Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite - Major League Fishing

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

A great all-around meat stick
Image for Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite
Lew's Custom Speed Stick Lite Photo by Chris Burgan.
July 8, 2016 • Kyle Wood • Archives

Custom Speed Stick Lite HM85 Casting Rods are among the latest additions to the Lew’s lineup. The series consists of 10 different models ranging from 6 feet, 8 inches to 7 feet, 11 inches and with actions for just about any technique an angler can dream up.

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money.


Lew's Custom Speed Stick Lite

Does what it should

When I first picked up this rod I noticed the blank was imprinted with the recommended techniques. I have to admit that I usually don’t pay much attention to such suggestions since I feel that many rod companies are a little generous in their claims of what a rod can handle. The butt of the Lew’s rod reads “pitching jigs/tubes/plastics/hollow bodied frogs” and after testing the action at my house, I added a baitcaster, tied on a 1/2-ounce jig and hit the water.

It didn’t take long to realize that Lew’s delivers on the name of Magnum Pitchin’ Stick because this rod is a workhorse. From 20-pound-test fluorocarbon and a big jig to 50-pound-test braid and a frog or Texas-rigged plastic with a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce tungsten weight, this rod handled it all flawlessly. 

I flipped around lily pads, reeds, cattails, milfoil and even some laydowns with a Texas rig and jig and felt the rod was right at home in all such environments. I was even surprised when it turned out to be a good rod for skipping a 1/2-ounce jig under docks – though it lacks enough tip to make skipping smaller presentations viable, and I wouldn’t recommend it to an angler looking solely for a dock rod.

As far as handling frog rod chores, I thought it did the job just fine. One of the features I liked the most was the rod’s shorter butt – 14 ¾ inches from the top of the reel seat to the butt– making it easy to walk a frog without the butt of the rod getting tangled in my shirt or slapping against my arm.


Lew's Custom Speed Stick Lite

All-day comfort

One of the big advantages of this rod is that Lew’s used an 85-million-modulus graphite (HM85) blank, which makes the rod strong enough to tow a truck, yet sensitive enough to feel a fish cough on your bait. The rod also sports titanium oxide guides – which translate to less weight – and a skeletal reel seat that is super comfortable to hold in your hand all day.

Another sweet feature that Lew’s added is the Winn grip, which helps provide a better grip in general – especially when wet – and reduces overall weight as well.

While fishing a frog or a big jig, it was easy to determine just how light the rod is. I was a little apprehensive about leaning into a fish in thick cover because I wasn’t sure how the rod would take it, but after ripping a few off docks, pads and milfoil my worries were put to rest.

On top of being a fun rod to fish, it also has a pretty cool appearance. I’m not a big fan of flashy colored rods, so I was pretty pleased with the silver/black blank and Winn grip color. The reel seat offers a sleek look that provides a nice streamlined appearance to the rod.


Lew's Custom Speed Stick Lite

Custom feel without the price

It might not be the cheapest rod on the market, but at a time where $150 is becoming the norm, I feel like this rod is a heck of a deal for the price. Considering it had a custom-built vibe about it, $169.99 isn’t too over the top for a new whuppin’ stick.


The verdict

If you’re in the market for a rod that will do a little bit of everything when fishing heavy cover, you might want to give the Custom Speed Stick Lite a try. It delivers on plucking fish out of heavy cover, feels great to fish with, and its asking price doesn’t break the bank. All in all, it’s a perfect rod to fill multiple voids in your tackle arsenal.



Lightweight, sensitive

– Has multiple uses

– Looks pretty sweet

– Custom-built feel at mass production price



Lack of a hook hanger (one is built-in on the trigger and works fine for jigs/frogs)



Company: Lew’s

Series: Custom Speed Stick Lite HM85 Casting Rod

Power: Heavy

Action: Fast

Length: 7-4

Warranty: Lew’s Limited Lifetime Rod Warranty

Price: $169.99