The Lamson Guru fly reel has long been the entry point for made in the USA quality, and one of our best selling reels. A top contender among 8-weights, we're excited to see how it performs as a trout reel.   5-Weight Reel Shootout Full Results


4.85 ounces.  Light, but not super-light.


  The Guru's drag tested at 3.4 pounds - plenty for a trout reel - but not top of the class. Unlike some manufacturers, Lamson changes the size of their drags based on the size of the reel (a good thing!), unfortunately, when they did this on the Guru, it caused it to get a little sticky and it exhibited .6 lbs of startup inertia, which is about 19% of total drag strength. Not terrible, but as good as the top reels.


To our surprise, the Guru, like all Lamson reels, turned out to be perfectly sealed!




The Guru sounds like a great trout reel - a nice click in both directions.


The Guru is equipped with an easy to change spool that is very well machined, but [intentionally] lacks some of the porting of its pricier cousins. It's average in terms of capacity and retrieval rate.


Lamson reels both look and feel great. The Guru is no exception. It's well machined and feels solid in hand. The handle is flat, but comfortable.


Handle: The handle is flat and not as nice as that of the Litespeed, but has plenty of length to be comfortable.   Drag Knob: If there's one thing that we didn't like about the look and feel of the Guru, it's the drag knob. It's a little more difficult than its cousins to grab and adjust.   Spool Change: Quick change spool, but not as easy as a one-button release.

The Drop

Above Average. The Guru didn't fair quite as well as the higher-end Lamsons in terms of finish, but it was still above average with minimal divots and scratching. It did, however, receive a little bit of damage with some minor bending of the frame, but it didn't bend enough to interfere with the reel.


Lifetime to the original owner + $20 fee.   Price: $210


  The Lamson Guru was one of our favorite reels in the 8-Weight Reel Shootout. Unfortunately, when paired down to a trout size, the Guru didn't fare so well. The smaller drag created more startup inertia than we'd like and the reel didn't stand out from the pack in any particular way, except it's price tag and made in the USA quality.   Get yours here.


  • Made in the USA
  • Plenty of drag for a trout reel
  • Entry-level pricing


  • More startup inertia than we'd like to see