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Old 07-01-2012, 08:37 PM
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Default Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

I have a Lamson Litespeed I used on my 6 weight. The drag system in a Litespeed is upgraded in their #4 model for a 10/11 weight rod. The same drag is in the trout weights all the way up to the #3.5 model for a 9 weight.

I'm looking for opinions on whether or not people think the Litespeed in a #3.5or 3.5x model can stand up to consistent saltwater fishing. I'm also looking for feedback on the Litespeed #4, which has the intermediate drag (1 step up from the other Litespeeds).

I'm also looking for other light weight options for the salt that should be considered. I've also read and watched videos on the Orvis Mirage reels, but haven't heard anyone talk about them on this forum. Any thoughts on these reels?

Last edited by chicagojohn; 07-01-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

Pardon my thumbs. I am using my iPhone.

I fished my Litespeed 3 on baby tarpon and small bonefish at La Isla Holbox. I found the drag system to be rather jerky when set higher. It just wasn't as smooth. After those first few fish which included some larger baby tarpon, I went back to my Abel Big Game 3N.

If you want another option that's less expensive than an Abel or Tibor, look at a Bauer Rogue or a Galvan Rush or Torque.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

I'm guessing MP had the drag cranked at Campeche to keep the fish out of the mangroves.

In a situation where that's rarely an issue, like Bahamian bonefish or redfish, thousands of folks have found the Litespeed to be very sufficient.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

Even though the Lamson drag is supposedly sealed and salt-resistant, it's not completely waterproof, and some people report problems with salt getting into the drag mechanism and fouling it with frequent saltwater use. If you open up the drag housing and rinse thoroughly after every outing or two that should be enough to prevent the problem, but it may be more maintenance than you want to have to do.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

You might want to take a look at the Nautilus line. They are made in Miami and all have waterproof drags.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

I currently own a Nautilus FW and FWX, but do not have experience with the NV line. How strong is the drag on the NV compared to a Tibor Signature, Ross Momemtum LT, or Hatch Finatic?
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

I don't have any of those other models you mentioned tlhough I do have an old Ross Canyon and an older Gulfstream.

The drag on the 11/12 Nautilus NV is a little less at full drag than a Tibor Gulfstream. But I have never used a full drag setting on any reel while fishting, even going back to the Pflueger supremes with star drags and leather friction disc on the spools.

Max drag force is quite a ways down on my priority list when checking out reels.

What don't you like about the Nautilus' ?
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

I'm a big fan of Nautilus reels. The drag on the older FW isn't as strong as the FWX, however; they are both great reels. The FWX is hard to beat for the price, for a light weight, fully machined trout reel. I also own a Lamson Litespeed, which is more expensive, but also a fantastic trout reel.

I don't have any experience with the NV or CCF reels, but I would have no problem pulling the trigger on another Nautilus reel. Since the drag system on a saltwater reel is a lot more important than a freshwater reel, and because the price inevitably goes up, I'm definitely weighing all my options.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Light salt water reels vs Lamson Litespeed

No experience with the heavier Litespeeds but my saltwater reels for the last 10 years have been Abels and Bauers. No problems so far with the cork drags of either brand. Low start up inertia and smooth well into the backing. I do rinse them with freshwater at the end of each day.

I know the Litespeed drags have an excellent reputation and should work fine in saltwater. I would still rinse them well with freshwater not only for possible drag issues but also the overall workings and appearance of the reel.
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