Per the question about clutches - Most of the 5 machined Lamsons I own are pre-big business, meaning I bought them out in Seattle when they were Boeing machinists in a garage. The clutch problems may have had something to do with mass production (?) In any case, I have had one blow out of the whole pack of reels and Waterworks sent me a handful of them au gratis in case it ever happens again. They are interchangeable across all models. They provide value, durability, and most of all aesthetics at a level beyond the others in it's price range if that matters. To me the sound, the feel, the toughness and simplicity is right for my tastes.
Of course the new LS has no such clutch, it's machined to super high tolerances using a computerized NC process and has an innovative conical drag system that has the lowest starting intertia I have ever seen in a gamefish grade drag. Cork drags are awsome, but require frequent maintenance. The ultra large arbor is something I have been depriving myself of for too long, and I always loved the feeling of high performance machinery with near-zero weight feel when a big fish is ripping the line out of the reel. All for under $300...
Not quite the pricepoint advantage of the brick-####house Tetons (~$140) and the new Redington Large Arbors (wow! !$185) but at ~$275 it's my choice for the 9x9 RPLXi this year.
I'll let you know how I like it!