Lew's BB Speed Spool

Lew's BB Speed Spool

Twenty-five years ago, these reels launched the age of modern baitcasters. So it seems only fitting that for their silver anniversary, the models got a face-lift. The internal workings of the original centrifugal brake system and one-piece die-cast aluminum frame are still intact. But now the reels have constant anti-reverse, a nice feature that eliminates handle backplay on the hookset. In addition, the reels now have a thumb bar rather than the old stick-up, free-spool push button, and a titanium-nitride levelwind line guide replaces the less smooth basic aluminum-oxide insert. There are two 4-bearing freshwater models with 5.5:1 and 4.3:1 retrieve ratios and one saltwater model with 5.5:1 retrieve. Our test model, power geared at 4.3:1, was prime for retrieving hard-digging crankbaits, and it performed flawlessly even for those less experienced with baitcasters.