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This Lamson Remix Fly Reel review is an honest, field-tested review with countless days of use and experience to back it up. As an avid fly fisher for over 30 years and a professional guide in SW Montana for the last 15, I’ve seen my share of equipment put to the test.
Table of Contents
I’ve cast more rods and reel combos than I can remember and I’ve got to witness my clients using and abusing them too. Guiding gives me a unique opportunity to not only use the equipment myself but to see how well said equipment works for others, from seasoned casters to brand-new anglers.
In this review, we’ll take a look at important metrics like reel build, weight, and drag performance. If you’ve been thinking about buying a Remix, you might have already scoped the Redington Rise, TFO NTR, or the Sage Spectrum C.
In this review, I’ll give you some inside info on the Lamson Remix to help you make an informed decision.
Our Fly Reel Reviews:
Why Trust My Lamson Remix Fly Reel Review?
Our reviews are honest, partisan reviews formulated only after the gear has been properly tested many times over. Most of this equipment is our own and has therefore personally seen many days, months, or even years of use.
I’ve seen a lot of reels come and go in my professional and non-professional fishing lifetime. I’ve seen reels that can handle the abuse and the heat of battle and those who fall short. We are not paid by these companies to give fluffy endorsements. These are real, honest reviews…the good and the bad.
How I Fished The Lamson Remix Fly Reel
This Lamson Remix Fly Reel review has come after nearly two years of putting in work. This reel, the Lamson Remix -5+ to be exact, has seen many different rivers, lakes, and streams and has been put to the test.
I’ve witnessed clients fish this reel too. I’ve seen them use and abuse it, how they interact with it, the ease of use for folks from novice to advanced, and how it stands up to boat drops, stepping on, falling in the river, and every other kind of abuse you can think of.
What’s In The Box?
Lamson Remix Fly Reel Review
The Lamson Remix comes, as all Lamsons do, in a kraft-style box with a drab “Waterworks Lamson” logo print. Inside the box, three items are present… a Lamson sticker, the reel cover, and of course, the reel.
This Lamson Remix Fly Reel was, again, the -5+. This is the standard Remix and NOT the HD (heavy duty) version, however.
If you ask me, Lamson reels simply have a particular aesthetic that can be distinguished even without logos. This apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The clean lines and spoke/porting design scream Lamson. A mixture of hard and rounded edges along with a two-tone coloring set this reel apart from a sea of sameness.
The Reel Cover
The reel cover itself is simply a thin black polyester material with black draw cords at the top opening. It’s simple and helps keep the reel from scratches while storing.
Unless you’re paying under a hundred bucks, I see no reason to have anything less than a traditional, padded reel caddy/case that comes with your reel. They offer better padding and the top velcro flap allows for placement over your reel while attached to a rod.
This reel cover does little to pad the reel and is seemingly only effective when storing your reel, not transporting it.
Lamson gives you a free slap to represent the brand. Who doesn’t like fly fishing stickers on your truck window, laptop, water bottle, etc.!?
Lamson Remix Review Features & Specs
In my review of the Lamson Remix Fly Reel, the biggest questions needing answering were weight, warranty, sound, reel handle, Drag/Drag knob, retrieval rate, spools, ergonomics, build quality, finish quality, and available colors/configurations.
Then, of course, there’s the cost. Here’s what I found:
- This particular reel, the -5+ covers line sizes 4-6. The physical weight of the reel is 4.54oz, lighter than the other brands in the corresponding size mentioned above. The -3+ comes in at 4.29 oz, the -7+ at 5.49 oz, and the -9+ at 7.07 oz.
- Available Weights: -3+ for 2-4wt lines, -5+ for 4-6wt, -7+ for 6-8wt, and -9+ for 8 to 10wt. Notice the overlap in the sizes covered by each reel. For instance, if you fish a 4wt line and 4wt rod, you can choose the smaller, lighter -3+ or go with a larger -5+ if you want a bigger reel with faster pickup.
Lamson extends a lifetime guarantee to the original owner of any reel. This covers workmanship or materials defects. This does not cover misuse, neglect, or any modification.
The Lamson Remix and all of the Lamson reels in my opinion, have a decent, tolerable sound. There are definitely some reels with an obnoxious sound or too loud of a click, but Lamson has never been bothersome to me.
These sounds are arbitrary and made by a small plastic cog and pin on the inside of the spool. I’ve had older Lamson reels that have broken the pin and now make no sound at all. To me, this is rather pleasant, a bit stealthier, and has no effect on the drag of the reel.
Many prefer to hear that audible click when reeling, however and love to hear the reel scream as a fish makes a hard run.
The reel handle on the Lamson Remix is a standard, straight plastic sleeve over a free-spinning metal pin. The Plastic is firm and I’ve never had any problem with a Lamson Handle.
This is not the most ergonomic handle out there. It works fine for sure but in brutal situations fighting big fish in far-flung places, I know folks who don’t trust plastic. For your everyday trout or bass reel, it’s going to perform just fine. I have never had a problem but it’s something to think about.
Drag Knob/Drag System
The drag system across the Lamson line is a decent one. It features Lamosn’s exclusive conical-shaped drag made from a Teflon/Delrin material. There isn’t a scenario in the trout, bass, and carp game where I worry about the drag. I even use it for light saltwater use.
Speaking of saltwater, this drag is completely sealed. No dirt, debris, or saltwater contamination will happen with this sealed drag. The reel itself is low maintenance and needs only the spool pulled out and rinsed from time to time. Lamson recommends not adding any grease or lubricants to the reel.
The drag knob is easy to grab and turn, from super light to super heavy settings. There’s a very consistent, even feel to the drag as you turn the drag knob up or down. It never seems to bite or release too hard too quickly.
The drag never has any “soft spots” either. Some reels, leaving the drag knob alone, will have a spot where the drag lets up as the line is being pulled out…by hand or a running fish. These “soft spots” cause trouble, line lash and knots, and lost fish. I’ve never had any soft spot develop on the Lamson Remix.
The Drag Knob
The dial does take a bit of turning to feel the drag lighten or stiffen, however. While some knobs turn/hit too quickly, the Remix is the opposite of that. It also has enough drag for most trout settings but doesn’t have the stopping power of other reels.
This isn’t a problem if you’re not relying solely on the drag system to hard-stop big, mean-running fish.
Left hand/right hand retrieve:
Lamsons come set up for left-hand reelers. Changing the retrieve, however, is pretty easy. As you’ll read below, popping out the spool is easy. Then, flipping the clutch is all that’s needed. The whole process takes all of 30 seconds.
*If you reel right-handed – DO NOT simply flip the reel. If you do, you’ll be pulling the line off the reel against the drag system and the fish will be pulling with no drag at all. It’ll be simply pulling against the lighter force meant for stripping the line off the reel.
One turn equals just under 8″ of line pickup. As stated above, it is a “large arbor” but there are bigger diameters with more pickup out there.
Changing spools is an absolute breeze. I’ve long been a fan of the Lamson tool-less spool system. there are no knobs to turn, no screws to twist, nothing to get lost in the grass or rocks of the riverbed.
Simply grab the back of the frame with your fingertips and press the spool down with your thumbs to pop it out.
Some don’t like how the spool pops out as the spool can easily drop onto rocks or into the water with a bit of velocity if you’re not ready for it. I usually do it while seated and let the spool fall in my lap. I’m a fan.
This system is easy to open for changing knots and changing spools with different lines, and the Remix spool also fits the Liquid Reel frame from Lamson.
The overall ergonomics feel decent with this reel. It’s not the most ergonomic but feels easy to handle and fairly natural in the reeling position. Again, the handle itself isn’t the most ergonomic, but it works and it’s what you’d expect from a reel in this price range.
The Remix reel is aptly named as it uses a mix of build processes.
First, the frame is a machined bar-stock quality aluminum which lends a rigid, lightweight, durable casing to the reel as a whole. The hard anodized finish resists scratches and chips, but not forever.
Second, the spool is a cast aluminum which is strong enough and also cost-effective. The blending of these two technologies is how Lamson is able to marry performance and price savings into one reel.
It’s a large arbor-type reel, although not the biggest you’ll find in its class. The large arbor helps with quick line pickup and the medium width, v-notched spool seems to lay line nicely. I don’t seem to ever see any biting or digging of the line…where an outer layer of line digs underneath a lower layer causing knots.
Finish & Durability
The cast aluminum of the spool isn’t the most durable in the world. It is a less expensive process. The reel casing, however, made of machined bar stock is much more rigid and adds great durability.]
The hard finish on the case resists wear but all reels will scratch over time and the material itself is rigid and keeps its shape and integrity intact over time.
When changing the spools, make sure to catch the spool and don’t let it hit the ground. If the machined spool gets dinged or warped, it won’t fit the casing well and may have a bit of wobble causing other problems.
The Remix, in all sizes (2-10wt), is available in “Glacier” – a bright silver frame with a light bluish/silver spool, or “Smoke” – a dark nickel-colored frame with a charcoal-colored spool. The two-tone look of the reel sets it apart from others and has a nice aesthetic.
The Remix is also available in a “3 Pack” – one full reel with two extra spools. This is super handy if you’re using the same rod with different lines for different situations OR for covering the spread. This means you can get one reel to use on multiple rods.
Say you need a reel for your 4, 5, and 6wt rods. You only have to buy the Remix 3 Pack to have a separate spool for the lines needed on each rod!
The Lamson Remix fly reel retails for $229, as does the entire lineup of Remix Reels. The three-pack option comes in at $299.
How The Lamson Remix Fly Reel Compares
Compared to the Sage Spectrum C and the TFO NTR, the Lamson Remix is a touch pricier. The cost is on par with the Redington Rise.
The Spectrum is a fully cast reel, the Redington Rise and TFO NTR are fully machined, and the Lamson Remix is a blend of both. Conventional wisdom says machined is better but the blend of the two works well for the price, strength, and versatility of the Remix.
Comparing drag force, the Remix is on the lower end with the Rise but the drag material is really tough and lasting. For your everyday trout and bass situations, this drag will get the job done just fine.
Lamson Remix Review: My Personal Thoughts
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Fully sealed drag housing
- Drag material is consistent and long-lasting
- The machined frame is rigid and won’t warp/twist
- Other reels have better stopping power
- At this price point, other companies offer fully machined reels
- The reel case is ridiculous for a reel costing over $200
The Lamson Remix has a great look and the fully sealed drag system is a big plus. The strong frame helping to protect the cast spool adds performance and rigidity.
The drag isn’t the strongest I’ve seen and the reel case is a bit of a joke, but the reel overall is a good performer at this price point. I have no worries about battling a trout, bass, or most freshwater fish on these reels.
FAQs About Lamson Remix Fly Reel
For many, getting more information and answers can raise even more questions. Here are the most common questions about the Lamson Remix.
Remix reels use parts manufactured in the US and overseas. The drag systems are US-made components and assembled in Lamson’s facility. Lamson’s higher-end reels consist of 100% US-made components.
Boise, Idaho, USA
Yes, the high-end reels have the same drag system as the lower-tier reels.
While both have the same drag system, the Liquid costs less because the entire reel is pressure-cast aluminum. The Remix has a cast spool but the frame is a stronger anodized machined aluminum.
In 1998, Waterworks acquired Lamson and merged their Force line of reels with the Lamson lineup.
The Remix reel, no matter what size, retails for $229. You can also get a Remix 3 Pack (a full reel and two extra spools) for $299.
The Remix is considered an entry or lower intermediate-level reel. It is near the bottom of the Lamson price range although not the lowest.
The HD version of the Remix is simply the same Remix reel with a more rigid, full-case frame for more protection and battling bigger fish.
After conducting a lengthy Lamson Remix fly fishing reel review, I’d say the Remix is set at the intersection of performance and value. While lower-end reels may save you money, they’ll sacrifice performance and build. With the Remix, you’re getting a solid, decently lightweight, good-looking reel at a fair price.
Although the reel case should be much better for a reel at this price point and the drag isn’t the strongest part of the reel, the Remix should be a definite contender for anyone looking for a trout, bass, or other freshwater reel that will last and not break the bank.
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