The Okuma Azores and Daiwa BG spinning reels are two of the most versatile saltwater reels ever made. Okuma and Daiwa are both known for producing fishing gear with the best performance and build quality. These reels can seem very similar to an untrained eye, making it difficult to decide between the two.
In this guide, we review the Okuma Azores vs Daiwa BG spinning reels and help you figure out which one is best for your needs. While these reels have their differences, they’re both exceptional products, and you can’t go wrong with either one.
Okuma Azores vs Daiwa BG – what are the differences?
|Specifications||Okuma Azores||Daiwa BG|
|Price||Check Amazon||Check Amazon|
|Size Range||4000 to 9000||1500 to 8000|
|Gear Ratio||5.4:1 to 5.8:1||5.3:1 to 5.7:1|
|# of Ball Bearings||6BB+1||6BB + 1|
|Retrieve Rate||35″ to 47″||28″ to 53″|
|Weight||12 to 20 oz||8.5 to 30 oz|
|Maximum drag||13 to 20 kg||4.4 to 33 kg|
The table above compares the specifications of both spinning reels.
You’ll notice both reels are made from the same housing material, have similar gear ratio options, and feature the same number of ball bearings. However, the Daiwa BG has more size options and has more models to choose from.
Most important differences between Okuma Azores vs Daiwa BG
Let’s look at the most important differences between the two reels.
Smoothness: The Okuma Azores and Daiwa BG reels have very smooth reeling. These reels both have six corrosion-resistant ball bearings that won’t wear down even after years of use. When compared side-by-side, the Daiwa BG spinning reel stands out as the smoother reel.
The Daiwa BG has a unique Air Rotor system proprietary to the manufacturer. This technology makes the rotor lighter, stronger, and smoother than any we’ve ever experienced. It’s not only smoother, but the Air Rotor gives the reel more balanced and interactive, with a heightened amount of sensitivity.
Take Away: The Daiwa BG’s Air Rotor gives it smoother reeling than the Okuma Azores.
Gear Durability: Both spinning reels have their own proprietary gear technology. The Okuma Azores has High-Density Gearing, while the Daiwa BG has a DIGIGEAR system. These gear systems are difficult to compare because they both provide optimal strength and corrosion resistance. However, the Daiwa BG DIGIGEAR system has better-balanced qualities as the additional strength doesn’t cause a sacrifice in smooth operation and sensitivity.
After speaking to anglers who’ve owned both reels for numerous years, it’s clear they both have exceptional durability. Other manufacturers use cheaper materials for their gear systems, but Daiwa and Okuma make tough and long-lasting components.
Take Away: The Daiwa BG’s DIGIGEAR system doesn’t sacrifice smooth operation and sensitivity. However, both reels have equal strength and durability.
Drag System: The Daiwa BG and Okuma Azores both have phenomenal drag systems. If you’re anything like me, it’s likely that you frequently lock down your drag system all the way. When using a reel in this way, it’s important the drag system can withstand the initial force of a fish taking your bait.
The Azores and BG reels solve this problem in different ways. Okuma’s Azores reel features multiple washers that disperse the energy of powerful strikes through various internal components. The Daiwa BG reel uses a unique type of grease that changes in viscosity as soon as the drag is engaged.
Daiwa’s modified gear grease has the benefit of solving the problem of inertia without adding unnecessary weight.
Take Away: Both reels have powerful and sensitive drag systems, however the Daiwa BG compenents are more lightweight.
Sizes: One of the main differences between the Okuma Azores vs Daiwa BG is the amount of reel size options. The Okuma Azores comes in 4000 to 9000 reel sizes, while the Daiwa BG has a larger 2500 to 8000 size range. If you’re looking for the largest reel size for Azores 9000 has the largest size with the most line capacity. However, Daiwa’s smaller sizes have a higher max drag pressure than the largest Azores reels.
Because of the smaller sizes offered, many inshore anglers favor the Daiwa BG over the Okuma Azores. Deep-sea anglers will also benefit from the 33kg max drag pressure of the 8000 Daiwa BG compared to the 20kg max drag of the 9000 Okuma Azores.
Take Away: The Okuma Azores has a 9000 size option, but the Daiwa BG has greater max drag specifications in smaller reel sizes. The Daiwa BG also has smaller reel sizes for inshore anglers.
Weight: One area where the Okuma Azores stands out above the Daiwa BG is in weight. The Azores spinning reels weigh between 12 and 20 ounces, while the Daiwa BG reels weigh between 8.5 and 30 ounces. Even the largest 9000 size Azores weighs ten ounces less than the 8000 size BG spinning reel.
This has the most impact on the type of setup you’re building. If you’re looking for a reel to pair with a lightweight spinning rod, the Okuma Azores will offer better balance. However, if you’re not as particular about rod choice, the additional weight of the Daiwa BG doesn’t make it feel bulky.
Take Away: All sizes of the Okuma Azores are lighter than the Daiwa BG.
Aesthetics & Price: Okuma and Daiwa both make attractive reels with aggressive styling. The Okuma Azores features a blue housing with a silver handle, while the Daiwa BG is black with gold accents. Personally, I think the black and gold combination of the Daiwa BG looks wicked cool.
When it comes to cost, the spinning reels have a similar price tag. The Okuma Azores is slightly more expensive, but only by a few dollars. Overall, both of these reels are an insane value for the money, and you won’t be disappointed. I would choose either of these reels over many $200-$300 saltwater reels from other brands. Okuma and Daiwa put more effort into maintaining their build quality and ensuring their designs are angler-focused.
Take Away: The Okuma Azores and Daiwa BG both have aggressive styling and cost roughly the same amount. Both reels offer tremendous value for the money.
Okuma Azores Spinning Reel
Overall, the Okuma Azores saltwater spinning reel is an excellent value for the money. This reel is ideal for pairing with lightweight spinning rods. As with the Daiwa BG, it’s one of the most versatile reels on the market.
Okuma doesn’t sell the Azores as a combo, meaning you have to source your own rod. The Okuma Cedros Surf CSX and the Okuma PCH Custom Lightweight spinning rods both pair well with this reel.
Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
Between the two, I like the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel slightly more than the Okuma Azores. This reel has incredible performance, smooth casting, a professional drag system, and lasts a lifetime. The Daiwa BG also has aggressive styling that makes it look far more expensive than it really is.
If you don’t have a rod to pair with this reel, I highly recommend the Daiwa BG Rod and Reel Combo. This combo can be found in all reel sizes and offers the best performance. Fishing a quality-reel on a rod that doesn’t match its capabilities is pointless, and you’ll end up wasting your money.
Daiwa clearly put a lot of time and effort into ensuring their BG Rod brought out all the best qualities of their spinning reels.