Lew’s Mach 1 Reel Review


Lew’s is one of the premier brands in today’s fishing industry as a company that’s known for making outstanding quality baitcasting reels. Their products are often among the most popular choices by many anglers and the company has an impressive lineup of spinning and baitcasting reels of all shapes and sizes. The Lew’s Mach 1 Reel is designed to be an all-purpose workhorse of a reel that is capable of delivering great performance for a wide range of lures and rigs. 

It boasts a number of solid features and comes in as a high-speed reel that is great for burning lures through the water or quickly reeling in a lot of slack in your line during your retrieve. The Mach 1 also features a very powerful gear system that is more than enough to handle various freshwater species like largemouth bass, walleye, and many others. The reel is not very lightweight and can actually feel a bit heavier than some of the other brands’ products that are of similar profile and performance. 

This reel is one that nearly any caliber of angler can rely on – from novice to professional. It packs in a wide range of good features into an all-around affordable and capable reel.  In this article, I will take a closer look at the Mach 1 and its many features to explain how its features and high-performance can benefit you as an angler. 

Bestseller No. 1
Lew's Mach I Baitcast SLP 7.5:1 Right Hand Baitcast Reel
  • Lew's Mach 1 speed spool: Baitcast reel features a 1-piece lightweight SLP graphite frame and side...
  • Zero reverse: Reel features premium 8 bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings...
  • Speed gears: Baitcasting reel features high strength solid brass speed gears, cut on precision Hamai...

Quantitative Scoring

Performance: 5/5 ✰✰✰✰✰

Durability: 4/5 ✰✰✰✰

Value for Money: 3/5 ✰✰✰

Overall: 4/5 ✰✰✰✰

Lew’s Mach 1 Overview 

The Lew’s Mach 1 offers plenty of reasons for the average angler to be impressed and to take a second look at it. The price point is in the range that most serious anglers can afford and are willing to pay and the reel itself provides some highly sought-after performance capabilities that tournament anglers demand in today’s fishing industry. 

The reel is made to be a high-speed burner that offers a 7.1:1 gear ratio. This ratio is considered very fast and is perfect for using lures that require anglers to pop them or jerk them across the surface or through the water to get a strike. This gear system is very well-made and gives you plenty of pull that actually ends up being a nice combination of speed and power that most reels today have trouble replicating. 

The Mach 1 also offers a 9+1 ball bearing system that is silky smooth in both casting and retrieval, as well as when you’re cranking in any fish that happens to bite. We’ll go into more detail about this bearing system later on, but it is one of the most smooth baitcasting reels that Lew’s has produced in recent years. 

You might also be intrigued to learn that the Lew’s Mach 1 is also relatively lightweight compared to most other models that are of similar size and capability. Lew’s is able to achieve this somewhat lightweight status thanks to its use of a one-piece graphite frame for the reel’s housing. This frame is extremely lightweight and cuts down significantly on the overall weight of 7.5 ounces, which would otherwise be quite a bit heavier if it were equipped with something like an aluminum frame. 

The Mach 1 is also made with a magnetic braking system that helps to prevent the dreaded backlash, which is all-too-common with many of the reels made in the last decade. It features a distinctive white and lime green color pattern that some anglers might not be fond of, but certainly makes it stand out from all the other reels that are made with the standard black color profile. 

Construction Material 

Taking a look at the reel’s housing, we can see that it is obviously made of a graphite composite material that is designed to alleviate much of the extra weight this reel might have with a heavier type of material. The fact that the housing is made of one solid piece of this material does help to add to the overall durability to a small degree, but there are some obvious concerns with just how tough this reel truly is. 

It offers side plates that are also made of the same graphite material. This type of graphite housing and plates do give the reel a much more comfortable feel and Lew’s makes up for any lack of durability in the construction material of the Mach 1 with its actual on-the-water performance, which is lightning fast and quite powerful. 

Bearing System 

As most anglers know, a reel’s ball bearing system can either make or break their overall impression of the product. If it is a clunky reel that tends to grind instead of seamlessly collecting line onto the spool, you can bet that competitive anglers won’t have much use for it. The ball bearings in the Mach 1 aren’t exceptionally well-made, but the 10-bearing system’s overall design helps to alleviate a significant amount of friction. 

This bearing system features 9 bearings that are stainless steel, double-shielded ball bearings. This means the bearings won’t be easily worn down over the course of a few seasons thanks to the hardened exterior of the stainless steel material that’s used to create this system. It’s built for an incredibly smooth performance and this is one of the first things you’ll probably notice if you have one of these reels in your hands. 

The Mach 1 offers a Zero-Reverse one-way clutch bearing that helps to guard against the reel backing up on your and spooling extra line out when you’re trying to fight a fish. The bearing system helps to add to the high-speed performance of the Mach 1 by letting anglers quickly and effortlessly wind up a significant amount of line, or crank a plug through the water at a much faster rate when fish are looking to chase down those fast-moving crankbaits in the early spring or summer. 

Gear System 

Lew’s has always been a brand that prides itself on producing reels that give you an exceptionally well-made gearing system. This reel is no exception as it features Lew’s specially-designed Speed Gears system that is made to perform much like their other power-driven reels while still making it possible for the angler to have incredible speed when they crank the handle. 

These Speed Gears are made of high-strength solid brass material, which might not seem like they’re as precisely cut as other material, but the company made some extra effort in having them produced on Hamai CNC machines. This helps to greatly reduce the amount of play the reel might have and offer a gear system that fits like a glove. The precision gears also work to increase the sensitivity of the reel as it lets you feel those subtle bites more easily when there is reduced space in between the teeth. 

Multi-Setting Brake System 

One of the more talked about features of the Lew’s Mach 1 reel is its Multi-Setting Brake system. This system is specially designed to help slow the overall speed of the spool after you’ve made your cast. This braking system is unlike most others on the market today for a few reasons. It allows anglers to adjust the sensitivity of the braking mechanism on the fly to help you get just the right level of braking for your own personal preference. This braking system is both externally and internally adjustable thanks to its centrifugal braking design. 

The braking system does help to greatly reduce the amount of backlash you’ll get with this reel as the spool is slowed down quite a bit towards the end of your cast, just before the lure hits the water. Many anglers are well-aware of the frustration and time-consuming nature of getting a giant bird’s nest in your reel and this mechanism is made to nearly eliminate that potential for most people. 

Other Notable Features 

The Lew’s Mach 1 is full of impressive features that make it feel and perform much like a premium-quality reel that might cost twice as much as the Mach 1 does. It features a machine forged double anodized aluminum 32 mm spool that offers a U-shape design. This spool is made to give the Mach 1 an incredible amount of balance as you are retrieving the line so that the line itself is collected evenly across the spool instead of bunched up on one end. The reel also features a specialized line guide that helps to properly spool the line onto your reel. 

Another great feature that might not get as much attention is the handle, which is made of bowed anodized aluminum with Combat Grips knobs. The handle is extremely tough and helps you get a bit more leverage when you’re fighting monster bass or giant walleye that might pull against the reel with a great amount of force. The Mach 1’s Rulon drag system helps to add a good amount of power to the overall performance so that you’ll be able to confidently go after larger-sized fish. 

Most other types of baitcasting reels require you to fully take it apart in order to add the necessary amount of lubricant to the internal components. The Mach 1 features a Speed Lube system that allows you to apply the lube in a fast and easy method that cuts down on the complications that can come with taking the reel apart. If you’re a serious competitive angler, you’re already aware of the importance of properly lubricating your reel before use and the Speed Lube system makes it easy to do that. 

Bestseller No. 1
Lew's Mach I Baitcast SLP 7.5:1 Right Hand Baitcast Reel
  • Lew's Mach 1 speed spool: Baitcast reel features a 1-piece lightweight SLP graphite frame and side...
  • Zero reverse: Reel features premium 8 bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings...
  • Speed gears: Baitcasting reel features high strength solid brass speed gears, cut on precision Hamai...


  • Offers very similar performance to the Mach II at a lower price
  • Air knots are extremely rare with this braking system
  • Extremely durable, high performing baitcaster


  • Not as comfortable grips as the Mach II


The Lew’s Mach 1 Reel comes in two models – left and right handed. Let’s have a look at their specifications:


Lew’s Mach I vs Mach II

When I conduct a review like this I always like to compare it to a similar alternative. In this case the obvious comparison is looking at Lew’s other option in the Mach II. These two reels are extremely similar but do have some differences.

They both have the same retrieve rate, gear ratio, and max drag. There is a difference in the braking system that does give the Mach 2 a slightly different feel when dragging. The Mach I actually has a higher line capacity of 140 yards / 12 lbs mono compared to the Mach 2 at 110 yards of 12 lbs.

The Mach II also comes with more comfortable, oversized Winn Dri Tac knobs.

Have a look at a comparison of their specifications below:

SpecificationsMach 1Mach 2
Ball Bearings7+19+1
Gear Ratio7.5:17.5:1
Retrieve Rate30 inches30 inches
Weight7.3 oz7.2 oz
Max Drag15 lb15 lb


This reel certainly lives up to its Mach 1 namesake as it is one of the fastest models that Lew’s has produced in recent years. It’s available for a very reasonable price that most anglers will clearly see the value in compared to other models and brands. The reel is ideal for using in certain scenarios like flipping, pitching, or with topwater lures. It’s arguably the best model reel in the fishing industry today that’s available at this specific price point. 

Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Photo of author

Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler and writer whose work has been featured in magazines for nearly a decade. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, The Outdoor Trip, Man Can Outdoors, Global Fishing Reports, and Bassmaster.