Daiwa Sweepfire Review – Astonishing value for a few bucks

I bought the Daiwa Sweepfire a few years back in a small shack of a fishing tackle store. I’d recently broken a reel and needed a quick and cheap replacement in the meantime.

I purchased the 4000 size reel, and to be honest it was one of my go-to reels for a little while that I didn’t mind giving a bit of a beating at the beach.

If you’re fishing on a budget, consider this reel – I was pleasantly surprised by its durability and performance. I’ve held it for almost 3 years without issue – only the other week did the anti-reverse break.

This reel made our best budget surf reel in our round-up article this year!

There is a bit of flex to the reel when reeling in a fish due to the plastic elements of the reel.

Daiwa Sweepfire Rating Score

4.5 stars

  • Performance: 4.2 stars
  • Durability: 4.5 stars
  • Value for Money: to 5 stars
Author's photo of Daiwa Sweepfire

Who should invest in the Daiwa Sweepfire? 

I happened to choose the Daiwa Sweepfire in the 4000 size reel as a back-up option and I loved using it for surf fishing.

I think this reel is a great starter reel for anyone getting into beach fishing, rock fishing or inshore estuary or harbor fishing.

I’m not a beginner and it’s lasted me really well – so I don’t think it would suffer too much in the hands of a novice.

I often am not fishing huge distances into the surf, so I’m not in need of massive reels and the Sweepfire did an excellent job of this closer-range surf fishing. Enough casting distance and capable of pulling in decent-sized rays and bluefish.

Check out our perspective in comparing the best Daiwa spinning reels out there.

Daiwa Sweepfire Specs

  • Best for: A cheap inshore surf reel you don’t mind others using, or want something effective to turn to for bait fishing.
  • Sizes: 1000 – 5000 and the 500s in between.
  • Drag: 13.2lbs max drag on the 4000 size
  • Line capacity: 280yds/30lb braid on the 4000 size.
  • Weight: 13.4oz on the 4000 size.
  • Bearings: 2 ball bearings
  • Gear ratio and retrieval: 5.3:1 in the 4000 model
  • Handle side: Interchangeable left and right.

Daiwa Sweepfire Pros

The Sweepfire has decent spool size and casting range

It has a massive spool capacity meaning it’s great for medium-range surf casting because you can reach surprising distances from the beach. The ABS spool assists me in casting out surprisingly far on this reel in the 4000 size.

A Daiwa Sweepfire Reel under review

Powerful and fairly durable drag system

The max drag on the larger Sweepfire models is pretty impressive. I’ve never tested the accuracy of the max drag myself but on the 4500 and 5000 sizes you’ve got a whopping 17.6lbs of max drag on them.

I’ve really tested the drag system over the past few years. And it’s had its fair share of saltwater splashes and sand thrown at it.

And I’ve not been that consistent with rinsing it off either.

Despite this treatment, the drag has remained fairly responsive, albeit not like its original condition, but still usable.

The reeling motion is still pretty smooth, albeit you can feel some micro bumps and a little tackiness in it now – but that hasn’t stopped me from landing 7-8lb rays that suck onto the ocean floor when caught.

Fairly stable rotor

The rotor itself has remained pretty stable too, there hasn’t been much impact on its performance over the years, and it still reliably gets that line nicely onto the ABS spool. I’ve rarely had tangles on this reel and I think it does do a nice job of keeping you tangle-free.

Solid Daiwa Digigears

The Daiwa Sweepfire has Digigears built into it – a form of Daiwa’s technology that is found right up through their premium range, such as the Daiwa Saltist.

These gears are digitally milled from forged metal to create solid, deep gears that are nice and stable when reeling in.

This is partly why I think this reel gives you good value and fair bang for your buck. It’s cheap, but like the Daiwa BG, it borrows some of Daiwa’s top tech from its best reels – rare for reels that cost under $50!

The Daiwa Sweepfire looks great

Personally, I think the Sweepfire looks pretty cool.

It almost mimics the older Daiwa Black Gold color scheme before the 206 release of the Daiwa BG. A little more gold on it, which shines nicely in the morning sun!

Daiwa Sweepfire Cons

The Sweepfire’s anti-reverse broke on me

The major fault with this reel for me was one day the anti-reverse switch just failed on me and stopped working.

I hadn’t realized that it had broken and cast out then let go of the reel handle and it back-wound causing a stink of a tangle, damn.

That took me a while to detangle, but comparably, it apparently doesn’t take much to fix the anti-reverse either… I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I complain about this, but to be fair to the little old reel it took about 3 years of bashing and wear and tear to tell me it had had enough. So I forgive it for that.

Small drag adjustment wheel

The drag adjustment wheel feels a bit small and can be easy to slip on when you’re trying to move quickly and have wet hands. It’s not like it’s older, slightly more expensive sister the Daiwa Crossfire which is a bit chunkier.

I’m actually tempted to get one of the Crossfires just to see what improves with the 30-40% price increase between the stated MRSP on Daiwa’s website.

A Daiwa Sweepfire and review of drag adjuster

Hard plastic handle

The handle is a hard plastic which can become a little uncomfortable if your lure fishing in the surf all day, and a bit slippy if your hands are slimy. 

Daiwa Sweepfire Performance

To be honest it’s difficult to knock such a hard-working reel, especially at the price point it’s at now…!

It’s landed a lot of small to medium-sized rays, bluefish, trevally, flounder, and sea bream.

There is a bit of flex to the reel when reeling in a fish due to the plastic elements of the reel but the Digigears do make up for a bit of that. I’ve never experienced grinding or shearing in this reel but perhaps didn’t push it to that limit.

The 4000 and 5000 sizes have a half-decent retrieval rate so if you have a fast crank this reel does ok with lure as well as bait fishing.

In terms of durability, it’s outshone some other reels I’ve used in the past which have come with a slightly heavier prices tag to be honest, and that’s with little maintenance too.

I think I can put up with a little more under-performance for some of my surf angling reels because I know the conditions are tough and I use those less performing reels for lighter surf fishing – using the Daiwa Sweepfire has landed me plenty of fish I’ve been happy with.

See more of the top Daiwa spinning reels out there today.

Daiwa Sweepfire sizes

The Daiwa Sweepfire comes in multiple sizes up to the 5000 size. So there are sizes here for fresh and saltwater applications and I think the larger sizes are perfect for inshore and medium-range surf fishing.

Daiwa Sweepfire reel size chart below:

SizeBearingsMax dragWeightGear ratioLine Retrieve (In)Braid Cap yds/lbsMono Cap yds/lbs
100024.46oz4.9:121.46/250, 8/1202/240, 4/120, 6/80
150024.48.1oz5.3:1278/220, 10/1304/155, 6/100, 8/80
200024.48.1oz5.3:128.310/160, 15/1306/135, 8/110, 10/90
250028.89.2oz5.3:131.620/170, 30/1206/210, 8/170, 10/140
300028.89.2oz5.3:132.320/240, 30/1908/240, 10/200, 12/170
3500213.213.1oz5.3:136.220/310, 30/23010/240, 12/210, 14/170
4000213.213.4oz5.3:137.520/370, 30/28010/300, 12/260, 14/210
4500217.622oz4.6:135.640/340, 50/27012/350, 14/300 , 17/220
5000217.622.2oz4.6:13940/440/ 50/33014/410, 17/310, 20/240

Daiwa Sweepfire Construction Specs

The majority of the Daiwa Swepfire’s body, as well as the rotor, side plate and stem, are all composite plastic. This is where some of that flex I mentioned comes from. I think the handle is made of this too.

The composite makes the reel resistant to corrosion (I can attest to that!) and pretty lightweight which is great for a long session chucking out lures in the surf or across a lake. But the tradeoff is stability in the reel.

You can’t expect much more for a reel that costs less than 50 bucks though.

The ball bearings are stainless steel and while there is only 2 of them the reel still feels pleasantly smooth for a reel that hasn’t burnt a hole in your bank account.

All in all, the Daiwa Sweepfire is probably one of the better-performing reels for its price.

This reel made our best budget surf reel in our round-up article this year!

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