10 Best Daiwa Fishing Reels: Spinning and Baitcaster

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Written By Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler with more than 20 years of fishing experience and a writer whose work has been featured in magazines for over a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States. He also fishes for trout in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, Paddling Space, Man Can Outdoors, Alabama Outdoor News, and Bassmaster.


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Daiwa is one of the top brands in the fishing industry when it comes to producing high-performance rods and reels. There are a range of different Daiwa reels and their spinning and casting selection is second-to-none when it comes to smooth action, toughness and other characteristics anglers demand out of their gear. 

Many anglers wonder which are the best Daiwa fishing reels? I’ve compiled this article to list my picks and explain why they are considered to be some of Daiwa’s top reels in today’s fishing industry. This list in based on my own personal preferences and judgments as an experienced angler.

Daiwa spinning reels ranked by price

Daiwa Overview 

Daiwa is a long-standing brand in the fishing industry that was started back in 1958. It was one of the first companies to pioneer the concept of an “open-faced” spinning reel that allowed anglers to pack more line on their reel. In the decades since, Daiwa has been one of the most sought-after fishing reel brands in the world. 

The company manufactures a number of different casting and spinning reels each year, while releasing new reel series that are focused on providing specific benefits and characteristics that serious anglers look for in their equipment. It’s no coincidence that many professional anglers use Daiwa reels on the tournament trail as they are extremely reliable and perform at a high level in a variety of different environments. 

Daiwa Logo

The following reels are my top choices for the best Daiwa fishing reels that are currently on the market today. 

1. Daiwa Tatula 100

Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel
  • T-Wing Levelwind System
  • Lightweight Aluminum Frame
  • Anti-Reverse Capability
  • Extremely Lightweight at Under 7 Ounces
  • Magforce-Z Braking System
Update July 2023: At ICAST 2023, the new Daiwa Tatula 100 Baitcasting reel was released. This comes with Hyper-drive design and an A7075 aluminum spool to reduce the weight and increase casting distance.

The Daiwa Tatula is easily one of the best baitcasting reels on the market today. It was first introduced nearly a decade ago by the company as a new product that is capable of eliminating much of the friction typically caused by the inner workings of a casting reel. Daiwa design experts and engineers were able to accomplish this through the use of a T Wing system instead of a traditional level wind system. 

It’s made in a few different models and anglers can choose a specific gear ratio that ranges from a 5.4:1 to a much faster 7.3:1. It’s a lightweight reel that weighs less than 7 ounces and delivers a silky-smooth action in both casting and retrieval. In addition to the T-Wing system, it also features an Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag System that’s made to give you a smooth drag that’s capable of maintaining control over your catch. 

One of the best features of the Daiwa Tatula baitcasting reel is the Magforce-Z System, which helps utilize specially-designed magnets to slow the spool’s rotation and prevent backlashes. All of these components are housed inside of a lightweight aluminum constructed body that combines for a moderately-priced reel that delivers premium performance. 


  • Extremely lightweight at under 7 ounces.
  • High-speed options are available at 8.1:1 gear ratio.
  • I did notice that Daiwa’s latest design tech does result in further casting distance.


  • The max drag is on the low side at only 11 lb, however, I don’t notice then when using it.


TTU100H7+16.3:126.36.912/150, 14/125, 16/11030/140, 40/11011
TTU100HS7+17.1:129.86.912/150, 14/125, 16/11030/140, 40/11011
TTU100XS7+18.1:133.96.912/150, 14/125, 16/11030/140, 40/11011
TTU100HL7+16.3:126.36.912/150, 14/125, 16/11030/140, 40/11011
TTU100HSL7+17.1:129.86.912/150, 14/125, 16/11030/140, 40/11011

2. Daiwa Ballistic LT

Daiwa Ballistic LT Spinning Reel
  • Extremely Lightweight Design with Largest Reel at Only 8.1 Ounces
  • 1000 to 6000 Sized Models Available
  • Best Matched with Ultralight Spinning Rod

The Daiwa Ballistic LT is arguably the best overall spinning reel on the market today. It is phenomenally smooth and is made with lightweight construction and components that make it a great finesse reel, or one that can serve a variety of purposes for bass fishing or going after any other freshwater or saltwater fish species. Many anglers consider the Ballistic LT to be an ideal inshore spinning reel

The sizes of the Ballistic LT include a 1000 size that’s ideal for using with an ultralight rod to catch trout, panfish or any other type of small game fish species. Anglers can choose any size between a 1000 all the way up to a large 6000 in the Daiwa Ballistic LT depending on the type of fish they are trying to catch, or the lure presentation they want to use. 

The “LT” in this reel’s name stands for “lightweight and tough” and it certainly lives up to this namesake. The weight of the 1000 is a mere 5.8 ounces while the largest 6000 size reel weighs only 11.1 ounces. It’s an expensive spinning reel that boasts a stout 22 lbs of drag in the 2500 size model, which is more than enough to handle just about any type of fish you want to catch. 


  • Extremely lightweight design. Even the largest reel is only 8.1 ounces in weight.
  • Best matched with an ultralight rod.


  • The gear ratio is on the low side at 5.2:1. This is better suited for slow-moving crankbaits rather than jerkbaits.


BLSMQLT1000D8+15.1:125.46.04/250, 6/1606/320, 8/20011
BLSMQLT2500D8+15.2:128.76.98/240, 10/21010/250, 15/18522
BLSMQLT2500D-XH8+16.2:134.56.98/240, 10/21010/250, 15/18522
BLSMQLT3000D8+15.2:130.67.610/280, 12/22015/250, 20/22022
BLSMQLT4000D-C8+15.2:132.58.114/250, 20/16020/280, 30/20026

3. Daiwa Lexa

Daiwa Lexa Baitcaster Reel
  • Plenty of Drag with 22 lb in the Smallest Model
  • High Speed Gear Ratios Available
  • Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag System
  • Saltwater-Ready

The Daiwa Lexa is an excellent baitcasting reel that is often used for both freshwater and saltwater applications. This reel comes in a variety of four size models that include the Lexa HD, Lexa 100, Lexa 300, Lexa 400 and the Lexa 500. One of the most popular features the Lexa offers is a powerful gearing system that is very tightly engineered to provide outstanding smoothness in the retrieval of lures or reeling in your catch. 

The Lexa 300 and 400 are often used by saltwater anglers when it comes to inshore fishing or catching some offshore species as these lightweight reels offer 22 and 25 pounds of drag, respectively. Daiwa manufactures the Lexa series with its Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag System, which is exceptionally smooth and allows you to handle anything you hook while fishing around the coast confidently, or in freshwater lakes and rivers. 

The Daiwa Lexa offers plenty of line capacity. The larger Lexa 500 is one of the top choices for avid saltwater anglers who regularly target larger fish and throw larger baits. Anglers can choose from a smooth 5.1:1 or 7.1:1 gear ratio depending on the size model of the Daiwa Lexa. 


  • Plenty of drag power at 22 lb in the smallest model.
  • High-speed gear ratios are available.
  • More powerful than most baitcasters is ideal for targeting larger saltwater species.


  • This is a heavier reel. The lightest version is still over 12 ounces.


LX-HD300H-P6+16.3:128.812.312/240, 14/190, 20/12030/240, 40/18022
LX-HD300HS-P6+17.1:133.712.312/240, 14/190, 20/12030/240, 40/18022
LX-HD300HSL-P6+17.4:133.712.312/240, 14/190, 20/12030/240, 40/18022
LX-HD300XS-P6+18.1:13712.312/240, 14/190, 20/12030/240, 40/18022
LX-HD400H-P6+16.3:133.417.117/245, 20/19040/300, 65/20025
LX-HD400HS-P6+17.1:137.717.117/245, 20/19040/300, 65/20025
LX-HD400XS-P6+18.1:14317.117/245, 20/19040/300, 65/20025
LX-HD400HSL-P6+17.1:137.717.117/245, 20/19040/300, 65/20025
LX-HD400PWR-P6+15.1:127.116.817/245, 20/19040/300, 65/20025

4. Daiwa Saltiga

Daiwa Saltiga Star Drag Conventional Reel
  • Optional Two-Speed Gearing System
  • High Quality Stainless Steel Bearings - CRBB
  • Good Combination of Power, Line Capacity, and Price
  • 15 Different Models and Sizes

My list of the best Daiwa fishing reels wouldn’t quite be complete without mentioning the Saltiga. This is one of Daiwa’s most expensive reel models, but it’s a premium design that comes in both a spinning and conventional style for serious anglers who want to have the absolute best advantage on the water. 

The overall performance of the Daiwa Saltiga is comparable to other brands’ premium products. Daiwa manages to achieve this high-level of performance and quality through its all-new DigiGear precision machining system that ensures all of the reel’s inner workings fit together like clockwork. The tight precision gearing helps deliver an exceptionally smooth casting and retrieval experience with the Saltiga and it’s used by saltwater anglers and freshwater fishermen alike. 

All of the inner and outer components and construction materials of the Daiwa Saltiga are made of corrosion-resistant material. The reel offers a more lightweight feel than many of its competitors and the largest 4000 size Saltiga reel weighs just 8.4 ounces. This is a high-performance reel that is capable of delivering a lifetime of use for those who properly use and maintain it. 


  • This is a heavy-duty gamefish reel with plenty of weight and power.
  • A huge max drag of 55-66 pounds can handle almost any fish in the ocean.
  • Extremely high retrieve rate – this is well suited for deep dropping or fast-moving pelagic species.


  • This is not a lightweight reel with the smallest model at over 23 ounces.
  • Check the price tag – this is a premium reel at a premium cost.


SALTIGAG8000H12+15.8:143.723.116/330, 20/28040/330, 50/28055
SALTIGAG10000H12+15.8:146.623.120/330, 25/28050/330, 65/28055
SALTIGAG14000XH12+16.2:152.923.525/330, 35/28065/330, 80/28055
SALTIGAG18000H12+15.8:151.631.230/400, 40/28065/440, 80/33066
SALTIGAG20000H12+15.8:156.631.440/330, 50/28080/440, 100/33066

5. Daiwa Revros LT

Daiwa Revros LT Spinning Reel
  • Extremely Affordable Price Tag
  • Lightweight Design at Under 10 Ounces
  • Multiple Gear Ratios Available

Beginner anglers or avid fishermen who might be looking for a solid spinning reel that delivers outstanding value should look to the Daiwa Revros LT. This is one of Daiwa’s most popular entry-level spinning reels and it offers a range of impressive features and capabilities that anglers of all skill levels would appreciate. It’s one of the most affordable Daiwa fishing reels on my list. 

The Revros LT is another reel that boasts the “Lightweight and Tough” moniker and anglers who prefer using a lightweight spinning reel will appreciate the lengths Daiwa engineers and design experts have gone to in producing this particular reel. The sizes of the Daiwa Revros LT range from a small 1000 size that’s ideal for ultralight rods and weighs 7.4 ounces, all the way up to a 4000 size model that weighs 9.9 ounces. 

Depending on which size model you choose, you can have a 5.2:1 or 5.3:1 gear ratio that’s good for cranking baits in at a steady pace, or a faster 6.2:1 for using jerkbaits and other types of lures that demand you keep your line tight while retrieving it. One of the shining features of the Daiwa Revros LT is the fact that it brings a whopping 22 pounds of drag to the table, which makes it easy to handle largemouth bass or any other game fish species you’re going after. 


  • Extremely affordable price tag.
  • Great max drag is suitable for largemouth bass.
  • Faster gear ratios available are good for jerkbait lures.
  • Well suited for beginner anglers who don’t want to spend a fortune.


  • It doesn’t have all of the technology features of the more premium reels.
  • Not suited for larger saltwater species.


REVLT10004+15.2:125.57.42/220, 3/160, 4/1106/160, 8/13511
REVLT20004+15.2:126.87.64/160, 5/130, 6/1106/220,8/15011
REVLT25004+15.3:129.68.54/250, 6/160, 8/1108/200,10/17022
REVLT2500-XH4+16.2:134.58.54/250, 6/160, 8/1108/200,10/17022
REVLT3000-C4+15.3:131.68.88/160, 10/130, 12/1108/220, 10/18522
REVLT4000-C4+15.2:132.59.910/210, 12/160, 14/14010/220, 15/18526.4

6. Daiwa Exceler

Daiwa Exceler Spinning Reel
  • DigiGear Precision Cut Gearing System
  • Extremely Lightweight Design
  • Sufficient Drag for Largemouth Bass
  • Affordable Price Tag

One of the most overlooked spinning reels on the market today is the Daiwa Exceler. It’s understandable that the Daiwa Ballistic LT gets much of the attention from anglers and retailers alike, but the Exceler is packed with just the right features and characteristics to make it a great freshwater fishing reel. It’s more expensive than the Revros LT, but any angler who feels the smoothness of the retrieval and casting action that the Exceler delivers will see why it’s on my list of the top Daiwa reels. 

It’s an extremely lightweight spinning reel that comes in the Exceler 1000, 2500D, 3000D, and 4000D. These sizes all weigh anywhere between 6.4 and 8.4 ounces, which make it a perfect go-to choice for anglers who want a lightweight spinning reel for finesse tactics or even pitching jigs and inline spinners for crappie, perch and trout

The Exceler is made according to the same high standards that all other Daiwa reels are constructed with and this reel model is produced using the same precision-cut machining methods of the DigiGear system. This tight and precise fit of the reel’s inner workings allow you to cast farther and have a buttery-smooth feel when reeling in your lure. 


  • The extremely lightweight design will help reduce muscle fatigue after a long day of fishing.
  • Good max drag is suited for largemouth bass.
  • Affordable price tag.


  • It doesn’t have all the Daiwa technology of the more premium reels but it is still good value for money in my opinion.


EXLT1000D5+15.2:125.56.74/250, 6/160, 8/1106/320, 8/20011
EXLT2500D5+15.3:129.67.48/240, 10/210, 12/16010/250, 15/18522
EXLT2500D-XH5+16.2:134.57.48/240, 10/210, 12/16010/250, 15/18522
EXLT3000D-C5+15.3:131.67.610/280, 12/220, 16/16015/250, 20/22022
EXLT4000D-C5+15.2:132.58.610/360, 14/250, 20/16020/280, 30/20026.4

7. Daiwa BG

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • Braid Ready - No Mono Backing Required
  • Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System

Another highly sought-after spinning reel that is a worthy addition to my list of the best Daiwa fishing reels is the Daiwa BG. This model is similar in many ways to the Exceler and the Revros LT, but it’s quite a bit heavier. If you’re an angler who’s not bothered by a bit more weight in your reel and you’re more concerned with the smooth feel of both casting and retrieval, the Daiwa BG is perfect for you. 

This model comes in a wide range of sizes that include a small 1500 size all the way up to a huge 8000 size model that’s great for inshore or surf fishing for large saltwater fish species. Daiwa created the BG so that it is tightly-sealed and capable of keeping water and grime out of the internal parts, which means it’s a reel that is capable of performing well in both freshwater or saltwater environments. 

The Daiwa BG is made using a 6+1 ball bearing system that delivers an exceptionally-smooth feel when casting or reeling your lure back in. The bearings are each made with shielded stainless steel material, which means you won’t have to worry about the smooth action being diminished by saltwater over the course of a few years. It also provides a solid 17 lbs of drag, which is enough to handle most small to medium-sized fish, as well as larger game fish species in the hands of anglers who know how to properly use the drag system. 


  • The gear’s large tooth design has proven to increase the life of the reel improving its value for money.
  • The BG is one of the most popular spinning reels on the market.
  • The corrosion-resistant materials are suited for saltwater.


  • It is heavier than some of the other options, but I would not describe it as a heavy reel.
  • There aren’t any high-speed models available for fast-moving lures.


BGMQ2500D-H6+15.7:131.58.38/240, 10/21010/250, 15/18522
BGMQ3000D-XH6+16.2:136.89.310/280, 12/22015/250, 20/22022
BGMQ4000D-XH6+16.2:139.110.110/360, 14/25020/280, 30/20026.4
BGMQ5000D-H6+15.7:137.815.314/280, 20/18030/230, 40/16026.4
BGMQ6000D-H6+15.7:139.915.214/340, 20/27030/320, 40/24026.4
BGMQ8000-H6+15.7:143.422.416/330, 20/28040/330, 50/28033.1
BGMQ10000-H6+15.7:146.222.820/330, 25/28050/330, 65/28033.1
BGMQ14000-H6+15.7:148.322.625/330, 35/28065/330,80/28033.1
BGMQ180006+15.3:149.430.535/330, 40/28065/440, 80/33044.1
BGMQ200006+15.3:152.930.340/330, 50/28080/440, 100/33044.1

8. Daiwa Fuego LT

Daiwa Fuego LT Spinning Reel
  • Extremely Lightweight Design - Smallest Model is Under 7 Ounces
  • MagSeal Design for Durability
  • Saltwater-Ready
  • Extremely Sensitive and Smooth Casting Action

Another outstanding inshore fishing reel is the Daiwa Fuego LT. This reel is similar to the BG, yet it’s made with a few different components that make it quite a bit more lightweight than any of Daiwa’s other saltwater spinning reel products. The Fuego LT is moderately-expensive, which makes it a reel that angles of all skill levels can typically afford. 

Since its release in 2017, the Daiwa Fuego LT has become one of the brand’s most sought-after reels among saltwater anglers who like to fish along shallow coastal areas like inlets and flats. As the “LT” entails, the Daiwa Fuego LT delivers outstanding lightweight and tough design that possibly best exemplifies the brand’s “LT” mantra. It’s made with Daiwa’s MagSeal design, which is intended to utilize a magnetized oil seal to prevent water and grime from seeping into the reel’s internal parts. 

The Daiwa Fuego LT is also made with the Tough DigiGear system, which helps to give anglers an extremely sensitive and smooth action in casting or retrieval. The reel gets most of its lightweight feel thanks to certain parts being made with a much lighter material that offers comparable durability to the materials that are often used. The air rotor of the Daiwa Fuego LT is said to be 15 percent lighter than most other types of material, yet it’s made with the same toughness one would expect. 


  • Extremely lightweight design with the smallest model under 7 ounces.
  • Good max drag suited for largemouth bass.
  • Has more of Daiwa’s durability-enhancing technology that their cheaper models lack.


  • There is no high-speed gear ratio option available.


FGLT1000D6+15.2:125.56.74/250, 6/160, 8/1106/320, 8/20011
FGLT2500D6+15.3:129.67.28/240, 10/210, 12/16010/250, 15/18522
FGLT2500D-XH6+16.2:134.57.28/240, 10/210, 12/16010/250, 15/18522
FGLT3000D-C6+15.3:131.67.610/280, 12/220, 16/16015/250, 20/22022
FGLT4000D-C6+15.2:132.58.610/360, 14/250, 20/16020/280, 30/20026.4

9. Daiwa Certate LT

Daiwa Certate LT Spinning Reel
  • 10+1 Ball Bearing System
  • Lightweight Design at Under 8 Ounces in Smaller Models
  • Full of Premium Features

The Daiwa Certate LT is an outstanding choice for freshwater anglers who want a lightweight reel that delivers unmatched performance. The price of the Certate LT is likely to cause most amateur anglers to consider other models, but those who want the absolute best quality and performance should give this one a closer look. 

It’s loaded with premium features and capabilities that give it a buttery-smooth action. It’s made with tough, monocoque material that’s lightweight and capable of yielding better performance, smoother retrieval and more comfort than other materials. 

The Daiwa Certate LT operates using a 10+1 ball bearing system with corrosion-resistant ball bearings that are specially-designed to provide outstanding smooth action in casting and reeling. The Certate LT comes in five different size models that range from a 2500 up to a 4000 which weighs just 8.3 ounces. 


  • Extremely smooth retrieve due to its 10+1 ball bearing system.
  • Lightweight design at under 8 ounces for the smaller models.
  • Even the smallest model has 22 ounces of drag which is ideal for any freshwater species.


  • This is a premium reel with a premium price tag.
  • It is expensive for a freshwater reel.


CERTATELT2500-XH10+16.2:134.57.26/160, 8/1108/200, 10/17022
CERTATELT3000-CXH10+16.2:136.87.48/160, 10/1308/220, 10/18522
CERTATELT3000-XH10+16.2:136.87.98/160, 10/1308/220, 10/18522
CERTATELT4000-CXH10+16.2:139.18.312/160, 14/14010/220,15/18526.4
CERTATELT4000D-C10+15.2:132.58.310/360, 14/25020/280, 30/20026.4

10. Daiwa Coastal SV

Daiwa Coastal SV Coastal Reel
  • Multiple Gear Ratios Available
  • Air Brake System Has Eliminated Backlash
  • Extremely Versatile Baitcaster
  • Well Suited for Inshore Anglers

Daiwa reels are well-known for being capable of anglers using them in both freshwater and saltwater environments, but the Coastal SV is just what inshore saltwater fishermen are looking for in a solid, low-profile baitcasting reel. This reel was first released in 2019 and has since exploded in popularity among serious inshore anglers. 

It comes in two different models that are virtually identical except for the gear ratio that separates them with one being 7.1:1 and the other being a much faster 8.1:1. The Daiwa Coastal SV is capable of being used with braided line and has an all-new air brake system that’s designed to be extremely effective when it comes to eliminating backlash and tangles with a much more controlled cast than you can have through a magnetic braking system. 

The Coastal’s “SV” stands for “Stress-free Vertical” cast control technology. This technology makes it possible for anglers to use a wide variety of lures, both large and small, light and heavy, through the SV cast control system which adapts to each one without the need for manual adjustments each time you swap lures. Considering all the features and incredible performance, the Daiwa Coastal SV is superior to the competition when it comes to inshore low profile baitcasting reels. 



  • The max drag is on the low side at only 11 lb, especially for some of the larger saltwater species you can hook when inshore fishing.


CLSVTW150HS7+17.1:129.86.916/125, 20/10020/200, 30/16511
CLSVTW150HSL7+17.1:129.86.916/125, 20/10020/200, 30/16511
CLSVTW150XS7+18.1:133.96.916/125, 20/10020/200, 30/16511

How We Rate Products

Russ Egan and Donny Karr have over 40 years of combined fishing experience. We know the difference between a high-quality reel and a poor alternative.

I thoroughly review all products to measure their performance, durability, and value for money. I conduct bench and field testing to check how the product performs. Each reel is tested for at least 8 hours, with a full test taking 2 weeks. This testing results in an overall score that I give to all products. All metrics are scored out of 5.


The performance score is how well this product fulfills its primary purpose. Does it have all the features and optional extras you need to catch the target species? I also interview expert anglers on their experience to build a more comprehensive view of the performance under multiple conditions.

I take all reels down to my local freshwater lake for bass, or inshore fishing off the beach for redfish.

  • Test 1: I confirm that the max drag meets the manufacturer’s specifications using a calibrated scale.
  • Test 2: I test the maximum casting distance using a 1.0-ounce lure.
  • Test 3: I test the accuracy by casting 10 times into a 3 ft diameter circle at 30 yards.
  • Test 4: I check the versatility and the ability to handle multiple uses by field testing with 3 different lures and baits, by actually going fishing.


Durability refers to how long the product will continue functioning. I twist, bend, and break all the products to check their longevity. This score is for the construction materials, the workmanship quality, and the servicing requirements. There are also bonus points for manufacturers’ warranty.

For products I can’t test for long enough, I also consult experts who have been using them for decades to judge their longevity.

  • Test 5: I pull it apart to check the grease and oil levels, how difficult it is to maintain, and whether sand or salt has deposited after use in saltwater.

Value for Money

The final aspect of the scoring system is the price or, more specifically, the value for money. Value for money is a comparison against the closest alternative products, both by the same manufacturer and other brands.

Overall Score

Finally, I average the three scores of performance, durability, and value for money to give the overall score of each product reviewed.

To see more details, please read the complete guide on how I test and evaluate fishing products.

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