Are you looking for a small to mid-sized, high-end reel that’s simple, elegant, lightweight and built to last? If you are, then I would strongly recommend that you that you put the Exist 2022 from Daiwa into your fishy little hands. If you follow fishing trends then you know that the Exist series is Daiwa’s top-end spinning reel. You may also be familiar with the look of the prior version of this reel, it was kind of fancy, like a Lamborghini, stylized slashes in the spool, custom-machined gaps in the rotor arm, very cool, very glitzy, almost fashionable.
The 2022 model takes a step in the opposite direction, this time they skipped the racecar alterations in favor of making it near-perfect, from the standpoint of functionality. Every little flourish on the Exist 2022 has a purpose, take for instance the flared lip on the bottom of the spool, officially known as the ‘line deflection skirt’ this little lip will keep your line from finding its way under the spool. And there are many other features to cover as well.
As Daiwa fans will already know, Daiwa has put a ton of work into the ‘drive train’ portion of their reels over the past few years. You may be familiar with their terminology such as MQ (monocoque body) which is a single-piece, sealed body which gives water fewer placers to find a way in and offers more space inside the gearbox for a larger diameter drive gear, giving you more cranking power. Then there’s the Touch Drive Gear, which translates to a digitally-precise drive gear and no ‘play’ in the cranking arm. Another component is Daiwa’s ingenious Mag-Seal technology that uses a magnetic oil and magnetized bushings to eliminate water intrusion through the crank and main shaft.
The reliability of these technologies has allowed Daiwa to move on to the spool, rotor, shaft and bail for further innovation. What they have come up with is what they call their Air Drive System. This system incorporates a rotor which is 16% lighter than its predecessor and is designed with an egg shape, ensuring a precise center of gravity; this eliminates annoying balance issues and translates to effortless cranking by virtually eliminating inertia. The Air Drive Bail is 33% lighter than the prior version and features an angled orientation that guides slack line directly to the roller to reduce wind knots. In addition, the bail mechanism has been redesigned for effortless use. The Air Drive Spool is simple elegance, all decorative flourishes have been removed to reduce tangling on rough edges. The spool is lighter and sleeker, all with the goal of making this reel feel like dream in your hands. The Air Drive Shaft wraps up this new system with friction free rotation, this incorporates a non-contact structure into the area that passes through the rotor—a fancy way of saying it’s a floating shaft offering nearly zero resistance.
The last, and perhaps most exciting feature of the Exist 2022 from Daiwa is the ADT-Type L Drag system. The drag stack has remained mostly the same, but the difference is in the way the teeth are beveled, this helps the drag activate more freely. Put another way, it makes it easier for a fish to start a run, which is a good thing for anglers because it drastically reduces the shock on your line and knots. This is going to help you land bigger fish, who wouldn’t want that?
The Daiwa 2022 Exist spinning reels are available in sizes ranging from 2500 to 5000 and range in price from about $860 to $930. These reels will find homes among anglers casting plugs from boats or kayaks for striped bass, casters from all platforms chasing albies, bonito and Spanish macks and they will make excellent river reels for anyone heading to the Salmon River for steelhead, giant browns or other powerful salmonids. Check them out at your local retailer today or visit their website for more information.