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Follow my Fish of 2014
It's been a year and a half since I bought these two reels. I lost one in the bottom of Wilson Lake, but I am still chunking the other. After a year and a half, not much has changed except the price. Prices on these have gone up by $40 almost everywhere, which puts them right at the dollar figure of the Citica. Now, at the time, Citica didn't offer any other gear ratio other than 6.2:1, which put this reel in it's own class for cranking. That has changed now. While the reel is a great reel, it doesn't cast nearly as far as the Citica, not by a long shot. It's still a very tight reel that I really enjoy. It has definitely held up to miles and miles of cranking. But, considering the new price, you have a tough decision to make on whether you should buy a Citica or a Lew's. It still excels with larger crank baits. In fact, I'd venture to say that it is better for controlling a Stike King 6XD. It struggles with smaller cranks.
Months ago...February, I believe, Bertus was at Goosepond in Guntersville and saw a new line of reels. Lew's had just come out with a new reel for 2011 and the price was just right for him to buy one and try. At $85 dollars, new, it was $40 dollars cheaper than a Shimano Citica E, which has been my personal favorite.
Here is the Lew's :
MODEL BEARINGS GEAR RATIO IPT* LINE CAP.* MAX DRAG WEIGHT
TS1S 9+1 5.4:1 23 120/12 14 lbs. 8.3 oz.
Now, granted, I have all Citica's in the 6.2:1 ratio ,so the specs are not really apples to apples. But, I needed a 5.4:1 for crank baits. Having a slow ratio crankin' reel would allow me to get the bait down to the depth and then crawl it along, easily deflecting it off rocks. The fast ratio reels, in my opinion, are harder to make go slower than to make a lower gear go faster.
Anyway, the opportunity to purchase a few of these reels came up a few days ago. I bought two. Now, I didn't pay full price, but I paid pretty close to it.
So, I fished them for the first time on Pickwick, where I used them almost exclusively. On one, I fished a Strike King Model 3 crank on a 7 foot fiberglass rod. On the other I fished a Strike King 6XD on a 7'11 fiberglass rod.
The first thing I can say is that the texture on them is perfect. It has a rubber type coating which prevents slipping. That's something the Citica's don't have, and I have had problems with in the past.
The size was perfect, and my hands fit perfectly around them.
The cast was OK. Now, I admit that I am VERY conservative on my cast control. I set my reels up so that I can cast with the flick of a wrist instead of hauling on it. So, the range seemed to be limited, but that may have been because I had it set real tight.
The retrieve was very good. As you will read in my Pickwick post, I had to fish these from 3 feet to 18 feet within 2 feet, then over a rock pile from 18 to 3 feet, then back down to 18 feet. This made it a constant speed change. Slow to Fast. Fast to a crawl. Crawl to lightspeed. The reel handled it perfectly.
I had ZERO backlashes on the reels.
For the price, they simply can't be beat. I was always saying the same thing about the Citica's...but now you can get a comparable reel for $40 less.