Hey guys, welcome back to Beach and Fishing and my Penn Squall Lever Drag trolling 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
- How it works
- What I bought if for
- Pros and Cons
- My recommendations
What is a trolling reel?
As the name probably suggests, trolling reels enable you to catch deep-sea fish from a moving vessel via a fast moving lure or live bait (usually a live baitfish). They are similar to baitcasting reels in that they are installed on top of the rod and differ from general deep sea spinning reels as they are usually able to hold significantly more line on the spool.
A good saltwater trolling reel must be tough enough to withstand exposure to the elements and the power of larger, fast running catches. It should also have a smooth, dependable drag that can wear down a hard-fighting fish’s resistance.
What is the Penn Squall Trolling Reel?
The Penn Squall Lever Drag Conventional Fishing Reel is a trolling reel that has been designed for deep sea saltwater trolling and jigging. In full disclosure, I do not actually own one of these however have used one a few times recently on some deep sea fishing adventures.
I own a number of Penn reels for deep sea ‘reef bashing’ but not for trolling. I also use my little Shimano Baitrunner for this purpose but as we were chasing fast and big Spanish Mackerel, I was handed one of these to get my teeth into. It is quite simple to use and to be honest, I never felt like I was going to lose my fish.
In short, I loved it and will elaborate on this more below. However, for now lets look at the features of this reel which include:
- Lever drag– As the name suggests, this reel uses a sliding lever on the side for easy drag adjustments as well as achieving high drag pressures. This, combined with the DuraDrag® washers makes them perfect for use with heavier lines and larger fish.
- Graphite frame and sideplates – This combines strength and durability whilst keeping the reel light for longs days out on the water.
- High strength bronze gears – This technology provides for strength and precision within the gearing – a must when under heavy loads.
- Line capacity rings in the spool – This allows you to keep track of just how much line you have out so that you can better manage trolling distance and fish management when it is on a ‘run’.
What do you get?
- Model: Penn Squall Lever Drag Conventional Fishing Reel
- Bearings: 5 + 1 shielded stainless steel
- Ratio: 4.3:1 – 6.1:1 (sizes 30 – 50)
- Composition: Graphite frame and side plates with precision machined internal components and soft EVA handle designed to match the size of the reel.
- Drag: Lever carbon washer drag up to 33lb/15kg (50 model)
- Orientation: Left and right available
- Weight: 1.65 – 2.4lb (700g – 1.08kg)
- Line specs: Varies on size but 50 model is 50/310 mono and 80/750 braid
- Extremely durable and saltwater resistant
- Handles heavier catches without displaying any strain
- Great line capacities for deep sea trolling
- Handle a good range of fishing targets
- Quite heavy when compared to others
- Clicker system can ‘get in the way’ when trying to free spool
How much is it?
I have seen these priced online at anywhere between $USD150 to $USD200 depending on size.
Do I recommend it?
As above, I used this reel in a deep sea situation where were trolling with live baits chasing large and fast surface species and, to be honest, although I have experienced smoother reels, I never felt like I couldn’t fight and control the catch with this reel.
I didn’t get the chance to have a play with a lure however I did like the sensitivity I felt on the line when the live bait gave a little ‘jump’.
The lever drag took me a little getting used to but I was able to free spool well (once the clicker was turned off) and loved the way I could control the run of the fish once I got it going.
So, in case you were wondering, this one is a yes from me!
So there you have it, my honest review and appraisal of the Penn Squall Lever Drag conventional fishing 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 experiences with it as well.
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