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Reel Review


Built for Big Baits, the Beast that is the Daiwa Lexa Type-WN 400H (continued)


Casting: With a reel as large as the Lexa 400H your likely to be casting something with a significant amount of weight, and while this baitcaster is certainly not designed for finesse I was pleased with the reelís wide range of casting abilities. Though a little awkward the 400H can cast baits weighing as little as 1/2oz. but it is with large baits 2oz. and up where the reel really excels.


Casting baits from 3oz-8oz.? This is the sweet spot for this reel

Even though the reel is quite massive it casts no different than smaller Daiwa baitcasters with the inclusion of the companyís popular externally adjustable MagForce magnetic cast control system. Daiwa still does it better than just about everyone when it comes to cast control, and the positioning of the large dial towards the front of the non-handle side sideplate makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly, something that I found I was much more likely to do on this reel than most baitcasters because I was able to fish such a wide variety of baits with weights all the way up to 10 ounces.


A look under the sideplate after 4 months of fishing

Retrieve: You might not expect a reel of this size to be all that smooth but the Lexa 400H offers anglers both a confident and smooth retrieve, especially under load. With a massive brass main gear this reel is designed to dole out plenty of torque and it is when youíre retrieving a big water displacing swimbait or winching a fish away from structure where this particular Lexa shows you what it is capable of.

While the Type-WN reels would absolutely be at home in the salt and inshore, or playing tug of war with a Salmon, the reel seems like it was tailor made for fishing the biggest and baddest swimbaits on the market, those ranging from 5-10oz. in weight.


The teeth on the massive brass gearing is actually quite large and are designed to hold up to massive pressure


With plenty of line capacity, and retrieve options from 5.5:1 all the way up to 7.1:1 there is a Lexa 400 series reel for just about any type of swimbait, and the faster models are great for working large plugs on the surface.


A look at the main gearing after 4 months, it looks almost as good as new

In terms of refinement there is just a slight amount of play between the handle and the main drive gearing, and I really only noticed it when killing swimbaits in between cranks. The gearing on this reel is large, and is designed more for durability than refinement, but that doesnít mean that this reel isnít a pleasure to crank on all day. Throughout the span of my tests over the last four months the Lexa 400H didnít lose any bit of smoothness and upon inspection inside the reel at the end of the tests everything held up beautifully, requiring no additional grease or oil to maintain that out of the box feel and performance.


Paired with Daiwa's J-Braid. I often like to dye the end of my line if using hi-vis colors and fishing swimbaits

Drag: The Lexa Type-WN reels inherit Daiwaís Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD) from the companyís saltwater reels and the system utilizes a massive drag stack of varying carbon and steel discs below and surrounding the main brass gearing. The result is a drag that not only provides massive stopping power but offers anglers a wide range of adjustment.


The WN400ís drag is rated to deliver 22lbs. of drag pressure but in the lab under full lock we were able to achieve 25.2lbs. of drag pressure on the Machine. In the field the reelís drag was equally impressive, doling out plenty of fish stopping power while never locking up or fading under the pressure of winding back big baits, even with hooked fish in tow. This drag is a beast!


Got drag? The Lexa WN400H has a ton of washers and can dole out 25lbs. of smooth and consistent pressure!

Ergonomics: There is no getting around the fact that the Lexa 400 is a big reel, and it isnít a lightweight one either weighing in at 15.3 ounces, but Daiwa has done a lot with the reelís ergonomics to make it look and feel a lot more like a traditional low profile baitcaster. Daiwa pushes the spool position as low as possible in the frame so that the Lexa still sits low on reel seats, making it possible to wrap your hand around the reel and finger the line reasonably comfortably. The edges on the Lexa feel smooth and natural in hand, and while you will never forget that it is there, it didnít ever feel awkward to me to palm.


Big but still palmable

The Winn grips were somewhat polarizing when they were first introduced on rod grips, but that doesnít seem to be the case on reels as they have become increasingly deployed. Iím not a big fan of the aftermarket slide on Winn handle covers as they add bulk to existing knobs but when companies like Daiwa and Lewís implement it into their standard handle and knob offerings the design is a lot more seamless. In the case of the Lexa I found myself liking the styling of the Winn knobs from the start, and appreciating not only how they felt in hand but how easy it was to wrap my entire palm around the grip and really apply a lot of leverage into each crank of the handle.


The reel is built like a tank and the large Winn Grip knobs help you tame this beast

Next Section: A lot of reel for the money










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