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Thread: A rare draw bar Lamson- the Saltwater Series.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Western Washington

    Default A rare draw bar Lamson- the Saltwater Series.

    I purchased this reel in the 90s primarily for saltwater fishing but it has served me quite well helping to land a 50lb+ King Salmon and a monster steelhead. The reel is Lamson's saltwater series reel that was manufactured when Lamson was just Lamson- before Sage acquired them and certainly long before Waterworks was in existence. I have wanted to share this oddity with the forum and finally have a few moments to do so- enjoy.

    Modeled after the Seamaster and Fin-Nor reels the Lamson (like Abel) employs a draw bar drag system that compresses the spool against a cork pad. It's a substantial reel that came only in the classic Lamson matte finish and as memory recalls, three or four sizes that are named after big game fish. Mine is the Bonefish- a 9wt reel, there was also the Permit and I think a Billfish model.

    Its a chunk of aluminum-

    One of the innovative features of this reel was the threading of the draw bar and the lack of retaining nut on the drag knob as employed by Abel. The Lamson had a second small set of threads at the end of the draw bar. In order to remove the drag knob the user would feel the knob come off the drag adjustment threads and would have to intentionally thread the second set of threads onto the knob in order to remove it from the spindle.

    This works great as if you back off the drag too far the knob will just hang on the spindle (draw bar) until you either rethread it back onto the drag threads or thread it on to the short set of threads to completely remove the adjustment knob.

    The Lamson and Abel draw bars side by side- note the small second set of threads on the larger Lamson draw bar-

    Internally the Lamson differed from an Abel in that there was a drag plate affixed to the spool whereas the Abel simply compresses the back of the spool against the cork surface. Honestly, the Abel is in my opinion a better system as it saves weight.

    The Abel-

    Switching retrieve on the Lamson was accomplished by removing the cork drag assembly and simply flipping it over. The long used bushing seen in the LP series is easily spotted at the center of the drag assembly. By comparison the Abel has a notched drag assembly that serves as a ratchet. Under the Lamson's drag assembly is a series of needle bearings.

    The Abel-

    Overall the Lamson Saltwater series is a pretty good reel. Certainly they were trying to move the business in new directions when this came out. As I understand the timeline this reel continued production for a short period of time after Sage acquired the company. Not long later Sage discontinued the Saltwater Series Lamson as they began the production of the Sage branded, Lamson built 5000 series reels. Having owned one of those I can say that the 5000 series Sage reels used some of the concepts from the Saltwater Series and "borrowed" some ideas for Abel. But hey- there are many that argue that Steve Abel "borrowed" some ideas from Seamaster......

    My drawbar drag reel family-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: A rare draw bar Lamson- the Saltwater Series.

    One of my regular customers has one of those that he uses as his Redfish and Baby Tarpon reel. It truly is a beautiful reel.

    One thing about the Seamaster design is that it is such a simple design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Western Washington

    Default Re: A rare draw bar Lamson- the Saltwater Series.

    I have mine paired with an original Sage rod from the late 80s. It is a 9ft 9 weight that is anything but light. The Lamson Bonefish actually balances the rod beautifully but between the two you will get a workout if you are doing all day casting. I was lucky enough to score a spare spool for mine as these are very difficult to come by and don't plan on ever parting with either.

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