Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS - Major League Fishing

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

It’s a winner of a reel that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
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Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Photo by Matt Pace.
March 15, 2019 • Jody White • Reviews

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a re-design of the Speed Spool, and it’s a very affordable casting reel that works quite well. It hit the market in the fall of 2018, and though it doesn’t visually stand out and it’s lacking in nonessential bells and whistles, the reel is more than capable of getting the job done for under $100.


Will it last?

When you only spend $100 on a reel (well, $99.99), I believe the primary concerns should be how it functions and how it will last. Built with an aluminum frame and brass gears, I believe the Speed Spool LFS should stand the test of time. The venerable Lew’s Super Duty has the same basic construction, and that reel has been a champ for a long time. I own three of the Speed Spool LFS reels, but I’ve only been using one of them for an extended period of time. Since early fall, I’ve fished a little less than I usually do in that time period, but I haven’t noticed the slightest decrease in performance or smoothness. If I had to guess, I’d say the reel will make it through at least a few seasons with flying colors.


The performance is good

With no centrifugal brakes on the reel, you need to rely on the spool-tensioning knob and the externally adjustable Magnetic Control System (MCS) to dial in your casting. I’ve found that the reel casts quite well, but you can still tell it isn’t a $200 reel. That’s not to say the casting is in any way subpar. I’ve got three of them, and I’ve already used them in competition with results that were just fine. It’s just not quite at the level of some of the best-casting modern reels. For instance, the Team Lew’s Lite Speed Spool LFS Series reels definitely cast better, but those reels cost nearly $140 more.

As far as the other aspects of the reel go, I think it passes with good marks. It’s smooth as can be, the drag seems solid, and the anti-reverse has always worked perfectly for me.


It looks good to me

Predominantly matte black and grey, the Speed Spool LFS palms well and has the classic and excellent paddle-style grips. Overall, I really like how it looks. You can get some pretty outlandish reels these days, but the Speed Spool LFS is understated, and I’m a fan of that. My only complaint on the looks front is that the leading edge of the frame is too pointy, but that’s an admittedly picayune complaint.


The verdict

To this point, I haven’t discovered a downside to this reel. If you’re looking to add a few setups at a relatively low cost, I think you should definitely consider the Speed Spool LFS. The only thing missing is a 5:1 gear ratio in a left-hand retrieve, but that’s only going to be an issue for a minority of anglers.



Company: Lew’s

Series: Speed Spool LFS

Available gear ratios: 5.6:1 (right-hand retrieve only), 6.8:1, 7.5:1 

Ball bearings: 9 double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings

Spool capacity: 120 yards of 12-pound-test monofilament

Weight: 7.1 ounces

Warranty: one-year limited warranty

Price: $99.99