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​Experienced anglers know that a great day out on the water can quickly get ruined by inferior equipment. They also know that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to have fun and catch the fish of a lifetime. With a seemingly endless selection of rods and reels on the market, however, it can be hard to know which products are worth keeping and which should get thrown back. In this article we’ll look at some of the offerings from Penn reels.

In the last few decades, Penn reels have gained a reputation for excellent quality and performance without the cost of the high-end equipment. Penn reels are most closely associated with saltwater fishing and surfcasting, but they also make reels for all types of fishing. Whether you’re heading off shore for striped bass or wading up a cool mountain stream for brook trout, Penn likely has a reel that will meet your need.

​Comparison Table

Peen Reels FAQ

​1. What Is Penn?

​Penn Reels was founded in 1932 by a young German immigrant named Otto Henze. He moved to Philadelphia and was working for a machine shop making fishing reel parts for the Ocean City Manufacturing Company. Henze found initial success with just two models of fishing reels and sales boomed with an increase in subsistence fishing during the Great Depression. The company consistently grew from that point and is now a leading brand in the fishing industry.

​2. What Types of Reels Does Penn Make?

​Penn Reels makes everything from simple spin casting reels to heavy duty bait casting reels. They also carry a line of rods as well as apparel and accessories.

​3. How Are Penn Reels Unique?

​Penn reels a different in part because of their dedication to quality manufacturing. The company’s high end reels are manufactured in the U.S. with a combination of American made and imported parts. Penn has a machine shop in Philadelphia to this day, and many of the performance reels feature stainless steel drive trains produced in that facility.

​4. Where Can You Buy Penn Reels?

​Penn reels are available through most outdoor retailers like Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. These days you can also find their gear on Amazon.

​5. Does Penn Make A Reel For You?

​If you are a spincast or baitcastangler, Penn almost certainly makes a reel that will meet your needs. They do not make fly-fishing equipment.

How We Reviewed

golden yellow penn reels

For this review, we chose six Penn reels that provide a representative look at their product line. These reels range from high-end to value-priced, but for this review, we focused specifically on Penn’s spinning reel offerings. We broke down some features for each reel as well as the price, warranty, and a few pros and cons to serve as a quick reference.

At the end of this review, we have also provided one overall top pick from this list of Penn reels. While our top pick may not be a catch-all reel that would work for every angler, we feel it’s an excellent product with the right combination of price, performance, and quality.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

Penn reels have a wide range of prices depending on features, manufacturing process, materials, and availability.

What We Reviewed

crop han on fishing

  • ​Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
  • ​Penn Pursuit II & III Spinning Fishing Reel
  • ​Penn Spinfisher V & VI Spinning Fishing Reel
  • ​Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Reel
  • ​Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel
  • ​PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

PENN 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel

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​Features

The Battle II is a high-performance Penn reel for those who want to target large saltwater fish with a spinning rig. This reel features an all-metal body and heavy-duty aluminum bale to give excellent durability when faced with saltwater. Penn has loaded this reel with several of their proprietary technologies, including HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers and their Superline spool. The Superline requires no back and accommodates heavy braided lines with ease.

This reel is an excellent choice for anglers who want to make the leap into a quality Penn reel but don’t need the power and performance of their higher-end products.

PROS

  • ​Premium grade spinning performance
  • ​carbon fiber drag washers
  • ​Superline spool
  • ​Braided line with backing required

CONS

  • ​More expensive than some spinning reels

Warranty

​Penn offers a one-year manufacturing warranty against defects on all of its reels.

Penn Pursuit II & III Spinning Fishing Reel

PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel, Black/Silver, 4000

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​Features

The Penn Pursuit II and III spinning reels are solid quality reels for anglers on a budget. With an oil-felt drag system and instant anti-reverse bearing, the Pursuit reels give lots of power for fighting big powerful fish. These are also tough reels composed of a graphite body, aluminum side plate, and a graphite rotor. A hard-anodized aluminum spool adds a functional touch that will appeal to hard-charging fishermen in tough conditions.

This reel would be an ideal choice for anglers targeting catfish, pike, muskies, and other large trophy species. At such an affordable price this could also be an excellent product for the ultra-prepared angler who always wants a backup rig on hand in case of emergencies.

PROS

  • ​Excellent value
  • ​Super durable and easy to set up
  • ​Good fighting capacity

CONS

  • ​Pedestrian ​design
  • ​Lacks premium features of higher-end reels

Warranty

​Penn offers a one-year manufacturing warranty against defects on all of its reels.

Penn Spinfisher V & VI Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Spinfisher V SSV3500 Spinning Reel

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​Features

The Spinfisher V and VI reels from Penn are powerful and high-performance reels for the demanding saltwater angler. These spinning reels feature a watertight frame and full metal construction, so they’ll hold up to years worth of abuse from corrosive saltwater. The HT-100 Slammer drag system will lock down on big trophies whether you’re offshore or wading on the beach.

Like the Battle II, these reels feature the Superline spool, so you won’t have any trouble loading it up with any line of your choosing. Another premium feature is the friction trip ramp. This bale system keeps large test lines tight and controlled for extra long casting even in high winds. With tough features and brass styling, this will be a great choice for experienced saltwater anglers who need a great spinning reel.

PROS

  • ​Watertight frame housing
  • ​Fullmetal design and construction
  • ​Excellent durability and performance
  • ​Sharp black and brass aesthetic

CONS

  • ​More expensive than most spin reels
  • ​Freshwater anglers won’t need many of these features

Warranty

​Penn reels warrant this product for one year against manufacturing defects.

Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Reel

PENN Fierce II Spinning

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​Features

The Fierce II spinning reel from Penn reels is a burly choice for freshwater anglers seeking a mid-level reel. This product features an all-metal frame and sides along with an automatic anti-reverse gear. Like their saltwater spinning reels, Penn has set the Fierce II up with their Superline spool. Their Techno-balanced internal rotors also help strip out line smoothly for long distances when you need precision on long casts.

Penn designed this spool as an excellent choice for those who need maximum power at a great value. Whether you’re cruising in freshwater for bass, wading for trout, trolling for perch, or heading out for stripers, this reel could be a perfect value-level reel to add to your rig.

PROS

  • ​Techno-balanced rotors
  • ​Auto anti-reverse
  • ​All-metal frame
  • ​Great value for mid-priced reel

CONS

  • ​Won’t stand up to much saltwater

Warranty

​This Penn reel has a one-year limited warranty.

​WHERE TO BUY

Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Clash Spinning Fishing Reel

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​Features

Penn’s Clash spinning reel is a big and powerful setup for anglers who plan to target a range of large fish species. This reel boasts precision CNC milled gears for long and smooth casting with a heavy line. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers on the Penn Clash will also give excellent action with some added durability when you’ll need it the most. What’s more, this improved drag won’t add any weight to your reel in a place you really don’t want it.

Another premium feature on this Penn reel is a resin RR30 body and rotor that shaves off some weight without sacrificing any power or durability. The Clash is a higher-end reel that will probably be out of most anglers price range. If you’re a hardcore spincaster looking for lots of power that you can depend on for years to come, then this could be a perfect reel.

PROS

  • ​Resin RR30 body and rotor
  • ​CNC gears
  • ​HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers

CONS

  • ​Not waterproof sealed
  • ​More expensive than some spinning reels

Warranty

​This reel is also back by Penn’s one-year limited warranty.

PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

PENN 1403984 Slammer III Spinning Multicolor, 5500

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​Features

Penn’s Slammer III reel is a premium level spinning reel for demanding anglers both on and offshore. This reel features an IPX6 waterproof sealed gear box to keep the saltwater and spray in the ocean and out of your critical action. Like the Clash, this reel feature a souped up action with precision CNC milled gears. Penn has taken this reel a step further, however, with their sealed Dura-Drag action that will help reel in huge trophy fish no matter the conditions.

A handsome brass handle also give this reel the top-end look you’d expect for the price. This reel would be a great choice for pro deep water fishing guides and weekend warriors who truly expect the best from their gear.

PROS

  • ​Superb action and performance
  • ​Totally waterproof gears
  • ​CNC miller precision
  • ​Brass handle

CONS

  • ​Very expensive
  • ​Probably more performance than most anglers need

Warranty

​This reel is backed by a one-year warranty.

​The Verdict

Penn reels have gained a well-earned reputation as one of the best choices for demanding anglers who aren’t afraid to spend a bit extra on their gear. Since their inception Penn has been dedicated to innovation and quality and those principles are evident in the reels on this list. Part of what we love about Penn reels is that they truly have something for everyone.

Whether your budget is $20 or $200, they have a reel that will give you solid performance and value. What sets Penn apart from some other reel makers in the industry is their attention to detail. Features like CNC precision gears, waterproof seals, and high-quality materials like brass and carbon make Penn reels some of the best made and innovative products in the space.

Our top overall pick from this list of Penn reels is that Clash spinning reel. This reel is a durable, powerful, and high performance reel for dedicated anglers who want one reel that can do it all. Though this reel is not completely waterproof, it does feature sealed bearings, so it will give plenty of protection if you plan to take this reel off shore for saltwater fishing. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag rings also provide improved action and durability without unnecessary weight.

What we really love about this reel is that it’s a high-performance rig and an upper price point, but it’s an appropriate choice for a range of anglers. You don’t need to be an expert guide to get the most from this reel. If you’re an angler that adheres to the old adage “buy it nice or buy it twice” then this reel is certainly worth a look.

Featured Image Source: Incomestorage

Last update on 2021-11-23 at 14:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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