I have been a fan of the Lamson Speedster series of reels for a long time, so when the next generation Speedster S was released last year, I was keen to get my hands on the new model to see what had changed; and how the guys at Lamson could improve what I believed was already a brilliant fly reel.
The first thing that hit me dragging the new reel out of the box was the styling. The new Speedster S is truly a stunning looking reel. Available in three colours Midnight, Centric and Ember, your biggest problem will be deciding on which colour to choose, they are all sweet!
After you finish admiring the appearance of the reel, the next standout is how incredibly light these things are. The new Speedster S is 20% lighter than its predecessor. The 5+ reel weighs in at a mere 3.83oz, where the comparable earlier model came in at 4.20oz.
But looks are only skin deep, any serious angler knows the most important aspects of a good fly reel is performance, reliability and the ability to stand up to use and abuse out on the water.
One thing that worries me with super light reels is with the reduction of weight, a compromise in strength will occur. To me, the new Speedster S feels more robust than its predecessor.
Being a bit of a klutz, I have gained first-hand experience of the new reels durability. Having already managed drop mine multiple times, left them sliding around on the floor of my boat and managed to have one fall out of my pack while walking a track leading onto Tasmania’s Western Tiers. All this, and the reels have come away with very minimal signs of trauma.
The new version Speedster S is made manufactured from 6061 grade Aluminium and Stainless Steel. It has an incredibly tough type 2 Anodize finish and features the fail-safe maintenance free sealed conical drag. As well as being smooth and reliable, the drag produces enough torque capable of pulling up all but the largest of fish. Drag settings are easily adjusted using a good-sized textured drag knob.
Lamson categories the Speedster S a ‘Super Arbor’ reel. The extra-large arbor combined with a narrower spool give the new Speedster an even faster retrieval rate than the original model. The fast line retrieval of this reel is terrific if you are lucky enough to hook a strong fish, and also makes larger models of the latest Speedster a great choice to take onto the flats if targeting line tearing species like Bonefish.
I have been using the new Speedsters for the past 6 months and given them really solid workout. The Speedster S has now become my favourite trout reel, a truly outstanding piece of design and engineering from the guys at Lamson. If you are in the market for a new reel, do yourself a favour and add the new Speedster S to the top of your list. You will thank yourself later!