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Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel Review

Created with precision and power, the Daiwa Exist spinning reel is an angler’s dream reel. With its lightweight design, smooth drag system, and improved gear ratio, it is perfect for freshwater fishing, but is it really worth the $800 price tag? Read our full review here to find out.
Nano Technology featured in Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel.

Size: 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000
Ball Bearings: 12+1
Anti Reverse Bearing: Yes
Max Drag: 11-22lbs
Gear Ratio: 4.9:1-6.2:1
Retrieve Rate: 25-34in
Spool Material: Monocoque (MQ)
BraidReady: Yes
Handle Material: Magsealed

We Like

We Don't Like

Our Thoughts

It’s likely that long-time anglers can recall the moment when they first laid their hands on a fishing reel that felt like it was made just for them. After 40 years of fishing, I recently had the pleasure of experiencing just that with the Daiwa Exist.

I’ve had the chance to use a variety of reels over the years, but the Daiwa Exist is in a class all its own. It’s lightweight, yet powerful, and features a magnesium monocoque frame, 12+1 ball bearings, and a power drag system. The T-Grip handle, AirDrive technology, and line deflection skirt provide a comfortable, effortless experience.

I can’t say I didn’t have some apprehension before getting the $800 reel, but after using it over the last number of months, I can say that it’s easily met my expectations. The line management is remarkable, the power and drag force are smooth, and I’ve been able to handle a large number of monster largemouth and bring them back to the boat.

If you’re looking for a new spinning reel and are willing to put down the Benjamins for it, I would definitely recommend checking out the Daiwa Exist.

Bass fishing with the Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel at a lake.

Reviewer Analysis

Without a doubt, the Daiwa Exist is the finest spinning reel I have ever used in my 40 years of fishing. I have been fishing with it for the last 7 months or so and it has been an absolute pleasure. The new 2022 Daiwa Exist spinning reel is light, powerful, and offers exceptional performance. In this review, I will discuss my experience and impressions from my time using the Daiwa Exist.

Overview of Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel

The Daiwa Exist is a top-of-the-line spinning reel that features a magnesium monocoque frame, 12+1 ball bearings, an anti-reverse bearing, and a max drag of 11-22lbs. It has a gear ratio of 4.9:1-6.2:1, a retrieve rate of 25-34in, and it is BraidReady. The reel is equipped with Daiwa’s Airdrive Design, Tough Digigear, and ATD Type-L technology. The Daiwa Exist is available in 5 sizes: 2000D-P, 2500-XH, 3000D, 4000D, and 5000D-C. I chose the 3000D size. Mostly for the extended line capacity and larger drag limit.

The reel is incredibly lightweight, yet it is packed with power and features. The Airdrive Design provides lighter rotation and trouble-free operation, and I appreciate the ergonomic design of the reel, which includes a T-Grip handle and AirDrive technology. I have used the reel in a wide variety of conditions and it has held up well to frequent use. The only sign of wear is some minor gravel rash from when I dropped it.

Size of Reel

When I first held the Daiwa Exist, I was surprised to find that it was so lightweight. It is about 1.2oz. lighter than Shimano’s 2500-sized Stella FK, and the only high-end reel that can compete with it in weight is Abu Garcia’s Zenon SP20. The 2000 and 2500 size reels have a smaller diameter spool, so I chose the 3000D size for its larger drag washers and smoother performance. The size of the reel is surprisingly compact, considering its power and durability, and I’m impressed by how much engineering has gone into creating such a lightweight reel.

Performance When Casting

As soon as I started casting with the Daiwa Exist, I noticed that I wasn’t seeing too much of an improvement in distance, though after more time with the reel, I was squeezing out a few extra yards. Despite this, the reel manages line loops and twists well, and the bail angle has been adjusted to create a more natural path for the line. The groove on the Exist flattens fluorocarbon main line and braid to fluro leader setups, minimizing line twist. Additionally, the AirDrive spool improves balance and oscillation at any speed, and the new drag system delivers consistent drag force, resulting in smoother and more consistent line-protecting performance.

Performance During Normal Retrieve

The Daiwa Exist is incredibly light and easy to handle during a normal retrieve. The egg-shaped rotor is 16% lighter than the previous generation, and the AirDrive technology transmits all the power efficiently with minimal friction. The bail arm automatically fits slack line into the line roller, and the reel is also equipped with a line deflection skirt to prevent line from folding under the spool and causing tangles. The retrieve is smooth and refined, even when a large fish is hooked, and the drag system produces a loud click when engaged.

Handling When Hooking Big Bass

About a week after I got the Daiwa Exist, I hooked a big bass and was amazed by the performance. The drag system delivered consistent pressure and allowed me to land the fish without any problems. The reel’s lightness made it easy to handle and maneuver, and the egg-shaped rotor gave it a balance and stability that I haven’t experienced with other reels. The AirDrive technology provided excellent power and control, and the line deflection skirt prevented any line tangles. So even though this was an 8 pound largemouth, I was able to land it without any issues.

Experience After Fishing with Reel for a Whole Day

There’s nothing quite like fishing with the Daiwa Exist for a full day. All the features come together to provide an incredibly smooth and enjoyable experience. The lightness of the reel makes it easy to maneuver, and the drag system provides consistent pressure and performance. Even after a long day of fishing, the reel still feels as smooth and lightweight as when I first used it. The ergonomics of the reel are comfortable and intuitive. So despight hours using it, I didn’t have any issues with my hands cramping or arms tiring out.


Overall, the Daiwa Exist is a top-of-the-line spinning reel that provides exceptional performance and stands out from the crowd with its advanced features and design. After using the Daiwa Exist for the last 7 months, I can easily say that it is worth the money. If you’re looking for the best of the best, and have the budget for it, I would highly suggest looking further into the Exist.

A. Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel - High Performance Fishing Gear


Precise Fit for Optimum Performance with Airdrive Bail

The Exist features a revolutionary Airdrive bail. This bail is designed to deliver an exceptionally lightweight, yet powerful performance. It features a floating main shaft that transmits power efficiently and with minimal friction, making it the ideal choice for anglers seeking precision and balance during their fishing endeavors.

Airdrive Bail offers many advantages over traditional spinning reels. It allows for smoother operation with less vibration, as well as greater accuracy when casting and retrieving line. Additionally, its low profile design makes it easier to store in tight spaces while providing optimal line control during retrieval. Finally, its featherweight construction reduces fatigue while allowing the reel to remain balanced even when loaded with heavy bait or lures.

The Airdrive Bail on Exist Spinning Reels provides superior performance by ensuring smooth operation and increased line control while reducing fatigue from long retrieves. Its unique construction helps reduce vibration which can lead to improved accuracy when casting and retrieving line as well as better overall handling of the reel in various fishing conditions such as windy days or choppy waters. Additionally, due to its light weight construction, it does not add extra strain on arms or hands even when loaded up with heavy baits or lures

MQ Body for Maximum Protection

The Daiwa Exist spinning reel is comprised of a revolutionary Monocoque (MQ) body, a light-weight material that offers superior protection from wear and tear. This monocoque body design is composed of an integrated frame and spool, making it the first of its kind in Daiwa’s fishing reels. This MQ body ensures maximum durability without adding unnecessary weight to the spinning reel.

The use of this monocoque design greatly reduces line twist, ensuring that your line remains neat and tangle-free even when reeling in heavier fish. Additionally, it prevents wear on the frame and spool over time due to its sturdy construction. The MQ body increases sensitivity allowing for more accurate casting as well as better control when setting hooks or adjusting drag pressure levels. Finally, with its light-weight construction you no longer need to worry about fatigue while fishing with this spinning reel all day long.

Sleek Digigear for Lasting Style

The Daiwa Exist Spinning is equipped with Digigear, a patented technology that reduces friction and increases power transmission. This advanced gear design utilizes a precise combination of shapes and materials to maximize efficiency, allowing the reel to deliver smooth yet powerful performance. It features precise gearing that ensures accuracy and stability when retrieving or casting.

The benefits of using Digigear on the Exist include increased strength and durability, as well as improved casting control and accuracy when it comes to fishing in various conditions. Additionally, this technology helps reduce noise levels for quieter operation while delivering smoother performance overall.

Digigear allows users to have more control over their fishing style due to its precise gearing system which enables them to cast accurately into any water body regardless of depth or current strength. Additionally, the gear is designed to be lightweight so anglers can easily maneuver it without straining their muscles while they are out on their next fishing adventure. Furthermore, Digigear provides strong torque which allows you cast farther with less effort than before giving you an extra edge when trying for those large catches!

Revolutionary Airdrive Shaft for Increased Comfort

The Exist features a revolutionary new Airdrive shaft designed to increase comfort and performance. This Airdrive shaft utilizes a floating main shaft which transmits power efficiently, allowing for smoother retrieves. The Daiwa Exist is the first spinning reel to feature this technology, offering anglers an unparalleled level of performance and control over their reel.

The Airdrive system offers several benefits when compared to traditional spinning reels. First and foremost, it helps reduce line twist caused by the reel spooling in reverse as it is retrieved from the water. Additionally, this system allows for increased control over the reel when casting or retrieving due to its consistent power transmission and smooth operation. Finally, with its revolutionary design, anglers can expect a more comfortable experience while utilizing this spinning reel due to reduced friction between components upon retrieval of the line.

Magsealed for Maximum Durability

The Exist is equipped with Magsealed technology, which is a revolutionary new sealing system that utilizes magnetic particles to create an airtight and watertight seal. This advanced technology prevents water and dirt from entering the reel, ensuring maximum durability and performance.

The benefits of using Magsealed technology are numerous. It helps to protect the inner components of your reel from corrosion due to saltwater or other contaminants, while providing greater strength and stability than traditional seals. Furthermore, it ensures smoother operation by eliminating any potential friction between moving parts. Additionally, it reduces weight by allowing for a thinner shell around the internal components which makes your reel more responsive when casting or retrieving line. Finally, this advanced sealing system provides added protection against sand or dirt entering your reel when fishing in rough conditions.

Lightweight and Balanced Airdrive Design

The Exist Spinning Reel features a unique and innovative Airdrive design which is used to maximize control and energy transfer. This design consists of four elements that are all working together for maximum precision. These include a rigid body unit which supports precision gear alignment and design but increases strength and protection from the elements. Additionally, the Daiwa Exist Spinning has an egg-shaped rotor around the outside making it 16% lighter than other models, making it easier to turn while still providing excellent control over your reel.

The main benefits of this Airdrive design include its lightweight construction which makes it easy to carry on your fishing trips while ensuring you don’t tire yourself out quickly from using a heavy reel. Furthermore, this technology ensures smoother transitions between gearing as the energy is transferred efficiently throughout the whole system creating seamless movement when reeling in or casting out. Additionally, its unique shape allows for better balance when using this reel making sure you have complete control over your rod movements at all times without feeling any strain or fatigue in your hands or arms due to poor weight distribution on your rod/reel combination.

With such a lightweight construction thanks to its air drive design combined with its egg-shaped rotor around the outside helps add balance when you’re reeling in big catches or casting out far distances with ease thanks to increased control over your rod’s movements reducing both fatigue and strain on your arms/hands allowing you to fish comfortably for longer periods of time without worrying about having too much weight imbalance with each cast/reel action.

Enjoy Effortless Casting with Airdrive Spool

The Exist Spinning Reel features the revolutionary Airdrive spool technology. This technology uses a floating main shaft that allows for smoother and easier casting, even with heavier lures. The spool is made from magnesium monocoque which makes it lightweight and durable for long-term performance.

The Airdrive spool technology offers many benefits to anglers who use this reel. It provides more control over casting, especially when using heavier lures, as well as increased accuracy of casts due to reduced line twist and drag caused by friction on the line. Additionally, the overall weight of the reel has been reduced compared to previous models, making it easier to carry around all day while fishing.

The AirDrive system utilizes a floating main shaft that transmits power efficiently while casting. This helps reduce shock and absorbance on your line in order to achieve more accurate casts with greater distances covered than with traditional spinning reels. Furthermore, this system helps flatten fluorocarbon main lines and braid-to-fluoro leader setups in order to minimize any potential line twists or tangles that can occur during a cast or retrieval session.

Twistbuster 3 for Enhanced Flexibility

The Exist Spinning is equipped with a revolutionary technology called Twistbuster 3. This feature utilizes three interlocking metal washers to provide the reel with a consistent drag pressure and enhanced flexibility. Additionally, this technology helps reduce shock and absorbance on the line when reeling in larger fish.

Twistbuster 3 provides anglers with greater control over their reel as well as added protection for their line. The increased drag pressure gives you more power to fight bigger fish, while its interlocking washers ensure smooth transitions and minimize shock on your line when bringing in large catches. Furthermore, the technology helps reduce line twist by flattening fluorocarbon mainlines and braid-to-fluoro leader setups for improved performance.

The Exist Spinning’s Twistbuster 3 feature is designed to provide enhanced flexibility while fishing by reducing rigidness in your reel’s movements. The three interlocking metal washers create smoother transitions between each turn of the handle so you can move quickly without having to worry about jerky or abrupt movements while reeling in your catch. Additionally, this feature provides you with greater control over the power of your rod so you can adjust its strength according to what kind of fish you’re trying to bring in at any given time.

Enjoy Seamless Line Release with ATD Type-L

The Daiwa Exist 22 spinning reel features a new drag system that uses interlocking metal washers to help deliver consistent pressure through additional friction surfaces. This drag system is called ATD Type-L and is exclusive to Daiwa’s Exist 22 line of reels. With this advanced technology, anglers can experience superior precision when casting their lines.

ATD Type-L provides a number of benefits for anglers, including improved accuracy and control when casting as well as reduced shock and absorbance on the line for bigger catches. The metal washers create an even distribution of pressure across the entire surface area, allowing for smooth line releases without any snags or tangles.

ATD type L allows for seamless line release by reducing shock and absorbance on the main lines while providing superior control over the reel’s performance. Additionally, its interlocking metal washer design helps evenly disperse pressure across the entire surface area so there are no snags or tangles during casts or retrieves. The groove on Daiwa’s Exist 22 spool further helps reduce twist in fluorocarbon main lines and braid to fluorocarbon leader setups while maintaining an even tension throughout each pull back in order to ensure a smooth release every time you cast your line!

Possessing the Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel.


The Daiwa Exist comes in four different sizes: 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000. When choosing the best size for your needs, consider the type of fish you are targeting and the size of your line. For instance, if you are targeting smaller bass a 2000 or 2500 size reel might be the best option. However, if you are targeting larger bass or saltwater species a 3000 or 4000 size reel might be more suitable.
The Daiwa Exist has 12+1 ball bearings for smooth operation.
Yes, it does. The Exist is equipped with an anti-reverse bearing for enhanced casting performance.
The maximum drag on the Exist Spinning ranges from 11-22lbs depending on the model size.
The gear ratio of the Exist ranges from 4.9:1-6.2:1 depending on the model size.
The Exist retrieves 25-34in of line with each turn of the handle depending on the model size.
Yes, it is. The spool material used in the Daiwa Exist is Monocoque (MQ).
Yes, it is. The Daiwa Exist is BraidReady for use with braided lines.
The Exist has a t-knob handle for better ergonomics and ease of use.
The Daiwa Exist Spinning features Airdrive Design, Tough Digigear and ATD Type-L technology to enhance fishing performance and strength.
Casting the Daiwa Exist Spinning Reel in the lake.


Overall, the Exist Spinning is an excellent reel that offers anglers a combination of lightweight design, smooth drag, and reliable performance. With its Airdrive design, Tough Digigear, and ATD Type-L technology, Daiwa has created a reel that is not only durable but also improves line movement and reduces noise. This reel is perfect for anglers looking to take their fishing to the next level. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line spinning reel, the Daiwa Exist should be at the top of your list.


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