Best Daiwa Spinning Reel

If you’ve been to this blog before, you know we often recommend the Daiwa BG as one of the best value spinning reels out there (check the price on Amazon now).

Many people like you have already bought it based on our recommendation.

So click that link above if you just want to make a quick decision, knowing you’re in safe hands with a popular choice.

This article contains much more premium reels and cheaper reels, but we know our audience, and think the Daiwa BG provides the best value at the right kind of price.

That said, let’s have a look at the best Daiwa spinning reels out there for different fishing applications.

Best Daiwa Spinning Reels spools
Daiwa’s best spinning reels reviewed by the author

Best Daiwa spinning reel for saltwater – Daiwa Saltiga 2023

Why the Daiwa Saltiga 2023 made the top list

This reel has made it to the market with much interest preceding its release from experienced anglers all over the world.

And they are not disappointed.

The new 2023 Saltiga has excelled the brand’s reputation in delivering super-high-quality reels and now with sizes appropriate for inshore fishing too, with 4000-6000 sized reels.

Many have said that Daiwa has completely nailed it, and is one of the nicest fishing reels to pick up – you can just feel it’s going to be a great quality reel.

There is such a good overall feeling and flow to the reel – the appearance is so sleek and pinched and tucked in a great way.

The overall appearance is super slick and well-engineered.

It has the new air-drive system and bail. Any sharp, jagged edges or screw fixings seem to be hidden beneath a sleek veneer.

It could be said to be the winning spinning reel on the market. Daiwa have really brought their game to the 2023 market with this reel.

Who is the Daiwa Saltiga 2023 for?

This reel is a serious piece of kit.

Based on the price range, I’m thinking you’d be looking at this reel if you’ve already tried and tested reels like the Saltist, Exist, or Shimano models like the Stradic and Spheros SW and you want to push your reel game a little further.

The reel sizes make it appropriate for inshore fishing, around piers, jetties and moving water under inshore bridges where big stripers, bull reds and decent amberjacks might be hanging out.

The Saltiga 2023 will handle these hard fighting, fast fish easily.

Daiwa Saltiga 2023 at a glance

  • Sizes: 4,000, 5000, 6000.
  • Drag: 26.4lbs max drag on a 4000 size
  • Line capacity: 280yds/20lb braid on the 4000 size
  • Weight: 12.2 oz on the 4000 size

Daiwa Saltiga 2023 Pros

  • Air Drive system. It was originally found on the Exist but now is installed into the new Saltiga. This system basically removes any friction and initial stickiness in getting the crank handle moving. A super smooth, hyper-fast frictionless reeling experience is what you get with the 2023 Saltiga. It just keeps on going…
  • Non-existent gear resistance. Even though it’s an extra high-speed reel, you don’t get any of the additional resistance on the rotor and gears when you’re battling a fish. With some of the lower-market reels, like the Revo3 Rocket or the Penn Battle 3 High-Speed reels you can feel a bit of startup friction and resistance when you have a fish on – this can be off-putting during a battle. But the new Saltiga has none of this!
  • High-grade features. The reel keeps much of the great features and design of the previous Saltiga, which was an absolute beast of a reel aimed at big game fishing. It has the Monocoque reel body (same as the other MQ models like the Daiwa BG MQ) – a one-piece body making it ridiculously rigid and strong. Oversized gears similar to the previous Saltiga mean the reel is so smooth and stable in the gears teeth.
  • Super-light. The smaller sizes and the construction of this reel make it much lighter than competitor reels, perfect for inshore applications where you’ll be casting and retrieving lures and baits more often and wearing your arm and wrist out.

Daiwa Saltiga 2023 Cons

  • This isn’t a cheap reel. So if you’re here for more budget options of the best Daiwa spinning reels then I’d scroll down to the Fuego or BG.
  • Limited sizes in the new model. If you are expecting a big game version of this 2023 reel, then you’ll probably be disappointed and you’ll need to stick with the previous version that does.
  • Plastic drag cap vs aluminum on the 2020 Saltiga. This is a small change but it seems odd they’ve done this. It may have been an attempt to reduce weight even further, and we’ll just have to see how it holds up against the elements over time.

Daiwa Saltiga 2023 Rating Score

4.9 stars

  • Performance: 5 stars
  • Durability: 4.9 stars
  • Value for Money: 4.9 stars

Best Daiwa spinning reel for bass and freshwater – Daiwa Tatula MQ LT

Why the Daiwa Tatula MQ LT made the top list

Similar to other reels in the Daiwa stable, like the Daiwa BG, the Tatula MQ has a bunch of features that have been borrowed from a much more premium reel – the Exist.

Which at the time of writing is tipping over the $1,000 mark at the time of writing!

The Tatula comes with Daiwa’s Zaion body material and the body itself, similar to the Saltiga is a monocoque body.

It has the Air Drive design too – the only other reel that has this currently is the 2023 Saltiga model above, as well as the Exist.

This means the bail is one wire piece and the rotor has been reduced down in weight and size so Daiwa has managed to shave off a little weight there too.

The rotor hugs to spool really nicely which adds to the stability of the reel overall under the pressure of a fish fight.

For the price tag and the tech you get behind the cold black and chrome coloured outer, it’s hard not to see the value here.

The Tatula often appears on the top of ‘best of’ lists by anglers much more experienced than me, which is in part why it’s featuring here too.

22lbs of drag on these small beasts!

Sealed body, too.

Who is the Daiwa Tatula for?

The Tatula is a fantastic little reel for freshwater finesse applications. It is so light – the 2500 is something like 6oz, making it perfect for fast finesse fishing to hunt out bass from structure and weed beds, covering lots of ground.

It has a high gear ratio so helps to cover lots of ground with a fast retrieve.

Daiwa Tatula MQ LT at a glance

  • Sizes: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000 ,4000.
  • Drag: 22lbs max drag on a 2500 size
  • Line capacity: 250yds/10lb braid on the 2500 size
  • Weight: 6.7 oz on the 2500 size

Daiwa Tatula MQ LT Pros

  • Strong and sturdy. This little reel is a powerful puncher, with a one-piece solid body to maintain rigidity, and design and engineering features that keep it tight and stable under pressure, such as the new Air Drive Rotor.
  • Lightweight. This has to be one of the lightest reels on the market from Daiwa in the available sizes. If you’re out for long sessions stalking bass or speckled trout, this reel is not going to tire you out from casting. It feels perfectly balanced and feather-light in the hand.
  • Fast gear ratio. The higher speed gears make it very versatile for different fishing applications. If you’re using crank baits, spinners or topwater lures, the Tatula MQ will give you enough speed to get those fish striking. If your lure is struck by a fish near structure too – the faster gear ratios will get you clear and out to safety quickly.
  • Great value. At its current price, similar to a Daiwa BG MQ, you’re getting stacks of the finest of Daiwa’s reel technology and features in this compact lightweight reel.

Daiwa Tatula MQ LT Cons

  • Play in the crank handle. There have been reports of Tatula reels having a bit of loose play in the handles when cranking in. This is a shame because elsewhere in the reel Daiwa has designed this thing for stability. So if you’re losing that stability in the handle, that’s going to be frustrating.

Daiwa Tatula Rating Score

4.87 stars

  • Performance: 4.8 stars
  • Durability: 4.9 stars
  • Value for Money: 4.9 stars

Best Daiwa spinning reel for the money – Daiwa BG

Why the Daiwa BG made the top list

To put it simply, the Daiwa BG reel offers exceptional value, easily surpassing its price by 1.5 times.

A quick look across the internet confirms that it consistently receives high ratings as one of the top reels in terms of value, and I wholeheartedly concur.

I personally purchased one for beach casting, and I anticipate keeping it by my side for an extensive period.

The durability and advanced technology crammed into this reel make it an excellent investment.

Surprisingly, it’s not even expensive when compared to the exorbitant prices some reels can fetch.

What’s truly impressive is that the new Daiwa BG reel is an evolution of a model that has been on the market for a remarkable 35 years! This lineage speaks volumes about its reliability and quality.

In fact, many charter captains rely on this reel to equip their boats precisely because they know how rugged and consistently high-performing it is, especially considering its price.

Who is the Daiwa BG for?

The Daiwa BG reel delivers an abundance of cutting-edge reel technology at a mere fraction of the cost you would expect to pay for comparable models.

Its versatility is truly impressive, allowing for seamless application in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

With a wide range of sizes available, you can confidently employ lighter gear for smaller species in serene lakes or tackle hefty fish amidst the tumultuous surf using the larger reel sizes.

This reel boasts an exceptional level of smoothness and reliability, providing a reassuring solidity in your hand that instills confidence during your fishing endeavors.

Charter boat captains favor the Daiwa BG for its remarkable durability, power, and overall value.

However, I would highly recommend it to virtually any angler in search of a top-quality reel. Particularly to those transitioning from the beginner phase and aiming to elevate their fishing experiences to new heights.

Daiwa BG at a glance

  • Sizes: 10 sizes. 1500 – 5000, 6500, 8000.
  • Drag: 17.6lbs max drag on a 4000 size
  • Line capacity: 280yds/30lb braid OR 200yds/40lb on the 4000 size
  • Weight: 14.3 oz on the 4000 size

Daiwa BG Pros

  • The combination of a solid anodized metal body, oversized Digigears with deep teeth, new Air Rotor technology, and ATD drag system results in an exceptionally robust and rigid reel, providing a sturdy and reliable feel during use. The handle, which engages with the deep-set main gear as one solid piece, further enhances the Daiwa BG’s durability and dependability.
  • Equipped with ball bearings (Minebea) typically found in high-end reels like the Daiwa Saltiga or Shimano Stella, the Daiwa BG offers incredible value at its price point. This investment pays off in the form of a remarkably smooth operation, enhancing the overall fishing experience.
  • The reel also boasts a convenient feature: the ability to switch the handle to the other side. This process is quick and effortless, allowing anglers to customize their reel setup based on personal preference or even change it during a fishing session. While the reel comes initially set up one way, it can easily be adjusted to suit individual needs.

Daiwa BG Cons

  • One potential drawback I noticed is that the bail arm of the Daiwa BG reel appears relatively slim compared to reels like the Penn Battle 3. While other components of the BG feel solid, the bail arm feels slightly lighter, which may be a concern for some anglers who prefer chunkier bail wires.
  • The gear ratio of 5.7:1 is not the fastest among reels with similar ratios. However, the spool width of the BG reel is wider than certain competitors, such as the Penn Battle 3. This design feature allows for relatively quick line retrieval, compensating for the slightly slower gear ratio.
  • Considering the overall value and performance of the reel, there are few significant complaints at its current price point. However, it’s worth noting these minor observations regarding the bail arm and gear ratio when comparing it to other reels in the market.

Daiwa BG Rating Score

4.9 stars

  • Performance: 4.9 stars
  • Durability: 5 stars
  • Value for Money: 5 stars
A photo of a Daiwa BG for Review

Best Daiwa spinning reel under $100 – Daiwa Exceler LT

Best Daiwa spinning reel for walleye – Daiwa Exceler LT

Why the Daiwa Exceler LT made the top list

Despite its affordable price point, I think the Exceler offers exceptional value, performance, and features that rival higher-priced models.

With a robust and durable construction, it can withstand the demands of regular fishing outings. The Exceler incorporates advanced technologies such as the Digigear system, ensuring smooth and precise gear operation for optimal power transmission.

Its ATD drag system delivers reliable and consistent drag performance, allowing anglers to confidently handle a variety of fish species.

The reel’s lightweight and ergonomic design contribute to a comfortable fishing experience, even during long sessions.

With its affordability, reliability, and impressive performance, the Daiwa Exceler stands out as a top choice for anglers seeking a high-quality spinning reel without breaking the bank.

Who is the Daiwa Exceler LT for?

The Daiwa Exceler spinning reel caters to a wide range of fishing styles and anglers, making it a versatile option suitable for various fishing scenarios.

It is mainly suited for freshwater fishing, making it ideal for anglers targeting species such as bass, trout, walleye, panfish. You could try and target inshore species like redfish or snook, but I’d take extra care of the reel.

The Exceler’s design and performance make it particularly suitable for anglers who appreciate a balance of affordability, durability, and functionality.

Whether you’re an entry-level angler looking to upgrade your gear or an experienced angler seeking a reliable and cost-effective spinning reel, the Daiwa Exceler provides a handy go-to for lighter freshwater applications.

Daiwa Exceler LT at a glance

  • Sizes: 1000, 2500, 3000 and 4000
  • Drag: 26.4lbs max drag on the 4000 size
  • Line capacity: 280yds/20lb braid on the 4000 size
  • Weight: 8.6 oz on the 4000 size

Daiwa Exceler LT Pros

  • Affordable Price Point: The Exceler LT provides accessible value for anglers who are budget-conscious or looking for a high-quality spinning reel without breaking the bank. Despite its affordability, the Exceler offers features and performance comparable to higher-priced models, making it an attractive option for both novice and experienced anglers.
  • Smooth and Reliable Operation: As a lower-market option, the Daiwa Exceler still delivers a smooth and reliable reeling feel and is very lightweight. The reel houses Daiwa’s Digigear system that ensures seamless gear alignment and optimal power transmission due to the strong deep teeth in the gears. You can get some really good control levels on this reel with your lure, to make sure the presentation is spot on.
  • ATD Drag System: The Exceler’s ATD drag system also provides consistent and reliable drag performance when under the strain of a battling fish with a lot of power behind it, giving you the confidence to handle various fish species and sizes.
  • Durable Construction: Despite its affordable price, the Daiwa Exceler does not compromise on durability. It is built to withstand the rigors of regular fishing outings. The reel’s robust construction, including a sturdy frame and quality components, ensures longevity and reliability.

Daiwa Exceler Cons

  • Limited Saltwater Resistance and sealing: One potential drawback of the Daiwa Exceler is its limited saltwater resistance. While it can handle very light saltwater use, it may not provide the same level of corrosion protection as reels specifically designed for heavy saltwater fishing. Prolonged exposure to saltwater without proper maintenance and care could potentially lead to premature wear or corrosion. I’d suggest keeping this reel to freshwater applications mainly with a bit of light saltwater fishing where there isn’t risk of water exposure.
  • Lower Gear Ratio Options: The gear ratios available are pretty low – the highest is 6.2:1 and that’s just available on the 2500 size it seems. This limits it’s performance and versatility as an agile reel choice suitable for many different types of lure fishing.

Daiwa Exceler R Score

4.75 stars

  • Performance: 4.7stars
  • Durability: 4.65 stars
  • Value for Money: 4.9 stars

Best Daiwa spinning reel for walleye – Daiwa Fuego

Why the Daiwa Fuego made the top list

I think the Daiwa Fuego spinning reel undoubtedly deserves a prominent position on the list of the best Daiwa spinning reels available.

I kind of see the Daiwa Fuego in a similar realm to the Penn Fierce, with perhaps the Fuego just coming out on top. Both pretty good value reels, durable and a decent amount of performance for how few dollars you are giving up, compared to the more premium reels.

With its impressive combination of features, performance, and value, it stands out among its competitors.

The Fuego boasts a sleek and durable design, incorporating a lightweight yet robust aluminum body that ensures longevity and a smooth operation.

Its precision-engineered Digigear technology ensures seamless power transmission and enhanced gear durability.

Walleye are known for their subtle bites and delicate mouths, requiring a sensitive touch to detect even the slightest nibbles.

The Daiwa Fuego’s precision-engineered Digigear technology ensures a smooth and precise operation, allowing for enhanced sensitivity.

This feature helps you feel the lightest taps and make accurate hooksets, increasing your chances of landing walleye successfully.

The ATD drag system provides precise and reliable drag performance, making it ideal for tackling various species and fishing techniques.

Furthermore, the Fuego reel incorporates a superior line management system with a long cast spool and advanced Air Rotor design, enabling longer and more accurate casts.

Who is the Daiwa Fuego for?

The Daiwa Fuego spinning reel is designed to cater to a wide range of fishing styles and anglers.

It is particularly suitable for anglers who value versatility and performance across different fishing environments.

Whether you’re a freshwater angler targeting bass, trout, or walleye, or a saltwater angler pursuing inshore species like redfish or snook, the Fuego can meet your needs.

The Fuego’s Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) system becomes crucial when battling walleye, as they are known for their spirited fights and occasional surges.

The ATD system allows for smooth drag engagement and adjustments, enabling you to apply the necessary pressure to tire out the fish without risking line breaks or hook pulls.

The Daiwa Fuego comes in various sizes, offering anglers the ability to choose a reel that suits their walleye fishing style and preferred line capacity.

Whether targeting walleye in freshwater lakes, rivers, or reservoirs, the Fuego provides the versatility needed to handle different fishing conditions.

Daiwa Fuego at a glance

  • Sizes: 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000.
  • Drag: 26.4lbs max drag on a 4000 size
  • Line capacity: 280yds/20lb braid on the 4000 size
  • Weight: 8.6 oz on the 4000 size

Daiwa Fuego Pros

  • Outstanding Durability: One of the notable pros of the Daiwa Fuego spinning reel is its exceptional durability for it’s price tag. Constructed with a sturdy aluminum body and Digigear technology, the Fuego offers reliable performance even in demanding fishing conditions. The aluminum body not only provides strength but also helps to keep the reel lightweight. The Digigear system ensures smooth and precise gear alignment, minimizing wear and tear over time.
  • Smooth and Reliable Drag System: Another advantage of the Daiwa Fuego is its high-quality drag system. Equipped with the Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) technology, this reel delivers consistent and precise drag performance. The ATD system minimizes initial spool resistance, allowing for smoother and more controlled drag engagement during hooksets and battles with powerful fish. You can confidently apply the necessary pressure to tire out and land target species without worrying about drag slippage or abrupt changes in tension.
  • Versatility and Performance: The Daiwa Fuego excels in providing versatility and performance across different fishing techniques and environments. Whether you’re finesse fishing with lightweight lures or power fishing with heavier baits, this reel can adapt to various angling styles. It offers a smooth retrieve, enabling precise lure control and enhancing sensitivity.

Daiwa Fuego Cons

  • Limited Saltwater Resistance: One potential drawback of the Daiwa Fuego is its limited saltwater resistance. While it can handle light saltwater use, it may not be as corrosion-resistant as reels specifically designed for heavy saltwater fishing. Prolonged exposure to saltwater without proper maintenance and care could potentially lead to premature wear or corrosion.
  • Handle Grip Design: Some users may find the handle grip design of the Daiwa Fuego to be less comfortable compared to other reels. The handle knob may not provide the same level of ergonomics or padding as preferred by some anglers. While this is a matter of personal preference, those who prioritize a highly comfortable grip for extended fishing sessions may consider alternative reels or explore aftermarket handle knob options to enhance their experience with the Fuego.
  • Availability of Spare Parts: Another consideration is the availability of spare parts for the Daiwa Fuego spinning reel. In case any components require replacement due to damage or wear, it’s crucial to ensure that the necessary spare parts are readily accessible. Some users have reported challenges in sourcing specific parts for the Fuego, which could potentially cause inconvenience and delay in repairs or maintenance. It’s advisable to check with authorized dealers or inquire about the availability of spare parts before making a purchase.

Daiwa Fuego Rating Score

4.9 stars

  • Performance: 4.9 stars
  • Durability: 5 stars
  • Value for Money: 5 stars

Best Daiwa spinning reel for jigging – Daiwa Saltist MQ

Why the Daiwa Saltist MQ made the top list

The Daiwa Saltist MQ spinning reel undoubtedly deserves a place on the top list of best Daiwa spinning reels, particularly as the best Daiwa spinning reel for jigging.

Designed with the demands of jigging in mind, the Saltist MQ excels in providing the power, durability, and precision required for this fishing technique.

It features a robust aluminum body and Magsealed construction, providing exceptional protection against water and debris.

The reel’s MQ (Monocoque) body design enhances rigidity and strength while minimizing weight. T

his allows for precise control and efficient energy transfer during jigging, resulting in improved lure action and better feel of the underwater environment.

Equipped with Daiwa’s advanced technologies such as Magsealed, ATD (Advanced Tournament Drag), and Digigear, the Saltist MQ offers outstanding drag performance, smooth operation, and reliable power transmission.

With its specialized features and purpose-built design, the Daiwa Saltist MQ stands as the ideal spinning reel for anglers seeking optimal performance and durability in the realm of jigging.

Who is the Daiwa Saltist MQ for?

The Daiwa Saltist MQ spinning reel is specifically designed for anglers who engage in demanding fishing techniques such as jigging.

It’s a popular choice if you’re targeting saltwater species known for their powerful and aggressive nature – offshore game fish like tuna, amberjack, grouper, and snapper.

If you enjoy vertical jigging, where precise lure control and the ability to quickly retrieve line are crucial, you’ll find the Saltist MQ to be an excellent choice.

Moreover, the reel’s durability and resistance to water intrusion make it well-suited for fishing in harsh saltwater environments.

Daiwa Saltist MQ at a glance

  • Sizes: Ranging from 2500 right up to 18000 for bigger game species.
  • Drag: 26.4lbs max drag on a 4000 size, and 44lbs on the largest size.
  • Line capacity: 280yds/20lb braid on the 4000 size, 440yds/60lb braid on the 18000
  • Weight: 10.2 oz on the 4000 size, 29.5 on the 18000

Daiwa Saltist MQ Pros

  • Exceptional Durability: One of the significant pros of the Daiwa Saltist MQ spinning reel is its tough durability. It’s built with a robust single-piece aluminum body and featuring Magsealed technology, this reel offers exceptional protection against water, debris, and corrosion.
  • Precise and Powerful Drag System: The Saltist MQ is equipped with Daiwa’s advanced ATD (Advanced Tournament Drag) system, providing precise and powerful drag performance. The larger sizes of the Saltist carry whopping amounts of drag capacity on them. This is particularly important for jigging, as it allows anglers to maintain control over the fight and prevent line breakage. It can easily handle the sudden bursts of energy exhibited by aggressive saltwater species.
  • Optimal Power Transmission: The Saltist MQ incorporates Daiwa’s Digigear technology, ensuring optimal power transmission and smooth operation. They’ve managed to fit larger gears into the single-piece MQ body too. This advanced gear system provides a precise and efficient transfer of energy from the handle to the rotor, maximizing the angler’s control and sensitivity during jigging.

Daiwa Saltist MQ Cons

  • Higher Price Point: The Daiwa Saltist MQ does have a higher price point compared to other spinning reels. But you are getting advanced features, durable construction, and specialized design that contribute to its premium cost. There are other reels out there from competitors like the Stradic or Spheros SW that might be a more affordable option. Even the Daiwa BG would be a solid alternative for the more budget conscious.
  • Heavier Weight: The Saltist MQ may have a slightly heavier weight compared to other spinning reels in its class. While this additional weight can contribute to its durability and power, it may be less desirable for anglers who prioritize lightweight gear for extended fishing sessions.
  • Limited Application: Another consideration is that the Daiwa Saltist MQ is designed specifically for saltwater fishing applications. While it excels in these areas, it may have limited versatility if you want a reel to use in a wide range of fishing techniques or primarily fish in freshwater environments.

Daiwa Saltist MQ Rating Score

4.9 stars

  • Performance: 4.9 stars
  • Durability: 5 stars
  • Value for Money: 5 stars

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