Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lamson Liquid Review

A while back I was surfing the internet and happened to end up over at the Waterworks-Lamson site. Watching the slideshow banner I notice a couple of new reels, one of which turned out to be the Liquid. Curiosity got me to reading about it and doing a little more investigating. I suppose the first thing about the Liquid that caught my attention is the price. The second is the use of Lamson’s conical drag system. The third is the look and finish of the reel.

For those of you who have not followed me here or at the DragonflyAngler blog I love fly fishing gear (who doesn't) but like most of the working stiffs out there I have a limited budget to draw from. I've been fishing pretty much the same reels for decades now because I just can’t afford to pay what most reel makers want for new quality reels with a good drag. Until now!

When I saw that Lamson is offering a reel for $99.95 I had to get my hands on one and check it out. For my personal use there are three requirements for a fly reel; 1- it needs to have a good drag, 2-it needs to be fairly light and 3- it has to fit my budget. The Lamson Liquid easily fits all three of these requirements. Another thing that drew me to the Liquid so quickly is the Liquid 3-pack that Lamson is offering with this reel. The 3-pack offers you a reel and two spare spools for the price of a reel and one spare spool and you also get a handy, dandy carrying case. This is very appealing for those like myself that frequently fish different lines.

Immediately after reading about the Liquid I called our local fly shop and after a short wait for the first ones to arrive I had one in my hands. The reel features a pressure cast spool and frame. You can read about it here. The finish is matte black which I really like for stealth purposes. The center of this reel however is the Waterworks-Lamson conical drag system. This is the drag system they use on all their reels from top to bottom.

When I got the 1.5, 3-pack home I immediately put line and backing on all three spools. The 1.5 is designed for 3 and 4 weight lines. I spooled up a WF3F, WF4F and WF5F line on the three spools. For the past three years I've been using a Guru 1.5 as my go to 5 weight reel. Personally I want the smallest, lightest reel I can get an adequate amount of backing and let’s face it if you need more than 75 yards of backing on a trout reel you’re probably not going to land that trout anyway.

While loading the spools, which I do manually, I was impressed with the smoothness of operation. I was also impressed with the weight or should I say the lack there of. There is a slight amount of play between the spool and frame but not enough to concern me at all. The real test of the reel would be when in use under pressure from a nice, fat trout.

This past week I was able to get out and apply the pressure needed to test the reel in use. It took several hours on a local tailwater to hook into a trout large enough to put it to the test but once I did I was completely unaware of the play I had noticed on the bench when loading the spools. After 5 hours of constant casting I was very happy with the lack of weight and casting fatigue. This reel balance very well with an Orvis 8’ 6” PM10 5 weight that weighs in at a paltry 2 5/8 ounces.
The bottom line here is that I am more than thrilled with the 1.5 Liquid. I honestly believe that you will be hard pressed to find a reel that performs like the Liquid for 2-3 times the cost. Waterworks-Lamson has definitely come up with a winner here. I am just glad I don’t work for another reel company. If you’re looking for a great reel at an even greater price find a dealer near you and check them out. Keep in mind that at the moment you may have to wait a bit, I did and it was worth it!
If this sounds like a commercial I won’t apologize. It has been a long time since a piece of fly fishing gear has got me so excited. In case you’re wondering I am not on the Lamson payroll although it’s a thought.

 I already have plans to add another 3-pack to my arsenal very soon, with a Liquid 2 in the not too distant future. If these hold up to extended use I will be adding a 3.5 to the arsenal in the slightly more distant future. They are selling 3-packs in the 1.5 and 2 models for $149.95 and the 3.5 model for $159.95. I could scrimp and save and fret and worry about spending the money to buy more expensive reels but why would I? So far, and mind you this after only a few hours on the water, I absolutely love this reel. For me it has everything I want in a fly and nothing I don’t, specifically an astronomical price tag.

Before I forget there's one more thing about the Liquid that I really like. It looks really cool. What more could you ask for?


  1. I just came across these today and have been wondering. Thanks for the review! Now I just need to find some cash....

  2. Just bought mine a coupke days ago and love it

  3. Just bought mine a coupke days ago and love it

  4. Thanks, J. Wood, for this review. I have a Litespeed and was curious about the Liquid. Think I'm going to pull the trigger.