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So I pretty recently got a Lew's Team Lite reel in the 7.5:1. At first I loved the reel, but now I'm not so sure. The sideplates are graphite, which basically is overrated plastic IMO, I don't like the EVA grips' feel, and it isn't quite as smooth as I thought a $240 reel would be. The pros to this reel, though, are the 5.7 oz. weight, the carbon fiber handle, and the aesthetics are pretty nice. Now, for the controversy...I only have two Lew's reels (my only two baitcasting reels ATM), and I've been looking at the higher end Shimano reels. To me, they look much nicer. I felt a Curado I at a Cabela's I live by, and it seems great. Should I make the switch to Shimano before I invest too much into Lew's? I know Speed Spools are probably better than Caenans, but are Scorpions, Curado I's, and Chronarchs better than the Team Lites? Please give me some insight, thanks! :)

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Around $200+ its hard to go wrong IMO, so a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Different reels will excel at different things but they are all quality. over $200, I feel like the steps up in performance are smaller. I do appreciate the higher end reels that I have fished with as they feel more refined, but does it make me a better fisherman? Not by a long shot. I say all that to suggest that you try out a Curado or a Chronarch if you want. Then make your decision from there. I haven't done anything but play with the Curado in store so I can't say a ton about it. I have the Chronarch Ci4 and like it a lot. You will hear different preferences between the two reels as some like one over the other. Now, if you can get your hands on a 50/51 size Shimano, that's probably where my money would go. Try them out. That's what makes fishing gear fun.

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Graphite comes from carbon, the same element diamonds come from.  Graphite is used to reinforce a very large array of manufactured products.  It's light, has a high degree of strength and stiffness, withstands a wide range of temperatures and doesn't rust.

The internals of a reel is what really matters.  Graphite sideplates should have no effect on the performance of any reel, the sideplates don't really get much pressure on them anyway.  Shimano uses graphite on the side plates of some of their spinning reels, they work beautifully.  A Shimano TLD is all graphite and one of the real workhorses of offshore fishing, not the smoothest as the internals are not the same as some of the more expensive models.

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If you have been only using Lew`s baitcasters so far then it is a good idea to try out Shimano ones, Curado is proven reel. After that you can compare both from your own experience and give us some conclusions too.

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The Curado has a graphite sideplate too. Most reels today do. I think that the Curado beats even the best Lews reel, from the ones I've used. If you buy one of Shimano's actual high end reels like a Metanium or Core, it's not close.

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I love Lews reels but feel their "area" is in $200 and below. The bb1, super duty, tournament pro, bb1 pro (along with the recently dc'd tournament and tournament mf speed spool)are absolute workhorses which will stay smooth and tough for years. In that price range, they provide offer little things other companies don't like clicking drag star and spool tension, carbon fiber handles, longer handles,knob bearings etc. In fact, I feel that recently released tatula and Curado I are a direct result of the increased competition in this price area. Lew's is offering stuff that moved the needle.

That being said, once you start to go higher end, you are entering an area where DAIWA and Shimano excel. Not saying they don't mess up (t3 ballistic etc) but their experience does help them out. I had a team pro (300 dollar) and it was an awesome reel but I prefer mf chronarch d)

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I've never fished the team lite, but I used to own mostly lews reels and I really liked them.  I've since sold them all and went with shimano and daiwa.  I'm not sure if they are better, but I prefer them.  One of the things I really like about shimano/daiwa is all of the upgrade options available.  I think lews makes a fantastic reel out of the box and if your intention is to just buy a reel and keep it stock then you can't lose.  I love fishing, but tinkering with things like spool upgrades is like a whole other hobby for me.  For $240 I'm looking for used shimano/daiwa that once retailed for $400.

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Like said above its all about personal preference. Also, like said above, Lew's offers extras in the price range, which I like, considering I don't have the budget to throw at 6+ high end Shimano reels. Also, a reel that light is great in your hand, but some lightweight reels ist don't feel as solid. Usually the lightest I would go is 6.5 oz. I have nothing against the Shimanos, but I don't have the $, and I don't care to own several different reels. Going to all Lew's has allowed me to have great muscle memory from reel to reel, as they are all set up the same, similar to the Glock handgun platform.

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I am enjoying my new Lews, but I agree with the others on this one: they're great in the under 200 hundred dollar range, but I'd go with Shimano over that.

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Interesting thread... 

 

Right now, I have a couple of Lew's Tournament Pros and a couple Daiwa Tatulas, and an old Daiwa PT1500FL.  I like the Lew's TPs a lot; the dual brakes, clicky adjustments, strong drag, and good looks.  I really love the smooth feel of the Tatulas, but don't care for the extra weight.

 

What is it about the higher end Shimanos and Daiwas that make people recommend them over the Lew's?  Is is just feel, or are there other technical advantages?

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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Interesting thread...

Right now, I have a couple of Lew's Tournament Pros and a couple Daiwa Tatulas, and an old Daiwa PT1500FL. I like the Lew's TPs a lot; the dual brakes, clicky adjustments, strong drag, and good looks. I really love the smooth feel of the Tatulas, but don't care for the extra weight.

What is it about the higher end Shimanos and Daiwas that make people recommend them over the Lew's? Is is just feel, or are there other technical advantages?

Tight lines,

Bob

Mostly feel for me, though I do seem to get better performance out of the others as well. The Lews I've owned seemed to be more finicky and feel less refined. The multitude of options for the big 2 are nice, because I do like to tinker. I also like the fact that Daiwa and Shimano are adding new features and trying to innovate, whether it works well or not; while Lews just calls and orders what they want. Don't have a good reason why, just feel like my money should go towards progress.

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Mostly feel for me, though I do seem to get better performance out of the others as well. The Lews I've owned seemed to be more finicky and feel less refined. The multitude of options for the big 2 are nice, because I do like to tinker. I also like the fact that Daiwa and Shimano are adding new features and trying to innovate, whether it works well or not; while Lews just calls and orders what they want. Don't have a good reason why, just feel like my money should go towards progress.

 

Lew's is not progress? What about the beginnings of low profile? New features like dual breaking, distance and shape of the lwvelwind to decrease line friction and increase casting distance? Also, the Team Lew's and Tourney Pros are fairly refined in my opinion. If a touring pro like Jay Yellas can use his Lew's on tour w/grueling schedules for 2 years straight w/out a single issue, that's pretty darn good.

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Lew's is not progress? What about the beginnings of low profile? New features like dual breaking, distance and shape of the lwvelwind to decrease line friction and increase casting distance? Also, the Team Lew's and Tourney Pros are fairly refined in my opinion. If a touring pro like Jay Yellas can use his Lew's on tour w/grueling schedules for 2 years straight w/out a single issue, that's pretty darn good.

Lews hasn't designed anything since they've become relevant in the last few years. That's what I meant by what I said. They call a manufacturer and say we want this, this, and that. They don't produce anything. They are plenty refined, but when I hold them side by side with a similarly priced Daiwa or Shimano, they don't feel on the same level. Fishing on tour for 2 years doesn't mean a whole lot. It's probably not the same reel every week, and there's tons of every brand. Going by that rationale, Quantum, Abu, Shimano, Daiwa, 13, Ardent, and everyone in between make great reels because they're all used during the grueling tour season.

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I'm with Ty, I had 6 lews at one time and have gone back to all Shimano and Daiwa. Nothing wrong with Lews it's just a preference of mine.. I don't care for dual braking and had the BB1 pro's

 I will say Lews has done a good job of marketing , and a lot of folks like them.

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Let's not turn this into a brand thread loyalty thread though I sure see it going that way.

The progress term is kinda weird to me though. To be fair, I don't believe dual braking was a lew's invention. The distance from the level wind on the bb1 is less than that in the chronarch e (measured by keepitrealfishing on his video). I also find it funny that people laud the new curado/chronarch braking system as innovative when ABU had it on their MGX and quantum had on the smoke 150. The new curado was an attempt to retake a market they had begun losing to other brands at that price which where offering stuff that shimano wasn't IMO.

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Ive bougth Shimano Daiwa Lews Pflueger BPS Okuma reels the past five years. Ive had to return or exchange all but the shimano and diawa brands due to defects durability noises. If there is a reel that interests me though from another brand I will still give it a try but for some reason shimano and daiwa reels just work like they should.

 

I have a lightweight Okuma Helios rod that Im thinking the Lews Team Lite is the reel Ill pair with it. So going to give Lews another shot.

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I lovey lews reels for the price but if you want a truly high end reel, go daiwa/shimano.depending on what braking you like

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Ive bougth Shimano Daiwa Lews Pflueger BPS Okuma reels the past five years. Ive had to return or exchange all but the shimano and diawa brands due to defects durability noises. If there is a reel that interests me though from another brand I will still give it a try but for some reason shimano and daiwa reels just work like they should.

I have a lightweight Okuma Helios rod that Im thinking the Lews Team Lite is the reel Ill pair with it. So going to give Lews another shot.

This is where I'm at. Not loyal to anyone and will try just about anything if something catches my eye. Been looking at the Team Lite myself, because the knobs look like something I might like, since I don't like the regular flat knobs at all. Plus, you can usually find Lew's on the auction site cheap, so it's worth a shot.
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The real question is how much are you willing to spend? If you are willing to spend $600 then go ahead and buy a Steez. I believe there is one for sale for around $400 in the flea market. But if not, then probably get something else. The only reel in the Lew's price range I would think of buying would be a Tatula, because they look sexy.

My 2 cents.

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The real question is how much are you willing to spend? If you are willing to spend $600 then go ahead and buy a Steez. I believe there is one for sale for around $400 in the flea market. But if not, then probably get something else. The only reel in the Lew's price range I would think of buying would be a Tatula, because they look sexy.

My 2 cents.

I don't really think the Steez is the best value out there for high end Daiwa. I have had a few, but never paid more than $300 for one. Most of the high end Daiwa/Shimano can be found well under retail if you look around. I've used a lot of the high end stuff and a good portion of the lower end stuff, and it's still hard to beat the Curado for the price. I do agree with the Tatula though, there's not a better reel for $100 anywhere; I'll always have a couple on hand.

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You might be doing your self a disservice by not giving the industry leaders ( Shimano/ Daiwa ) a shot, seems you are already searching for a better tool. The graphite side plates, on low profiles or most reels , are not a disadvantage, plenty strong& rigid, maybe a trifle bit heavier. If you don't step out & try other company's product, you most certainly will never know.

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So I pretty recently got a Lew's Team Lite reel in the 7.5:1. At first I loved the reel, but now I'm not so sure. The sideplates are graphite, which basically is overrated plastic IMO, I don't like the EVA grips' feel, and it isn't quite as smooth as I thought a $240 reel would be. The pros to this reel, though, are the 5.7 oz. weight, the carbon fiber handle, and the aesthetics are pretty nice. Now, for the controversy...I only have two Lew's reels (my only two baitcasting reels ATM), and I've been looking at the higher end Shimano reels. To me, they look much nicer. I felt a Curado I at a Cabela's I live by, and it seems great. Should I make the switch to Shimano before I invest too much into Lew's? I know Speed Spools are probably better than Caenans, but are Scorpions, Curado I's, and Chronarchs better than the Team Lites? Please give me some insight, thanks! :)

 

 

You might be doing your self a disservice by not giving the industry leaders ( Shimano/ Daiwa ) a shot, seems you are already searching for a better tool. The graphite side plates, on low profiles or most reels , are not a disadvantage, plenty strong& rigid, maybe a trifle bit heavier. If you don't step out & try other company's product, you most certainly will never know.

 

PitchinJigs dont discount quality graphite all together. The Shimano Chronarch CI4 is all graphite reel and for me has been an OUTSTANDING reel. Made in Japan, an ounce lighter, a little smaller spool & size than the CUI and like the brake dial placement better plus can be $220 at Gander right now.

Or CUI $160 fyi

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