BY BILLY EGAN, WON BASS TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
Lew’s new SuperDuty 300 Speed Spool Series baitcast reel is a supersized version of the original SuperDuty, with increased line capacity and greater strength. It has a 1-piece aluminum frame and handle sideplate and a carbon fiber drag system that dishes out 24 pounds of drag pressure, and is available in several models from the SD3H to the SD3SHLJ. Each model weighs approximately 9 ounces and the spool holds 190 yards of 14-pound mono. Line pick-up ranges from 31 to 35 inches per crank depending on the model.
The SuperDuty 300 Speed Spool Series baitcast reels caught our attention at the WON BASS California Open, where Lew’s awarded reels to the anglers who caught the heaviest bass each day.
Use: WON BASS asked Lew’s for a demo model and they delivered an SD3H with a 6.5:1 gear ratio. I put it through its paces at Clear Lake, matching it first to a Phenix X-14T crankbait rod I use for throwing Alabama rigs on 30-pound mono. My Alabama rigs are not typical, they have 8 wire arms, 10 blades and as many teasers.
I was curious how the SuperDuty 300 would handle it. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of dialing in the cast control. Casting was smooth with no backlash issues. This is an easy reel to use right out of the box. I caught several fish and discovered the drag itself is good but the ping, ping, ping of the drag out alarm caught me off guard the first time a fish pulled line. It took some getting used to.
Next I put the SuperDuty 300 on a 9-foot swimbait rod and threw 4- to 6-ounce baits on 20-pound fluoro, one of my favorite techniques. The reel handled well but didn’t have quite the spool capacity I look for when casting these heavy swimbaits on a long rod, but I found the Lew’s SuperDuty 300 perfectly handles throwing six- to 8-inch soft swimbaits on an 8-foot swimbait rod.
Bottom line: Our tester Lew’s SuperDuty 300 Speed Spool Series baitcast reel was bulletproof for throwing heavy Alabama rigs and 6- to 8-inch soft plastic swimbaits. It is smooth and the castability is awesome. This is a well thought out and excellently produced reel that has earned a place in my quiver.