Reels

Lew's Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel Review

The Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel is one of Lew’s more affordable casters, but it doesn’t lack in features or quality. It’s smooth, casts very well, has a great drag system, and is very light. If you’re in the market for a new reel, and don’t need all of the top grade features, you should definitely take a look at the Lew’s Speed Spool LFS.

Lew's Speed Spool LFS Overview:

The Speed Spool LFS is one of the most popular baicasters offered by Lew’s. This is likely due to the great price to value ratio the Speed Spool LFS offers bass anglers.

The LFS reel is designed for bass fishing and is available in four different gear ratios for exceptional versatility. The reel is light, but sturdy. You can feel the smoothness of the reel throughout the entire fishing process. This smoother operation is due to the precision engineered and designed internal components.

Overall, the Speed Spool LFS offers great performance, particularly for this price range. At right around $100, there are few other reels that offer the same feature set at this price.

If you’re looking for a quality baitcasting reel, the Speed Spool LFS is a great option worth taking a deeper look.

Shop Online for the Lew's Speed Spool LFS

Speed Spool LFS Specs:

  • Ball Bearings: 10 (9+1)
  • Anti-Reverse: Yes
  • Handle: 95 mm
  • Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1
  • Max Drag: 15 lbs
  • Drag Adjustment: External
  • Spool Width: 34 mm
  • Spool: Aluminum
  • Weight: 7.1 oz
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Brake Type: Magnetic
  • Mono Capacity: 12 lbs / 120 yd
  • Braid Capacity: 50 lbs / 120 yd
  • Body: Aluminum

Albert's Opinion of the Speed Spool

I’ve been fishing Lew’s Speed Spool baitcasting reels (5.6:1 and 7.5:1) for quite a few years now. They’re more than a good value…they’re a great value reel! Especially good for those who are looking for a light weight baitcaster that can be used for long periods without fatigue.

They’re a little on the noisy side to me, so if you’re looking for an ultra-quiet reel, keep looking. But that’s the only negative I can think of.

The Speed Spool is my go to reel, especially in the summer, when I’m fishing the long stretches of the French Broad River. It is more than up to the task, throwing a variety of lures…with my favorite being a Nichols willow spinnerbait.

You get a lot of reel for your money with the Speed Spool. It’s not the highest quality reels you can buy, but I couldn’t ask for more.

Albert K.

Features:

The Speed Spool LFS baitcasting reel is designed to be a high-performance reel that is also affordable. Due to the popularity of this reel, Lew’s has continued to develop and improve it over the years and the latest iteration is packed with the features you need to bring in the big bass.

The features that stood out to us were the smooth and long casts, the braking system, the incredibly smooth retrieve, and the comfortable, lightweight low-profile design.

Light and Compact

The Speed Spool LFS is lightweight, so you can use it all day without needing a break. The one-piece aluminum frame makes it stronger and more stable, increasing the durability and performance of the reel while still keeping it light weight.

The graphite sideplates seem to be quite durable, withstanding a good amount of abuse from the normal wear and tear of boat fishing.

Coming in at 7.1 ounces, it’s about once of the lightest casting reels we’ve reviewed recently. The overall size and ergonomics of the reel feel nice in the hand without being too big or too small.

Smooth and Long Casts

Long, smooth casts are one of the most important aspect of a reel’s design. Without the ability to cast, the reel is pretty much useless.

The Speed Spool LFS is designed with a large diameter spool and a lightweight frame and spool to decrease the amount of effort needed to make a long and accurate cast. Combined with the smooth 10-bearing system, the LFS allows you to make casts with little to no effort at all.

Nice Fluid Retrieve

The smooth retrieve is another key feature that is often overlooked. A reel that doesn’t have a smooth retrieve will quickly drive you crazy. The Speed Spool LFS has a P2 bearing supported pinion gear that provides superior gear mesh and system stability. This, in conjunction with the high bearing system, results in a smooth retrieve that feels good in the hand even when a bass is hooked.

The retrieve is relatively quiet, though not perfectly silent. As long as you keep everything lubricated and perform normal maintenance on the reel, you shouldn’t have any issues with much noise.

Surprisingly Good Magnetic Brakes

We typically like the options of having both centrifugal and magnetic brakes in a reel, but we’ve been very pleased with the magnetic braking system on the Speed Spool LFS. It’s incredibly easy to adjust, making it a breeze to adapt to different fishing environments, and we’ve been impressed with the functionality.

It’s not perfect, and we still personally prefer having both braking systems, but if you’re on a budget and can’t afford the upgrade, the braking system on the Speed Spool LFS should keep you from experience most backlash and birdnests. Just make sure you give yourself some time to get used to the braking system before really lobbing it out there.

Solid Drag Performance

The drag works great. The large star drag is easy to adjust, so you can quickly change it to suit the fish you’re fighting. It doesn’t slack off too easily, which is the best of both worlds for the bass fisherman. The drag system is similar to what you’d find on a high-end fishing reel, but at a fraction of the price. With a 15 lbs max drag rating, it is strong enough to handle trophy sized largemouth and give you the power you need to work them up out of the weeds if needed.

Instant Hookset

The reel features a one way roller bearing for an instant, bone jarring hookset that is sure to land more bass. Combined with the power of the 10 bearing system, this reel is capable of handling any fish that comes its way.

Easy to Use Paddle Handle Knobs

The paddle-style knobs work well for getting a good grip on the reel. They are comfortable to grab onto, yet offer a sturdy feel. You don’t have to worry about losing a fish because of a slippery knob.

Easy Access Oil Port

We’re huge fans of making things easier and this is especially the case when it comes to regular reel maintenance. The external lube port on the Speed Spool LFS makes it easy to apply oil to the speed gears and other internal components to keep them running smoothly. The best part is that you don’t have to take anything apart to do it.

Casey Thoughts

What a great little reel! I have been fishing a Speed Spool LFS casting reel for several months, and I am impressed with its performance. I have fished it with a variety of lures and lines and, so far, it has performed as I expected it to.

For years, I have used high end reels that cost more than $200 and were very impressive, but this little Lew’s Speed Spool LFS reel has taken its place in my line up of reels without any major compromises in addition to being much less expensive. It features solid brass gears, a graphite side plate and a magnetic brake system with infinite adjustment. It also features a nice long handle cork handle with good grip handles.

It is available in four retrieve ratios, 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1. I am using the 7.5:1 ratio, which is ideal for a wide range of lures. Its 34 millimeter aluminum spool line capacity 120/12 is pretty typical for low profile casters and provides plenty of fishing line for most use cases. Its 95 mm long handle is a long enough to give you good leverage for turning its robust brass gears. It weighs in at just 7.1 ounces and I can fish it all day long with no fatigue issues.

Lew’s is known for its fast baitcasting reels and the Speed Spool LFS is no exception. It is truly fast, and I was very pleased with how it performed when fished with my favorite deep dives. The magnetic brake system on the Speed Spool LFS is easy to adjust and very effective in combination with the cast control knob. It has a very solid drag system with a decent amount of drag pressure, and it produced very good results when I used it to fish crank baits.

I am very pleased with this reel and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good, basic, low profile baitcaster. Considering its price, I am more than a little surprised by the quality and performance of this reel. I have fished it for several months and have been very pleased with its performance.

Casey C.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Super smooth and easy to use
  • Light weight and comfortable to palm
  • Rugged and well built
  • Smooth drag system
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • The reel occasionally makes a faint clicking noise with some setups
  • 5.6:1 retrieve ratio only available in right hand model

Jay's Lew's Speed Spool LFS Review

When we started testing the new Lew’s LFS Speed Spool reel, we had both the 7.5:1 and 6.8:1 models. I liked the 7.5:1 model so much that my wife took over the 6.8:1 to use for fishing around the lake. In the past, I’ve used it for specific applications with my swimbaits. But she loves it for the versatility to use for everything from swimbaits to crankbaits to topwaters in the smallmouth waters.

The aluminum frame and handle design adds a nice balance to the reel and makes it easy to palm all day. We’ve both been able to fish for hours without the hand fatigue that can set in with some reels. That’s a big deal for anyone who does many hours of fishing, like I do. The drag system is also quite smooth with a pleasant click that lets you know that the drag is engaged. A palmable reel with a smooth drag system and a smooth cast are a great combination.

Obviously if you’re looking for the most advanced braking technology and materials, this isn’t the reel for you. But I like the fact that they concentrated on making a really affordable reel that has all of the things that I like most in a reel – smooth drag, palmable, good casting and a great price.

Jay S.

FAQs

LFS stands for Lighter, Faster, Stronger.

No, the Speed Spool LFS is not designed for saltwater use.

1 year standard manufacturer warranty

This reel, including many Lew’s reels are manufactured in China.

The Speed Spool LFS is available in both left and right hand models for the 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1 gear ratio versions.

The 5.6:1 gear ratio is only available in a right handed version.

The right gear ratio will depend largely on the type of fishing you’re going to be doing.

Fishing for giant bass with extra large lures? Go with the 5.6:1.

Just getting started with a baitcaster and looking for a good all around gear ratio? Go with the 6.8:1.

Been fishing awhile and don’t mind manually changing your retrieve speed? Choose the 7.5:1.

Looking to rule the topwater and rip lures like nobodies business? Then you’ll probably want to check out the 8.3:1.

For a little more information on all of this, check out our guide on choosing the correct gear ratio.

Score:

We’ve given the Lew’s Speed Spool ratings in four categories. They are as follows:

  • Price: A
  • Build: A
  • Feature Set: A-
  • Design: A

The Speed Spool LFS earns an overall score of: A

Conclusion:

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a great reel for the price. It offers a lot of the great Lew’s features you’ll find on their higher end reels, but a much reduced price.

The 10-bearing system works smoothly and makes for long and accurate casts. The smooth retrieve is a joy to use, and the magnetic braking system is surprisingly effective. The drag system is strong and can handle fish of all sizes. The paddle-style knobs are easy to grip and offer a sturdy feel.

Overall, the Speed Spool LFS is a great reel for bass fishing that won’t set you back too much.

Shop Online for the Lew's Speed Spool LFS

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