Penn Authority Spinning Reel Review – 8 Quality Reels for Any Fish that Swims

Last updated on January 30th, 2024 at 10:53 pm

If you are looking for a high-quality, durable, and smooth spinning reel for saltwater fishing, you might want to check out the Penn Authority spinning reels. These reels are designed to handle any fish and any condition, with a fully-sealed IPX8 body and spool, stainless steel gears, and Dura-Drag system.

In this review, we will take a closer look at the features, performance, and pros and cons of the Penn Authority spinning reels, and we’ll see how they stack up to the competition. By the time we’re done, you’ll have the information you need to decide if the Penn Authority spinning reels are for you.

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Penn Authority Spinning reels are an advanced lineup of saltwater fishing reels. Featuring an IPX8 submersible body and spool, sealed drag and bearings for corrosion resistance, with a full metal body and rotor for durability and strength. These high-end features result in a higher price than other Penn models, but they are much cheaper than some of their competitors with similar features. Great reels that are built to give you many years of reliable saltwater service.

Now, full disclosure, I am, and have been a Penn reel fan for over half a century. I have some that are as old, or older than I am and are still fishing. For everything from blue gill to black marlin, Penn has a reel that will do the job.

Penn Reels
SOME OF MY PENN REEL COLLECTION

Penn has been a leader in the fishing rod and reel business for nearly 90 years. Mr. Otto Henze immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1922 At 25, he worked as a machinist for the fishing reel manufacturer Ocean City Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1932, Henze rented a 3rd-floor loft on 492 North Third Street in Philadelphia from a general machinist firm, William Schmitz & Company. There he completed his first two reel designs, the Model F and Model K. And the rest they say is history.

Fast forward to today and Penn Reels hold a unique place in saltwater fishing reels, with over 1,400 International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world records being set using them. Over 220 different models are manufactured today. Their signature reel remains the Penn Senator, the Jig Master also being popular, signature rods the Penn Power Stick and Tuna Stick.

The Penn Authority spinning reel lineup is the new Penn standard in high-quality saltwater spinning reels. They are focused on being the best-in-class for smoothness and sealing, these reels have a size and gear ratio for every fishing scenario.

Incorporating Penn’s exclusive CNC Gear technology, the precision-cut stainless steel gears combined with their Slammer Dura-Drag system gives you the power to handle anything from surf perch to tuna. Add to that the IPX8 sealed body and spool, ensuring that no water will reach the reel’s internals, even if submerged and you have a reel ready to take on the toughest marine environment. Whether fishing the creeks or in the blue water, there is a Penn Authority spinning reel model that’s perfect for it.

Penn Authority Spinning reel

The Penn Authority spinning reels are packed with features that make them stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Submersible IPX8 Sealed Body and Spool Design: This means that the reels can withstand water pressure up to one meter deep for 30 minutes, without compromising the internal components. This is ideal for saltwater fishing, as it prevents corrosion, sand, and salt from entering the reel and causing damage. Not that you would want to do this, but sometimes your reels do take a dunking in saltwater.
  • Full Metal Body, Sideplate, and Rotor: They are built with a full metal construction, which adds strength, rigidity, and durability. The metal body also helps to keep the gears aligned and stable, even under heavy loads and stress of fighting a big fish.
  • CNC Gear Technology with Stainless Steel Main and Pinion Gears: These reels feature precision-cut stainless steel gears, which are stronger, smoother, and more resistant to wear and tear than conventional gears. The CNC gear technology ensures that the gears mesh perfectly and deliver consistent performance.
  • Sealed Slammer Drag System with Dura-Drag: A sealed drag system, which protects the drag washers from water and debris. The drag washers are made of Dura-Drag material, which is specially formulated to reduce friction, heat, and fading. The drag system offers smooth and powerful drag pressure, up to 60 pounds on the largest model.
Penn Authority spinning reel - IXP8 waterproof body and spool design
Penn Authority Spinning reel - full metal body and side plate
Penn Authority Spinning reel - CNC gear technology
Penn Authority Spinning reel - Penn Slammer Drag system
  • 12+1 Stainless Steel Bearing System: 12 stainless steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing, which provide smooth and fluid operation. The bearings are also sealed to prevent water and dirt from affecting their performance.
  • Leveline Slow Oscillation System: A slow oscillation system, which ensures even line lay and reduces line twist. This improves casting distance and accuracy, as well as preventing tangles and knots.
  • Spare Hypalon Handle Knob: They come with two handle options: a metal handle and a Hypalon handle knob. The Hypalon handle knob is softer and more comfortable to grip, especially in cold or wet conditions. The metal handle is more durable and sturdy, and can be switched easily.
Penn Authority Spinning reel - stainless steel ball bearings
Penn Authority Spinning reel - Levelline Slow Ocillation System
Penn Authority Spinning reel - Halon handle
Hypalon Handle

The Penn Authority spinning reels are designed to perform well in a variety of saltwater fishing scenarios, from inshore to offshore. They are versatile, reliable, and smooth, and can handle different types of fish and bait.

The reels are available in eight sizes, from 2500 to 10500, and four high-speed models, with gear ratios ranging from 4.2:1 to 7:1. The smaller sizes are suitable for light to medium action, targeting fish such as trout, redfish, snook, flounder, and pompano. The larger sizes are suitable for heavy action, targeting fish such as tarpon, tuna, grouper, snapper, and shark.

They have a large line capacity, which allows you to use different types of line, from mono to braid. The Penn Authority reels also have a braid-ready spool, which eliminates the need for backing and prevents slippage. These reels have a smooth and fast retrieve, thanks to the stainless steel gears and bearings. The reels have a strong and smooth drag, thanks to the sealed drag system and Dura-Drag washers. The Penn Authority reels have a solid and balanced feel, thanks to the full metal body and rotor.

They are easy to use and maintain, as they have a simple and user-friendly design. Penn Authority reels have a large and ergonomic handle, which provides a comfortable and secure grip. These reels have a clear and audible clicker, which alerts you when a fish bites.

They have a smooth and instant anti-reverse, which prevents backplay and ensures solid hook sets. They are also easy to clean and lubricate, as they have a port on the side plate for easy access to the gears.

The Penn Authority spinning reels have many advantages, but also some drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of these reels:

Penn Authority Reels Pros
Fully-sealed IPX8 body and spool, which protects the reel from water and debris
Stainless steel gears and bearings, which provide strength, smoothness, and durability
Dura-Drag system, which offers smooth and powerful drag pressure
Leveline slow oscillation system, which ensures even line lay and reduces line twist
Spare Hypalon handle knob, which offers a comfortable and soft grip
Versatile and reliable performance, for different types of saltwater fishing
Large line capacity and braid-ready spool, for different types of line
Easy to use and maintain, with a simple and user-friendly design
Penn Authority Reels Cons
Heavy and bulky, especially the larger sizes
Expensive, compared to other spinning reels
Limited color options, only available in black and silver

Cleaning and maintaining your Penn Authority reel is important to keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan. Here are some basic steps that you can follow:

  • Remove the reel from the rod and rinse it with fresh water to remove any dirt, salt, or debris.
  • Soak the reel in a bucket of warm water and dishwashing soap for 10 minutes, then rinse it again with fresh water.
  • Dry the reel thoroughly with a soft cloth or a hair dryer on low heat.
  • Disassemble the reel by removing the screws and the parts, and wipe them clean with cotton swabs or soft cloths.
  • Apply a drop of reel grease to each movable part and gear of the reel, and reassemble the reel.
  • Coat the outside of the reel with wd-40 to prevent corrosion and rust.

You can also watch some videos on how to clean and repair Penn reels, such as this one. For more detailed instructions, you can refer to the [Penn website: pennfishing.com] or the user manual that came with your reel.

Penn Authority is a new series of spinning reels that was launched in 2022, and it claims to be one of the best saltwater reels on the market. It has a fully-sealed IPX8 body and spool, stainless steel gears and bearings, and a Dura-Drag system. It also comes with a spare Hypalon handle knob, which offers a comfortable and soft grip.

Shimano and Daiwa are two of the most popular and reputable brands of spinning reels, and they have many models that are suitable for saltwater fishing. Some of the factors that differentiate them from Penn Authority are:

  • Shimano reels tend to have better gear technology and line management, which result in smoother and more precise performance. They also have a wider range of sizes and gear ratios, which allow anglers to choose the best reel for their fishing style and target species.
  • Daiwa reels tend to have better durability and corrosion resistance, which make them ideal for harsh saltwater conditions. They also have a unique Magsealed technology, which uses magnetic oil to seal the reel and prevent water and dirt from entering the internal parts.
  • Penn Authority reels tend to have better sealing and drag pressure, which make them capable of handling any fish and any situation. They also have a larger line capacity and a braid-ready spool, which enable anglers to use different types of line without backing or slippage.
Penn AuthorityShimano StellaDaiwa Saltist MQ
Penn Authority Spinning reelShimano Stella SW saltwater spinning reelsDaiwa Saltist spinning reel
SEE REVIEWS & PRICINGSEE REVIEWS & PRICINGSEE REVIEWS & PRICING

Overall, Penn Authority, Shimano, and Daiwa spinning reels have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on your personal preference, budget, and fishing needs. All three brands offer quality, reliability, and versatility, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Okuma and Abu Garcia are two other popular brands of spinning reels, and they have some models that compete with Penn Authority. Here are some of the similarities and differences between them:

  • Okuma reels are known for their affordability and innovation, and they offer some features that are unique to their brand, such as the Cyclonic Flow Rotor, the Dual Force Drag System, and the Hydro Block water-tight drag seal. Some of their spinning reels that are comparable to Penn Authority are the Okuma Azores, the Okuma Inspira, and the Okuma Epixor.
  • Abu Garcia reels are known for their quality and durability, and they have a loyal fan base among anglers who appreciate their classic design and smooth performance. Some of their spinning reels that are comparable to Penn Authority are the Abu Garcia Revo, the Abu Garcia Elite Max, and the Abu Garcia Zenon.
  • Penn Authority reels are known for their sealing and drag pressure, and they have a fully-sealed IPX8 body and spool, stainless steel gears and bearings, and a Dura-Drag system. They also have a large line capacity and a braid-ready spool, which enable anglers to use different types of line without backing or slippage.
Penn AuthorityOkuma InspiraAbu Garcia Zenon
Penn Authority Spinning reelOkuma Inspira ISX spinning reelabu garcia zenon spinning reel
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All three brands have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on your personal preference, budget, and fishing needs. Penn Authority reels are more expensive than Okuma and Abu Garcia reels, but they offer more protection from water and debris, and more power and smoothness in the drag.

Okuma reels are more affordable than Penn and Abu Garcia reels, but they offer some innovative features that enhance their performance and durability. Abu Garcia reels are more balanced than Penn and Okuma reels, but they offer less sealing and drag pressure than Penn, and less innovation than Okuma.

Van Staal and Accurate are two other brands of spinning reels that are known for their durability and performance in saltwater fishing. Here are some of the similarities and differences between them and Penn Authority:

  • Van Staal reels are fully sealed and waterproof, which means they can be submerged in water without compromising the internal components. They also have a bail-less option, which eliminates the need for a bail wire and reduces the chances of line twist and tangles. Some of their spinning reels that are comparable to Penn Authority are the Van Staal VS and VR series.
  • Accurate reels are not fully sealed, but they have a patented TwinDrag system, which applies equal pressure on both sides of the spool and provides smooth and consistent drag pressure. They also have a large arbor design, which increases the line retrieval speed and reduces the line memory. Some of their spinning reels that are comparable to Penn Authority are the Accurate SR and Valiant series.
  • Penn Authority reels are fully sealed with an IPX8 rating, which protects them from water and debris up to one meter deep for 30 minutes. They also have a Dura-Drag system, which offers smooth and powerful drag pressure up to 60 pounds on the largest model. They also have a large line capacity and a braid-ready spool, which enable anglers to use different types of line without backing or slippage.
Penn AuthorityVan Staal VRAccurate Twinspin
Penn Authority Spinning reelVan Staal VR spinning reelAccurate Twinspin spinning reel
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All three brands have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on your personal preference, budget, and fishing needs. Penn Authority reels are more affordable than Van Staal and Accurate reels, but they offer more protection from water and debris, and more power and smoothness in the drag.

Van Staal reels are more expensive than Penn and Accurate reels, but they offer more durability and reliability, and more versatility with the bail-less option. Accurate reels are more balanced than Penn and Van Staal reels, but they offer less sealing and drag pressure than Penn, and less waterproofing than Van Staal.

Cartoon character thinking with a red question mark behind him

What is the IPX8 rating and why is it important?

The IPX8 rating means that the Penn Authority reels are fully sealed and can withstand water pressure up to one meter deep for 30 minutes, without compromising the internal components. This is important because it prevents corrosion, sand, and salt from entering the reel and causing damage. It also makes the reels suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, as well as surf fishing and kayak fishing.

What is the CNC Gear Technology and how does it improve the performance?

The CNC Gear Technology is a process that uses computer-controlled machines to cut the stainless steel gears with high precision and accuracy. This improves the performance of the reels by making the gears stronger, smoother, and more resistant to wear and tear than conventional gears. It also ensures that the gears mesh perfectly and deliver consistent performance.

What is the Dura-Drag system and how does it enhance the drag?

The Dura-Drag system is a feature that uses specially formulated drag washers that reduce friction, heat, and fading. This enhances the drag of the reels by making it smooth and powerful, with a range of up to 60 pounds on the largest model. It also protects the drag washers from water and debris, as they are sealed inside the drag system.

What is the Leveline Slow Oscillation System and how does it benefit the line lay?

The Leveline Slow Oscillation System is a feature that controls the speed and angle of the spool as it moves up and down. This benefits the line lay by making it even and reducing line twist. This improves casting distance and accuracy, as well as preventing tangles and knots.

What is the Spare Hypalon Handle Knob and why is it included?

The Spare Hypalon Handle Knob is an extra handle option that is included with the Penn Authority reels. It is made of Hypalon, which is a synthetic rubber that is softer and more comfortable to grip, especially in cold or wet conditions. It can be easily switched with the metal handle, depending on the preference of the angler.

What kind of warranty comes with the Penn Authority Spinning reel?

According to the PENN website, the Penn Authority spinning reels are covered by a one-year warranty from the date of purchase. This warranty does not cover damage or malfunctions caused by accident, abuse, or normal expected wear. If your Penn Authority reel has a defect within the terms of the warranty, you should return it to the factory service department or your local warranty center for repair or replacement. You can find more information about the warranty and the service centers on the PENN website.

The Penn Authority spinning reels are among the best spinning reels for saltwater fishing, as they offer a combination of quality, durability, and smoothness. These reels are designed to handle any fish and any condition, with a fully-sealed IPX8 body and spool, stainless steel gears and bearings, and Dura-Drag system. These reels are versatile and reliable and can perform well in a variety of saltwater fishing scenarios, from inshore to offshore. These reels are also easy to use and maintain and come with two handle options.

The Penn Authority spinning reels are not cheap, but they are worth the investment, as they will last for a long time and deliver consistent performance.

They are also not light, but they are solid and balanced, and offer a comfortable and secure grip. They are also not flashy, but they are sleek and elegant, and have a classic Penn look.

If you are looking for a high-quality, durable, and smooth spinning reel for saltwater fishing, you might want to check out the Penn Authority series. Penn Authority reels are sure to impress you and your fishing buddies and help you catch more fish and have more fun.

As always, stay safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas, or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. You can follow us on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, Twitter: @AnglerBeach, and YouTube: Man Art Creations.

Lady angler standing in the water next to her boat holding a nice slot red drum caught using her Penn Authority Spinning Reel

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