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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Reel Review


Finally, Affordable Versatility from Daiwa - The Lexa 100 (continued)

 

Drag: Looking at the Lexa 100HL's Sweet Drag Performance Chart above we can see performance is relatively smooth and consistent through the first four levels of our new, standardized test. At full, finger tight lockdown, we were able to get 6.9 pounds of maximum pressure, but on a constant pull performance was very erratic. It's interesting to note also that the range in adjustment is quite wide with the Lexa requiring two and three quarter turns to reach lockdown position. We've been seeing an average of 2.5 turns to get to this same point with other reels.


Fig 1. Above is our Sweet Drag Performance Chart for the Daiwa Lexa 100HL. In this chart, you can see that the Lexa's drag is relatively sweet in the lower settings, but when buttoned down is more erratic.

Sweet Drag Performance for Daiwa Lexa 100HL (2.75 Turns to Lockdown)

Full Turn
Full + 2
Full + 4
Full + 6
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
0.45
1.23
1.92
2.97
6.90
Sustained
0.40
1.17
1.89
2.91
6.40
Biggest Drop
0.21
0.98
1.72
2.67
5.99
Change in Startup vs Sustained
10%
5%
1.7%
2%
9.3%
5.24%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
48.1%
13.1%
8.8%
8.2%
6.4%
17.52%

Power: All 100 sized Lexa reels feature a 90mm handle. Our test model was the 100HL built with a 6.3:1 retrieve ratio. Remember when this was considered high speed? Well, the 100 is also available in 7.1:1 and 4.9:1. I bring this up because if you're wanting the "power" version of this reel, you'll probably want to go with the 4.9:1 model (100P/PL). Just the same, our best method of testing power was attempting to land a swimbait fish with this reel.


All 100 sized Lexa reels feature a 90mm handle.

It seems there's always a swimbait or two in our review queue to throw, so the task of finding a bait wasn't difficult but anyone experienced in tossing big baits knows, getting the fish to cooperate is another matter. I turned to the Huddleston Deluxe 68Special to try and coax a Clear Lake Bass to bite and luckily enough, after several hours of soaking and crawling that bait, I managed a bite. Granted, it wasn't a huge fish, but the resistance in the water with that bait in the fish's mouth coupled with the desire for that fish to get away was sufficient enough for me to get an idea as to the power of this little reel; to summarize, again I was pleasantly surprised.


The Lexa 100HL handled the task of fishing a Huddleston Deluxe 68 Special perfectly fine granted it's not a huge swimbait.

Casting Range: The Lexa 100 series features Daiwa's standard MagForce braking system. It's an all together uninspiring brake system that's essentially on all the time, but offers good performance for baits in the weight range of three eighths of an ounce and up. In other words, as long as you're not expecting the Lexa to become your next Bait Finesse reel, the brakes will serve their purpose.


The Lexa Suite of reels features Daiwa's MagForce braking system.

Brakes: Adjustability of the brakes is in typical fashion for Daiwa and that's via an external dial located on the non-handle sideplate. The only caveat is, as we mentioned above, the brake system is not very dynamic. In Daiwa's MagForce V and Z reels, the brake rotor located on the reel's spool is spring loaded to move in and out of the magnets depending on the speed of the spool. This serves to modulate the brake force. With standard Magforce, the rotor is fixed so there is no modulation - the brakes are on all the time. This is better for consistent control, but not so great if you're looking for maximum performance or casting distance.

Performance Ratings for Daiwa Lexa 100HL

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
3
3
18
25
7.2

 

Features: On our features checklist, the Lexa 100HL has an external brake adjustment, no bearing under the levelwind, one bearing per knob (upgradeable to two by replacing a plastic bushing), a micro-click adjustable drag only, no reel cover in the box, and a vial of bearing oil supplied in the box with the reel. Surprising to us was not only finding each knob supported by a bearing and bushing, but the fact we could actually take the knobs off to inspect! Daiwa is notorious for riveting the knobs onto the handles of their USDM reels, but not the Lexa 100.

 


Unfortunately there is no bearing at the levelwind nor does it seem possible to upgrade the reel with one.

 

Features Ratings for Daiwa Lexa 100HL

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
1
2
2
1
2
10
14
7.1


Next Section: A closer look at the Lexa's design


 

 

 

 

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