Penn Squall Lever Drag and Lever Drag 2 Speed Review
In this review of the Penn Squall Lever Drag and Squall 2 Speed Lever Drag reels we will take a look at why these reels are so popular reel for offshore fishing. Penn is one of the best-known brands in the industry and that is for a very good reason, they make an excellent product and they stand behind it. If you are looking for a quality conventional reel that is not going to set you back too much then either of these reels might be just the choice.
The Penn Squall Lever Drag is designed to tackle most offshore species of fish and it does a great job. The Squall Lever Drag reel is part of the Squall Family of reels that also include the Penn Squall Lever Drag 2 Speed, Penn Squall Star Drag, and the Penn Squall LevelWind. I will cover the Squall Lever Drag 2 Speed below and you can read more about the Penn Squall Star Drag HERE. Additionally, I have put together a quick side by side comparison of the Penn Squall Lever Drag vs.Penn Squall Star Drag HERE
These reels are is geared towards someone that is a bit more budget conscious and might not use the reel on a daily or weekly basis or someone that needs to say get 6 of these for setting up for Tarpon fishing. Overall this is a good reel and will stand up to punishment, but it is not the same quality as you will find on the Penn Fathom or Penn International that features a full metal body.
Features at a Glance
- Versa-Handle system
- Frame-flush ratcheting lever drag
- Line capacity rings
- DuraDrag® washers
- Forged and machined aluminum spool
- High-strength bronze main/pinion gears
- Five shielded stainless bearings plus roller bearing
A small but very thoughtful feature that has been incorporated into the Squall lever drag is the flush lever. The top of the lever handle is flush with the outside of the reel so that slack line will not get caught in between the lever and the spool. Another simple but thoughtful design element is the popup lug holders so that you can use them or not and you won’t catch line on them if they are snapped out of the way.
Squall Lever Drag Specs
For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.
|Model||Gear Ratio||Bearings||Mono Capacity (yd./lb.)||Braid Capacity (yd./lb.)||Max Drag (lb.)||Line Retrieve (in.)||Weight (oz.)|
The Squall 2 Speed Lever Drag reels are the big brothers to the single speed reels and are available in the three most common big game reel sizes. These reels are designed for your large offshore fishing expeditions while still keeping a budget in mind. The reels come in a 16, 30 wide and 60 wide with line capacities respectively of 1,000 yards, meaning that the 16 holds 1,000 yards of 16 lb. mono etc. This is very similar to Penn’s International series of reels.
On the side of the handle is the quick shift to allow you to switch between a slow and fast retrieve with the push of the button. Push the button in and you switch to a low speed and then turn the knob to move back into a high speed. This means that when you are fighting a fish you do not have to remove your hand from the handle knob to switch speeds.
Squall 2 Speed Lever Drag Specs
Here are the details for the 2 Speed Lever Drag.
|Model||Gear Ratio High||Gear Ratio Low||Bearings||Mono Capacity (yd./lb.)||Braid Capacity (yd./lb.)||Max Drag (lb.)||Line Retrieve (in.)||Weight (oz.)|
- Corrosion resistant
- Solid graphite construction
- Single or 2 Speed option
If you are a fan of Penn reels especially when it comes to the conventional reel then you have a couple of choices. For a reel that is a step up in quality check out the Penn Fathom Lever Drag Reels, Read the Full review HERE. If you have a bigger budget then I would recommend that you take a look at the Penn International V and Penn International VS 2 Speed reels.
If you want to try and stay within the same price point then I would take a look at the Daiwa Saltist Black and Gold which is even a few dollars less but not a lever drag.
If you are looking for an offshore reel that is not going to break the bank and is going to stand up to some serious fishing then the Squall Lever Drag and 2 Speed Lever Drag are great reels to consider. While the frames are graphite and some experts will tell you they flex and are not as strong as a full metal body, we have not experienced any issues under our normal recreation fishing conditions. If I were a Captain and going out with clients every day or if budget was not a consideration then I would opt to go with the Penn International series for a little more than twice the price. At the end of the day, the Penn Squall Lever Drags reels both have the same guts as the International but at a much lower price point.