Ask the Experts

Find answers to common questions about PENN products, purchases, and more.

Product Related FAQ

Choosing the Right Product

How do I match my reel with a rod?

First determine what species you'll be targeting, then determine which line/lures you'll be using to target these species. For example: you're targeting redfish using 10lb mono/20lb braid and ½-1oz lures/bait. Start by determining which rods and reels are ideal for this type of fishing. Spinning vs. casting reels: most anglers prefer spinning reels in this situation. Next is line class: if you look at the line ratings of our 4000 size spinning reels you'll notice that 10lb mono/20lb braid fall right in the middle of the recommended line class, so that's your reel size. You can also use line class to choose a rod. Our 8-15 and 10-17 line class in rods both fit this reel. Also look at the lure rating: the 8-15 goes up to ¾ recommended lure weights and the 10-17 rod goes up to 1oz. This information can help you choose between the two rods. And if you still can't decide, simply visit your local tackle shop where an employee can help walk you through the decision process.

What rod or reel is best used for specific styles of fishing?

That's a very broad question and varies depending on region, species, etc. For example, on the East Coast of the U.S., inshore repetitive casting typically calls for a 3000-4000 inshore spinning reel. In the Gulf Coast states they prefer low profile baitcasting rods. You won't find an easy answer to this here, because it requires multiple questions and answers before we can point you in the right direction. We recommend visiting your local tackle shop where an employee can help walk you through the decision process.

What rod or reel is best used for specific species?

It all depends on how you are targeting them. Are you trolling, drifting, casting, or simply dropping down to the bottom? You won't find an easy answer to this here, because it requires multiple questions and answers before we can point you in the right direction. We recommend visiting your local tackle shop where an employee can help walk you through the decision process.

Which rods are best for use in saltwater?

All PENN reels are designed for saltwater fishing. We ensure that each metal is the correct material/alloy and coated/treated correctly to stand up to saltwater. All ball bearings used in PENN reels are stainless steel, and grease is used liberally inside all PENN reels on all moving parts.

Which reels shouldn't be used in saltwater?

All PENN reels can be used in both saltwater and freshwater. Our rods and reels are built saltwater tough, which makes them more than adequate for any freshwater application.

About my reel

What is the maximum lb/test line that should be used for my rod/reel?

Your rod/reel should have line capacities or line ratings listed on the product. If they're not listed on the product, please visit the product page on our website, where recommended lines are listed for each rod and reel. While using other lines will not void the warranty, it's not recommended.

Do the spinning reels come with spare spools?

Spare spools are not included, but you can purchase them through our parts department:

Monday - Friday
8:00 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. EST
(800) 892-5444

Are wrenches included in the reel boxes?

Conventional reels come with a wrench for basic servicing, removing the handle, and attaching the rod clamp assembly. Spinning reels do not come with tools.

How do I get a reel manual?

While manuals aren't currently available online, you can contact customer service for a digital or hard copy.

How many bearings are in my reel and what are their sizes?

The number and size of bearings can vary from reel to reel. Please check your owner's manual or our website for information.

Reel Options

Which spinning reel models are bail-less?

Z-series, Torque, and Spinfisher V offer bail-less models. We do not offer bail-less kits, as these reels come as finished products.

Model Description

Which reels are offered in left-hand?

All spinning reels (except Z-series) are convertible from right- to left-hand retrieve. See below for our available left-hand conventional reels.

Model Description

Which reels are offered in with a line counter?

See below for available conventional reels with a line counter.

Model Description

Are there larger/power handles available for my reel?

Some PENN power handles can be added to your reel. Locate your reel model number and contact one of our Customer Service Representatives for more information.


Where is my reel manufactured?

Most solid gold anodized aluminum reels are made in the USA (Philadelphia). This is typically indicated on the left side plate (Internationals), the right side plate (117 Senator), or the reel foot (Z Series). If a reel is made outside the USA, this will be indicated on the date code sticker (the small, round sticker located on the reel foot or underneath the rotor on spinning reels).

Can PENN assist with valuing old reels?

Due to the nature of the vintage market, PENN cannot provide valuing/identification services. We are fortunate to have a rich heritage and many collectors around the world, so other websites and forums may be able to assist you.

Service, Repair, Warranty, Etc.

How do I oil my reel? Is there an instructional video?

Instructional videos for general maintenance and lubrication are not yet available. On older PENN conventional reels, there are a number of visible oil ports where oil can be applied and will feed down into the internal moving parts. Newer conventional reels may need to be disassembled for proper lubrication. On spinning reels, a slight amount of oil fed down the spool shaft, into the handle knob, and on both the left and right side bearings (which can be found on any of our parts schematics) will lubricate the reel.

Can you walk me through disassembling my reel and putting it back together?

Our knowledgeable service technicians are available to assist you, however, it's very possible to navigate the process yourself with a few simple preparations. Always start with a clean work area, the parts schematic for your reel, a few basic hand tools and some grease/oil.

PENN has produced many different types of conventional and spinning reels, but a general rule of thumb is "if you can service one, you can service many." For example, if you can disassemble and service a #113H Senator, you can likely service many of our conventional reels. The same goes for our spinning reels. Part sizes may differ, but the methods of assembly and operation are largely the same. And the more you work on your reels, the more comfortable you will become with servicing them.

Do you offer reel repair classes?

At the present time, no repair classes are offered.

How do I remove the side plate on Level Wind reels?

Most of our conventional reels, including Level Wind, have visible screws on the sideplates. Removing these screws will detach the sideplate from the reel.

How do I remove the spool from my spinning reel?

Turn the drag knob counter-clockwise until you can detach it from the spool shaft, then pull up on the spool and remove it from the reel.

How do I change the handle from left-hand to right-hand retrieve? Which models can be changed?

For most of our spinning reels, turn the handle clockwise until completely loose, then remove it from the reel. Remove the bearing cover, which is on the opposite side of the reel. Feed the handle threads into the hole and turn the handle clockwise until snug. Replace the bearing cover on the side of the reel were you detached the handle. On rare occasions, you may have to remove the bearing cover first (counter-clockwise), then pull the handle out and convert it to the other side. The only PENN spinning reels that do not have convertible handles are the Z Series.

Can PENN repair my reel? Can I purchase reel parts?

We offer both repair services and parts. For more information, please visit our Parts or Service pages.

What is the PENN rod warranty?

You can find rod warranty and procedures listed on our Rod Service page.

Can my PENN rod be repaired? Are rod parts or sections available?

We do not offer rod repair or parts. If your rod is within its original warranty period and needs repair as a result of a manufacturer's defect, please visit our Warranty page or Rod Service page for more information.