Hey guys, welcome back to Beach and Fishing and my Penn Battle III spinning fishing reel review. Now, as you are probably aware, fishing is one of those past times that holds two essential truths:
- There are a great number of variations of every piece of equipment, tackle and accessory that you could be looking for.
- Everybody has an opinion on which of these variations is best at any given time – which is generally due to the fact that that particular item has helped them catch fish.
So with that in mind, one thing I have tried to do on this site is review the products I use, as well as the ones that are popular at the moment to give you an idea of what may work for you as you head out to the water and chase the big ones.
Hence, for this review, I will run you through:
- What the product is
- What I bought if for
- Pros and Cons
- My recommendations
What is a spinning reel?
Also known as ‘open face’ reels or ‘eggbeaters’, these reel types wind the line onto a front spool which is held on by a ‘bail’. Line is wound in via a handle on the side which is ratioed to bring the line in faster than the handle is turned. In general, spinning reels are made from a corrosion-resistant metal, carbon fiber and/or aluminum body with variations of the following:
- Bearings – As with a car wheel, the mechanisms inside a spinning fishing reel generally incorporate ball bearings for smoother operation. From my experience, most come with between 3 and if the specifications are listed as 10 + 1 for example, this means that there are 10 ball bearings in the main housing and also a roller bearing incorporated into the bail to make line retrieval easier.
- Rotation – One advantage of a spinning fishing reel is the winding rotation. This is usually set anywhere for 3:1 up to 6 or 7:1 (often listed as 6.0:1 etc.) This simply means that for every time the user turns the handle a full rotation, the spool holding the line has actually turned 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 times meaning less winding for faster line retrieval. Higher ratios are good for fast retrieval fishing such as with a lure or if there are a lot of snags etc. Lower rations assist with the big fish catches.
- Drag – The drag of a fishing reel is its ability to release a little bit of line when a fish strikes or is being pulled in. This is in place to reduce the chances of a bigger fish snapping the line as it fights. As with anything, the more you pay for a reel, the better the drag system should be with the more expensive models containing precision setting capabilities.
- Casing: This is the part of the reel that contains the springs, levers, gear cogs etc. that make much of the stuff above work. I’m my opinion, avoid any reel that doesn’t have this all housed in a sealed, waterproof casing. These are low maintenance and the components will not rust.
What did I buy it for?
I purchased the Penn Battle III (rather strongly suggested it would make a good father’s day gift) for use both in a local estuary where we chase Mangrove Jack and as a backup reel for Jewfish (Mulloway) on the beach. I was originally looking at a different reel of around the same specs however recent experience with the Penn Spinfisher IV converted me to try the Battle III instead.
I chose the 4000 model and have loaded it with 30lb braid. This is due to the fact that Mangrove Jack hit extremely hard however as above I also wanted something I could use in other locations such as the beach. And just quietly, I might even take it out on the ocean on the big boat just to see how it runs as well.
As far as the reel goes it is definitely a higher quality than the base budget models with CNC machined gearing as well as fully sealed bearings which is important for someone like me who plans to use it predominately in salt water. Sadly however the main body does not come with the same water resistant seals of some others. I was also keen on something with a good drag system (which based on other reviews this model supposedly has) as I need to be able to ‘stop’ these fish quickly but let them out a bit once we are clear of structure.
What do you get?
- Model: Penn Battle III BTLIII4000AU (models range from 2500 to 10000)
- Bearings: 5 + 1 fully sealed stainless steel
- Ratio: 6.2:1 (models range from 7.0 on smaller models to 4.2:1 on 10000 model)
- Composition: Full Metal body and side plate with precision CNC machined internal components and soft EVA handle
- Drag: Front of spool – HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers – up to 15lb (ranges start at 40lb on 10000 model)
- Anti-reverse switch: No
- Weight: 12 oz (352g)
- Line specs:
- Mono (yds/lb) – 8/270, 10/220, 12/165
- Braid (yds/lb) – 15/360, 20/260, 30/185
Note: Specs change for different sized models
- Extremely durable and tough
- Nice drag adjustment capabilities
- Fully sealed bearings
- Spool is braid ready
- Internal line markers
- Not as smooth as some others
- Body not completely sealed (unlike Spinfisher IV etc.)
- A little heavier than other spinning reels of same size and cost (such as Shimano Nasci for example)
How much is it?
I paid $AUD180 however have seen these priced online at anywhere between $USD150 to $USD230 for the 4000 model.
Do I recommend it?
As mentioned above, I purchased this model based on my love of the Spinfisher and instead of the Nasci which I also love. And in simple terms I have found it to be very much like other Penn models in that it just feels ‘strong’ when there is a fish on. I have to admit to not having got onto anything that will really give it a good test as yet (which is why I want to take it out for some deep sea fishing) but what I have done on it really does feel good.
Again, as with most Penn models, it is not as ‘smooth’ as other brands however it really does handle the rigours of fishing quite well. It casts really well and handles live bait and lures just as effectively (although this may not be the case with the larger models).
At the end of the day, in my experience, If you are looking for something to use with live or fresh bait in most general settings then you could definitely do a lot worse than this one – especially if you want something durable that will take a bit of work and not have to be replaced often even if used regularly.
So there you have it, my honest review and appraisal of the Penn Battle III spinning reel. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below. I would also love to hear of your own experience with these reels.
Are there any other products you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.
Until next time