A simple web search for the phrase “fly reel manufacturers” or our fly reel guide reveals that there are a lot of manufacturers, series, and models of fly reels on the market today that fly fishers can choose from to meet their various needs.
However, it seems that many manufacturers apparently equate physical weight with robustness. While there is some merit in this point of view, the fact is that heavy fly reels cause fly rods to feel unbalanced in the fly fisherman’s hand.
Such outfits are both less accurate and less comfortable to cast than a properly balanced outfit.
Lamson’s newly revised version of the Litespeed IV large arbor fly reel seems to somehow magically extend the boundaries of what can be achieved regarding strength versus weight to provide fly fishers with one of the lightest fly reels out there!
In fact, Lamson has retained the best of the old design by keeping the Hard Alox finish and the conical drag system while incorporating a new curved and ported large arbor spool for increased backing capacity combined with decreased drag geometry and a more aggressive drag knob for easier drag adjustment.
Thus, when these new features are combined with the overall reduction in the mass of the reel, the Lamson Litespeed Series IV is an excellent choice for fly fishers who intend to pursue large fish species.
Both the frame and spool of the Lamson Litespeed IV are CNC machined from a solid block of 6061-T6 bar stock aluminum while the pin in the center of the reel and other small parts is made of stainless steel for both superior strength and corrosion resistance.
Fly reels machined from bar stock aluminum rather than being cast from molten aluminum are slightly stronger. But they are also more time consuming to make so they are more expensive.
Thanks to Lamson’s unique spool retention and quick release system, changing the Litespeed IV’s spool is simple that only takes a few seconds.
So by purchasing an extra spool or two, you can also carry additional fly lines such as a specialized nymph line or a sink tip line for streamer fishing to drastically widen the performance of your chosen outfit.
It features a ported, ultra large, arbor with Lamson’s signature, concave “backing well” which serves to increase the arbor’s backing capacity while maintaining the optimum diameter for the fly line.
Plus, a slightly narrower arbor results in a wider spool diameter so the new Litespeed IV has a slightly faster retrieve speed than previous models.
Fortunately, Lamson has seen fit to retain the conical drag system featured on the original Lamson Litespeed series reels.
But they also reduced the drag geometry which allowed them to create a flatter spool surface while still retaining the silky smooth performance of the original drag system.
In addition, they redesigned the drag knob to make it a bit more aggressive so that the drag setting is easier to change.
Unlike many modern fly reels on the market today, the designers of the Lamson Litespeed managed to refrain from designing a body and spool that looks like something from a science fiction movie.
Though its design is definitely not classic, it is nonetheless very aesthetically pleasing with both the body and the spool artfully sculpted while the Hard Alox finish lends the reel an appealing, titanium finish.
Line weight: 10,11
Reel diameter: 4.5 inches
Reel weight: 7.95 oz
Backing capacity: 250 yards of 30 lbs