I’ve long been a fan of Lew’s products. Because of my job, my buddies think that I have a front deck-full of the latest and greatest fishing rods and reels but I think you’d be surprised if you took a look for yourself. Yes, I do have some new stuff but a lot of my collection is made up of Lew’s reels from almost a decade ago. They work, they haven’t broken and I don’t really think I’ve ever cleaned ’em, either. They’re just flat-out workhorses and I’m a simple guy. If it ain’t broke, I’m not going to try and fix it.
With that being said, I recently had the opportunity to try out a few of the newer-model Lew’;s reels and my gosh, I’m pretty sure I’ve been missing out for a while. Most notable has been the Lew;s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel in my opinion. I’ve been testing it on early season topwaters, heavy cover pitching and flipping and even some bladed jigs with outstanding success. The bass-fishing world is enamored with high-gear ratio reels lately and this is easily one of the most impressive ones I’ve had an opportunity to try.
Let’s quickly go over what I’ve liked so much about this reel.
Fast and strong
This is a huge deal to me when I’m testing bass fishing reels. I’ve played around with a lot of fast reels in the past but when it comes to wrenching big bass out of thick cover, they left a lot to be desired. That hasn’t been the case with this reel, however.
Proudly tagged as the fasted reel Lew’s has ever made, the 9.5:1 gear ratio rakes in 40 inches of line per handle turn which it almost unheard of. So when you pitch your Texas rig or jig towards a grass line or dock post and that fish eats it from behind and starts swimming straight to you, you can eat up any slack line in a hurry and catch up to it in order to execute a solid hookset. That’s a huge deal, especially when you’re fishing heavier cover in shallow water.
This reel isn’t all about speed, either; it’s a super-strong reel that can withstand the heaviest of hooksets you have to offer. I’m a guy who likes to cinch my drag all the way down when I’m pitching and flipping and I don’t want my drag to slip a single, solitary inch. I want to be in control of the entire fight whenever possible. The 20-pound Carbon fiber drag system on the Lew’s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel allows me to lock down on fish and get ‘em on the boat quickly and without many dramatics.
These two characteristics give me an outstanding package for close-combat, shallow-water fishing and that can be mighty hard to find these days.
No need to baby it
I can’t tell you how many reels I’ve tested in my career that have needed constant babysitting throughout the cast. I skip a lot of docks and other overhanging cover and I pride myself in my accuracy and stealth when it comes to my casting skill. But heck, some reels just don’t play nice when it comes to getting your bait in tough-to-reach places. You can mess with ‘em all day long and they’ll still try to backlash on you.
I’m happy to say, however, that the Lew’s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel is not temperamental at all in regards to complex casts. You’re not going to deal with a bunch of backlashes or slack line after a long skip; you don’t need to constantly mess with it. The 6-pin, 27-position QuietCast Adjustable Centrifugal Braking System (it sounds a little fancy for my liking, so let’s call it ACB) allows you to make very small adjustments so you’re able to use this one reel for a wide array of techniques. you can be winging a lightweight shaky head to deeper brush in the morning and once the bass move shallower underneath boat docks around lunch time, you can rig up a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce jig and slide that dude wherever you want it with just a few clicks of the ACB.
Very comfortable handle and knobs
To be quite honest, I’m not sure if I like paddle knobs or round knobs better when it comes to casting reels. I think I like both but I’ve seen a lot of folks complain about both types over the years. I reckon you can’t please everyone and maybe I’m just weird; I like both just fine and don’t really notice a difference. Maybe I’m just weird.
But I will say that I really like the EVA knobs on the Lew’s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel paired with the bowed 95mm aluminum reel handle. It provides plenty of grip with wet or fish slime-covered hands and lots of torque as well as you try to get the bass out of cover as quickly as possible.
Feels great in your hands
Knowing that this reel weighs in at 6.9 ounces, I’ll admit that I had an eyebrow raised when I first took it out of the box. In my experience, I’ve noticed that a good many casting reels weighing less than 7 ounces can be a little flimsy in your hands. A lot of focus these days is put towards weightlessness and that’s all good I guess, but your dang reel has to have some shoulders to it in order to withstand constant abuse through the years. If I’m paying $200 or more for a casting reel, it better last.
The one-piece aluminum frame and side plates offer a very nice foundation for the Lew’s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel and while it’s lightweight and super comfortable and ergonomic in your hands, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart. I think you know what I’m talking about there. A reel can be as light as a feather but it doesn’t matter if it bends, warps, crackles and pops when it’s under a load. In my experience, you will not have to worry about that with this particular reel whatsoever.
Gear I used during testing and final thoughts on the Lew’s HyperSpeed LFS Casting Reel
I have really enjoyed fishing with this reel lately. It’s fast but more importantly in my opinion, it’s super tough and just has an outstanding feel in my hands. I’m more than happy to recommend this particular reel to anyone looking to invest in a high-speed reel. There’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be very happy with your investment.
Just in case you’re curious, these are the baits I primarily tested this reel with:
Strike King Hard Knock 1.5 Squarebill
Strike King Sexy Dawg Hard Knock
Strike King HC KVD Splash Popper
Strike King Rage Tail Craw