As one of those weirdos who reels lefty, I don’t find a ton of options out there in reels with 8:1 gear ratios. This reel was my first experience with one. It was also my first time regularly fishing with a $300 reel that weighs less than 6 ounces. Though quite expensive, I’m happy to report that the Team Lew’s HyperMag Speed Spool SLP Series reel is extremely nice.
In hand and out of the box, the HyperMag is a really slick reel. It’s got a standard low-profile look and a really nice sleek gray finish. The SLP in the name stands for “Super Low Profile,” and it is one of the lowest-profile reels that Lew’s makes, but you won’t notice anything too out of the ordinary if you’re used to newer or smaller reels. There’s a pretty dramatic difference in the feel of the HyperMag and an old Shimano Curado 201E7, but most new reels and even some high-end dinosaurs like the old Abu Garcia REVO Premier are comparable.
I’ve been fishing it since December, and I’ve very much enjoyed using it, but it isn’t so much better or different than some of my other reels that I can’t stand to use them. Of course, if I was swapping between it and an old Curado on the same rod I’m sure I’d really feel it.
This is the fourth Lew’s model I’ve owned, and like basically all of them it casts very well. The Lew’s SuperDuty doesn’t really fly a bait, but I’ve got a Tournament MB Speed Spool LFS Series that launches and a pair of Team Lew’s Lite Speed Spool LFS Series reels that can pretty much cast all the line off the spool. I’ve noticed the HyperMag has a tendency to slightly backlash at the midpoint of the cast if it isn’t adjusted perfectly, but it’s easy to train your thumb or make a tweak to tone things down when that does happen. So far, the HyperMag casts just as well or better than the Team Lew’s Lite reels and seems to be built more solidly as well.
The HyperMag is mostly a straightforward premium reel, but it does have two features that are unique to Lew’s. The Speed Dial line indicator and the Speed Keeper hook keeper are both going to be useful to some folks and useless to others. Of the two, I’m using and enjoying the Speed Keeper, and I know I made fun of it the first time I saw it. It works well for hanging baits on the reel, and it’s nice and out of the way. I find it particularly convenient for the trailer hook of a spinnerbait. I don’t bother using the Speed Dial, as I either have a good enough memory or not enough reels to need that much help remembering what line is where. That said, it does adjust well and works as advertised, so you might be able to apply it in your fishing.
One really nice thing about this reel is that it comes in both 7.5:1 and 8.3:1 gear ratios for folks who reel lefty. Oddly enough, Lew’s doesn’t make it in a 6:1, which would be nice for some applications, but having an 8.3:1 option for everyone is pretty slick. I’ve really enjoyed fishing a swim jig and dragging a jig with this reel, but I did find that I had to be very conscious about slowing things down with a swimbait over the winter. For a buzzbait, the reel is an absolute dream. I don’t see myself owning a full suite of 8:1 reels, but I think owning two or three wicked-fast reels is something everyone should consider.
This is a really expensive reel. I didn’t buy it, and with my budget I’d be a tough sell at full price. Nearly $300 is a lot, especially when Lew’s has so many other really good options for quite a bit less. That said, I can’t find anything I don’t love about it. If you’ve got the money or the want, then it’s probably one of the best reels you can buy.
Series: Team Lew’s HyperMag Speed Spool SLP Series
Available gear ratios: 7.5:1, 8.3:1
Ball bearings: 10 double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings
Spool capacity: 110 yards of 12-pound-test monofilament
Weight: 5.4 ounces
Warranty: one year limited warranty