Expert Review: Daiwa Saltist MQ Spinning Reel

Published on 02/01/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.
Glenn Daily, Fishing Expert
By Fishing Expert Glenn Daily

All photos courtesy of Glenn Daily

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.

My take

The Daiwa Saltist MQ Spinning Reel is the best reel on the market and will last forever. I love this reel and found it to be the best investment I have ever made in my fishing career. I found this reel to be great for inshore and offshore fishing for any level of fisherman from beginner to pro, from inshore fishing for flounder and drum to offshore topwater action for some tuna or mahi-mahi.

Daiwa Saltist MQ 4000 and 6000

About the reel

  • Model: Daiwa Saltist MQ
  • Reel Size: 4000 and 6000
  • Construction: Spinning
  • Drag System: Felt
  • Drag Pressure: (maximum drag) 4000: 26.4lbs and 6000: 26.4 lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Casting, jigging, saltwater, topwater, bottom fishing
  • Experience: 22 years of conventional fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 2022
  • Rod Paired with Reel: 4000: 8ft Stella Lite Star Rod MH, 6000: 8ft Shimano Teramar Heavy.
  • Line Paired with Reel: The 4000 size has 20lbs Power Pro Super Slick v2, and the 6000 has 30lbs Power Pro Super Slick v2, both reels with approximately 300-350 yards.
  • Days tested: 197
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Inshore and offshore saltwater
  • Species targeted with reel: False Albacore, Mahi-Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Speckled Trout, Cobia, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, Snook, Tarpon, Flounder

How it performs


What I was looking for

I had previously bought new reels every year and would put them through the wringer. I needed a reel built well and able to handle all fishing applications. I needed a reel that was heavy duty enough to fight some big game fish offshore that would also have a great quality system or technology of corrosion resistance.

Why I chose this gear

Daiwa reels are my favorite due to their quality, making them an easy choice. This reel, in particular, was an upgrade to its previous model, the Daiwa Saltist, which did not have a monocoque body and did not include a stainless steel bearing system. Some of the upgrades included its construction and design and smaller features.

I didn’t consider buying any other options. I picked this reel because, at the time, it was the newest reel released by Daiwa, and I could hold it in my hands and feel it in person. The comfort it had in my hands and the feel of it was extremely smooth. The reel was built strong but had felt lightweight for its size.

Jack Crevalle caught on a Daiwa Saltist MQ 6000 size, paired with an 8ft Shimano Teramar Heavy rod on Jupitar Pier. The reel with stood the fight with no issues and hauled this monster in quickly and efficiently, tiring the fish out fast with its drag system

What I love about it

  • Performance: The fit and balance on both rods are very nice for both of my setups. The 4000 size setup is compact but fits the rod perfectly because of its ability to long cast with a smooth retrieval. The 6000 setup is great for handling the larger species giving the setup some power and force to withstand the majority of species. Both reels are very easy to use, and casting has never been easier. The spools have a bigger lip, giving them a smoother cast and distance.
  • Quality: The look of these reels is out of this world. They have a very slick and elegant look in a black and blue finish and are built with a heavy-duty aluminum monocoque body. The heavy-duty frame and monocoque body make these reels able to withstand more beatings on and off the water, from what I have experienced.
  • Versatility: I found this reel to be extremely versatile. It can be used in any application for its easy interchangeable handle and the variation of sizes it comes in. The knob on the handle can be changed to a basic handle or kept with the power knob, having more power.
  • Durability: This reel was specifically built for saltwater anglers, inshore and offshore. I take these reels everywhere with me, even if I don't end up using them. The durability of the reels is great because Daiwa built them to take on all species and to last.
  • Application: I personally use these reels for bottom fishing, casting, and topwater casting. The 6000-size reel is used for throwing heavier stick jigs and topwater plugs from the surf or offshore for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, snook, tarpon, false albacore, and blackfin tuna. This size makes it so easy to cast the distances needed and gives me the power to land anything I throw for. The 4000-size setup is used for casting some live baits, hard baits, and soft baits for the inshore species such as black drum, redfish, trout, and flounder. The reel helps because some areas are not the best to put my gear through, and having the reels that can withstand that type of beating is huge.
  • Size: Daiwa SALTIST MQ 4000D-XH with 6BB+1RB stainless steel bearings and gears and a 6.2:1 gear ratio. I chose this size because it is compact enough to get through any area and gives me enough line and power for any surprises. The other reel is the Daiwa SALTIST MQ 6000D-H with the same bearings and gears and a 5.7:1 gear ratio. I chose this reel because it is a median between the offshore size models and inshore size models, allowing me to fish it in all areas and applications.
  • Drag System: The drag system is smooth with great performance. The clicker noise it makes is loud enough to hear it go off but quiet enough not to be annoying. The max drag on each reel is more than enough to battle any fish and can easily adjust on the fly. The best part about these reels is that they are made with Daiwa’s Magseal technology, making them corrosion-resistant and likely to last forever.
  • Feel: Very well balanced on the rods selected and cast smoothly. The feel of these reels is great because they fit perfectly in hand and help keep the weight in balance on the back end of the rods.
  • Build:** **Heavy-duty aluminum frame with a power knob on the handle and friction and heat reduction in the spool. All sizes of this reel share the same build and quality.
  • Aesthetics: Smooth matte black and blue finish, able to withstand being tossed around. After several uses and being thrown around, I found that the finish has practically remained in new condition. The reel has withstood a beating from being thrown on a boat to being thrown on some rocks and has not once affected the finish with any major scratches or dents.
  • Features: Easy LH/RH retrieval swap, raised lip on the spool for smoother casts, and power handle with a heavy-duty handle for long-lasting durability.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Maintenance: The only issue I have found is maintaining the reel on my own. The Magseal technology requires a specialist trained in servicing this type of technology in the reel, meaning oil replacement and re-lubrication. The reel needs to be rinsed after each use to keep it looking great and limit corrosion and debris exposure.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment was using the 6000-size setup on a pier, throwing a 2oz epoxy jig for some king mackerel feeding on a bait ball. I could cast about 100 yards with ease and ended up hooking into a massive kingfish. I had fought the fish for about two hours before it had finally run me out of line and spooled me, but the reel had withstood the fight, and the drag system performed perfectly to keep me in the fight for as long as it had.

Value for the money vs. other options

The price of the Daiwa Saltist MQ is on the higher end but is worth the cost. Its overall performance and application usage make it worth the money. It is a top-quality reel without spending a massive amount of money, and it will last just as long as any other reel on the market today. I found the reel to have the same qualities as Daiwa’s Saltiga but at one-third of the cost, making it the best choice on the market. That being said, it will cost much more than a cheaper option but will require less maintenance and will last someone a lifetime of fishing with no issues.

Final verdict

This top-quality reel can match up to the highest-quality reels on the market. For the money, it is the best option for upgrading all setups and lasting a lifetime.

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