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Old 10-12-2012, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Waterworks Lamson reels - experiences?

I've had the plastic o ring holder/pawl burn out on a velocity 2 and a guru 3 fishing steelhead...this caused the spool to rub the frame (nasty grinding feeling) and I had the spool pop off one time. This caused me to carry spare pawls when fishing...waterworks customer service is a+++ excellent in case you will need to use it. I now exclusively fish bauers.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Waterworks Lamson reels - experiences?

I am quoting below from a post in this forum I made last April. On this forum's current page are tales of reel freeze-up, parts failures, spool pop outs and my usual rant about too wide/too shallow aspect ratios. These all, like my tale below, are about Waterworks/Lamson reels. These reels have the most passionate and brand-loyal advocates of any on this forum with the only possible exception being classic pawl and gear Hardys. I appreciate that this is a US maker from the trouty town of Boise, ID that has taken an engineering intensive approach to reel design with a cool, modern aesthetic. OK, fine and light weight too, but particularly when referring to mid to larger line size reels, these failures in use and counter intuitive fundamental design anomalies prevail. Having 1st rate customer service is notable only for rods and reels that frequently fail. Please, aficionados, explain to me and the rest of our fellow appreciators of quality fly reels, the root of this brand loyalty.

"Last week my wife and I enjoyed our annual adventure to a bonefish lodge in a remote, out-island Bahamian locale. Upon our arrival, there was but one other guest in camp, a tall, athletic, very hard core young (30's) man from Colorado. He had been bonefishing on another more southerly island with a friend and when the friend needed to return to the States, he ventured to this camp, on the doorstep of a spectacular fishery, on his own for two more weeks of pedal-to-the-metal fishing. We were pleased to meet this charming fellow flats fanatic who tied beautiful, imaginative flies and gave serious consideration to all his equipment. He was particularly enamored of his ultimate in light weight brace of rods. On the front porch rod rack he had a Helios #7 & 8 each mounted with a Waterworks reel loaded with gelspun backing to provide adequate capacity on their shallow/wide spools behind tropical floating lines. Picking up the 8-weight really felt impressively like holding a 6. He had caught dozens of bonefish on these rigs and was very enthusiastic. On the last day of his epic trip his skiff and ours arrived back at our home dock simultaneously and, as we slowly motored in, he held aloft a handful of broken rod sections. He had landed several fish and then, battling a particularly good one and regaining line, something happened. Focusing on the fish he had neglected to pay enough attention to the uniformity of distribution of the re-spooling line and, as it is prone to in wider/shallow designs, line built up unevenly to one side and jammed against the reel frame pillar. This is common and the usual result is a fish swimming off with a fly with tippet trailing behind it embedded in its jaw. In this more extreme case, the angler tied good knots and used strong fluorocarbon material and rather than knot failure, experienced catastrophic rod failure...the abrupt reel lock-up caused by the line jam made the rod break in two places, mid and upper butt section simultaneously. "
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Waterworks Lamson reels - experiences?

Most of these testimonials are interesting but hardly scientific. Much like people who complain about rod company X or Y having rods that "blow up" all the time. I do a lot of salmon and steelhead fishing. Most of the rods I have seen blow up are Sage rods. That might lead you believe that they are not tough enough. However, since most of the high end rods I see on the water are Sage you would expect them to break more often then rods that are not used!
Before you buy and use any reel you need to understand what it's intend use is. I own 4 Lamson reels (Radius and Velocity in sizes 1.5 - 3.5) along with many other reels. I just posted a Allen Alpha reel review. I've had my share of problems with drag failures ( I always carry a spare reel I use for parts) and one of my fishing buddies had a spool fail this year. I am willing to live with this because the reels are sooo light, have good strong drag, priced well, made in the USA, great customer service and are beautiful to look at.
I would not use their reels (non Vanquish) on Tarpon or Tuna or other large saltwater fish but that hardly makes them a poor choice for most anything else. Mine have seen lots wade fishing striper use but I would not use them if I expected really big striper caught from a boat. Wrong reel for the job. I've caught tons of large king salmon (to 30lbs), steelhead and smaller stripers. For that task they are fine.
When I think I am going to catch bigger stuff I use a Redington Brakewater or a Albright Tempest reel. Both of those reels are built like tanks and weight accordingly.
Abel, Nautilus, and Tibor all make "trout" reels as well. They also are very expensive. Not everyone can afford these and even for those of us who can Lamson makes reels worth considering.

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Old 10-14-2012, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Waterworks Lamson reels - experiences?

I have never fished a Lamson in the salt so my experience has been all fresh. I have a Velocity in a 1.5 and a 2 with 1 extra spool for each to handle 3/4/5/6wt lines. I've muscled 18" wild bows with the 3wt, 20"+ browns on the 4 & 5 wt and have been taken into the backing several times. I've never had to crank down too hard but hard enough supplementing that with my palm. I can say this, having a fiesty trout take 15 min. to land and take you into the backing 4 times feels like a steelhead and neither of my Velocity's have faltered. My only complaint was that after numerous dunkings of the 4wt, it took on moisture. I'm not sure if it was a leak or merely condensation from temperature differences. Either way Lamson was quick to service and return. I know these are advertised as water resistant/proof but some caution is prudent. I'm enamored so much by these reels I just purchased a 2nd gen. Litespeed for 4/5wt lines. I'll probably give my Velocity 2 to my son or have it as a spare on good trips. My only other reel for salt is a Bauer that has handled Bull Reds well. If I had any criticism of these, it would be those drags but mine were only after some hard fighting fish and numerous dunkings- you'll get your money's worth first. I won't ditch any of mine. Even my Bauer has made 2 trips to the factory so I cannot complain...
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