Best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Last Updated: January 31st, 2020

Daiwa makes amazing spinning reels and their range covers everything from light-line and freshwater to saltwater. Their spinning reels are well made, reliable and often aren’t too expensive. Which is always a great option when you are on a budget, right?


At A Glance: Top 3 Daiwa Spinning Reels


They are a reel of choice for a lot of anglers and if you are new to them, here is a review of some of the best Daiwa spinning reels on the market right now

OUR TOP PICKS

Daiwa Legalis LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - LGLT2500D-XH
Daiwa Legalis LT
  • Strong smooth drag
  • Good retrieve
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Daiwa Tatula LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - TALT2500D-XH,Black
Daiwa Tatula
  • Durable
  • Smooth & strong drag
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Daiwa Ballistic LT 5.1:1 Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel - BLSLT6000D-C
Best Overall
Daiwa Ballistic LT
  • Lightweight
  • Less bulky
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Daiwa BG4500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 4500, 5.7: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 43.10' Retrieve Rate, 22 lb Max Drag, Black/gold
Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
  • This reel has an excellent drag.
  • Durable
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Daiwa RG3000H-AB Regal Airbail Spinning Reel, 5.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 9 Bearings, Ambidextrous, Boxed
Best Budget Reel
Daiwa Regal Airbail Spinning Reel
  • Good value
  • Casts well
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Daiwa Crossfire Spinning Reel, 2000
Daiwa Crossfire Spinning Reel
  • Great value
  • Smooth retrieve
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Daiwa Saltist 5.3:1 Gear Spinning Reel, 53.30'/33lb/33 lb
Best Saltwater Reel
Daiwa Saltist
  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
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Daiwa Exceler LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - EXLT2500D-XH,Multi
Daiwa Exceler LT
  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
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Our Best Daiwa Spinning Reels


Daiwa Legalis LT

Daiwa Legalis LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - LGLT2500D-XH

This is a lovely lightweight freshwater spinning reel with amazing value. The body is made up of a carbon composite making it strong, durable, corrosion-resistant and light. Its weight will allow you to cast all day long without getting tired.

The drag system is smooth and strong and can be fine-tuned easily. Tiny adjustments are very easy to make with this reel and the drag doesn’t slip or stick at all.

The spool is braid-ready and has ABS (anti-backlash system) meaning it lets the line off in tighter coils for smoother and longer casts while reducing twists and wind knots. This is a great addition in terms of line management and will save you time on the water.

The reel includes Air Bail and Air Rotor technologies from Daiwa. These features reduce weight while improving strength and rigidity.

It comes with a solid aluminum handle but it does have a little play in it on occasion. The spinning reel is not sealed, water and dirt will get in and you’ll need to keep on top of maintenance.

Pros

  • Strong smooth drag
  • Good retrieve
  • Durable & Lightweight
  • Well made & Good value

Cons

  • Handle plays a bit
  • Not sealed
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Daiwa Tatula

Daiwa Tatula LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - TALT2500D-XH,Black

This is a great but expensive Daiwa spinning reel from Daiwa’s LT (lightn& tough) series. The body is made up of a Zaion housing which is a high-density carbon strain made by Daiwa. This material is designed to be light and handle serious impacts. The reel, therefore, is light but very strong and durable. You can bang this reel around and it’s still going to keep it together for you.

The spinning reel comes with machined A7075 aircraft-grade aluminum DigiGearing giving you a long-lasting smooth and durable retrieve. The drag is excellent and is made up of a multi-disc carbon fiber system. It’s very smooth and responsive and easy to fine-tune and adjusts to get the perfect setting. It’s great for strong powerful runs.

The reel includes Air Bail and Air Rotor systems too, helping with it be light but tough. The drag is not sealed which means it will need some looking after. The line capacity and max drag is geat for freshwater or light inshore saltwater fishing.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Smooth & strong drag
  • Lightweight
  • Good line management
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not sealed
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Daiwa Ballistic LT

Daiwa Ballistic LT 5.1:1 Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel - BLSLT6000D-C

This spinning reel is smaller, lighter and tougher than it’s ever been before. Again it has a high price tag but it’s well worth the money. The body is made from Zaion, Daiwa’s own super tough but light carbon composite. This material makes the reel strong, with zero flex and lovely use, who doesn’t love casting a light reel all day that you can drop without any concern.

The gears are made from machined aluminum to give a smooth, corrosion-resistant and durable system for a smooth long-lasting retrieve. The drag is a carbon multi-disc system and is extremely smooth and powerful. The system engages flawlessly and is easy to adjust. The max drag and line capacity on the largest models are big enough to handle to big inshore fish but it’s not quite serious enough for offshore.

The spinning reel is sealed. Finally, one that is. Daiwa uses a Magsealed system which works well. It uses magnets and oil to seal points of entry whereas other manufacturers simply use a rubber seal or gasket. As well as being great at stopping things from getting in, the system helps the reel be incredibly smooth by removing friction almost entirely.

This is a beautiful reel, worthy of its price tag. I wish they made one with a 44lb max drag and a hige line capacity for offshore fishing.

 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Less bulky
  • Sealed protection system
  • Powerful, smooth drag
  • Comfortable
  • Uses in multiple environments
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
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Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG4500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 4500, 5.7: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 43.10' Retrieve Rate, 22 lb Max Drag, Black/gold

This is my favorite Daiwa spinning reel. The BG is well priced and can just do it all, it’s a humble rockstar in the reel world that shows up to work every day and has no time for compliments. It’s made it survive and to catch any fish out there. The only issue is that it’s heavy, so casting all day will get tiring.

The body is made from aluminum for durability, has an aluminum ABS spool to reduce backlashes and the Digigear System makes it strong and smooth on the retrieve.

The drag is made up of a carbon fiber system, is smooth and very strong. The max drag and line capacity on the largest model are out of this world, no fish is going to worry you with this in your hands. The drag is sealed and waterproof, ensuring a long-life around saltwater.

With a large diameter braid-ready ABS spool, you can be confident of your line lay and expect no bunching, while also being able to stack a lot of line on there. The large roller and pick up on the bail helps to alleviate line twists and any looping, making it smooth casting all day long. 

The bail roller can corrode when the reel is used in saltwater, they are easy to replace but it could become a headache.

Pros

  • This reel has an excellent drag.
  • Durable
  • Smooth retrieve
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Good value
  • Huge line capacity
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Bail roller can corrode
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Daiwa Regal Airbail Spinning Reel

Daiwa RG3000H-AB Regal Airbail Spinning Reel, 5.6: 1 Gear Ratio, 9 Bearings, Ambidextrous, Boxed

This is a beautiful freshwater Daiwa spinning reel at amazing value and it looks sexy too. The reel is light, durable and very well made. It will be an absolute pleasure to fish with all day long. It comes with a double anodized ABS aluminum spool that will help reduce backlashes while being durable and corrosion-resistant.

It comes with Air Rotor and Air Bail, again making the reel lighter and more rigid. This helps with long days of fishing and also makes sure there’s no give while you use the reel, making every wind as efficient as possible.

The retrieve is super smooth and efficient thanks to the 10 bearing system and the internal Digigear design supporting it. Its drag is made up of a carbon system, is super smooth but not sealed. It will need some maintenance and looking after.

The max drag and line capacity will handle most freshwater situations and maybe some smaller inshore ones too. This is an awesome reel for a great price.

 

Pros

  • Good value
  • Casts well
  • Smooth retrieve
  • Solid drag
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not sealed
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Daiwa Crossfire Spinning Reel

Daiwa Crossfire Spinning Reel, 2000

When Daiwa added the Crossfire to the LT (light & tough) concept the reduced the weight of this spinning reel by 20% while making it stronger. This is something every fisherman wants from a reel.

The reel is made up of a Digigear system making it strong and smooth. The spool is ABS and aluminum for durability and great casting. It’s also braid-ready and the largest model has enough line capacity for use in saltwater.

This reel uses Daiwa’s Advanced Tournament Drag System and is one of the smoothest out there. The drag system is not sealed and will need some maintenance. This reel is excellent and comes at an amazing price.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Smooth retrieve
  • Solid drag
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable
  • Light

Cons

  • Not sealed
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Daiwa Saltist

Daiwa Saltist 5.3:1 Gear Spinning Reel, 53.30'/33lb/33 lb

This reel is a Saltist, it’s made for and should live in the salt. Daiwa has put a lot of thought into this while still keeping a reasonable price tag. The reel has been designed to be reliable and deal with anything the elements can throw at it.

The body is made from Diawa’s ‘hard bodyz’ making it light but strong. The drag is made up of a multi-disc carbon system that is fully waterproof. This makes it ideal for saltwater and the max drag on the largest model is 33lbs which is big enough for large offshore species.

The main shaft and line roller are Magsealed making them impervious to water and dirt, giving this reel a long life in the salt. The reel also comes with Digigear for a strong, reliable and smooth retrieve. The spool is aluminum, ABS and braid-ready. The line capacity on the largest model is large and great for offshore and surf fishing.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Well made
  • Quality materials
  • Strong drag
  • Big line capacity
  • Sealed

Cons

  • Expensive
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Daiwa Exceler LT

Daiwa Exceler LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel - EXLT2500D-XH,Multi

This reel is worth twice the price tag Daiwa has put on it and is a great reel for freshwater fishing.

The body is made up of a carbon composite making it strong but light. Light reels equal easy fun casting. The machined aluminum handle is comfortable and gives a powerful and efficient connection to the main gear. The reel also includes the Air Bail and Air Rotor system, helping it be lighter while dispersing the pressure evenly over the reel.

The retrieve is strong and smooth thanks to the Digigear system and the 5 ball bearings. The reel comes with instant anti-reverse but is not sealed and will need some maintenance.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Smooth drag
  • Easy retrieve
  • Light
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not sealed
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What to Look for

These are all the things to consider when you’re looking to buy a surf spinning reel.

What are you fishing for?

Your reel needs to be able to land the fish you’re looking to catch. Some anglers are dedicated to a single species. If you love shark fishing, you’re going to need a serious reel but if you like to target stripers in the summer, you’re not going to need something that hardcore. Think about the purpose of your reel before you buy it.

Line Capacity

When you fish in the surf, you find your spot and usually stick to it. If you hook a monster, you can’t chase it down and you’ll depend on your line capacity to handle the runs of the fish. Make sure the reel you choose holds enough line so you can be confident you’ll land a giant if it decides to eat.

Using Braid

Most surf anglers use braid and for good reason. It lasts longer, increases your line capacity and helps you cast further. You’ll probably be spooling your reel with it, so make sure your reel is made for it. Most reels come braid-ready these days but just check first.

How Heavy Is The Reel

The weight of your reel is directly related to how easy it’ll be to cast with and often how strong it is. Surf fishing involves a lot of casting and a heavy reel is going to get tiring. That being said, you may want the heaviness so you can land a big fish. Try a find a balance between the two, personally, I’d rather get tired casting and land a huge fish than the other way around.

Corrosion & Durability

The surf is a mean place for reels. They’re constantly being attacked by the elements and it can cause them to fail very quickly. You’ll want a reel that’s made from high-quality corrosion-resistant materials and is sealed or has some kind of water protection system to keep the salt out. This’ll give the reel the best chance of surviving in the harsh conditions.

Drag, Strong and Smooth

We’ve already mentioned that when fishing in the surf you have a chance of hooking a fish of a lifetime. The last thing you want is for your drag to fail. The reel needs to have a strong, smooth and reliable drag that can handle a serious fish. It should be sealed and made from corrosion-resistant materials.

Gear Ratio

Your retrieve rate is dictated by your gear ratio. The higher the ratio the faster your retrieve will be. If the reel states a ratio of 7.0:1, the reel will spin 7 times per full turn of the handle. If you want a fast retrieve, think about and check the ratio of the reel you’re looking at.

Our Favorites

These are the favorites from the review, each one chosen for a different purpose.

The allrounder prize goes out to the Daiwa BG. This reel has a long history of survival and comes in a range of models that will handle any and every situation. It’s made for light freshwater to heavy saltwater fishing and does all this while having an amazing price.

Sale
Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 8000, 5.3: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 53.30" Retrieve Rate, 33 lb Max Drag
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool

The best saltwater reel in the line up is the Saltist. This reel, although it is similar to the larger BG models, has more thought and technology in for use in saltwater. It is designed to last and fight any fish that comes along, what you need in a salty environment. It’s a little expensive but worth it.

Daiwa Saltist 5.3:1 Gear Spinning Reel, 53.30"/33lb/33 lb
  • Magsealed line roller and main shaft
  • "HardBodyz" body and side cover

The best on a budget reel goes to the Daiwa Regal AB. This is a great reel where nothing has been missed while still having an amazing price. It will last and be a great tool for freshwater fishing for a long time for under $60.

If you’re into your fishing and want a pro reel for light saltwater and freshwater fishing, the Ballistic LT is where it’s at. This reel is loaded with tech to be the smoothest and hottest out there. If you love reels and have the money, go for it.

Daiwa Ballistic LT 5.1:1 Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel - BLSLT6000D-C
  • ZAION Housing LT Concept- very light yet very strong
  • MAGSEALED-reduces water and debris from traveling down the shaft