There’s a balance with these reels, between quality, cost and performance. They’re by no means the best on the market but that also means they’re not the as expensive as, say, the Shimano range. There’s a solid feel to all the models without a surprising saving on quality, which is nice to see. Despite the low level of ball bearings, the retrieval is actually fairly smooth.
Despite the less than solid plastic housing, this is actually a fairly heavy reel, so if you have any wrist or arm strain issues then perhaps this isn’t the right reel for you and your rod. It is definitely not as highly ‘teched up’ as other reels out there so if you are looking for that overall top of the range then look elsewhere, perhaps at the Shimano Ultegra as previously mentioned.
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Daiwa currently offer up four different models with their surf fishing reels; the 4500, 5000, 5500 and 6000 with the main differences being gear ratios, weight and line capacities (the higher the model number the greater the capacity). They’re all designed for open water as well as salt water fishing and boast a high level of quality.
We’ll delve further into why the Opus range could suit your needs and things to look out for when choosing the right surf fishing reel for you.
Perfect for Surf Fishing - These reels are awesome because they can be used for both surf fishing as well as the more traditional river fishing. You might be looking into the Daiwa range for their well-known prowess amongst surf fishing users – it can be extremely confusing as to what reel to look for and while many reels can be used for different styles of fishing, the main component you should be looking for for surf fishing is the casting distance.
Essentially, you’ll be looking to cast your line as far out to sea as possible to increase the chance of catching a fish. Other factors such as reduced drag and gear ratios play a part, but we’ll touch on these additional features shortly.
Here’s a brief run-down of the key features:
- Twist Buster – reduced line twisting
- ABS Composite Spool
- Infinite Anti-Reverse – stopping mechanism
- Ball Bearings – 1 x stainless steel and 1 x roller bearing
Perhaps it’s best to also show you a comparison of the core stats for the differing models:
Gear ratios & line per turn
Line Capacity (lb / yards)
When looking at the perfect reel for you, perhaps you’re interested in the make-up of the housing. If you’re planning on surf fishing for lengthy periods at any one given time, one that is made of graphite might be a better option for you since it’s more lightweight.
If you’re planning on using a stand then maybe this eliminates the issue, however aluminium reels are heavier and stronger, but you should take into account the levels of strain the wrist and arm are going to be under. The Daiwa reels have solid construction and as few loose parts as possible in their design, too.
This is directly linked to the line size you’re planning on using – it’s pointless going for the bigger Daiwa 6000 if you’re planning on using a smaller line, you’d save money by going for the 4500 or 5000 models. Also bear in mind the type of fish you’re going for – the larger the fish the larger the line capacity you’d need.
According to Daiwa, the 6000 is actually lighter than the 5500, but if you check the stats above (which are pulled direct from Daiwa), the line capacity is greatly increased with the 6000 model.
These models come with Daiwa’s Infinite Anti-Reverse stopping mechanism preventing the handle from turning back when bringing the line in, improving control levels, and meaning the spool will turn independently from the handle under drag.
It’s probably in your best interests to ignore any reel that doesn’t have this feature and although you don’t want a hugely protruding handle, the larger it is, the easier it’ll be to locate when needed and the easier it’ll be to use.
The Daiwa models actually possess a modest handle size, not too large to add to the weight, but not too small so it’s not too hard to use.
The main function of ball bearings in a surf fishing reel is to increase the smoothness and stability, with the higher the number of ball bearings the better – this does however mean an increase in weight and cost. So, personal preference does play a large part as does your budget range. The Daiwa reels actually only have one standard stainless steel ball bearing and one roller bearing which is considered low for a high-quality reel, potentially meaning the smoothness on retrieve is sacrificed.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, then the Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel is a good fit. It does seem to perform well under heavy loads and while it’s not the most robust or solid build, it certainly seems to do the job and even has smooth retrieve with minimal ball bearings – perhaps that’s due to Daiwa’s high standards. This is a decent and reliable reel for novice and more experienced anglers alike – there are talks of corrosion after time, but perhaps washing off the salt water from any reel is just good practice.