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Daiwa has an exceptional range of spinning reels, with quality options starting at the lower entry-level end all the way to some of the highest-quality spinning reels available on the market.
After a lot of thorough testing, and owning some of the reels below, I am in a good position to help you make a more informed purchase decision.
I have listed what I think are the best Daiwa spinning reels currently available in 2024.
So let’s get right into it….
Daiwa’s best spinning reels in 2024
- Best Daiwa Spinning Reel of 2023
- Elite performance
- Daiwa Exist G LT
- Runner Up
- A serious upgrade from the previous model
- Daiwa BG MQ
|Daiwa Exist G LT
|Top-rated Daiwa spinning reel
|Daiwa BG MQ
|A serious upgrade from the previous model
|Daiwa Certate SW
|A suitable lower-cost alternative to the Saltiga
|Daiwa Tatula MQ LT
|Newly released 2023 model
|Daiwa Saltist MQ
|Top performance and durability
|Daiwa Procyon AL LT
|Stylish looks with a matching performance
|Daiwa Ballistic MQ LT
|Stunning Ultralight spinning reel
|Daiwa Legalis LT
|Best Daiwa spinning reel under $100
Table of Contents
- Daiwa’s best spinning reels in 2024
- A closer look at the best Daiwa spinning 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.
Daiwa Exist G LT – best Daiwa spinning reel 2024
- Best Daiwa Spinning Reel for 2023
- Designed with Daiwa's premium technology and features
- A quality reel in every way
- Rigid one-piece Monocoque body
- Constructed from high strength, low weight ZAION carbon material
- Water-protected by MagSealed design
- Light and smooth AirDrive design
- Precision machine-cut tough Digigear
- Improved drag system with ATD Type-L Drag technology
- Extremely light and robust reel
If you are in the market for a premium spinning reel that performs at the highest level, then the Daiwa Exist G LT is one that belongs in that bracket.
This latest Exist G LT model was launched by Daiwa in 2022, and with it came a slew of new technology and design innovation that really took this reel to the next level.
The allure of this reel starts from the stunning aesthetics. It looks incredible and certainly catches the eye. When you hold the reel, you will notice how light it is, but it also has a strong and sturdy feel about it.
Daiwa created their new Air Drive system for this new Exist G reel. which is made up of the ZAION carbon material.
This material is strong and light and provides a rigidity that you didn’t know you needed until you put your reel under a lot of pressure and stress from a hard-fighting fish.
When I used the Daiwa Exist G LT reel, I was blown away by how smooth it was and the efficiency with which it worked. Yes, it is an expensive reel. But it behaves and performs like it knows it’s an elite reel, and as an angler, it gives you a lot of confidence when you use it.
The price of the Exist G spinning reel is going to put some people off. This is not meant for the once-a-month leisure angler, no, this is for the serious anglers that want to get the absolute best-performing equipment on the market.
Daiwa has made a good size range available for the Exist G. If you are bass fishing and want a freshwater reel, then you have the smaller size 2000 and 2500 to meet your needs. Likewise, if you plan to use it for inshore fishing and need a longer casting reel, you have up to a size 5000 for this.
Here is the full-size range for the Daiwa Exist G LT:
- EXIGLT 2000D-P
- EXIGLT 2500-XH
- EXIGLT 2500D-PCH
- EXIGLT 3000D
- EXIGLT 3000-H
- EXIGLT 4000D
- EXIGLT 5000D-C
If you are looking to upgrade your fishing reel and want the best performance available, then the Exist G Daiwa reel is right up there with the elite.
Read my full Daiwa Exist LT review here
Daiwa BG MQ
The Daiwa BG MQ has undergone a serious upgrade from the previous model. New Daiwa technology, lighter and stronger, and improved performance.
This reel is a beast for saltwater anglers. But with sizes as small as 2500, it may also catch the attention of freshwater anglers too
- 1-piece aluminum Monocoque body
- Lightweight Zaion Air Rotor
- Advanced Tournament Drag System (ATD)
- Uses Daiwa’s Digigear technology
- Designed to withstand tough saltwater conditions
The older version of the Daiwa BG reel was a massive hit with anglers for a very long time. So when Daiwa decided to update and upgrade this iconic model, it caught the interest of all the loyal existing users and also brought in many new users too.
Primarily the BG MQ is a saltwater spinning reel, and has been designed to be durable and to withstand the harsher conditions that saltwater fishing exposes a reel to.
That being said, Daiwa has gone as small as a 2500-size reel in the BG MQ range, so you have both freshwater and saltwater options.
So what has Daiwa done to improve upon the older version of the BG spinning reel?
First of all, they have used their newer 1-piece Monocoque aluminum body on the BG MQ. This has added strength as well as being lighter than the previous version.
Then, while both reels use the excellent Digigear system, the BG MQ has a newer enhanced version of Digigear which has larger teeth and is up to 3 times more durable than the previous version.
The drag is also stronger on the BG MQ. For example, on the 5000 size BG MQ reel you are getting 26.4lbs of drag, whereas the older BG 5000 reel offers a lesser 22lbs of drag.
The Air Rotor on the BG MQ is made from Zaion, which is stronger and lighter than on the previous model.
Another difference between the two BG reels is the price. The new BG MQ is more expensive, you are paying for newer technology, improved performance, and a better quality reel all round.
Here is the full Daiwa BG MQ range:
- BGMQ 2500D-H
- BGMQ 3000D-XH
- BGMQ 4000D-XH
- BGMQ 5000D-H
- BGMQ 6000D-H
- BGMQ 8000-H
- BGMQ 10000-H
- BGMQ 14000-H
I personally love all of the upgrades Daiwa has given the BG MQ reel. For me, it is far superior in quality to its predecessor and you are getting a lot of premium Daiwa technology packed into it
Daiwa Certate SW
The Daiwa Certate SW is a good, lower-cost Saltiga alternative.
A powerful reel, packed full of premium Daiwa technology and design features.
- Seamless Monocoque body
- Large G1 Duralumin drive gear
- Zaion Air rotor and bail
- Automatic Tournament Drag (ATD)
- 7+1 Bearing system
- Comfortable soft-touch handle knob
- Magseal line roller and reel body
The Daiwa Certate SW is a saltwater spinning reel that is packed full of Daiwa’s latest technology and design features.
Two things that really stood out for me when I used this reel were how light it was for a saltwater fishing reel, and also how smooth it was. This reel purred like butter, it is very impressive just how smooth this reel is.
The Certate SW was designed for hard battles with big fish and comes with an impressive max drag across the range. Starting at a generous 33.1lbs of drag on the smallest 5000-size reel, all the way up to 65lbs of drag on the 18000-size reel.
This pulling power, along with the smooth and efficient operation of the reel will give you the upper hand in most cases. When you hook into a deep water pelagic, it is nice to know that your reel is going to give you the performance you need to take control. Pair the Certate SW with a good quality spinning rod and you will be in full control.
Where I believe the target market for the Daiwa Certate SW reel is, the anglers that are looking at the Saltiga but just can’t justify the extra $400 price point.
Then there is the angler that is ready to move up from their mid-range reel and wants to get the extra performance the Certate SW will provide.
If you like your reels to look special too, then the Certate SW will certainly impress. It looks to be every part the premium spinning reel that it is, and fortunately, it was way more than just a looker.
But if you want to turn some heads when you next head out on the water, wave your Certate SW around and there will be some envious glances coming your way.
Here is the full range of the Certate SW:
- CERTATESWG 5000-XH
- CERTATESWG 6000-XH
- CERTATESWG 8000-H
- CERTATESWG 10000-H
- CERTATESWG 14000-XH
- CERTATESWG 18000-H
For the price of the Certate SW, bang-for-buck it is one of the best spinning reels on the market.
Daiwa Tatula MQ LT
Newly released in 2023.
High-quality mid-range reel with a lot of premium technology
Outstanding performance for a reel of this price
- Zaion V carbon 1-piece Monocoque body
- AirDrive Rotor
- AirDrive Bail
- AirDrive Shaft for low-friction oscillation
- Corrosion Resistant Ball Bearings
- Premium 8+1 ball bearing system
- Oversized DigiGear drive train
- Powerful drag
If you want a lightweight spinning reel for freshwater fishing the new 2023 Daiwa Tatula MQ LT fits that bill to the penny.
The Tatula MQ LT is an affordable mid-range reel full of Daiwa’s premium technologies. With the smallest in the range being the 1000-size reel, it is ideal for those who want to do some ultralight finesse fishing. It is the ideal spinning reel for bass fishing, panfish, or other freshwater species.
The 8+1 bearing system on the Tatula MQ helps create a smooth performance. It is also super-responsive, which is what you need for the more finesse fishing applications in freshwater spinning.
The compact 1-piece Monocoque body provides stability to the reel that gives you confidence in it as soon as you start to use it. There is no flex, even under heavy pressure from a hard-fighting fish. The retrieve on this reel is not only smooth but also very efficient.
I was very impressed with this reel, it certainly looks, feels, and performs better than the $200 price range it is in.
I like that you are getting some of Daiwa’s latest premium technology packed into it, I think it makes it the ideal reel for those looking to start moving up the range a bit, where quality and performance are now more sought after.
While I have been saying the Tatula MQ is an ideal freshwater reel, the range does include 3000 and 4000 sizes, so it can also be used for inshore and estuary saltwater fishing as well.
Here is the full range of the Tatula MQ LT:
- TTUMQLT 1000D-H
- TTUMQLT 2000D-H
- TTUMQLT 2500D-XH
- TTUMQLT 3000-CXH
- TTUMQLT 3000D-CXH
- TTUMQLT 4000-CXH
This reel is going to attract a wide range of anglers due to its quality and more affordable price for such a quality spinning reel.
Daiwa Saltist MQ
This reel is packed full of premium technology
Huge range of sizes available to suit all fishing applications
A lot of quality for the money
- Mag-sealed line roller and main shaft
- Compact seamless Monocoque Body
- Lightweight ZAION Air Rotor
- Air Bail®–tubular stainless for lightweight strength
- Upsized Digigear™ digital gear design
- Aluminum round handle knob
- Waterproof Carbon ATD Drag System
The Daiwa Saltist MQ 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 MQ delivers on many fronts.
It has a classic spinning reel design, and the wide range of models available in the Saltist MQ 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.
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 MQ 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 MQ 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.
Here is the full range of the Daiwa Saltist MQ:
- SALTISTMQ 2500D-H
- SALTISTMQ 3000D-XH
- SALTISTMQ 4000D-XH
- SALTISTMQ 5000D-H
- SALTISTMQ 6000D-H
- SALTISTMQ 8000H
- SALTISTMQ 10000H
- SALTISTMQ 14000H
- SALTISTMQ 18000
- SALTISTMQ 20000
The Daiwa Saltist MQ is such a well-balanced and smooth-running reel. And for the price, you are getting a great deal of quality and value.
Daiwa Procyon AL LT
Suitable for freshwater and inshore anglers
Stylish looks, with a performance to match
Quality mid-range reel
Another excellent mid-range addition to Daiwa’s spinning reel range 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.
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 has 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.
Here is the full Procyon range:
- PCNALT 2000D
- PCNALTT 2500D
- PCNALT 2500D-XH
- PCNALT 3000D
- PCNALT 4000D-C
True to form for all of the mid-range reels mentioned in this article, the Procyon AL LT reel is light, strong, and performs exceptionally well. A very smooth reel
Daiwa Ballistic MQ LT
Long casting reel with smooth operation
Ideal for lighter, more finesse fishing applications
Super-responsive reel with a powerful drag
- Upgraded design
- Built on Daiwa’s ‘Light and Tough’ platform
- 1-piece Monocoque body
- Magsealed technology that keeps water out
- Automatic Tournament Drag (ATD)
- Tough Digigear
- Machined aluminum handle
- Zaion V Air Rotor and Air Bail
- 8+1 ball bearings
The Daiwa Ballistic MQ LT is another excellent quality reel for anglers that prefer lighter finesse types of fishing. This Ballistic range offers a 1000-size reel as the smallest for ultralight fishing applications, through to a 4000 size at the top end.
The first thing that stands out when you see the Ballistic MQ is the eye-catching bright red accents on the dark body. The online pictures do not do the aesthetics justice, it looks even more striking in real.
But it is not just the looks that make this reel special, it has the performance to back it up as well.
As with most spinning reels from Daiwa mentioned on this page, the Ballistic MQ LT runs as smoothly as you would hope to see.
For a mid-range reel, it has some of the best technology that Daiwa has to offer, and this becomes apparent as soon as you start using it.
I love how responsive this reel is. As soon as you need it to engage and start working for you it does. You can feel the power, even on the smaller size reels in the range.
The Automatic Tournament Drag that Daiwa uses on a lot of its better reels is a really good system, and I was very impressed with the level of control I had with the drag on this Ballistic reel.
It allows you to micro-tune the drag, and if you need some real stopping power it has that high-end available for you.
Full Ballistic MQ LT range:
- BLSMQLT 1000D
- BLSMQLT 2500D
- BLSMQLT 2500D-XH
- BLSMQLT 3000D
- BLSMQLT 4000D-C
I actually think that with mid-range reels like this Ballistic MQ, you are getting the best bang for your buck.
A lot of the premium features and technologies trickle down to reels like this one, and you are getting a very good quality spinning reel at a reasonable price.
Daiwa Legalis LT
- Best Daiwa Spinning Reel under $100
- Designed with Daiwa's Light and Tough body
- Quality reel, solid performance at an affordable price
- Light and Tough design
- Durable and strong carbon-light body
- Air Rotor
- Air Bail
- First-generation Digigear internals
- Smooth 5+1 bearing system
- ATD Automatic Tournament Drag
- Ultra-compact Machine Cut Handle design
If you are looking for a sub-$100 Daiwa fishing reel, then the Legalis LT is a great option for you to consider. This is another smaller reel, with a 1000 size starting point, but this one going all the way up to a 6000 size if you wanted to use it for some light saltwater fishing applications too.
While you don’t get all the bells and whistles with this Legalis reel, what you are getting is a very smooth and reliable reel that does its job really well.
It feels strong, it feels quite light for a reel of this price range, and I have been really impressed with the performance it provides. It is also very comfortable to use. It sits nicely in the reel seat and I find it super easy and comfortable to use.
I use my Legalis mostly for fishing with soft plastics, and I have been very pleased with the responsiveness of the reel, and just how well it performs when under pressure from a fish.
I quickly gained confidence in it after I started using it and although it is far from being my primary reel, it is great to have as an option.
The Legalis has six bearings (5+1), and it runs quite smoothly. It also casts quite well for a reel in this price bracket, I have no problem throwing lighter soft plastics at decent distances.
I also like the versatility of this reel. I feel I could use it for a number of different fishing applications and it would give me the same reliable performance.
Here is the full Legalis LT range:
- LEGLT 1000D
- LEGLT 2000D
- LEGLT 2500D
- LEGLT 2500D-XH
- LEGLT 3000D-C
- LEGLT 4000D-C
- LEGLT 5000D-C
- LEGLT 6000D
The Daiwa Legalis LT is a good reel for the price. Don’t expect all of the high-performance technologies you find on the other reels mentioned in this article, but what you can expect is a reliable reel that will give you value for money and can be used for a diverse range of fishing applications.
Q: What does “LT” stand for in a lot of the daiwa spinning reel range?
A: “LT” stands for ‘Light and Tough’. This was a newer concept that Daiwa introduced into some of their spinning reels, making the reels with reduced dimensions to make them lighter, with a design, and with materials that made them stronger.
Q: What does “MQ” stand for?
A: The “MQ” seen in a lot of the Daiwa spinning reel range stands for ‘Monocoque body’. This is the new body design they use on some of their reels, which is a 1-piece body that eliminates the old side plate with screws that they used to do.
This design helps to create more internal space so Daiwa can now create a bigger main gear in the same size body.