Are Penn Fishing Reels Any Good?

Are Penn Fishing Reels Any Good?

Penn is among the oldest brands when it comes to fishing equipment, having produced reels on par with Shimano since the early 1930s. Naturally, they are a good brand with so many years of experience, and the fact that they’re still here proves something.

Some old-school anglers consider the older products of Penn to be among the very best, while the new ones being somewhere in the middle, but they do have top-notch gears as well.

This company has a variety of products ranging from entry-level/low price reels, all the way up to the top. Many consider the sweet spot for Penn to be in the mid-price range of reels. They offer a wide selection of spinning reels, conventional reels, however, the company is lacking in baitcasting reels.

One out of two people will most likely tell you that the best spinning reel for around $100, is the Penn Battle II. When it comes to the end of the mid-price range of saltwater reels, that would have to be the Penn Spinfisher VI.

Regardless, if you buy a conventional reel or spinning reel from Penn, the money will be worth it, as this company is a great choice for beginners and professionals alike. Here are some other things about Penn that you might want to know.

Which Penn Reel is the Best?

When you have a company such as Penn, with almost 90 years of experience, it’s impossible to refer to a single best fishing reel product. Instead, there are many which can be considered best at something, and here are the top 8 best Penn fishing reels, as of 2020.

Fishing Reel


Price Range

Penn Battle II

Spinning Reel


Penn Slammer III

Spinning Reel

~$184 – $443

Penn Fierce II

Spinning Reel

~$90 – $122

Penn Spinfisher V

Spinning Reel

~$137 – $296

Penn Conflict II

Spinning Reel


Penn Clash

Spinning Reel

~$157 – $209

Penn Z Series

Spinning Reel


Penn Torque II

Spinning Reel

~$699 – $799

As you can see, the top 8 Penn fishing reels are all spinning reels, and that’s saying something. Let us take a look at the Penn Battle II spinning reel.

Penn Battle II

The Penn Battle II spinning reel is among the best reels for around $100, and it’s great for saltwater fishing, suitable for big saltwater fish. It withstands heavy use since its full metal, but this makes it a bit heavy as well.

Its drag system is made out of HT 100 carbon, which ensures a powerful and smooth drag. Saltwater is known to be very corrosive, but the stainless steel five sealed ball bearings make the Penn Battle II corrosion-resistant.

The super line spool and the addition of line capacity strings are the best features of this model, letting you know how much line you’ve got left on your spool. Reel size from different models ranges from 2000 to 8000, while the gear ratio ranges from 6:21 to 5:31, and the bearing count is 6 for all models.

Penn Spinfisher VI

The Penn Spinfisher VI is the end of the mid-price range of saltwater reels from Penn. The size of this reel is 2500, with a 6:21 gear ratio. Its IPX5 sealed body and spool design prevent water from reaching the gearbox or drag system when the reel gets hit by waves, or when you spray it with water to clean it.

This model is also great for big saltwater fish, ensuring a stopping power. The max drag ranges to around 15 pounds.

Penn Pursuit II 

If you don’t want to spend too much on a reel, the Penn Pursuit II might be the answer. It is around $40, and it is available in five sizes, ranging from 3000 to 8000.

This model is quite durable for its price since it is corrosion-resistant due to its graphite body and rotor, and aluminum side plate. This reel is also lightweight, thus you won’t get tired very soon, and due to its ergonomic handle, you will have a comfortable reeling experience.

Penn Z Series

Considered one of the oldest Penn reels, the Penn Z Series incorporates the High-tech drag system of 100 miles / 160 kilometers to ensure the smoothness and powerfulness of pressure on dragging big fish.

This reel is almost indestructible since it combines metal with graphite, thus the bail wire is impossible to bent. The aluminum motor doesn’t add weight on dragged weight, and the spool is made out of anodized aluminum, preventing any obstacles or knots formation. Since it’s ratio is around 3:8:1, it only suits slow-paced battles. 

Penn Torque II

One of the more expensive Penn reels, designed for heavy-duty fishing missions, thus this isn’t for beginners. It has a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, and a high gear ratio.

This model has a “Dura-Drag” system which is higher than the HP-100 drag system. This provides extreme durability, and cranking power but with less tension.

The CNC Gear technology can overcome any fighting pressure while the sealed body and spool design prevent accidents. The Penn Torque II has a stainless steel bearing system with a super spool as well. This works out for an efficient spool casting working system as well as a retrieving system, and the reel also has an instant anti-reverse, this ensures control and bears a silent back up ratchet.

In 2006, this reel was named the American Sportfishing Association’s Saltwater Reel of the year.

Who Owns Penn Fishing Reels?

The Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company is an American manufacturer of fishing tackle, primarily known for fishing reels and rods, since 1932.

The Penn company was founded by the German immigrant Otto Henze, who in 1932 rented the 3rd floor on 492 North Third Street in Philadelphia from a general machinist firm, and completed his first two-reel designs, designated as the models F and K.

In 1933, the first Penn mark reels were sold to the Miller Auto Supply Company in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The company grew, but in 1948 Otto died, leaving his wife, Martha, in charge. 

Penn Reels grew from a regional presence to a world leader in the years that followed, and today it holds a unique place among saltwater fishing reels, having over 1,400 (IGFA) – International Game Fish Association world records set by anglers using their products. Currently, over 220 unique models are manufactured today.


Penn fishing reels are very good, extremely good, especially in salt waters. With almost 90 years of experience, and over 1,400 IGFA world records associated with the company, 220 different models manufactured even today, that says something about this company. Their products suit both beginners and professionals alike, so go out there and try it out.

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