Since 1973, Lew’s has been known for making quality bass fishing baitcasting reels. Over the last several years, Lew’s has been making a huge comeback in the bass fishing baitcasting world.
Until recently, I personally never owned or used a Lew’s product. From my Abu Garcia to Shimano days, I was pretty satisfied with what they had to offer. When Shimano discontinued my beloved Core 100 recently, I had to look for something different. I wasn’t satisfied with the current offerings from either Shimano or Abu Garcia. After a month of research, lots of reading and talking with Lew’s Pro Staff/Vikings DE Brian Robison, I finally settled on the Lew’s Team Lite.
Several things factored into my purchase decision. The reel had to be lightweight, have a good drag system, have a low profile, fit under $250 and have an overall nice look. Lets face it, if a reel is hideous, it has no business sitting on top of a Dobyns rod!
Nothing ends a day faster than being worn out from throwing a heavy set-up. I will not consider a reel unless its lightweight. The Team Lite, with a full spool of 10-pound Seaguar Senshi, weights in at 6.1 ounces. While its not the lightest reel on the market, 6.1 ounces is perfect for me. Paired with my 4.2 ounce Dobyns Champion 635CB rod, I have a Jerkbait combo weighing just over 10 ounces!
Whether using this reel for Jerkbaits, or pitching heavy jigs into the sticks, a good drag system is a must. Lew’s lists the Team Lite with a max drag of 14 pounds. I don’t know how to test this, but I can say it feels very smooth with no rough patches when fighting a fish. The reel comes with a metal drag star and has an audible click when making adjustments.
I have never been a fan of round reels or big clunky baitcasters. I have small hands and need a low profile reel to palm. The Team Lite fits this bill very well from all angles. From the side, the Team Lite sits very low on the rod and palms extremely well with my small hands.
The Manufacturer Suggested Retail price comes in at $239.99. The Team Lite can be found cheaper online, but I feel this reel is worth every penny of the suggested retail. Its difficult for manufactures to pack this many features in a reel and stay within this price point.
If a reel doesn’t look gorgeous, it really has no business in my arsenal. I don’t fish tournaments or fish for a living. I fish for fun and want to enjoy my experience as best as I can. The Team Lite is one of the more gorgeous reels I’ve had the pleasure to use. It has a one-piece aluminum frame with Carbon C45 side plates. This combination gives the Team Lite a lightweight and solid feel. The Team Lite comes with a lightweight 85mm carbon fiber handle and a mix of EVA foam and cork handle knobs. I love the feel of cork and mixed with the EVA foam, this handle is flat out awesome! The gunmetal grey base with gold accents gives this reel the “dead sexy” look I wanted.
The Team lite comes in both right and left hand retrieve. The right hand model has two gear ratios: a 6.8:1 bringing in 28 inches per turn (IPT), and a 7.5:1 bringing in 31 IPT. The left hand model only comes in the 7.5:1 gear ratio. I chose the right hand model in 7.5:1. When fishing jerkbaits or jigs, I want a reel that takes in a lot of line very quickly.
I did my homework on this reel and I can say I am more than pleased with my purchase. My time on the water with this reel has been nothing short of impressive. When I’m ready for my next reel purchase, I will definitely give Lew’s a solid look. Pictures and words don’t give this reel the justice it deserves. Once you hit the water with the Team Lite, I think you will be impressed.
Rock Chalk Hawg Hunting
Richard W. Gulloto