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Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Old 04-04-2004, 08:50 AM
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Default Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Ok, here's a question that I am sure should produce a lot of input.

We're going to be rigging out a Tournament boat from scratch as far as reels and rods go. Question is, which is the better and more preferred reel choice, Penn International's or Shimano Tiagra's? Shimano's have been recomended by a heavy tournament fisherman that has had a failure with Penns that cost him a $500K payday.

Line up looks to be;
4-30's
4-50's
2-80's
2-130's

As far as Rods go, thinking seriously about "Bad Boy Rods", a custom rod builder out of Miami. Anyone have experience with these?

Input and advice from all tournament captains, mates, and fishermen will be much appreciated. And if there are any venders out there, your welcomed to quote. Email address is in my profile.
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Old 04-04-2004, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I have not heard of bad boy rods. I do know that Penns are great reels that have proven themselves over the years. There are always stories about a "brand" of rod or reel that broke during a tournament and people lost due to it. The failure of the Penn is low compare to how many are out there. With that said Shimano makes a great product. I have heard of drag issues with them. Again if its attached to a boat it can have a tendency to break for what ever reason. As for choosing one brand, I can say having read post after post on different sites that I think it comes down to a matter preference. Its like a "Ford/Chevy" argument. They both make a good trolling reel. If you not being sponsored and need pricing let me know I would be glad to help. Sometimes pricing makes more of a difference.
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Old 04-04-2004, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Our preference is for Tiagras and Accurates.... because.. WE had
drag issues with our Penns.... but that is just our experience.
They all make a great reel... it really comes down to personal
preference and what your experience with them has been.
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Old 04-04-2004, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I would go with Penns. They are American made and have been around for ever. The Penns are lighter than the tiagras. Also Penn is under new ownership and they fixed the drag problems. Check out the penn VS international series.
I've never heard of bad boy rods. You should take a look at Chaos rods or look at Cape Fear.
WWW.Chaosrods.com
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Old 04-04-2004, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Ask this on www.allcoastsportfishing.com - Hawk or Cal will chime in. They are west coast guys that make a living blueprinting/updating drags for the long-range fishing guys. These guys are fishing these things standup and putting heavy braid on the rigs to bring the big boys in. I would say that for up 50-60 lb line and standup, fish the Tiagra-16 with braid. The "Hydrothermal drag" is only in the TI-20 and up, and I've talked with a lot of folks that aren't real fond of that config. For that range, go with the Penn 30 & 50 VSW. Main problem you accept with Penns is lesser Customer Service when compared to Shimano - Shimano is awesome on this. I've fished a lot of rigs, and I'm tired of borrowing my friends TI-16, and will be putting one on a CalStar blank. IMO - the reels I'd get (and have some of ...) are: TI-16, Avet 4/0 2-speed, Penn vs. 50 VSW. Course, you asked about Penn Tiagra, not Avet...but as one poster said - you can't go wrong, they're all pretty awesome.
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Old 04-04-2004, 06:22 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

did you check out the new avet T-rex. "In addition to the MX -2's and EXW50, Avet we will be introducing the AVET50 QUAD T-REX! This reel will rewrite the record books. Featuring 4 carbon fiber disc, dual calipers on each side of the spool, 2 floating titanium brake plates and a 2 speed ratio of 3:2-1, 1:3-1. This reel pulls a mind boggling 100 lbs. of drag at STRIKE and 120 lbs. at FULL, weighing in at 67 ounces, it's light enough for stand up, however with a drag like this, i would definitely recommend sitting down. Selling price will be a very reasonable $999.00, very inexpensive for a reel of this type. Line capacity will be 1000/50 mono, though everyone will spool with 130 lb.or heavier Spectra"

this things looks BADA$$!
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Old 04-04-2004, 06:30 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

As others have noted, it's possible to have a problem with any of these reels. But my experience is that the quality of the machining and components is now better on the Shimano Tiagras than the current production Penns. The Penn VSW reels are Tiagra knock-offs and are quite comparable. I join the other poster who noted the excellent Shimano customer support -- my experience with them is excellent. I have switched all my rigs over to Tiagras and sold the Penns I had in the mix.

Never heard of the rod builder. A lot is in the components, of course. There are many excellent local builders who can put out a beautiful product -- just make sure you know exactly which butts, guides, and blanks are going into the rods.
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Old 04-04-2004, 06:49 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I agree with saltdog. I sold all my Penn Intls and switched to Shimano. Last season I purchased a couple of the Diawa SLTs and love them. GS Custom Rods builds all my tackle and does some special work. You wont be disappointed. His email is:
gscustom@aol.com

I will forward him your message.
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Old 04-04-2004, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Not exactly what kind of tournaments you're going to fish but perhaps you should forego the 30s and get some more 50s or 80s. Time is money in a tournament and fishing lighter tackle is a liability when a big one is on. Just my input, and you may have a good reason for getting the 30s.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:54 AM
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Default If you really want to spend $$$ ...

Try the Accurate TwinDrags. Quality and customer service are second to none. $$$$$ though.
I own Penn and Shimano gold and love both. All of my gold has been tuned by Cal or Cofe.

Syncerus
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: If you really want to spend $$$ ...

I think if money was no object, I would look at the Accurates first. I don't have any experience with them, but you hear they are awesome.

I personally would get the Tiagra's if you didn't go w/ the Accurates. I have been fishing w/ the Tiagra 50WLRS for over 2 years, and they are awesome!!! No problems what-so-ever. Have battled YF tuna up to 171lbs on them and still ticking! Just recently switched over from Penn 15LD's to the new Tiagra 30WLRS and while I haven't gotten a chance to break them in on our boat, have been fishing these model of Tiagra's on a friends boat for over a year, and they are truely amazing reels. If you go w/ the Tiagras, get the LRS'...worth the extra money IMO. The 30LRS actually has the guts of a 50 and the 50's have the guts of an 80.

If you are concerned w/ the price, you will find that the Penn's will be the cheaper out of the 3.

I also sent you a email on a dealer to contact for any of the 3 reels mentioned above.

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Oh, and I would look really hard at Chaos Rods....as well.
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:32 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Penn used to have a good deal going. They were just about the only game in town. There's a new sheriff now and it is definitely Shimano. I used to take my Penns in at least twice a year for repairs (washers and bearings, etc.). I have only had one drag washer replaced on a Tiagra 80 after using it for many years. I fish a lot and the only penn in my trolling spread are my teaser reels.
My advice on your line up is to ditch the 130's and get more 80's unless you are going after Bluefin. The 80's will work fine for anything you can catch. The 130's can be trouble mixed in with the rest of the spread. Bent butts are awkward and heavy to handle. Also, harder to have the chair set both for regular and bent butts. I would also add some TLD's for light tackle whites and sails. We've caught small blue marlin and even a small (110 lb.) bluefin on TLD 20 and 15, respectively. They can take a lot of punishment.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:22 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

For tournies most of the boats don't use gold 30s. They have shimano tlds 20-25. Then they have 6-10 gold 50s, 6-10 80s, and a couple 130s.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:08 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I just signed on with Avet and couldn't be happier. Check out their reels at http://avetreels.com/flash/main.html They are twin drag (in the larger models) and smooth as silk. They are also significanty less $$$ than some of the other brands. As for rods, I'm going custom Cape Fears on all my big game stuff.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:52 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

All this talk about - Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -mano customer service is pure bull$- Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -. You just wait until they discontinue a - Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -mano reel and they stop importing replacement parts. It's all good now but just wait. Their past performance can be an indication of their business model. You will be throwing those reels in the garbage like I have done over the years with - Sorry, I will learn to watch my language -mano's.
Yes I burn lots of drag washers in my Penn's on big Bluefins. I spool 30stw and 50T's with 80# line and crank the drag down. Most of the time I can resurface the drag washer and pop it back in. Penn always has the parts even for the little spinning reels I used in my youth! Things were good before the new owners. Time will tell if they run the business into the ground or kick these foreign intruders back to where they came from. It's your money buy what you want.
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Old 04-06-2004, 04:51 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

A real good friend of my takes 25 - 30 bluefins a year as a commercial fisherman

In 2003, the fish were up to 800lb consistently. These fish are like small nuclear subs when hooked going on unbelievable runs. He swears by the Penn 130's. Never had an issue.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:15 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

Gotta go with the penns lower cost better service and parts are easily found.Besides I have a few 706's that are older than me,and still catch fish,cant kill em'.....
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:26 AM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I've been running an 80 tiagra, 2 80 inter, 2 130 inter, and 2 130 tiagras. Both are good but without a doubt, it'll be tiagras for me if i need to replace anything in the near future. In my oppinion, fit, finish, operation of tiagras much better than the older series penns, now the new vsm (?) series penns haven't had a chance to use but hear they are comprable to tiagras. One thing you might want to consider is the 130 inter. have not been updated with the new shift mechanisms the newer inter. have. If you ever plan on using the gears, i'd suggest you try shifting the 130 int. gears then the tiagra's. I think this might help you decide which way to go.
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Old 04-10-2004, 12:36 PM
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Default RE: Penn Internationals or Shimano Tiagras?

I just finished purchasing many rods and reels. I decided on Alutechnos 50 wide reels for my standup gear to fish in the bahamas for marlin, tuna, etc. The reels hold more line than either a penn or shimano 50 and are lighter than both. The fit and finish on the reels are spectacular. I know of a boat in Costa Rica that has caught over 2000 sailfish in one year and all they use are Alutechnos.

I also fish for giant bluefin off cape cod. I went with Shimano Tiagra 130's, where weight of the reel does not matter to me, but parts availability and service does. I spoke with a lot of people, both tackle dealers and fisherman and everyone said that shimano tiagra is a superior reel.

As far as rods, I went with Biscayne Rod in Miami. They have been building rods for at least 30 years. I have owned many of their rods and never had a problem. Their rods also hold more world records with their rods than any other rod builder.

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