Best Penn Fishing Reel Reviews

Penn is probably one of the best-known names when it comes to fishing reels next to Shimano.  The reason for this is that Penn has been making fishing equipment since the early 1930’s. 

Not only has Penn been offering fishing gear for a long time but they offer a wide range of products from entry-level or low-price reels all the way up to high-end gear.

The sweet spot for Penn is probably in the mid-price range of reels and the offering is wide for both spinning reels as well as for conventional reels.  One category where you will not find any reels from Penn is in baitcasting models, for those you will want to look at other brands like Shimano, Daiwa and 13 Fishing.

If you ask someone what the best spinning reel is for under $100 you probably have a 50% chance of them telling you that the Penn Battle II is the reel of choice and it is a good choice, however, it is not our favorite only because we like lightweight reels.

In the lower end of the mid-price range of saltwater reels, one of the consistent winners is the Penn Spinfisher VI, yes it is in its 6th generation and is a nearly waterproof reel with an IPX5 sealed body and spool.

One thing that we can say with confidence is that if you choose to purchase a Penn spinning or conventional reel you will not be disappointed.

 

Best Penn Spinning Reel Reviews

Penn Battle II

Retail $ 99

The Penn Battle II is an all-around solid reel that will withstand the test of time and is offered at an affordable price.  While not the lightest reel on the market it is very well built with a solid metal body, sideplate, and rotor.  A carbon fiber HT-100 drag system and sealed stainless steel ball bearings round out this time tested reel. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1000-800022-445.2:1-6.2:19-305+18.1-30.2

Penn Clash

Retail $ 179

The Penn Clash is a few levels up from the Battle II and CNC cut gears and a slow oscillation system for level line control.  The Penn Clash uses 9 sealed stainless steel ball bearings along with a number of gaskets to handle harsh saltwater conditions and deliver a smooth spinning reel. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
2000-800030-404.7:1-6.2:110-308+18.2-27.2

Penn Conflict

Retail $ 129

The Penn Conflict is going to fit between the Penn Battle II and the Penn Clash when it comes to price and features.  The Penn Conflict uses what they refer to as a techno-balanced rotor combined with 8 sealed stainless steel ball bearings to produce very smooth retrievals. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1000-800022-445.3:1-6.2:19-307+17.8-29.1

Penn Fierce II

Retail $ 69

The Penn Fierce II sites between the Penn Battle II on the high side and the Penn Pursuit II, Penn’s entry level reel.  The Penn Fierce II offers a full metal body and sideplate in this inexpensive entry.  What you don’t get is sealed stainless steel ball bearings and the carbon fiber drag offered in the higher end reels.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1000-800022-445.2:1-6.2:17-254+17.8-28.4

Penn Pursuit II

Retail $ 39

The Penn Pursuit II is Penn’s entry-level reel that offers a graphite body and rotor coupled with a metal sideplate.  Pen uses an oiled felt drag system to deliver between 10-25 lbs of drag and a total of 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings that produce a reasonably smooth reel for this price point.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
3000-800025-324.3:1-5.2:110-254+111.9-27.4

Penn Slammer III

Retail $ 249

The Penn Slammer III is an awesome reel especially if you love to target those larger hard fighting fish.  The Slammer II won the category of “Best Saltwater Reel” at ICAST in 2016 for a reason.  Nearly waterproof with an IPX6 sealed body and spool design and a sealed Slammer drag system that delivers up to 60 lbs of drag.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
3500-1050037-434.2:1-6.2:130-606+113.9-43.1

Penn Spinfisher V

Retail $ 139

The Penn Spinfisher V is a solid offering from Penn especially if you are looking for a larger series spinning reel that has a good watertight design.  By coupling sealed stainless steel ball bearings and gaskets around every opening a near watertight reel is accomplished.  This is a great larger spinning reel for saltwater fishing that does not break the bank.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
3500-1050030-424.1:1-6.2:120-405+114.4-39.8

Penn Spinfisher VI

Retail $ 139

The Penn Spinfisher VI is the 6th generation of this tried and true reel from Penn.  Released in the Spring of 2018 the Penn Spinfisher VI added a smaller 2500 model and upgraded to an IPX5 sealed body and spool design.  The Spinfisher VI continues to use the proven HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that delivers up to 50 lbs of drag. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
2500-1050033-434.1:1-6.2:115-505+110.7-38.6

Best Penn Conventional Reel Reviews

Penn Fathom Lever Drag

Retail $ 199

The Penn Fathom Lever Drag would be the next step up from the Penn Squall Lever Drag.  The body is a full metal design as well as the sideplates.  The main gear and pinion gear are stainless steel and the drag system is the tried and true dure-drag system.  The reel comes in 5 sizes to accommodate most of your fishing needs. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
15-4027-604.8:1-7.1:120-40515.1-24.7

Penn Fathom 2-Speed Lever Drag

Retail $ 249

The Penn Fathom 2-Speed Lever Drag would be the next step up from the Penn Squall 2-Speed Lever Drag.  The body is a full metal design as well as the sideplates.  The 2-Speeds of the Fathom allow you to have a fast retrieval rate for the lure and then switch to a lower gear when it comes time to haul your catch in. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
15-6027-60H 5.0:1-6.1:1
L 2.5:1-2.8:1
20-40515.6-27.3

Penn Fathom Squall Star Drag

Retail $ 149

The Penn Squall Star Drag is the smallest of the Squall reels and is an open round or conventional reel that does not incorporate the level wind system.  The frame is compact and made of a graphite material just as the sideplates are.  The spool is made of aluminum and the gears are brass.  All of this makes for a reel that is strong and compact. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
12-4028-406.0:115-20714.4-19

Penn Squall Lever Drag

Retail $ 159

The Penn Squall Lever Drag is the less expensive of the Penn Lever Drag reels.  The body and sideplates are made of a lightweight graphite composite that has excellent corrosion resistant properties.  The main gear and pinion gear are stainless steel and the drag system is the tried and true dure-drag system.  The reel comes in 6 sizes to accommodate most of your fishing needs. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
30-6035-374.3:1-6.1:113-33618.2-28.1

Penn Squall 2-Speed Lever Drag

Retail $ 249

The Penn Squall 2-Speed Lever Drag is the less expensive of the Penn Lever Drag reels.  The body and sideplates are made of a lightweight graphite composite that has excellent corrosion resistant properties.  The main gear and pinion gear are stainless steel and the drag system is the tried and true dure-drag system.  The reel has 2-speeds that allow you to easily switch between a high gear for lure retrieval and a low speed for cranking power. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
16-5033/17-41/18H 2.9:1-4.5:1
L 1.5:1-2.1:1
26-40438.5-55.6

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