So I finally tried a Lew's reel. After all the hoopla and attention I gave in and have a Lew's reel sitting a few feet from me as I type this. Full disclaimer, I was given this reel at a recent media event and have no ties to them. I got it for free so I can praise it or blast it without trying to justify spending hard-earned money.
The reel is called the Team Lew's Custom Pro Speed Spool SLP (try saying that two times quickly) and it is a solid reel. It is very lightweight at just 5.8-ounces and overall is a very nice reel.
I posted a video recently with my ranking of four new baitcast reels from four top brands. My results showed Lew's near the bottom due to the fact that I was getting a squealing noise when casting. Turns out you need to oil you Lew's first. Now that I know that, my rankings may have changed a little. I will do a follow up video next season with info on how they held up.
Fishing this reel was an eye-opener really. I was surprised at how easily it cast lures of all sizes. The casting distance was great and it felt smooth throughout all of my trips with it. I enjoyed fishing with it and it matches up almost perfectly with my Phenix M1 rod.
I also liked some of the features/gadgets on this reel. It comes with Winn Grips for handles (love these), a hook keeper that slides out from beneath the reel and a line indicator so you can remember what pound test line is on it. The Winn Grips were comfortable and one of my favorite things about the reel. The hook keeper is a great idea although I am doubting the long-term durability of it. The line indicator thing is easy to use and a plus.
It's $259.99 so a fairly high-end reel. I think the price is right based on the performance of this reel.