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Reel Review


Compact and Strong: The Lew's Super Duty SD1H Baitcaster (continued)

Brakes: Other than the spool tension knob located by the handle, the SD1H Super Duty uses the Magnetic Control System or “MCS” for short. This external control dial is located on the outer side plate and allows for easy adjustment. While the spool tension knob helps slow your spool at the end of a cast, the MCS controls spool tension as the lure flies towards it's target, making it very useful for preventing backlashes while casting into the wind. For average conditions and baits, once I set my spool tension knob I often set the MCS to anywhere between a 0 to 3 setting.


The anodized aluminum deep spool features a braided line connection hole

Performance Ratings for Lew's Super Duty SD1H

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
4
4
5
20
25
8.0

 


You'll find a bearing on each end of the worm shaft

Features: Notable features on the Lew's SD1H include a swept and ported handle and drag star, large paddle grips, 11+1 ball bearings, external magnetic cast control dial, and all the “clickies” you'd expect to find on a quality reel. There is no included reel oil or cover.


The gear box protrudes a bit but never bothered me in the least

Features Ratings for Lew's Super Duty SD1H

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Level wind. Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
2
2
3
1
1
11
14
7.85


The handle knobs are thin compared to other reels

Design and Ergonomics: The entire body of the reel is done in a matte soft-touch armor finish. It not only looks stealthy, but feels very soft and pleasant to hold all day long. The compact body of the reel makes it easy to palm without a hint of discomfort. It's a bit heavy overall at 8 ounces, but is still in the ball park of other reels on the market.


Getting a precise handle measurement at TT HQ

 The bearing-supported handle knobs resemble ping pong paddles in shape. They are nice and wide in diameter, but their thickness is on the thin side. It took me awhile to get used to their feel, but I quickly became familiar with them. Sure they are comfortable enough, but I'd still prefer a bit chunkier handle with some texture for a more positive grip.


Unscrew the long bolt across the reel for easy access to the side plate

Design and Ergonomics Ratings for Lew's Super Duty SD1H

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
3
5
3
4
20
25
8.0


The brass pinion gear

Application Ratings for Lew's Super Duty SD1H

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
2
3
4
19
25
7.6

 


The titanium coated line guide is ready for braid

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Lew's Super Duty SD1H Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Nice fit and finish overall. The reel looks and feels nice. 9.0
Performance The reel performed great with the exception of the unrefined drag performance at the highest settings. 8.0
Price Competitively priced 8.5
Features Nothing crazy but solid features that all work well 7.85
Design (Ergonomics) I like the big handle and small, easy to palm body 8.0
Application A nice reel for most average and larger baits. Not JUST a heavy duty reel! 7.6

Total Score

8.15
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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Nice casting performance - Unrefined drag at high settings
+ Large handle and knobs - No bundled oil or cover
+ Compact Size  
+ Easy to use external brakes  
+ Affordable  



The Super Duty doesn't even break a sweat on small Stripers, although yours truly sure did in the unexpected heat!

Conclusion: My first experience with a Lew's reel has proven to be a positive one. The Super Duty SD1H is a fine product at an affordable price from a manufacturer that's been in the game a very long time. While casting reels with deep spools are not so common these days, they definitely deserve a place in the arsenal of some anglers. The extra bit of line capacity is great for long distance casts and chasing bigger fish that will actually take some line, unlike most bass! Combine that with the other features this reel possesses and it all equals one strong little package. If you've been a diehard Shimano or Daiwa guy or gal that's looking for something different, give this reel a shot!

 

Looking for the Lew's Super Duty Reels? Try Tackle Warehouse.

 

 

 

 

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