Penn sells a bail-less replacement kit. I remember it is not cheap so you might want to try the last suggestion about pulling your line.
Maybe you are not using heavy enough lures. I know most Penn SS reels got problems with fireline and powerpro. It is the bail part that is too small for the line and the spool is uneven.
Here is info I found online somewhere, forgot where, but it may help you.
Penn 5500ss has an automatic bail - this can be converted to a manual bail that will stay open until you flick it shut by following these steps:
1 - go the the Penn web site (www.pennreels.com) and print out a parts diagram for the 5500ss.
2 - Find part 28 (Trip Lever).
3 - Remove the Bail Trip Cover.
4 - Take out part 28 and replace it with a stainless steel washer of the same diameter and thickness.
5 - Be sure to put 28B (Trip Lever Bushing) back on top of the washer.
6 - Replace the Bail Trip Cover. You will now have a manual bail.
CAUTION: Laying the reel on its side when taking off Bail Trip Cover reduces the chances of the Lever Spring popping off.
for the Penn 5500. In there infinite wisdom they put the bail return spring on the opposite side of the spool. So they don't make it for this reel. I just emailed them last week looking for one. What BFM said may work.
Power Pro is also a problem on the Penn SS series. I use to use it and got constant wind knots. I switched to fireline for the SS's and don't have a problem now.
I use Fireline 30#lbs on 5500,6500,704z
The only time I had problems was because
the lures I was using were to light.
Bucktails have to be 3/4oz and up.
Swimming plugs 7/8oz and up
Poppers pretty much 1oz and up.
Other than that no problems.
I just spooled the 6500 with power pro
50# test and tried it out last week.
One wind knot but I believe that was because I over spooled it.
I had more wind knots using mono.
I like Fireline alot and giving Power pro a try this year.
I got a lot of wind knots on both my 4400SS and 5500SS with 14 and 20 pound Power Pro. Now I have Fireline on both.
Why are you guys using 30 pound and 50 pound braid on your surf rods? I use 14 pound fireline on my 5500SS on a 9 foot Medium rod that is rated for 12-20 pound line and 20 pound Fireline on a Slammer 560 on an 11 foot Med/Heav rod rated for 15-30 pound line. Are you guys using heavy duty bait slinging rods or are you just overloading your rod capacities because of the thinner diameter of the braids?
I use 20# FireLine on one of my graphite 9-footers (gsb1081L) with a penn5500.
I have another graphite 9-footer (gsb1081M) for heavier applications (e.g. throwing eels and bucktails from inlet backsides). I wanted to go to 30# PP on that one, but had trouble with it. Tried 50 PP and it worked well. It's still thin enough to give all the distance I need. The 50 is certainly a bit overpowered for the 5500, so I've replaced it with a VS200.
The reason I switched over from 20lbs
test fireline over to 30lbs is because
Whenever I was launching my heavier
plugs it just felt like the line
was about to snap and I would loose my
plug.It just didnt feel right.
I needed something with a little more thickness. 30 is equiv to 12 diameter
and with the power pro I chose #50 because thats also 12 diameter.
The 20 fireline is like 8 diameter.
Now I can really load-up on my cast
and whip it out there with confidence.
I can really feel the difference with
the thicker line.
When i mention diameter I meant mono equivalent.
Surf Ed - Ive used the 14# Fireline to sling eels with as well. On my 8 footer I don't get a **** of alot of distance (150 feet or so) but I do this in the back of the Nissequoge so that's far enough.
Just seems when you've got something in the order of 30 to 50 # test - it's like pulling the fish in with a winch. Just lock that drag high & crank away. Now I'm not an advocate of keeping a fish on the line longer then necessary (especially if you plan on releasing him)due to the stress you put on the fish - but I've always been able to get whatever I hook in the river to shore on 14# test. Gotta leave the drag a little light but it's enough to do the job. This includes bass up to 40". I know - small by some standards.
Just try to match the equipment to the task. Just my opinion. I'm sure others have their own.
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