Last updated on January 31st, 2024 at 12:00 am
One of the exciting new products unveiled at the recently completed 2023 ICAST (International Convention of Associated Sportfishing) convention was the Penn Spinfisher VII series of spinning reels. Known for building high quality and durable reels, Penn continues to lead the industry with the latest in technology and innovation.
The new Penn Spinfisher VII reels offer a wider range of sizes than the Spinfisher VI series. The Spinfisher VII reels also are lighter-weight, have stronger drags, and come with braid-ready spools that don’t require backing. The new Spinfisher VII reels will run from $10 to $40 more than the Spinfisher VI reels depending on the model, but much less expensive than the high-end Penn Authority Spinning reels. In short, a lighter, stronger reel that comes ready to load with braid or any of the new superlines on the market. Another great spinning reel series from Penn. They are expected to be available in September 2023.
|Penn Spinfisher VI 4500
|Penn Spinfisher VII 4500
|Penn Spinfisher VII Longcast
I’ve been fishing with Penn reels as long as I can remember. I am still fishing with some Penn reels that are as old, if not older, than I am. And, I’m over half a century old. 😉
There have been a lot of changes in fishing reels in the last half century. Changes is materials, seals, line capacities, drag systems and bearings to name a few.
Through it all, Penn has been the standard by which all other reels are measured. The Penn Spinfisher VII reels are just the latest example of Penn’s dedication to building high quality fishing reels that will give you many years of reliable service.
Let’s take a closer look at the new Penn Spinfisher VII series spinning reels and see what all the excitement is about and if they will stand up to saltwater and surf fishing.
The Story of Penn Reels: 91 Years of Quality
The history of Penn reels is a fascinating story of innovation, perseverance, and passion for fishing. Penn reels are one of the most popular and trusted brands of fishing reels in the world, especially for saltwater fishing. They have been used to set over 1,400 world records by anglers who rely on their quality and performance. Here is a brief summary of how Penn reels came to be and how they evolved over the years:
Penn reels were founded by Otto Henze, a German immigrant who came to the United States in 1922. He worked as a machinist for Ocean City Reels, a fishing reel manufacturer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but he had a dream of owning his own company and making better reels.
In 1932, Henze left Ocean City Reels and started his own fishing reel company, called Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company. He rented a 3rd floor loft at 492 North Third Street in Philadelphia, where he designed and produced his first two reels, the Model F and the Model K.
In 1933, Henze began selling his reels to the public. The Model F was renamed Sea Hawk, the Model K without a star drag was renamed Bayside, and the Model K with a star drag was renamed Long Beach. These reels were designed for surf fishing and long-distance casting.
Then, in 1936, Henze introduced his most famous reel, the Senator. It was a revolutionary reel that could handle the biggest and most powerful game fish. It had high-speed stainless pinion gears, a durable metal body, and a smooth drag system. The Senator became an instant success and a favorite among anglers and charter boat captains.
In 1942, Penn Reels moved to a new facility on West Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia. The company continued to grow and produce more models of reels for different types of fishing.
Unfortunately, in 1948, Henze died suddenly at the age of 51. His wife, Martha, took over the company as its president. She was one of the few women of her time to run a major business. She kept Penn Reels going strong and expanded its market worldwide.
In 1953, Penn Reels introduced the Peerless No. 9, a light-tackle reel for freshwater fishing. In 1959, Penn Reels had over 150 reels in production for all kinds of fishing.
It was in 1961, that Penn Reels launched its first spinning reel, the Spinfisher 700. It was a saltwater spinning reel that could withstand corrosion and water intrusion. In 1966, Penn Reels introduced the International series, which were specially built for big-game tournament fishing.
In 1972, Penn Reels introduced the Levelmatic Bait-Casting Reels and the International No. 130, which was the largest reel ever made by Penn Reels. In 1979, Frank Mundus, the inspiration for Robert Shaw’s character in the film Jaws, caught the largest Mako shark ever on rod and reel using a Penn Reel. It weighed 1,080 pounds.
Penn Reels celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1982. And, in 1985, it introduced the International II Two-Speed reels, which had a dual gear ratio for more versatility and power. Penn introduced the 250GR, the only graphite spinning reel built exclusively for saltwater the following year in 1986.
In 2003, Penn Reels was acquired by K2 Inc., a sports equipment company that also owned Shakespeare Fishing Tackle. Penn Reels won the American Sportfishing Association’s Saltwater Reel of the Year award for its Torque reel in 2006. Then, in 2007, K2 Inc. was acquired by Jarden Corporation, which later became part of Newell Brands in 2016.
Penn Reels hold a unique place in saltwater fishing reels, with over 1,400 International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world records being set using their reels. Penn has a long and storied history in saltwater fishing. They know what they are doing when it comes to saltwater fishing reels and tackle.
Penn Spinfisher VII Spinning Reels
With over six decades under the Spinfisher name of delivering great performance, value, durability, and more, the Penn Spinfisher VII Spinning Reels continue its well-known and distinguished history into the era for anglers of all walks of life. This reels wide model range, from 2500 up to the heavy-duty 10500, is well suited for targeting the inshore flats or pursuing large pelagics offshore, along with everything in between.
A full metal body and side plate establishes a rigid framework needed to maintain precise alignment, efficiency and smooth internal workings, ultimately prolonging reel life and reinforcing the energy anglers put into the reel towards fish fighting. This Spinfisher features IPX5 sealing, both in the body and in its spool design, keeping water and other contaminants from entering from accidental splashes, dunks, salt spray on the boat, and more.
Penn’s HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers equipped in this reel offer great durability and a buttery smooth drag, taming gamefish of all sizes. The Spinfisher VII reels come with a braid ready spool as well, no more need for backing. For the surf, kayak, or boat angler, these reels offer a great, dependable platform ready to accomplish a day and withstand all the fish and salty environments that are thrown at it.
Specs & Features
- IPX5 Sealed Body and Spool Design
- CNC Gear Technology with Brass Main Gear
- HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
- 5+1 Sealed Stainless Steel Ball Bearing System
- Full Metal Body
- Braid and Superline Ready Spool
Penn Spinfisher VII Longcast Spinning Reel
Casting distance is often the limiting factor when surf fishing. Sometimes you just need to get further out from the beach with your bait. The new Spinfisher VII longcast was designed with this in mind. It features IPX5 sealing so whether it gets hit with a wave, or you let it ride in the spray all the way home, you don’t have to worry about saltwater getting into the gearbox or drag system.
Their HT-100™ drag washers are housed in a fully sealed spool to give the stopping power needed for big saltwater fish. A Full Metal Body and sideplate keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment under heavy loads. And, the specially designed longcast spool gives you that added casting distance you need to reach areas that were formerly out of your casting range.
It’s Long Cast designation stems from its taller spool design, which aims at reducing friction of the line when casting. Line lay is ultimately improved with a much more even and consistent orientation over the standard spool, ideal for reaching that far off rip or breaking fish
Specs & Features
- IPX5 Sealed body and spool design
- CNC Gear Technology with brass main gear
- HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers
- 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system
- Full Metal Body
- Superline Spool
- Long Cast Spool
- Manuel Bail Trip on ALL Models
Penn Spinfisher VII versus the Penn Spinfisher VI
Penn Spinfisher VI and Penn Spinfisher VII are both high-quality spinning reels that are designed for saltwater fishing. They have many similarities, such as the IPX5 water-resistant sealing, the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, the all-metal body, and the CNC gear technology. However, there are also some differences between them that you may want to consider before buying. Here are some of the main differences:
- Size and weight: The Penn Spinfisher VII has a wider range of sizes than the Penn Spinfisher VI, from 2500 to 10500. The Penn Spinfisher VI only goes up to 9500. The Penn Spinfisher VII is also slightly lighter than the Penn Spinfisher VI in most sizes, except for the 10500, which is heavier than the 9500.
- Drag power: The Penn Spinfisher VII has more drag power than the Penn Spinfisher VI in most sizes, except for the 2500 and 4500, which have the same drag power. The Penn Spinfisher VII can handle bigger fish and stronger currents than the Penn Spinfisher VI.
- Spool design: The Penn Spinfisher VII has a braid-ready spool that does not require backing when using braided line. The Penn Spinfisher VI has a rubber gasket on the spool that prevents slippage of braided line, but still requires backing. The Penn Spinfisher VII also has a line capacity ring on the spool that indicates how much line is left.
- Price: The Penn Spinfisher VII is more expensive than the Penn Spinfisher VI in most sizes, except for the 10500, which is cheaper than the 9500. The price difference ranges from $10 to $40 depending on the size.
These are some of the main differences between the Penn Spinfisher VI and Penn Spinfisher VII spinning reels. Both reels are excellent choices for saltwater fishing, but you may prefer one over the other depending on your budget, fishing style, and target species. I hope this helps you make an informed decision.
Spinning Reels for Saltwater and Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is a fun and rewarding activity that requires a reel that can handle the harsh saltwater conditions of the beach and the powerful fish that inhabit the surf zone. When considering a surf fishing reel, you should look for the following features:
Size and line capacity: You want a reel that can hold enough line to cast far and fight big fish. A good rule of thumb is to choose a reel size that allows you to fit 250-300 yards of your preferred line. For most surf fishing situations, a reel size of 4000 to 8000 is suitable, depending on the line diameter and strength.
Gear ratio and retrieve speed: You want a reel that can retrieve line quickly and smoothly, especially when you need to keep up with fast-moving fish or avoid obstacles in the surf. A high gear ratio means that the spool rotates faster for each turn of the handle, resulting in a faster retrieve speed.
A low gear ratio means that the spool rotates slower, but with more torque and power. For surf fishing, you should pick the highest gear ratio you can find for your reel size, as long as it does not compromise the durability or smoothness of the reel. A gear ratio of 5:1 or higher is ideal for most surf fishing scenarios.
Drag system and power: You want a reel that can apply enough pressure to slow down and tire out your fish, without breaking your line or damaging your reel. A good drag system should be smooth, consistent, and adjustable, with no jerks or slips. It should also be able to handle saltwater exposure and sand intrusion without losing performance.
For surf fishing, you should ensure that your reel offers at least 20 pounds of drag power, or more if you are targeting larger species. You should also check if the drag system is sealed or shielded from water and sand ingress.
Durability and corrosion resistance: You want a reel that can withstand the wear and tear of surf fishing, which involves exposure to saltwater, sand, sun, wind, and rocks. A good surf fishing reel should be made of strong and lightweight materials, such as aluminum, graphite, or carbon fiber. It should also have a robust construction that prevents flexing or twisting under load.
Additionally, it should have a high level of corrosion resistance, which means that the metal parts are coated or treated to prevent rusting or pitting. You should also check if the reel is designed for saltwater use and that it is watertight or at least water-resistant. Some reels have special features that prevent water and sand from entering the internal parts, such as seals, gaskets, or magnetic systems.
Casting performance and ease of use: You want a reel that can cast smoothly and accurately, without tangling or backlash. A good surf fishing reel should have a well-balanced spool that spins freely and evenly.
It should also have a smooth bail mechanism that opens and closes without sticking or snapping. Some reels have features that enhance casting performance, such as spool lips, oscillation systems, or line lay systems.
These features help reduce friction, improve line flow, and prevent line twist or dig-in. You should also look for a reel that is easy to use and comfortable to hold. It should have an ergonomic handle that fits your hand size and grip style. It should also have clear markings and indicators for the drag settings, line capacity, and gear ratio.
These are some of the main features that you should look for when considering a surf fishing reel. Of course, there are other factors that may influence your decision, such as price, brand reputation, customer reviews, warranty, etc. However, if you follow these guidelines, you will be able to narrow down your choices and find the best surf fishing reel for your needs.
FAQs about Penn Spinfisher VII Spinning Reels
What are the main features of the Penn Spinfisher VII?
The Penn Spinfisher VII is a saltwater spinning reel that has IPX5 sealing, CNC gear technology, HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, full metal body, superline spool, line capacity rings, and 5 + 1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings. It also comes in different models, such as live liner, long cast, and bail-less.
How many sizes and models are available for the Penn Spinfisher VII?
The Penn Spinfisher VII is available in 18 sizes and models, ranging from 2500 to 10500. The sizes are 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500, 6500, 7500, 8500, 9500, and 10500. The models are standard, live liner (LL), long cast (LC), and bail-less (BL).
How much does the Penn Spinfisher VII cost and when will it be available?
The Penn Spinfisher VII has a suggested retail price of $179.95 to $289.95 depending on the size and model. It is expected to be available in September 2023.
What is the difference between the Penn Spinfisher VI and the Penn Spinfisher VII?
The Penn Spinfisher VI and the Penn Spinfisher VII have many similarities, but also some differences. The main differences are in the size and weight, drag power, spool design, and price. The Penn Spinfisher VII has a wider range of sizes, more drag power in most sizes, a braid-ready spool with line capacity ring, and a higher price in most sizes than the Penn Spinfisher VI.
How do I use the live liner feature on the Penn Spinfisher VII?
The live liner feature on the Penn Spinfisher VII allows you to fish with live bait without opening the bail. To use it, you need to turn the live liner switch on the back of the reel to ON position. Then you can adjust the live liner drag knob on the bottom of the spool to set the tension for your bait. When a fish takes your bait, you can turn the handle to engage the main drag and fight the fish.
Grab Penn Spinfisher VII and Go Fishing
If you’re in the market for a new reel, you should do yourself a favor and check out the Penn Spinfisher VII spinning reels. Designed to handle the harshest saltwater environments, they are built tough, with braid ready spools, solid metal frames, and sealed drags and gears.
The Penn Spinfisher VII Longcast spinning reel will give you the added casting distance you sometimes need to reach those fish in the second and third guts off the beach.
Penn reels have been around for over 90 years because they focus on quality, performance and value. With regular minor maintenance, your Penn Spinfisher VII reels will last you a lifetime.
In fact, I have two Penn Spinfisher spinning reels from 1969 that are still in good working order. Get yourself a Penn Spinfisher VII and head to the beach, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m sure the folks at Penn are already working on plans for a Spinfisher VIII line. But, regardless, any Penn Spinfisher series reels will give you years of service and great value for your hard-earned dollar.
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.
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A life long surf fisherman with 50+ years of experience, I am also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. I will be sharing my passion for the outdoors with you so be prepared for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and more. Along with gear reviews and the latest trends and innovations in the outdoor industry.