How To Choose The Perfect Fishing Reel Based On Needs & Budget

This video is all about how to choose a fishing reel based on needs and budget.

We will focus on the two types of reels that are most common and affordable for inshore saltwater anglers.

Learn more about choosing saltwater fishing reels below!!

How To Choose A Fishing Reel [VIDEO]

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Featured Daiwa Reels:

As far as the two types of reels featured in this video, we are talking about metal-framed reels and composite-framed reels.

Metal-framed reels are great for powerfishing, especially when you need a bit more strength to pull fish out of hard structure.

These types of reels are sturdy and provide the power needed to fight fish inshore, nearshore, and offshore.

I recommend these types of reels when you are fishing with 20lb braid and above.

But if you are more of a finesse angler, you should go with a composite frame because they are lightweight and low-cost.

If you are casting lures and fishing all day, composite reels actually make a big difference.

Top Reel Choices

As far as metal-framed reels go, aluminum is tough to beat because it provides strength while offering a lighter option.

The BG MQ 2500 is my favorite aluminum-bodied reel.

It is not quite as light as a composite reel but it comes very close.

The only con with the BG MQ is the price – these reels are just over $200.

When it comes to composite reels, the Daiwa Fuego is super lightweight at a little over 7 ounces with a price of $109.

As long as you are fishing with light braid, you can save over $100 and still have enough strength to reel up inshore fish.

If flex were to happen in the reel, it would happen in the arm.

If you put heavier braid on lightweight composite reels and lock the drag down tight, you will feel that flex.

I haven’t heard of reels breaking in this situation but it won’t feel as comfortable as metal-framed reels under a heavier load.

Budget Reel Choices

As far as a solid budget metal-framed reel, the original Daiwa BG is a great choice.

It is a bit heavier than the Daiwa BG MQ reel.

I personally use this reel for nearshore and offshore reef fishing.

Keep in mind they are heavier but come in at around $70-$80 less than the BG MQ.

As for finesse-style reels that fit into any budget, the Daiwa Legalis is an excellent choice.

This reel is $79 and has the same basic feel as the Daiwa Fuego.

The specs of both reels are nearly identical – the one major difference being the Fuego includes Daiwa’s MagSeal technology.

So you don’t get as much protection against saltwater contaminants but you do save around $30.

I personally own 4 Daiwa Legalis reels and for the inshore saltwater fishing, they are a really nice option.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Before making a decision, ask yourself if you need more power and strength or a reel for finesse purposes.

If you need extra power and strength for the type of fishing you do, then go with a metal-framed reel.

If you’re more of a finesse angler, the composite frame will check off all the boxes.

For ultimate performance, the Daiwa BG MQ has been my personal favorite.

When it comes to overall savings, I recommend the Daiwa Legalis.

Are there any other reels that you’ve found to fit the power need or finesse?

Please go ahead and share down in the comments section!!

Oh, and if you are a Salt Strong Insider Member, if you buy any reel in our tackle shop, we’re going to give you FREE braided line AND we’ll spool it up for you on top of FREE SHIPPING!

All you have to do is pair it up with a fishing rod, tie on a leader, and hit the water!!

If you have any further questions or comments, please leave them down below!

Finding The Fish Help

In order to help make sure that you are targeting the right areas based on the latest feeding trends and upcoming weather forecasts, make sure to use the following 3 resources because they will save you a ton of time.

1. Weekend Game Plans (updated weekly)

These regional game plans will show you exactly what types of spots to target in under 10 minutes… just click the video to start, and you’ll be informed on what to do on your next trip.

➡ Weekend Game Plan Lessons

2. Smart Fishing Spots Platform (updated every 15 minutes)

This exclusive software literally shows you where the most fish are likely to be feeding based on exactly when you’ll be fishing. It factors in the tides, wind, and weather to help you quickly see which areas to target throughout the day.

➡ Smart Fishing Spots App

3. Community Reports (live feed)

The Insider Community platform is what you can use to see what is biting near you, and you can get to know other members who fish in your area. Plus, you can use it to keep a log of your catches so you can use past trips to help predict future catches.

➡ Community Platform 

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5 months ago

A lot in a short time; Great

Larry Farlow
5 months ago

Thanks for the input. Very helpful.

Tommy Hinson
5 months ago

Great advise and information. I would like to get thoughts on spinning vs bait caster fishing for reds, specs., and flounder.

Brian Conley
8 months ago

Just moved to Jupiter, Florida and want to get my kayaks in the inlet and intercoastal. I’ve only had the yaks in freshwater reservoirs and need to transition tackle. Would like to try and carry two setups on the kayak for most conditions. I saw the reviews on the Diawa BG MQ and thinking a 2500 or 3000 and either 4000 or 5000. I’m putting these on St. Croix MOJO Yak rods. Any insight or suggestions are appreciated.

Clayton Reynolds
9 months ago

Cadillac reels very nice and catch fish 🐟 I fish commie California in the ocean for tuna and AK in August

9 months ago

The only options are daiwa? I mean I know you are sponsored by them and sell them, but there are other options

Christian Deierlein
9 months ago

Great overview Luke! What rod do you have paired with the BG for reef fishing? Thanks!

9 months ago

We are fortunate to have so many quality reels tochoose from. A good reel that feels just right and does the job helps build confidence.

Brian Pugh
9 months ago

Luke, I really enjoyed your video on the Daiwa reels. I was wondering if you shot a video doing a side by side comparison between the Shimano Nasci and the Daiwa Fuego. Maybe try both out identical 3000 reels with the same lure, same line, and the same exact rods. I’m curious because the Fuego has an anti reverse switch right on the bottom of the reel but the Nasci doesn’t. To me it’s just another point of entry for saltwater intrusion. I know the Fuego has Mag Seal but to me it’s a useless feature. I believe the Nasci weighs a tad bit more but not enough to make a huge difference to me. I have both reels and find pros and cons on both sides. They are both around the same retail price point. Any comparison would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Luke. 👍

9 months ago

Just bought a 2500 and 3000 Tatula MQ from your grand opening. They seem surprisingly smooth. 2500 went on slot machine, 3000 went on a 7’6 reaper MedHvy. When can we expect your larger version of the slot machine? Fingers crossed that its 8ft.


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