Penn Battle II Review 2023

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Penn Battle II Fishing Reel

Penn Battle II Saltwater Spinning Reel: Best Brand – All Models

We keep talking about spinning reels. Today we have the Penn Battle II in turn. I think you’ve heard a lot about this reel, but if not, then in this article you can get acquainted with it in detail. We’ll analyze in detail every single component of this reel, test its performance, and also learn how it’ll show itself on the water. This is another review on the reel from Fishreeler and let’s get started!

Penn Reels Company

You know, many companies, especially those who produce spinning reels, sin by having a similar history. But Penn is different from many of them. Therefore, the history of this company should definitely hook you. The founder of this company, Otto Henze, at 25 moved from his native Germany to the United States. Henze needed some money, so he went to work as a machinist in one company. Guess what this company did? Yes, the production of fishing reels. The company was called Ocean City Reels.

Mr. Henze showed great promise, he carefully studied each reel at his work, looked for flaws, and thought about how to improve this. The guy dreamed that someday he would create his own company, the name of which will thunder throughout the world. And so it happened.

fishing with Penn Battle II

Henze left Ocean City in 1932 and began to create and sell his fishing reels to the general public. And after 4 years he managed to create something very interesting and new, which had never been done before. It was the world-famous “Senator” reel. At those times it was a revolutionary reel; it could challenge even the most powerful fish.

Unfortunately, in 1948 Otto Henze died. The company, which is just starting to flourish, is worth it to his wife, Martha. And she more than coped with this task. Under her leadership, the company has reached a new level. In the 55’s, all 5 world records were set on reels from Penn.

Since then, no one could say that Penn is an outsider in the production of fishing equipment. And although several leaders have already been replaced in it, the company continues to flourish to this day, making more and more modern and high-tech equipment for fishermen.

What is Penn Producing Today?

If we’re talking about reels, Penn produces only 2 types of reels: offshore (conventional) and spinning. Let’s quickly go over the conventional ones, and then we’ll analyze the spinning segment.

Penn’s offshore reels are represented by 10 lines of reels, the most popular of which are Penn Senator and Penn Squall Level Wind. Moreover, these are not very expensive budget reels ranging from 100 to 150 dollars. Someday we’ll talk about this in another article.

We are most interested in spinning reels. In total, Penn has 11 lines of spinning reels. In fact, almost every reel is a separate line, so the number of reels and series is almost the same. Torque, Clash, Conflict, Passion, Slammer, Spinfisher, Pursuit, Fierce, Wrath, Z Series, and, of course, Battle – that’s what they are called.

PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Battle Spinning Reel

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Penn Torque

PENN Torque Spinning Reel

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Torque is not Penn’s most popular lineup. Because it’s the most expensive. Of course, such reels are in demand mainly by professional anglers. This series is characterized by maximum casting rates, luxurious appearance, steel body, and simply huge line capacity. The feeling of such a reel is just gorgeous. A smooth, fast, brilliant, and accurate monster is what you hold in your hands. Almost all of my friends who have used this say that this is the best thing you can invest in fishing. If you’re going to catch big trophies and giants and you do not mind a cent on this, then this is the best option for you.

Penn Clash II

Penn Clash II Spinning Reel

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Penn Clash is the latest Penn reel line, which is not yet available for sale. What can we expect from it? It seems to me that Penn wants to make an analog of Torque from this line. Very many characteristics of these two series coincide. For example, the number of bearings here is only 1 less. But here is also a one-piece metal body, which allows you to fish in saltwater. Of course, drag and brakes here are an order of magnitude slower, but they aren’t so far behind the torque indicators. In general, these reels are suitable for you if you want something powerful and cool but already in the middle-price segment.

Penn Conflict

Penn Conflict Spinning

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A characteristic feature of this line is the presence of a manual bail trip on all reels. This helps to avoid reel failure, especially with powerful casts. But even without this feature, these reels are quite productive. They are just designed for the fact that you’ll constantly expose them to loads. This is indicated, firstly, by the hard resin body and rotor. Secondly, drag washers here are made of carbon fiber. And finally, the spool and rings are configured to accommodate as many lines as possible, and so that the caste is as far away as possible. If you’re a fan of hunting medium-sized large fish from the shore, then this is your choice.

Penn Passion

Penn Passion Spinning Reel

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The extra budget option of Penn Conflict. After the Conflict, this reel is felt much weaker and not so powerful. But for the average fisherman, this will be an excellent workhorse for every day. What about the internal characteristics? This model differs from Conflict only in the number of bearings. Here we have 5 balls and 1 roller bearing. All other characteristics are the same.

Penn Slammer

Penn Slammer Spinning Reel

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And this is already interesting. I like this line most in design. The honey-black metal body stands out from the rest and looks very solid. 7 bearings feel very smooth, moreover, this is complemented by CNC Gear technology. The most prominent feature is that, depending on the size of the reel, you can choose a manual or automatic bail trip. So this is a very flexible series of fishing reels.

Penn Spinfisher

Penn Spinfisher Spinning Reel

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I must say that these are very large reels with powerful drag. They are designed for large trophies. The maximum weight is 35 pounds. At the same time, the price is not that big. These reels are completely sealed and provide sufficient power for large marine fish. The CNC gear system completely levels and distributes heavy loads.

Penn Pursuit

PENN Pursuit Spinning Reel

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Almost the cheapest line of reels. If you’re on a budget, then you should definitely take a look at it. Personally, I started with this spinning reel and I can vouch for its quality. Yes, maybe you should not expect flagship performance from it, but it’s capable of much more than most reels of this price category. A small number of bearings almost doesn’t affect smoothness, because they are correctly installed inside. Moreover, there are even some technologies present in the more expensive Penn reels. Penn tried to ensure that their budget options were not inferior in quality to expensive analogs. Recommended buying.

Penn Fierce

PENN Fierce Spinning Reel

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Penn Fierce is a cheaper alternative to Penn Battle. This absolute series is identical to the Penn Battle except for the number of bearings and the line capacity indicator.

Penn Wrath

Penn Wrath Spinning Reel

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And this is definitely the cheapest line. Only $35 for a very good performance and reel quality. This is not a cache, and these reels do not give space readings. But if you have only a couple of dollars in your pocket, then this series is ideal for you. The reels have 2 shielded stainless bearings, and anodized aluminum spool, and even an anti-reverse bearing. The case is not aluminum. This is some kind of carbon alloy. All in all, a pretty good reel for budget fishermen.

Penn Z Series

Penn Z-Series Spinning Reel

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Classics of the genre. The Penn Z Series is the type of reel that almost everyone loves. But for what? Everything is simple – they are inexpensive and of high quality. In terms of price and quality, this is one of the best lines. Ideal for fishing in salt and freshwater, these full-metal reels feature the high-quality and popular HT-100 drag system. And also, machined aluminum spool and stainless pinion. The number of bearings here is only 1 to 3, but this doesn’t prevent the reel from working smoothly. A low gear ratio allows you to maximize the control of heavy fish up to 8 kg.

We got to the line that I think is the best on this list. Of course, different reels will be good for different needs, but the Penn Battle is the most universal solution.

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel – Full Review & Test of The Reel

Penn Battle II came to me in a matte black box. Initially, 8 models are available for you, weighing from 8 to 30 ounces. In this review, I’ll tell you about Penn Battle II 4000. The box itself is made with high quality, a lot of information about both the reel itself and the manufacturer.

Package & Unpacking

But inside we just have bare cardboard walls without any linings, as KastKing or Abu Garcia do, making their boxes look like boxes from iPhones. Inside are the reel itself and the spare spool. About the second spool, we’ll talk later. The reel and spool are packed in bubble polyethylene. The manufacturer didn’t spend money on increasing the strength of the box. I think this is due to the fact that this reel has a sturdy metal construction, and nothing bad will happen if the box with the reel falls. But anyway, it would be much better to see the beautiful packaging inside.

Body Design

The whole body, including the side plates, and the rotor, is made of solid metal. Internal components too. You can don’t worry, it’s 100% suitable for fishing in saltwater. The reel is made in an elegant black and yellow style. The handle included in the kit is screwed into the reel body. So, guys who were worried about a backlash in past reels – you can breathe out calmly. The handle can be installed both on the right and on the left side.

The handle is equipped with a flat, T-shaped, or reinforced knob. It’s very convenient that the handle can be pushed to the body of the reel during storage or transportation. You just need to unscrew the handle a little. On the bottom is a reverse switch, but not on all models. In larger reels, the spool can spin only in winding mode.

I also note the presence of reinforced metal staples and clutch HT-100 on the front side of the spool. In general, the reel doesn’t weigh so much, but with a braided line, your hand will be pretty tired during constant castes. On the other hand, this gives you great power and cast range. In general, the design of the reel is well done. Penn finally got rid of their mistakes with backlash and heavy designs.

The Spool

This is perhaps the most interesting thing that is in this reel. As I said, the kit comes with a spare spool, and a conical form, in contrast to the already installed conical. What’s it for?

The fact is that a conical spool is more convenient for a braided fishing line. With a conical spool, the braided line comes off much faster and more efficiently. This increases the casting distance when using a braided cord. Such a spool contains 300 m of 0.18 woven lines.

Both spools are made of solid stainless steel anodized aluminum, in a silver-gold design. They have perforation and a clip for fixing. In addition, a rubber insert is installed on the spool, which will help to avoid turning the wound fishing line. On the inside, we see annular notches. They help determine the number of remaining lines.

In addition, the reel has additional washers included. By changing their number under the spool, you can adjust the quality and shape of the line winding – from the straight cone to the reverse.

What’s Inside?

Let’s start with drag. Penn Battle II has an HT-100 drag system that uses carbon washers instead of conventional felt washers. This greatly prolongs the life of the reel and provides a smooth drag without jerking. Keyed washers provide access to both sides of the washer, thanks to which you can ensure smooth braking when the drag pressure is increased by 1/5.

HT stands for Hi-Tech, which consists of carbon fiber. And 100 is 100 miles in the line taken from the stock reel in the original test. A pretty impressive show, huh? Here we also have 5 stainless-steel sealed bearings. They are installed in the right places. In the fishing line layer, on the main shaft, on the spool, and additional bearings on the supports. In addition to these 5 bearings, the reel is equipped with an anti-reverse function. The anti-regrind bearing instantly eliminates backlash on the rotor when installing the hook.

The reel has a medium-high gear ratio starting from 5.2:1 on the smallest model and ending with 6.2:1 on the 8000 model. These ratios can catch fish of any kind, from small trout to what this reel is best for – carp.

As I said, the drag system HT-100 works just fine. The maximum drag power starts at 9 pounds on the 1000 model and ends at 30 pounds on the largest and strong model 8000. The largest models of this reel weigh quite a lot – 30 ounces. The smallest weight of this series is an 8 oz. model 1000. If you’re concerned about weight, then below you can find lighter alternatives to this reel for the same price.

Good fishing with Penn equipment

Testing It On The Water

Well, it’s time to go out and test this reel “in battle”. I must say right away that I used a tapered spool and a 30-pound braided fishing line. But I think, in general, the sensations will be similar on both spools. The first thing that catches your eye is a very smooth, silky drag when you retrieve the line. Seriously, I didn’t feel any jerking or twitching at all. The caste distance is also quite impressive. Standing from the shore, I could throw a line up to 275 yards away.

At the same time, I always came across fish, a little heavier for the maximum drag of this reel. First I caught a carp of 22 pounds, and then a small shark weighing 18 pounds. No problems with bait or hooking. Absolutely. The only thing I found a puncture in is that the reel is not completely sealed. I deliberately immersed it a little in water, and it turned out that the water gets inside. Therefore, if you do so, then don’t forget to immediately clean the reel as you return home. Bearings will not suffer, but some parts may begin to rust. But overall, this reel proved to be very impressive on the water.

Penn Battle II Highlighted Features

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

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  • Full stainless steel aluminum construction, rotor, and side plates
  • HT-100 carbon drag
  • 5 sealed corrosion-resistant bearings
  • Anti-reverse function
  • Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
  • Spare spool for braided line
  • Line capacity rings
  • Inexpensive

  • High-quality construction

  • Smooth drag

  • Anti-reverse function

  • Spare spool with ready braid

  • Quite heavy

  • Not sealed fully


Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel Alternatives

To make it easier for you to choose the coil of your dreams, we present a complete list of possible options. They are all excellent and worthy of your attention.

1# Penn Clash Fishing Reel

Penn Clash Fishing Reel

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If the Penn Battle II seems to be a little heavy for you, then try Penn Clash. This reel with the largest model weighs a little more than 25 ounces instead of 30 for the Battle. In addition, it has a smoother retrieval due to the greater number of bearings (8+1).

2# Penn Fierce Fishing Reel

Penn Fierce II Fishing Reel

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Don’t want to break the bank? Then you should take a look at Penn Fierce. Everything is the same here, a full-metal body, anti-reverse, perforated aluminum spool, rigid loop, and drag washers HТ-100. The only difference is fewer bearings (4 BB) and less smooth line extraction, as well as lower line capacity.

3# Penn Pursuit III Fishing Reel

Penn Pursuit III Fishing Reel

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We go down even lower in the price range of 30-75 dollars. Penn Pursuit III doesn’t already have a metal body, but it’s nevertheless suitable for fishing in saltwater due to the robust graphite construction. And graphite, as you know, doesn’t rust. Traditionally, this reel has an HT-100 drag washer with a maximum drag value of 25 lbs. on the 8000 model. As in the previous reel, 4 ball bearings + 1 roller are installed here. The gear ratio is 5.2:1-6.2:1.

4# Penn Slammer Fishing Reel

Penn Slammer Fishing Reel

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And the last representative who can make an alternative to the Penn Battle II is Penn Slammer. Reels are similar in their metal structures, rotor and side plates, CNC gears, bearings, and retrieval smooth as silk. But Slammer has famous Dura-Drag technology. It allows you to get a smooth grip with almost any type of caste. Be it jigging, trolling, casting, or anything else.


Penn Battle II really impressed me. If you’re just starting and want a good reel for the money, then this is what you need. It’s nice to see Penn refresh and make their reels better and better every time. In this version, the manufacturer installed increased drag, spool rings capacity, the quality of paint and bearings became much better.

However, it’s worthwhile to ensure that this reel is not immersed in saltwater. If you accidentally immersed it, then it’s better to quickly clean it when you get home than then look for new components for the reel. Penn Battle II will be a great choice for any angler without breaking the bank. Among spinning reels, this option is one of the best. If you liked this article, share it on social networks. Have good fishing!

Decent fish brand Penn outfit

Tags: #penn battle ii / #penn battle ii spinning reel / #penn battle ii spinning / #penn battle ii combo / #penn battle ii spinning fishing reel

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Quantaro Marmin
Quantaro Marmin
2 months ago

I’m completely new to surf fishing and I stumbled upon a great surf fishing community on Reddit. I hope to get some insights and tips from you all!

Recently, I purchased a Penn Battle II medium-heavy with a 6000 combo on Amazon for $106. I am more accustomed to using 7ft rods, so I thought the extra 2 feet would be perfect for surf fishing. However, since we are currently under lockdown in Los Angeles, I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, and I’m starting to second-guess my purchase.

After watching countless YouTube videos on surf fishing, I noticed that most anglers use a 10ft+ rod and don’t seem to use a 6000-size reel. I’m now unsure if I made a mistake in buying this setup for surf fishing. I’m considering returning it and getting something with a 4000 reel and a 10ft rod instead.

I don’t mind investing a bit more in my gear to ensure it lasts, so I’m open to any suggestions or recommendations. I’m also planning to target surf perch and halibut once we’re allowed back on the beaches.

As a solo angler, any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, and happy fishing!

Bron Hurqa
Bron Hurqa
2 months ago

That’s a great deal you got on the Penn Battle II reel with the 6000-size combo. Personally, I regret not going for a larger-size reel as a higher test line can add up quickly on a smaller reel. In my opinion, there are no real downsides to going larger.

However, it also depends on the length of the rod. If you’re fishing in an area where the beach drops off quickly, you may appreciate a longer rod. For my first surf fishing rod, I went with a 12ft length, which works well for the North Carolina beaches where I fish. I wouldn’t want to go any smaller.

To sum it up, I suggest keeping the combo you purchased and testing it out to see if you can cast as far as you’d like with the 9ft rod. If you find that you need a longer rod, you can always look into purchasing one in the future. But for now, it seems like you got a great deal on a solid reel and a free rod, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

Ulison Habellina
Ulison Habellina
2 months ago

I have a brother who is an avid fisherman, but I don’t know much about fishing gear. He asked for the Penn Battle II 4000 for Christmas, but I couldn’t find it anywhere since the Battle III 4000 is the latest model. The price difference between the two models is not significant, so I thought of getting him the Battle III instead. However, I’m not sure if the reels are interchangeable, and I’m worried that getting the Battle III instead of Battle II might cause some problems.

Fortunately, I was able to get advice from someone who has both reels, and they said that both are great but they favor the Battle III because it’s smoother and faster, although Battle II looks better. They suggested going for the Battle III, and I found it on sale at BPS, Cabela’s, and Sportsmans Warehouse.

Based on this advice, I would recommend going for Battle III instead of Battle II. It seems like an excellent reel, and it’s the latest model, so your brother will probably appreciate having the latest gear. Plus, with the sale going on at those stores, it’s an excellent opportunity to get a high-quality reel at a discounted price.

Hendasto Lastinum
Hendasto Lastinum
2 months ago

I’m interested in getting a bigger setup for offshore fishing, targeting barracuda, kingfish, tarpon, and other similar species. I’ve been considering the Penn Battle II 6000 combo as it seems to have enough line capacity for what I need and is also reasonably priced. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with this model and what their thoughts are on it.

While I haven’t had the chance to use my Battle II 6000 much yet, I have spent a lot of time with the smaller-size Battle II reels and have been very pleased with their performance. For inshore fishing, I use a 4000, and for freshwater bass fishing, I have a 2000 and a 3000, all of which have worked great for me. It will probably be another month before I get back to salt water and can see how well the Battle II 6000 compares to my Daiwa Emblem Pro-A surf 6000. However, so far, it seems like just a larger version of the others that I have been happy with.

Iozith Xubelles
Iozith Xubelles
2 months ago

I’ve had a great experience using my Penn Battle for bull red and jack crevalle fishing. These fish tend to pull more lines, so having a heavy-duty reel is important. I primarily use a bottom rig like heavy Carolina rigs, drop shots, or a 1oz jig head with a large shrimp on my 6000. For jacks, I prefer using a Muskie sized jerk bait or twitch bait. I think this setup should work well for pier fishing.

When you’re using a heavy reel like the Penn Battle, it’s important to note that the difficulty may not come from the reel, but rather the rod that you’re using it with. A lighter rod may not load correctly, so it’s essential to get used to throwing heavier weights. One suggestion I have is to try some spoons. If I were in your shoes, I would use live or dead bait with this rod while experimenting with something lighter (perhaps to catch bait).

It’s also important to remember to clean your reel every time you use it. The saltwater can cause the reel to break down, so maintenance is key. Don’t wait until tomorrow to clean it – do it right away.

Daarbi Mzanga
Daarbi Mzanga
2 months ago

The Penn Battle II 4000 is a great option for inshore fishing. It might be slightly bigger than some prefer, but I appreciate that it can hold enough lines to handle unexpected big fish. That extra line can prevent the reel from getting spooled.

It’s important to remember that the reel’s drag system plays a crucial role in fighting big fish. When targeting larger species, you’ll want a higher drag setting. However, in most cases, you won’t be casting and reeling for such fish but rather trolling or soaking bait. In that case, the weight of the reel won’t be a concern.

The Battle II 4000 boasts a 15lb drag capacity, which is usually sufficient for most inshore fishing scenarios. However, if you’re going after a larger game like jacks, sharks, or kingfish, you’ll want to invest in a reel with higher drag capacity or make sure your spool has plenty of lines to accommodate a big catch.

Prefisto Entium
Prefisto Entium
2 months ago

Based on my experience with the Penn Battle II 4000, I would say it’s great for inshore fishing. Its line capacity is enough to handle unexpected big catches and it can even handle occasional sharks or large fish. 

However, if you’re targeting bigger fish, you’ll want a reel with a higher drag. The 4000 has a 15lb drag, which is good for most situations, but if you’re targeting jacks, sharks, or kings, you’ll need a reel with a higher drag or more line on the spool.

For me, the biggest fish I’ve hooked with the 4000 series was a big foul-hooked jack crevalle, which took me an hour to reel in. While the reel was capable of handling the fish, it did burn up the drag washers pretty quickly.

As for tuna fishing, I’m not an expert, but I believe a bigger reel is needed for fish that size. However, jumping from bass to an 80lb tuna might be too big of a jump for one reel. 

If you decide to buy a bigger reel, it will work for both types of fishing, but it might be uncomfortable to use such a big reel for bass fishing. If possible, I recommend going to a local store and checking out the reels in person to get a better idea of the sizes and weights.