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By : Mark Hicks
When Alabama’s Gerald Swindle signed on with Lew’s, he had a host of superb baitcasting reels to choose from. He tried many different models and was impressed with each one.
Then he settled on the Lew’s Super Duty Speed Spool LFS for nearly all of his baitcasting duties.
This version of the Super Duty is not the lightest or most costly baitcasting reel in the Lew’s line. It weighs 7.7 ounces and can be purchased for well under $200. Why didn’t Swindle opt for one of the Lew’s reels that weigh a scant 5.4 ounces?
“For me, choosing a baitcasting reel is like choosing a baseball bat,” Swindle said. “It’s not a one size fits all deal. The Super Duty just feels good in my hands.”
Swindle has found that anglers who have bigger hands are generally more comfortable with a larger reel and vice versa for anglers who have smaller hands.
“I use the Super Duty for everything but crankbaits,” Swindle said. “I love the paddle handle. It gives me plenty of torque for flippin’, froggin’ and chatterbait fishing.”
Swindle goes with the 6.8:1 gear ratio for everything but fishing crankbaits. By staying with one gear ratio, Swindle can better gage the speed of his retrieve with whatever lure he happens to be fishing.
While some anglers opt for a higher speed reel for flipping, Swindle prefers the relatively slow 6.8:1 gear ratio because it gives him more power for winching bass out of thick cover.
“That’s why dragsters have differentials with low gears,” Swindle said. “The low gears give them the power they need to blast off from a dead stop.”
The Super Duty’s unmatched dependability is another reason Swindle favors this particular Lew’s baitcasting reel. He knew it would hold up to hard use day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.
When he punches grass mats, Swindle fills the Super Duty’s spool with 40-pound braided line and fixes it to 7-foot, 6-inch, medium-heavy rod.
“With braided line, a stiffer heavy action rod rips a hole in the bass’ mouth when you set the hook,” Swindle said. “And with 40-pound braid, a 3/4-ounce weight sinks like a 1-ouncer on heavier line.”
For jig and worm fishing, Swindle rigs the Super Duty on a 7-foot, 6-inch, medium-heavy composite rod. He favors a 7-foot medium-heavy glass rod and fluorocarbon line for fishing bladed jigs. It reacts more slowly that a graphite rod when a bass strikes and allows the fish to inhale the bait deeper.
He slings big crankbaits with a 7-foot, 6-inch, medium-heavy glass rod matched with a Lew’s Tournament MP with a 5.6:1 gear ratio.