Expert Review: Daiwa Fuego LT Spinning Reel
This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
The Daiwa Fuego LT has a light design and is saltwater sealed so anglers can use this for freshwater finesse fishing, and then go chase snook on light tackle for a great fight. It has a very smooth drag, versatility and comes at a budget price. The Fuego LT would be a good fit for anyone who is looking to upgrade their first spinning reel, or anyone looking for a budget reel that still provides good quality.
About the reel
- Model: Daiwa Fuego LT
- Reel Size: 2500D-XH
- Construction: Spinning reel, carbon body, Magsealed
- Drag System: Automatic Tournament Drag (ATD)
- Drag Pressure: 22 lbs
- Preferred fishing style(s): Freshwater
- Experience: 15 of years conventional fishing
- When I bought this: May 2021
- Rod Paired with Reel: American Tackle 7’2” Medium-Light Drop Shot rod
- Line Paired with Reel: I typically run American Tackle Bushido 10-15lb braided line on this reel depending on what cover I am fishing
- Days tested: I’ve used this reel now through four tournaments and about 50 days of fishing
- Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater
- Species targeted with reel: Large and smallmouth bass
How it performs
What I was looking for
I wanted a durable spinning reel that would provide tournament quality but at more of a budget price point. I like to try reels at different price points and had heard about Daiwa’s Light and Tough (LT) series reels so I decided to check out Daiwa’s Magsealed technology and test it for myself.
Why I chose this gear
Being a Daiwa Pro-Staff member I wanted to get more familiar with Daiwa’s products. I wanted to personally test some of their more popular products so that I could better help customers here at Curated. I decided on a few reels in Daiwa’s LT series so I could test the varied materials and features at different price points.
What I love about it
- Performance: The reel pairs great with the American Tackle rod I have it on. The decreased weight adds sensitivity and causes less fatigue on long tournament days. The reel is also very easy to use. The handle screws on really easily and is very smooth in retrieving. The drag has worked very well catching some of the most aggressive smallmouths when using light line.
- Quality: The reel’s carbon body cuts down significantly on the overall weight. The carbon body feels very sturdy, and has a nice sleek feel.
- Versatility: This reel can be used both right and left-handed and is versatile enough to be used between fresh and saltwater.
- Durability: With Daiwa’s Magsealed technology this reel can handle the harsh elements of saltwater. So far, the carbon body seems to be very durable. I am careful with my gear though, so my experience with durability may be different than other anglers’.
- Application: I have used this in my ultra-finesse drop shot applications and found that the drag is super smooth for light line. Being saltwater sealed this reel can also shine as an inshore reel.
- Size: The overall size is very similar to other reels on the market. I chose the 2500-XH to allow me to have enough line to throw my bait a long way, but I primarily wanted the XH version in the 6-speed gear ratio to allow me to pick up line faster than the traditional 5:2.1.
- Drag System: I can’t say enough about the drag system on this reel. I found it very smooth, and excellent for the lower price.
- Feel: As one of the reels in Daiwa’s LT series, the Fuego LT is significantly lighter than the spinning reels made by other companies. In comparison, a 2000-size reel from Daiwa’s competitors weighs as much as a 4000-size reel in this Fuego line.
- Aesthetics: I really enjoy the very sleek and fancy look of the red and carbon color pattern on this reel.
- Features: The Fuego LT can be swapped between right and left-handed operation.
- Maintenance: This reel is very easy to maintain. For freshwater, it is best to keep reels oiled every couple of months. But, for saltwater, anglers should make sure they are spraying down and oiling gear every couple of weeks.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Versatility: This reel is limited to inshore sizing as Daiwa does not offer any reels that are bigger than a 4000-size spool.
- Size: This is the standard size for reels in this price range so it is not as small as some of the higher-end reels in the LT series or some of the competitors. To get smaller sizes, anglers will have to pay a higher-end price.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this reel was when I was drop shotting for smallmouth in a tournament. It had been a tough bite all day. I was out fishing a break line off of a flat and had a big 3.6-lb smallmouth on and let it peel line again and again. Eventually, after a good 20-minute fight, the bass finally got tired enough and I got him in.
Value for the money vs. other options
I’d argue that this is the best spinning reel out there in this price range. Two reels I would compare this reel to are the Lews Mach 2 for freshwater and the Shimano Spheros SW for saltwater. These reels offer similar durability and reel sizes but not at the price of the Fuego LT.
The Fuego LT is a great overall reel for someone looking for a cross-over reel between saltwater fishing and freshwater finesse applications. It is a solid budget-friendly option for someone still looking for a quality item that performs above its ticket value.