BG 4500 Tackle Review

Welcome to my no holds barred honest, unbiased tackle test. I admit I have always been a fan of the Daiwa range of reels, but I also have a reputation of calling a spade a spade, so here goes.

The Daiwa BG range of fishing reels, this reel in my opinion performed better than what its price tag suggests. I put it through its paces for a decent enough period of time to have a great understanding as to its performance.


Price 4/5  this reel is very competitively priced for the performance it provides. Because of the price you don’t feel like you have to nurse the reel like you would the top end reels.

Durability 4/5 is good, with the matt black finish showing very few scuff marks and rock rash, the handle which in some of the entry level reels can be an issue is sturdy and easy to grip, making fighting a big fish easier. 

Drag 3/5 The drag is smooth and consistent, it hasn’t got the stopping power of some of the big guns, but to date has not let me down. I do however service my own reels and tend to keep them in a better working order with regular servicing; this will be advisable on all tackle anyway.

Back up service 5/5 I had an issue with a drag knob at first, this was caused by my own error, however the local Daiwa agents had a replacement part available immediately, leaving me with very little down time on my reel.


Drag Knob 3/5 the Drag knob caused a little concern when the reel was first released and I managed to strip one, but that was due to me cranking the drag tighter than I should have in order to break off when getting jammed in the stones. The replacement drag knob has performed perfectly since.

Line roller guide 3/5 This is a little different from most, as the line guide only has a bush instead of a bearing, this means it actually outlasts a bearing. But it does get jammed up after continual use which means it isn’t as smooth when fighting a big fish, and can cause damage to the braid if not kept in tip top shape with continual servicing.

Test day

We were fishing at Tugela North bank, we chose a piece of water with a long, deep wade onto a shallow sand bank, our target species for the day was the Flatfish – Diamond Skates. From the first cast these fish were wild, I matched the Daiwa BG 6500 reel to a heavy 6 to 8 ounce grinder rod and used that to launch large mackerel baits over the bank. The Diamond Skate is a fairly strong fighter especially once in the shallow water – this fish doesn’t take alot of line but can test a drag to its max due to the fish’s weight and its ability to “throw its weight around” in the shore break. I waded through the deepish trough onto the sand bank which meant the reel was emerged in water from the first cast. The first fish was a Diamond Skate of 74kgs, which put up a decent fight and proved the BGs drag to be smooth, and consistent, and also gave me the opportunity of getting a feel for the all round abilities of the reel. I landed 8 of these awesome fish ranging from the biggest of 74 kilos down to a rat of 40 kgs and the reel remained smooth and capable despite the amount of time it spent submerged due to the deep trough leading to the bank. Needless to say, it was stripped and serviced as soon as I got home, as salt water being left in a reel means just one thing, failure.


The BG range of reel, works out as a great option in their price range and carries a very high ranking internationally. In my opinion, it’s one of the better rock and surf reels in its price range available in South Africa currently. Would I buy one again? Most definitely, with most reels available today in the market, with proper care and regular servicing you wont need to replace this one in a hurry.

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