Daiwa Black Gold (BG) Series

Saltwater Fishing - Helping you catch that fish of a lifetime

Daiwa Black Gold (BG) Series

by Capt. Terry Rand

Daiwa Black Gold (BG) Series
Photo by: Author
The Daiwa Black Gold (BG) series is a longtime contender in the world of tested and true saltwater fishing reels. This reel has remained virtually unchanged for many, many years and there is surely a reason for that. These reels have claimed everything from 2 lb. trout to sailfish and marlin.




Gear Ratio

Line Per
Handle Turn


Line Capacity
(Lb. Test / Yards)

Drag Max

Heavy Action Spinning Reels


UL / - 

3 BB 

5.4 : 1 



4/200, 6/160, 8/110 



M / L 

3 BB 

5.1 : 1 



6/270, 8/200, 10/125 



H / MH 

3 BB 

5.1 : 1 



10/190, 12/150, 14/120 



XH / MH 

3 BB 

4.8 : 1 



12/275, 14/200, 17/150 



XH / H 

3 BB 

4.8 : 1 



14/250, 17/200, 20/160 



- / H 

3 BB 

4.7 : 1 



17/275, 20/225, 25/185 



- / XH 

3 BB 

4.3 : 1 



25/275, 30/225, 40/175 


First Impressions

In this case we are using the BG90 for our testing and reviewing purposes. The first thing you notice when you pick up this reel is the weight and overall ruggedness of its body design. These reels are built with rigid metal frames and side plates to ensure that there will be no flexing under the heavy load of a large, strong fish. The large spool capacity also adds to the overall size of the reel but the BG90 was originally designed to accommodate a large spool of monofilament line. Although the reel feels a bit weighty, it does feel very comfortable to hold once attached to a properly balanced fishing rod. When you give the reel handle a spin it has a rather earthy feel to the retrieve. It does not have the common balance and smoothness features found these days in more expensive fishing reels. Although it feels a little off balance, you can also recognize how incredibly durable and bullet proof it feels as you crank the gears around. The black and gold color scheme is simple and pleasing to the eye without being showy or overly shiny. The wooden dowel style grip on the reel handle also adds a classy aesthetic to this already clean and handsome machine.

Field Testing

Our experience with the BG90 brought us to Islamorada in the Florida Keys to chase big sharks around the flats and channels on the Gulf side of the island. Our charter captain liked our enthusiasm for opting to fish for big sharks with spinning gear as opposed to the more commonly used conventional rod and reel setup. Using freshly caught and killed jacks and ladyfish for bait, we quickly found what we were looking for and we had our first shark hooked up on the BG90 coupled with a custom built 8 ft. heavy action rod. The 150 lb. lemon shark made for an amazing forty minute battle with blistering, drag screaming runs and a boat side display of heavy duty surges and tail slaps that truly put the drag system of the BG90 to a true test. The Teflon and stainless steel drag did an amazing job of handling the head shakes and runs. We brought four sharks to the boat using the BG90 without a hitch. All four fish were between 100 – 150 pounds.

Next, we decided to find some fish that would eat some plugs so we could test the casting and retrieval qualities of these reels. We tied on 2 oz. floating poppers and started randomly casting along some deeper channels. The BG90 casted flawlessly spooled with 25 lb. monofilament. You can tell the spool was designed with mono in mind. The retrieve while using plugs or heavy spoons is fine overall. Once again, this is where you notice that earthy feel again that was mentioned earlier. The rotation of the rotor at high speeds does exhibit an off balance feel but after a few casts you hardly notice it anymore. The bail trip mechanism is simple and very effective but it is loud. Of course, this can be avoided my manually flipping the bail with your hand which is recommended by most experienced anglers anyway.

After switching spools on the BG90 to a spool loaded with 50 lb. braided line, the distance of my casts increased dramatically. The braid slips off the spool without a whisper and added a good 30 yards to my casting distance. We hooked into a number of jacks anywhere from 5 – 12 lbs. and again the BG90 performed perfectly.

Daiwa Black Gold (BG) Series Spool
Photo by: Author

In Conclusion

The Daiwa BG90 is a hard working reel. After testing it has become apparent that the BG series is a reel built for years of hard work and reliability. This is not a reel built to show off any bells and whistles of any kind. The focus of the engineering of this reel definitely seems to be an ethic of keeping things simple and straight forward, which in turn passes on to the buyer a very reliable fishing reels that only requires simple maintenance and at a very reasonable price tag. Things that the buyer should take into consideration are aspects like the overall weight of the reel, the fact that this reel is not designed to feel perfectly balanced and that there are no extra features built into it. Also, take into consideration the fact that this reel was designed to be a flawless performer that, with simple maintenance, will last for many, many years.

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