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Reel Review


A Solid Little Reel With a Bigger Purpose: Lew's American Hero Tier 1 Casting Reel


Date: 3/21/23
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Lew's
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

In 2013, Lew's launched their American Hero program in support of organizations helping military veterans return to life after service. Proceeds from the cause are prioritized towards groups providing assistance to veterans with health concerns. It's a wonderful way to give back and say thank you to those who have taken on the serious commitment to serve our country. One of the latest products from that program to hit store shelves is the American Hero Tier 1 LFS Casting reel. I had the honor and privilege to take this reel out for an extended test run, and here's how it performed.


Lew's American Hero Tier 1 LFS Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/120
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 15 cm3
Retrieve Ratio 7.5
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated 14 - 30
Weight 7.2 oz
Spool Weight 18 g
Handle Length 95 mm
Bearings 9+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Rated Max Drag ~15lbs
Origin Made in China
MSRP $179.99

Introducing Lew's American Hero Tier-1 LFS Casting Reel

Impressions: The American Hero Tier 1 LFS casting reel from Lew's is a familiar profile from the manufacturer in a size that's roughly equivalent to an industry standard 100. It is built with an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates and features an externally adjustable magnetic braking system, Zirconia line guide, micro-click adjustable drag and spool tension knob, and a long, 95mm handle with flat knobs.


Matched with my Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH and ready for action


Best of all, a portion of the profits from this platform is sent to Lew's afore mentioned America Hero Program. In the spirit of this reel's purpose, Lew's produces this reel with an attractive camo pattern finish. It is offered in a single retrieve ratio, 7.5:1 in both left and right hand configuration.

We love that portions of the proceeds from the sale of this reel are donated to causes to assist Veterans

Real World Tests: There are an increasing number or rods built these days with a grip matching the pattern of the Lew's American Hero Tier 1 LFS (AH-Tier 1). To that end, with some general purpose work in mind, I pulled out my trusty Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH and spooled the reel with some left over Daiwa JBraid Grand to fill up about a third to one half the spool, then took up the rest of the space with twelve pound (12lb) Sunline SuperNatural monofilament. Note, this is not a line strategy I normally undertake, but was thwarted in my original intent of a braid plus leader setup when I did not have enough JBraid left over on the filler spool.

Spooled with some Sunline SuperNatural monofilament

Casting: The AH-Tier 1 is equipped with a very basic magnetic brake system featuring 5 magnets sitting within the palming sideplate that work against a flat surface of the spool. Braking is increased or decreased by moving the magnet array closer to the spool or further away, respectively, via the external dial on that same sideplate.

Casting brakes are a simple, yet very effective magnet based system

These systems while basic, are actually very effective for general purpose work giving the user ample brake control to mitigate against backlashes when casting total lure weight of about three eighths of an ounce and up. The reel is not very well equipped for finesse applications, nor would I expect it to be. The AH-Tier 1 is a basic, no frills caster very well suited for general application work.

Handle and knobs are super comfortable to fish

Next Section: A look inside the AH-Tier 1









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