoothly and losslessly transmitted to the spool by the body, frame, and gears, enabling torquey reeling. This makes the power gear models more powerful, and the high gear models more powerful as well.

Large diameter mountain module gear with larger tooth flanks. This gear engages firmly to produce winding power (left photo). The photo on the right shows the pinion gear section of the L100, which contains two bearings for strong winding power without blurring.

Blue Heaven has a structure that produces more winding power than other models; the Mid gear can be considered a model that has both winding power and winding speed.

Some high-gear reels with fast reeling speed may not have enough reeling power to catch large fish. If this is the case, it will be difficult to win the game when a large fish is hooked. It is difficult to reel in and haul in a large fish. However, as a Blue Heaven user myself, I have found that Blue Heaven’s large high-gear models have sufficient reeling power, so anglers feel less burden when interacting with a large fish, reeling in a heavy jig, and retrieving it. If we consider only the power of the Blue Heaven series, the difference in power between the Power Gear and High Gear models is not so large compared to other bait reels.
The power performance of this series in general makes the presence of mid gear more effective. Mid gears have both reeling power and reeling speed. And above all, the 100 cm per reel makes it easy for anglers to visualize the movement of the jig in the water. This ease of use was a major factor in Nishimoto’s decision.
Even so, SOM tester Nishimoto and other experts who use the Blue Heaven will use not only the mid-gear, but also the high and power gears. This is because there is a difference in the gears used when pursuing the ultimate goal, such as moving the jig as desired depending on the situation or increasing the catch rate when a hit occurs.
However, now that there are three gears in the lineup (power gear, mid-gear, and high-gear), the use of different gears will surely lead to more detailed fishing strategies. This will lead to more encounters with fish.

The Blue Heaven L80 and L100 are available in three different gears, and their use will expand the range of your fishing.

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Photo and text by Angler’s Time editorial department

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