Daiwa is set to release an addition to their popular workhorse reel lineup. The Daiwa BG MQ. How will it stand up against the competition?
The original Daiwa Black Gold (BG) was first produced back in 1981. This reel has maintained its popularity until this day, as Daiwa refuses to stop producing them in its original design.
The Daiwa BG’s popularity stems from its simple yet effective design, ease of maintenance, value, parts availability, and unreal durability. 39 years old folks.
The new Daiwa BG MQ is touted as an addition, to the legendary BG lineup. To be clear, it is not meant to be a replacement for the previous models.
More of a higher-end BG. The bastard child of a Saltiga and BG, for lack of a better description.
Could it be that Daiwa is recycling an established model name to give the new reel a heritage boost? Let’s find out.
Out of the box, the reel feels more compact. This is mainly due to the monocoque design.
Meaning that it “technically” has a one-piece frame, instead of the traditional two-piece side plate and body construction.
I say “technically” because it essentially is still a two-piece frame. More on this in the ‘Body’ section.
The buttery smooth cranking is as expected from a brand-new reel, with zero back play.
The color scheme of Black / Gray as opposed to the Black / Gold makes for a statement that this model is meant to be a different reel, but still allowing it to have the “BG” nickname.
The overall styling takes cues from the 2020 Saltiga as they share similar engineering in terms of the monocoque design.
Apart from the ‘boot cover’, there are no other screws to be found around the body, providing us with a feeling of maximum water tightness. So again, essentially not a fully screw less build.
The spool design is kept minimal with few cutout ports for weight reduction, the Daiwa “D” logo on one side, and the plain font BG model opposite.
You’ll get standard rubber T knobs on all reels, but get a beefier or chunkier T knob on the bigger models from the 8000 size and up.
Surprisingly, there is a lack of mag-sealed bearings in this model. This can work better for Daiwa as this model won’t have the baggage that comes with a “mag-seal” label.
That’s about it for the first impressions. Let’s take a closer look into what makes this reel an alternative to the packed workhorse rank.
Daiwa states the BG MQ has a full metal alloy body. In other words, aluminum alloy. A tried and trusted material that is lightweight, stiff, durable, and very corrosion resistant.
I previously mentioned that the reel is technically not a true one-piece design as it still utilizes a screw-in engine plate to house the main gear.
This screw-in engine plate can only be removed using a special side plate removal tool. And as of writing, this tool is not available for public consumers to buy.
If you want to still get a bit of cleaning, oiling, and re-greasing done, you can get in through the ‘boot’. This boot cover can easily be removed, giving you just enough access to do basic maintenance.
Honestly, this is not a deal-breaker at all, but if owners might have to send it into authorized service centers for full servicing and maintenance instead of going the DIY route.
Having a “semi-single-piece” body makes the reel stiffer, which keeps gears aligned for maximum power transfer from crank to the rotor.
The rotor is made from Daiwa’s Zaion material. In layman’s terms, graphite.
It features arches that help disperses pressure to the lower section of the rotor, reducing flex. But flex is still present.
The air rotor is a hollowed-out construction to help reduce weight, which Daiwa claims increases reel sensitivity and rotational balance.
The bail wire is solid wire, which makes it more rugged and resistant to breaks from drops.
Surprisingly, the line roller utilizes two bushings with no bearings. This move was probably due to the lack of sealing in the line roller assembly, which may cause corrosion problems in the future.
There is a little bit of flexing in the rotor, but only when under extreme pressure. This is counteracted by the overall stiffness of the monocoque body, so you’ll still have great power transfer during each crank.
Expect a tiny bit of give when setting hooks and fish battles on ‘locked drag’ settings.
I love how it is a manual bail trip reel. You’ll have to manually flip the bail over after each cast, which is a great habit to develop. Always flip your bail over by hand after each cast!
Daiwa used its ABS LONG CAST spool technology on the BG MQ.
The subtly angle on the spool’s lip allows for a smoother line release upon casting, effectively increasing your average casting distance.
10kg of drag for the smaller 2500 – 3000 sizes. 12kg drag for the 4000 – 6000 sizes. 15kg for the 8000 – 1000 sizes. And 20kg for the 14000 to 2000 sizes.
Not a back-breaker reel, but who fishes with 30kg of drag all the time anyway? Right? You do? Oh.
Drag washers are carbon fiber and are greased well. They are sandwiched by thick metal drag plates to help dissipate heat.
Daiwa claims the Automatic Tournament Drag uses an improved drag grease that stays thin and less viscous at rest yet becomes more viscous immediately after drag startup.
Heat and friction could be the cause of this grease transformation, but maybe the wizards at Daiwa have created a magical transforming grease. Who knows?
With this grease, Daiwa says there is a reduction in initial drag start-up inertia resulting from the initial hook up.
The internals are comprised of cast zinc gears. Not as premium as machined brass gears but are still some of the best gearing out there.
The slimmer body allows for a significantly bigger gear, borrowing the same engineering design cues from the top end Saltiga.
This allows users to place a greater amount of torque on the reel, for maximum power transfer.
Here’s the full size chart, which includes all the specifications you need to know about each size.
No ridiculous claims of IPX waterproof certification for Daiwa, which is great for us consumers not to expect full waterproofing.
Not highly touted as a great water-resistant reel, the one-piece body design with minimal screws and the lack of a true side-plate will make this reel very water-resistant.
The standard labyrinths of lips and rubber gaskets are omnipresent in the lineup and have proven worthy for heavy saltwater use.
They may not be up to Saltiga or Exist standards, but they will get the job done, as required of a workhorse reel.
This has only been a preview of what’s to come.
The Daiwa BG MQ will be on sale starting December 2020, and we’ve yet to put this reel through the gauntlet which is tropical Vanuatu big game fishing.
It easily ticks all the boxes you require in a saltwater daily-driver reel. Power, smoothness, strength, and rigidity. It will perform for sure.
Durability-wise, it’ll take a proper year or so of hard use before we can accurately judge its durability and ease of maintenance.
Take note that the special side plate removal tool is unavailable to the public, so doing a full service is out of the question.
With a starting price of AU$ 299.00 for the smaller models, this range is comparable to the Shimano Spheros range of saltwater reels and may give them a run for their money.
Only time will tell.
Daiwa aims to create an affordable saltwater spinning reel built for the harshest conditions. The pricing and the complete size range will surely revolutionize the budget saltwater reel market.
Will you get your hands on one?