Daiwa Daiwa Smelthead DX: Immaculate Design

DAIWA’s new artisan Smelthead DX is the first-of-its-kind saltwater grade underspin jig.

FOOTHILL RANCH, CA – The art world has famed realists like Winslow Homer and Edgar Degas. High fashion has Valentino and Christian Dior. Even modern automotive design has Henry Fisker and Elon Musk. So, what about fishing? In the likes of lures, perhaps no one is more heralded for their contemporary designs than Hiroshi Nishine.

Nishine’s website says it like this: “Hiroshi Nishine’s missions is simple – to stop at nothing and develop the most effective fishing lures in the world. His obsessive attention to detail, precision engineering, and endless testing ensure that nothing is left to chance. Even in mass production, Hiroshi still hand-carves the master prototype from which each mold is made.”

So, when DAIWA set out to develop the world’s first ever saltwater grade underspin jig, Nishine was their first and only call. Welcome the Smelthead DX underspin jig.

“We wanted to bring the new and popular bass fishing jig to saltwater,” said DAIWA Field Marketing Manager, Chris Martin, the company knowing underspin jigs could be equally as effective nearshore and offshore as they are on lakes and reservoirs.

As with everything DAIWA does, the Smelthead DX is fully intellectualized in design, starting with its extraordinary head shape. “The line-tie placement on the sculpted head forces the nose of the jig downward, almost like a lipless crankbait,” said Martin. “This downward angle allows the short arm of the underspin the freedom to spin and flash.”

The shape of the blade is unique, too, its upper and lower curves causing the blade to spin in a tight rotation, not striking the body of the jig. Keeping the blade tight to the body is also crucial as it forces predators to take the entire lure rather than merely striking the flashing blade.

The Smelthead DX’s hooks are perilously sharp, and nickel plated for maximum corrosion resistance. And its elongated bait-keeper is designed to keep plastics sturdily in place without requiring a dot of superglue.

How do you fish DIAWA’s new Smelthead DX? Martin says there are multiple methods. “In the most elementary style, you can simply cast and retrieve it, either maintaining a steady pull, or letting the Smelthead DX swing pendulum-style to explore depths. You can also let it settle and then bump it along the bottom in less snaggy areas. It also performs well straight-up vertical jigging, especially if you’re on a drift and covering water.”

A wealth of species is on the hitlist, too. “Consider the Smelthead DX a winner for striped bass, flounder, cod, cobia, snook, tarpon, redfish, and jacks,” said Martin. In western waters, Martin says the Smelthead DX is effective on calico bass, rockfish, lingcod, and cabrilla. Basically, anything that will smack a well placed soft plastic. 

The heavier weights of the Smelthead DX – 1 oz. and 1.5 oz. – make it effective out to 100 feet of water, and everything therein.

Although the Smelthead DX pairs perfectly with a wealth of larger soft plastic swimbaits and grubs, DAIWA’s new 6-inch Tournament D-FIN swimbait was created specifically to partner with the Smelthead DX. The size, shape, length, and action are a match made in heaven.  

Color-wise, Martin says the array covers wide ranging water conditions. “Chartreuse Green Back, Fire Orange, and Motor Oil feature UV paint for added visibility in darker water, whereas the more natural Flake Pearl, Smelt, Gun Metal, and Black Back are geared for clearer conditions.” 


  • Saltwater Grade
  • Nearshore and offshore applications
  • Exclusive Hiroshi Nishine underspin design
  • Unique head shape and line-tie placement for downward action
  • High rotation blade located tight to the body
  • Nickel plated hook for sharpness and corrosion resistance
  • Extended bait-keeper locks plastics in place
  • 1 oz. and 1.5 oz. sizes
  • 7 colors: Chartreuse Green Back (UV), Fire Orange (UV), Motor Oil (UV), Flake Pearl, Smelt, Gun Metal, and Black Back

MSRP $9.99

About Daiwa

Daiwa’s first spinning reel rolled off the assembly line in 1955. Since then, the company has grown into one of the largest and most influential tackle companies in the world today. To handle sales and distribution in the United States, Daiwa Corporation first opened its doors on September 26, 1966, operating from a small facility in Culver City, California. Today, based in Foothill Ranch, California, Daiwa Corporation sells tackle throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America. From the very beginning, Daiwa’s emphasis has been upon innovation and quality. The result is a long list of product features, design and materials that have become standards for the fishing tackle industry. Daiwa’s long-standing record of innovation has left a visible mark on the majority of tackle manufactured today and continues to advance the sport of fishing. Learn more at daiwa.us.