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ICAST 2020 Coverage


Daiwa Revamps the Saltiga Series adding Refinement and Power


Date: 7/12/20
Location: Virtual Event
Admission: Industry Only
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Originally introduced in 2002, the first Saltiga set a new standard for heavy-duty saltwater spinning reels and the company has continued to upgrade and refine the series over its eighteen-year history. For 2020, Daiwa’s Saltiga has been fully re-imagined and redesigned, delivering what the company believes is the best saltwater spinning reel on the market.


Designed to be the best saltwater spinning reel on the market, the new 2020 Saltiga brings the complete range of Daiwa features in a monocoque body


Saltiga Spinning: The new Saltiga yields the most advanced features ever seen in the series starting with Daiwa’s new monocoque body. Monocoque is a structural system used widely in military and boat-building applications, whereby internal loads are supported through the external skin. Think of the symmetrical design of an egg; the single-piece high-strength aluminum body of the Saltiga can house much larger internal gearing, meaning more power to battler saltwater beasts.

This monocoque design incorporates the one-piece frame with a one-piece threaded side plate. Because screws are not necessary to attach the side plate and hold the main gear, its interior space is greater, allowing for larger, more powerful gears held in place by the lighter, sturdier body and side plates. The monocoque body also boasts a new rear cover design, eliminating screws from the underside of the reel to fortify against the intrusion of moisture or contaminants. Improved paint and finishing processes also afford increased durability to the Saltiga’s cosmetics, delivering enhanced corrosion protection.

Housed within the monocoque body is the new G1 Duralumin cut Digigear system. Digigear is digitally developed gearing with bigger teeth and more touch points to yield gear strength and torque more than double its predecessors. Digigear transmits the power of the handle directly to the rotor with smoothness and efficiency.

To make sure that this new reel was able to handle the pressure of top of the food chain fish Daiwa engineers also developed a new drag stack, growing the number of washers to yield ten times the drag durability of previous Saltigas. The reel’s newly designed aluminum heat-dissipating Drag Knob results in improved cooling, too, while Daiwa’s Longcast spool offers improved casting performance and enhanced line management.

Speaking of the spool, ABS is Daiwa’s exclusive reverse tapered spool design that reduces casting friction for longer and easier casting. The spool’s maximized core diameter and reversed taper mean 100% useable line, with no more "dead" line buried in a deep core. You can fill it with line right up to the edge of the spool lip without fear of tangles.

The extremely water resistant Saltiga also utilizes Daiwa’s Magsealed patented technology to apply magnetic oil that can change density and shape when a magnetic field is added. When Magsealed technology is applied to the main shaft and/or line roller of a spinning reel, it produces a low-friction seal that keeps water, dust and grit from disrupting the internal components of the reel. The result is a watertight seal with much lower resistance than conventional rubber seals.

The Saltiga’s Air Rotor stands out for its balance, toughness and sensitivity. The arched profile and 15% weight reduction compared to standard rotors offers optimal winding smoothness and eliminates vibration thanks to the lowered center of gravity. Likewise, the hollow touch Air Bail is made from SUS303 steel and is 20% tougher than a solid titanium bail of the same weight, while lasting up to 13 times longer.

Designed to not just chase, but break records, this premium saltwater weapon will be available right after ICAST this year in a complete range of sizes and ranging from $999.99 to $1099.99 depending on size and configuration.


The new Saltiga LD reels feature clean lines with beautifully machined frame and components. These reels are built like tanks for battle with the biggest saltwater fish


Saltiga LD Casting Reels: In addition to the upgrades to the Saltiga Spinning Series the company's lever drag reels also get a makeover for 2020. There will be six single-speed models, ten 2-speed models, plus two special-purpose tournament style sailfish designs cover all the bases from inshore and near shore fishing to offshore and canyon action.

All Saltiga LD reels feature a single-piece machined aluminum frame and side plate to assure precise alignment of bearings and gears for remarkably smooth performance, less flex, increased power and reduced binding, even during the fiercest battles. Oversized, super-hard, polished, and meshed stainless steel main and pinion gears fit together perfectly to drive the kicking gear with extra strength and nearly silent precision. Oversized spool bearings reduce side load which makes turning the handle easier and smoother so anglers can concentrate on fighting fish rather than the reel.


Daiwa’s Advanced Tournament Drag System (ATD) is designed to keep each Saltiga LD cool during the heat of battle while providing consistent maximum pressure through the end game. A machined aluminum spool won’t bend under high drag pressure or outwardly expand as you tightly wind on line. A machined aluminum rod clamp always keeps your reel tightly secured with no twisting, shifting or play as the fish of a lifetime stains at the end of the line.

“We made sure that every reel in our Saltiga LD series starts with a solid foundation,” explains Mills, “then we fine-tuned the small stuff as well. From the frame and side plate to the bearings, gears and even the reel handles, everything has been redesigned to produce more power with less friction, grinding and binding. The result is a great looking reel that can be trusted to stand up to trophy fish under adverse conditions with minimal strain for the angler. This series is the Rolls Royce of lever drag saltwater reels. These models are all high end but worth the investment because they’ll turn monster fish when you bear down and apply full pressure yet respond instantly to a beast on the run with a silky smooth drag that won’t overheat come the moment of truth.”


Larger Saltiga LD models will feature a long T style power handle. Even the handle and knob are designed to help distribute heat during the battle while providing a solid grip for maximum leverage

All Saltiga LD single and smaller two-speed models, along with the high-speed tournament sailfish reels, are outfitted with soft-touch rubber handles for fast, comfortable retrieves. The larger size 50, 55 and 60 2-speed models feature a long “T” style offset aluminum power handle to improve leverage and comfort without blistering your hand as the fight progresses. A substantial spool clicker is just loud enough to not be overbearing.

Max drag ranges for Saltiga LD reels range from 22 to 45 pounds for most models while line retrieve per handle turn runs from 39.9”to 47.” The tournament style sailfish models have a max drag setting of 22 pounds and line pick-ups of 54.3”to 56”.

“The line pick-up rate is quite impressive across the entire series,” notes Mills, “but it’s truly amazing in the high-speed sailfish reels. Those fast retrieve ratios allow these reels to hold a ton of line and excel at recapturing slack released during multiple hook-ups or when a sailfish or white marlin pops the bait during kite fishing. The lighter drag settings on those models also help ensure hooks aren’t ripped from fish during the heat of battle.”

Saltiga LD single-speed reels are designed to be ideal for jigging or any type of fishing where extra torque is not required. The two-speed models, because of their different gear rations, are especially helpful when superior power is needed as when a fish is hooked that can’t be followed, which is often the case when open boat tuna fishing.

These new Saltiga LD reels come backed by Daiwa’s Executive Saltiga Five Year Warranty and Service and Saltiga Lever Drag models will MSRP from $419.99 – 649.99 while the Saltiga Two Speed Lever Drag models will retail for MSRP $499.99 – 699.99 when they become available later this Summer.









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