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Reel Review

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


Design/Ergonomics: The Lexa 100HL weighs in at a whopping 8.2 ounces (for some reason as opposed to 8.1 ounces for the P and SH models - all tested weights). That's a lot not only for a reel of this size, but considering this reel is from a manufacturer better known for their lightweight reels, it's a little surprising. It comes standard with a longer than normal handle at 90mm and features extra large, paddle style knobs with the usual tire-tread like texture Daiwa likes to include with their USDM reels. Though Zander is ok with them at this price point can you tell I don't care for that texture on the knobs? Although it's fortunate the knobs are easily replaced, our review is on the stock reel.


Look! We were able to service the knobs on this USDM Daiwa reel and found there's one bearing and one bushing under each knob.


Otherwise the Lexa 100HL is a comfortably sized reel to palm and aside from its weight, makes for a suitable reel to have on your choice of rod all day long. When the time comes to remove the reel for maintenance, the reel is easy enough to break down although just a tad tricky to get back together. We ran into a little difficulty reinstalling the anti-reverse pawl and in taking apart and putting back together the levelwind assembly. All together the Lexa 100HL evens out to an average rating in this department.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Daiwa Lexa 100HL

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Application: The Lexa 100HL is a good choice for budget minded anglers looking for a reel to handle a variety of applications. The only area where this reel would be lacking is in support of finesse applications where light line and light baits are the key. If I had to choose, I'd lean towards using this reel more for horizontal presentations than vertical simply because I prefer a lighter reel for the presentations where more feel is required. It's just more difficult feel as much with heavier equipment.


Breaking down the Lexa 100HL.


Similarly, in situations where you're really working the lure through twitches and jerks with the rod tip (like with a topwater popper or walk the dog bait), I'd prefer a lighter reel. That's not to say the Lexa cannot handle these duties, it's just that it's average and not exceptional in this regard.


Application Ratings for Daiwa Lexa 100HL

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)




Daiwa Lexa 100HL Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This reel is put together very well 8.5
Performance Retrieve was much smoother than I had anticipated and drag performance is good 7.2
Price A great introductory price point for a reel that has a lot of Daiwa proven DNA 8.5
Features Low on actual features, but surprisingly enough, this reel had bearings in the knobs 7.1
Design (Ergonomics) If it were an ounce lighter it'd be a real winner here but overall the reel will meet requirements for palming 7.2
Application A good choice for a number of applications and especially for horizontal presentations 6.4

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ A good choice for lower tier introduction to Daiwa - A more dynamic braking system would be nice
+ Nice, long stock handle delivers good leverage - Don't care for the tire tread texture on the knobs (Other editors on our staff are fine with them on mainstream reels)
+ Solid construction  
+ Good sweet drag performance  


Conclusion: If you're accustomed to high end gear, naturally the Lexa is not a reel that's going to blow your socks off. It's not intended to. What this reel is, or what it does, is perform well with a general range of tasks. What I appreciate about the entire series is Daiwa is finally offering a full suite of retrieve ratios and sizes in a reel at this price point. Previously, the only reel in their lineup available in more than two retrieve ratios was the Zillion, and the only other one with at least two options was the Steez. Because of unstable exchange rates, both reels have inflated in cost beyond their originally intended price points.


The Lexa is not intended to blow your socks off, but it is intended to support your needs in a wide range of techniques and when you consider the total package for the price these reels represent a great value!


The added bonus with the Lexa is it's available in the larger, 300 size if your needs call for it. This is the first time Daiwa has offered this option in a single suite of reels - a fact that makes it rather obvious who the target customer is for this reel. By offering a very capable reel at this price point, in a range of retrieve ratios and two different sizes, if you're a tournament angler looking for a reasonably affordable suite of reels to fulfill your specialized, technique specific needs, Daiwa has finally answered the call. For weekend warriors the Lexa is a great value and this well built series, while certainly not the flashiest or most refined in Daiwa's lineup, is a very solid performer that really is an excellent value when you add up all the performance metrics and consider just how reasonably priced this reel is.


Looking for the Daiwa Lexa 100HL?

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