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Daiwa Saltist Saltwater Spinning Reel (Review)

The Ideal Mid-Range Saltwater Spinning Reel

Saltwater fishing demands equipment that can handle both harsh environments as well as large and powerful fish. As you know, a lot of your freshwater fishing equipment just isn’t going to cut it.

So whether you’re looking for a replacement to a saltwater fishing reel that you already own, or are looking to upgrade, the Daiwa Saltist spinning reel is one that you should definitely be paying close attention to.  

The Daiwa Saltist saltwater spinning reel is the ideal reel for fishing in the corrosive waters of the ocean, and it’s strong enough to handle the variety of fish you’re going to run into. 

So let’s dive into this review of the Daiwa Saltist Saltwater Spinning Reel.

Daiwa Saltist 6500 5.3:1 Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel - SALTIST6500
$212.76 - $399.99
  • ATB Drag System
  • Dynamic-Cut Spool
  • MagSeal Rotor
  • DigiGear
  • Weight-Reduction Features
  • 8:1 Bearing System
  • Multiple Sizes To Choose From
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
04/13/2021 07:40 am GMT
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A Quick Overview of The Daiwa Saltist

Before I give you an in-depth review of the reel, here’s a few quick points that you should know about the Daiwa Saltist.

  • It’s strong enough for smaller ocean fish. Don’t expect to pull in goliath groupers, but it can handle sea bass, snappers, and other decent size fish.
  • It’s more affordable than many other high-end saltwater reels.
  • It’s very easy to take care of it. The MagSeal system makes it virtually waterproof.
  • It can hold a lot of fishing line. That’s important when you consider how fast line can be stripped in the event you hook into something big.

REVIEW: All About The Daiwa Saltist Saltwater Spinning Reel

The Daiwa Saltist isn’t necessarily a reel that you want to use out in the open ocean for the large powerful saltwater game fish. Where the Daiwa Saltist shines is in the surf and inshore fishing situations. As long as you’re expectations are to use it in these types of saltwater fishing scenarios, you’ll be pleased with this saltwater reel.

Features of The Daiwa Saltist

Since the Saltist is designed to withstand the harsh nature of the ocean, it has a lot of different features that are geared just for that reason. Below I’m going to discuss each of these features in a section of their own.

  • ATB Drag System
  • Dynamic-Cut Spool
  • MagSeal Rotor
  • DigiGear
  • Weight-Reduction Features
  • 8:1 Bearing System
  • Multiple Sizes To Choose From
  • Affordability

ATB Drag System

The automatic tournament drag system on the Daiwa Saltist is easily its most important feature. One of the fun things about saltwater fishing is the variety of fish that can be caught. And there are many days when you don’t know what might strike next. That’s where the ATB drag system comes into play. 

The drag system on the Daiwa Saltist functions extremely smoothly, and it’s strong enough to pull in fish between 15 and 33-pounds without becoming jerky and difficult to handle.

The drag is made up of carbon discs that are designed specifically to resist corrosion. So, if any water somehow makes its way into your reel, which it shouldn’t, your drag system will be preserved. Combine this integrated resistance with a regular cleaning schedule, and you have a saltwater reel that will last for years to come.

The Saltist comes with a MagSeal system that makes it virtually waterproof. Water can get through it if you drop your reel in the ocean and leave, which is highly discouraged. The MagSeal system also protects the bearings and other internal parts, but I’ll talk about how those parts are affected down below.

Dynamic-Cut Spool

The spool on the Saltist is perfectly designed for fishing in the ocean. This spool is capable of holding a lot more high-strength line than a standard spool, and it’s designed to work with a spool full of braided line. So there’s no need to use monofilament backing with the Saltist.

That’s probably my favorite feature on this spool. The line capacity is great, but its ability to hold onto braided line is a godsend. Braided line is often necessary when targeting the feistier fish in the sea, and without the Dynamic-Cut spool, your braided line would slip around every time your line got pulled all the way out.

The spool on the Saltist is also made out of aluminum. That means unless you use it as a hammer, it shouldn’t get damaged and is also resistant to corrosion. 

MagSeal Rotor

The drag system isn’t the only part of the Saltist that uses MagSeal technology. The rotor and shaft are also protected by it.

What are MagSeals? It may not be exactly what you think, so here’s a little explanation of what MagSeals are.  Simply put, they’re layers of magnetic oil that seal up inconsistencies between two parts when the parts are moved. Those different layers of oil prevent water from entering the internal parts of the reel. In addition, those MagSeal oil layers do not wear off over time. The technology was originally created by NASA, but now it’s used in all of Daiwa’s high-end reels. As an added bonus, the MagSeal oil makes the Saltist operate extremely smooth.

DigiGear

The gears on the Saltist are milled to do two things: Increase their cranking power and increase durability. The milled gears last longer than other gears in this price range, and they pull in more line per crank. At a 5.6:1 gear ratio on the smaller models and 5.3:1 ratio on the larger ones, I found the Daiwa Saltist to retrieve line at a pretty fast rate for a spinning reel. You shouldn’t have any problems pulling your rig in with large fish on the other end.

Weight-Reduction Features

The Saltist is packed with fancy features, and that makes it a fairly heavy reel. However, Daiwa has used quite a few special parts to keep the weight of the reel at a manageable level.

First, the body of the reel is a Hardbodyz shell. That’s Daiwa’s proprietary shell design, and it’s designed to be durable without weighing a lot. The Hardbodyz shell is the main reason the Saltist doesn’t weigh as much as a cinder block.

The bail on the Saltist isn’t solid steel. It’s made with a lot of hollow tubes that increase its durability while at the same time significantly reducing it’s overall weight.

Daiwa also used its Air technology when designing the rotor for the Saltist. That comes with a couple of benefits. First, it’s a lot lighter than a traditional rotor. On top of that, it keeps the line from slipping around unevenly on the spool. That prevents bird’s nests, and it keeps saltwater from getting into the rotor.

8:1 Bearing System

The bearing system on the Saltist is one of the only systems on it that isn’t fancy. It’s a simple system made up of eight roller bearings and a single anti-reverse bearing. That allows it to rotate smoothly, and it keeps the bearings from deforming too much over time.

However, the bearings in the Daiwa Saltist are corrosion resistant and are designed to last up to 12 times longer than standard stainless steel ball bearings.

Multiple Sizes To Choose From

The Daiwa Saltist comes in 8 different sizes to choose from. The series starts with the 2500 model, and that model is very similar to any standard freshwater reel. It holds 140-yards of ten-pound line, and it’s a little quicker than the bigger models. It’s just not good at catching larger fish.

The largest size is the 8000 model. That reel can hold 370-yards of 30-pound mono-filament line. The 8000 can hold so much braided line that you’ll have to buy it in bulk just to fill up the spool.

I recommend going with the 4000 to 6500 models or similar. The more extreme models are good if you know you need one of those specific reels for a specific style of fishing. However, the larger models most likely won’t perform well as an all-around fishing reel.

A Fair Price

Of course, none of those features would mean much to most people if the reel was too expensive for the average saltwater fisherman to afford it. Fortunately, affordability is not an issue with the Daiwa Saltist. 

The Daiwa Saltist costs about as much as a decent baitcaster, but it has all of the bells and whistles that are necessary for fishing saltwater with a spinning reel setup. 

In my opinion, it’s actually a pretty good saltwater spinning reel for the money. Even if you have to put a little money aside to save for it, it’s definitely worth the wait. It’s not nearly as expensive as other high-end saltwater reels but performs as if it was. 

Final Thoughts

Daiwa Saltist 6500 5.3:1 Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel - SALTIST6500
$212.76 - $399.99
  • ATB Drag System
  • Dynamic-Cut Spool
  • MagSeal Rotor
  • DigiGear
  • Weight-Reduction Features
  • 8:1 Bearing System
  • Multiple Sizes To Choose From
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
04/13/2021 07:40 am GMT
Lasso Brag

The Daiwa Saltist is one of those reels that can appeal to most people. It has enough advanced features to make it a viable option for experienced fishermen, but is simple enough and affordable enough that beginners can use it without any problems. If you want to give a try, you can find it on Amazon.com by following this link.  

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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