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Penn vs Shimano reels

Old 08-03-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default Penn vs Shimano reels

any opinions, I am new and all the cheap reels i have bought suck! So time to send the money on a desent one. Any help is appreciated.
I am going to be fishing in the gulf for anything that bites not going after anything special.
Old 08-03-2012, 11:43 AM
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IMO shimano is the better choice. I wont ever buy anything from penn except the old internationals. Penn use to be good along time ago and now lack their old quality.
Old 08-03-2012, 11:43 AM
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Search function is your friend. This subject has been beat to death.
Old 08-03-2012, 11:47 AM
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For the big game stuff Shimano all the way....for inshore stuff i am really like the daiwa and Shimano Torium neither will break the bank either
Old 08-03-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 6pak and tackle View Post
IMO shimano is the better choice. I wont ever buy anything from penn except the old internationals. Penn use to be good along time ago and now lack their old quality.
Exactly 100% correct!!!
Old 08-03-2012, 11:53 AM
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I am using a little of both, but I like the Penn Graphlite with a lever drag. I assume you are trolling for kings. I have both reels on FTU king fish rods with roller tips and spooled with 50# braid. I have owned these reels for approximately four years with no quality issues. Good reels in my opinion. Not a Fin Nor, but they don't cost $500 a copy either.
Old 08-03-2012, 11:53 AM
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I have at my disposal Penn 4/0, Shimano TLD 20 & 25 and Diawa Sealine 350 and 400.

Of the three, I like the Diawas. Not that well known,. and whenever one shows up on local craigslist I try tyo get one.

The newest Penn reels sold for $250 or less are China made reels.

I don't like the eccentric or the bridge in the newer reels.
Old 08-03-2012, 11:57 AM
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I don't have anything against Shimano, have several smaller Shimano reels myself, but for offshore fishing, I still like the Penn Internationals. 4 of the ones I have are around 17 years old and still work just fine, in spite of minimum maintenance on my part (I have never disassembled them, for example). Not too many products with movable parts can claim that longevity. The new model Penn Internationals seem to be just as good, with the exception of the plastic button for switching from high to low gear. It used to be made of metal in the old reels.
Old 08-03-2012, 12:02 PM
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Also have a pair of Penn 330 GTIs and a pair of Penn 340 GTIs that I have owned for probably 20 years or longer. I used them for kingfish for a long time and also used them to bottom fish snapper with a lot of weight to out-run the trigger fish. They still work as new and have never been serviced other than getting dunked in the pool and sprayed down with WD40.
Old 08-03-2012, 12:07 PM
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Oh, and regardless of brand and now that you're buying some new stuff, don't get a levelwind.

With those you run the risk of getting a finger (in my case, thumb) jammed between the geared line guide and the frame..............ouch, real bad.
Old 08-03-2012, 12:24 PM
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i used to be a penn guy but i only like the older stuff for the most part

if i am going brand new ill go shimano 95% of the time
Old 08-03-2012, 12:51 PM
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You might rename this thread, "Chevy or Ford Pickups, which is better?"

Unfortuantely, you haven't provided much info that will enable anyone to provide you a decent response. Define spending money "to buy a decent one"?

How much money? $70 or $700?

What kind of fishing? Inshore for speckled trout and redfish in the Gulf of Mexico or Bluefin Tuna in the Gulf of Maine? What "gulf"?

No recommendations are helpful until you answer the questions.


PB
Old 08-03-2012, 01:37 PM
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Default Penn shift button

Originally Posted by southatlantic View Post
The new model Penn Internationals seem to be just as good, with the exception of the plastic button for switching from high to low gear.



Just to clarify, the shift button on all International 2-speed models was switched from plastic to aluminum as of production on Feb. 1, 2011.
The part itself is readily available.
Also as mentioned, the "threshold" for "made in USA" on Penn reels is at $249 retail.
For the various Japanese reel companies, the "threshold" is not quite as sharply defined, but in general most Japanese-branded reels under $349 retail will be made in Malaysia, China, Korea, Viet Nam, etc.
Its been a long time since the less-expensive or even mid-price models were actually made in Japan.
Old 08-03-2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Prop Blast View Post
You might rename this thread, "Chevy or Ford Pickups, which is better?"
Yep, for those with a Harley, this is as bad as the "type of oil" threads on the HD Forums.
Old 08-03-2012, 02:15 PM
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Default reels

The old Penns were great reels!! I have some almost 40 years old and they still perform like new.

Penn moved production to China and the quality and performance went with them to China.

They new Penns arent very good!! The quality is poor and the reels dont hold up.

Another great American company that lost it's way.
Old 08-03-2012, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 6pak and tackle View Post
IMO shimano is the better choice. I wont ever buy anything from penn except the old internationals. Penn use to be good along time ago and now lack their old quality.
unfortunately this is true.If it is not an old penn 20 yrs or so consider it junk!;?
Old 08-03-2012, 02:28 PM
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It comes down to made in the USA or made in china.

Any Penn made in The USA is quality ,when they started making them in china the quality went down hill.

I have many Penn reels, (40 or more) senators 9/0,6/0,4/0,3/0 and even2/0s, black and red,still working great.
Even internationals in the 50 and 12 class--great reels.

The rest are Shimano--- when they went to china --- I went to Japan
Old 08-03-2012, 02:32 PM
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Unless you spend $450 plus for the Penn International series, don't waste your money on Penn. They're all chinese made and very low quality. I have a couple of Penns 20 yrs old and bought another 2 yrs ago. The new ones don't even come close.
Shimano is now made in Malaysia but their quality is far superior to Penn.
Old 08-03-2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Esuomm1 View Post
Yep, for those with a Harley, this is as bad as the "type of oil" threads on the HD Forums.
It's not even ford or chevy

It's QUALITY VS JUNK

If Penn wanted my business back,they would have to back twenty years to Philadelphia !
Old 08-03-2012, 02:50 PM
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Default reels

Originally Posted by poorrichard View Post
The old Penns were great reels!! I have some almost 40 years old and they still perform like new.

Penn moved production to China and the quality and performance went with them to China.

They new Penns arent very good!! The quality is poor and the reels dont hold up.

Another great American company that lost it's way.



Just to clarify, the "threshold" for "Made in USA" on Penn reels is at $249 retail. Over 30 different reel models, plus another 11 "stock bail/color options, plus everything in the "Custom Shop" is made in the same US plant in Philadelphia where they have always been made.
For such inexpensive [but still popular] models as the 500, 320, 113, etc, the choice was move them offshore or simply stop making them.
At last month's ICAST show, Penn introduced 2 new US-made models, and at least 4 more new US models will be brought out next year.
It's just economic reality; for example, the Penn 113HN 4/0 Baja Special is the best 4/0 Penn has ever made [and is Made in USA], but to get to that quality/performance level it has to be $249.
The International lever drags, Torque lever drags, Torque spinning reels, Torque star drags, 113HN Baja Special, 14/0 Senator, and other US models are every bit as good as ever, but to expect that a 500 or 309 at $59 retail is going to be what it used to be is not realistic.

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