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Many of Lew's reels rely on Magnetic Control braking systems. Read more to learn how this mechanism works and how to adjust the brakes on your reel equipped with MCS.
The MCS braking system is an externally adjustable, full-release magnetic braking system that can be controlled via the dial on the palming sideplate. The dial goes from Minimum to Maximum. At Minimum braking, you will achieve a totally free spool with no braking applied.
Turning the dial counterclockwise towards the Maximum applies greater braking power. As the dial turns towards Maximum, the five interior magnets move closer to the spool and apply greater braking power via magnetic resistance. This allows you to finely control your casts and prevent backlash.
To find the ideal braking power for you, consider the conditions you will be fishing in and the type of bait you will be using. To maximize casting distance while reducing backlash, tie on your bait then hold your rod straight out in front of you. Start with the brake dial set in the middle between Minimum and Maximum, and let the bait fall. Repeat this process while gradually turning the tension knob to looser settings, until the bait falls to the floor and your reel completes no more than one full rotation upon contact. This method will ensure the braking power and tension settings are tailored to the weight of the bait.
If you experience backlash even after applying this method, especially in windy conditions, try even higher brake pressure or tension settings. Alternatively, if conditions are good and you’re trying to cast as far as possible, you could release the brake pressure and/or tension settings to almost free spool. It will take some practice to identify when to adjust your settings on the fly, but the brake dial and tension knob let you adapt with ease.
The Lew’s reels that feature the Magnetic Control Braking System: