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Reel Review


A Closer Look at Lew's Best Seller, the Speed Spool LFS (continued)

Power: Speaking of the handle, the Speed Spool LFS comes stock with a 95 millimeter handle giving you a lot of leverage to turn those brass gears. Our 6.3:1 gear ratio test subject demonstrated good power pulling deep diving cranks like Strike King's 10XD. The 5.6:1 would probably make a good cranking reel.

The Speed Spool LFS features a single composite drag washer

Drag: I was a little surprised, upon opening up the reel, to find a single composite drag washer resting inside the brass gear. This has an old school feel to it and is not the same, sort of fibrous carbon washer most reels come with these days. Despite that, Lew's touts the Speed Spool LFS as coming with 15lbs of max drag power, but you know me, max pressure is not nearly as important to me as smooth and consistent performance and the Speed Spool LFS's drag delivers just that.

Brass gears make up the LFS's guts

Design & Ergonomics: Overall, the Speed Spool LFS is in a nice, compact body that's easy to palm. It tipped our scales at only 7.1 ounces - very good for an aluminum framed reel with brass gears, and comes with a rather large, machine forged, aluminum spool measuring 34 millimeters in diameter. The reel's pinion gear is supported by a bearing on both sides contributing to its smooth retrieve.

The Speed Spool LFS's machine forged, aluminum spool has an outside diameter of 34mm (typical for reels of this size is closer to 32mm)

Price & Applications: It's not difficult to see why the Speed Spool LFS is one of if not Lew's best selling reel. At $99.99, it comes with some features found in pricier reels (like the double bearing supported pinion). The three retrieve ratios (only two in left) make it suitable for a wide variety of applications save for BFS and big bait techniques that require a lighter spool and larger line capacity respectively.


Lew's Speed Spool LFS Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid all around build with aluminum components and tight tolerances 8
Performance Predictable and reliable performance 8
Price Magical price point 8.5
Features Double bearing supported pinion is not something you see, but over the long term, should feel 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to palm and nice, long, comfortable handle 8
Application Three retrieve ratios, but only two in lefty 7.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Excellent ergonomics - I want to see how long that drag washer will hold up
+ Extra long, stock handle - No low speed option for left hand retrieve
+ Brass gears and aluminum frame  
+ Double bearing supported pinion gear  

There's always a place in any marketplace for value and Lew's does a good job of packing a lot of usable features into their price point reel

Conclusion: So many reel manufacturers and only so much time on the water. Zander has written up a couple of Lew's reels in the past, but this is my very first introduction to their product and I can see why they're so popular. There's always a place in any marketplace for value and Lew's does a good job of packing a lot of usable features into their price point reel. My only real criticism of the reel is an old one, no left hand retrieve option in low speed. Otherwise, Lew's Speed Spool LFS was right on target for a Best Value Award.


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