Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Top Fly Box - Lamson Konic Fly Reel

Lamson Konic Fly Reel
Lamson Konic Fly Reel
Manufacturer: Waterworks/Lamson
MSRP: $139.95
Purchased From:  Ebay
*Assembled in Boise, Idaho
Highly Recommended Product

Top Product Review
Joe Cornwall posted an article a few months back called It's Lonely On The Bottom - Eagle Claw's Featherweight Fly Rod ReviewedIn the article Joe touches on how nutty fly fishing has become with a "mid-priced" rod ringing up at $300?  I'll be honest, I can't afford to spend $300 on a rod or a reel!  Recently I spent $75 on fly line this year and felt ill when I hit the Buy it Now button.  My biggest beef with fly fishing is the snobbery.  I know a guy that pulls an enclosed trailer full of gear to the river for an evening of fishing....a dedicated fly fishing trailer?  It's safe to say Mr. Trailer Fly Fisherman would never own a Lamson Konic reel simply because of the price point.  Let's look at the features of this reel and praise the fact that a company still makes such a practical reel for such a fair price.

I want to start by questioning the need for an expensive fly reel in the first place.  So far I have not seen a fish take me down to my backing.  I'd loved to tell all of you I can cast down to my backing, but that would be a lie.  Occasionally you latch into a carp or catfish that will buzz off some line, but to my knowledge my reel has only held line - nothing more.  So, if all the reel does is hold line then why does it have to be manufactured with specs similar to a lunar lander or a Formula 1 race car?  In my opinion it really doesn't.

Ross Reel Company has made a great product for years.  I'd love to support them because of the Made in the USA standards, but my budget won't allow it.  The Lamson Konic is a working mans Ross. The Konic has a super-smooth, fully sealed conical drag system and stainless roller clutch used in more expensive reels.  The frame and spool are comprised of both machined components and pressure cast ALDC12 aluminum alloy giving it plenty of strength. The reel and spools are anodized then finished with a 100% solid polyurethane coating to resist gouging and abrasion.  If you can afford a Ross then by all means go for it, but personally I'll settle for 2-3 Konics for the same dough!

I'll touch on the large arbor feature of this reel.  All I hear is how much better large arbor reels are over the "old standard."  Well, many of you know that my rod collection is mainly vintage fiberglass and click and pawl reels.  It's hard to beat a Browning Silaflex and Browning Arms reel or a Fenwick Feralite/Pflueger 1495 setup.  Those reels have served fisherman for decades BEFORE fishing became another place to dump serious cash.  Focus on if the reel balances the rod rather than the size of the arbor.

At some point we all need to realize that the end game is to fish, not collect high dollar gear to show our pals.  As they say in Alaska, "Shut up and Fish!"  Grab a Lamson Konic reel next time you are at your local fly shop or online and you'll be impressed.

Here is a sizing chart from the Lamson Website:

KONIC 1.5 3.10" 1.00" 4.40 oz 3,4 WF4 100 yds 12# $119 $60
KONIC 2 3.40" 1.10" 4.70 oz 5,6 WF 6 100 yds 20# $129 $65
KONIC 3.5 3.70" 1.22" 6.10 oz 7,8 WF8 200 yds 20# $139 $70
KONIC 4 3.90" 1.25" 6.80 oz 9,10 WF10 240 yds 30# $149 $75

*The Lamson Konis has components that are made overseas, but the reel is assembled in Boise, Idaho.


  1. Doug- I agree with your comments. I'll go one better, on a retired Principal's income, I'm looking at $30 reels. And like you said, they hold line very well. I guess my quarry is down sized. Haven't had one on yet that I needed a drag, but I don't fish fast rivers. Maybe on Chequamegon Bay ?????????
    uncle Dick

  2. I just wrote a similar snippet on my blog. Simple and cheap are good and usually catch just as many if not more fish.