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Enthusiast Reel Review

The Smooth Operator : Daiwa's Real Four Engineered Certate 2000

Date: 4/27/05
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.83

Introduction: Despite the plethora of quality, affordable spinning reel choices available today, the high end market is still hotly contested. In the middle of last year, Daiwa upped the ante with the introduction of the Certate, built within their new, Real Four concept : Real Engine, Real Endurance, Real Control, Real Custom. Marketing hype aside, Daiwa's goal in this new line of spinning reels was to reduce unnecessary friction and vibration to smoothly and efficiently translate every bit of mechanical energy provided by the angler in turning the handle to the purpose at hand of winding line onto the spool.

Certate 2000 Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 8/110
Gear Ratio (actual retrieve) 4.8:1 (as tested, 26 inches per turn)
Measured Weight 8.2 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 7 lbs
Bearings 9 + 1 Roller Bearing
Features Real Four Engineering, Ti coated spool lip and roller guide, foldaway handle, instant anti-reverse, corrosion resistant bearings
MSRP ~$350 (import price)

Impressions: Out of the box, the Daiwa Certate has the appearance of your run of the mill spinning reel. With a dark blue to black finish, chrome highlights, and titanium lipped spool, the reel looks nice enough, but certainly nothing in its modest appearance speaks to a $350 reel. Take the reel out into the sun and what's revealed is a deep, metallic blue finish that suddenly makes the reel come alive. Spin the handle of the reel for a test run and the Real Four engineering is quite apparent: not a degree of wobble is felt anywhere in the reel, just ultra smooth gearing and a nice, moderate oscillation of the spool. Very impressive indeed.

Note the deep, metallic blue finish of the Daiwa Certate witnessed only in bright sunlight.

Field Test: We took to our local lakes and reservoirs for an extended tour of duty with this reel. Our target species during these trials included rainbow trout, catfish, smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass. We even took it out into the California Delta to see how it would fare in heavy cover situations.


Setup: For our tests, we spooled the Certate up with everything from 14lb Berkley Fireline to 4, 8 and 10lb Yozuri Hybrid and mounted it on a number of different spinning rods over the course of several months to get a sense of its characteristics.

Daiwa introduces their Real Four Concept of spinning reel engineering with the Daiwa Certate.

Casting: Casting with the Certate is consistent and trouble free. The bail easily clicks over into the open position and snaps closed confidently with a turn of the handle. Some spinning reels make a very loud and abrupt motion when closing the bail. This is not the case with the Certate. As for distance on each cast, we had no troubles reaching our intended targets throwing everything from sliding sinker rigs to splitshot rigs to 1/8th ounce cranks and 5" weightless Senko's.


The drag assembly of the Daiwa Certate sporting an impressively stout pressure applying spring.

Retrieving: By far the most outstanding characteristic of this reel is its smooth retrieve. Daiwa's Real Four engineering is a welcome introduction to the spinning reel world. The absence of distracting noises, friction, or other resistance translates into supreme feel for the angler. Pressure bites while finesse fishing are all that more easily detected thanks to this advent and speedy retrieves for lures like crankbaits or spinners are incredibly effective thanks to the no wobble retrieve. The Certate is a deadly smooth spinning reel.


Much like other spinning reels, the Certate is easily switched from right to left hand retrieve (note the cork knob is not standard)

Drag: One thing we like about front drag spinning reels is the ease by which one can adjust the drag pressure. The Certate is no different and sports a confidence inspiring, baitcaster-like, micro-click adjustable drag - super crisp and solid. Of all the fish we caught with this reel, we had most fun battling the feisty spotted bass of Folsom Lake, California. Those who are familiar with this species know they love to run and a two and a half pound spot will fight like a five pound largemouth. We had little difficulty subduing our spotted bass prey thanks to the smooth running drag of our Daiwa Certate. The drag assembly of the Certate itself sports a surprisingly stout spring in the locknut that is used to apply consistent pressure to the spool as you crank down to tighten the drag. The drag washers are located on both sides of the spool for actual resistance which we again found smooth and consistent.

Features and details of our Daiwa Certate 2000

Durability: The Certate sports an internally tripped, spring loaded bail. Though not believed to be the most long lasting bail design in the market, we experienced absolutely no issues with its performance. The finish of this reel is surprisingly durable as well, no doubt thanks to the strategically placed metal highlights. A nice surprise in our package was the discovery of three spare drag washers none of which we found necessary to employ during our field tests.

This hefty four and a half pound largemouth was coaxed out of hiding thanks to the smooth performing drag of our Daiwa Certate

Applications: With a very respectable 26" of line retrieve per turn of the handle we found the Certate to be an amazingly versatile reel for fresh and brackish water applications. We, ourselves, used it for everything from very slow, finesse presentations like drop shotting and split shotting to fishing fast moving shallow cranks and trout spinners. Line capacity of our 2000 model was never an issue and it handled both the copolymer Yozuri Hybrid and fused Berkley Fireline equally well.



Daiwa Certate Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very solid reel that inspires confidence right out of the box 9.5
Performance The smoothest spinning reel this editor has ever turned 10
Price Simply put...the Certate is an expensive reel 7
Features Top notch features though bearing supported knobs would take this reel over the top 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Understated elegance and very comfortable to fish with for an entire day 9
Application As versatile as a 2000 size spinning reel can be 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Unbelievably smooth operation during retrieve L Cost to Acquire is High
J Metallic blue finish is very unique and very elegant L Bearing supported knobs would make the Certate unreal
J Strong, consistent, drag  
J Now available domestically in the United States too!!  

Conclusion: The good news to those interested in import quality reels but that have, up until this point, shied away due to service and warranty concerns, is the Daiwa Certate, introduced last year in Japan only, is now available domestically in the United States. Though our model is a Japan Market import, judging from the previews we've seen of early domestic models, the US version of the Daiwa Certate is a direct import and not a watered down version for sale abroad. Could this be the precursor of more to come? Only time will tell. For now, what this editor can say is the Daiwa Certate is a confidence inspiring reel that draws you out onto the water so you can experience again and again its unbelievably smooth operation. We've had this reel for over eight months and it still amazes us each time we turn the handle. In fact, we found this reel so inspiring, we're putting it into our TackleTour "Shootout Ring" for a follow up article against... Well, you'll just have to wait and see. Until next time. Keep collecting!









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