Built for Big Baits, the Beast that is the Daiwa Lexa
Type-WN 400H (continued)
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
Paired with Daiwa's J-Braid. I
often like to dye the end of my line if using hi-vis colors and fishing
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
Section: A lot of reel for the money