Expert Review: Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reel

Published on 02/10/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2021.
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 February of 2021.

My take

The Daiwa Eliminator is a great reel for beginners in saltwater fishing because of its low cost but powerful features. This extremely effective reel works great for anyone looking to spend less money fishing in saltwater.

About the reel

  • Model: Daiwa Eliminator
  • Reel Size: 5000
  • Construction: Spinning
  • Drag System: Felt
  • Drag Pressure: 17.6lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Saltwater casting, surf fishing, jigging, trolling
  • Experience: 22 years of fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: February 2021
  • Rod Paired with Reel: 11’ Tsunami Trophy II surf rod, medium-heavy power
  • Line Paired with Reel: 475 yards of 30lbs Power Pro Slick V2 braided line
  • Days tested: 257
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Saltwater
  • Species targeted with reel: Redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, shark, stingray

How it performs

Durability
3/5
Performance
3/5
Quality
3/5
Versatility
3/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a low-cost reel large enough to use for surf fishing. In addition, I wanted a reel closer to a light tackle setup that could hold a large amount of line and was made of stronger and more durable construction than I had previously been using.

Why I chose this gear

I bought this product because it was the closest thing I could find to a Daiwa BG reel. Unfortunately, the BG was more costly when I purchased the Eliminator reel, so I could not afford the BG. The Eliminator is a replica of the BG but with fewer features and is built on the same type of frame. The Eliminator relates to the BG with an air rotor design that allows for less friction and heat build-up, aluminum spool, and side plate, and comes in the same sizes as the BG. I found deals on the Eliminator that also save me more money for a great reel.

Shark caught with the Daiwa Eliminator 5000 reel on an 11ft Tsunami Trophy II

What I love about it

  • Performance: For a cheaper reel, it performs at a higher standard than other reels in its class. I find that this reel matches the surf rod combination that I put it on perfectly. It casts smoothly with little to no effort and retrieves even easier. The reel stops on a dime and balances on the rod, evenly distributing the weight on the rod’s back end to make it more comfortable while holding it in my hands.
  • Quality: I find the quality of this reel is equivalent to some reels, such as the Daiwa BG and the original Daiwa Saltist. The build and construction of the reel are great and look slick and elegant to the eye. The reel's construction brings a great feel to the hand, is smooth with each cast and retrieval, and has the same corrosion resistance properties as the Daiwa BG with an anodized finish.
  • Versatility: This reel is great in both freshwater and saltwater. I believe it is better inshore for saltwater fishing because of its construction and features. The ability to interchange the retrieval side on the fly makes it great, and having the added corrosion resistance to the body helps greatly.
  • Durability: The reel is about 15% lighter than the BG and features an anodized body that helps fight corrosion, making it more able and durable to withstand saltwater. Replacing parts on this reel is incredibly easy and straightforward if someone knows their way around a reel.
  • Application: The Daiwa Eliminator is great in surf and inshore fishing for smaller and medium size fish. Casting out baits is the best use for this reel, and the smaller reels are great for casting artificial baits for fishing inshore on light tackle setups.
  • Size: I chose the 5000-size reel with the 5.7:1 gear ratio and 47.4in line retrieve per crank. This reel is the perfect size for the surf fishing setup that I wanted. It enables me to target the fish I want to catch, such as bluefish, Spanish mackerel, redfish, and speckled trout, in the surf during those spring and fall runs when these species are close to shore.
  • Feel: The feel of this reel is smooth and lightweight on the rod. It balances nicely and looks elegant due to its smooth and sleek features.
  • Build: The reel’s build is lightweight and durable, and the air rotor design by Daiwa makes it more friction resistant and lessens heat build-up.
  • Aesthetics: Smooth finish with some matte black in the build of the reel. This is the only finish for the reel, but it is great because of its anodized finish that helps with corrosion resistance.
  • Features: The Eliminator features an air rotor for less friction and heat build-up, an anodized body for corrosion resistance, an easily interchangeable retrieval handle, and Daiwa’s DigiGear system for smooth action and retrieval.
  • Maintenance: I find this reel to be easily maintained. The side plate is aluminum and easy to open up for a direct view of the gears and main shaft. Adding lubrication and cleaning to the reel is easy.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Drag System: The drag system is the only negative feature of the reel. The drag pressure is lower than most other reels in its class and size. Having that limited max drag pressure in saltwater makes it more difficult to battle the larger fish species but the reel can handle that fight.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this reel took place in July 2020. I was surf fishing with a few of my buddies, and we had about 10 setups in the water between the three of us. We were casting various baits and landing plenty of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and some larger redfish. As the day went by, I eventually hooked into a 4-foot shark cruising around with the hook in its jaw. I noticed the line went slack, and I began to reel. Once the line had tension, the shark started to take off on its run, and thankfully the reel had a large spool packed with line. I was able to take it on with ease. Forty-five minutes later, and with a tired-out shoulder, I landed the shark and held it in my hands. The reel performed greatly and with ease.

Value for the money vs. other options

For the money, the reel is worth having for someone beginning to get into saltwater fishing and looking for a reel that will greatly impact their journey. The Daiwa Eliminator outperforms and holds up better to saltwater with better power in the gears when compared to other low-cost options, like the Penn Fierce and Penn Pursuit.

Final verdict

The Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reel is heavy-duty and lightweight for a great impact on beginners looking to find a low-cost and durable reel.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

Shop Fishing on Curated

Daiwa Eliminator Spinning Reel
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod
$249.00
Orvis Helios™ 3D Fly Rod
$998.00

Browse more Daiwa Fishing

Temple Fork Outfitters Blue Ribbon Fly Rod
$269.95
Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel
$0.00
Temple Fork Outfitters Pro 2 Fly Rod
$146.96$209.95
Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
$159.99
Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
$249.99
Orvis Hydros Fly Reels
$298.00
Redington Path Collection Combo
$229.99

Browse more Daiwa Fishing

Read next

New and Noteworthy