Expert Review: Daiwa Lexa Type - WN Baitcasting Reel

This review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.

The Daiwa Lexa Type - WN Baitcasting Reel.

All photos courtesy of Glenn Daily

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.

My take

The Daiwa Lexa Type-WN Baitcasting Reel is a major game changer for the more advanced occasional angler. This reel is smooth, powerful, and accurate in helping everyone using it to land their catch.

A man holding a fish out of the water as he has his fishing rod next to him.

Daiwa Lexa WN 400 size on a custom built casting rod

About the reel

  • Model: Daiwa Lexa WN
  • Reel Size: HS-P 400
  • Construction: Baitcaster
  • Drag System: Ultimate Tournament Drag System
  • Drag Pressure: 25lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): I love fishing inshore, offshore, and nearshore for game fish and fun. My preferred method of fishing is live lining baits and casting some artificial baits while also jigging.
  • Experience: 22 years of fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: May 2022
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Custom 8’6” casting rod made by a local shop in Jupiter, Florida. The rod is a medium-heavy power with a fast-acting tip with Fuji-melonite guides and a cork handle.
  • Line Paired with Reel: 300 yards of 30lbs Power Pro Slick V2, with 75-yard top shot of 40lb monofilament.
  • Days tested: 90
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Saltwater, inshore/surf
  • Species targeted with reel: Snook, Redfish, Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle

How it performs


What I was looking for

I was looking to change up the way I fish normally. My goals were to find the best baitcaster reel instead of using a spinning reel like normal. The reel I was looking for needed strong durability and a high amount of power in its gears to help haul in the fish I was targeting while being smooth and with a higher-quality drag system.

Why I chose this gear

My buddy bought this one in December of 2021, and I borrowed it for about four months and fell in love with it. So I had to go out and buy one for myself. I had considered purchasing a Daiwa Tatula 300, Shimano Curado 300 K, and Penn Squall Low Profile 400 size. Instead, I found that this reel was top above all the other options because of its compact size, spool capacity, and power within the gears.

The Daiwa Lexa Type - WN Baitcasting Reel.

What I love about it

  • Performance: This reel matches perfectly with the custom rod we had made for us. The reel feels very well balanced on the rod and does not feel heavy or light on the back end. Using a baitcaster is more of an advanced angler-level reel, but it is easy once someone gets their technique down. I find this reel very easy to get dialed in and use, which helps make each cast feel smooth and easy with a very clean and smooth retrieval.
  • Quality: I find this reel to be high quality and built to last a long time. The reel is constructed out of aluminum, making it more durable, especially in saltwater. The reel features Winn grips on the handle, magnetic casting control, and Daiwa’s Ultimate Tournament Drag System which performs beautifully when I have a fish on the line.
  • Versatility: This reel is made for comfort and control with each and every cast. I found this to be true with the magnetic cast control feature and the Winn grips on the handle, which allow for a more comfortable feel when retrieving the line. This reel falls in line with the Lexa series of reels which has become increasingly popular over the years. My favorite feature is that the reel is still lightweight and compact, making carrying and traveling easy.
  • Durability: I put this reel through some of the worst possible conditions, and it still feels new whenever I use it. It is built to last with an aluminum body that helps battle larger inshore species such as bull redfish, flounder, and fast-hitting snook. My testing included wading through water, being constantly hit with saltwater, and hooking into some larger species, such as Tarpon bigger than 28 inches. And all I need to do is to rinse the reel after each use, and it remains in perfect condition. If one knows anything about baitcasters, it is quite easy to repair and maintain their continued smoothness.
  • Application: I use this reel for cast artificial baits primarily such as Z-Man Minnows in a 5” size with a paddle tail on the end with a 0.5-1oz jighead or some Yo-Zuri hard baits with a range of motions like twitching or popping, even some sub-surface “walk the dog” technique. Having this reel makes it easy for me to accurately land my baits where I want every time and withstand the force and strength of each fish.
  • Drag System: The drag system is smooth and operates perfectly. Its 25lbs of drag is tuned smoothly and easily with no issues. I can stop on the dime with a perfect anti-reverse.Another great part of this reel and the Lexa series baitcasting reels is the stainless steel bearings that are included, which help tremendously against corrosion.
  • Feel: This reel is smooth with a nice textured grip on the handle and with the Winn Grip knob. It is lightweight and compact, allowing less fatigue while fishing on those longer days. The shape of the reel fits on the rod nicely and comfortably in my hand while holding the setup.
  • Build: I purchased this reel mainly for its durability and performance based on the rest of the Lexa series reels. They are proven excellent reels with a strong-bodied system and stainless steel bearings, which helps since I fish in saltwater.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Size: This reel lacks certain qualities, mainly because this version of the Lexa series only comes in 300 and 400 sizes. It is designed for saltwater, but not being able to have a smaller size for the anglers that like having a lighter setup makes it lack more. HS-P 400 with a 7.1:1 gear ratio is the size I chose. I wanted a reel with plenty of extra space on the spool to hold many lines hooked into a massive fish that loves to run. I can’t relate to how it relates to other reels other than other Daiwa reels, but it is more of a powerhouse of a reel compared to other Daiwa baitcast reels.
  • Aesthetics: I am not personally a big fan of the finish and aesthetics of this reel. It is very plain in black and gray. I wish to have a reel that looks more pleasing to the eye for the money I spend on it. I also am not a huge fan of reels that are just plain matte black because of their finish. It makes scratches a little more visible.
  • Features: This reel comes naturally in a right-handed retrieval, and one has to buy it in a left-handed retrieval if one wants it to be on the other side. That being said, it is harder to find them in the left-sided retrieval, and when they are in stock, they fly off the shelves.
  • Maintenance: My biggest concern with this reel is keeping it clean. Unless someone knows how to re-lubricate a baitcasting reel or do other maintenance, they would have to take it to someone else for maintenance. I generally can clean it down how I would like with any other reel. But after consistent usage, it needs to be maintained more often.
The Daiwa Lexa Type - WN Baitcasting Reel.

Favorite moment with this gear:

My favorite moment was chasing a snook down the beach in Jupiter, Florida. I had thrown a Z-Man 4” minnow with a paddle tail on a 0.5oz Z-Man Trout Eye jighead. Unfortunately, the snook had hit it so fast that I was not prepared, and it had taken me for a run up and down the beach. I went into the water to try and stop it, not realizing my phone was in my pocket. I landed the snook when I was waist-high in water and did not get a full measurement, but it was definitely over 25 inches.

Value for the money vs. other options

Compared to other Daiwa reels, such as the Tatula, Zillion, and Coastal SV, the Lexa Type-WN reel performs great for the money and is still one of the cheaper options against the other reels I compared it to. It is a reel that will get the job done when one needs it to without fail.

Final verdict

The Daiwa Lexa Type-WN is a great reel for the money. This reel is a great option for someone looking to upgrade from their starter baitcasting reel to a more high-end one.

Selling Daiwa on
Daiwa Lexa Type - WN Baitcasting Reel
Meet the author
Conventional Fishing Expert Glenn Daily
Glenn Daily
Conventional Fishing Expert
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Written By
Glenn Daily
Glenn Daily
Conventional Fishing Expert
Ever since I was about 4 years old, I have been out fishing. Learning anything and everything I possibly could. I started fishing in freshwater for Bass, Catfish, and Perch. Then around 8 years old I moved to the beach and started my journey to fishing saltwater. Everything from small Pinfish to Blu...
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