The Certate has always been the tough guy in Daiwa’s large stable of reels in the sub-5000 size category. While heavier than most Daiwa reels due to its full metal body, its robust and durable build is what has given the Certate its outstanding reputation as a reliable workhorse with long-lasting durability. I’ve never had an issue with any of my Certates in 15 years. Certates from 2004 are still being sold, sought after and used thanks to it being a tough reel with silky smooth handling. While the Certate is available globally, it’s like it was purpose built for Australia’s vast inshore saltwater fisheries, where reels are punished by both fish and the elements.
Whether you’re chasing bream and bass or big barra and snapper, there is a Certate that can handle it. It has the gears, drag and body to perform like a big reel in a compact size. The new LT series sees vast improvements to the Certate – it’s lighter, features a monocoque body, HD gears and is a better sealed and lighter unit. As the LT acronym suggests, it’s lighter and tougher. The most recent and dramatic change has been the release of the Certate Ark (Aluminium Round Knob) in sizes 3000 to 5000 with both high and low gear ratios. The Ark takes the appeal of the Certate and injects it with a healthy dose of rocket fuel with the addition of a metal power ball knob. The Ark is an amazing-looking reel – it’s as though a Saltiga and a Certate had a child and the Ark is the result.
It’s a great move from Daiwa and one that really fills a gap in off-the-shelf reels. Anglers have been modifying Certates with after-market parts for years in order to maximise the power they offer. The compact, finessed size fused with a solid metal body and hardcore internals lends itself to techniques such as slow-pitch, light topwater work, heavy plastics for demersal species, impoundment and wild barra… the list goes on. The general thinking from anglers in the past was that Exist is too delicate, Saltiga in 3500 is too big, but Certate is just right. Previous handles and knobs on the standard Certates don’t lend themselves well to larger fish and high drag pressures, but the Ark is ready to go straight out of the box. You’re getting a good deal price-wise, as you can’t buy the handle and knob fitted on the Ark for less than the $70 difference between the standard Certate and the Ark.
I bought the Ark as a multi-purpose reel. I run high-quality PE1.5 on it and this allows me to target snapper on plastics, slow pitch jigging and casting at school tuna. Many comment on the Ark and while with certain techniques the heavy duty handle and knob are ergonomically beneficial, it’s at the loss of sensitivity. You’ll be surprised how the heavier hardware dulls vibration transfer from lighter lures and subtle strikes to your hand. Testing it on snapper with relatively light lures had me missing a few strikes as everything was a little delayed. It’s a reel that’s best used for heavier lures, bigger fish and more aggressive forms of angling such as stickbaiting, slow pitch and jerkbaiting, where you’re working the rod or reel with a more aggressive technique.
The drag and the high ratio gears are beautifully smooth and it feels extremely solid in the hand yet light and well balanced. I’ll certainly never need even 50% of its 10kg of drag capacity but it’s always nice knowing it’s there and that I’m never over-working the reel. The best feature of the Certate is the torque – you really feel in control of the fish and I look forward to tangling with some much larger captures. There are 19 models of Certate ranging from 2500 through to 5000 in a range of gear ratios and spool depths, so there is one to suit any fish you’re targeting.
Words & Images: Kosta Linardos