Best Penn Spinning Reel 2020 | Top Models Reviewed!

Best Penn Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are used to attach to fishing rods. They are meant to help you reel is a fish once it bites the line, so that you can catch it with as minimal resistance possible. Reels are also designed to help fishermen cast their lines with great distance and pinpoint accuracy. Fishing reels are used both for recreational and competitive angling.

In this review, we will look at six spinning reels from Penn, but which is the best Penn spinning reel? For nearly a hundred years, Penn has been a renowned manufacturer of fishing tackles and other equipment. Which of their spinning reels is the one that we recommend to you the most? Allow us to go through each one and point their advantages and disadvantages out.

Product Name





Penn Pursuit II Spinning Reel

1.05 lbs



Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

(Editors Choice)

3.52 lbs



Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel

1.1 lbs



Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

2 lbs



PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

1 lbs



KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

13 lbs



Best Penn Spinning Reel Reviews

1. Penn Pursuit II Spinning Fishing Reel

The Pursuit II is known as a viable entry-level spinning reel that contains a lightweight, graphite body that can resist corrosion, along with a graphite rotor and a metal side plate. The reel overall weighs 1.05 pounds. Graphite however, does not hold up compared to metals and steel.

This spinning reel has an aluminum spool for a smooth cast every time.

You can crank fluidly with four steel ball bearing and an instant anti-reverse bearing. The anti reverse bearing is for solid retrievals without back play from the handle. These bearings are stainless steel, so that they do not rust from water over time.

This spinning reel also has a oiled felt drag system will allow a decent amount of drag pressure without giving up smoothness.

The handle is very comfortable to hold and use. This is a well built spinning reel, as we cannot expect any less from a brand name such as Penn.

If you are looking to fish on a budget and need a reel that does its job effectively, the Pursuit II is an adequate reel to get. With more expensive spinning reels with come more useful features. But do not guarantee the reel to do all the work with catching the fish, as it all comes down to the skill of the angler.


  • Does not cost a lot of money
  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings
  • Casts smoothly


  • Does not offer many features
  • Made of graphite

2. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Battle II is considered a premium spinning reel for anglers that are looking for more out of a capable reel. This reel is made entirely of metal with a purpose to last a number of years.

This spinning reel is mostly ideal against aggressive fish in saltwater seas. If you are looking for big catches, this reel can be very useful.

This reel has what is called an HT-100 Versa Drag feature. This allow tension from big, tough fish to be reduces from your line so you can remain calm and fight without feeling the aggression.

The Penn Battle II includes a superline spool that is braid ready and needs no backing. The capacity rings let you know how much line you have left on your spool, which is a very useful feature for when you are casting at great distances.

With an anti-reverse bearing, this reel works to eliminate kickback as you reel back in, for a smooth, flawless experience. You do not need to reel in your catch manually, and this is very useful for any spinning reel.

While the Pursuit II is light in weight, the Battle II is even more so. When you hold it, it does not feel cheap or flimsy at all, which is a nice surprise. This reel weighs at three and a half ounces.

Included with the Battle II are five stainless steel ball bearings. Like the Pursuit II, you can also crank very fluidly and work your rod with no worries.

While this is a great spinning reel, it can only be used with Spiderware or Berkley superline. If you do not own either of these lines, you need to buy them as well. If you are comfortable with using a different superline, expect some underwhelming results.


  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings
  • Casts smoothly
  • Is great for aggressive fish
  • Comes with an innovative drag system


  • Is limited to which superline you can use with it

3. Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Reel

The price of the Fierce II is in between the Pursuit II and the Battle II. This spinning reel comes in 21 different sizes and the right one must fit correctly on your rod. The sizes can be confusing, so refer to the information that has come with your fishing rod in order to determine what size reels that it accepts.

The Fierce II offers a full metal body for extended durability and lasting appeal.

Expect this to allow you to catch dozens of different fish before it is time to buy another spinning reel. You can also crank fluidly with this reel thanks to four steel ball bearings that are stain-resistant.

The reel’s techno-balanced rotor is a solid addition to the reel which gives the angler adequate torque and leverage when fighting with freshwater fish. You also do not need to muster a lot of effort in reeling fish in thanks to it’s anti-reverse bearing.

Also like the Battle II, this spinning reel is braid ready and needs no backing with its superline spool.

There are many similarities between this reel and the Battle II. The one thing missing from The Fierce II reel is the HT-100 drag system. While you do not need to fight large, nasty fish using this reel, it still would have been useful to undergo a calm, hassle-free experience when reeling a fish in. The techno-balanced rotor is nice, but the drag system simply offer much more.


  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings
  • Casts smoothly


  • Techno rotor is not as nice as drag system
  • You need to pick the right size out of 21 different sizes

4. Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

The Spinfisher V is considered a high-quality spinning reel that is more on the pricey side. With 13 sizes to choose from, you should expect phenomenal results with the right sized reel. This is known for help in catching saltwater fish.

Rather than the HT-100 drag system, this reel has the HT-100 Slammer drag system. This system offers a buttery-smooth drag and will prevent bail trip or any other mistakes when you cast out. It also has a techno balanced rotor.

This reel has a full metal body, along with metal sideplates. This reel is said to hold up well in wet and sandy environments. It feels great when you hold it and use it.

Like previous spinning reels, this reel too has an anti-reverse bearing for easier reel-ins and fluid cranking. There are also five stainless steel ball bearings that come with this reel.

The superline spool is present with the Spinfisher V. The spool is fitted with a gasket made of rubber that will prevent the line from slipping. You can also see how much line you have remaining with three capacity rings.

While the quality of this product of reel is great, it isn’t guaranteed to last long. While the product is claimed to be watertight, that is not entirely true with the product we have tested.

Watertight designs are meant to keep water, especially saltwater out of the gearbox and drag system. The Spinfisher V accomplishes this with its rubber gasket, but in this case, it usually fails to do the trick. Saltwater is known to damage delicately build spinning reels, so keep an eye out for what happens.

As long as you take great care of this reel, it should last you for the longest time possible. With casual wear and tear over time, you’ll end up looking for another spinning reel much sooner.


  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings
  • Casts smoothly
  • Comes with an innovative drag system
  • Has a rubber gasket for friction against lines


  • Is a vulnerable reel

5. PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

The Slammer III is a luxury spinning reel that offers much more than most spinning reels on the market. This reel weighs only one pound, and is ideal for serious fisherman for sport or recreation.

With a full metal body, this spinning reel has great durability. It weighs only a pound and is built as if it were created in one piece. It comes in ten different sizes, so look carefully to see which would be the best one for you.

This spinning reel is known to withstand countless saltwater expeditions. It is known to keep going after many mishaps associated with sand and water that other reels would easily succumb to. It is a waterproof reel with a high resistance rating, so saltwater getting inside of this reel is the least of your worries.

The Slammer III comes with two drag systems: HT-100 Slammer drag and dura drag. With most reels, you need to take it apart if it gets saltwater inside of it, in order to fully clean it. But with the Slammer III, all you have to do is rinse it in fresh water.

There are seven bearings total in this reel: six stainless steel bearings and one for anti-reverse rolling. These bearings are protected by the reel’s waterproof seals.

We honestly do not have any complaints with this reel, and the steep price point is what we believe to be appropriate. If you are not that serious into fishing, though, look to something that is much more affordable.


  • Is built wonderfully
  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings
  • Is great for aggressive fish


  • Is very expensive

6. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

The last spinning reel we will look at is the KastKing Sharky III. It is not made by Penn, but it still is worth checking out. It weighs only 13 ounces, which is a feather-like weight.

This reel is made of a thick body of stainless steel, stronger than metal and corrodes at a much slower rate. The drag is made of triple disc carbon fiber, used to hold its own against the most aggressive of saltwater fish.

This reel has a unique water resistant build thanks to what they call “KISS”, or KastKing Intrusion Shield System. If your reel falls into the water by accident, you do not need to worry.

The retrieval on this spinning reel is very smooth. With the aluminum spool, no backing line is necessary when you use your spool with a braid fishing line.

Included with this reel is an anti-twist line roller, so that your lines get no snarls or tangles, which can be such a fuss to have to deal with.

This reel comes with ten stainless steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing, so no kick back is expected from casting out.

With all that is included, this is a very affordable spinning reel. However, it feels nothing like a Penn spinning reel. After feeling and using a Penn product, it will be hard to switch to another brand.


  • Three-disc carbon fiber drag
  • Is made of stainless steel
  • Is very lightweight
  • Has anti-reverse feature
  • Comes with steel ball bearings


  • Does not feel professionally made

Here are other questions that you might have about spinning reel in general:

How do I choose the correct size fishing reel?

The fishing line that you intend to use often should determine the correct fishing reel size. The lighter the line you plan on using, the smaller you should go when making your reel purchase. You determine which line(s) to purchase by determining which size or weight of fish that you want to catch.

For example, if you are catching perch or walleye, know how big these fish typically are before you decide on the line you want to buy, which also would determine the size reel that you need.

What is a drag system on a reel?

The drag is mostly responsible for adding pressure to a fish that is hooked, in addition to letting line out as you struggle to reel the fish in. Without a decent drag, the odds of the fish breaking the line are very likely. You would like a reel that has a drag that is smooth and resistance-free. When you pull out your line, it should always be steady, regardless of what type of tension that you may have.

What do ball bearings in a spinning reel do?

Ball bearings are to make lines in a reel smooth and stable. Many spinning reels also have a roller bearing. The more bearings that a reel has, the smoother the reel is expected to perform. However, results may vary when it comes to different brands, such as with Kastking.

It is wise to buy the reel with the most bearings that falls within your budget. The bare minimum to consider are reels with four bearings. Less than four bearings will not allow the reel to perform smoothly, or well at all. Be mindful of the number of ball bearings in the reels that you are considering.

What Is Anti-Reverse in a spinning reel?

Anti-reverse keeps the handle from spinning backwards so that the hook can fly where it needs to all the time. All fishing reels nowadays should have anti-reverse features, and reels that have that backwards motion will ensure subpar casting every time.

Final verdict

After careful consideration with all of these spinning reels, the Penn Battle II is our most recommended reel to buy.

All of these reels to their jobs fairly well, which has made our decision rather difficult to make. How we chose the Penn Battle II over the other reels all came down to how much maintenance is required on the fisherman’s part to keep it in working condition.

All of them are housed with durable bodies and all of them are vulnerable to saltwater to varying degrees. While most of these reels are made of metal, you get a great value for what you pay for, considering this reel with a similar metal body from other reels costs much less.

The only caveat to the Battle II is the superline you need, but if you are trying out fishing for the first time, just take a note to buy either Berkley or Spiderware superline.

We like to share product recommendations with you and hope you like them! Just to make you aware FishingLab may collect a small share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.


James Williams

I love to write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the fishing. Hence, I started this blog to provide you guides so that you can have a better and more pleasant fishing experience.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Kevin B Ford - May 13, 2019

Thank you, I found your evaluations informative and helpful in my decision making.

    James Williams - May 16, 2019

    My pleasure Kevin I am happy my information helped, which spinning reel did you go for in the end?


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