Daiwa Reels Review and Comparison

best daiwa reels

Daiwa reels are manufactured by following the three core values that the brand stands for: challenge, originality, and innovation. As a globally recognized brand, Daiwa prides itself on offering high levels of quality, precision, and performance to drive standards within the fishing industry.

Founded in 1958, Daiwa was the first company to develop an open-faced reel, allowing fishermen to wind extra lengths of fishing line with a quicker spin and an all-around smoother feel. Additional technological innovations throughout the years include the integration of carbon fibers and resistance to water and dust.

For those looking for the best Daiwa reels, it may be difficult to pinpoint which model is best suited for your fishing needs. This review will take an in-depth look at the top-rated Daiwa fishing reels to examine the unique traits of an array of reel models and styles, providing a valuable guide for any fisherman looking to add a Daiwa reel to their angling arsenal.

The Top-Rated Daiwa Reels

While looking at the most popular Daiwa reels, this review will also offer a quick overview of what each consumer should look for in every reel, even outside of the Daiwa brand name. The defining characteristics that a high-quality reel should have include:

  • Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting R100XS
  • 8.1:1 gear ratio
  • Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag UTD
  • 8 bearing system
  • T-Wing system
  • Daiwa Crossfire Front Drag
  • 3 ball bearings plus one roller bearing
  • Gyro-Spin balanced rotor
  • Twist Buster line twist reduction
  • 4.9:1 or 5.3:1 gear ratio
  • Daiwa DF100A Giant
  • Suitable for freshwater or saltwater use
  • Smooth, multi-disc drag
  • Fully anodized for corrosion resistance
  • Stainless steel ball bearings
  • Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
  • Oscillating spool
  • Rugged and durable metal body
  • 4.1:1 gear ratio
  • Rotating Tungsten line pickup
  • Daiwa Opus Saltwater
  • 4.6:1 gear ratio
  • 39.1” line retrieval
  • One ball bearing and one roller bearing
  • Smooth multi-disc drag

Daiwa reels certainly tend to focus on providing high value through manufacturing reels that include top-performing models within gear ratio, drag systems, and overall strength. By looking at what components set each and every Daiwa fishing reel apart, professional and amateur anglers alike will be able to determine which Daiwa reel is the best choice for them.

1. Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel R100XS

Daiwa’s Tatula model has brought in waves of positive reviews, with professionals and amateurs alike raving about the precision and unmistakable quality of this reel.Unique to Daiwa, the T-Wing system allows for casts to stretch up to a mile and a half with ease. This patented system changes the design of the line guide, nearly eliminating friction and obstruction while casting.

The T-Wings flip up during the cast, and back into place while reeling in. Though it may take some getting used to, reviewers consistently rave over the T-Wing design.

With each handle turn bringing in 33.9 inches, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is efficient enough for professional and recreational use. The gear ratio of 8.1:1 delivers precision and unmistakable quality with each spin of the handle. Additionally, the increased line capacity allows for maximized fish catching ability while out on the water.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

Though the aluminum frame certainly helps decrease overall weight, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is one of the heavier baitcasting models. With a total weight of 1 pound, it may be difficult to maintain longer fishing sessions, depending on personal preference and style. An excellent way to help alleviate joint stress from the additional weight is to pair this Daiwa reel with a rod that is both lightweight and durable.

2. Daiwa Crossfire Front Drag Spinning Reel

One of the best features of Daiwa reels is that they effortlessly combine affordability with high levels of value, and the Crossfire series is certainly no different. With the combination of an anodized aluminum spool, corrosion-resistant bearings, and stainless steel bearings, the Daiwa Crossfire is built to withstand even the toughest of weather conditions. Ideally suited for saltwater or freshwater use, this spinning reel provides versatility for anglers looking to diversify their fishing experience.

Daiwa continues to represent innovation by introducing their Twist Buster line twist reduction. This system reduces and potentially even eliminates troublesome line twists, making for a much more effective experience overall. The Micro-click front drag allows for easy adjustment and provides a smooth and reliable retrieve.

As a casting reel, this Daiwa reel enables long and precise casts, even when attached to heavier lures or weights. The six different models allow for two variations between gear ratios: 4.9:1 or 5.3:1. 

As the gear ratio increases, so does the overall weight of the reel, with the heaviest reel weighing in at 14.1 ounces, and the lightest at 5.9 ounces. Overall, the Daiwa Crossfire is one of few reel models to bring in consistently high customer reviews within each and every reel size.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

While many customer reviews report using this reel in saltwater, it is important to note that the reel itself does not come with any advertised watertight or sealed components. As such, it is crucial to wash the reel after use in saltwater environments carefully. Without proper care, the internal gears and bearings could potentially corrode and prematurely wear down.

3. Daiwa DF100A Giant Spinning Fishing Reel

Although the Daiwa Giant spinning reel is one of the largest reels on the market, it comes with the same affordability and quality that anglers have come to expect from the Daiwa name. The larger spool enables for greater line capacity while maintaining an overall durable and ergonomic design. As a saltwater and freshwater reel, the Daiwa Giant reel has been completely anodized in order to offer superior resistance to corrosion.

This helps protect the rugged metal gears, keeping them intact and working precisely even amidst splashes from saltwater environments.

The multi-disc drag and the powerful gear ratio of this Daiwa reel enables the reel to produce consistently smooth and reliable casting and retrieval. Its rugged, large construction not only allows for additional line storage, but it also provides additional support against the toughest fish species. Reviews consistently rave about the sturdy and reliable quality of this Daiwa reel, especially considering that it remains in an affordable price range.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

While some reels come with the option to customize for left or right handed casting, the Daiwa Giant model does not. The handle is fixed on the left side, so anglers who prefer to work from the right side may have a difficult time.

4. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel

As part of a long line of professional grade quality reels, this Daiwareel provides a high level of quality for any spincast fisherman. The reel features a durable metal body to ensure long-lasting use and protection against wind and water damage. The oscillating spool provides precise level-winding, helping to eliminate wind interference while casting and retrieving. The retrieve itself is made to be quick and efficient with a 4.1:1 gear ratio and an ultra-smooth, multi-disc drag system.

Each rotation of the handle will bring in 21.3 inches of fishing line, making for a thoroughly productive retrieval. Its large and rugged metal body allows for storage of more fishing line, making it a very attractive option for spincast anglers.

The line aperture is structured with casting in mind, enabling anglers to cast greater distances. Customers report that the Daiwa Goldcast model is easily able to stand up against aggressive, massive fish, making this a perfect Daiwa fishing reel to suit a range of fish species.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

Though the largest model will certainly have the greatest spool capacity, the increase in size may produce a decrease in accessibility. Some reviews have pointed out that the larger spool makes it difficult to comfortably access the thumb button while casting. As a result, this may not be the best reel to invest in for anglers who have smaller hands.

5. Daiwa Opus Saltwater Spinning Reel

For a durable and reliable surf fishing reel, the Daiwa Opus spinning reel is second to none. With a 4.6:1 gear ratio and a line retrieval of 39.1”, this reel has more than enough strength and speed to bring in big saltwater catches.

The smooth multi-disc drag is easily set and adjusted, making for a customized and thoroughly efficient drag. As an additional benefit, this model comes with a Twist Buster system to reduce and eliminate twists and turns within the line.

For anglers looking to set long and accurate casts, this particular Daiwa system will prove to be especially useful. Though it comes with a right-handed setup, the handle is reversible, so even left-handed anglers can comfortably use the reel.

At a total weight of 1 lb., the Daiwa Opus model may be one of the heavier surf fishing reels available, but it offers high levels of durability and strength in return. Its durable construction relieves stress from the line, so saltwater anglers can rest assured that the line will stay intact while reeling in even the heaviest and strongest of species.

What You Should Keep in Mind:

Though marketed as a saltwater spinning reel, some anglers may find this particular Daiwa reel difficult to use when surf fishing. Its weight helps ensure durability, but it may also prevent anglers from comfortably operating the reel for longer periods of time. For surf fishing, this reel may be most comfortably used when anchored on shore, rather than standing in the ocean.


Overall, Daiwa fishing reels offer high levels of technology and innovation, making them one of the most competitive brands available on the market today. Choosing the best Daiwa reel for you means taking a close look at the highlighted components of Daiwa fishing reels. Carefully examining the top-rated reels can help pinpoint the best Daiwa reel for you, whether you are looking for a baitcasting, spinning, saltwater, or freshwater reel.

Regardless of the reel that you choose, anglers of all backgrounds and experience levels can rest assured that investing in a Daiwafishing reel means investing in decades of proven quality and performance.

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