Tackle Review – Daiwa Saltiga

Some will ask…why only Daiwa?

It’s the one brand I’ve used over the years with full confidence that has never let me down. In fact I started with competitor brands & ended up with only Daiwa which meet all my expectation while other brands fail in some sectors.

I started off like most of you with light & medium tackle in luring & jigging. When I tried targeting sailfish for the 1st time in Rompin Malaysia I realized I need something more robust compared to the Daiwa Luvias & Certate used as light & medium tackles. That was when I bought my 1st Saltiga the Z4500 the very 1st generation in the Saltiga family. I’ve since sold it & upgraded to the newer Saltiga designs.

Daiwa brand

My trusty pals…Daiwa Saltiga

What do I like about the Saltiga?

  • Sturdiness, Robustness & Ruggedness…which give me the confidence & reliability needed for rugged popping & jigging. When I hold up a Saltiga I can feel its strength & well toned muscles I can depend on. A major competitor brand has all the smoothness & finesse but those are not what I’m looking for when going after the biggies.
  • When you wind a Saltiga you may find its gears are rougher & stiffer as compared to competitor brand. It’s these feelings that give you the confidence this product will deliver. After many hours of fishing gearing will become smoother & lighter as the gears are worn in. That’s the exact reason why Saltiga starts up this well in preparation of long rugged usage.
  • Drag system is by far one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a reel. Saltiga’s drag is smooth without jerking; beginning with higher initial drag & transitioning smoothly to slightly lower continual drag. Having said the above I still strongly recommend upgrading to Carbontex ( Amazon / eBay ) which helps significantly in further improving & prolonging life of any drag system.
  • Carbontex ( Amazon / eBay ) washers give you smooth, stable & consistent initial & continual drag. Carbontex is inexpensive & worth every cent of your money. If you cannot find them in your local tackle shops, order them from Smooth Drag in the US.
  • Overcoming the initial drag when spool is at rest is higher than the force required to maintain continual drag that follows. This is where carbontex makes the difference in providing a smooth transition from initial to continual drag where other material will need higher initial force to set the spool moving before settling down to lower force resulting in a jerky start.
  • For Carbontex ( Amazon / eBay ), I suggest you use them as a wet drag system by applying proper drag grease eg. Cal’s Drag Grease ( Amazon / eBay ), also from Smooth Drag & not just any other ordinary grease& definitely not oil. For washers that are used dry as they are without any addition, they are dry washers which can give higher max drag but will not provide smooth initial drag over time as compared to wet washers. Fyi…carbontex washers can be used either wet or dry.

Hint: Never allow water to enter a drag system as it will result in jerky drag when it gets between the washers. Keep tackles in upper rod holders before boat moves off to avoid salt sprays & tighten down drag knob before rinsing reel in freshwater. When water does get in, immediately strip down drag train, dry every washer, reapply drag grease before assembly.

  • Water/dirt proof…the proprietary magnetic-sealed (Magsealed) system in rotor & bearings in Daiwa eliminate friction & prevent water, sand & dirt from getting into the vital parts of your reel thereby simplifying maintenance & prolonging longevity.
  • Ease of Servicing/Availability of Spares…just like cars, this is one major concern when picking a brand. In the early days when Magsealed was introduced, many were worried about difficulty in servicing & getting the magnetic oil. Nowadays there are many authorized service agents for Daiwa & there are even some unregistered private ones working from home selling their version of magnetic oil (not that I’m recommending you go for these).
  • One personal reason why I prefer Daiwa Saltiga series to its main competitor is the bigger cross-section diameter of the arm leading to a more robust design of its bail arm.
  • In heavier popping & jigging, I need a sturdy bail arm which I flip open & close many times in a day of fishing. Moreover it’s one part of the reel that gets inevitably knocked several times a day as it’s one of the most protruding parts sticking out of a spinning reel.
Robust bail arm of the Saltiga
Robust bail arm of the Saltiga

One important aspect of a spinning reel which I want to highlight is the design around the line roller which function is to guide line evenly back to the spool during retrieval.

In older Daiwa model if you look closely near the line roller you’ll notice there is a fine gap due to the matching of 2 separate parts between the end of bail arm & line roller housing. I’ve experienced this gap catching the line many times after closing the bail arm especially in jigging when the weight of the jig is contacted at sea floor. This can cause line digging into the gap or immediate breakage if a biggie happen to take your jig upon hitting ground.

Believe Daiwa received feedback from the field & corrected this problem in their newer models by re-designing end of bail arm as a single flowing piece right to the line roller thus removing the fine gap. So do take note of this when choosing your next reel.

Saltiga 5500H...single flowing piece...without gap
Saltiga 5500H…single flowing piece…without gap
Old Saltiga Z4500...with gap
Old Saltiga Z4500…with gap

Hint: Always look at the newest model in the series of reel you’re interested in as the newest will have the latest & supposedly greatest features & improvements made over older models. Even if there are features eg. colours, aesthetics, etc you like in the old models always compare them with the latest.

Saltiga Models I Owned

Saltiga 3500H – 2015 ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct )

  • Use:
    • Light vertical jigging
    • Light popping
  • Matched with:
    • Seed Shiren Light PE1-2
    • Yamaga BlueSniper 77/3

Saltiga 4000H – 2010 ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct )

  • Use:
    • Medium vertical jigging
    • Medium slow jigging
  • Matched with:
    • Seed Shiren Light PE1-3
    • Centaur Combat Arm PE3-5

Saltiga 4500 – 2010 ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct )

  • Use:
    • Medium popping
  • Matched with:
    • MajorCraft Giant Killing GKC-77 Hiramasa
    • Ripple Fisher Ultimo UG711ML

Saltiga 5000H – 2015 ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct )

  • Use:
    • Heavy jigging
  • Matched with:
    • Seed Shiren PE3-6

Saltiga 5500H Expedition – 2014 ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct )

  • Use:
    • Heavy popping
  • Matched with:
    • Temple Reef Ronin 83-8

Happy Reviewing!

All the best,
Lawrence
gtfrenzy.com

PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂

If you were to make any purchase thru the text & image links provided, I will be compensated by the vendors with a small token for time & effort spent in maintaining this blog. Thank you

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