Lamson Litespeed Reels [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Lamson Litespeed Reels

04-03-2004, 09:12 AM
I have a brand new CND custom 1307sp spey rod and am looking to put a Lamson Litespeed reel on it. I have acouple of the smaller ones and have no complaints. Has anybody put a rio windcutter w/ tips on the litespeed 3.5 and have enough room for backing or, should I get the 4?

The capacities are 3.5 200 yds 20# backing w/ wf 9wt
4 250 yds 30 # Backing w/ wf 10wt

conventional wisdom says the 4 but:

1: a 9 ounce reel balances out my rod perfectly...the 4 is 9.75 ounces without the line on it

2, the 3.5 is 6.5 ounces w/o line, the rio windcutter is 455 grains or roughly 1.5 ounces and backing may give another .5 ounces.

that's 8.5 ounces and a perfect balance.

Back to the orig. question. Anybody know how much backing will be held w/ the 3.5?

thanks Geoff

Greg Pavlov
04-03-2004, 08:01 PM
I use a 7/8 MidSpey and a standard 6/7/8 Windcutter on 3.5's. I have somewhere between 110 and 130 yards of 30 lb backing. Note that there is very little room left over: a long leader will rub against the body of the reel.

04-03-2004, 08:37 PM
I have a couple of 4's for light spey rods and although I have had trouble in saltwater they are awesome light summer spey reels. I use the 4's for 6/7 and 7/8 weight rods and they are balanced just fine for my tastes. Killer drag.

Greg Pavlov
04-04-2004, 03:26 AM
I have used the Lamsons for the past two years for saltwater fishing and have not had any problems with corrosion (I *did* once leave a loaded spool behind on the tarmac of the Nauset Beach parking lot...). I have replaced spools, often wet, while fishing. One difference may be that when I clean the reels, I pack a fair amount of reel grease into the spindle/drag housing.

04-04-2004, 07:53 AM
Greg -

It's good to hear that you've had good luck with the new o-ring designs. You should contact them and let them know because they advise customers to do nothing at all other than rinse.

I am a big fan of the old LP machined reels in fact I have several of them still in commision, outlasting many other models including the Velocity in heavy saltwater use. I have been toying with an increased drag area modification to the old LP that in my mind would make it as good as anything on the market.

I am on the water from late April to early November and my equipment gets a rigorous cleaning right down to the zipper pulls on my rain gear and any used flies. I even rinse my lines each outing, which I believe holds a lot of salt.

I've had the old LP's so long (some from the late 80's) I am considering buying a few more while they are still on the market. But I am through with exposed spindles on saltwater reels, personally. "Results may vary" as they say.

Greg Pavlov
04-04-2004, 12:20 PM
My sense is that the old LPs are to saltwater fishing as the old, old Pfleugers are to freshwater. I had several LPs - one that held 11 weight line with room to spare, and one for an 8 weight, they were my first reels - and they were clearly tanks that would hold up to anything. The main reasons I sold them were that coming from a world of light spinning reels with higher retrieval rates, middle-of-the-road arge arbor reels such as the Litespeeds were more "familiar", and because like too many people I get taken up with gear but unlike many of them I can't bring myself to blow money on the fancy/expensive stuff. Editorial comment: I don't understand why a good fly reel should cost 2-4 times as much as a spinning reel of comparable quality, when the latter is a heck of a lot more complicated.

04-05-2004, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the replies. It helps alot. can't wait for the water to recede a bit and get that rod bent on some steelies.


Brian Simonseth
04-05-2004, 08:13 PM
Juro & Greg
You can get new brake shoes and clutches for them
The new shoes & clutches are better then the original

Greg Pavlov
04-05-2004, 08:58 PM
Brian, are these from Waterworks-Lamson, or someone else ?

Brian Simonseth
04-05-2004, 09:02 PM

04-05-2004, 09:55 PM
You just made my mind up... and made my day! Thanks Brian

04-06-2004, 06:13 AM
I am not a great fan of the LP which I own and faithfully rinse off after each saltwater trip. It's the clutch which has failed me several times. I have some backups in my vest in case they fail. I have a friend who caught a Atlantic Salmon of a lifetime only to loose it when the clutch failed on his Lampson. He was in Russia so there were no replacements available. My next reel will be a Big Game Ross reel which in my opinion is one of the best saltwater reels out there. Quality all the way . Just telling you what I have experienced. FishHawk;)

04-06-2004, 08:28 AM
The clutch is a problem, as is the small surface area of the drag pad with the LP. But all things considered, my LP's have outlived many other reels over a dozen years or so.

No reel with an easily exchanged spool and a reasonable price tag is perfect but many are very good. The LP has those two faults but in the end they are brick sh*thouse reels despite having to fix the door hinges now and again.

Another great affordable battle axe is the old SA System 2, but since it's not machined if you drop it while gearing up at the parking lot the body can crack in half. I had that happen and moved to the LP as a result of that experience. For less clumsy anglers it's built like an auto brake system inside the cast body, very good drag.

Sure I am a proud owner of the LOOP HD large arbor ultra-tech drool spey reel, but we're talking meat and potatoes reels for saltwater here. I am also working on a Bougle when I get the $$, traditional is another track altoghether as well... but it won't be on the beach either.

The BG is a great reel but after field use I have discovered it has a fault as well, and others here on the forum have suffered the same fate. The backside chamber capped by a plastic drag knob is not sealed and not servicable so saltwater sits in it. The assembly corrodes and the reel must be sent in to be serviced. The symptoms are that the minimum drag setting can not be backed off all the way, in other words you can't loosen it past normal fishing drag. As it corrodes it gets tighter and tighter and eventually (on mine anyway) it's too tight for comfortable stripping out of line into the basket to start the day. I maintained my reel meticulously and discovered this problem by diagnosis using q-tips dampened with reel oil to probe into these inaccessible areas. Evidence of heavy rust came to the q-tip from this area so I contacted Ross and they confirmed this problem, but their service is exceptional and will restore the reel to new condition happily. The nut that holds the assembly together requires a special tool to open and service, so even the most attentive angler can't service this area where the corrosion occurs.

If I am not mistaken, they recommend soaking the reel overnight. Contact them for details since my memory may be off on this point.

So anyway, from performance perspectives and physical design, the LP is a dinosaur in need of evolution. But like some ancient species (gators, sharks, horseshoe crabs), it has outlived many other flash in the pan species. with a new clutch design and drag pads (per Brian Simonseth's post) maybe the old dog can pull a few more tricks. We'll see.

04-06-2004, 10:53 AM
Interesting, sorry if this is a bit off-topic but its got me thinking.....

I have two old SA II 8/9s that I've had for over 10 years. The only problem I ever had was the drag occasionaly dissengaging completely and going into free spool - usually when connected to an above average bonefish - never lost a fish though ;)

I also have a 10/11 but the real seat is too big for most 9wt rods (that old problem), easily rectified though.

I was going to ditch them but now I'm thinking it maybe time to resurect them :smokin:

04-06-2004, 10:58 AM
What is your easy fix. I have a 10/11 SA which is too big for most of my rods. Would love to put a teeny sink tip I have on it. I tried filing down the seat but it didn't work too well. Can the seat be replaced?

04-06-2004, 11:27 AM
I had replaced my SA II 9/10 reel seat once as well, the foot broke off (it was cast as well). I got the foot at Kaufmanns in Bellevue from Dennis Worley (sponsor) not sure if they still have them. The new one was solid aluminum, the hole pattern matched.

LP Fans... good news! Waterworks confirms that the clutch and brake surface have indeed been improved.

04-06-2004, 11:35 AM
What about a small bead of silicon around the back plate on the Ross? Might prevent the seepage. Worth a try. I contacted Waterworks about the clutch and they told me not to put any type of reel grease on the clutch. Will try that this year. Perhaps the reel grease trapped the salt which added to the corrosion. I have noticed that if reel grease gets on the small Delrin pad if also effects the drag. I agree that the LP is a tough reel despite it's problems. FishHawk:)

Tod D
04-07-2004, 06:00 PM
Re the Sci Anglers, try giving them a call.

I've an 8/9 and a 10/11. About 2-3 years ago I managed to screw up the 8/9 drag and needed a new foot for the 10/11. Spoke to someone in customer service, he told me to send both to his attention... About 10 days later I got back both reels - fixed drag, new foot... NO charge.

This will be the 7th season in the salt for both. I fish the heck out of both, have worn down the reel backs from black to silver and the things just plain work. $ for $ along w/ a couple of English-made LLBean reels I've had for just a bit longer (8 and 9 years respectively) they are for me the best value going!