In this article, I try to break down what I think is or are the best Penn surf reels.
Penn make a solid bunch of saltwater-appropriate reels, a few of which I currently own and I chose them for their robustness, power and durability.
Hopefully, you’ll take this as my honest view of the top Penn reels for surf fishing, but you are free to disagree or not listen to my experience of this popular brand of reels!
I have tried and tested countless reels over the years, but Penn is definitley one of the standouts for me. Penn is known for their high-quality and durable reels, and has become a go-to brand for many saltwater anglers.
For example, I heard that the Battle series of reels and particularly the Battle 3 has become one fo the most popular spinning reels on the market.
I tend to focus on spinning reels with my fishing, so this is my focus.
However, if spinning reels aren’t your thing, then many experienced surf anglers out there that use other reel types say that the Penn Fathom II 15SD is one of the best-casting surf reels you can find on the market.
Again, that’s not coming from deep personal experience that I have using this reel, though – for transparency.
That aside, let’s have a look at the best Penn Surf fishing reels out there.
Penn Reels: An Overview
As an avid surf fisherman, I have handled, fished and sometimes broken many different reels over the years. But… I always come back to Penn Reels, and they make up the majority of my reel stable.
Penn has been up there with the leaders in the fishing industry for over 80 years, and their reels are known for their durability, reliability, and exceptional performance.
What I love about quality Penn reels is their full-metal body construction – I just love the feel. Even the inexpensive Spinfisher SSM snapper reel models feel great.
Penn reels typically can withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing.
Penn Reels are also known for their smooth and powerful drag systems. Both Penn’s Dura-Drag and HT-100 drag systems deliver surprising stopping power and smoothness too.
The sound of Penn drag beats all I believe too 🙂
Another great feature of Penn Reels is their versatility. Whether you are targeting small panfish or large game fish, Penn has a reel that will meet your needs. They offer a variety of sizes and models, so you can choose the perfect reel for your specific fishing situation.
Top Penn Reels for Surf Fishing that I own or have reviewed
As an avid surf fisherman, I know how important it is to have a reliable and durable reel. When it comes to Penn reels, there are several options to choose from. Here are my top picks for the best Penn reels for surf fishing:
Penn Spinfisher VI
The Penn Spinfisher VI is a great option for surf fishing. It has a sealed drag system that can handle saltwater and sand, and it comes in a range of sizes to fit your needs. The full-metal body and sideplate make it durable, and the line capacity rings help you keep track of your line. Plus, the Spinfisher VI has a long cast spool that allows you to cast further.
Penn Spinfisher VI at a glance
- Best for: Anglers that typically get wet! Fishing in or close to the breaking shore waves. Also a top choice for kayak anglers.
- Sizes: Long cast: 5500, 6500, 7500.
- Drag: 20lbs max drag on all the above sizes
- Line capacity: 430yds/30lb braid on the 6500 size
- Weight: 24.4oz
- Performance: 4.8 stars
- Durability: 4.9 stars
- Value for Money: 4.7 stars
Penn Battle III
The Penn Battle III is a versatile reel that can be used for both surf fishing and inshore fishing. It has a full-metal body and sideplate, as well as a sealed drag system that can handle saltwater. The Battle II also has a line capacity ring and a long cast spool for distance casting. It’s a great all-around reel that won’t let you down.
Penn Battle III at a glance
- Best for: Those with a slightly tighter budget willing to trade off a little performance compared to the Daiwa BG.
- Sizes: 1000 up to 10,000, with faster gear ratios in the larger models (4k, 6k, 8k).
- Drag: Max drag of 15lbs on the 4000 model.
- Line capacity: 185yds / 30lb braid
- Weight: 12.2oz on the 4000 size, jumps to 20.8oz on the 6000
- Performance: 4.7 stars
- Durability: 4.8 stars
- Value for Money: 4.8 stars
Penn Conflict II
The Penn Conflict II is a lightweight and smooth reel that’s great for surf fishing. It has a full-metal body and sideplate, as well as a sealed drag system that can handle saltwater. The Conflict II also has a line capacity ring and a long cast spool for distance casting. It’s a great option for those who want a high-performance reel that won’t weigh them down.
Penn Conflict 2 at a glance
- Best for: Long casting with lures due to lighter weight
- Sizes: 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000.
- Drag: 13lb, 15lb, 18lb, 20lb, 22lb
- Line capacity: 265yds/30lb braid on the 5000 size, 590yds 30lb/braid on the 7000 size.
- Weight: 16.8oz on the 5000, 21.7oz on the 7000 size
3 Alternative Top Penn Saltwater Spinning reels
Penn Slammer VI
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty reel, the Penn Slammer III is a great choice. It has a full-metal body and sideplate, as well as a sealed drag system that can handle big fish. The Slammer III also has a line capacity ring and a long cast spool for distance casting. Overall, this reel is a workhorse that can handle anything you throw at it.
Penn Fierce VI
The Penn Fierce III is a budget-friendly option that still delivers great performance. It has a full-metal body and sideplate, as well as a sealed drag system that can handle saltwater. The Fierce III also has a line capacity ring and a long cast spool for distance casting. It’s a great choice for those who want a quality reel without breaking the bank.
Penn Clash II
The Penn Clash II is another lightweight option that’s great for surf fishing. It has a full-metal body and sideplate, as well as a sealed drag system that can handle saltwater. The Clash II also has a line capacity ring and a long cast spool for distance casting. It’s a great choice for those who want a smooth and reliable reel that’s easy to handle.
Overall, Penn reels are a great choice for surf fishing. Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty workhorse or a budget-friendly option, there’s a Penn reel that will fit your needs.
Key Features to Consider
When it comes to choosing the best Penn reel for surf fishing, there are several key features to consider. These features will help ensure that you are getting a reel that is durable, reliable, and able to handle the demands of surf fishing.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are important considerations when choosing a Penn reel for surf fishing.
A reel that is too heavy can be difficult to handle, especially when casting for long periods.
On the other hand, a reel that is too light may not be strong enough to handle the weight of larger fish.
It’s important to find a balance between weight and strength, and choose a reel that is comfortable to use for extended periods.
A good drag system will provide smooth, consistent drag pressure, allowing you to tire out fish without putting too much strain on the line.
The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system provides excellent strength and durability.
Line capacity is another important consideration when choosing a Penn reel for surf fishing.
You want a reel that can hold enough line to handle the demands of surf fishing, without being too bulky or heavy.
Look for a reel with a large line capacity, such as the Penn Spinfisher VI 6500, which can hold up to 330 yards of 30-pound braid.
The gear ratio is another important consideration when choosing a Penn reel for surf fishing.
A higher gear ratio will allow you to retrieve your line more quickly, which can be important when fishing in fast-moving currents. Often I want to pull lures fast to encourage fish to chase them down and strike.
Gear ratios of at least 5.5:1 are a good minimum benchmark, I find.
Corrosion resistance is also an important consideration when choosing a Penn reel for surf fishing.
Saltwater can be extremely corrosive, and can quickly damage a reel that is not properly protected.
Look for a reel with a sealed drag system and corrosion-resistant materials, such as the Penn Slammer IV, which is made with a full-metal body and sideplate for maximum durability.
Comparing Penn Reels
As an avid surf fisherman, I have used a variety of Penn reels over the years. In this section, I will compare some of the most popular Penn reels and highlight their differences.
Penn Spinfisher VI vs Penn Slammer VI
The Penn Spinfisher VI and Penn Slammer III are both excellent reels for surf fishing. I own a 4500 Spinfisher VI, and they are known for durability and smooth drag system, while the Slammer III is praised for its power and reliability. Here’s a quick breakdown of their differences:
|Spinfisher VI||Durable, smooth drag system, long-lasting||Slightly heavier than Slammer III|
|Slammer III||Powerful, reliable, lightweight||Quite a bit more expensive|
Penn Battle III vs Penn Fierce VI
The Penn Battle III and Penn Fierce IV are two of the most popular reels for surf fishing. Both are known for their smooth drag systems and ease of use. Here’s how they compare:
|Battle III||Smooth drag system, easy to use, great value||Not as durable as more expensive reels|
|Fierce IV||Smooth drag system, lightweight, affordable||Not as powerful as Battle II|
Penn Conflict II vs Penn Clash II
The Penn Conflict II and Penn Clash II are both high-end reels that are designed for serious surf fishermen. They are both known for their durability and power. Here’s a quick comparison:
|Conflict II||Extremely durable, smooth drag system||Some flex in the RR30 body under strain|
|Clash II||Powerful, lightweight, great value||Not as durable as Conflict II|
When it comes to surf fishing reels, Penn is known for producing high-quality reels that can withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing.
While some of their models can be quite expensive, there are also options for those on a budget.
As someone who has been surf fishing for years, I understand the importance of finding a reel that won’t break the bank. Luckily, Penn offers several budget-friendly options that still provide excellent performance.
Here are some budget-friendlyu options if you want to get started in the Penn world:
Penn Battle 2
This reel offers a lot of features typically found on more expensive models.
It has a full metal body, sideplate, and rotor, as well as a machined and anodized aluminum spool.
The Battle II also has a HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, which provides smooth and consistent drag pressure.
Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel.
This reel is perfect for beginners or those on a tight budget.
Despite its low price, the Pursuit III still features a lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite body and rotor, as well as an oiled felt drag system that provides smooth drag performance.
Maintenance and Cleaning
As an avid surf fisherman, I know that maintaining and cleaning your fishing gear is essential to ensure it lasts for years to come. This is especially true for reels that are exposed to the corrosive effects of saltwater.
When it comes to Penn reels, they are known for their durability and reliability. However, even the best reels need proper maintenance and cleaning to keep them in top condition.
Here are a few tips on how to maintain and clean your Penn reel for surf fishing:
- After each use, rinse your reel with freshwater to remove any salt and sand that may have accumulated on it. Be sure to remove the spool and rinse it separately to ensure that all parts are thoroughly cleaned.
- Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the reel. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents that can damage the reel’s finish.
- Apply a few drops of reel oil to the moving parts of the reel, such as the handle, bail, and spool. This will help to lubricate the parts and prevent corrosion.
- If you notice any signs of corrosion, such as rust or discoloration, clean the affected area with a rust remover and then apply a corrosion inhibitor to prevent further damage.
- Store your reel in a cool, dry place when not in use. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or in a damp area, as this can lead to rust and corrosion.
By following these simple maintenance and cleaning tips, you can ensure that your Penn reel for surf fishing stays in top condition and provides you with years of reliable use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size Penn reel for shark fishing?
When it comes to shark fishing, you’ll want a reel that can handle the weight and power of these big fish. A Penn reel in the 8000-10000 size range is recommended for shark fishing. These reels have a strong drag system, high line capacity, and are built to handle heavy loads.
Is a 5000 size reel good for surf fishing?
A 5000 size reel can be used for surf fishing, but it may not be the best option for all situations. It’s important to consider the size and weight of the fish you’ll be targeting, as well as the conditions you’ll be fishing in. A larger reel, such as the Penn Battle III in the 6000-8000 size range, may be better suited for surf fishing in rough conditions or targeting larger fish.
What makes a good surf casting reel?
A good surf casting reel should have a strong and smooth drag system, high line capacity, and be able to handle heavy loads. It should also be durable and able to withstand exposure to saltwater and sand. Look for reels with sealed bearings, corrosion-resistant materials, and a sturdy frame.
How much does a surf fishing reel cost?
The cost of a surf fishing reel can vary depending on the brand, model, and features. Entry-level surf fishing reels can cost around $50-100, while high-end models can cost upwards of $500. It’s important to find a reel that fits your budget and fishing needs.
- Simple habits to hook up more fish
- Quick and easy to implement on your next fishing trip
- Don't pay any more money on gear.
Just ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW, and get the FREE resource, NOW!
We are reader-funded and objective. To keep afloat, sometimes we earn a small commission when you click a link. Castandkayak.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.