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Penn 109

13515 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  pjm66
Anyone of you use this reel? Its really nice and smooth. Penn 109 w/level wind has the green handles. I think this model is discontinued :confused: I bought one off ebay and used it yesterday. Married it to a bass pro shops cheapo muskie rod XH 6'3 15-40lb spooled with 30PP. It was handling the gator blues pretty well but I was wondering how it would do vs the mighty bass :confused: Sweet reel, i love those old school Penn reels.

This post edited by Slick56 05:02 PM 05/08/2008
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Back in the day, before all the new sexy little aluminum lever drag reels, the latest rage de jour - high-modulus "double-helix" graphite rods and micro-diameter spectra lines, all there was were Penn Squidders (for the really bux-up fishers), Delmar 285s, Baymaster 155s and Surfmasters of various sizes. Those are what the "Sharpies" used. All there was.

Well even before that there were Penn Monofil 25 and 26s, Silverbeach 99s, the famous 259s and of course the Penn 60 Long Beaches, and such. But believe me, those smart, savy bass never could tell the difference between the guys fishing the Squidders ($69 each) and the Delmars ($29 a pop). They bit well no matter what reel you used. Pretty much still will, though don't tell the tackle manufacturers that, they'd probably stroke out.

The Levewind 9, 109 and 209 were somewhere in there with the first group of reels I mentioned, and they caught mountains of fish. All kinds of fish.

We didn't get so **** sophisticated regarding using the exactly right rod and reel for each species - based on specific techniques - 'til later on.

MUCH later on. But hey what did we know back then - how totally "wrong" those reels were for what we were doing?

The real answer is that they all worked back then, and worked well.

And still will, of course.

I think there's a pretty interesting post that needs to be written on this subject - sometime soon, if I can get a few minutes to get into it.

best, Lep

This post edited by Leprechaun 07:03 PM 05/08/2008
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Braid you ask?

In regard to the use of braid on any of these reels - it can certainly be done, but be mindful that the spool to sideplate tolerance of many of the older Penns was all over the place. Some were quite tight, but most were really loosey-goosey.

This made using lighter monofilament (say, unser 20lb test) a little dicey on the afflicted reels - using braid would be really problematic, and that would only make sense with 30lb braid having the diameter of 8lb mono.

I myself had to send a pair of Squidders back to Penn close to 30 years ago to solve this problem. They "fixed" those reels well enough that I could use them with the old 20lb Gudebrod "Green Dart" mono that "all the sharpies" used locally for clam chumming - they insisted that was the line to use, so that's what I learned to clam chum with. Anyways, even with those "tight spooled" reels, 8lb test thickness would still be an "interesting" experience.

One home remedy for this issue was the old "clear nail polish" trick.

O.K., I can hear you say "The WHAT?"

What this involved was the building up of the spool's outer flange with repetitive coatings of your wifey's clear nail polish - to the point that the spool JUST barely fit back into the reel.

Then, 10 minutes of handle turning would "machine down" the nail polish to the closest possible tolerence relative to the sideplates. It worked darn well back then and it would probably work just as well today.

Just a random rememberence of some old reel expertise from days long gone by.

best, Lep
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Who is "you?"


If so, then yep, I LOVE my 3.8:1 Abu reels. I have those gears in my deep fluking 5500C3s and in my BG6500C bass casters.

A WONDERFUL upgrade if you need to pull on better fish.

best, Lep
C4s have the 6.3:1 gears (both physically weaker and with less torque multiplication) and an extra bearing on the levelwind - both of no interest to me, even for a reel I intend to heavily modify for bottom fishing...

best, Lep
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