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Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel Review

The Penn Fierce II or Penn Fierce 2 is a quality reel from a great manufacturer that has been around for decades which is why I have decided to do a review on it.  The Penn Fierce II was first released in the fall of 2015.  Penn has been producing a large number of reels and some of them seem to be very close to each other in term of features.  The Penn Fierce II slips in between the Penn Pursuit II which is the least expensive of Penns’ offerings and the Penn Battle II which has developed a reputation for being a rock solid affordable reel.

The Fierce II gives you a few upgrades over the Pursuit II such as moving to the full metal body, adding the Techno-Balanced rotor, an additional bearing, a superline spool and a heavier aluminum bail wire.  So this is a good step up for the additional $20 over the Pursuit II.

If you are looking for a solid reel in the $59 – $89 range depending on the size then this reel is well worth considering.

Features

Full Metal Body and sideplate – The full metal die cast aluminum body and sideplate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads and provide for a more durable reel in the long run.

Improved Paint Quality – The better paint quality protects the reel against saltwater spray and chemicals which will always lead to corrosion if you are not careful.  This was a reported problem in the previous model.  It is nice to see that Penn listens to the feedback of their customers and has addressed this issue.

Techno-Balanced™  The Techno-Balanced rotor is a trademarked rotor design of Penn and is engineered to provide a very smooth retrieve.  This when combined with the 4+1 bearing system makes the reel feel silky smooth.

4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings –  The new Fierce II incorporates a total of 5 stainless ball bearings that provide you with a nice smooth retrieve that will last you for years if you take care of the reel.  There are two on the main gear and two on the pinion gear plus the one on the instant anti-reverse. These are shielded against water NOT sealed.

Instant Anti-Reverse bearing –  The instant anti-reverse is a one way bearing that provides for a solid retrieve without any back play in the handle like we used to find in the older model reels with a racket style anti-reverse system.

Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire – The Penn Fierce II has an extra heavy duty bail wire that will withstand the test of time and should not warp over a long period of time. This is of importance as a warped or bent bail will lead to inferior line management and line lay when retrieving.

Superline Spool Line Capacity Rings – The super spool incorporates rubber inlayed into the spool which means that you can go direct to the spool with a braid of your choice without having to back it with mono.  The rings are marked at 1/3, 2/3 and full line capacity.  This is a feature that we are starting to see more and more with more fishermen choosing mono as their go to line of choice.

 Features at a Glance

  • Full Metal Body and sideplate
  • Techno-Balanced™ rotor
  • 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Instant Anti-Reverse bearing 
  • Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • Superline Spool
  • Line Capacity Rings

The Fierce II spinning reel comes in 8 different models ranging from the 1000 series with up to 160 yards of 6 lbs braid capacity with a 9 lb drag all the way up to the 8000 that has 475 yards of 50 lbs mono capacity with a full 25 lbs of drag utilizing the oiled felt washers.  The smaller 1000, 2000 and 2500 series can be hard to find at most retailers, but we have them HERE for you if you like to fish with a bit more finesse and the lighter gear.

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.

ModelMono Cap. (yds/lb)Braid Cap. (yds/lb)BearingsMax DragGear RatioLine RetrieveWeight (oz) 
FRCII1000275/2
135/4
105/6
160/6
130/8
110/10
4+175.2:1227.8
FRCII2000240/4
180/6
125/8
210/8
180/10
165/15
4+176.2:1309.3
FRCII2500255/6
175/8
140/10
240/10
220/15
160/20
4+176.2:1339.7
FRCII3000200/8
165/10
120/12
250/15
180/20
130/30
4+1106.2:13511.7
FRCII4000270/8
220/10
165/12
360/15
260/20
185/30
4+1136.2:13712.3
FRCII5000225/12
200/15
135/20
420/20
300/30
240/40
4+1205.6:13619.6
FRCII6000335/15
230/20
210/25
490/30
390/40
335/50
4+1205.6:14121.2
FRCII8000340/20
310/25
230/30
475/50
390/65
345/80
4+1255.3:14428.4

The Penn Fierce II is a quality reel at an affordable price that offers a number of quality features.  What I have found is that if I am willing to spend $60-$70 for a reel, then I can typically find another $20-$30 laying around (don’t order that large pizza this week) and then I can buy myself a slightly better quality reel that offers more features.

The drag system, while not the Penn HT-100 carbon fiber that you will get on the Penn Battle II and above models, is still the time proven oiled felt washer system that provides a quality, smooth drag that lasts for many years – if you take the time to maintain it properly.  You hear me mention maintenance in most of my reviews as I fish in saltwater and we have to clean up after each trip or our gear gets ruined very quickly.  For this reason, I like a reel that is fully sealed like the Penn Battle II better than the Fierce II.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Full metal body
  • Smooth drag
  • Improved corrosion resistance

Cons

  • Heavier reel
  • Wind knots
  • Not fully sealed
  • No HT-100 drag system

Alternatives

If you are looking for a reel that is even less expensive than the Penn Fierce II, then you can always take a look at the Penn Pursuit II which runs about $20 less in each size.  What you give up is the full metal body, one ball bearing, the Techno balanced rotor and the super line spool.  To me that is a lot to give up for $20.  Read the full review of the Penn Pursuit II HERE.

For a few dollars more, I would take a look at the Penn Battle II where you will gain the HT-1000 carbon fiber drag system and add sealed vs. shielded ball bearings.  Read the full review of the Penn Battle II HERE.

One more notch up on the scale would be the Pflueger Supreme XT, which is a high quality reel that does not cost a fortune.  The reel is made of high quality materials such as magnesium and even incorporates carbon fiber into the handle keeping the reel strong and lightweight.  Read the full review of the Pfleuger Supreme XT review HERE.

In Conclusion

This is a quality reel at a very affordable price from a well known manufacturer that will last for years, if well taken care of.  There are not a lot of features, so I would call this a basic quality reel that will withstand heavy use and it will not break the bank.  I would recommend this as a nice reel for a young angler that has learned how to not leave his/her reel in the dirt or under water.

This reel will not disappoint for the money.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel Review

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