Skip to main content

Waterworks Lamson Cobalt

Waterworks Lamson Cobalt

Amid the current profusion of fly reels on the market, it's hard to imagine much new being brought to the table. But Waterworks-Lamson builds a number of noteworthy innovations into the saltwater Cobalt (5/6 to 11/12). Even looking at the Cobalt, you sense something slightly unusualthe spool and frame ports are asymmetrical, some larger than others to distribute mass in a way that eliminates the need for a separate spool counterweight. Less visibly but more significantly, the inside and outside diameters of the case are machined on different centerlines, putting less material at the bottom of the frame and more at the top, underneath the reel seat, where it does more good by adding strength and stiffnessno small consideration in fighting powerful, hard-running saltwater fish.

Much, in fact, about the Cobalt addresses strength and toughness. The MICRALOX finish offers twice the durability and 55 times the corrosion resistance of standard Type II anodizing. In protection from the degradations of saltwater, there's no such thing as overkill.

A spool held to the spindle with a nut for a more secure mount replaces the familiar pop-out design. The drag is a super-sized version of Waterworks-Lamson's signature conical brake (as smooth and reliable as any I know), built specially for the Cobalt with a carbon alloy friction surface for heat stability at high RPMs. Completely sealed, it requires no lubrication and remains waterproof to 30 meters. The drag adjusts in half-pound increments through a 12-pound range, but you can change the window from 0 to 12 pound, or 2 to 14 pound if you prefer to match the requirements of your target species. (It entails tools and loose parts; I'm not anxious to try in the field.) Once you've dialed it in, you can mark specific settings on the drag knob and instantly adjust from stripping tension to fighting tension with repeatable, reliable results.

Tarpon are a bit hard to come by in Oregon, so I took the 11/12 model to an estuary for a shot at fall Chinook during one of the worst salmon returns in memory. The fishing lived down to my expectations; the reel exceeded them. The frame proved commendably rigidno flexing or twisting or play when you bear down on it. It felt like a full-cage frame. I had a particular interest in how it would behave with a monofilament running line behind a shooting head since this setup can cause problems with many single-sided reels; the thin mono can sneak through gaps between the frame and spool and end up outside the reel, wrapped over a frame pillar. But I never had the slightest problem. I have only one, very minor, quibblethe drag knob, which I find found stiff to operatethough this may well relax with extended use.


Decidedly not a scaled-up trout reel, the Cobalt is engineered for heavy lifting and longevity, built from the ground up specifically for big dogs in the salt. $570-$800 | waterworks-lamson.com


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Best Panfish Flies Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

Everyone wants a definite answer to “How close can you get?”.How to Get Close to Trout Beginners

How to Get Close to Trout

Tom Rosenbauer - August 05, 2020

Everyone wants a definite answer to “How close can you get?”.

Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing.Best Spots to Find Trout and Bass Beginners

Best Spots to Find Trout and Bass

Ross Purnell

Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing.

See More Trending Articles

More Reels

Abel licensed the Abel Steal Your Face Reel artwork from Rhino Entertainment and Grateful Dead Productions to produce 250 of these limited-edition Super Series and Classic Series reels.Abel Steal Your Face Reel Reels

Abel Steal Your Face Reel

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 23, 2013

Abel licensed the Abel Steal Your Face Reel artwork from Rhino Entertainment and Grateful Dead...

Jack Charlton designed some of the most sought after fly reels in the world. You might enjoy reading this article and looking at the pictures.Jack Charlton The Giant Killer Reels

Jack Charlton The Giant Killer

Bruce Chard - April 20, 2012

Jack Charlton designed some of the most sought after fly reels in the world. You might enjoy...

VAYA is said to be the new 'go-to' reel for everything from freshwater to light salt.Abel VAYA Reels

Abel VAYA

Jeff Simpson - October 01, 2019

VAYA is said to be the new 'go-to' reel for everything from freshwater to light salt.

The original Evolution R has a braking system derived from 7 stacked stainless steel and carbon fluoropolymer disks. More cowbell please!Ross Evolution R Salt Reels

Ross Evolution R Salt

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 21, 2017

The original Evolution R has a braking system derived from 7 stacked stainless steel and...

See More Reels

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now