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Gear Review: Lamson Remix Fly Reel




I received a Lamson-Waterworks Remix 3.5 (-7+) as a gift a couple of years ago. My gear is well-used throughout the year. After extensive use, I thought it necessary to provide an in-depth review of this reel's performance.


Construction/Durability

The frame of the reel is machined aluminum with an appealing shiny finish. The frame has withstood a lot of abuse in my first season with it and has remained relatively unscathed. There are one or two tiny little spots where the finish is being worn off on the corners of the foot of the reel (where it attaches to a fly rod).

The spools are cast and have a large U-shaped arbor. Since the spools are cast, they will pick up scratches and markings rather easily. However, if you aren't a stickler for perfect appearance, the spools hold up just fine (as long as you don't drop them, of course).


The reel can be switched from left-hand retrieve to right-hand retrieve easily by removing the spool, unscrewing what Lamson calls the "Gland Cap" from the inside of the frame, and flipping the "clutch" mechanism 180 degrees. This is a very simple process.


Size

The way the Remix reels are named/sized is based on the rod and fly line weight that is ideal for use on the reel.

Lamson Remix Specifications

I thought the weight and size of the Remix was appropriate. I can think of reels of similar size that are much heavier, but there are also other more expensive fly reels that would be lighter in your hand/on a rod.


Drag

This reel has a sealed conical drag system. The drag knob is easy to grip and has smooth, obvious adjustments. On some reels, there is a very fine line between the drag setting being too tight and too loose. That is not the case with the Remix. If you have your drag set at the beginning of the day, you shouldn't have to do much fine-tuning during the day.



Performance

I have landed some fish this year on the reel that tested the drag. There was never a doubt that the drag would be an issue, and it has handled everything I have put it through.

The reel has worked nearly flawlessly for me. Plenty of fish have been landed with the help of the Remix, and utilizing its smooth retrieve regularly was a welcome experience. The drag is easy to adjust, the design is appealing, and the large arbor helps with quick retrieve.


Once or twice, I've had my fly line slip through the spool, especially when using a running line for spey casting. This is something that regularly occurs in in reels that aren't full-frame reels and is not unique to the Remix. Lamson does make a Remix HD that is a full-frame version which would prevent this issue altogether.


Maintenance

Lamson says to not use oil or lubricant in or around the drag system. These low-maintenance options are a favorite for many anglers.


My reel did accumulate dirt (as any other reel would) throughout the season and required some rinsing and cleaning with a cotton swab. The design of some reels makes this tough; with the Remix, this was not a difficult task.

Lamson has changed its naming/sizing system for reels. A reel that is size 3.5 is equivalent to a -7+.

Spool removal is simple with no buttons required. It is pressure-based release as many fly reels are; see video here if you need help with this.


I have not tested this reel in the salt or on saltwater fish. Lamson says that it is a good idea to use saltwater equipment rinse such as Salt-X to help keep your reel safe when used in saltwater.


Value

While it isn't a fully-machined reel from start to finish, this reel has that machined frame and has plenty of flexibility to exchange spools because spools are relatively inexpensive. If you, like me, find yourself constantly swapping from floating to sinking or spey lines, the Remix is a fantastic option due to the durability of the frame combined with the affordability of the spools.

Lamson also offers the Remix in a 3-Pack version, which includes a padded carrying case, the reel, and two extra spools.



Overall, this is a setup that is well-suited for the angler who wants a relatively affordable, effective, quality reel with flexibility in adding lots of spools to their gear stash. I would recommend this reel to the angler who spends quality time on the water and needs a quality reel to tag along for the ride.



NOTE: This reel is very nearly identical to the Lamson-Waterworks Liquid, so this review of the Remix may have many aspects identical to my review of the Liquid, with a couple minor exceptions:

  1. Frame of Remix is machined; Frame of Liquid is cast.

  2. Drag knobs have different appearance.

 


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