Daiwa Ninja Spinning Reel Review

This is a review of the Daiwa Ninja. We had this reel back before we were taking a more methodical approach to testing reels, and have since sold it to be able to test more kit. It’s by far the best reel I’ve ever used at its price, and is a seriously nice mid-range reel. We took it out on the North coast of Cornwall and found it beautiful to use.

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Daiwa Ninja reel Review

We used the 4000 size Daiwa Ninja front drag on the Black Rock Sea Bass 10ft

The 4000 size of this reel was surprisingly well balanced on this 10ft rod, which has a higher casting weight than the rods we usually use for bass fishing. The 4000 Ninja is larger than the 4000 Legalis. The 4000 size would balance well with a rod between 8.5-10ft. The 3000 Ninja balances with lure rods of 7-9ft. The 2500 size is suitable for lighter rods of no more than 8.5ft that cast under 25g. The 1000 size Ninja is for LRF and perch and trout fishing with rods casting less than 15g.

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The action of the Daiwa Ninja rod

There is the Daiwa Ninja rod which presumably it pairs well with. We also tested the rod. The rod is nice and feels fairly priced, but is nothing special compared to the reel.

daiwa ninja spinning reel review

I reckon this is the best reel for £50ish quid I’ve ever used

This reel costs significantly less than the Daiwa Legalis and I don’t think there’s much difference in quality. The Ninja was exceptionally smooth to fish with and it appears to me to have a similar amount of metal components. The main difference is that it’s bulkier and heavier, but that just changes which rod is balances best with not the quality of the reel.

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daiwa ninja spinning reel review

Excellent line lay = less tangles

We loaded the reel up with some Sea Knight braid, which is really nasty stuff. It’s been prone to tangles on multiple reels and confirmed our suspicions that braids on Amazon for under £10 are trouble makers. However, the Daiwa Ninja handled this nasty stuff with no issues at all. The reel had perfect line lay without any adjustment.

We also tried using the J Braid 8-strand fishing line, priced around £30, on this reel and it worked perfectly. When you compare how well this reel lays the line to something like the Penn Pursuit, which is similarly priced, the Daiwa Legalis LT clearly outperforms.

If you enjoy fishing with lighter, soft-plastic lures like weedless do-live sticks or smaller Fiish minnows, you’ll know that wind knots can be an issue, especially when fishing in a headwind. These annoying tangles are more common when using light lures. A reel that lays the line neatly can really help reduce the chance of getting these knots. While other factors like your rod’s eyelets and the fishing line itself can contribute to tangles, the reel is often a main culprit. That’s why it’s great to have a reel like the Ninja here which seems less likely to cause such frustrations.

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daiwa ninja spinning reel review
Beginners lure fishing

Very nice build quality given the price

It’s common at this price to see less metal and more plastic. This reel has a carbon composite frame with a lot of metal plating and of course an aluminium spool. The spool we’re using here is the spare, which is why it’s not red. The spool is long enough and deep enough to hold a lot of line and allow line to fly out with minimal friction.

daiwa ninja
Daiwa Ninja Spinning Reel

A reliable spinning reel you I’d be confident with everywhere, except surfy spots

The Ninja does not come with a high level of saltwater resistance. This is something that requires spending a ton more – typically about £150. I would keep this reel away from salt. Don’t dunk it, don’t leave it on a boat for too long etc. It’s not a flaw specific to this reel, it’s just how reels are at this price. I am not aware of any reels at this price that offer a high level of saltwater resistance.

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