Expert Review: Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS

This review is my honest opinion of the spool, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.

The Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS.

All photos courtesy of Danny Palmquist

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the spool, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.

My take

The Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS is for anglers in search of a durable casting reel with brakes that are easy to dial in to prevent problems with backlashing. It’s a quality reel with some great features—especially for a reel at this price point.

Two fishing rods on a table.

About the reel I own

  • Model: Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS
  • Reel Size: 100
  • Construction: Baitcasting reel, 1-piece aluminum frame.
  • Drag System: Carbon fiber
  • Drag Pressure: 20 lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Flipping and pitching for bass, as well as swimbaits
  • Experience: 20+ years of fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: March 2020
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Dobyn’s Fury 735c, Mag-Heavy, Fast action
  • Line Paired with Reel: Sunline Shooter 20lb Fluorocarbon
  • Days tested: 200+
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater lakes and ponds, shallow water, heavy cover
  • Species targeted with reel: Largemouth bass

How it performs

Durability
4/5
Performance
5/5
Quality
4/5
Versatility
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking to put together a flipping and pitching setup to use with fluorocarbon line in order to fish around hard structures like fallen trees and stumps. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money since I already have a flipping and pitching setup spooled up with braided line. I needed an affordable casting reel with an effective braking system.

Why I chose this reel

I chose this reel largely on account of the dual braking system. It uses both magnetic and centrifugal brakes, which I love for flipping and pitching. The gear ratio on the reel is 7:5:1, which I really like for fishing in heavy cover. I also liked that it includes a retractable lure keeper that’s perfect for Texas rigs. I had also looked at the Shimano SLX XT, but for fishing in heavy cover the Lew’s Tournament MP felt more durable and suited for the task. `

Close up of the Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS.

What I love about it

  • Performance: The brakes are easy to dial in. What works best for me is when I leave one of the centrifugal brakes engaged most of the time. I get plenty of casting distance with the reel, and it doesn’t make a lot of noise during the cast. The retrieve is smooth and the paddle handles are easy to hold on to even when wet.
  • Versatility: I use this reel for fishing jigs, power shots, and flipping rigs in heavy cover. I’ve used it for chatterbaits as well, but the 7:5:1 gear ratio is a bit fast for them. I think that the 6:8:1 version would make a great reel for chatterbaits, though. I haven’t used it with lighter lures, but I think that the dual braking system could manage them pretty easily.
  • Size: This 100 size reel holds 120 yards of 12lb mono. I use 20lb Sunline Shooter on the reel; it holds plenty of line for short distance flipping and pitching. The frame on the reel is small enough to fit comfortably in my palm while making a cast or working a jig along the bottom.
  • Maintenance: Once a month I like to rinse the frame of the reel and clean out dirt and grime. There is an external lube port on the frame, just below the gears. This allows me to grease the gears without disassembling the reel. At the end of every season, I like to take it apart and thoroughly clean and re-lubricate it.
Close up of the Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Feel: The weight of the reel is a bit heavier than I had expected. It isn’t a significant issue though because it is compact and fits in my hand, so supporting it isn’t difficult.
  • Other: I found that the side plate was a bit difficult to remove when adjusting the centrifugal brakes. I put a small amount of grease where the side plate meets the frame, solving the problem.
Close up of the top of the Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS.

Favorite moment with this gear

This reel has been excellent for its intended purpose. It allowed me to make super precise casts around laydowns and submerged brush where my line kept snapping on account of its low abrasion resistance. At my home lake, it led me to start catching bigger fish when flipping and pitching, since that’s where they had been hiding out. Over the past few years, I’ve been consistently catching sizable fish around hard structures, and I haven’t lost one yet due to my line snapping.

Value for the money vs. other options

The value for the money on this reel is phenomenal. I had also looked at purchasing a Daiwa Tatula SV or a Shimano SLX XT. Both are great reels, but the Lew’s Tournament MP stood out to me. It felt sturdier in hand than the Shimano, but it was a bit less expensive than the Tatula SV.

Final verdict

Ultimately, this is a great reel and I’m very happy with my purchase. It fits easily in my hand and makes it easy to work a jig or flipping rig during a long, hot day on the water. It’s really easy to dial in and avoid backlashes, and with 20lb fluoro that’s essential. I also found that the retractable hook keeper saved me from having to replace my soft plastics as much when rigged up Texas style. The lube port came in really handy as well, as it meant that I could easily re-lube up the reel without needing to completely take it apart. Anglers in search of an affordable, performance-oriented casting reel will be satisfied with the Lew’s Tournament MP.

Selling Lews on Curated.com
Lews Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS
From $159.95
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Written By
As a lifelong angler, I have experience fishing a wide variety of techniques. My passion is fishing for bass. I put a lot of time and effort putting together technique specific combos and optimizing them so I can land more fish and improve my overall experience. I am also a writer and photographer,...

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