Re: What do I really need in a fly reel?
Lamson reels do not have sealed drags. Removal of the spool reveals the one-way clutch bearing that you can reach with your fingers to turn over to convert reel winding direction. If you can see and touch it, it is not "sealed". It is better protected with the spool on of course but very few reels are actually really sealed.
Lamson products, though intelligent in many ways, feature a too wide, too shallow aspect ratio that makes retrieving lots of line counter-intuitive. Too much attention is required to regain line uniformly risking uneven build up thus pillar jamming. An exception would be their new Speedster, designed to address this issue but it is part of the US made more expensive line of product than the lower end imports.
(This is the second time today alone that I have written this and obviously not everyone shares my perspective. Just be aware of this aspect ratio design element before purchase.)