This Is My New Favorite Reel Under the $100 Price Point


What’s the best reel under the $100 price point?

Inshore saltwater fishing includes a lot of finesse presentations so you need a reel that can fit the bill while also not breaking the bank.

Find out my favorite reel in the UNDER $100 price point below!!

Best Reel Under the $100 Price Point [VIDEO]

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➡ Get the Daiwa Legalis 2500-XH (My Favorite Model)

➡ Get the Daiwa Fuego

In my opinion, the Daiwa Legalis LT does not get nearly as much attention as I think it deserves.

It is a total of 7.2 ounces and is incredibly smooth for a lightweight inshore spinning reel.

I’ve been fishing with mine frequently over the past year with no maintenance (other than just spraying down with fresh water with a hose after use), and they all are still super smooth.

The fact that this reel that is only listed at $79.99 has shocked me to the point where I may not spend any more that this for my light tackle setups going forward.

With that being said, there is of course more testing needed to make that a firm claim.

And just like anything, this is certainly NOT a good fit for all types of conditions which are explained in the video above and the text below.

Pros & Cons

The reel is super lightweight and very smooth.

Although it does not have a carbon drag, the drag system Daiwa uses in the Legalis is shockingly smooth.

In my opinion, it feels as smooth as some reels in the $200 price range.

The 2500 size is my favorite and I pair that with 10lb or less braided line.

You can cast your lures out further and cast all day long with this lightweight design.

I would NOT use this reel with heavy fishing tackle and gear.

If you’re going after fish with 20lb braid and pulling them away from heavy structure, this is NOT the reel to use.

The composite material makes for a lightweight frame but that is no match for bigger fish.

If you consistently target bigger fish near structure, I would consider upgrading to an aluminum-bodied reel.

Yes, that metal reel may feel heavier, but you’ll be well-suited for those big fish.

Daiwa Fuego

If you’ve seen some of my past videos, I talk in-depth a lot about the advantages of the Daiwa Fuego.

Simply based on FEEL and nothing else, the Fuego and Legalis are extremely similar.

As far as weight and other specs, they are nearly identical.

The core difference between the two reels is that the Fuego has Daiwa’s MagSeal.

There is about a $30 price difference for the upgrade to have MagSeal in your reel.

However, I cannot confidently say whether the extra $30 is worth it or not.

Overall Value

Coming in at just $79, the Daiwa Legalis is lightweight, affordable, and the reel I lean toward.

My Legalis LT reels have been performing much better than I was expecting to the point where they have become my personal favorite reel for light tackle fishing under the $100 price point.

Previously, the Fuego LT held that spot, but its price got bumped up to $109, so it’s no longer in the under $100 category.

As for which one is better, that’s too close to call as of now…but my theory is that the tie foes to the reel with the lower price point.

However, I can confidently recommend BOTH of these spinning reels for lightweight inshore fishing scenarios.

➡ Get the Daiwa Legalis 2500-XH (My Favorite Model)

➡ Get the Daiwa Fuego

Note: Insider Club Members can have their reels spooled with braided line completely FREE of charge. Make sure you are logged in before placing your order and we’ll have your reels spooled up and ready for action so you can hit the water right away! 

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9 months ago

according to daiwa itself, the frame on this reel is “zaion v” the previous model was ds5 graphite in the frame and ds4 graphite in the rotor (i looked it up) so, my concern/question would be wether this new “zaion v” is as rigid as the regular zaion material found in the tatula lt or the ballistic lt, or if it was at all more rigid than the ds5 graph of the fuego/exceller/prev. legalis.

9 months ago

replying to myself and to someone who might wonder the same:
Zaion v flexes, maybe not as much as ds5, but no way as rigid as the zaion on the tatula or the ballistic =(

1 year ago

Bought this reel last year, the 2000. I only use it for fresh water. No complaints, very pleased with my purchase. So far acts new yet !!

George Jarrett
1 year ago

Thanks for the vid! Any plans to replace the fuego with legalis in the “best rod/reel” combo? Or to give an option to pick one or the other reel?

1 year ago

I dont buy or use reels with the anti reverse switch. Just another way saltwater can get in and it sucks when you accidentally hit it.

Last edited 1 year ago by REY WEYGANT
Luke Simonds
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on anti-reverse… I agree that it does seem to have more cons than pros. However, it did help to be super handy when a friend accidentally got line from a dead bait rig caught in the spool of his reel. Had I not been able to unwind it by turning off the anti-reverse, I would have had to cut out a lot of line.

1 year ago

With fuego, you can easily switch the handle knob. but not for Legalis. Just another minor difference.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ray
Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray

Thanks for sharing the helpful intel

Judson Syrett
1 year ago

I have several Legalis 3000s now and 1 4000 purchased before the 2023 changeover. They are great for casting lures and catching fish. They’re also great for my kids to use due to their light weight and small size. I definitely recommend them

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Judson Syrett

Glad to see that you’re enjoying these reels too.

Jim Ciciora
1 year ago

What rod, reel, and line would you recommend for light and heavier tackle to catch under & over slots?

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Ciciora

I like the BG MQ 3000 with 20 lb braid for going up to a higher power setup that can cast well while having more power to handle bigger fish.

If specifically targeting big ones, then I’ll go up to a 4000 with 30 lb braid to have more power… this setup just makes it tough to use lures because it’s so bulky.

Eric Neilson
1 year ago

Oh crud, just recently bought 3 Fuego’s…..😆😆😆. I’m very happy with the Fuego’s and I got two of them when they were $79.00. Saving up my pennies in hopes of get a BGMQ for targeting larger fish/heavy structure. May be a Legalis in my future, just got to find a way to justify it to the wife. 😆

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Neilson

Great work locking in the crazy low price of the Fuegos!

Brian Higgins
1 year ago

I confirm the Legalis 2500 is a winner. For over a year this ‘backup’ while my BG was being repaired has become my favorite. It has survived salt water dunking without problems while BG & MQ are now in the repair hospital. It casts very far and is super smooth. It was an even better value when the discount was in effect!

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Higgins

Thanks for sharing your findings!

Glenn Loftin
1 year ago

I have both reels and they both perform extremely well I use the legalis when I am doing a finesse presentation

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Glenn Loftin

Thanks for sharing your findings


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