Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ridiculous New Gear - Penn Battle Reel!

So, I was at my locally owned tackle shop today, where they are getting ready for the opening of rockfish (striped bass) season this weekend.  Saltwater gear for big fish is flying off the shelves.   Trolling rods, planer boards, 80lb leaders, umbrella rigs, all that stuff (wow, that's also the list of things I hate about the first 60 days of rockfish season).

The store had just sold out of big game sized Penn Battle reels and the owner was standing there, joking about the ultralight Penn Battles, and about how he can never sell them. They run about $50 lower than the comparable Shimano Stradic line (which I love).  Like most Penn reels, the Battle is nearly all metal, and weighs quite a bit for its size.   Like most Penn reels, everything about it is smooth.  Unlike most Penn reels, it is not dipped in super gloss gold coating all over the entire surface of the reel.  Instead, its surfaces are almost entirely painted flat black.  It looks awesome!  The ultralight size (1000) was so heavy and smooth in my hand that it somehow inspired confidence at the moment.  Weird.

I half jokingly told the owner that I'd "help him out" by purchasing one for half price.  Drum roll......

After a bit more negotiation, I now own one.   I almost never get this excited about gear.  The Battle holds significantly less line (80 yards of 6lb mono) than the next two similarly priced reels down the line (Shimano Sahara, $69; Pflueger President, $59), so for multi-day fishing trips (a rarity for me, these days), this reel will not be a good choice.  But for my 60-90 minute jaunts to the water after work, it'll do just fine.   Looking forward to reviewing it here!


mike d said...

Hey RM,
I'm looking for a new crappie reel. I'll wait for your review before I make a purchase. I've only had one penn reel, and it was top notch.

Alex said...

We got four new battles to replace our old Penns a while back. Loving them so far!

River Mud said...

Mike, there are so many good light/ultralight reels out there right now, in the $50-100 category alone, that you can be really picky. The Shimano Sahara ($65) and the Pflueger President ($50) are top notch. The Penn retails at $90-100, and the Shimano Stradic at $120-160.

There are also several Okumas and Daiwas in the $30-60 range that are good fits.

RJ said...

Bad experience with the low quality Penn Battle.. after only 1 season ....Bail handle broke off...actually flew off during a fight with a striper....I washed and lubed my reel after every trip and made sure all screws were always tight but to no avail...doesn't spin properly and makes a clicking noise that if you search google others complain about as well.. Maybe I got a lemon....but I sure will never by a Penn Battle again. Would recommend Penn slammers or spinfisher reels from experience.. not the Battle