Waterworks-Lamson Guru Reel Review

Waterworks-Lamson Guru Reel Review

I’d like to preface this review by saying this – if you’re looking for a reel that is both reliable and affordable, look no further.  I own 3 of these reels and I can’t say enough about how much I like them.

The Guru is Lamson’s lowest priced fully machined reel.  Fully machined reels are not only more durable than pressure-cast reels, they are also lighter.  Like all of Lamson’s machined reels, the Guru and all of it’s components are made in the USA in Boise, Idaho.

Lamson Guru Reels

Right out of the box, the Guru is an impressive reel.  A fully sealed drag keeps sand, water, and everything else out of the reel.  I’m not exactly gentle with my gear, and  I have had my reel dunked in water, sand, snow, and any other element that could make a drag fail, but I have yet to see the Guru’s drag system perform anything by flawlessly.  Even though the drag is really the most important part of the reel, let’s face it – looks matter! The Guru has a type-2 anodized finish meaning that over time you won’t see your reel looking like it’s taken much abuse.  The silver-nickel color is low profile and clean and doesn’t take on many scratches or dirt over time because of the anodized finish.

The Guru stopped this fatty dead in his tracks!

On top of the sealed drag, anodized finish, and durability the Guru is a true large arbor reel.  This means you have the capacity for more backing on a reel that might be used for larger species such as bonefish, redfish, carp, etc.  This also means that it takes less turns of the reel to bring in your line, meaning you can put the heat on any big fish faster and have a better shot at landing them!

Grass carp make long powerful runs, no problem for a Guru!

Over the past year fishing with this reel, I have had the chance to really put it to the test.  The one thing I’ve noticed about the Guru is the ability of the drag to put the brakes on some of the hottest and biggest fish I have caught.  I am convinced that without Lamson’s drag system, I would lose a lot more fish.  The drag is so smooth and easily adjustable that you can put just about as much pressure as you want to on a fish.

Even Travis can catch fish with the Guru!

Lamson uses the same conical drag system on all of their reels. Check out the above video and watch us test it out.

The Lamson Guru may be inexpensive, but the components of the reel are identical to the components of the more expensive Waterworks-Lamson reels.  Add into that a true large arbor, sealed drag, and anodized finish that won’t rust or scratch and you have yourself one of the truly best reels on the market.


It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

About the Author

Justin Nolan

More Articles