I get a lot of questions regarding the castability of baitcasting reels. A lot of anglers have issues with distance, accuracy and backlashes which causes them to avoid this type of reel altogether. While there’s not always a simple solution to these common issues, using a quality reel makes an enormous difference. You can certainly “get by” with lower quality reels, but when you’re making difficult skips, pitches and flips, your reel selection absolutely matters.
I’ve been testing the Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool ACB Casting Reel lately and I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for both novice and experienced bass fishermen. If you’re in the market for a new reel, there are some things you should know about this particular model.
What you’ll like about it
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool ACB Casting Reel is its adjustability. I’ve used a lot of reels in the past that, no matter how much I try to adjust them, they continue to get backlashes on nearly every cast. That has not been an issue whatsoever with this reel.
I’ve tested this reel with lures ranging from 1/8-ounce all the way to 1/2-ounce and regardless of the weight, I’ve been blown away by its casting distance and line management. It features an adjustable 6-pin, 27-position centrifugal braking system that allows for seemingly endless on-the-fly adjustments. Whether the wind picks up or you need to adjust the brakes to allow for subtle skips under overhanging cover, you’ll be able to quickly tweak its settings without hassle.
While some reels are fairly finicky in terms of castability, this model doesn’t take long to dial in. On my first fishing trip with this reel, it only took me about 2 or 3 casts to fine tune it to my liking. If you need to change to a lure that’s heavier or lighter, you won’t be stuck making dozens of “test casts” to avoid backlashes. This reel is not at all temperamental.
The Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool ACB Casting Reel is also very lightweight and comfortable to use for an extended period of time. It only weighs 6.2 ounces, but also has plenty of strength for close-quarters power fishing. The 14 pounds of max drag is great when you’re setting the hook on big shallow-water bass, but it’s also extremely smooth when you’re delicately fighting treble-hooked bass next to the boat or shoreline.
I like that the handles of this reel are a little longer than the original Tournament Pro model. I absolutely love power fishing and the longer handle seems to give me a lot of leverage when I’m muscling big bass away from thick cover.
You’ll also notice the Speed Dial line indicator that’s integrated into the tension knob. Simply turn the dial with your fingernail or a small coin and you’ll never have to guess the diameter or line type that’s spooled on your reel. If for some reason you don’t want to use it, it’s totally out of the wayâyou’ll never notice it’s there.
I also think you’ll appreciate the SpeedKeeper hook keeper that’s located on the underside of the reel. If you don’t want to scratch your reels by hooking your baits to the frame, you can quickly and easily extend the SpeedKeeper and securely store your treble-hooked baits and Texas rigs. Again, if you don’t want to use it, you’ll never notice it’s there.
My experiences with it
As mentioned earlier, I’ve tested this reel with all types of lures and I can count the number of backlashes I’ve had on one hand. It’s been super windy throughout my testing and I’ve been extremely pleased with the castability of the Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool ACB Casting Reel.
I’ve actually caught several big fish on this reel which has allowed me to thoroughly test the drag system. When it’s cinched down, aggressive hooksets are not a problem and I’ve had plenty of power to wrench fish from under docks. I’ve also loosened the drag in order to test its smoothness and it hasn’t disappointed. It starts easily and lets line out smoothly without ripping the hooks away from the fish.
The sheer comfort of this reel is also worth noting. It’s a fairly small reel, but it fits very well in my large hands. The retrieve is as smooth as silk and I haven’t noticed any unnecessary hand fatigue whatsoever. Its ergonomics are simply fantastic.
While I’m not quite used to the SpeedKeeperâold habits die hardâI really appreciate the fact that it doesn’t add any weight or extra bulk to the frame of the reel. Essentially, Lew’s gives you the option to use it or completely disregard it. As weird as it sounds, I really appreciate that.
I have, however, used the Speed Dial line indicator quite often and it has been very convenient for me. I have a bunch of rods and reels stored in my rod locker, so it can be tough to keep up with the type of line I have spooled on each reel. This neat design feature allows me to know exactly what I’m grabbing without any guesswork or wasted time.
I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t love this reel. It has performed flawlessly throughout my extensive testing and I’m fairly confident that it will end up being a big seller for Lew’s. If you’re considering a new reel purchase, this one should certainly be on your wish list.