Best Daiwa Spinning Reels – 2023 Buyers Guide

  • Date: January 2, 2023

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.

Daiwa has an exceptional range of spinning reels, and the choice can be a little overwhelming.

So to help you make a more informed decision I have listed what I think are the best Daiwa spinning reels currently available.

So let’s get right into it….

Daiwa’s best spinning reels in 2023

Daiwa SaltistTop-rated Daiwa spinning reel
Daiwa Saltiga 20Updated 2020 model
Daiwa Exist LTUses a lot of Daiwa premium technology
Daiwa BG Great value for money
Daiwa Certate LTTop performance and durability
Daiwa Exceler LTGreat reel for under $100
Daiwa Procyon AL LTUpdated 2020 model
Daiwa Fuego LTGreat reel for around the $100 range

Table of Contents

“LT” = Light and Tough

You will see some of the Daiwa spinning reel range include the initials “LT” in the model name.

LT stands for “Light and Tough”, and this is a concept that Daiwa introduced to eliminate unnecessary weight without sacrificing any strength or integrity of the reel, and keeping the same amount of line capacity.

In essence, ‘LT’ reels are smaller, lighter, and more powerful reels.

A closer look at the best Daiwa spinning reels

This is a great selection of some of the best spinning reels from Daiwa. They scale a wide range of prices and showcase just why Daiwa makes some of the very best spinning reels available on the market.

I will go through each one a bit more here to help you make an informed decision on which one you think might be best for you.

1. Daiwa Saltist – Best Daiwa spinning reel

Main features

  • Mag-sealed line roller and main shaft
  • “HardBodyz” body and side cover
  • Light weight Air Rotor design
  • Air Bail®–tubular stainless for lightweight strength
  • Digigear™ digital gear design
  • Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS spool
  • Waterproof Carbon ATD Drag System

The Daiwa Saltist quickly became one of the most popular mid-range spinning reels from the Daiwa range.

Built to the high standards that Daiwa has become known for, the Saltist delivers on many fronts.

It has a classic spinning reel design, and the wide range of models available in the Saltist range provides an option for light through to much heavier spinning.

A lot of the high-end technologies that Daiwa has created have been used in the Saltist spinning reel.

Daiwa Saltist

You will find their excellent Mag-Sealed design, for a smoother and longer-lasting performance.

The unique Air Rotor design by Daiwa is also present in this reel, which not only weighs less than regular rotors, but it also helps to distribute the stress around the reel.

The rugged aesthetics of the Saltist reel epitomizes the strong and durable design of the reel.

It is not the lightest of reels in this price bracket, so if you are looking for something that is ultra-light, this is not the option for you.

That being said, it certainly isn’t heavy, and constant spinning for a few hours isn’t going to break your arm.

What you will find with the Daiwa Saltist is that it has a silky-smooth operation. It incorporates many of Daiwa’s high-end technologies that enable this performance.

The reel is extremely responsive with an excellent drag system. The handle can be used on both the left or right-hand side of the reel, so suitable for both left and right hand-ers.

Sizes available:

  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 3500
  • 4000
  • 4500
  • 5000
  • 6500
  • 8000

The Daiwa Saltist is such a well-balanced and smooth-running reel. And for the price, you are getting a great deal of quality and value.

2. Daiwa Saltiga 20 – Updated 2020 model

The hotly anticipated release of the latest Daiwa Saltiga reel is finally here.

The updated 2020 model of the Saltiga has some significant upgrades from the previous 2015 version, which in itself was an immensely popular and successful reel.

First off, the Daiwa Saltiga will not be a feasible choice for everyone because of its price. It’s expensive!

But the Saltiga is packed full of Daiwa’s high-end technology and craftsmanship, and this is very apparent from the first time you use this reel.

Daiwa Saltiga 2020
Daiwa Saltiga 20

Key features

  • MQ (Monocoque) body
  • ATD (Advanced Tournament Drag) drag system
  • MagSeal – uses MagOil to create a water and dust resistent barrier
  • G1 Duralumin drive gear
  • Aluminum air rotor
  • Corrosion resistant ball bearings

So what was improved on the updated 2020 Saltiga model?

The updated 2020 Saltiga model has been redesigned all the way from the handle to the drag knob, so you will notice significant differences from the previous model.

Probably the biggest change is the new Monocoque body. This is a single-piece body that has been machine-cut from very high-strength aluminum to provide incredible strength and durability, and it has also improved the sealing of the internal components.

The brand new G1 Duralumin drive gear uses the newly designed Tough Digigear concept of larger and deeper cut teeth. It produces a gear strength more than double of the previous Saltiga model.

There is a brand new Air Rotor on the 2020 Saltiga, which provides significantly increased rigidity compared to the previous 15 Saltiga.

There have also been significant changes to the spool and drag assembly. The engineers at Daiwa created a new drag stack and increased the number of drag washers. This has enabled the 2020 Saltiga to provide drag durability 10x greater than the previous model.

The new ‘Radiation Drag knob’ is constructed in aluminum and is larger in size to its predecessor, and as such has a much improved cooling ability and heat dissipation.

These are just some of the key improvements Daiwa has made to the 2020 Saltiga. The previous model had already set new standards, but now it has got better still.

If you are serious about your saltwater fishing and want a reel that over-delivers in every aspect, then the Daiwa Saltiga 2020 is a great option.

Sizes available:

  • 8000
  • 10000
  • 14000
  • 18000
  • 20000

3. Daiwa Exist LT

When Daiwa introduced the Exist LT model it came with several new enhancements, as well as utilizing their Light and Tough concept in its design.

First off, you will notice just how light the Exist LT reel is. But not only is it light, it is also super-rigid.

When you have it secured to your rod you can’t flex it at all. This is Daiwa’s ‘LT’ concept coming into play, and it really does what they say it should do.

The Exist LT is packed full of Daiwa’s premium technologies and design features to make it one of their best-ever light spinning reels.

best Daiwa spinning reels
Daiwa Exist LT

It seems every element and moving part of this reel has been carefully thought through and optimized so it works like a dream. It really is a silky smooth experience when you use this reel, and it bursts into action when the power is required.

Read my full Daiwa Exist LT review here

Main features of the Daiwa Exist LT

  • Uses Daiwa’s LT Concept
  • Magnesium Monocoque Body
  • Magseal Line Roller
  • Magseal Drive Gear
  • Magseal Pinion
  • Machine Cut Tough Digigear
  • Airspool ABS
  • ATD drag system
  • Zaion Air Rotor
  • Perfect Line Stopper
  • Aluminium Air Handle
  • 12 CRBB (Corrosion-Resistant Ball Bearings)

The Daiwa Exist LT range is designed for freshwater fishing and light saltwater fishing. The sizes available in this range are as follows:

  • 1000
  • 2000
  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000

The Daiwa Exist LT is not cheap, but when you are getting this level of quality you expect to have to pay premium prices for it.

What you are getting is a reel that outperforms most other spinning reels on the market, and not only performance ability but durability too.

4. Daiwa BG

If you want a good quality spinning reel for under $150, then the Daiwa BG range is one of the best options available.

Key features

  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Over-sized Digigear system
  • Solid Screw-In Handle
  • Air Rotor
  • Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
  • Braided Line Ready Spool
  • Waterproof Drag System
  • Carbon ATD
  • Manual Return Bail (4500 and Larger)
  • Bearings – 6BB+1RB
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System (4000 and Smaller)
  • Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System (4500 and Larger)
  • BG Series 4500 and Above Have A Manual Trip Bail for Durability

In typical Daiwa fashion, what you are getting with the Daiwa BG reel is a very smooth and powerful operation, that is very capable of standing up to the harder fighting fish.

It has a very solid build to it, and while it may not be the lightest spinning reel available, it is very strong and durable.

The Daiwa BG is going to be in the ‘budget spinning reel’ bracket, but believe me you are getting a lot of reel for your money here!

Daiwa BG

You won’t be getting all the bells and whistles that you will find on the more expensive Daiwa ranges of reels, but if you are wanting bang for your buck at around the $100 mark, it is very hard to look past this reel for overall quality.

The range of sizes available for the Daiwa BG also makes this reel a very versatile option.

Starting from the smallest 2000 size all the way up to an 8000 size, you are able to use it for the lightest freshwater spinning all the way up to saltwater rock/surf/offshore fishing.

Sizes available:

  • 2000
  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000
  • 4500
  • 5000
  • 6500
  • 8000

5. Daiwa Certate LT

Another of the best Daiwa spinning reels that uses the ‘Light and Tough’ concept in its design is the Certate LT.

This updated version of the Daiwa Certate LT was released in 2019.

The compact LT design is clearly evident when you first set eyes on the reel, and again it is a very light and sturdy reel that inspires confidence as soon as it is connected to a rod.

Daiwa Certate LT

The Daiwa Certate LT is not a cheap spinning reel, it’s on the higher-end of the mid-price range for lighter spinning reels.

But you are getting a lot of Daiwa’s best features incorporated into this reel, and its performance capabilities really do make it an exceptional option.

Key features

  • Monocoque One Piece Body
  • Aluminum Frame For Heavy Duty Performance
  • Magsealed Main Shaft and Line Roller
  • 10 Bearing System (10CRBB +1RB)
  • Zaion Air Rotor for lighter weight and greater sensitivity
  • Tough Digigear™ digital gear design

One of the main things I love about the Daiwa Certate LT is the excellent drag system it has. Not only is it super-smooth, but it is also incredibly powerful.

Any time a fish goes on a screaming run you can instantly put the hurt back onto the fish with the ATD drag system.

This reel has no weaknesses, it is a great allround performer and it certainly warrants its place among the best Daiwa spinning reels.

Sizes available:

  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000
  • 5000

6. Daiwa Exceler LT

The Daiwa Exceler LT is proof that you can get a very good spinning reel for under $100.

It uses some of Daiwa’s best technology, and the result is a spinning reel that provides you with a surprisingly good performance.

Key features

  • LT Concept
  • Tough Digigear
  • Airspool ABS
  • ATD drag system
  • Air Bail
  • Air Rotor
  • Twistbuster

The Daiwa Exceler LT runs very smoothly and the Carbon light material housing was designed using Daiwa’s ‘Light and Tough‘ concept.

It is fairly light, and it feels solid as well so you quickly gain confidence in this reel as soon as you start using it.

Daiwa Exceler LT

The great thing about Daiwa spinning reels is their durability. They are built to last and will continue working to their optimal levels for a very long time if they are looked after.

The Exceler LT is no exception to this, and for the very reasonable price of this reel, you could get years of usage from it.

Sizes available:

  • 1000
  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000

7. Daiwa Procyon AL LT

An exciting new addition to Daiwa’s spinning reel range in 2020 was the ‘AL’ version of their Procyon LT reel. It has been designed to be a crossover reel, suitable for both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing.

The “AL” stands for Aluminum, meaning this new version of the Procyon LT is made with an Aluminum frame for enhanced strength and durability, and it reduces any stem flex to a bare minimum.

Daiwa Procyon AL LT

The Aluminum frame also helps to keep all of the internal components in perfect alignment. This keeps the smooth operation of the reel working consistently.

Not only does the Daiwa Procyon AL LT reel feel extremely light, but they have also got the balance just right. It makes it such a good reel for flicking lures over longer periods of time.

Main features of the Daiwa Procyon AL LT:

  • Lightweight and incredibly strong Aluminum body
  • Precision machine cut and polished DigiGear
  • Air Rotor – weighs 15% less than ordinary rotors
  • Air Bail – Daiwa’s innovative bail design
  • ATD Drag – Advanced Tournament Drag system
  • ABS Long Cast Sppol – increases average flight distance

The Procyon range of spinning reels have been very popular in the past due to their quality, performance abilities and all at a very affordable price.

This is likely to improve further still with this new Procyon AL LT version, as the performance is improved on previous versions and the price is still extremely affordable. You are getting a lot of quality for your money with this reel.

Sizes available:

  • 2000
  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000

8. Daiwa Fuego LT

If your budget is around the $100 range for a new spinning reel, then you certainly have some good options to consider. And one reel that is certainly worth considering is the Daiwa Fuego LT.

The Daiwa Fuego series of spinning reels is not new, but Daiwa introduced the LT version at a later stage, and this really took the performance to new levels.

Key features

  • Carbon Light Material Housing – LT Concept
  • Magsealed technology for added protection for the main shaft
  • Machined Aluminum Screw-In Handle
  • DigiGear computer-driven gear design
  • Air Rotor with Air Bail
  • Smooth 7 Bearing System
  • Light, strong and durable reel

Featuring Daiwa’s mag-sealed main shaft, the smoothness is apparent as soon as you start to use the Fuego LT reel.

The Air Rotor is another of Daiwa’s features that often appears on their higher-end reels, so it is a great addition to this reel, especially considering its price.

Daiwa Fuego LT

Not only is this reel very smooth to use, but it also packs a lot of power and really kicks into gear when that power is needed.

With a maximum drag of up to 26.4 lbs you certainly have plenty of grunt in this reel to do battle with those hard fighting fish.

The Daiwa Fuego LT is also a very light reel, so if you plan to use it for throwing a lot of lures around, then it will not hinder that at all.

The balance of the reel is exceptional as well. Pair it up with a good quality spinning rod and you will have a very good combination at your hands.

Sizes available:

  • 1000
  • 2500
  • 3000
  • 4000

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