As ever, time is going to be the key here, but after a week or so of solid use, this brand new 2016 Daiwa Certate that I have got here is without doubt up there as one of the nicest spinning reels I have ever had the pleasure of lure fishing with. Will it stay as ridiculously smooth as it is right now? I don’t know, but I have to hope that at the price and specification it will stay this way for a decent period of time - it’s so smooth and easy to fish with that I can’t really see how a spinning reel can actually feel much better………
What do I need to tell you about this stunning looking Certate that either you don’t know already, or at the price you can’t pretty much guess? It’s very light, it feels great on the 9’ and 9’6’’ lure rods I tend to fish with these days, the line lay is immaculate, and I have had not one single braid problem so far (the reel’s loaded up with what seems to be the rather fantastic 20lb Daiwa J-Braid). I have been fishing with the Daiwa Certate 3012H High Speed and I notice that the handle is a little larger than on my mate’s regular 2016 Certate 3000 that he has been using at the same time, but I’m fine with that. Aside from the roller bearing issues I had with the current Daiwa Caldia 3000, I still think it's a seriously class spinning reel that is incredible value for money, but without a doubt this 2016 Certate is another step up again. If the Caldia is smooth to reel in, then this Certate is even smoother again and feels totally at ease as it does its thing. Does this catch me more fish? Nope, but then that’s not the point - some people want and can have big flash cars, and some people can’t or won’t. Most cars will get you from A to B just fine, and most spinning reels will help you catch fish - what you choose to use is up to you.
I am aware of the reputation that Daiwa Certate spinning reels have, but I don’t have a history with these reels and I can’t tell you whether this new one is infinitely better than the previous model. I know I am loving this 2016 version and I will be sad to see it go back to Daiwa UK when the time comes - it won’t affect me with this test reel, but I do like how there is a 2 year full warranty on Certates. I understand that in theory we are not meant to go opening these reels up for any of our own servicing as it messes with the Mag Seal thing, but a couple of mates who have had the previous generation (2014?) Certates and used them a lot for saltwater lure fishing have both had issues with their roller bearings which of course are meant to be (Mag) sealed against salt water getting in I believe.
To Daiwa UK’s credit they mended the reels FOC under the 2 year warranty, but it does give one food for thought. This friend of mine has two of the previous generation Certates - one of which was repaired - so on the other one he decided to “break the seal” as such and found very early signs of corrosion around the roller bearing area - and he now keeps a close eye and oils it up like you would on a non Mag Sealed spinning reel. I love the Mag Sealed idea, but can you really stop saltwater getting into the roller bearing area? Time will tell with this 2016 Certate I have here, and I will report back in due course unless I have had to send the reel back to Daiwa UK before I have really thrashed it for a decent period of time - bearing in mind that I also play with other reels etc.
You may be wondering what the drag on this new Certate is like - yes, it’s very smooth, but my mate who has the regular speed 2016 Certate did mention that line comes off so quietly and smoothly that a couple of times when he was playing a bass he wasn’t actually sure if the drag was paying out line or not. Nothing bad, just an observation from him. As for me? I think we attach far too much hot air to reel drags here in the UK and Ireland. The drag on this 2016 Certate feels lovely as you would expect, but if a bass is taking heaps of line off you then I would suggest that you need to locate the drag knob and then learn which way is tighter.
So all I can do so far is tell you that I have one of these 2016 Certates here, as does a mate of mine who I fish with in Ireland a lot especially. Can a spinning reel for how so many of us lure fish really get much better than this? I don’t see how, but of course it comes down to what individual anglers like or don’t like, and what you are prepared to pay for a spinning reel. This Daiwa 2016 Certate is simply sublime to fish with and it feels pretty damn special when it’s strapped to my lure rod. More to come, and sorry, but I'm not sure when they will be available to buy here in the UK and Ireland.