This article is similar to what we did for Shimano reels, so let’s start with simple things. Two numbers after “Daiwa” and before the name of the model is the year when this reel was introduced. For example, Daiwa 14 Caldia is a modification which hit the market in 2014. Keep in mind that it isn’t the year it was manufactured but the year when it hit the market.
First 2 digits after the name of the model
These are simply the size of the reel. For example, “10” in 1025 means that this reel is 1000 size (respectively to Shimano); “20” means it is a 2000 size, and 25 is 2500 respectively. Usually, the size of the reel also means that the spool is the same size unless something else is indicated. So, a 2000 reel size will have a 2000 size spool.
Keep in mind that spool diameters differ between Shimano and Daiwa, and Daiwa spools are one size larger than Shimano spools. For example, Daiwa 3000 would be equal to Shimano 4000. This is important if you want to keep the balance of your reel and rod combo.
Last 2 digits
For example, “2004”. This is a size of nylon line in lbs. In this specific case, it means that you can put an even number (normally 100 meters) of 4 lbs nylon line to this spool.
“25” means 2.5 lbs and 100 meters. “03” means 3 lbs and 100 lbs. However, “08” and above means 8 lbs and 150 meters.
In other words, instead of indicating whether the spool is deep or shallow, Daiwa prefers to indicate exactly how much line it fits.
If last 2 digits go with “PE” it means that the size of the spool was measured using braided line following Japanese sizing. "08PE" means that you can put 150 meters of #0.8 braided line to this spool. Check our braided line which is showing both Japanese and American sizing.
Last two “00” digits
For example, in 2500. It means that it is a normal spool (deep with large line capacity). If digits are not “00” then it is a shallow spool. How deep it is will be indicated with the last two digits.
"C" after the digits
This is something similar to Shimano as it stands for “Compact Body” meaning that reel’s body is 1 size smaller while the spool is the same as it is indicated. For example, "3000C" means that the body of this reel is 2500 while the spool is 3000. Why would you want it? This significantly reduces the weight of the reel while keeping line capacity and drag roughly the same.
“R" after the digits
This is something I couldn’t find in Shimano, as it means that the reel’s body is one size larger than its spool. For example, “2500R" means that its body is 3000 while the spool is 2500. Why? It makes handling the fish easier while keeping the weight under control. I, personally, don’t like R reels considering the fact the modern reels offer plenty of drag and power in a compact body.
“H” and “SH” after the digits
These stand for “High Gear” and “Super High Gear” and means that with one turn of the reel you will be getting more line on a spool. However, it makes fighting a big fish even harder.
“DH” or “W” after the digits
It means that this reel has a double handle which isn’t very popular in the States.
“F” after the digits
The “F” stands for Fluoro Line and means that the reel has been modified to use fluorocarbon line.
“HD” before the digits
It stands for Heave Duty, for example, HD3500H. It means that it is more durable and it has Mag Sealed ball bearings as well as monocoque body which makes it more resistant to saltwater and dirt. A cheaper version of the same feature is “BG” which is usually used in lower level saltwater fishing line of reels. They don’t have Mag Sealed ball bearings but you can clean it yourself.
“LB” and “LBD” after the digits
First, one stands for “Level Brake” and means that this reel doesn’t have automatic drag system and you control everything with the lever. The second one means that you have both options: automatic drag system and the lever to control how much line is given away.
Daiwa “LT” Reels
Daiwa introduced LT line of reels In 2018 and it stands for “Light and Tough” which means that these reels kept the same level of durability while significantly reducing the weight. This is similar to CI4+ technology used in Shimano reels.
However, while introducing new reels, Daiwa also decided to change what digits and letters mean, and you should expect all reels to be LT sometime in the future, so all old marking will not mean much for LT reels.
Long story short, Daiwa has become more like Shimano with their LT reels. First and foremost, they stopped using how much line a reel would be able to take and switched to simple “shallow, normal, deep” spool concept.
Here is an example of a new LT reel – Daiwa 18 Freams LT2500S-XH.
First two digits after Daiwa mean the same – year when it hit the market. LT stands for Light and Tough. After that it is different, so let’s take a step by step look at it.
For example, “2500” is now the size of a spool and if nothing else is indicated the size of a reel too. Keep in mind that LT reels got different diameters of the spool and it is now very close to Shimano.
- Daiwa LT1000 is 40 mm (Shimano is 42 mm)
- Daiwa LT2000 is 42 mm (Shimano is 42 mm)
- Daiwa LT2500 is 45 mm (Shimano is 46.5 mm)
- Daiwa LT3000 is 48 mm (Shimano is 46.5 mm)
- Daiwa LT4000 is 51 mm (Shimano is 51 mm)
- Daiwa LT5000 is 54 mm (Shimano is 54 mm)
“FC” and “QD” before “LT”
It stands for “Finesse Custom” and feature a lighter handle and doesn’t have Mag Sealed tech in it which makes reeling easier but reduced the durability of the reel. “QD” stands for Quick Drag and means that you can turn on and off the drag completely.
“D”, “S” or “SS” after the 4 digits
“D” is for Deep spool, “S” is for Shallow, and “SS” is for Super Shallow. Normal spool doesn’t have any letters in its name. So, Daiwa spools go like this D > normal (nothing but 4 digits) > S > SS.
"C" after the digits
For example, LT2500-С means that this is a Compact Body reel featuring one size smaller body compared to the spool. LT2500-С reel would have 2000 size body and 2500 size spool.
“P”, “H” and “XH” after the digits
“P” stands for Power Gear, “H” for High Gear and “X” is Extra High Gear. Lower gear means less line will get to the spool in 1 turn of the reel but it is easier to fight the fish with it. Daiwa’s gears go like this P > normal (nothing is indicated) > H > XH. Normal gear means that one turn of the handle will make the spool turn 5 to 5.4 times. That is where you are getting 5.0:1 (same rules applies to Shimano).