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Post 29 Nov 2020, 06:47 • #1 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
This is going to be a two-part story (wasn't intended that way), and with today's rain, have time to write the first part.

Made the switch to 20-lb braid on my Lew's Super Duty, and happy with the result for 1/4+-oz lures on my MM rod.
Have my Lew's Inshore in ML 1/8-oz niche, but wasn't at all happy with my braid result - the reel laid the braid slightly skewed to one side. Probably going to rescue that braid for another spool and switch the Inshore back to 12-lb fluoro - it was ready for line, the old fluoro was there since I bought the reel.
Here's the rod application, my 13Fishing Omen Green ML, really a jewel, freakishly light-in-hand, moderate Toray graphite.

Found an ebay vendor with discounted price on Lew's new shallow-spool SP - the reel is gorgeous, barely 6 oz with wear-treated alloy drive gears, and the slickest Lew's i've ever fondled.
Noteworthy, the weight is within 10 grams of high-dollar BFS reels from the big 3.

The only thing I don't like is the 8.3 gearing, which I improved for my fishing with a longer-pitch handle. (Avail titanium knob spindles further lightens from the already light stock handle).
My parts order from Japan Tackle (3-day DHL) included two sets of Hedgehog Kattobi BFS spool bearings for Lew's, which are half-price right now; the Avail handle, Avail knobs, and Avail handle nut keeper (already had the Avail knob caps, titanium handle nut, and plenty of 3x7 mm bearings).

The Air BFS bearings are freakishly light - micro stainless bearings kept in sized barstock housings.
Hedgehog says they're 50% lighter than stock bearings, but they're much lighter than that...
Hedgehog also shows these bearings are optimized for 1/8 oz.

The narrow and shallow spool is by far the lightest-weight Lew's has ever offered.
No significant effort to replace the palm-cap bearing.

I also learned the P2 pinion gear is held in alignment by the wind-side bearing, and that bearing can't be replaced without opening the gears - too much work for a new reel.
But this mass is not involved in the spool during casting (look at the spindle gap in the 3rd thumbnail below), and this winding-load-point is where you want a full-size bearing.

I did notice even the single bearing swap made a difference.
The stock spool would spin for 7 seconds, and just replacing one bearing with the Air BFS, the spool free-spin increased to 12 seconds.

But the 5x11-mm spool bearing, behind the pin...
A normal pin tool can't get to that pin, it's so small and close to the recessed bearing and spool rim, and the 32-mm spool diameter won't shoulder the normal pin tool.
Hedgehog states their pin tool won't work on Daiwa Air spools, and I'm guessing this design matches that.

After digging on youtubes, found Plat video on using the Daiwa SLP Works pin tool - the tool design has a really slick removable anvil that will reach just about anywhere.
So I went to Hedgehog to order the Daiwa tool (just shipped Fed-Ex last night).

I also saw the Lew's SP spool anodize is orange rather than gold, so also ordered the Avail nut retainer and knob caps in orange anodize. But this will get the reel finished out the way I want, and will post final results next time.

I mentioned on another thread, braid's tough to get in the US right now. Japan is doing better. My first Japan Tackle order also included my braid, YGK X-braid Upgrade. The line changes color every 10 m, and marked every meter. It's also freakishly thin even with a thick coating. The 22-lb test is PE (Gou number) 1, 0.17 mm (0.007") diameter.
The shallow spool capacity should accept the full 200 m, and still be a low-mass, low-inertia BFS spool.

Last edited by bulldog1935 on 05 Dec 2020, 07:21, edited 1 time in total.

Post 29 Nov 2020, 08:53 • #2 
Joined: 03/08/14
Posts: 225
Location: US-MO
Looks great, following and looking forward to the next follow up.

Post 29 Nov 2020, 11:11 • #3 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
My parts made it to Memphis early am - slated for Tuesday delivery, though should make it tomorrow.
My schedule is tenuous, but will have this finished up in a few days...

Should add that before springing for the new reel, talked with the good folks at Lew's parts & service about retrofitting the SP spool to another of my reels. A major question on all baitcast forums is how do you get a shallow spool onto a Lew's, and one that's sending a lot of buyers to Shimano.
I learned the spool design is specific to the SLP frame size and with P2 pinion, so definitely won't fit my larger LHS-frame reels or my SLP Inshore with the old style pinion. The other Lew's reel that meets this spec is the titanium-spool Custom Lite SLP, making SP the cost starting point.
They did send me a handful of 10-mm bearing retainer springs gratis, for the ones that got away.

I'll also add the knowledgeable parts guy agreed with me that workhorse Super Duty G (LFS frame) is Lew's best buy.
It was my first low-profile baitcaster, has served longer in the salt and out-fishes my Inshore, maybe except for that 1/8 oz niche.
The 60-mm-pitch Livre handle was my answer to the 8.3 gears in this reel.
While it normally stays mated with this 7' MM Crowder, I fished it first with braid at Arroyo on my 8-1/2' Lami MTC, and that combo fished 1/8 oz quite well.

Last edited by bulldog1935 on 07 Dec 2020, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.

Post 29 Nov 2020, 12:56 • #4 
Joined: 03/08/14
Posts: 225
Location: US-MO
I live an hour from the Lew's factory if you ever need a liaison, have been to their showroom and museum.

Post 01 Dec 2020, 12:55 • #5 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Hey, this worked out - jury duty was canceled today, and my Fed-Ex from Tokyo delivered in 2-1/2 days.

First off, here's the Daiwa tool - it's a beauty, with two anvils and pin-drivers set at two different heights. You use the flat side of the anvil to drive the pin up to the spindle, then rotate the anvil to the pin driver to finish it through the spindle.
Note, the pin is tapered, and made to drive out only one way.

The tool set to drive the pin out, and the tapered pin removed from the spindle (new Air bearing in place)

Driving the pin back in - you have to final position the pin, but the taper makes a pretty good bump stop

The final result

and my correct orange-anodize trim

I'm going to make a separate post on lining this thing -
- while a lot of people complain about starting their spools with mono and tying in braid, this is a perfect place for it, to fill the groove in the spool with the mono (25-lb fluorocarbon)

There are probably easier ways to do it, like simple arbor knot in the groove, but I used 3 of the holes through the spool to make my arbor knot inside.

So my 25-lb fluoro backing was coming straight out of the spool

My Allbright knot to the braid, and a series loading the braid
Should point out, I run my braid through a phone book with weight on top to keep it tensioned, and so I can walk away if I want a break

The 200-m braid spool would exactly top the shallow SP spool, but I left out the last 10 yds of purple, so I could finish with green.

I also like the camo effect, and the visibility of this tiny smooth braid

My Allbright knot to 20-lb shock tippet
Noteworthy, this is the densest, roundest braid and with hardest, smoothest coating of any I've seen.
You can't get much traction to spin the knot loops, and it tightens them quick and hard
and perfection loop to paper clip and lure

Post 01 Dec 2020, 19:39 • #6 
Joined: 03/08/14
Posts: 225
Location: US-MO
That tool is cool, how does the new bearing feel?

Post 02 Dec 2020, 18:31 • #7 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Super light, super free-spinning. It didn't improve on my 12-s free spin - matched it - but that alone almost doubles the stock free spin.
Also consider the spool lost more than half of the bearing mass, which lowered the spool inertia, making it not want to keep spinning. So with the inertia/mass loss and the same spin time, it says the bearing improved the spool spin.
Lowering spool inertia is the whole point here - most backlash occurs from the jerk of starting the spool - it takes greater force to start the spool than to keep it spinning.
Less spool + line mass, slicker-starting bearing, means those two forces are closer together, giving you better backlash control on light lures.

I can't first cast until the weather improves, but have loved the tinkering. I'm also really impressed with the line. The density and smoothness must make it come off the spool easier than any other line I've ever touched. Unlike other braids, you can't tell there's a braid texture.
Sufix 832 in this same diameter is 10-lb test, and this line is 22-lb. Plus, the surface is notably smoother, and even the surface coating seems tougher.

edit with first cast result
the weather man was wrong predicting rain today - clear and sunny - got in my first casts with my target 1/8 oz lure.

It zings - 150' easy - farther than I need to fish. I was able to use end tension on the light side, and as light as my loaded spool is, there's a wide difference between one click on the end-tension adjustment.

The ACB centrifugal brake adjustment needed to be just in the orange zone - when I backed it out to about 4, was fighting minor backlash.
6-1/2 to 7 was perfect on the setting, and should be very reliable fishing. There, it cast virtually without thumb - my spool stop is an involuntary reflex action, and I used a little braking thumb to modulate cast distance. I have room to spare on the ACB if I want to try lighter lures.
My other target lure would be a 3/16-oz Pins minnow, but don't need to throw a double-treble plug in the grass.

Tom asked me about the ACB centrifugal brake, and I have been negligent not showing that side of the spool.

The centrifugal brake race is the anodized ring in the palm plate
The black annular ring outside the bearing is the cam face and moves in y- when you turn the knob.
The shoes - sorry, had to use the LED light - are each on a lightly sprung bellcrank, and the springs normally relax them.
When the cam plate pushes in in on the plunger, it moves the brake shoe toward the push into the palm plate race.
And yes, I took a duster to the ACB after I saw this macro.

Noteworthy, my Custom Inshore and Tournament Pro have the same mechanism, but the parts are metal on the Custom Inshore.
Especially the light plastic plate containing the ACB shoes on the spool helps to lighten this spool and keep inertia low.

Last edited by bulldog1935 on 04 Dec 2020, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.

Post 02 Dec 2020, 21:17 • #8 
Joined: 03/08/14
Posts: 225
Location: US-MO
WOW Very impressive and you called accused me of Gunga Din!!! Love all your pimping on your reels!

Post 08 Dec 2020, 07:14 • #9 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I really like this reel. My Super Duty was my favorite Lew's, and this reel So Out-Casts it.
I have the reel weight down below 6 oz, and on the light Omen rod, it's a fish all-day combo.
I'm going to have fun with it.


I wrote this pm to a friend on TKF to answer his question about how I could get away with casting 20-lb braid on my Super Duty.
Took me 3 days and 3 tries to percolate it into lucidity - gave up the first 2 - and it's good information to re-post here:

I can use the SuperDuty with 20-lb braid because the new bearings improve start-up inertia, where SuperDuty has its lowest backlash defense (no centrifugal brake).

I can use the shallow-spool SP with even lighter braid because the spool inertia is incredibly low, helping to defend against all 3 types of backlash (farther below), and it has a good centrifugal brake.

Casting is a ballistic shot - the fastest thing that happens is the lure at your rod tip, and the lure slows from there to landing.

Inertia of the spool is its resistance to change. It takes more force to start the spool spinning than it does to keep it spinning, and that causes instant spool overshoot. Inertia also causes the spool to want to keep spinning once it gets going. Lowering the mass of the spool + line lowers the spool inertia. Efficient bearings lower the spool start-up inertia.

The 3 types of backlash include start-up overshoot, described above. The 2nd backlash point occurs as your ballistic shot is approaching its max elevation - mid cast - gravity is slowing down the lure, and you'll sometimes see this backlash self-correct as the lure crosses the hump with gravity speeding it back up a bit. This is also the point your backlash is most affected by wind. Mag brakes are your best defense here, and Super Duty shines for long casts with affecting wind.

The 3rd backlash is simple - the lure stops, the spool needs to, also.

We have four types of brakes - spindle end tension is a constant load, and can defend against all 3 backlashes, but also with the shortest-possible cast.
Thumb control is a load we modulate.
Centrifugal brakes are best for controlling start-up backlash, and this is important with light lures.
Mag brake is best for mid-cast backlash and wind backlash, and that's where SuperDuty shines, especially with long casts.


Thought I'd show this, also.
This is my Lew's Tournament Pro, which got my second pair of Air BFS bearings - along with that, made the switch to 20-lb braid (Sufix 832, which I've fished on my Lew's Super Duty), and this reel is a cast champ, also with a deep spool (120-yd 12-lb mono).
It comes in a bit over 6 oz with the larger LFS frame, has the same plastic centrifugal brake as my newer shallow-spool SP.

I kept the line mass down a bit by backing the spool with 25-lb mono (25 yds). The shape of the spool makes a narrow U, and I think that makes it stack the backing better than the almost square section on my Custom Inshore spool with the same capacity in the smaller SLP frame.
From this line calculator, I loaded about 180 yds 0.23 mm braid.

Similar to my longer experience with braid on spinning reels, aside from the slightly longer and easier-effort casts, what I like best about braid is the complete absence of line memory.
With braid casting experience, I'm fairly confident I can dial out all backlash on these reels.

The reel is stock except the knobs are the ebay "similar to Ray's Studio" that came from Ukraine. Not an Avail handle, but also a cheap mod to get knobs I prefer, and I like the match of the knob trim caps. 7.5 gears fit my fishing with the stock 95 mm handle.
It will continue in my back-up inshore niche.

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