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Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel Review

Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel Review

The Penn Pursuit II or Penn Pursuit 2 is the entry level reel in the Penn series of spinning reels and is an affordable reel that features a very lightweight and corrosion resistant graphite body, metal side plate and a graphite rotor.

If you are looking for your first reel from a quality manufacturer and you are on a budget, then this is one that you will want to take a look at.

The Pursuit II was introduced to the market in the fall of 2013 and comes in 5 models ranging from a 3000 series all the way up to an 8000. Personally, I would probably only consider this reel in the smaller 3000 and 4000 models.

If I want a reel larger than a 4000, and I am going after larger species of fish, then I would want to have a few more features such as the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system found on the Penn Battle II models and above.

If you have a smaller budget or you are looking for a decent reel for your kid or another beginner angler that only fishes on occasion, then the Penn Pursuit II should be one of your considerations.

If you are going to spend more time on the water then I would strongly suggest that you spend more on a better reel that will last you longer.

The Bottom Line

  • Penn’s entry-level and very affordable spinning reel
  • Corrosion resistant graphite body and metal side plate
  • Proven oil felt drag system
  • A good starter reel for a kid or the occasional fisherman

The Penn Pursuit II provides good value in an entry level reel and is available HERE.


Graphite body and rotor – The Penn Pursuit II features a lightweight graphite body and rotor that is very lightweight and durable.

Metal sideplate – A metal sideplate is used for additional durability on the construction of the Pursuit II.

Machined and anodized aluminum spool – The spool is constructed of an anodized aluminum that has been machined for precision which means that you will have a smooth line release from the spool.

Line Capacity Rings – Penn has added line capacity rings on the spool to let you know just how much line is currently on the spool.  The rings are marked at 1/3, 2/3 and full line capacity.

Oiled felt drag system – Penn uses its tried and true oiled felt drag system on this series of reels to provide a smooth drag that ranges between 10 and 25 lbs.

Instant Anti-Reverse – 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.

4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings – Inside the Pursuit II, you will find 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.

Upgraded handle knobs – The 3000 & 4000 have what is called a paddle knob.  On the 5000 & 6000, there is a Football Mini and the 8000 features the football Jr.

 Features at a Glance

  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Metal sideplate 
  • Machined and anodized aluminum spool
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • Oiled felt drag system
  • Instant Anti-Reverse
  • 4 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. 

The Pursuit II is a black and silver reel that has 5 models between 3000 and 8000. The 3000 is going to get you started with either a max line capacity of 235 yards of 6 lbs mono or 280 yards of 10 lbs braid with 10 lbs of maximum drag available from the oiled felt frag system found on all the models.

Next would be the 4000, that maxes out with 370 yards of 15 lbs braid and 13 lbs of drag.  The 5000 and 6000 both share the same body and drag rating of 20 lbs, but max out at 410 yards of 20 lbs braid and 450 yards of 30 lbs braid, respectively.

The last in the lineup is the 8000 that has a maximum mono line capacity of 385 yards of 20 mono or a whopping 55 yards of 50 lbs braid with a maximum 25 lbs of drag and a nice 32″ of line retrieve per turn of the handle.

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

ModelMono Capacity (yd./lb.)Braid Capacity (yd./lb.)BearingsMax Drag (lb.)Gear RatioLine Retrieve (in.)Weight (oz.)
PURII3000235/6, 160/8, 130/10280/10, 240/15, 175/204+1105.2:12511.9
PURII4000285/8, 230/10, 170/12370/15, 270/20, 190/304+1135.2:12812.9
PURII5000255/12, 230/15, 160/20410/20, 295/30, 235/404+1204.6:12719.1
PURII6000295/15, 200/20, 185/25450/30, 355/40, 305/504+1204.6:12721
PURII8000385/20, 360/25, 260/30525/50, 430/65, 380/804+1254.3:13227.4


  • Price point
  • Penn brand
  • 4+1 stainless bearings
  • Proven drag system


  • Heavy
  • Not sealed
  • Missing the HT-100 drag system


For a few dollars more, you can move up to the Penn Fierce II and you get a full metal body, the Techno balanced rotor and the super line spool.  To me that is $20 well spent.  Read the full review of the Penn Fierce II HERE.

If you are looking for something that is fully sealed and a bit heavier, then I would recommend that you check out the Penn Battle II which is a quality reel typically around $99.  Read the full review of the Penn Battle II HERE.

Or if you want to take a look at a different brand, then I would recommend that you take a look a the Shimano NASCI that has a similar price point to the Penn Battle II.  Read the full review of the Shimano NASCI HERE.

In Conclusion

For the money, this is a good reel that will get anyone started with the sport.  It is a quality reel unlike so many of the super cheap ones that are found in the combo packages like the Ugly Stik GX2 combo that I bought for my wife and the reel is basically falling apart without any use, what do you expect for $10 more right :-).

Now don’t get me wrong, I really like the Ugly Stik GX2 as a rod and I think that if you paired it with the Penn Pursuit II you would have a great beginning outfit for around $80.

Overall, this is an entry level reel with minimal features that will get the job done at the end of the day.  After all, it is not the gear that catches the fish it is the angler that knows what he or she is doing.

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