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Thread: Penn or Shimano

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    I was at j&m yesterday and he's got some nice size Penn 3000 to 4000 rod and reel combos for around $150 bucks ..I'd look into that

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  3. #12
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
    Orange Beach, AL
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    I tend to buy reels like I used to buy beer---whatever is on sale, but I tend to have a lot more Penn tackle than any others.

  4. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Orange Beach, AL.
    Thanked 531 Times in 95 Posts
    Great advice so far. This is my unbiased, unpaid, unaffiliated opinion.

    Comparing the Sedona to a Stradic or Saragossa is NIL other than they're made by the same company. (both are great reels though for their price)

    Shimano Saragossa Reels are pretty heavy/bulky for pier fishing and pricey but they are work horses.
    They start at the 5000 size (imho, doesn't hold enough braided line for the big smoker king you'll get occasionally). Reel is a 10/10 though in terms of quality, they last a long time and are proven.

    The Shimano Stradics FL's are amazing reels, I have caught plenty of fish on them varying from small Trout to mid size AJ's. They offer sizes from 1000-5000. They're very finicky to service yourself but dang do they work great! They're pricey. Extremely smooth and light. Great Power to Weight ratio.

    I wouldn't bypass Daiwa either. The Daiwa BG is probably the best reel for the money IMHO. And they offer practically any size you could want. They're easy to service. Have pretty bullet proof internals. And I know many charters that put hundreds of hours on their reels and they still hold up. Did I mention the price yet? Very good value.

    Penn reels are great reels too! The Fierce is practically "yesterday's Battle I" I used to say the Penn Battle is the best reel you could buy for the money and easy to break down and clean yourself but now I believe it's the Fierce III's. They have the HT 100 drag system and are very good for the money.

    If you want a Proven reel that's been around (aside from upgraded modifications through the years) it's the Spinfisher VI (like David mentioned). They're IPX5 sealed, **not meant for dunking or reeling underwater** but hold up extremely well to the elements. They make almost any size, including live liners and long cast models. They're practically the new Chinese made bullet proof reel that should last many seasons and won't cost an arm and a leg to purchase. I know John G over at J&M Tackle usually carries a really nice selection of them if you bring in the rod you plan on using or plan on buying a combo. I would see what size fits best. Typically a 5500 or 6500 for Bull Reds, Kings, Jacks, Tarpon, etc. and the 3500 or even 2500 for everything else. They're braid ready but still provide plenty of capacity if you like using Mono.

    As David also mentioned:

    No Shimano or Daiwa is Made in the USA. Mostly Malaysian and Chinese made (but isn't mostly everything else too???!)

    There are no longer ***current*** production Penn SPINNING Reels made in the USA anymore. Pure Fishing owns the Penn Reel brand and they're all outsourced (Spinning Reels).
    You can find with a easy online search the Old production and "newer" production Z reels: 704, 706 and the other various models along with some of the earlier Spinfisher Series that were made in the USA. They're not "Shimano Smooth" but they'll last a lifetime with proper care. If you have a lot of $$$ and want to blind everyone you're fishing beside, you can occasionally find a Penn Torque Spinning Reel. (I've owned two. #1 Market price is way too high these days. #2 They're tanks, but extremely heavy, not smooth, and have minor issues)

    Only a few reels are Made in the USA and they are expensive, mostly for hard core surf fishing, and heavy. Such as the previously mentioned Penn Torque Spinning Reel, ZeeBaas (I own one, beast of a reel but not necessary), USA made older Van Staal's/

    Even the new models of Van Staal (owned by Pure Fishing currently) are made in China. (Yes, I know, a $750 reel made in China, Crazy !?!!)

    But don't discount the reels just because they're not made in the USA. There's plenty of good options out there.

    I hope this (along with every one else's great advice) can help you decide.

    Personally, I would go to J&M Tackle in Orange Beach, AL and talk to one of the guys, let them know your plans, and I could almost bet you'd buy and walkout with something that'd work great and you're happy with!

    Tell em Bama Saltwater sent ya
    Last edited by stephen.franklin; 01-22-2023 at 09:34 PM.
    ironman172, Dave, Pier#r and 1 others like this.
    Capt. Stephen Franklin
    Bama Saltwater Fishing LLC
    YouTube: Bama Saltwater

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  6. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Thanked 42 Times in 16 Posts
    So I wanted to report back on purchase and reviews. I went with the penn spinfisher 3500 with a 7’ medium action Falcon Coastal rod. First trip I caught probably 20 black drum, four redfish one 27” , one 25, one 22 and one 19. The reel was not as smooth as the Shimano Stradic but after purchase I added some reel lube and the reel became as smooth. The drag is great and the reel seems sturdy built. The rod has great feel and sensitivity and enough backbone to handle those redfish in 74 degree water in a boat. But not too stout to enjoy catching specks and flounder.

    thanks for the advice. Happy fishing.
    OldSpool, Pier#r and travis like this.

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