Fishing ReelsPenn Fishing Reviews

Best Penn Spinning Reel For Saltwater

By June 15, 2020July 15th, 2020No Comments
Best Penn Reel Under 100
PENN® BATTLE® II
5/5
Best Reel Under 200
PENN® SPINFISHER® VI
5/5
Best Reel
PENN® TORQUE® II
5/5

We recently covered the best spinning reels for saltwater fishing under 100, so go read that if your heart isn’t set on a Penn reel or your budget is around 100. Penn fishing is one of the biggest names in fishing tackle. And have proven time and time again that they produce the highest quality angling goods. One of their best known products is their reels. If you are looking to get yourself the best Penn Spinning reel, then rad through our guide and find what one suits your budget and fishing goals best.

If you do not have time to look through our guide, our choice for the best Penn spinning reel for saltwater is the PENN Torque II if you have a high budget. Otherwise i would recommend the Penn Spinfisher VI.

PENN Torque II

Penn has lived up to its reputation once more. Not only is this reel the best Penn spinning reel to date, it could be the best spinning reel full stop. Looking absolutely gorgeous in either silver or the popular gold this is not one to miss.

I have no doubts that this reel will last longer than my fishing “career”. I would go as far to say that this is not just a fishing reel, but an investment you can pass on for generations. 

Its high quality manufacturing, made in Philadelphia, is really made obvious when casting or reeling. All round a very good investment if you take saltwater fishing seriously. Pair this with a Penn Carnage fishing rod and you have a rig that lasts a lifetime.

For this reel Penn have updated the gearing using a bronze main gear and a stainless pinion gear, making this the strongest highest quality materials Penn offer. Not only this, but the coating they use on the carbon fiber elements is top secret and they guarantee that this reel will NEVER corrode.   

The torque handle feels great, sturdy yet comfortable to use for extended periods of time. The handle doesn’t fold though, so it’s a large reel to store. But at this price point i don’t think that’s an issue.

It has an incredibly smooth action, especially for a fully sealed reel. This does cause an occasional squeak when reeling in, but it’s a small price to pay for a casing which fully shields the mechanisms from corrosion. 

One thing to note on the spool is that there is no line snap. Something which features on a few of Penn’s recent additions. The line snap is what allows you to hold line in place whilst you are not using your reel.

Pros 

  • Gorgeous Design
  • Guaranteed Corrosion Resistant
  • Buttery Smooth Reeling
  • Highest Quality Manufacturing

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No line snap

Penn Spinfisher VI

Penn has improved upon the previous Spinfisher models and created the Penn Spinfisher VI and has without a doubt created one of the best reels in the sub 200 category. One of the most satisfying upgrades from the Spinfisher V is the addition of an audible click on the drag. It makes fighting those larger catches a much more appreciable experience. 

The build quality can be felt as well as seen. Like the Spinfisher V, this is one of the smoothest rods on the market. Achieving this whilst remaining one of the most sturdy saltwater reels. The reeling action is truly smooth and makes catching 40lb + fish much easier. 

The well sealed, corrosion resistant full metal body has a durability against salt water corrosion that means it will easily last 5-10 years. So far My Penn battle reels last about 2-3 years whilst my Spinfisher VI has already lasted for 5 years.

Considering there is a 50-80 price difference. There is barely any comparison between this and the Penn battle. The Penn battle received criticism for shoddy line lay nearing the edges of the spool. The line lay on the Spinfisher, however, is almost perfect. Very tight, very evenly spread and one of the biggest pro’s this reel provides.The biggest improvement from the Penn Battle 2.

This is my favourite saltwater reel for casting from the banks. I went for the 6500LC and with this you will be casting twice the distance that the anglers next to you will reach. Even if they are using conventional rod and reels combos. I paired mine with a heavy 10 ft rod and it has improved my surf fishing and saltwater shore fishing in general.

I would recommend this for any angler who is looking to step up their game but doesn’t want to commit to a reel that costs 500+. This reel is capable of holding a long, heavy pound line, casting great distances and catching heavy fish without breaking the bank. This is my best value Penn saltwater reel.

Pros 

  • Completely Watertight
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Smooth Reeling
  • Long Casts

Cons 

  • None in my opinion

Penn Battle II

The ever popular Penn Battle II finds itself at 3rd place on my list today. The sleek black and gold full metal body comes with great corrosion resistance and a gorgeous design.
If you have read my budget saltwater reel guide you will know that i actually don’t rate this as highly as the Daiwa counterpart. However this is the best Penn reel under 100. You can often find this for 60-80.
The reeling experience is fairly smooth and what you would expect of a reel at this price range. (unless you have sampled the Daiwa BG) It is lightweight and is ergonomically really pleasant.
If you are going after larger fish then i would upgrade the spool. The stock spool is fine for 15lb drag. The signature HT-100 carbon fiber drag system is great and with larger more expensive models reaches 30lbs+ of drag.
I would recommend this if you really want to use a Penn reel. If brand doesn’t matter so much. Go for the Daiwa at this price point.

Pros 

  • Smooth Reeling
  • Sleek Design
  • Large Spool
  • Price
  • Corrosion Resistant

Cons 

  • Only 5 bearings

Penn Clash

This has to be one of the most fun reels to fish with, I personally went for the 2000 size for inshore fishing but have used the 5000 and 6000 for offshore saltwater fishing. The 4000 + comes with a spool of line easily strong enough to catch 30lb fish right out of the box. I would recommend the size 2000 for inshore fishing.

This is in my top 3 best looking reels. Penn’s quality shines through making this an extremely strong, corrosion resistant reel that remains surprisingly lightweight. This is a slightly older model and if you can find this on a deal then its well worth it. But if you are looking for a budget option, go for the Penn Battle. Or if this is around the same price as the Spinfisher, then go for the Spinfisher.

The Penn clash is one of the easiest reels to cast and has a genuinely buttery smooth drag system. This reel uses Penn’s highest quality drag system, the HT-100 carbon fiber drag, which can be seen on models upwards of 500. For a reel in the sub 200 price range, you really can’t go wrong with this classic.

The biggest difference between this reel and the more expensive models, is that this is made in China. But this really shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Long gone are the days of China manufacturing cheap rubbish, in fact some of the highest quality engineering comes from there.

It would be nice if this reel came with a more luxury feel. A free carry case or an extra spool of line would really make this easier to recommend. For now, i would reccomend the Penn battle 2 for under 100 or the Penn Spinfisher 6 for under 200. Having said that, the size 2000 is an extremely great reel for inshore fishing and will give you endless fun on fishing trips.

Pros 

  • Classy Design
  • Corrosion Resistance Materials

Cons 

  • More Expensive than the Penn battle
  • Not as good as the Penn Spinfisher

Penn Pursuit III

With a 10lb drag capacity the Penn Pursuit 3 2500 is a fantastic value rod for beginner anglers. These reels can be picked up for less than 50 and are pound for pound one of the best rods on the market.

If you are looking to get a loved one or children to take up fishing this is the reel I would buy. The drag on this reel uses the same HT100 drag as the Penn Battle and comes with 1lb higher drag. So it contains some real quality materials. Most drags at this price point will use felt drag systems.

This reel offers a unique feel, where you could catch some heavier fish on it with ease but at the same time is lightweight enough to catch some smaller species like bass. It really is very versatile. 

This isn’t going to last the 3 years a Penn battle will or the 5+ the Spinfisher will. But what it does, it does great. And I would go as far to say this is the best beginners reel. If you are someone who kayak fishes then i would also recommend this for you. It’s inexpensive to the point you won’t feel bad damaging it or losing it to the surf.

Pros 

  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite Body
  • Very Good Value For Money
  • Carbon Fiber Drag System

Cons 

  • Not going to last for years (which is fine for this price)

Conclusion

You should be able to pick what reel suits you best from my top 5 list of the best Penn saltwater spinning reels. Really you need to find a reel on this list that suits your budget, your angling goals and looks the way you want to. After all it’s not just a practical piece of equipment but something you can show off too.

The best Penn reel for saltwater fishing is the PENN Torque II. However coming in at the 500+ price point is out of budget for most anglers. 

The best Best Penn Spinning Reel For Saltwater under 200 is the Penn Spinfisher VI. Not only is this the best Penn under 200. It’s also one of the best by any brand.

The best Best Penn Spinning Reel For Saltwater under 100 is the Penn Battle II. However unless you are set on a Penn reel, take a look at my guide for saltwater spinning reels under 100. There are options out there which are slightly better.

I would personally avoid the other Penn reels with the exception of the Penn Pursuit III which is the best Spinning Reel For Saltwater under 50 and the best Saltwater Spinning Reel For beginners too.

Saltwater Fishing Reel Buying Guide

Saltwater fishing generally produces bigger fish and more intense fights. Because of this, they need to be more heavy duty. Not just to protect themselves from bigger fish, but from the elements too. Before you rush into a purchase, take a look below and see what important factors you should be considering when purchasing a saltwater reel. 

Here are the most important factors to consider before buying a saltwater reel.

Corrosion Resistance

Saltwater reels need to overcome the arduous task of hours or days exposed to saltwater. If salt or sand gets into any crevice or mechanism, then the smoothness of reeling degrades or completely breaks down. If you take a freshwater reel out on the surf you will soon find yourself shopping for a new reel. Saltwater is damaging to the metals, plastics and components like ball bearings. 

This is the reason why any saltwater reel worth one’s salt (pun intended) must have sufficient corrosion resistance. The most important factor when considering a saltwater reel is; does it have housing which protects all the mechanisms. And is it manufactured with a corrosion resistant coating or material.

The ball bearings are the easiest component to fail; and if these fail your reel will need to be tossed into the bin. Penn Fishing has an excellent track record and all models are manufactured to an industry leading standard. Each price point increases the expected life of your reel so do keep this in mind. It is sometimes better to spend extra and not need to replace your reel every year or so.

Strong Drag

Unless you have pulled some really big carp or massive pike, then freshwater fishing wont prepare you for some of the 50lb+ beasts you can pull from the deep blue. Fish like these will pull freshwater reels apart if they don’t have a heavy drag.

The most common saltwater gamefish will be in the range of 10-20lb drag which even the basic reels on this guide can match. Sea Bass and Mackerel will put up a surprising fight but will be no problem.

If you want to fish for larger species then you will want to look for a minimum of 25lb drag. All Penn Torque models will do this, the Spinfisher and Battle models of size 5000 or higher will do this no problem too. Even the Penn pursuit 3 will do this with model size 8000.

The key point to take away is, the higher the model size, the larger the fish you will be able to reel in.

Line Capacity

When these powerful saltwater fish fight, they can make long runs on your line. This means that you need lots of extra line on your spool. So if and when they do run, you can let them tire themselves out. 

Typically, most reels are sold in 150-yard and 300-yard spools. For saltwater spinning reels you would aim for sizes between 2500-4000. These sizes will generally have the 150 yards with 20-30 pound braided line that you require. Larger models come with 300-yard spools with even heavier braids.

Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies

Having angled for over 15 years some would say i’m something of an expert. The trouble with learning from experience is, it never stops. Come read along as i review some of the most (and least) popular fishing tackle that you can buy. And join me on my journeys to catch some beautiful fish.

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