Expert Review: Daiwa Exceler LT Spinning ReelPublished on 10/19/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Brayden Sharp
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
Coming in at a very affordable price point, the Daiwa Exceler LT Spinning Reel is a great starter reel to get into the sport. This would be a great budget option for anyone new to the sport.
About the reel I own
- Model: Daiwa Exceler LT
- Reel Size: 3000
- Construction: Spinning
- Drag System: Automatic Tournament Drag (ATD)
- Drag Pressure: 22lbs
- Preferred fishing style(s): Freshwater Power fishing - Flipping and pitching jigs
- Experience: 15 years of fishing
- When I bought this: May 2022
- Rod Paired with Reel: Daiwa Procyon
- Line Paired with Reel: 10lb J-braid
- Days tested: 30 days
- Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater
- Species targeted with reel: Largemouth and smallmouth bass
How it performs
What I was looking for
In searching for a budget spinning reel for finesse applications, I wanted to find one under $100 that was still quality. I wanted a smooth drag that would be good quality at a lower price point.
Why I chose this gear
I decided on this product because it was in Daiwa’s LT series that I wanted to buy. This reel was the reel in that series that was in the price range I was looking to stay in. I wanted reels in this exact series, it was just deciding which price point to purchase.
What I love about it
- Performance: As a budget reel, this performed higher than the price tag. It has a very smooth drag system, which is usually lacking in budget reels. The retrieve was very smooth in comparison to other companies in the same price range.
- Application: In my opinion, this rod is best used as an introductory spinning setup.
- Size: This reel is an average size in comparison to other brands within this price point.
- Drag System: This drag system is very smooth for the price tag. It allows anglers to use very light line that will not break off.
- Feel: This rod has a smooth retrieve for its price point. It feels very nice in the hand.
- Aesthetics: This reel includes some sleek, metallic-looking components. It includes an appealing gold accent.
- Features: This rod features both LH and RH retrieve.
- Maintenance: At a lower price point, it does require more maintenance as far as oiling. I try to keep the bearings well oiled.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Quality: This reel is budget friendly, so it is not the highest quality. However, for the price point, this reel is made with above-average components. It doesn’t have a higher-end feel if one is used to $150+ gear. When retrieving this reel, I can feel more bearings due to the smaller number of bearings within the reel.
- Versatility: Unfortunately, this reel is not the most versatile, as it’s not saltwater sealed/rated.
- Durability: This reel has a carbon-mix body, so it’s not as durable as other price points. Though, to be fair, I have not seen any damage after one year of rigorous tournament testing.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was throwing a light ned rig for smallmouth and casting on a long point. I felt a subtle bite and set the hook into a four-pound smallmouth. Fishing with light lines and very aggressive smallmouth, I proceeded to fight this fish for five minutes by jumping multiple times. This reel held up very well with a smooth drag on the aggressive dives by the bass.
Value for the money vs. other options
For the value, this is the best budget/introductory spinning reel in my opinion. It is built from quality components at a lower price point. With many companies at this price point, they assume customers don’t know what quality components feel, so they do not have as smooth retrieves and as smooth drag systems that Daiwa does not skimp on. Other options would be the Shimano Sedona FL or the Abu Garcia Jordan Lee edition.
This is an excellent reel for the price point. It is the best budget or introductory spinning reel in the entire industry in my opinion. The quality is not going to blow one away, but in comparison to other companies, this is the best reel out on the market at its price point.