Reel Time – Daiwa Ninja

The market is flooded with reels but there’s always been two brands that to anglers are on top, Shimano and Daiwa.
For a long time if you said to many lure fishermen, what spinning reel for around £50 they’d tell you the Shimano Exage was the number one option… But Daiwa has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to a £50 reel with a pretty little black and red number…
Heading into my local tackle store I was after a small sub-2500 size reel for my Salt and Freshwater UL lure fishing, but having just forked out a little too much on a Bass lure gear price and value for money was of importance. Having looked at a few different options on display nothing quite made me tick but there was one reel I remembered seeing a picture of online… “You got those new Daiwa spinning reels in? The black and red ones” I asked. To be told they had indeed however they didn’t have a 1000 like I had in mind, and a 2000 was the smallest in stock. “I’ll have a look anyway” so out from the stock room came a little red Daiwa Box.
Well first impression couldn’t have been better, it really did look great and the tackle-tart inside me warmed just looking at it. It looked sexy as hell and for a 2000 size was unremarkably more like a 1000 too me and the exact size I wanted. Further inspection, fiddling and eyeing up some of the features I couldn’t help but throw my card at the till when I was told it was £49.99.
The Ninja not only looks brilliant and far beyond its price range visually but takes many design features from reels that go well into the £200 mark. With the Daiwa famed “AirRotor” which cuts down on weight (by 15% according to Daiwa) that appears on the far more expensive, Caldia and Certate Models.
The weight of this reel for the price is pretty impressive made of a lightweight graphite, which in fairness to it has stood being thrown down on the bank and rocks a few time when unhooking fish.
Daiwa has ensured as much weight saved where possible in the reel’s design without compromising strength. There are nice cutouts to the spool making that lighter and of course the AirRotor, which takes a lot of bulk away from the traditional rotor design used by other manufacturers. The reel its self is smooth and for the price there’s huge satisfaction in holding this little thing, spinning the handle getting that silky smooth feeling that just feels so together and secure.
To further comment on the whole tight fixed feeling on the reel there is a nice positive feeling bail arm that snaps over without fail (although it should always be done manually) and a small knob handle that fits snug under the thumb into the palm of your hand.
Also, for a reel of its price it has great line lay and lays braid tight and flat to the spool which results in very few wind knots when treating your braid correctly. Another thing that really floats my boat with this reel is the smooth drag, which is essential when using light braids, the drag is also nice and loud which gives a nice sense of satisfaction should a fish deserve to take line and “purrs” loud and proud leaving you grinning like a Cheshire cat.
The fact the reel comes with two spools is also great and should you end up with a dreaded wind knot the spare spool can quickly be deployed, not ending your session, or even just give you the option of a different line altogether!
I won’t tell you it is going to be a workhorse, that you can use every day in salt and abuse and it’ll never fail, because truth be told even £200 reels will at a point fail without a little care and attention, but after 3 months of consistent use for LRF, Fresh Water Lure fishing, light bass fishing and float fishing I couldn’t be happier with it.
Check out the images below, no prep other than whipping a few finger prints off was done and internally everything still looks as good as new.
Knowing I didn’t break the bank makes it all that bit sweeter, and I’ve even smugly asked a few mates how much they reckon it is to be quoted over £50 every time! It really is superb that there are reels of this quality out there, at what is a fair price for those getting into lure fishing and will give you a feel of quality beyond its price.
Available in from a 1500-4000 size it is the perfect reel for all light tackle and lure fishing applications without breaking the bank and a real gem that’s perfect to introduce new anglers to quality gear at a phenomenal price!

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