There have also been several companies in the past that have marketed a similar product specifically for Crappie fishing. They were cheep and most likely no more effective than a conventional set-up of fly or gear equipment. The reels were also not removable. The Lamson outfit has a removeable reel in case it malfunctions.
I had a demo 5wt for a couple weeks. I could feel the rod's action better and further down. I think one's casting would improve because of it. I'd even say the balance was such it would be easier on the body too, which might be a big factor for some?
One is committing to a rod & red combo which we are not used to doing obviously but I thought it was pretty sweet. Nothings for everybody but it sure takes the thinking and finding the right reel or vis versa out of the process. There are plenty of people who have zero interest in going all nurdski over gear and plenty who want to be different. It will be interesting to see how it goes over with the masses.
Coming from a design and manufacturing background I'm glad somebody is trying a different approach. Having said that some people still ride donkeys!
I like the concept. Anything that brings your line closer to butt of the rod should only improve your casting power and efficiency. I'd be willing to give one a try, but I have enough rods and reels already.