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Reel Review


Lew's Takes It To The Next Level : Pro-Ti SLP Baitcaster (continued)

Retrieve: Another character of a successful flagship reel is how smoothly it performs once you click that handle over to re-engage the gears and get that spool turning. The Pro-Ti SLP features an aluminum alloy main gear cut on a Hamai CNC machine. Hamai is one of the leading manufacturers of CNC milling machines in the world renowned for the precision of their tooling.

Time to take a look inside

The Pro-Ti SLP's precision cut main gear provides a very smooth performance and that aluminum frame together with the aluminum sideplates provide a solid platform within which the reel's guts can safely, securely operate free from flex and other mitigating factors.

The reel's main gear is aluminum

Power: Lew's offers the Pro-Ti SLP in only one retrieve ratio, 7.5:1 and delivers this speedy retrieve on a good sized gear (40mm diameter) that delivers sufficient power through a 95 millimeter, swept carbon handle. While this is not a reel I'd rely upon for a full day of pulling deep diving cranks or medium to large swimbaits, it is perfectly capable of just about everything else. If there was a slower speed version of this reel with the same sized gear, I'd absolutely use it for deep cranking.

The drag stack is a mix of carbon and metal washers

Drag: Rated at up to twenty pounds (20lbs) of pressure, the Pro-Ti SLP drag stack consists of a traditional mix of carbon and metal washers that deliver smooth and consistent performance. It's pretty rare these days to come across a reel with a drag at this price range that pauses unnaturally during use, and this flagship product from Lew's is not about to go down that path.

The spool tension knob's face features a dial you can set to help you remember what kind of line you have spooled on the reel

Design & Ergonomics: The "SLP" in the Pro-Ti's name stands for Super Low Profile. It's a designation Lew's began back in 2014 with the introduction of their ICAST Best Freshwater Reel award winning Custom Pro. True to this label, the Pro-Ti sits very low on the reel seat providing a very comfortable profile to palm. The reel comes with a micro-click adjustable drag, spool tension knob, and casting brake dial. The spool tension knob features a dial within its face to help you set and remember what pound test fishing line you spooled onto the reel.

That funky piece of metal extending from the inside face of the reel is a discreet hook keeper. You can fold it out as shown to stow your baits, and fold it back when not in use

There are two bearings under each knob

Additionally, the reel has a little lever nestled on the inside of the handle sideplate that you can flip over to use as a bait keeper. It's not something I use because I prefer my baits and their hooks to be in plain sight when stowed. Hooking them to the underside of the reel or back in the exposed blank portion of the fishing rod's rear grip is a sure way for me to hook myself when grabbing a combo to use. This is just me. I can certainly appreciate Lew's forethought on this feature.

The Pro-Ti SLP features two bearings per knob, two bearings under the levelwind, but no secondary bearing on the frame for the pinion gear

The one thing I did not entirely enjoy were the reel's knobs. Lew's makes use of Winn Grip material which is fine, but the shape of the knobs is what did not entirely resonate with me.

I like the diameter of the very inside of each knob and this is where I found myself gripping the handle, but I'm not a fan of that outward taper on the knobs. I know the purpose of this design is to keep your fingers from sliding off the ends, but they make the handle feel too big and bulky for my taste.

I like the Winn Grip material used for the knob, but the knob's shape did not resonate with me

Price & Applications: Lew's Pro-Ti SLP comes with a retail price tag of $349.99 nestling it safely within true flagship model status. It's a reel you can rely upon for both vertical and horizontal bait presentations with the ability to get down to at least a quarter ounce in lure weight. Provided you have the right line spooled on the reel and the right rod to take advantage of the Pro-Ti SLP's free spinning spool of course.

Lew's Pro-Ti SLP comes with a retail price tag of $349.99


Lew's Pro-Ti SLP Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A beautifully crafted piece of machinery 9
Performance Excellent caster with a very smooth retrieve 9
Price Lew's priciest reel to date but not so outrageous for a flagship model 7.5
Features All the clickies you need, carbon handle, bearing supported knobs, line weight reminder, hook keeper, centrifugal brakes 8
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to palm, light... but not a fan of the knobs 7.5
Application A good, multi-application choice in reels 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Nice, compact profile - Not a fan of the knobs
+ Light - Non handle sideplate detaches entirely
+ Long, stock handle - Only one available retrieve ratio
+ Easy casting performance  
+ Very smooth retrieve  

Lew's Pro-Ti SLP casting reel has earned this Editor's Choice Award

Conclusion: It is safe to say that Lew's Pro-Ti SLP casting reel is very worthy of its place atop the manufacturer's pyramid of casting reel products. It is light, comfortable to palm, a very good caster, smooth on the retrieve and has all the bells and whistles you could want in a casting reel including one or two features not found on the competition's product. It is also finished in a tasteful manner highlighted with a color that is often associated with royalty, wealth, and power. Lew's Pro-Ti SLP casting reel has earned this Editor's Choice Award.


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