If you are an ardent fisherman, then you’re definitely familiar with Penn reels.
Over the years, the company has introduced a range of popular and innovative fishing reels. My favorite is Penn Battle II series which I’m going to cover in this review and show you why I believe it is the best all-around fishing reel that delivers real value for money.
Before we look at the Penn Battle II series, allow me to point out one of the best things I love about Penn, which is their commitment to maintaining affordable price points for their products without compromising the performance and quality. Penn reels will also last for years if you take good care of them.
Now back to the Penn Battle II and why it’s a high-quality real within the $100 range. I know $100 for a fishing reel might seem a bit overboard for some people but if you’re looking for a top-quality and long-lasting fishing reel, the Penn Battle II is a great option. It comes in a range of sizes from the comparatively lighter 1000 to the larger 8000 version. It is a perfect reel for all types of fishing.
The Penn Battle II gives you excellent performance for a fishing reel in its price range. All the reels in this series feature solid workmanlike build complete with soft knobs that make it easier and more comfortable to handle the reel. Battle II reels are in fact the cheapest Penn reels that come with the HT-100 drag system.
- 1 Great Upgrade
- 2 Penn Battle II Key Features
- 3 Different Sizes for Different Anglers
- 4 Pros and Cons of the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
- 5 Conclusion
The Penn Battle 2 spinning reel is actually an upgrade of the previous Battle 2 BTLII5000 and Battle 2 BTLII6000 models. This latest version comes with increased durability and a much smoother drag. It even gives you a choice of either the lighter 1000 to 4000 series which are perfect for throwing lures or the heavier 5000 to 8000 models which give you excellent performance when throwing the bait and for larger drag strikes.
One of my favorite upgrades on the new Penn Battle II is the addition of line capacity rings that show you when the spool is completely filled. This feature helps to ensure that the casts do not overload with excess line stripping and improve my cast-ability notably when I’m trying to catch bigger fish.
The Penn Battle II is an open face reel available in eight different sizes, from as low as 1000 to 4000. The sizes are categorized as medium-high gear ratio which starts from 5:2:1 and increases all the way to 6:2:1 for their bigger models. These gear ratios are proof that the Penn Battle II reel is a great choice for catching bass and other more demanding applications. The reel also handles inshore species excellently.
Unlike the previous models, the Battle II spinning reel comes with improved corrosion resistance, 5 stainless steel bearings, and an anti-reverse bearing. The enhancements add extra durability to the reel while protecting it from water corrosion, which was a problem commonly faced by its predecessors. The Battle II spinning reel has a better paint job too. It is more reasonably priced and in my opinion, has a lot to offer, especially to those of us who do freshwater fishing. It is a sturdier reel with soft-touch knobs that give you easy and comfortable handling. I also like its anti-reverse and smooth drag which makes fishing more enjoyable and easier.
I have heard some users claim that the reels are a bit on the heavy side but I choose to disagree. For instance, I find the Battle II 5000 which has a techno-balanced rotor and metallic body to be very solid, durable, and accurate yet it only weighs 19.8 oz and can easily accommodate 300 yards 30lb braid. If you want a lighter reel, you can always go for the 1000 model and still enjoy your fishing.
Penn Battle II Key Features
Here are some of the key features of the Penn Battle 2 at a glance:
- Comes in a full metal body complete with side plate and rotor
- Has HT-100 drag washers made of carbon fiber
- Comes with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
- Anti-reverse bearing
- Superline pool
- A heavy-duty bail wire made of aluminum
- Line capacity rings
Let’s look at some of these features in more detail.
Full Metal Body
The Penn Battle II is made of a full metal body complete with side plates and rotor but still remains light for most people. Some users may consider it slightly heavier but keep in mind that the real doesn’t flex under pressure when you catch larger fish and can even withstand the heavy demands of fishing on a charter boat.
HT-100 Carbon-Fiber Drag Washers
The reel features the HT-100 drag system, which uses keyed carbon washers instead of the traditional felt washers to extend its lifetime and give the user a smooth drag when loaded with a retreating fish. The keyed washer increases drag pressure by up to 20%. HT is short for Hi-Tech, which basically describes the technology used in creating the reel’s carbon fiber laminated fiberglass.
This feature helps to reduce or eliminate back play on the rotor after you set the hook. This is made possible by the one way bearing used in the real design.
Heavy-Duty Bail Wire Made of Aluminum
The real comes with an extra heavy-duty bail wire designed to last long without warping after long usage. Remember, a warped bail results in poor line management.
Great Paint Quality
Durability is one of the key things I look for in any fishing reel I come across. The Penn Battle II doesn’t disappoint in this department. Compared to its predecessors, the Battle II has a higher quality of paint which works to protect the reel from corrosive damage of saltwater spray and other marine chemicals. Most users of the previous models cited corrosion as one of the major problems they encountered. It’s a good thing that Penn took customer feedback seriously and addressed the issue in this model.
Another major improvement I liked in this upgraded Penn reel is the additional line capacity rings on the reel’s spool. I can now easily know the amount of line I still have left in the spool at any time. The rubber inlay in the spool is great too. It makes it easier to load the spool directly using the braided line without necessarily backing it with mono.
- 5 Sealed Ball Bearings
The Battle II now comes with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings. The previous versions had the same number of ball bearings but they were not made of stainless steel. The material is more resistant to corrosion from saltwater and adds an extra layer of protection and durability to the reel.
Different Sizes for Different Anglers
Another notable improvement in the Penn Battle II is the wide range of sizes the reel comes in to suit every angler’s needs. You have a wide range of sizes to choose from depending on your fishing preferences. There is even a chart that you can use to compare different sizes of Penn Battle II to find one that suits you.
The larger reel models come in 6000 to 8000 size and feature a drag system that can withstand the extra line stripping required to hook larger fish. The added line capacity makes it less demanding when fighting with large in depths of up to 100 to 200 feet. If the fish begins to strip line when trying to get away, you’ll still have plenty more line to reel it in without much effort. The 1000 size reel is not just smaller and lighter but comes with minimal line capacity too. It is designed to catch smaller fish species but still works perfectly nevertheless.
Pros and Cons of the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
There are many advantages of having these reels whether you catch small or big fish. They come in a rust-resistant design which ensures excellent performance and extended durability. They can be used on both salt and freshwater environments. If you plan to fish in coastal waters, I’d highly recommend the 6000 model. I tested it and it didn’t disappoint in terms of performance and durability.
I also loved the reel’s anti-reverse feature, especially when dealing with a large fish with some fight in it. I found the reel’s techno-balanced rotor quite handy when it comes to easy and stable retrieval of bigger fish.
For lake fishing I would recommend the 2500-3000 version.
The handles are also on-point with soft-touch knobs, which gives you a firmer and more stable handling. The reel’s metallic body and perfect precision gear alignment is a great improvement on accuracy and strength.
Personally, I am yet to find a negative issue with the Battle II besides what other users have claimed about the reel being a bit heavier than the rest.
However, here is a summary of the reels pros and cons based on my experience and the reviews I have come across online:
- Great support, especially when handling large stubborn fish, thanks to its metallic body
- Rubber lining ensures that the line never slips
- It is designed to last longer than other fishing reels
- Great anti-reverse feature that comes handy when the fish at the other end of the line decides to put up a spirited fight
- Techno-balanced rotor gives smooth retrieval
- Comfortable to handle thanks to the soft-touch knob
- A metallic body that provides precision gear alignment
- A few users of the 5000 to 8000 models claim that the reel is a bit heavier but you can always opt for the lighter 1000-4000 models.
When you consider the improved features, durability, and performance, the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel is definitely worth investing in, especially if you catch big fish whether in fresh or salt water. It’s a strong and versatile reel that’s available at an affordable price. In my experience, the reel has proven performance and all the features you need for extended durability.
This is a recommended option for anyone looking for reliable saltwater or inshore fishing reels for under $100. The Battle II series provides you with great carbon fiber drag, full metal body, and a high level of excellent manufacturing. Best of all the reel is easy to maintain and parts are readily available from the manufacturer. Penn has great customer service too if you ever run into a problem with your purchase.