The 7 Best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Daiwa spinning reels have been around longer than I have and I’m pretty sure they will be around long after I’m gone too. 😉 Spinning reels have the advantage of casting distance, ease of use, and no backlashes. This makes them a great choice for the beginner or inexperienced angler as well as the old salts. Daiwa makes great casting and trolling reels but we’ll save those for another time.

For this article, I have picked out, what in my opinion, are the seven best Daiwa Spinning reels. Like with the Shimano reels we reviewed in another article, I based this opinion on several factors including: advanced features, available sizes, strength and durability in saltwater, and of course price and value. I fish in saltwater most of the time, but on occasion, I like to fish freshwater too and I look for reels that can stand up to the harsh saltwater environment and have reel sizes that will work for freshwater fishing as well.

The Daiwa Saltwater Spinning Reels that we will be reviewing here fit that criteria. You can have one brand of reel for both salt and fresh water applications which will simplify finding parts and service and you will have familiarity with your equipment regardless of where you are fishing. Spend more time fishing and less time selecting which reel to use. Daiwa also makes great rods that you can check out here.

Lady with a nice slot redfish caught using a Daiwa Saltist spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels

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Daiwa Saltwater Spinning Reels are some of the most advanced, durable and come in a wide range of styles and sizes suitable for fresh or saltwater applications. The proven Daiwa BG spinning reels are hard to beat. They come in everything from ultralight to heavy-duty offshore versions and have the track record of being strong and durable even in the harsh saltwater environment. While more expensive, the newer Daiwa BG MQ and Saltist MQ, are a step up in water and weather resistance and strength in frame, gears and drag systems. Daiwa Spinning Reels get a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating from me.


Daiwa Spinning Reels


Young Lady fishing with her Daiwa BG spinning reel - 7 Best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Daiwa’s first spinning reel rolled off the assembly line, in Japan, in 1955. Since then, the company has grown into one of the largest and most influential tackle companies in the world today.To handle sales and distribution in the United States, Daiwa Corporation first opened its doors on September 26, 1966, operating from a small facility in Culver City, California. Today, based in Cypress, California, Daiwa Corporation sells tackle throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America.

From the very beginning, Daiwa’s emphasis has been upon innovation and quality. The result is a long list of product features, design and materials that have become standards for the fishing tackle industry. It is a long-standing record of innovation, the type of innovation that has left a visible mark on the majority of tackle manufactured today, innovation that continues to advance the sport of fishing. And, Daiwa Spinning Reels are just one example.


  • DAIWA CORPORATION
  • 11137 Warland Drive
  • P.O. Box 6600
  • Cypress, CA 90630
  • Telephone: (562) 375-6800
  • csr@daiwa.com

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels


Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reels are tried and true veterans of saltwater and offshore fishing. They are so smooth with digitally cut gears and seven ball bearings. Daiwa redesigned these reels in 2016. These reels are powerful, yet priced right. With Daiwa spinning reels, there’s a size for your every fishing need whether it’s inshore, offshore, shark fishing, freshwater or salt. The Daiwa BG will give you many years of service.


Some of the features of the Daiwa BG are:

  • “Hard Bodyz” body and side cover
  • 6BB+1
  • Carbon ATD
  • Waterproof drag system
  • Digigear system
  • Dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool
  • Air rotor
  • 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
  • Braided Line Ready Spool, Waterproof Drag System, Carbon ATD, Line Per Handle Turn: 53.3″
  • Manual Return Bail (4500 and Larger), 6BB+1RB, Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, Drag Max:33
  • Line Capacity (Lb. Test / Yards): 20/550, 25/440, 30/370 J-BRAID: 50/730, 65/590, 80/440
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System (4000 and Smaller), Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System (4500 and Larger)
Daiwa BG 5000 spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels



Daiwa BG MQ Spinning Reels


Young lady in a bikini holding a couple of nice triggerfish she caught using a Daiwa spinning reel - 7 Best Daiwa Spinning Reels review

In 2020, Daiwa Spinning Reels introduced the next generation of BG spinning reels to saltwater anglers of all stripes, this time with a one-piece Monocoque aluminum body the Daiwa BG MQ. Light and strong like a Formula One racing car, the reels are lighter and stronger through use of monocoque body technology. In terms of application, the reels are designed for everything from inshore to heavy offshore fishing with models like the BGMQ2500D-H perfect for speckled trout to models like the BGMQ20000 designed to withstand the pressures of fishing giant bluefin tuna.

With the Monocoque design, the reel body serves as a stiff and distortion-proof frame, which is handy and compact at the same time. If offers more rigidity, more stability, and bigger gears. The Water Resistance is superb and Monocoque body offers more power and torque as a result. The reels also feature an all-aluminum frame and features Digigear technology. Compared to most of the competition, the gears are between 20% to 40% larger.

The gears also feature a larger tooth pattern, giving the gears a much longer gear life and durability than competitive reels. Tests reveal a gear life that is one to three times the length of competitive reels. By re imagining the way a spinning reel is designed, the Daiwa BG MQ Spinning Reels put unprecedented strength into the hands of anglers. Built around a single-piece Monocoque aluminum body, the renowned BG series of Daiwa spinning reels is now stronger and lighter than ever before.


Young Lady fishing the flats with her Daiwa Emcast spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels

With the Monocoque design of Daiwa spinning reels, the reel body serves as a stiff, distortion-proof frame that keeps the reel’s internal components in precise alignment even under the most extreme drag pressures. This allows for increased cranking power and torque while extending the life of both the reels gears and bearings. Not only does a single piece body provide extreme rigidity and strength, but it also eliminates the necessity for pins and screws to hold the body together, thus making the reel more resistant to water intrusion.

These Daiwa spinning reels also feature 9 internal rubber seals at key areas like the drag stack, spool shaft, handle, and side plate, making it well-equipped for long seasons in the surf. Featuring Daiwa’s precision cut DigiGears that are between 20% and 40% larger than those of the competition, the BG MQ is built for unrelenting power. With sizes ranging from backwater reels for flounder and speckled trout to large offshore reels made to battle giant bluefin tuna, the BG MQ has all your saltwater angling bases covered.


Daiwa Technology Found In BG MQ Spinning Reels:

  • Aluminum Body – Lightweight and incredibly strong, aluminum allows strength and weightlessness to be achieved without the cost and corrosion issues of other metals.
  • Monocoque Body – Monocoque Body refers to the use of a one-piece frame and reel body. A single piece body allows for exceptional strength and rigidity, better spatial efficiency for housing larger gears, improved water resistance with the absence of screws, and significant weight reduction.
  • DigiGear – The all-new DigiGear is precision machine cut and polished. This results in unmatched efficiency, better transfer of energy, and maximum smoothness.
  • Air Rotor – The Air Rotor weighs up to 15% less than ordinary rotor designs. Its unique shape reduces unnecessary weight while distributing stress more evenly throughout the rotor for maximum strength.
  • DigiGear – The all-new DigiGear is precision machine cut and polished. This results in unmatched efficiency, better transfer of energy, and maximum smoothness.
  • ATD Drag – The Advanced Tournament Drag system uses a new proprietary grease that enables the reel to apply smooth and consistent start up drag pressure from the first pull, eliminating the stop and go pulling of drag that can result in broken lines and lost fish.
Daiwa BG MQ spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels


This new Daiwa Spinning Reels technology comes at a price, of course. But, if you are spending a lot of time in saltwater and fighting big fish, it can be worth it in the long run. They will run you another hundred bucks or so over the standard Daiwa BG reels. For strictly freshwater use, this would probably be overkill.


Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reels


Daiwa Saltist® Spinning reels are made to withstand the elements. With the rugged and durable reputation of the Saltist name. These reels feature a Magsealed main shaft, Magsealed line roller and (CRBB) corrosion resistant ball bearings for long-lasting smoothness and performance. Designed from the ground up for the extremes of the saltwater environment the Saltist, like many of the Daiwa spinning reels, has a wide range of reel sizes to fit any type of fishing from freshwater largemouth to Tarpon and Sailfish offshore.


Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reels Features:

  • Magsealed 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
  • Machined aluminum screw in handle
  • Air rotor
  • Braided line ready spool
  • Manual Return bail (4500-8000 size models only)
  • infinite anti-reverse system (4000-8000 models only)
  • Infinite dual anti-reverse system (4500-8000 models only)
Daiwa Saltist spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels

Daiwa Saltist spinning reels are a bit more expensive than the Daiwa BG, but you are getting a much more water resistant reel which is a nice feature especially in saltwater.


Daiwa Saltist MQ Spinning Reels


Lady with a huge spanish mackerel caught while using a Daiwa BG MQ spinning reel. 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Like the Daiwa BG MQ, the Daiwa Saltist has been redesigned and upgraded. Still featuring a heavy-duty aluminum frame for maximum durability, they have now added their Monocoque Body (MQ) for even more power and a more compact frame. An MQ frame design allows them to fit a larger gear inside of the reel, adding power and longevity to your gear. A 360 degree screw-in sideplate removes to need for traditional sideplate screws, allowing for a more compact and more weather resistant housing with Daiwa spinning reels.

The Daiwa Saltist MQ Spinning Reels utilize some of Daiwa’s most advanced design features to provide the ultimate in dependable power and performance. Built around a heavy-duty aluminum frame for maximum durability, the Saltist MQ implements Daiwa’s Monocoque Body (MQ) design for even more power in a more compact frame. A feature brought down from Daiwa’s flagship level of spinning reels, Monocoque Body refers to the use of a one-piece frame and reel body.

A single piece body allows for exceptional strength and rigidity, improved water resistance with the absence of screws, and significant weight reduction. Perhaps best of all, the MQ frame design provides better spatial efficiency and allows for a larger gear to fit inside of the reel, adding power and longevity to the gear set. Anglers can expect the same effortless rotation and fluid operation they are used to from Daiwa spinning reels, in part thanks to the ultra-lightweight Zaion Air Rotor perfect for all day casting and retrieving.

With a Magsealed main shaft for exceptional durability, the Saltist MQ can take a splash without skipping a beat, making it a great option for use from either the beach or the boat. The Saltist MQ is available in a full range of sizes to fit any application, meaning anglers can select the ideal reel to battle any fish whether its from the surf, along the coast, or out in the deep.


Features of the Daiwa Saltist MQ:

Daiwa Saltist MQ spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels
  • Monocoque (MQ) Aluminum Body – MQ Body takes reel design to the next level. The MQ system does not require a body cover, instead using an engine plate to screw directly to the body. Eliminating the need for screws to hold a body cover in place. MQ body improves the strength of the reel, it also improves the water-resistance of the body and allows a larger diameter drive gear to be installed.
  • Zaion Air Rotor – Lighter, stronger and more balanced than any rotor system that’s come before, ‘Air Rotor’ delivers a great leap forward in rotor design and function and delivers the ultimate reel sensitivity and rotational balance.
  • Air Bail – Daiwa’s innovative bail design features a hollow tubular stainless steel bail that delivers maximum rigidity and strength with minimum weight. Featuring a smooth protrusion-free design and construction line easily slides unencumbered along the Air Bail towards the line roller for trouble free line control.
  • Magsealed Main Shaft
  • Tough DigiGear – A further evolution of its predecessor Digigear, Tough Digigear is our brand new digitally designed, machine cut gearing system that ensures ultimate gear precision, rotational smoothness, and strength.
  • Waterproof Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD)
  • Aluminum Round Handle Knob

These advanced features do come with a higher price tag and it may be too much for some. But, you will be getting a reel that is built to fish and handle many years of service in any fishing environment.




Daiwa Emcast Spinning Reels


The Daiwa EMCAST Bite N’ Run feature allows line to pay off the reel when a gamefish takes a live or natural bait. Once line is paying off the reel, the refined Auto Clutch will put the reel in gear allowing a solid hook set. It is much more controlled than simply opening up the bail, the traditional method used when fishing natural baits with spinning reels. This reel sizes vary from a 2500 Series to a 5000 Series making the versatile reel line suitable for many different applications in both fresh and saltwater.

These Daiwa spinning reels are designed in the LT Concept of light yet tough. And, the Carbon Light Body is substantially lighter yet just as strong as traditional materials. To further the concept, the Air Rotor is also lighter yet just as strong. A slick Machined Aluminum Handle is powerful yet comfortable to the hand. When a gamefish is taking a bait offering and the reel is put in gear, the ATD or Advanced Tournament Drag System, utilizing a proprietary grease, allows the smooth payoff of line no matter how long the run.

Lady fishing with her Daiwa spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels

A 5.2 to 1 Gear Ratio shades the reel toward pulling power. If you are looking for an exciting new reel tailored for the live and natural bait fisherman, look to the new EMCAST BR LT. Perfect for a variety of bait fishing applications, the Daiwa Emcast LT Bite n’ Run Spinning Reels are the first “live-liner” or “bait-runner” reels built on Daiwa’s LT Light and Tough platform. The Emcast LT features a secondary drag system that can be engaged while live or chunk bait is in the water that significantly reduces drag pressure, allowing the fish to run after taking the bait.

By flipping the rear switch or simply turning the handle, the reel then reengages the primary Advanced Tournament Drag System where up to 26 pounds of smooth drag pressure will work to put the brakes on the target. This method of bait fishing is significantly more effective that simply opening the bail or loosening the primary drag with multiple rotations of the front drag knob.

Built with Daiwa’s Light and Tough concept, the Emcast LT features a lightweight and highly rigid carbon body and rotor, making it one of the lightest live-lining spinning reels on the market. Available in sizes ranging from 2500 to 5000, there are models suitable for both fresh and saltwater live bait anglers.


Features of the Daiwa Emcast Spinning Reel:

  • Bite N’ Run Style Drag System
  • LT Light & Tough Concept
  • Carbon Light Body
  • Air Rotor
  • Machined Aluminum Handle
  • Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD)
Daiwa Emcast Spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels



Daiwa Ballistic LT MQ Spinning Reels


The Ballistic LT series of spinning reels were designed lighter and stronger in a more compact package. The strength of the Zaion housing is an example of the LT design concept of Light but Tough. At the heart of the reel is a machined Aluminum Alloy DIGIGEAR designed for smoothness, strength and durability. The main shaft utilizes the Magseal, which prevents water and debris intrusion. This reel is long-casting and extremely smooth employing a 7 Bearing System. With models ranging from 1000 to 6000 size the Ballistic LT line of spinning reels are designed for a wide range of fishing applications.

Redesigned and upgraded with some of Daiwa’s premier technologies, the Daiwa Ballistic LT MQ Spinning Reels set a new standard for spinning reels in their class. The Ballistic LT MQ further enhances Daiwa’s “Light and Tough” concept by implementing their signature Monocoque Body (MQ) design for even more power in a more compact frame. A feature brought down from Daiwa’s flagship level of spinning reels, Monocoque Body refers to the use of a one-piece frame and reel body.

A single piece body allows for exceptional strength and rigidity, improved water resistance with the absence of screws, and significant weight reduction. Perhaps best of all, the MQ frame design provides better spatial efficiency and allows for a larger gear to fit inside of the reel, adding power and longevity to the gear set. The frame is built from a new material called Zaion-V; a more easily machined compound than Daiwa’s standard Zaion.

Young Lady with a big bull Mahi Mahi caught while using a Daiwa Ballistic Spinning Reel. 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Very similar in function to Zaion, Zaion-V is extremely durable, lightweight, corrosion resistant, and can be implemented into a wider range of reels. The Ballistic LT MQ features a Magsealed main shaft for exceptional durability and resistance to water intrusion. With sizes ranging from 1000 to 4000, this new generation of Daiwa Ballistic is poised to handle anything from freshwater fishing for bass or walleye to inshore fishing for powerful game fish along any coast.

Features of the Daiwa Ballistic LT MQ:

Daiwa Ballistic LT MQ spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels
  • Monocoque (MQ) Zaion-V Body
  • Magsealed Main Shaft
  • Zaion-V Air Rotor
  • Air Bail
  • Tough Digigear
  • Machined Aluminum Screw-in Handle
  • Ball Gearing Supported Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD)



Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reels


The Eliminator Series of Spinning Reels range from a compact 2500 series reel holding 6-pound test to a beefy 8000 series reel that can pack on the 30-pound test. The reels are also Well Suited For Braided Line Applications. This reel body is constructed utilizing the Hardbodyz Concept. Eliminator’s aluminum Frame and Sideplate combine to form a strong rigid housing for the state of the art Digigears cut to smooth, precise standards. Its attractive yet durable Anodized Finish is scratch and corrosion resistant.

Lady with a nice grouper she jigged off the bottom using a Daiwa Spinning Reel - Best Daiwa Spinning Reels Review

The Air Rotor design is 15-percent lighter yet more precisely balanced than competing reels. And, the stout Aluminum Spool can carry the increased pressures of braided line and houses buttery smooth, long-lasting Felt Drags. Slide-in handle for easy left or right hand crank conversion. Suitable for fresh and saltwater applications. If you are looking for a high quality line of workhorse-like reels at a smart price, then you owe yourself a look at the ELIMINATOR SERIES SPINNING REELS.

Freshly updated for 2021, the Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reels provide the exceptional quality Daiwa is known for at a price that anglers of all stripes will be able to appreciate. The new Eliminator combines Daiwa’s Hardbodyz Concept with a rugged aluminum frame and sideplate for durability that is second to none in its class. This rugged frame houses a set of precision cut DigiGears that provide smooth operation and solid transfer of power in the moments you need it the most.

The optimally balanced Air Rotor is 15 percent lighter than those on competing reels, allowing for more precise stop-and-go winding for working lures with finesse. The Eliminator Series features sizes ranging from a 2500 perfect for backwater light tackle applications, to a substantial 8000 size for heavy applications from the beach or boat.


Features of the Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reels:

  • Aluminum Braid-Ready Spool
  • Machined Aluminum Handle
  • Carbon Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD)
  • Ranges from a 2500 to an 8000 series reel
  • Well suited for braided line applications
  • Constructed utilizing the Hardbodyz Concept
  • Aluminum Frame and Sideplate.
  • Digigears cut to smooth, precise standards.
  • Attractive yet durable Anodized Finish
  • Air Rotor design. AluminumSpool with felt drags.
  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater applications
Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reel - 7 best Daiwa Spinning Reels



Daiwa Spinning Reels Comparison


The chart below will give you a side by side comparison of the Daiwa Spinning Reels we’ve looked at here. These are what I consider to be the important factors when selecting a fishing reel, spinning or otherwise. It is your money and your decision however, so I always encourage you to take this information and then check them out yourself. Only you know what type of fishing and what type of reel will work best for you.


Daiwa Spinning Reels Comparison Chart - 7 Best Daiwa Spinning Reels

Grab a Daiwa Spinning Reel and Go Fishing


Where ever you fish and whatever you fish for, there is a Daiwa Spinning reel to fit your needs. The reels we looked at here are classified as saltwater reels due to their water and corrosion resistant designs. But, they also have a wide range of sizes, some of which will serve any freshwater needs you may have. You may not need the corrosion resistance if you fish primarily in freshwater, but you will appreciate it if you do make an occasional saltwater fishing trip. Check out Daiwa reels, you won’t be disappointed.


Young Lady hooked up with a nice redfish using a Daiwa BG spinning reel - 7 best Daiwa spinning reels

As always, stay safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you asap. You can follow up on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, Twitter: @AnglerBeach, and YouTube: Man Art Creations.


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