The Lamson Speedster was one of the reels we were most excited to test. After all, it was designed with some of our key performance features in mind - fast retrieve and narrow spool. Lamson also stands behind its reels and makes them right here in the USA. Here's how it stacks up.


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5-Weight Reel Shootout Full Results


4.2 ounces. Heavier than the Litespeed, but what isn't?



When we first started reviewing fly reels, we thought that Lamson used roughly the same drag on all of their reels. We now know that's not the case. Unlike big brother Litespeed, the Speedster's drag was somewhat of a letdown. It tested at roughly 2lbs (ok, just below the bar), and had a massive amount of startup inertia, nearly 30% of the reel's drag.



Classic Lamson. It's got a solid click on both the incoming and outgoing.


One of the best! The Speedster finished second only to the Hardy DD in terms of its spool design. Retrieve is lightning fast at 8.17 inches per turn and it's pretty narrow so that the line never piles up. It's an embodiment of everything we like to see in a modern reel.


The Speedster is a very modern reel, and it looks the part. There's hardly a piece of metal on the reel that isn't ported. The handle has also been upgraded and is more comfortable than the flat handle you'll find on the lower priced Lamsons. If there's anything we don't like about it, it's that the drag knob is a bit small - but it saves weight. Some people might prefer a more muted color, or a black reel option.


Handle: Lamson's higher end reels come with some of the best handles. They are not too thick, and definitely long enough that you're not hitting your knuckles. They've even created a bit of a taper to make it even more comfortable. One of the best.


Drag Knob: The Lamson drag knob is a bit funky. In a world of oversized knobs, it's definitely not as easy to grab and adjust, but it's also not as bad as the worst ones out there.


Spool Change: Spool is easy enough to change, but not as easy as a one-button change.

The DRop

Excellent. The Lamson "Hard Alox" finish is one of the best out there. The Speedster shows only minor signs that it was ever dropped. No damage.


Lifetime to the original owner + $20 fee.


Price: $300




We had high hopes for the Lamson Speedster. Unfortunately, it looks like the Speedster has more in common with the Remix than the much smoother Litespeed. It's a very well designed reel from the exterior, but Lamson needs to upgrade the internals for this to be one of the top choices.


  • Ultra-fast retrieve
  • Faster retrieve than some.


  • Drag system is weak and sticky