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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Penn reels #13720509 10/05/20 06:12 AM
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SteveBob Offline OP
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I now have 4 Penn reels (one each #9, #109, and two #209s) loaded with Berkley Trilene Big game line. The smaller two reels are mounted on 6.5' Shakespeare Catfish Ugly Stiks and the larger two are on 7' Berkley Big Game rods. These are going to be my primary bank & surf rods. But they will serve double duty when trolling for big cats also. The reels have all been taken completely apart, thoroughly cleaned, in some cases polished, lubricated, and carefully reassembled. The # 109 had it's drag upgraded with the same drag found in the #209 reels. They all look and work as if I had just opened the box and mounted them brand new even though the newest reel is from the late 70s and the oldest is from 1965 making them between 42 and 55 years old. The level wind mechanism on the #9 was missing but the reel otherwise looks and works like brand new. It was probably removed to make it cast better. It was my dad's reel and he passed away in 1986, so I cannot ask him why. I'll just use my left thumb to work as the level wind on this reel. The setups are heavy in hand but they feel heavy duty and inspire confidence more so than reels with aluminum, plastic, and graphite parts. I'm sure these rod and reel combos will survive more generations since they are so well built. I only purchased 3 of the reels and the line. Everything else came from the leftover parts piles I have in my garage or my dad's gear hiding all over my mom's house. So for a cash outlay of just under $120 and about 3 hours of elbow grease, I have four new-old catfish / redfish combos that with basic maintenance, will last for as long as I'm able to fish and beyond.

Anyone else use these for catfishing? I'd love to hear others experiences with similar setups.

The below picture is the 55 year old Penn #9 before I took it apart and cleaned it.

[Linked Image]

S.B.

Last edited by SteveBob; 10/07/20 07:16 PM.

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Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13723153 10/07/20 05:25 PM
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SteveBob Offline OP
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Here they are smile

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by SteveBob; 10/07/20 07:09 PM.

Watch a fishing show and you are entertained for an hour.

Go fishing and you are happy all day
Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13723167 10/07/20 05:37 PM
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TreeBass Online Content
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They look great and should work well for your purpose. I use mine for hybrids, reds and trout without any issues. But I do need to clean few up come to think about it.


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Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13723202 10/07/20 06:29 PM
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1956Zebco Offline
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Originally Posted by SteveBob
Here they are smile

[Linked Image]


Good looking equipment for sure.

"The level wind mechanism on the #9 was missing but the reel otherwise looks and works like brand new. It was probably removed to make it cast better. It was my dad's reel and he passed away in 1986, so I cannot ask him why." -- they would take the level wind off if they planned to go fishing for large fish that ran. The problem with the level-wind and a running (large) fish is if the line isn't lined up on the spool 100% it will snap your line when it gets to the point of mismatch. Hope that helps.

Some posts in the Rod & Reels section "American Reels? . . ." on the Penn reels too.

Last edited by 1956Zebco; 10/07/20 06:30 PM.

Grandpa's Zebco 33 Restore Fix Lube: https://youtu.be/_4BTSEVcbQ4
Zebco 33 Gear Removal: https://youtu.be/ru122KcdLsE
Zebco 33's To Look For: https://youtu.be/Tg917tVFrM8
Bobber Drop Shot Setup: https://youtu.be/eCruAntyeW4
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Re: Penn reels [Re: 1956Zebco] #13723256 10/07/20 07:42 PM
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1956Zebco,

Thank you and I can see your point on the big fish and runs. My dad used to catch lots of large fish, so that could have been his reasoning for removing the level wind stuff. That also makes sense why most of the commercial party fishing charter boats I have been on (Corpus Christie & Galveston mostly) have the level winds removed also on their loaner rods. I'll check out the posts you mentioned. These are all made in the USA. Penn did not move operations to China until the late 1980s (correction 2006). All of these are mid 70s or older.

Last edited by SteveBob; 10/08/20 12:55 AM.

Watch a fishing show and you are entertained for an hour.

Go fishing and you are happy all day
Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13723363 10/07/20 09:33 PM
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1956Zebco Offline
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Originally Posted by SteveBob
1956Zebco,

Thank you and I can see your point on the big fish and runs. My dad used to catch lots of large fish, so that could have been his reasoning for removing the level wind stuff. That also makes sense why most of the commercial party fishing charter boats I have been on (Corpus Christie & Galveston mostly) have the level winds removed also on their loaner rods. I'll check out the posts you mentioned. These are all made in the USA. Penn did not move operations to China until the late 1980s. All of these are mid 70s or older.


Did he remove the worm and gear? A lot of them (and I would today) remove all that. There is a small toothed gear running that and a fast running fish can spin all that stuff to death. I'm fishing with a 1940's Squidder:



Enjoy those reels - and you had it right, a little lube and care and they'll last several people's lifetimes (many already have).


Grandpa's Zebco 33 Restore Fix Lube: https://youtu.be/_4BTSEVcbQ4
Zebco 33 Gear Removal: https://youtu.be/ru122KcdLsE
Zebco 33's To Look For: https://youtu.be/Tg917tVFrM8
Bobber Drop Shot Setup: https://youtu.be/eCruAntyeW4
Best Baked Beanie Weenies: https://youtu.be/O52P9IaFdSo
200 more: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPSsiJFU2JVh-dfIn1jfZDg/
Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13723581 10/08/20 12:50 AM
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Yep only thing left is the chrome line guide hood for the worm.


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Go fishing and you are happy all day
Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13724105 10/08/20 02:51 PM
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Also no level wind means you'll cast further -- the levelwind mechanism on those penns will slow down the spool.

I used to always remove them from the older Penns I used because I had them break once too often. The line guide will get stuck towards one side and the line will pile up. Once you're on the water there's basically nothing you can do, the reel is unfishable.

Those old penns are great reels, but I never trusted their line guides.

Re: Penn reels [Re: atx_ben] #13724114 10/08/20 02:59 PM
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atx_ben,

The casting further aspect was my first consideration. But the binding line break issue mentioned earlier made sense also. Knowing my dad and the way his mind worked, I'm still leaning towards your line of reasoning on the casting issues. My fix for the friction issue on the level wind guide is to spray Reel Magic casting line spray on my fishing line. It is an odorless spray that lubricates and conditions the line but does not build up on the line or in the reel. It should almost eliminate any friction issues caused by the reel guides against the mono line being casted with an ounce or more of weight. I use it on my fly rods because I can spray it on much cheaper fly lines and make them cast as well as some of the much more expensive lines. A major plus if you are fly fishing on a budget. It reminds me of WD-40 without the smell. just 2 trigger pulls in each reel prior to fishing and you are good to go for a whole day.

Last edited by SteveBob; 10/08/20 04:25 PM.

Watch a fishing show and you are entertained for an hour.

Go fishing and you are happy all day
Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13724199 10/08/20 04:13 PM
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The Ugly Stik Catfish is a much better rods than the Berkley Big Game. I've owned both. The older Ugly Stik Catfish rods were better than the newer ones.

In the future, I think all my rod purchases will be the Ugly Stik BigWater rods or the Ugly Stik Tiger series. They are made better than the Catfish series.


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Re: Penn reels [Re: SteveBob] #13724607 10/08/20 09:41 PM
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My Ugly stiks are some of the older versions of the rods.These two were still in the factory plastic sleeves but were around 20 years old. There was some light discoloring for being stored for such a long time but otherwise they still appear new. I agree on how the Shakespeare rods are much better than the Berkley's for my use. But I did not have to spend anything on the Big Game rods since I already had them. So the price more than made up for their not being my personal favorite.I like the feel and backbone of the rods and this makes them a good match for the heavier Penn 209 reels. Although they seem to be overkill. for the cats I'm going after, I think they could be great at the coast or if I do catch a huge cat or striper


Watch a fishing show and you are entertained for an hour.

Go fishing and you are happy all day
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