Why I Choose Daiwa Fishing Reels 

Created 6/8/2022 4:16:58 PM in fishing | outdoors | japan-plus-me |

Discover why Japanese Daiwa reels are the go-to fishing equipment for this avid angler from Wisconsin.

Foreword from ZenPlus

Is fishing in your blood? Do you love the freedom of the great outdoors and the thrill of chasing that perfect catch?

No doubt then you've heard of Daiwa, a world-renowned manufacturer of fishing reels, rods, and other accessories for the avid angler.

Daiwa's Japanese slogan, Saikou no shunkan wo kanjiru, literally translates to "Feel your greatest moments" -- but the official English version sums that sentiment up in a much simpler way:

"Feel alive."

Today, Shawn from fishing portal Angling Insights shares a personal story of Daiwa fishing reels and the positive impact they've had on his life.

Take it away, Shawn!




Why I choose Daiwa fishing reels 

Hey, fellow anglers! My name is Shawn, and I'm a hopelessly obsessed angler. I've been chasing fish since I was a toddler, and I started fishing exclusively with Daiwa fishing reels several years ago. The reason that I choose Daiwa reels is simple. They are the most reliable reels that I have used.




A brief history of Daiwa Fishing

Daiwa has been producing fishing equipment since 1958, and over the decades, they have become one of the top innovators in the fishing industry and one of the top names in fishing around the globe.

Daiwa has some of the best designs on the market today for fishing reels of all types, and they have offerings for virtually all species of game fish in both fresh and saltwater. 


The durability dilemma

I’ll be honest. I’m terrible at taking care of my fishing gear, and I leave my rods and reels out in the elements, and throw them around in my boat, truck, and car recklessly. 

I also fish for big game fish, and my main target species is the musky. Muskies can grow to over 4 feet in length, fight like a dragon, and fishing for them requires giant lures that produce tons of drag, thus being very hard on the gears and drives of a baitcasting reel.

For years, I would have to replace several of my fishing reels every single season or take them into a repair shop to get repaired. It was a miracle if I could make a reel last for 2 or 3 seasons.


How did Daiwa reels help me? 

Daiwa reels

Years ago, a new fishing lure for musky fishing exploded onto the market due to its ability to consistently catch giant fish. The lure is referred to as a “double ten,” as it features two rotating #10-sized blades and a bulky tinsel skirt that breathed and pulsed from the turbulence caused by the spinning blades. 

These double tens have serious drag due to the large rotating blades creating massive resistance in the water, and the standard reels used by most anglers, including myself, were just not up to the task of retrieving these lures. As a result, they would break down with alarming frequency. 

I decided to hunt for a reel that could handle the task of retrieving double tens, and that could also handle the task of surviving me, a guy that is incredibly rough on equipment. 

After searching high and low, I got my hands on a Daiwa Saltist 20 with the level wind. It was big, built like a tank, and when fully loaded with line it could winch in those big blades with authority thanks to its power handle and large diameter spool. 

I fished hard with the Daiwa Saltist the first few seasons after I bought it, and it performed without an issue. 

I fish 3-4 days a week, and at that time in my life, I was a fishing guide and owned a fishing lure business, so fishing was all that I did. 

That first Daiwa Saltist lasted for seven brutal musky fishing seasons with a man who is incredibly hard on his gear, and it smashed any previously held record from any baitcasting reel I had ever owned. 

That Saltist sealed the deal for me on what brand of reel I would continue to use from that point on. 

After two seasons of fishing with that Saltist 20, I also started using a larger model of the Saltist, a size 30. The size 30 is a monster of a reel, but it could winch in the giant lures used for muskies with unparalleled ease compared to other reels on the market. 


A shift in big game fishing reels

Daiwa reel (Lexa)

A decade has passed since I first discovered the Daiwa Saltist reels, and in that time, baitcasting reel design for large fish species has changed considerably. 

Low-profile reels are now the standard, and Daiwa has been at the forefront of this design shift from its inception. 

While the Saltist reels are still in my inventory, I have switched to more ergonomic and comfortable offerings that can compete with the big round reels. 

The best offering out there for a powerful low-profile baitcasting reel for big game species is, in my opinion, the Daiwa Lexa series of reels. 

Using a Daiwa Lexa 400, I can winch in those big blades as easily as I could with the Saltist, but with the massive advantage of my rod and reel setup being much lighter and having much less fatigue in my hand due to holding a smaller reel. 

The Lexa series of reels in the 300 and 400 sizes have replaced all of my casting rod and reel setups for pike and muskies, but they aren’t only for big game species and many bass angling friends of mine also use them religiously. 

The reliability that I came to love when fishing with the Saltist was also present with the Lexa reels. I have several that have now taken an absolute beating season after season, with no more than periodic cleaning and greasing needed to keep them in shape. 

The newer offering from Daiwa, the Prorex line of reels and rods, are also great pieces of gear for large game fish. I was lucky enough to fish with a friend’s Prorex reel this spring, and it performed very well, and I was surprised at how incredibly smooth it was.  


Final thoughts

I have cranked countless miles on my Daiwa fishing reels, pulling massive lures and fighting some of the toughest predatory fish swimming in North America's lakes and rivers. If Daiwa reels can work season after season for an angler like me, it’s guaranteed that they will excel in the toughest fishing situations you could throw at them. 


About the author

Photo of the author and a big fishing catch

Shawn is an angler and freelance writer who lives in the state of Wisconsin, a state famous in North America for having great fishing in its 14,000 lakes and rivers. You can read more of his work on his blog, Angling Insight.


Got a story to share?

Many thanks to Shawn for sharing this personal story with us. The fact that Daiwa reels are Shawn's go-to gear for fishing is testament to their design, functionality, and quality.

Do you have a personal story you'd like to share with us about products, brands, or Japanese culture in general?

Feel free to get in touch via our contact form or on social media (TwitterInstagramFacebook).

We'd love to share it in this blog space and help bring the community closer together!

As always, thanks for reading!

Tap or click the button below to browse all reels and other fishing equipment from Daiwa Fishing!  


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