"All-in-all this is an impressive little reel, ideal for soft bait fishing or spin fishing of any sort, in salt water and fresh."
Black and Gold Standard
It took a while, but a brief weather window during what’s been a very unsettled, wet and windy spring in Auckland let me spend a few hours exclusively with the new Daiwa BG 2500.
Daiwa’s BG is the new version of an old favourite, the Black Gold, which Daiwa has sold since the early 1980’s. Other than the name and an alloy spool there’s not much similarity between the two, although I’ll bet Daiwa hopes the new BG reels are as reliable and long-lived as the old models.
I first used this reel alongside a Certate 3000 (see the previous issue of NZ Bay Fisher for the review), Daiwa’s premium small spinner and one of the best reels in the world. The little BG had its work cut out to impress in that company.
I didn’t catch anything with the reel during that session, mostly because it was supplied on a Blue Backer light jigging rod and the conditions were such that we had to stay close to shore where jigging wasn’t the best option, but I didn’t use it much then either. It was too hard to put the Certate down.
My second session with the reel came a few weeks later, as detailed in the opening paragraph. The wind stayed light enough to allow around three hours’ fishing from the kayak. I took the jig rod as well as the reel, but also mounted the reel on a softbait rod for some of the session, since once again I was restricted to fishing inshore.
Soft baiting accounted for two snapper and a nice John dory. A change to the jigging rod and I was flicking around a 40g micro-jig and bouncing it off the bottom. It was on one of the retrieves that a nice kahawai hit the jig and hooked up, which certainly got the reel singing.
I enjoyed the BG much more the second time I used it, without the Certate to cloud my judgement. It’s nice and smooth and the drag is very good. It looks sharp too, though I noticed I’d worn a bit of paint off the rotor on the previous outing; it must have been touching the side of the boat when it was in the rod rack. The reel body is anodised, but the rotor is painted ‘graphite’.
Three fish is not a whole lot to go on, but I certainly got the impression the BG is up for it. It feels like a nicely-put-together reel, and the specs suggest it will provide years of honest service. It shares many of the features of Daiwa’s more expensive spinning reels, such as Air Rotor (but in ‘Graphite’, not ‘Zaion’), rotor brakes (to stop the rotor turning when the bail is open) and a high-end carbon drag system; although it misses out on Air Bail. The bail arm is ordinary stainless steel wire.
The reel isn’t waterproof, but the drag is well protected and provided you don’t go dunking it, it should withstand spray and normal after-fishing wash-downs without water finding its way inside the reel. Seven ball bearings (6BB+1RB) are standard. These are anti-rust bearings, but not shielded as they are in Daiwa’s most expensive reels.
The drive chain is pretty standard: cast zinc main gear and a machine-cut brass pinion. The gear is large for the size of the reel and therefore strong. It’s also a smooth gear train, obviously well-aligned and supported. The handle is a screw-on type – strong, reliable and easy to change over. I like to wind with my left hand, so invariably I have to change reel handles over.
The cut and ported black and gold aluminium spool looks sharp, and works well, too. It has a large diameter arbor with a reversed taper designed for braid lines. This reel was spooled with around 300m of PE 1.2 line.
All-in-all this is an impressive little reel, ideal for soft bait fishing or spin fishing of any sort, in salt water and fresh. With 5.6:1 retrieve, it’s good for micro-jigging too. The drag puts out a maximum of around 6kg and it’s silky smooth all the way.
Features and specifications:
Daiwa BG 2500