Lamson Speedster Review in 2024 – Fly Reels

In this Lamson Speedster Review we find out just how this fly reel stacks up. We'll take a closer look at the Speedster's features and see whether it is the right reel for your needs.
lamson speedster review

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In this Lamson Speedster Review we find out just how this fly reel stacks up. We’ll take a closer look at the Speedster’s features and see whether it is the right reel for your needs.

Reels are an essential piece of gear, but we can occasionally be guilty of overlooking their importance. But if you’re anything like me, you love geeking out over different reels! Each reel has its own characteristics, so it’s worth reading up on a model before you splash out.

The Speedster is one of the latest releases from the well-known company, Waterworks Lamson. It’s well worth taking a look at due to its low weight, fast retrieve, and smooth drag system. So let’s get stuck into our review and find out if the Waterworks Lamson Speedster is the right reel for you!

lamson speedster

Lamson Speedster Specs:

Available Size: 7 – 9 Overall Weight: 4.96 – 5.99oz
Arbor Size: Large Material: Machined 6061 Aluminum
Spool Diameter: 3.97 – 4.29in Colors: Midnight
Spool Capacity: 180 – 220yds Warranty: Waterworks-Lamson Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: Conical Country of Manufacture: USA

Overall Score

Drag System Quality
Weight and Balance
Line Capacity
Ease of Maintenance
Aesthetic and Design
Price to Value Ratio
Brand Reputation & Customer Service

Check Amazon US/UK Price

Key Features

  • Machined 6061 Aluminum
  • Super Large Arbor
  • Type II Anodize
  • Hot Rod of a Reel Design
  • Waterworks-Lamson Lifetime Warranty

Lamson Speedster Review

If you’ve been on the lookout for a highly versatile fly reel, the Speedster might be just what you’re after! With the Speedster reels for fly fishing, Lamson aimed to create a lightweight reel with a super-fast line retrieve. And we think that they achieved their aim!

This fly reel is an excellent choice for both freshwater and saltwater. It doesn’t have the largest backing capacity, however, so you might want to stick to smaller saltwater fish.

Thanks to large porting and extra light materials, it’s among the lightest reels on the market today. With this fly reel, you’ll have no worries about achy arms or strained muscles. But it’s also very durable, making it an ideal option for frequent fishers.

The Waterworks Lamson Speedster comes in two colourways, Ember and Midnight. We love the dark blue Midnight colorway with its vibrant neon green accents – it is a look that you don’t often see. The champagne shades of Ember will also look stylish out on the water!

The aesthetics are muted but beautiful. It’s more functional than flashy, but we like the clean lines and simple design.

See also our full breakdown of all Lamson fly reels reviews here.


As always, Lamson fly reels takes pride in using the best materials and techniques to create high-quality products. The Speedster is constructed from sturdy 6061 aluminum for all-round durability that’s hard to beat. It’s completed with a layer of Type II Hard Alox, making it almost indestructible (as reels go!)

You won’t need to worry about scratches, dents, and dings when you head out with the Speedster. It can handle anything, including regular wear and tear from frequent trips.

The all-new spool and frame design also contribute to the strength of this reel. The spool is narrower with a large arbor, ensuring that you get a speedy line pickup. Another benefit to this feature is that line barreling should be a thing of the past, thanks to the narrow spool.

The Waterworks Lamson Speedster is constructed in the US from start to finish, and it shows. Meticulous care and attention to detail go into each and every single reel before they leave the factory and hit the shops. You also get a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

Lamson Speedster


You’ll be astounded by just how lightweight this fly reel is. You can hardly even notice it’s there!

The Waterworks Lamson Speedster is the perfect complement to the lightweight freshwater rods that are so popular right now. But it’s also suitable for heading out to the saltwater flats and open seas – especially if you’re targeting smaller saltwater varieties.

Retrieval Rate

As we mentioned earlier, Lamson made a fast retrieval rate a priority when designing this rod. Thanks to the large arbor size, this reel has a great line pickup and retrieval rate, meaning less work for you! You can’t argue with that!

Drag System

As with all Lamson reels, the Speedster has the iconic conical fly reel drag system. It’s made from a proprietary mix of Delfin and Teflon, resulting in superb strength and smoothness. Compared to disc drag systems, it’s much more lightweight while offering buttery smooth drag and a nice ‘click’ sound for feedback.

It has to be said that the Speedster isn’t the most powerful reel out there. The drag system doesn’t quite compare to its more robust cousin, the Lamson Litespeed. But the main drawback is the heavier startup inertia. We were disappointed to discover that this reel’s startup inertia equals almost one-third of its overall power.

See our post here on Lamson Litespeed review for more information on the Litespeed.


We like the new handle design, which is easy to grab and has a nicely tapered shape. The quick-release spool is also a bonus, allowing you access to the inner workings of the reel in seconds.

The drag knob isn’t the best we’ve seen around – if it was larger, it would be easier to use.

You want another awesome reel from Lamson? Here is the lamson remix fly reel.


  • Super lightweight
  • Smooth drag
  • Excellent for freshwater
  • The large arbor allows for speedy line retrieval
  • Narrow spool reduces line barreling
  • Suitable for saltwater (for smaller fish)


  • Lower backing capacity makes it less ideal for saltwater
  • High startup inertia
  • Fairly expensive
  • The drag knob is quite small


What material is a tapered leader made from?

A tapered leader is typically made from monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line.

What is a tapered leader?

A tapered leader is a length of fishing line which gradually decreases in diameter from the line to the hook. It is used to improve the presentation of a lure or bait and reduce the visibility of the line to fish.

What size tapered leader do I need?

The size of the tapered leader you need will depend on the type of fishing you are doing and the size of the fish you are targeting. Generally speaking, a tapered leader should be about one-third the length of your fishing rod and two to three times the diameter of your main line.

Can I put 3x tippet on a 5X leader?

No, you cannot put 3X tippet on a 5X leader. The tippet size should always be equal to or lesser than the leader size.

How long should your tapered leader be?

The length of your tapered leader will depend on the type of fishing you are doing, the size of the fish you are targeting and the size of your main line. Generally, a tapered leader should be about one-third the length of your fishing rod and two to three times the diameter of your main line.

lamson speedster wrap up

The Wrap Up

The Speedster is one of the best reels for trout, due to it being light in weight and easy to operate, with a smooth drag. It’s also very versatile, as you can use it on any waters, from lakes and streams to the open sea.

Just don’t expect this reel to be powerful enough for trophy-size fish or saltwater whoppers. The startup inertia is a bit of a let-down.

But this factor doesn’t detract from the positive qualities of the Speedster, namely, its feather-light weight, quality construction, and smart design. The narrower spool ensures a smooth, fast line pickup that is hard to beat, and it’s also extremely user-friendly.

Not sure if this is the right fly reel for you? Check out our guides to the best fly gear at Fly Fisher Pro! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter with your email address, so we can keep you updated on the latest gear and trends in the fly fishing world!

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