Daiwa Spinning Reels – Buyers Guide 2018
In my personal opinion, Daiwa spinning reels are the closest competition to the Shimano range, and they have some excellent options at all price ranges.
Although I have primarily used Shimano reels, I have purchased a couple of Daiwa reels in the last 12 months and I have been extremely impressed by them. Also, I know a lot of anglers that use them and they swear by them.
My opinion of Daiwa spinning reels was enhanced further still while I was compiling all of the information I needed to put this buyers guide together. As well as the two Daiwa reels I own, I also tried out several different reels from the Daiwa range which allowed me compile this “Best Daiwa spinning reels 2017” list.
I have included Daiwa spinning reels in this list that cover a range of prices, from the lower priced sub-$100 models, to the higher priced premium Daiwa reels, so there will be something here to suit all budgets. As with all of my buyer guides here on fishingmyway.co, I may add and / or delete models throughout the year if I feel things have changed, or new models are released that warrant their place in this list.
So let’s get into the reels….
Best Daiwa spinning reels 2018
Daiwa Ballistic EX
The Saltiga is the pinnacle of the Daiwa range of spinning reels. Designed for off shore and heavy duty spinning and jigging, this reel is built to the highest of standards in order to cope with the large target species it is invariably used for.
The Daiwa Saltiga spinning reel comes with a hefty price tag, but this is because you are getting the very best technology that Daiwa provides built into the reel. When you’re fishing for some of the toughest pelagic fish such as Tuna and billfish like Marlin and Sailfish, you are going to want a reel that can deal with the extreme force and resistance that these fish provide, and the Saltiga is just that.
Daiwa has been very smart in the way they have built the Saltiga reel. They have ensured that they have made a reel that is light, so it helps reduce potential fatigue on longer fishing trips, but they have also made it an extremely tough and robust reel that is built to last, and filled it with technology that will optimize your fishing ability.
Built to last
The Saltiga has been built for fishing in harsh conditions and battling big fish, so Daiwa needed to build a reel that will not only last, but will maintain its optimal performance levels for years to come. This is why they added design features such as the mag sealed ball bearings, so that the smooth operation and efficiency will remain at its highest levels, even after years of heavy usage.
There are many other technologies used on the Daiwa Saltiga to make it the high-performance reel that it is. The Ultimate Tournament Carbon drag, with a Drag maximum resistance of 22-66 lbs (variants dependent on the model) will give you the ammunition to do battle with the toughest of pelagic's.
Daiwa Saltist spinning reel
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 have 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 provide 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. 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 epitomises 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. But there are lighter reels available in this price range.
What you will find with the Daiwa Saltist is that it has a silky-smooth operation. This is what it has become renowned for, and one of the main reasons why it is such a popular spinning reel. The reel is extremely responsive with an excellent drag system. The handle can be fixed on the left or right hand side of the reel, so suitable for both left and right hand-ers.
Models of the Salist reel available
Daiwa Ballistic EX
This stealthy-looking reel is a very light and strong spinning reel, that offers some of the Daiwa technologies that makes their spinning reels such a pleasure to use. The Daiwa Ballistic EX is classed as a light spinning reel, with sizes starting at 2000 and going up to 4000.
The signature of so many of Daiwa’s spinning reels is the silky smooth operation they provide, and the Daiwa Ballistic EX is certainly no exception here. Even when battling a hard fighting fish, this reel just purrs, and gives you the feeling that you are in complete control over the fish.
When you are light spinning, you really need a reel that is responsive and offers a level of finesse that suits the lightning fast bites and strikes required to hook up when the fish takes the lure. The Daiwa Ballistic EX does exactly this, and as such you will find that your confidence levels will improve when you start to use it and understand just how responsive it is.
Daiwa Lexa spinning reel
The Lexa range from Daiwa includes several different baitcaster reels, but they also have the excellent Lexa light spinning reel. It is an affordable reel and with sizes ranging from 1500 up to 4000, there is a lot of options for specific light spinning requirements.
The Lexa spinning reel does not offer all of the high-end technologies that Daiwa has available in their spinning reel range, as it is priced at just over the $100 mark. But don’t let that put you off, as you are getting a reel that actually punches above its weight as far as performance and quality go.
The retrieve on the Lexa is smooth and efficient. The line wraps very evenly around the spool, which in turn helps provide excellent casting ability. The drag is also a smooth operator, and very easy to adjust when you are in the thick of the battle with a fish.
The Daiwa Lexa is not the lightest of spinning reels, but you are not paying the higher prices of the lighter, higher end reels from Daiwa. But what you are getting is a very well made and designed spinning reel that will provide performance and durability beyond its price tag.
Daiwa BG spinning reel
With the massive range of sizes available for the Daiwa BG spinning reel, you have options for all kinds of fishing. The reel is an excellent option if your budget is under $100 (although some of the bigger models do sell for just over the $100 mark).
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! 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 handle can be moved from the left to right hand side if the reel.
Different sizes available
Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel
The Daiwa Exist spinning reel is one of the more expensive spinning reels in the Daiwa range, but it provides a lot of the top-end features and technologies that Daiwa has available. The design of the reel has been extremely well thought out, thus making it a very comfortable and efficient reel to use.
As far as look go, the Daiwa Exist spinning reel catches the eye right away. But this reel offers a lot more than just good looks. It has a performance to match, and it has also been built to last, with the mag-sealed bearing technology ensuring that the reel keeps operating to its optimal levels for years to come. You can fully expect to get a lot of hard usage from this reel!
The body of the reel has been made from Zaion and has an aluminium plate built into the structure to provide added strength. The reel is very light, so it is ideal for hours of light spinning, without your arm feeling like it is going to drop off at the end of the day!
The Daiwa Exist reel uses the excellent ATD drag system (ATD stands for Automatic Tournament Drag). This has been cleverly designed to reduce the amount of fish lost at the strike, as it starts off extremely smoothly as soon as the hook is set and the drag initiates, then it increases within a split second to give you that responsive drag to help you fight the fish.
Various models of the Daiwa Exist spinning reel
The Daiwa Exist is a light spinning reel that certainly lives up to its fairly significant price tag, you are certainly getting your moneys’ worth. The handle can be positioned on the left and right hand side of the reel, so suitable for left and right hand-ers.
Daiwa Luvias spinning reel
The Daiwa Luvias is available in small to medium sized spinning reels, and this mid-range option is well suited for many different species of fish. The design has been kept simple, yet it integrates several of Daiwa’s high-end technologies to give you a very capable spinning reel.
Featuring the mag-sealed main shaft design, the Luvias has been built to last and provides a very smooth and efficient operation. It also has the excellent Zaion body, which keeps the weight down significantly, and helps provide the strength you need to tackle hard fighting fish that smash your lures.
Everything about the Daiwa Luvias smooth! From the looks through to the way it performs. The drag system is flawless, and is extremely responsive to give you the best opportunity to win each battle you have with it. It feels like a Rolls Royce of a fishing reel, as it just purrs along, and does everything it is supposed to do extremely well, and with minimal fuss.
I definitely think the mantra for the Daiwa Luvias is high-end performance with a trouble-free and uncomplicated design. Suitable for both left and right handed anglers.
Daiwa Fuego spinning reel
Another really good Daiwa sinning reel option in around the $100 price range is the Daiwa Fuego. Void of the high-end bells and whistles, but full of character and performance, the Fuego has become a very popular spinning reel for people looking in this price range.
The newer Fuego LT spinning reel models were more recently released by Daiwa. This is basically an upgrade to the original model, integrating Daiwa’s design commitment to “lighter and tougher” reels, using a carbon based material for the body. This is certainly evident in the LT models, as you are getting a reel that is extremely light and easy to use for longer periods of fishing.
Featuring Daiwa’s mag-sealed main shaft, the smoothness is apparent as soon as you start to use the Fuego. The Air Rotor is another of Daiwa’s features that often appears on their higher-end reels, so it is a great addition to the Fuego reel, especially considering its price.
If you are looking for a Daiwa spinning reel for around the $100 mark, there are a few excellent options available, as already mentioned in this article. The Daiwa Fuego and Fuego LT should definitely be included in that conversation, and is just another very good option for you to consider. It does what it is designed to do very well, and you should certainly get many years of hard usage from the reel.
Daiwa Revros spinning reel
The Revros is an entry level spinning reel from Daiwa, that offers you a lot of quality and performance capabilities for the money! Considered a light spinning reel, the Revros has sizes available up to 4000. It is a versatile reel that is extremely easy to use, and with its well thought out design, anyone using it will likely be very surprised by its budget price tag.
The thing with pretty much all Daiwa spinning reels, is that you tend to take for granted the clever design of all of their models. You will pick up a Revros and start using it, and it just works really well. But when you actually stop to look at the design features built into reels like the Revros, you quickly understand that just how much thought and experience has gone into the planning and build of the reels.
So when you start to use your Daiwa Revros, and the retrieve is extra smooth, and the line winds back into the spool in a very neat and even way, and the drag system operates really smoothly when you engage it, and the casting is effortless and long, you can perhaps just give a quick nod of appreciation for the expertise that has gone into creating this reel.
The Certate is a mid-range light spinning reel from Daiwa that has a lot of really attractive features. Everything about the Daiwa Certate screams precision, and you feel completely in control from the moment you start using it.
One of the consistent factors across all of Daiwa’s spinning reels, is that they give you confidence in your fishing. As soon as you hook into a fish, you know that you have the tools to deal with the situation well. This is clearly evident in the Certate spinning reel too.
The Certate when it was originally released, was built around Daiwa’s ‘Real Four concept’ – broken down, this includes Real Engine, Real Control, Real Custom and Real Endurance. That was back in 2004, and ever since then the Daiwa Certate has continued to evolve and become a power-house in the Daiwa spinning reel range.
Mag-sealed drive gear, Air rotor and corrosion resistant ball bearings are just some of the features built into the Certate to give it its impressive performance capabilities. This all equates to a very powerful and smooth reel to use. Not only that, but the Certate is high in the aesthetics department as well, so if you want a smart looking reel attached to your rod, this is going to fit the bill perfectly.
Models of the Certate reel available
The Caldia is not one of Daiwa’s newer spinning reels, but it has certainly stood the test of time and Daiwa have continued to evolve and improve the reel to keep its design current and make it a popular option for anglers around the world.
The Daiwa Caldia will catch the eye as soon as you see it, the sleek design certainly looks the part. But what is under the cover is equally impressive, and when you start to use the Caldia then magic starts to happen.
This reel is light and very easy to use. As we have come to expect from all of Daiwa’s spinning reels, there is no hint of anything but the smoothest of operations when you start to put this reel into action. Everything just works well together, all of the components and design features of the Caldia operate in perfect harmony.
Classed as a light spinning reel, you can expect a lot of finesse from the Daiwa Caldia. It is extremely responsive and whether you are using the excellent drag system to its full extent, or trying different retrieves with your lures, the reel just seems to respond immediately and perfectly to everything you tell it to do. Another highly recommended reel from the Daiwa spinning reel range
There are so many really good Daiwa spinning reels to choose from, and the above models will give you an insight into the best across different price ranges.