I was introduced to the Lamson center axis a couple of years ago when fishing on the San Juan with my friend Guy. A long roll cast was required in the run we were fishing and I was amazed by its power, action, ease of casting and accuracy. I purchased a 4 wt and now fish only with it (actually I now have a 4, 5, and a 6 wt), and also gave one to each of my brothers. They have subsequently each purchased an additional center axis. It handles large fish very well, is easy to fish with all day. One of our fishing partners also now owns one. It is very convenient to break down and store in the carrying case, and I never forget my reel when we go to the river. I was surprised to hear that it may be discontinued as it is such an outstanding rod and reel system. It is an excellent, very well balanced combination. I have owned a small Lamson reel that I have used with a 2 wt graphite rod for over 25 yrs, and it has been excellent, so I expect the same from the Center Axis rods/reels.
When visiting the San Juan River, "Guy The Guide" showed me the 4wt and let me throw it. I was so impressed with how lite it is and how well it threw that I purchased one for myself; and, the only regret I have is that I didn't purchase a 5wt too. Not only have I been impressed with how well the 4wt casts, but am pretty amazed how well it handles the large fish of The Jaun on small flies.
I’ve been looking at the center axis rod and reel for over a year. When they went on sale, I had to pick one up. Opted for the 4wt since most of my fly fishing is done on tiny spring creeks in Wisconsin with long leaders and tiny flies. Had the chance to fish one of my favorite spots recently and I’m really happy with the center axis rod and reel. Casting was effortless and I could cast 50% further and drop the flies inches from the banks and undercuts where the big browns hide. The rod is pretty fast compared to my other gear. Well made and balanced. The reel is beautiful and the way it’s mounted makes it almost an extension of your arm. You barely know it’s there while casting. This is a beautiful system. I am shocked Lamson is discontinuing. I may need to pick up a 6wt for bass and pan fishing.
But it is. I began, tentatively, with #5. Now I own all three of the freshwater models. Use them in Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, New Zealand and leave my Sage, Loomis and other graphites home. Amazingly powerful and accurate, throwing laser darts at exactly the spot you're looking at. The first time I took one to the Big Horn my guide of many years complimented me on the hours of practice I must've put in, my accuracy was so much improved. I said it wasn't me, it was the rod. He scoffed. I handed him the rod. He was blown away. It was the rod alright. At the full price they're a bargain, at the sale price a steal.
I'm not sure why these aren't more popular! I recently bought a 5wt and 4wt for me and my wife to use for our backcountry fishing adventures. I love that I don't have to carry a reel separately while backpacking. The rod itself feels like a major competitor to all the high dollar brands that are out of my price range, plus it comes with a great reel. I am very happy with both rods and excited to catch more fish on them for many years to come. I am thankful that my first quality fly rods and reels are from an Idaho company as I am an Idaho native. Great work Waterworks Lamson design team!