Both Shimano and Daiwa are top-of-the-line reel brands and very similar in terms of quality, material, and practicality. Shimano edges out Daiwa if shove comes to push, but both are solid choices and better than most other reel brands out there.
Daiwa still produces a limited number of their fishing reels in their Tokyo facilities in Japan. These include high-end reel models such as the Certate and Steez. Most other Daiwa reels are manufactured in various Asian countries.
Today, most of Abu Garcia’s reel models are made in Asia. However, the C3 and C4 4000-6000 series of their classic round baitcaster reel, the Ambassadeur, are still manufactured in the original Abu Garcia factory in the Swedish city of Svangsta.
Contrary to common belief, Shimano reels are not made in the USA but Japan. Here, at the company’s headquarters in the city of Sakai, all of Shimano’s high-end, premium reels are manufactured and shipped out to the world.