Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 – the ultimate stand-off!

Two reels with similar performance, similar look, similar price tag, both backed by reputable brands… how do you decide in a situation like that?

That’s what this article is all about – the Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3.

We’ll pick through all the features and details we think are important to choosing between these two reel models, to help you choose on the right model for you. But let’s just say, it’s close!

Let’s dive into the hands-on comparison.

The author's Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3

Overall winner – Daiwa BG

Author photo of the Daiwa BG Reel

Incredible workhorse of a reel

  • Top reel tech for insane value
  • Lightweight, strong, packed with performance

Close 2nd – Penn Battle 3

The author's Penn Battle 3 under review (1)

Solid value reel biting at the heels of the BG

  • Very strong, solid reel construction
  • Penn’s formidable gearing and drag system

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 – Comparing the two reels

Both these reels are used by a wide range of anglers across different applications.

Personally, I find it difficult to determine which one is truly better than the other. Many say the Daiwa BG due to the performance and technology that is packed into the reel, and the Daiwa BG did find the top spot on our article testing the best value surf reels out there.

But I find both reels are similarly priced and both pack a lot of value for their price range.

Daiwa BG overview

The Daiwa BG presents a lot of advanced reel technology at a fraction of the cost compared to other reels boasting similar features.

This highly adaptable reel does really well in both freshwater and saltwater environments. With its wide range of sizes, you can choose lightweight gear for smaller species in tranquil lakes, or confidently tackle chunky fish amidst big surf using the larger reel sizes.

Featuring unmatchable smoothness and reliability at this price, this reel has a great sturdy feel that feels solid in your hand when casting and retrieving.

The Daiwa BG is widely favored by charter boats due to its exceptional durability, power, and, above all, value for money.

But, that said, I’d recommend this top-tier reel to virtually any angler seeking superior quality. It proves particularly advantageous for those transitioning beyond the beginner stage, eager to enhance their fishing setup and elevate their angling pursuits to new heights.

Author's photo of Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Drag system

Penn Battle 3 overview

The Penn Battle 3 has quickly gained a lot of popularity, making it one of the most sought-after reels on the market today. In our head-to-head comparison article aimed at uncovering the finest surf reels available, it secured a close second position.

Penn has implemented significant design developments in the Battle 3, distinguishing it from its predecessors, the Battle 1 and 2.

Check out our Penn Battle 3 High Speed Review here

The notable and substantial upgrade lies in the gear system. By incorporating CNC machine-cut gearing, the reel achieves an unparalleled level of smoothness, eradicating any slippage or inaccuracies in its operation.

I think the Battle 3 reel is a really nice reel as a reliable mid-range option that competes admirably against the Daiwa BG.

Not only does it deliver exceptional performance, but it also offers a slightly more affordable price point than the BG, providing anglers with great value due to the advanced technology and engineering integrated into its design that is borrowed from more expensive Penn reels.

Click here to see more top Penn spinning reels.

Making a decision – which reel?

If I was pushed to pick a winner between these two, it would probably be the Daiwa BG, despite being a Penn fan. The Daiwa BG just borrows some really impressive reel technology from its older brother and sister models that pull price tags of $$$s.

The author's Daiwa BG

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Durability

Both the Daiwa BG and Penn Battle III spinning reels are designed to be used in saltwater environments, and both feature corrosion-resistant construction materials.

However, it is still important to take proper care of the reels after each use to prevent saltwater buildup and corrosion.

This includes rinsing the reel with freshwater after each use and performing regular maintenance such as lubrication and cleaning.

With proper care, both reels should be able to withstand the harsh saltwater environment for many years of use.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Bearings

The BG has more ball bearings (6) than the Battle III (5), which provides for smoother operation.

One of the standout attributes of the Daiwa BG is its bearings, which greatly contribute to its remarkable smoothness and stability, and surprised numerous anglers upon the release of the new BG model.

The Daiwa BG houses the exceptional Minebea ball bearings within the reel. These ball bearing systems are of extraordinarily high quality.

Have you heard of the Shimano Stella or the Daiwa Saltiga? You’re likely aware of their hefty price tags then, that might break the bank of some of us more average anglers!

Here’s the intriguing part: the modest Daiwa BG, priced very reasonably, actually incorporates the same ball-bearing system found in these top-tier reels that many anglers can only dream of owning.

It is these bearings that give the Daiwa BG its awesome, fluid performance, all at a fraction of the expected cost.

This is one of the key reasons I think the Daiwa BG beats out the Penn Battle 3.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Gears

Daiwa BG Gears

The Daiwa BG features the inclusion of Daiwa’s Digigears, ensuring effective power transmission and control directly into the angler’s hand.

What sets these gears apart from many other reels is the significant depth and thickness of their teeth.

Their “Digi” designation comes from being digitally cut from metal, a process that Daiwa claims ensures maximum precision.

This precision is crucial as it allows the gears to seamlessly engage without any slippage or play, a vital factor when battling fish under intense pressure.

A Penn Battle 3 under review by the author (2)

Penn Battle 3 Gears

The Battle 3 reel boasts an exceptionally precise gearing system too, courtesy of its CNC-cut gears.

Unlike gears that are molded or cast, these gears are cut from solid metal, resulting in enhanced strength and stability.

As a result, this reel stands solidly and effortlessly handles the challenge of battling larger fish, exhibiting minimal to no internal movement or stickiness.

The incorporation of CNC-cut gears marks a substantial upgrade for the Penn Battle 3. Typically found in higher-end reels, this advanced technology has been integrated into the Battle 3, contributing to its widespread popularity among anglers of various backgrounds.

This upgrade means you get prolonged gear longevity within the reel, ensuring lasting performance and durability.

The Battle III has a slower gear ratio (4.7:1) compared to the BG (5.6:1), which means it turns slower but has more power.

If you’re looking for reels with very fast gear ratio, then check out these top high-speed reels.

The BG also has a faster line recovery rate than the Battle III which I prefer because I am often fishing fast retrieve lures in the surf or from a kayak so I need the speed that the Daiwa BG offers.

The Daiwa BG features a cast zinc alloy main gear, while the Penn Battle III has a solid aluminum main gear.

Both reels have a machined brass gearing pinion and an anti-reverse switch.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Drag

The Daiwa BG has a higher max drag capacity than the Penn Battle III. The BG 8000 has a max drag of 33 pounds, while the Battle III 8000 has a max drag of 30 pounds.

The Penn Battle 3 carries the HT-100 drag system which is renowned as an incredibly powerful and durable asset to the lines of Penn reels that utilise it.

As I’ve mentioned in other articles, the Penn drag system sounds absolutely awesome when a fish runs on you.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Spool and line capacity

The Daiwa BG has a larger spool capacity than the Penn Battle III. The BG 8000 will hold 440 yards of 80-pound braid, while the Battle III will hold 345 yards of 80-pound braid.

And this difference extends down into the smaller sizes of the BG and Battle 3.

I find it pretty impressive that the Daiwa BG is able to hold so much line.

As an avid surf angler, I find the larger spool capacity particularly appealing. The spool width on the Daiwa BG is generously oversized in comparison to other reels.

This enlarged sizing allows for a greater line capacity, providing anglers with the ability to fit more line on the reel.

And increased line capacity proves pretty helpful in a lot of angling applications, offering added versatility and flexibility for different target species.

The tapered design of the ABS spool in the Daiwa BG offers several advantages too.

Firstly, it ensures even distribution of the line, resulting in a smooth and friction-free process of de-spooling during casting.

This translates to faster and more consistent line release, enabling significantly longer casts compared to reels with standard, non-tapered spools.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Rotors

Daiwa BG rotors

Continuing the focus on strength and lightweight construction, the Daiwa BG is enveloped by the innovative Air Rotor.

This rotor design offers remarkable sensitivity, surpassing expectations for a reel in its price range.

Daiwa asserts that the Air Rotor design enhances the reel’s balance by combining stability and sensitivity, achieved through carefully crafted arches within the rotor’s structure.

Author's photo comparing Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3

Penn Battle 3 Rotors

The Penn Battle 3 borrows a very similar rotor design to its more expensive cousin the Slammer 3.

This is an interesting flow of technology design for the Penn Battle 3. t does mean a heavier rotor body because its solid metal, which some anglers say affects the reeling feel.

But a solid metal body provides a lot of strength and power to the reel which I think is a plus for saltwater fishing!

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Crank feel and smoothness

Daiwa BG

When I first cranked this reel, I was impressed by the smoothness exhibited by the Daiwa BG.

From the moment you take it out of the box, the smooth feel becomes immediately noticeable as you turn the handle, providing a satisfying experience.

Taking all the reel’s comprehensive array of features and cutting-edge technology together, it becomes evident why the Daiwa BG attains such a high level of smoothness, even when subjected to the intense pressure and strain of battling fish in challenging surf conditions.

I can really see how the powerful construction and use of technology from more premium reels create such good performance in this reel.

Penn Battle 3

Click here for more of our insight on the best Penn reels out there.

A few anglers have noted a minor sluggishness in the reeling motion of the Battle 3 reel, a characteristic also reported in the Spinfisher V model.

This slight sluggishness could potentially be attributed to the grease used in the reel. However, it has been mentioned that this issue tends to diminish after a few uses.

I also noticed this on my Spinfisher VI reel and after a few uses it seems to loosen up a bit.

Comparatively, some anglers have observed that the Penn Battle 3 lacks the same level of smoothness in its reeling motion and overall feel when compared to other reels in a similar price range.

Particularly when pitted against the Daiwa BG, the Battle 3 falls short in terms of smoothness, with some anglers describing a slight “bumpy” sensation at the top and bottom of the spool oscillation, especially under pressure.

It has been speculated that this disparity in smoothness may be attributed to the reel’s seals, which could be a design trade-off aimed at enhancing durability and protection against the elements.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Body Construction

The Daiwa BG features a cast zinc alloy main gear, while the Penn Battle III has a solid aluminum main gear.

Both reels have a machined brass gearing pinion and an anti-reverse switch.

Daiwa BG vs Penn Battle 3 Specs and Sizes

The Daiwa BG and the Penn Battle 3 offer a similar range of sizes to the reels.

I like to see this from reel models, because if I really like a reel brand and model then I know I can buy other sizes to suit different fishing applications.

And I’ll know that I like the performance of the reel itself, rather than having to go through the whole decision process again.

Here are the size and spec charts for each reel.

Daiwa BG sizing chart

ModelBearingsMax Drag (lbs)Weight (oz.)Gear RatioLine Retrieve (in)Braid Cap (yds/lb)Mono Cap (yds/lb)

Penn Battle 3 sizing chart

ModelBearingsMax dragWeightGear ratioLine RetrieveBraid Cap yds/lbsMono Cap yds/lbs
100069LB | 4.0KG7.8 OZ5.2:122″ | 56CM160/6 130/8 110/10275/2 135/4 105/6
2000610LB | 4.5KG9.4 OZ6.2:130″ | 76CM210/8 180/10 165/15240/4 180/6 125/8
2500612LB | 6KG9.7 OZ6.2:133″ | 84CM240/10 220/15 160/20255/6 175/8 140/10
3000615LB | 6.8KG11.6 OZ6.2:135″ | 89CM250/15 180/20 130/30200/8 165/10 120/12
4000615LB | 6.8KG12.2 OZ6.2:137″ | 94CM360/15 260/20 185/30270/8 220/10 165/12
4000HS615LB | 6.8KG12.8 OZ7.0:143″ | 109 CM410/15 295/20 210/30305/8 250/10 185/12
5000625LB | 11.3KG18.8 OZ5.6:136″ | 91CM420/20 300/30 240/40225/12 200/15 135/20
6000625LB | 11.3KG20.8 OZ5.6:141″ | 104CM490/30 390/40 335/50335/15 230/20 210/25
6000HS625LB | 11.3KG20.8 OZ6.2:147″ | 120CM535/30 425/40 365/50365/15 250/20 230/25
8000630LB | 13.6KG27.7 OZ4.7:138″ | 96CM475/50 390/65 345/80340/20 310/25 230/30
8000HS630LB | 13.6KG27.7 OZ5.3:144″ | 112CM515/50 420/65 375/80370/20 335/25 250/30
10000640LB | 18.1KG38.8 OZ4.2:143″ | 109 CM770/50 710/65 490/80395/30 330/40 230/50
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