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Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT Spinning Reel Review

Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT Spinning Reel Review

In this review of the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel, I will discuss the features that make it a versatile option for many different types of fishing, particularly back bay AKA Inshore fishing which is specifically what it has been designed for.

Wow! Smooth, Smooth, Smooth, Buttery Smooth…  The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel is available in two models, the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT STTBB3000LT and the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT STTBB4000LT that first released in early 2018.

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT 3000 weighs 9.9 ounces, making it a medium-lightweight reel with 15.4 pounds of drag. The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT 4000 is also a great option if you’re looking for something with about 30% more spool capacity and only slightly heavier at 10.6 oz. also with 15.4 pounds of drag.

The Bottom Line

  • Geared towards lightweight inshore saltwater fishing
  • An extremely smooth spinning reel with a solid 15.4 lb drag system
  • High level of manufacturing, lightweight all aluminum body, MagSealed technology
  • Great for charters or anyone who fished their gear hard

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay is a winner and is available HERE.

A few of the features that make this reel versatile as well as durable for back bay fishing are the all-aluminum body, carbon fiber air rotor, the digitally cut DigiGear gearing system, the waterproof carbon fiber MagSealed drag system and the 6 + 1 bearing system that keeps everything running smoothly even when you’re pulling in those bull redfish and striped bass.

Both models of the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel come with 15.4 pounds of maximum drag, delivered from the carbon fiber stacked drag system.  The primary difference between the two models is the size of the spool and a slightly larger all-aluminum body, which adds less than an ounce to the overall weight which gives you the ability to size your reel to the specific species you are targeting.


LT CONCEPT: The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel features a lightweight and sturdy aluminum body and spool design and is the very latest in the LT lineup from Daiwa. LT stands for light and tough, so you can imagine how this contributes to the reinforced construction of this reel.

Toughness is maintained in this reel with the light, yet rigid aluminum outer body. This type of engineering means that Daiwa has been able to reduce the dimensions of this reel, but keep it just as strong.

The DigiGear drive that runs this reel combines with the LT concept for an overall design that’s going to improve your fishing experience drastically especially if you are on the water for hours on end.

MAGSEALED: The MagSeald construction repels salt and grime very effectively.  Located at the top of the shaft located under the spool is a magnetic seal, which replaces what other manufacturers in the industry use a simple gasket or rubber seal to keep sand and salt from getting into the main shaft area.

Where the openings would typically be protected with a washer, Daiwa has used magnets and a Nanofluid known as MagOil. In addition to being one of the best solutions on the market for keeping saltwater and dirt out of your main shaft area, the MagSealed construction has a bonus benefit – it is responsible for the incredibly buttery smooth spin that is almost entirely devoid of any friction.

Lightweight AIR ROTOR: Daiwa’s lightweight ‘Zaion’ air rotor means that the gearing system is supported better than any other material you could use, including nylon and magnesium. The main advantage of the ‘Zaion’ air rotor is the solidity and lightness.

With the lightweight air rotor constructed from this high-density material, you can expect resistance of even the most forceful impacts. The rotary performance of a reel relies on the rigidity of the body, which is why Daiwai opts to use the aluminum for the body and their lightweight carbon fiber ‘Zaion’ material for the rotor. As a bonus, the air rotor weighs up to 15% less than other common rotor designs.

Stainless steel AIR BAIL technology: Daiwa’s bail air design allows for a high level of strength, without the weight. The innovative bail design found on the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel and several of the other Daiwa models such as the Fuego LT, Ballistic LT, and the original Saltist includes a tubular stainless steel bail that’s hollow and lightweight.

Another advantage of this design is that any loose line you may have after you cast will slide effortlessly across the bail and onto your line roller usually without the need to turn the handle thus avoiding an unwanted loop.

DigiGear: The digitally designed and machined gearing of the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel means you’ll enjoy both endurance and a high level of performance. The power of the handle is transmitted both efficiently and smoothly to the rotor without any chance of friction whatsoever.

This means that you can put all your focus on fishing and casting. Both the surface and shape of the DigiGear teeth allow for an incredibly smooth meshing of the gears run which has the minimum amount of resistance possible. The DigiGear milled gears also have an impressively long lifespan due to the fact that there is no slop between the teeth they do not wear down as quickly.

Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS spool – The aluminum spool on the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT is designed to hold quite a bit of line for a reel of this size and comes braid ready so there is no need to back it with mono.

7-bearing (6+1) system: The quick set anti-reverse function and the 6 ball bearing system allows a maximum level of smoothness when using the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reel. Along with your 6 ball bearings you also get 1 roller bearing as well.

All ball bearings are stainless steel but they are not the same corrosion-resistant ones used in the original Saltist.

Up to 15.4 lbs. of Max Drag: While the Daiwa Saltis Back Bay LT does not have the most drag of any reel this size, it is quite sufficient at 15.4 lbs. for most applications.  The top stacked carbon fiber drag system is sealed nicely and some would say it is almost waterproof, which means that you will have many years of service.

Features at a Glance

  • LT CONCEPT – light and rigid aluminum construction
  • MAGSEALED construction repels salt and grime
  • Lightweight AIR ROTOR
  • Stainless steel AIR BAIL technology
  • DigiGear – Digital Gear Design
  • 7-bearing (6+1) system with instant anti-reverse
  • Up to 15.4 lbs. of Max Drag

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT is part of the newer LT family of reels and falls comfortably into the mid-range price category.

This is an excellent example of Daiwa doing something different by putting out a product that targets a specific style of fishing while at the same time being versatile.

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT spinning reels are light enough to fish for fluke, trout, and sheepshead yet due to the full metal body they can both stand up to smaller tarpon, bull reds and snook in the 30-36″ range.

With an aluminum handle and body, you know that you’re using a well-built reel that’s made for endurance and strength where you will not experience any flex when fighting a big fish.

Probably one of the most impressive things about the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT is the huge DigiGear.  This gear is designed to make sure that you have ample power to crank down on those larger fish and not worry about stripping the gears.

The Back Bay LT also uses a stainless steel main shaft as compared to an aluminum shaft found in some of the other LT models such as the Fuego LT.

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

ModelLine Retrieve (in)Gear RatioMono Cap(lbs/yd)Braid Cap(lbs/yd)Max Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)

Field Test

I decided to put the new Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT to the test with some kayak fishing both inshore and offshore here in Navarre, FL. I decided that I would pair the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT 4000 with my new 7″6″ St. Croix Mojo Yak Spinning Rod (more about this beauty soon) and loaded the reel with 20# Suffix 832 braid.

If you have not checked out the new Suffix 832 braid then do yourself a favor and pick some up as this stuff. It is smooth and super thin and I prefer either the Coastal Camo or the Low Vis Green.

Since this reel is designed to be fished in different situations, I wanted to see how she would handle everything from the smaller Specs we seem to be picking up lately to a Big Bull Redfish at night.

I started out fishing the grass beds with a 4″ twitch bait and after 15 minutes or so I found the fish.  Over the next hour and a half, I was able to land a dozen or so trout in the 14″-16″ range and they were a blast to catch.

I decided to see if there was anything larger lurking around so I switched over to a 4″ topwater and was fortunate enough to lure one 20″ one out of the cover.  I was also hoping that I might get into a red or two but no such luck in this location.

Later in the evening I joined a group of fellow anglers and headed out under the 3-mile bridge to see what we could stir up.  For this trip, I switched over to some cut chunk bait and went to work.  After about 2 hours of fishing, I was able to hook into a few really nice reds.

The first two were probably in the 16 – 20 lbs range but they both got off before I could get them back to the yak.

The last red I caught that evening was a Bull and put up a great fight 32″ weighing in at about 12 -13 lbs. I guess he put the setup to the test.  There were a few moments where I thought that it would be nice to have a bit more drag but I probably would have only busted off with the 20# braid I was using.

The carbon fiber drag system was very smooth from the start and did not have any jerk motion to it at all.  I really cannot say enough about how smooth this reel is – I think I used the term buttery earlier and that is well suited.

I look forward to using this setup to chase some Dorado and small tuna a little later in the year,


  • Smooth, Smooth, Smooth reel – can’t say enough
  • All aluminum body and frame
  • MagSealed technology


  • Does not use MagSeal on roller bearing
  • Does not use all corrosion resistant bearings


So the first reel to compare the Saltist Back Bay LT to would obviously be the Daiwa Saltist.  I think that for the money I will be using the Back Bay LT as it is a lighter weight reel by quite a bit.

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT in a 4000 weighs about 2/3rds of what the Daiwa Saltist weighs and after a full day on the water that makes a big difference.  With that said, the Saltist is sealed better and has better bearings but you sure would not know that unless you tore into the reel.  Read the full Daiwa Saltis Spinning Reel Review HERE.

From Quantum, I would have you look at the Quantum Smoke PT Inshore spinning reel as a great alternative. Impressively, if we were to compare a 4000 or 40 to each other, you would find that the Quantum Smoke PT Inshore spinning reel has 20 pounds of drag as compared to 15.4 pounds of drag and weighs almost an ounce less.

It seems clear here that the Quantum Smoke PT Inshore is slightly better when it comes to drag and weight, but it is just not as smooth.

When it comes to price, the two are going to fall into the same mid-range category and therefore be close competitors. You can read the full Quantum Smoke PTs spinning reel review HERE.

For those of you who are die-hard Shimano fans, I would compare the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay 4000 to the Shimano Stradic FK spinning reel. As is typical with this brand, you will end up paying a little bit more for the name.

On this reel when compared to the Daiwa Saltist 4000, you’re going to get 4.6 more pounds of maximum drag against a weight of 9.9 ounces.

Weighing in slightly under what the Daiwa Saltist does makes this a viable option – but you have to be willing to pay for the branding. You can read the full Shimano Stradic FK spinning reel review HERE.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay spinning reel models are lightweight, have powerful exclusive Daiwa systems including the MagSealed main shaft and air rotor, and have the endurance to withstand consistent use in saltwater conditions.

I find it interesting that Daiwa chose to call this the Saltist Back Bay vs. the BG Back Bay. It more closely resembles an upgraded BG than a Saltist.  I say this due to the lack of using corrosion resistant ball bearing throughout and not using the MagSeal technology in places other than the main shaft the way the Saltist does.

With that said the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT is a lighter reel and is incredibly well built.  Being that weight is a big factor for me, I would choose the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT over the Daiwa Saltist for my style of fishing.

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Kent W

Thursday 6th of July 2023

Thanks for the review. I know it's been a while since it was written, but it's still relevant. I have owned a 4000 model for almost three years. I have about a dozen reels that I rotate through for inshore and nearshore fishing. Here's aremy thoughts on it. The reel has maintained its smoothness and the finish on the reel has held up well. It has decent line capacity and casts well without extra coils of line flowing off the reel even when the spool is filled to the max. I fish in open water normally, so the light drag isn't an issue. However, if I am near the mangroves, docks, rocks or other structures, it's just not enough to stop a charging fish. Even a 28" red will strip a lot of line. I use 15lb Power Pro V2 and have never had a break-off in the line.

Basically, it's a good combination of weight and strength for the $200 price range with the smoothness of a $400 reel.