Lews Reels Reviews – 2020 Guide

Lew's has made countless contributions in the field of high-quality fishing reels, including large and small spool spinning reels, aluminum oxide guides, the 'Power Up' drag system, and the V-shaped casting spool. Today, the brand stays true to its original principles of developing faster, stronger, and lighter rods and reels. 

With so many different models available today, choosing the best Lew's reel can be a very exhausting and difficult task. To help you find a unit that best suits your needs, this guide includes detailed reviews of some of the best Lew's models and the things to consider before making a purchase.

Comparison of the Best Lews Reels

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Precise gear interface for smooth cranking power
  • Bearing system with double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Lightweight graphite composite frame
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Features an impressive 10-bearing system
  • Lightweight but durable graphite body
  • Zero-reverse one-way clutch and quick release side plate
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Made to be smooth and durable
  • Line lays even for less tangles and further casts
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Lews Spinning Reel
  • Quality 4-bearing system with zero-reverse
  • Collapsible handle can be adjusted to right or left-hand retrieve
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Lews Inshore Reel
  • Best suited for saltwater, inshore and freshwater fishing
  • Gives impressive drag experience
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Lews Crappie Reel
  • Selective on/off free spool feature
  • Precision-machined brass gearing
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Lews Baitcasting Reel
  • Trusted and reliable quality
  • High-capacity reel and great performance
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Lews Catfish Reel
  • Main gear and crankshaft ensures better strength
  • Premium 5-bearing system with 4-ball bearings
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Who is Lews?

Founded by Lew Childre in 1949, Lew's gained popularity by designing high-class fishing rods. With the Speed Stick graphite casting rod as their signature model, the company's products quickly became fishing staples for amateurs and professionals alike. Over the next 40 years, during which the Childre family licensed the brand, the family-run business made countless major contributions that completely changed the face of recreational sport fishing.

Today, the brand is owned by a longtime Childre family friend, Lynn Reeves, and Peak Rock Capital. However, it still religiously follows the original principles of designing innovative products that are faster, stronger, and lighter.

How Does Lews Compare to the Competition?

Lew's is one of those brands that you just don't hear enough about. With an extremely loyal following, it can easily compare to other high-end brands. The company performs exceptionally in several different areas, including:

Innovation

Being the very principle on which this company was founded, Lew's has always developed products that create waves in the fishing industry. In 1973, the company created the Speed Spool reel using high-quality components and an innovative teardrop design. This low-profile model then beautifully outperformed the commonly used round-profile units. Furthermore, the company won the 'Best Rod and Reel Combo' at the 2019 ICAST show, making it its 6th consecutive award.

Built to Last

The company's commitment to quality has been deeply embedded into every employee, and they strive to develop innovative and new products that are faster, stronger, and lighter. Products are further backed by 1-year warranties, which clearly shows the company's confidence in its products.

Variety

Lew's has made numerous contributions that have completely changed recreational sport fishing. Along with the Speed Spool and Speed Stick, it offers a wide range of quality products, including aluminum oxide guides, Speed Sticker worm hooks, Fuji FPS reel seats, single-foot guide frames, unique spinning rod handles, Magic Carpet trolling motor, and V-shaped casting spools.

Quick Take | Best Lews Reels

Just looking for the top three best Lews reels? Here they are:

  1. Lew's Fishing American Heroes
  2. Lew's Mach Crush Baitcast Reel
  3. Lew's Fishing Mach II Spin Reels

Review of the Best Lews Reels

Choosing the right reel is no piece of cake. To help you find a model that best suits your individual fishing needs, here are detailed reviews of some of the best reels created by Lew's:

Lew's Fishing American Heroes Speed Spool Baitcast Reel (Boxed Pack), 7.2 Oz./120 yd./12 lb./6.4:1

PROS

  • Five bearing system is designed with double-shielded steel ball bearings
  • Graphite, one-piece composite frame and side plates make the unit strong and lightweight 
  • Part of the profits go towards maintaining productive and healthy lives for American veterans
  • Hamai CNC machines produce precise gear interface for less wear and smooth cranking power 
  • Black side plates, blue spool, and an anodized aluminum tension knob create a beautiful, classic look

CONS

  • Quality control is a bit poor 

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were impressed with the weight and the size of this unit and stated that they would not hesitate to purchase it again. Users found both the retrieve and the drag to be extremely smooth. While customers found it easy to cast, some reported that it broke down after a few uses. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Along with showing dedication to country and community, this unit also represents a fierce commitment to high performance and structural integrity. At 7.2 ounces, it maintains an extremely lightweight nature, making it easier and more comfortable for anglers to fish for prolonged hours. Casting is also controlled and smooth, while the graphite star drag system offers 10 pounds of power.

Who Will Use This Most

Designed with a one-piece IM6 graphite blank, this model is extremely sensitive and can detect the smallest and lightest of bites, making it perfect for all fishing situations. Being an ideal entry-level baitcaster, it has the power to handle fish larger than bass, the speed for lake trout, and the capability to catch 15lb freshwater drum. 

Bottom Line

This unit has always been praised for its smooth and strong feel and its overall ease of use. Both the weight and design encourage comfort, while its precise gear interface ensures a smooth cranking power. However, packaging and quality control could be improved.

Lew's Mach Crush Speed Spool Baitcast Reel

PROS

  • Winn Dri-Tac handles provide a no-slip grip in every condition 
  • Adjustments to drag, braking, and tension are incredibly precise
  • Lightweight aluminum spool delivers an improved performance 
  • Quick-release side plate and zero-reverse one-way clutch allows quick adjustments 
  • 10-bearing system and double-shielded ball-bearings ensure smooth casting and retrieving of lures 

CONS

  • May start making noise after a few uses 
  • Palming plate can come off very easily when unlocked 

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost everyone who purchased this unit was surprised by its performance and found it to be unbelievably smooth. They stated that the retrieve was perfect and loved its flawless performance and fantastic design. While users reported that the unit fit perfectly in their hand, they were disappointed that the left-hand retrieve was sold at a different price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Capable of throwing odd throwing lures, such as jerkbait incredibly far distances, this model primarily stands out to us because of its casting distance. The grips are also extremely comfortable and easy to hold on to during a fight or flight reflex. The innovative SLP design further gives the unit an ultra-compact profile, making it easy to use.

Who Will Use This Most

Featuring a 20-pound carbon drag system, this model can pull the biggest fish in the sea. While it's capable of flipping a one-ounce tungsten weight or slinging a large deep-diving crankbait all day, it's also incredibly agile, and can be used with much lighter lures as well.

Bottom Line

All in all, this unit certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. Its stainless steel bearings, zero-reverse one-way clutch, and high-end 10-bearing system delivers exceptional performance. The crankshaft and main gear are solid brass, while the carbon fiber drag system offers 20-pounds of drag power. However, the palming plate can easily come off.

Lew's Mach II Speed Spin Spinning Reel

PROS

  • Quality 6-disc drag provides smooth operation at all times
  • C40 carbon skeletal speed rotor ensures durability, reliability, and longevity
  • Winn Dri-Tac handle knob gives the best possible grip, even in rainy conditions
  • S-curve oscillation ensures smooth line retrieve, fewer tangles, and further casts
  • 10 bearing system is pre-lubricated with Lew's speed lube, delivering flawless and fast performance

CONS

  • Handle base may start to crack after a few uses

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has mixed reviews. Some users stated that it had good retrieve speed and drag and matched the quality of models that cost twice as much. One person said that they never experienced a problem in the two years they used it. However, some customers said that it broke after only a few uses, while some reported receiving broken rods. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Offering performance every angler can count on, this rock-solid unit is built for durability and reliability in all stages of its operation. Beautifully combining a high-strength carbon skeletal speed rotor, plenty of high-quality metal, and a tough aluminum side plate and body, it ensures integrity and delivers exceptional performance in tough on-the-water conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

Thanks to its 6:2:1 gear ratio, this unit is suitable for several different fishing applications. It's designed with enough force and power to catch a range of weights, including small, medium, and some larger species as well. The double-shielded bearings further protect the internal mechanisms from outdoor elements, making the unit ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. 

Bottom Line

Featuring a high-strength Carbon Skeletal Speed Rotor and a durable aluminum body and side plate, this model is designed for the long haul. While the S-curve oscillation ensures an excellent flow with an even line lay, the unit may start to make noise after a couple of uses.

Lew's Fishing Wally Marshall Speed Shooter Spinning Reel WMSS100 Reels

PROS

  • Collapsible handle can be easily adjusted for left or right-hand retrieve 
  • Skeletal rotor design and lightweight graphite body ensures ease of use 
  • Aluminum bail delivers an excellent performance as it's opened and closed
  • Unique blue and green color combination for a beautiful, eye-catching design 
  • 4-bearing system and one-way clutch bearing provides supreme line smoothness

CONS

  • Handle is of low quality

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the buyers loved this unit and reported that it provided excellent value for money. They found the casting to be extremely smooth and the grip to be incredibly comfortable. While most users stated that it was a reliable unit, some were disappointed with the quality of the handle. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit is the best Lew's spinning reel for several different reasons. Firstly, the graphite unit is designed with a double anodized aluminum spool, a gear ratio of 5.1:1, and a skeletal rotor. Secondly, its 4 bearings feature a Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing for smooth, easy retrievals. Lastly, the high-density split-grip handles are EVA-cushioned, offering a comfortable and firm grasp.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is designed for freshwater fishing and does a particularly good job of catching crappies. It pairs well with the Lew's Wally Marshal spinning rod, and can further be used for bass and pan fishing. 

Bottom Line

To put it simply, this model is undoubtedly one of the best spinning reels available today. A collapsible handle makes it suitable for both left and right-handed anglers, while its 4-bearing system ensures smooth and swift retrievals. However, the quality and design of the handle could be improved.

Best Lews Inshore Reel:
Lew's Fishing SSN1SH

Lews Fishing SSN1SH Speed Spool Inshore LFS Baitcasting Ree

PROS

  • Pinion gear ensures solid stability and precise alignment 
  • Main gear passivization treatment enhances and improves corrosion resistance 
  • Blue anodized aluminum tension knob is designed with an audible click adjustment 
  • Deep capacity spool measuring 34mm can be used for a wide range of fishing techniques
  • Premium 7-bearing system provides a fluid movement, allowing anglers to feel the lightest bites 

CONS

  • Can get damaged easily in saltwater

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and stated that the unit worked great. They said that it fit perfectly in their hand, had a decent amount of drag, and was incredibly smooth. Users particularly loved the fact that it could be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. However, some customers were disappointed with its durability in saltwater. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unit's enhanced precision and speed for flipping and pitching are what make it the best Lew's inshore reel. Featuring custom SoftTouch paddle knobs, it allows anglers to stay out on the water for extended hours without compromising comfort. The Magnetic Control System and spool tension knob further ensure that braking and tension are adjusted to individual specifications.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you're a professional or a beginner, this unit offers the perfect amount of accessibility and performance to suit all different styles and learning curves. Designed for the flats, it's ideal for anything from finesse fishing for flounder and trout to reeling in a big redfish. 

Bottom Line

Representing Lew's faster, stronger, lighter concept, this model is a lightweight powerhouse that can pull double-duty in both saltwater and freshwater. Whether you're fishing in shallow, inshore flats or deep reservoirs, it will surely deliver an exceptional performance centered around dependability and rugged design.

Best Lews Crappie Reel:
Lew's Fishing WMR5

Lews Fishing WMR5, Signature Series Crappie Reel (Clam Pack)

PROS

  • Designed with a selective on or off bait clicker
  • Dual grip aluminum handle enables easy cranking 
  • Two stainless-steel ball bearings ensure smooth movement
  • Metal star knob adjustment is equipped with a smooth drag system
  • 6:1:1 gear ratio and precision machined brass gearing allow faster retrieves 

CONS

  • Not suitable for casting 
  • Line can get between the housing and spool

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people who invested in this unit were extremely happy with their purchase and loved its quality and performance. Buyers liked the selectable clicker mode and stated that the high-visibility line was twist-free and easy to see. However, some users found it difficult to reset the line release, while some were disappointed by the lack of level wind.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model stands out from its competition for several different reasons. Featuring a 6:1:1 gear ratio and precision-machined brass gearing, it ensures faster, smoother retrieves. The durable one-piece graphite side plates and frame ensure durability, while the dual-grip handle allows easy cranking. Moreover, the unit is pre-spooled with the Mr.Crappie high-visibility mono line, ensuring ease of use. 

Who Will Use This Most

This powerful little model is designed for jigging and spider rigging in heavy cover, allowing year-round crappie fishing. The free spool function further makes it ideal for dropping light panfish jigs. 

Bottom Line

Designed from scratch, this model is a scaled-down casting reel that features true free spool functionality. Better than most mini crappie reels, it's more than just a line holder. All in all, it's extremely lightweight but is designed with incredible power.

Best Lews Baitcasting Reel:
Lew's Fishing Tournament Pro LFS

Lews Fishing, Tournament Pro LFS Baitcasting Reel

PROS

  • Pinion gear ensures extended gear life and smooth operation
  • Combat grips enhance traction, allowing a no-slip grip in wet conditions 
  • Durable carbon fiber drag system offers up to 20 pounds of drag power
  • Zirconium line guide ensures optimal casting distance with several different lines and bait 
  • One-piece aluminum frame and C45 carbon side plates provide tournament-grade performance

CONS

  • Available in only one color 

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost everyone who purchased this unit was impressed by its performance and smoothness. Users said that it felt great in their hands, with some stating that it was the best reel they had ever used. They said that it required minimal adjustment, and allowed them to skip bait under docks and into dense cover. However, some felt that more color choices should be added. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Featuring a titanium-coated zirconium line guide, this model gives an extremely smooth cast and retrieve. However, its exceptional ability to handle wind issues with lighter bait is where it truly shines. It also remains sturdy under intense pressure, allowing anglers to catch fish in flooded bushes as well.

Who Will Use This Most

Packed with incredible features, this model is perfect for both fun weekend getaways and tournament bass fishing. It can also be used to cast heavier inshore saltwater bait.   

Bottom Line

Combining the company's unwavering dedication to innovation and quality with competition caliber performance, this unit completely satisfies an angler's demands. Quality construction extends gear life and enhances durability, while combat grips increase traction, ensuring a firm grip in all weather conditions.

Best Lews Catfish Reel:
Lew's Fishing SC600

Lew's Fishing Lew's Speed Cast SC600 Reels

PROS

  • Backed by a 1-year limited warranty
  • Crankshaft and main gear offer a high-torque gear ratio of 5:3:1
  • Anodized aluminum side plates and frame for a no-flex housing 
  • Carbon fiber drag system can be easily controlled by the aluminum star
  • 6 pin centrifugal braking system allows anglers to dial in their cast control settings 

CONS

  • Heavier and bulkier than other models
  • Bait clicker is manufactured with plastic

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers loved this unit and stated that it could handle larger fish very well. They found it to be incredibly durable and smooth, with one user even stating that it was the best reel they had ever used for catfishing. However, some customers reported that they had to tighten the screws after every high wobble lure. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Designed with a 100mm power handle, oversized EVA grips, and a rugged 5-bearing system, this model is a powerful combination of quality craftsmanship and incredible strength. Moreover, its quality carbon fiber drag system stays smooth through its entire range, while its 6-pin centrifugal brake system provides precision cast control with all wind conditions and lure weights.

Who Will Use This Most

Featuring a classic round reel design and serious line capacity, this unit is ideal for catching the biggest fish in the water with the biggest bait available. Along with being perfect for long-distance casting, it can also be used to catch snook, redfish, catfish, and stripper. 

Bottom Line

Boasting the consistent functioning and dependability Lew's is famous for, this model has everything you'd be looking for in a round reel. Along with a no-flex housing, it's designed with a 6 pin centrifugal brake system for precision cast control. However, the construction quality of the bait clicker could be improved. 

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

The right fishing reel can make the difference between a stressful and successful fishing trip. Thus, it's important that you learn as much as you can about purchasing one. To help you with your decision, the following are some things you should keep in mind before you finalize your purchase:

Freshwater or Saltwater 

It's important to decide whether you'll be fishing more in freshwater or saltwater. Saltwater fishing requires a high-quality reel, while freshwater fishing can be done with just about any reel. Since saltwater usually has some underwater monsters, make sure that the reel you choose is corrosion resistant and strong enough to withstand any possible stress.

Weight

Fishing can take countless hours, and after some time, you'll start to feel every ounce. To avoid extra weight, fatigue, and wrist injuries, it's better to purchase a light fishing reel. This way, you'll stay comfortable even after hours of reeling and casting. 

Compatibility With Your Rod

It's possible that your fishing reel may not work with your fishing rod. So, make sure that you check the specifications before making your purchase. Lew's usually provides suggestions about which reels work best with which rods and which ones you should avoid combining.

Conclusion

All in all, Lew's fishing reels perfectly showcase a consistent dedication to value and innovation, making them one of the best brands available today. Although some models are more suitable than others, all of them feature innovative design, state-of-the-art technology, and outstanding performance. 

Regardless of your experience level and background, you'll undoubtedly find a unit that perfectly suits your fishing needs. To put it simply, purchasing a Lew's reel means investing in years of proven performance and quality.

People Also Ask

Choosing the right Lew's reel can be a very technical and confusing task, especially for beginners. To help make this decision easier and clear away any confusion you might have, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Who Makes Lews Reels?

All of Lew's reels are made by Doyo, an engineering company based in South Korea.

How to Adjust Lews Speed Spool

To adjust the Speed Spool, reel the lure in until it sits on the rod's tip. Tighten the knob until it’s taut, push down the thumb bar, hold the rod in a horizontal position, and slowly loosen the adjustment knob until the lure starts to lower. Once the lure hits the ground, the spool should still continue to spin, but should only complete one full rotation. If it doesn't spin, the knob is too tight. Similarly, if it completes more than one full rotation, the knob is too loose. Repeat this process until you've achieved the desired results.  

                                   Share to Pinterest