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Daiwa Certate LT Spinning Reel Review

Daiwa Certate LT Spinning Reel Review

Buckle up and get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor. In this Daiwa Certate LT Spinning Reel review, we introduce a new design that you won’t find anywhere else.

This reel debuted around March 2019, and no Shimano or Abu Garcia can hold up to this new reel. We’re taking an in-depth look inside to find out what gives this reel its premium price tag.

We could go back and forth all day about the leaders in the fishing market, but you would have to agree that Daiwa is towards the top if not the leader in producing high-quality fishing reels at industry standard prices.

If you’re someone who enjoys showing off their gear, you’ll earn yourself quite a few man points for bringing this one to the lake.

Diving right in — the first thing that separates the Certate LT from previous generations is the monocoque one-piece body throughout the entire reel. The purpose of the monocoque body is to have a one-piece frame that eliminates the need for a side plate and the screws that hold the plate in place.

When you implement a one-piece body, you can decrease the amount of hardware which results in a much more rigid and durable design. At the same time, you also find yourself with a lightweight reel that doesn’t fall short in terms of design and comfort.

The new 2019 design is part of the LT line of reels, which stands for “light and tough.” The ultimate goal of these reels is to be able to maintain a high level of performance and durability while implementing more features of comfort and smoothness.

Additionally, the monocoque design allows you to have a larger drive gear inside the body. This means you get a larger gear even though you’re using a smaller body. The gear inside is larger in diameter by 2%, and it’s also 20% thicker.

Having an internal gear system that is more substantial offers increased strength and torque when battling a fish. This monocoque body is the primary feature that separates the 2019 Daiwa Certate from all its predecessors and competitors. You get a much stronger and more durable reel while having something light and comfortable enough to fish with all day.

The Bottom Line

  • One of the finest small-mid-sized spinning reels on the market
  • Very smooth reel with great drag starting at 22 lbs.
  • Very high level of manufacturing with quality thru and thru
  • Super lightweight for its size and drag rating.

The Daiwa Certate LT reel is an all-around winner and is available HERE.

If you think the features stop there, you are mistaken. In addition to the new monocoque body design, Daiwa incorporated their tough digigear system that offers you complete control and improved handling on the reel.

The gear system uses a precision machine cut with unique processing technology. The culmination of these manufacturing efforts is a drive gear design that outperforms the competition. The digigear design offers maximum performance, smoothness, strength, and optimal rotation. What you’ll find with the Daiwa Certate LT is a high usability and response based on your actions.


Monocoque One Piece Body – As we’ve touched on briefly, the monocoque body design is the main thing that separates the Daiwa Certate LT from any other reel available on the market currently.

The one-piece design eliminates the need for excessive hardware, which results in a lightweight body and a larger gear on the inside. This combination yields better performance, more comfort, a lighter reel, and smoother retrieval.

Aluminum Frame For Heavy Duty Performance – Having a strong and durable body is one of the most important things to look for in a premium reel. When you are paying a high price for the best of the best you expect to receive something that not only looks durable but feels the part as well.

With the Daiwa Certate LT, you get a strong aluminum frame that feels powerful in your hand, and it also holds up against bumps and bruises during its use.

Magsealed Main Shaft and Line Roller – Daiwa’s solution to waterproofing its rotating structures is using a semi-permanent section of magnetic oil that they suspend between two magnetic surfaces.

The technology is incredible, and the result is ultimate rotational efficiency that prevents saltwater, dust, or anything from making its way inside the reel and compromising the gears.

10 Bearing System (10CRBB +1RB) – This reel uses a 10+1 system that features ten corrosion resistant ball bearings and one anti-reverse roller bearing.

Zaion Air Rotor for lighter weight and greater sensitivity – Another advantage that you get with the Daiwa Certate LT is the use of their Zaion air rotor. This design weighs 15% less than traditional rotor designs.

The decrease in weight results in a better distribution of stress throughout the entire rotor. When you combine these two factors, you receive a rotor designed for maximum strength and high sensitivity.

Tough Digigear™ digital gear design – This design uses an ultra-precise machine cut using CNC machines. The result is maximum strength, noiseless rotation, and higher sensitivity. When you hold this reel in your hand and free spin it, you can really feel the smoothness and crisp feel from the teeth properly interlacing with each other.

Features at a Glance

  • Monocoque One Piece Body
  • Aluminum Frame For Heavy Duty Performance
  • Magsealed Main Shaft and Line Roller
  • 10 Bearing System (10CRBB +1RB)
  • Zaion Air Rotor for lighter weight and greater sensitivity
  • Tough Digigear™ digital gear design

For this reel, Daiwa offers five different models. The first choice is the 2500-XH which has a mono cap of 6lbs/160yds or 8lbs/110 yds. The reel has a braid cap of 8lbs/200yds or 10lbs/170yds.

The Certate has 10 corrosion resistant ball bearings with one roller bearing and a max drag of 22lbs. It’s incredible that even at the 2500 level you can still get 22 max pounds of drag on a reel that weighs just over seven ounces. 

The next step up is the 3000-CXH offering a mono cap of 8lb/160yds or 8lb/130yds. You get a braid cap of 8lb/220yds or 10lb/185yds. This one also comes with 10 corrosion resistant ball bearings and a roller bearing with 22 max pounds of drag.

The gear ratio on both of these sizes is a 6.2:1 and you get a 36.8” line retrieve. This size only weighs in at 7.4 ounces so we’re still under eight ounces and the body is compact making it better for inshore fishing.

The third option is the 3000-XH which is almost exactly the same as the CXH but it offers a slight increase in weight of 0.3 oz. 

Next is the 4000-CXH which steps up the line capacity quite a bit to 12lb/160yds and 14lb/140yds of mono and 10lb/220yds or 15lb/185yds of braided line. You still have 10 corrosion resistant ball bearings and a roller bearing but you get 26.4 pounds of drag and this reel weighs in at just 8.3 ounces. 

The next is the Certate LT 4000D-C, this reel uses a lower gear ratio of 5.2:1. You get 10lb/360yds or 14lb/250yds of monofilaments or 20lb/280yds or 30lb/200yds of braided line capacity. You have the same situation in terms of bearings and you still get 26.4 pounds of drag.

The gear ratio is slightly different at 5.2:1 so you will have a slightly slower retrieval rate. This reel weighs 8.3 ounces. The primary difference between the CXH and the DC is the amount of line you can fit onto the spool making the 4000D-C more appropriate for those species that love to run. 

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.

ModelMono Cap (lb/yds)Braid Cap (lb/yds)BearingsMax Drag (lbs)Gear RatioLine
Retrieve (in)
Weight (oz.)
10CRBB, 1RB226.2:134.5"7.2
10CRBB, 1RB226.2:136.8"7.4
10CRBB, 1RB226.2:136.8"7.9
10CRBB, 1RB26.46.2:139.1"8.3
10CRBB, 1RB26.45.2:132.5"8.3

Field Test

When you’re sitting with a reel like the Daiwa Certate LT, you need to make sure you pair it with only the best spinning rods. I had a chance to take the 2500-XH out on the water with the St. Croix Mojo Inshore as I did not have my St. Croix Avid Inshore or St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore rods with me while I was up in Maine.

One thing that stands out immediately is the weight of the reel. With all the technology and high-quality materials put into this reel, I almost feel like I am fishing with a lightweight fly fishing setup and I was able to fish all day long without getting tired.

Casting and retrieving with this reel is smooth and efficient. The Zaion air rotor seems to make quite a bit of difference when combined with the monocoque one-piece body design. If you pair the reel with a high-quality spinning rod like any of the St. Croix rods the sensitivity you feel will be amazing.

While casting and retrieving I can feel the lure working its way thru the water and even the slightest strike is easily detected making it easy to set the hook. I was mostly targeting small and largemouth bass and it was so easy to feel when the fish picked up the bait and started swimming with it.

When using a swimbait or chatter bait I really liked the way the solid feeling of the reel transferred all of the feeling right into my hands.

I feel that this reel is basically the cream of the crop. If you’re a gear junkie like me and you can appreciate the finer details of a reel you will not need to go any further than this. Anything more expensive than the Daiwa Certate LT is smoke and mirrors. This reel is as premium as they come.


  • Monocoque one piece design is state of the art
  • MagSealed system goes the extra mile in preventing debris from penetrating the system
  • Lightweight without sacrificing durability


  • New design could be difficult to service and maintain
  • Premium price tag


If you want to receive a lot of the incredible design benefits of the Daiwa Certate LT but you aren’t ready to lay down the required cash to pay the premium price, you could settle for the Daiwa Ballistic LT.

Here you still get the amazing Magseal system, the DigiGear, and the lightweight and tough package. What you are sacrificing is the monocoque one-piece body design and some smoothness in your performance. Read the entire Daiwa Ballistic LT review here!

The Daiwa Certate LT is designed for freshwater, however, it is well equipped for saltwater fishing, but if you want something a bit more affordable that is engineered specifically for saltwater applications, you should check out the Shimano Sustain FI.

This reel has the Hagane body that reduced flex and wear on gears. You get a lot of bang for your buck with a smooth retrieval and almost entirely waterproof design. Read the entire Shimano Sustain FI review here!

Moving forward with another Shimano, we have the Stella SW. This reel is considered the best of the best in saltwater spinning reels and there’s no questioning why. This line usually gets the latest design technology, and money poured into it.

This reel offers a grocery list of high-end features, improved casting, smooth retrieval, and a durable design. Plus you can tell people you literally own the most expensive reel on the market.  With that said I think that Daiwa is giving Shimano a run for their money with a reel that is less than half the price of the Stella SW.  Read the entire Shimano Stella SW review here!

In Conclusion

Wrapping things up, we found a lot about the Daiwa Certate LT to celebrate over. With the Magseal design, you don’t have to worry about anything (we mean anything) getting inside your gears and screwing things up.

The Zaion rotor simply adds to the lightweight features of this reel and the overall design and appearance of the reel is incredibly high-end at a mid to high-end price range. If you are looking to shell out a few dollars, you can find the Daiwa Certate LT between $400-500 in most cases.

If you are looking for something more affordable, you can get a lot of the benefits that the Certate LT offers in the Daiwa Ballistic LT.

Overall this is a phenomenal reel that any angler would be lucky to include in their arsenal of gear