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Reel Review


The Search for One - Reel? Lew's Super Duty LFS


Date: 4/24/23
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Lew's
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.42 - GOOD

Back in 2010, to celebrate our tenth year of reviewing the hottest tackle, we launched our most enduring campaign, "The Search for One." It has been mostly focused on that one fishing rod to do it all - essentially the medium heavy spec'd casting rod and each manufacturer's take on that specification. Just as important, however, is the accompanying reel. With so many specialized techniques, it's even more difficult to find a reel, or really, one reel platform, to handle a wide variety of techniques. However, with the latest iteration of their Super Duty LFS, Lew's may actually have a contender for the title. Let's take a look.


Lew's Super Duty LFS Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/150
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 16.5 cm3
Retrieve Ratio (* available in right hand only)
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
Weight 8.1 oz
Spool Weight 18 g
Handle Length 95 mm
Bearings 11
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 2 bearings
Rated Max Drag ~20lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $199.99


Impressions: So what makes any casting reel a contender for designation as "the one?" Granted, unlike a fishing rod, with a reel, it has more to do about the platform. Why? Because retrieve ratios are so important when selecting a reel these days and much more personal. With that in mind, the platform needs to be available in a variety of different ratios. The Super Duty LFS is available in three - check.


Introducing Lew's Super Duty LFS


Then, it should be in a nice compact size that's comfortable to fish all day, but at the same time able to handle a good amount of line, no matter the diameter. The Super Duty LFS's size is what I'd call a traditional 100, but the reel comes with a deeper than normal spool, so it's able to hold a good amount of line in a variety of diameters - check.

The Super Duty LFS sits at a comfortable height on the reel seat

Finally, while this last little feature certainly isn't necessary, any reel that comes with it, I feel, is ahead in the game. What feature could that be? It's the old school flipping switch. Fallen out of favor for lack of demand and increased chance for mechanical issues, nothing really beats the convenience of a functional reel for flipping when the technique is one of your mainstays. Lew's Super Duty LFS is one of the few reels, today, that has this feature - check.

Ready for some action

Real World Tests: Intrigued by the SuperDuty LFS's versatility, I reached out to Lew's Fishing to express my interest in trying it. They were kind enough to send one over for me to check out. To test a reel with such potential, I needed a fishing rod equally as versatile. I decided the stick for this task would be my recently self wrapped Rainshadow ETEC74H-SS. This blank is from Rainshadow's top end, Eternity line and comes with a prototypical heavy power rating, yet is actually a very versatile blank. It feels as though, these days, heavy is the new medium heavy anyway.

Paired with my self wrapped ETEC74H-SS from Rainshadow's Eternity line

My ETEC74H-SS is outfitted almost identical to the ETES72ML I wrote about in January, and has a total build weight of 4.4 ounces. I've been looking for an excuse to get this creation out on the water, so the Super Duty LFS presented the perfect opportunity. To test the reel's versatility, I spooled it with Sunline's new-ish Xplasma Asegai in 50lb and swapped out the leader in correlation with how I intended to use the combo for each trip, but relied mostly upon different strengths of Seaguar's Gold Label FC leader material.

Casting brakes are adjustable via this external dial

Casting: Lew's equips the Super Duty LFS with a magnetic braking system adjustable via an external dial located on the non-handle sideplate. The system features an array of eight (8) magnets nestled within the sideplate that act upon a flat surface of the spool. It is an effective, albeit, very basic braking system that's easy to adjust and implement with just about any casting style. It just takes a little more casting energy than some other systems, however it is also a lot less temperamental.

The Super Duty LFS's casting brakes feature an array of eight (8) magnets nestled within the sideplate that act upon a flat surface of the spool

With that system, the Super Duty LFS can comfortably cast baits from about three eighths of an ounce and up, but really hits a nice stride with baits from about half an ounce and heavier. One of the disadvantages to a deeper spool is a higher start up inertia because of all the line they hold. So if you typically like to throw lighter baits, reels with a deep spool, in general, are not ideal.

The Super Duty LFS comes with an old school, deep spool

However, with that deeper spool, comes the opportunity to load the reel with some heavier gauge line (or in my case, simply install a heavier leader), and use the Super Duty LFS in some a low key, light duty big bait scenarios. Additionally, this reel is certainly suitable for launching deep running cranks - if you fish right handed reels and can take advantage of the slower retrieve options in this platform.

The reel's handle measures 95mm from center of knob to center of knob

Next Section: Retrieve and Drag Performance 









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