Daiwa 2016 Certate 3000 and 2508PE spinning reels review - both north of £300 here in the UK

What I’d love to be able to write here is that these two Daiwa 2016 Certate spinning reels are some of best spinning reels to lure fish with that I have been lucky enough to use, because in many respects they are - but there are a few issues that are niggling me about these stunning looking bits of fishing tackle, and with the prices of these 2016 Certates being what they are (north of £300), I am left with a few questions………….

If you know anything about Daiwa Certate spinning reels then you will have half a clue about how nice these things are to fish with - over a proper length of time now I have been using the 2016 model Certate 3000 (about the same size as a Shimano 4000 spinning reel) and the smaller Certate 2508PE (roughly Shimano 3000 size) which has the shallow spool for braid that I think is a really good idea. I have not fished with these reels exclusively, but over time I have ended up using them a lot I suppose. They are very light, they provide an intensely pleasurable experience when you go fishing with them, they are beautifully designed, and from what I can gather, much of each reel is meant to be safely sealed against saltwater getting into the vitals thanks to Daiwa’s Mag Sealed technology.

Nearly a year ago I wrote a preview of the faster retrieve rate Daiwa Certate 2016 3012H High Speed, but after a week or so of intense use in Ireland it went a bit “grindy” on me and it was duly shipped back to Daiwa UK. A big thanks to Daiwa UK by the way for kindly getting me access to these reels. Anyway, another high speed 2016 Certate was duly sent out to me, but that one went “grindy” as well, and after not that much use either. So that one was shipped back to Daiwa. Man down, twice, and they are not exactly budget reels either. I am still waiting to hear what went wrong with them.

Anyway, so that’s me done with the Daiwa Certate 2016 3012H High Speed, or at least it is until I know what went wrong with the two of them and whether I was simply an unlucky sod. Credit to Daiwa UK, they then kindly sent me out the regular speed 3000 and the smaller 2508PE models and I have had them strapped to various lure rods on and off ever since. Now to be fair to both reels, they have performed perfectly from the first day I started fishing with them, but of course my previous all too brief experiences with the high-speed versions have gone and spooked me a bit.

Now whatever this Mag Sealed technology does or doesn’t do, you are simply not meant to go drowning spinning reels as per this one here and expect them to keep running beautifully smoothly - the sealed Van Staal ones excepted, although I’d rather bass fish with an actual coffee grinder than one of those reels. If the Mag Sealed technology helps to keep saltwater out of the innards of the reel via “normal” use then that is just fine by me, but until it is proved otherwise to me, I just don’t believe that a Mag Sealed line roller area is keeping any more saltwater out than a non-Mag Sealed one. I am quoting here directly from the Daiwa 2017 catalogue: “Mag Sealed Line Roller - Line roller parts are also subjected to sand and saltwater via the line. By applying the Mag Sealed waterproofing the line roller is protected from those severe conditions helping maintain the performance, sensitivity, and smooth, rotational feel. First adopted in the EXIST this now features on the CERTATE. It also maintains the anti line twist performance of the roller”.

So why my reticence here? Well a mate of mine who lure fishes for bass a lot ended up buying a pair of the pre-2016 3000 Certates which I believe have a Mag Sealed line roller as well, but after a load of use, one of the reels seized up around that roller bearing area - to be fair to Daiwa UK, they took the reel back under warranty and sorted it out for him, but this experience spooked the bloke, so he unscrewed the line roller assembly on his second Certate and found early signs of rust on the little bearing in there. He oiled it up and it has been fine ever since, as has the one that was serviced, but he keeps a close eye on the line roller area on both those reels now and chooses to ignore the fact that Mag Sealed technology I think is meant to prevent this from occurring. I have a feeling that you are not actually meant to go opening this part of the reel up because of the Mag Seal thing, but if saltwater is actually getting in and you do nothing about it, what then? I think the Daiwa Certates come with a two year warranty, but do you want to be sending your reel away just because the roller bearing has seized up, when regular rinsing in freshwater and oiling the bearing could seemingly prevent this?

But where you might ask is the relevance to these newer 2016 Certates? Well via Daiwa and me, this mate above was sent a 2016 Certate 3000 to use from about late spring last year, and he used it solidly I believe until about the end of September. He looks after his gear and will rinse reels down etc., but I asked him not to go opening the Mag Sealed bits of the reel and oiling anything up so that it was a fair test of the system as such. Let’s call it six months of bass fishing with lures then, and by the end of that period, the reel was essentially knackered. OK, as before it’s under warranty, but should a £300+ spinning reel be knackered after six months of lure fishing?

These two 2016 Certates that I have here continue to perform flawlessly though, albeit I chose to take a peek inside the line roller on both reels the other day and unless I am mistaken I could see early signs of rust on what looks like an open (as in not sealed up) bearing. The roller bearings on both reels did not feel remotely rough to be fair, but I wanted to check them, and I liberally oiled both of them up with regular oil. I absolutely love lure fishing with both reels, indeed the smaller 2508PE model together with the lighter 9’ 7-23g Major Craft Skyroad fishes the 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick about as well as I can imagine a rod and reel setup being able to do, and the little Certate also fared just as well on that stunning Favorite SkyLine 862ML (8’6’’, 4-16g) lure rod I was using recently. And yes, I am completely obsessed with DoLive Sticks in case you hadn’t already noticed, but there is a reason, and that’s because I feel so damn confident every time I clip one on.

I loaded the Certate 2508PE up on day one with a 135m spool of 18lb/0.12mm Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid and literally four or five turns of mono backing and it is still as sweet as it was on day one. Same with the larger Certate 3000 that sits so well on 9’ and 9’6’’ lure rods. If I was in the market to spend this sort of dosh on a reel then I would like to know how accessing the line roller area to keep an eye on it and oil it up if needs be (as you would with regular reels, wouldn’t you?!) might affect my warranty, but there you have it as it stands right now. Two divine spinning reels that I love fishing with, but also two reels that I have various reservations about which niggle away at me, and especially if you consider their price as well.

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