First of all, if you haven’t heard of Waterworks / Lamson Reels, you need to! Not your typical fly fishing company, Lamson is a design group with roots in the bicycle industry. Long story short, they invent, design, and manufacture some of the best reels on the market.
Want to skip right ahead to the main selling point on any Lamson reel? Why not! The conical drag is really what these reels are all about. Most drag systems are made from circular discs, but with all Lamson reels, the drag system is made with precisely engineered cones. What this translates to: more drag surface area in a smaller space that can be fully sealed. These reels require no maintenance ever, and they don’t wear out or lose their drag properties over the years. That equals a completely reliable reel that you’re going to have and use forever.
So now, for the Konic specifically. This is the least expensive Lamson reel but it features the exact same drag system as the more expensive models. It’s a light-weight, large-arbor, machined aluminum reel for a super good price.
I personally own two of these reels (size 2 and size 4) and I absolutely love them both. I use the 4 on my switch rod with a skagit line and tip, and I use the 2 on my 5-weight with a 110ft shooting head line. That gives me plenty of backing capacity even with the longer line. I love the drag system these reels have. There is virtually no start-up friction so when the drag initiates it gives even pressure right away. You can bounce these things off rocks (which I have done), toss them in the boat, abuse them with hefty fish after hefty fish and they go as strong as ever. The drag is delicate enough for fishing fine tippets for trout but strong enough for bringing in winter steelhead on coastal rivers. The large arbor is amazing for backing capacity and it brings in line really quickly when you need it to.
And, for the price, how can you honestly resist. Less than $160 even for the largest model. Right now though, Fishwest has the Lamson Konic starting at $99.95. That’s a deal that’s too sweet to pass up!