Feb 14, 2014

Lamson ARX 4+ Spey Reel

Lamson Arx 4+

A quality spey reel for your spey fishing consideration.

Waterworks/Lamson has been making high-quality reels in Idaho for over a decade. Their famous and effective conical teflon drag system has been the cornerstone of their line of reels since the beginning. When people come into the shop looking for a reel, here are a few reasons why I recommend a Lamson.

  • Made in the USA. Even better, they are made in Idaho by people that live and breathe fly-fishing. Waterworks/Lamson is a great company with great customer service.
  • One word: workhorse. I have many, many Lamson reels; most of which are 10-12 years old. Each of them has hundreds or even thousands of hours of use. Looking back, all of the big big fish I have ever caught were caught on Lamson's… and I have never had to send one reel in for repair or service. 
  • Speaking of that, their drag system is extremely reliable. I have never had to fidget with it when casting or adjust it when fighting a fish. I am sure that most of us have hooked a fish on an inferior reel and immediately panicked, tweaking the drag in a desperate attempt to get the fish under control. This is not a problem with a Lamson.
  • Lamson offers a wide range of reels at different price points without compromising quality. Besides the Konic II which is pressure cast, all of their reels are fully machined from high-quality barstock aluminum. 
The new ARX 4+ is a high quality reel that takes what Lamson does best to the next level.

Here is what Lamson has to say about it:

ARX 4+ Spey Reel

"Arx is a reel built with purpose; Spey or switch casting a variety of lines with maximum line control and reliability. The continuing evolution of Spey and Scandi lines, shooting heads, flat mono, etc. demand a reel that can help prevent line snags while retaining the high performance you’ve come to expect from Waterworks Lamson. Arx has a full cage frame that encapsulates the spool to prevent line from escaping or snagging in critical areas. Normally a configuration like this would do a good job at preventing line fouling, but would preclude palming the reel. Arx is carefully milled on the bottom third of the reel to expose a functional palming section. Even the drag knob has been designed to provide optimal grip without exposing a portion of the reel to line fouling."

Format: Large Arbor
Materials: Machined 6061 Aluminum, stainless steel
Finish: Hard Alox

This reel is truly built for the spey-fisherman in mind. I love the full frame. I have used a few reels that allow line to (especially smaller diameter mono running lines) to slip through the gap between frame and spool. This has been eliminated with a full frame and I have never been happier about it. Many other full frame reels are a little awkward when you palm the spool because the pressure from your hand has to slow the reel down; but the frame generally gets in the way on most of these reels. Because the ARX’s frame has been milled down on the bottom, it is very easy to get some leverage on the spool while keeping your hand in a comfortable position.

I took this out for a weekend on the Oregon Coast and a few mornings on the Hood River paired with a 7126 Sage Method with a 550 Skagit Max Short. While I had no love from any chrome steelhead, I was impressed with how smooth it takes line off the reel, and how the line tension remains steady. It takes minimal start-up inertia to get the reel moving. All of the features I have come to love and expect from a Lamson shine with this reel. I have a purpose for my tax refund now…


Elegance. Durability. Functionality.  The ARX 4+, a Spey Fishermen Reel

At $499 for the ARX 4+, this reel has the right combination of elegance, durability and functionality for most spey fishermen, and should be a top choice for anyone looking for a top-end reel for their spey rod without breaking the bank.


Andrew Perrault
Gorge Fly Shop

"Fly Fish the World with Us"
What is Spey?


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