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Reel Review


Lew's Goes Mg with their Hyper Mag SLP (continued)

Retrieve: Lew's offers the Hyper Mag SLP in two retrieve ratios (7.5:1 and 8.3:1) in both left and right hand retrieve. The magnesium frame and carbon sideplates of this reel translate to a frame is rigid enough during retrieve and fish fights, but not as silky smooth as say the Pro-Ti SLP with its aluminum frame and sideplates.

But I do like they feature two bearing support

Magnesium is just a tad more lively than aluminum so reels made with this material tend to have a more geary feel to them. It isn't the gears, but it is the frame material. Add to this the fact the Hyper Mag SLP's main gear is made of an aluminum alloy and not brass, then you have the makings of a reel that's going to give you some feedback while turning its handle.

That's not to say the Hyper Mag SLP feels rough - far from it. The reel is actually very smooth but with a slight more connected feel between the handle and the gears than say the all aluminum Pro-Ti SLP.

The Hyper Mag SLP's main, aluminum gear measures 40mm in diameter

Power: Lew's equips the Hyper Mag SLP with a 95 millimeter handle right out of the package that's connected to a 40 millimeter diameter main gear made from an aluminum alloy. This combo gives the 7.5:1 gear ratio reel sufficient power for the majority of bass applications, but it's not a reel you'd want to depend upon for duties such as pulling deep diving cranks or medium to large hard bodied swimbaits all day long. Were this reel available in a slower gear ratio, things might be different, but given the reel's high gear ratio options, it's best suited for horizontal and vertical bait situations where a fast rate of line pickup is paramount.

The Hyper Mag SLP's drag stack

Drag: The Hyper Mag SLP comes with a drag rated at 20lbs of maximum pressure. This is more than enough to subdue the majority of freshwater prey and certainly sufficient in the pursuit of largemouth bass. What we value more than anything is a drag that is smooth and consistent. Benefiting from a drag stack consisting of a mix of carbon matrix and metal washers, the Hyper Mag SLP's drag was very smooth and consistent for us out on the water.

Lew's implementation of this familiar idea (a line weight reminder) is seamless

Design & Ergonomics: Lew's Hyper Mag SLP is among the lightest standard sized casting reel I've fished and it comes in a very comfortable profile. The reel's 95 millimeter handle is welcoming though I'm not a fan of the oversized knobs.

Lew's also adds a couple of features that are not about performance but more about convenience. The first, a dial on the face of the cast control knob to help you remember what line you spooled on the reel is an interesting take on a familiar idea. The second, an integrated hook keeper on the inside face of the reel to help you stow your baits, is unique to Lew's.

This flip out hook keeper shows the manufacturer is constantly innovating

Price & Applications: Lew's offers all of this in a package that retails for just $299.99. That's an aggressive price for a magnesium framed reel and one we certainly welcome. The only thing keeping this reel from really dominating that price point is a low gear ratio, cranking reel option. Then again, I don't recall there being any magnesium framed cranking reels off the top of my head. Could be a good reason to offer one?

The Hyper Mag SLP retails for $299.99


Lew's Hyper Mag SLP Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very clean looking reel with nice lines and tight tolerances 9
Performance Excellent casting performance, smooth retrieve, and sweet drag 9
Price Considering this reel is just over $70 more affordable than the next comparable magnesium framed reel, pretty darn good 8
Features Micro click adjustable spool tension, drag, and braking system, dual bearing supported knobs and levelwind, magnesium frame, 4 pin centrifugal braking system, integrated hook keeper, the list goes on 8
Design (Ergonomics) Super light, easy to palm, just not a big fan of the knobs 7.5
Application Available in two gear ratios in both left and right hand retrieve... all that's missing is a lower gear ratio option for dedicated cranking duties 8

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:


+ Light and comfortable to palm - Not a fan of the knobs
+ Long stock handle - Non handle sideplate detaches entirely
+ Easy casting performance  
+ An Mg reel for under $300  

The Hyper Mag SLP is a reasonably priced magnesium based reel that comes loaded with added value features

Conclusion: It's true the Hyper Mag SLP's position atop the Lew's low profile casting reel pyramid was usurped by the Pro-Ti SLP, but I dare say if you're a fan of magnesium framed reels, this reel shines a little brighter. It's not as uniquely styled cosmetically as the Pro-Ti SLP, and that reel's brake system is just a tad more refined, but given the Hyper Mag SLP's overall weight and two retrieve ratio options, I think I favor this reel. It doesn't hurt that it's also $50 less expensive. In fact, the Hyper Mag SLP is among the more affordable Mg based reels in recent memory and for that reason, it's earned our Best Value Award.


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