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For the Love of Penn Reels

Updated on October 1, 2015
Penn 85 Bakelite reel Circa 1940's
Penn 85 Bakelite reel Circa 1940's
Pen 65 with Bakelite spool circa 1950's
Pen 65 with Bakelite spool circa 1950's
Penn 209 Disassembly prior to restoration Circa 1960's
Penn 209 Disassembly prior to restoration Circa 1960's
Penn 209 Disassembly prior to restoration circa 1960s Note the football shaped bakelight handle different than those of early seventies
Penn 209 Disassembly prior to restoration circa 1960s Note the football shaped bakelight handle different than those of early seventies
Penn 209's after they were cleaned
Penn 209's after they were cleaned
Handle views of Penn peerless 209s
Handle views of Penn peerless 209s
Penn Senators 112H 3.0, 113H 4.0 and 114H 6.0 reels with bakelite handels Circa 1970s
Penn Senators 112H 3.0, 113H 4.0 and 114H 6.0 reels with bakelite handels Circa 1970s
Penn Peerless # 9
Penn Peerless # 9
Penn 6.0 114 H being cleand and polished
Penn 6.0 114 H being cleand and polished
Penn 350 Levelwinds
Penn 350 Levelwinds

Fishing is one of my many and favorite past times. But as with most hobbies, there comes a time when the tackle needs updating, lures need replacing and reels need to have the line replaced. Many anglers want the “Latest-greatest” fishing equipment. With the economy where it is and priorities placed on funds, it became important to make frugal choices when it comes to my fishing gear. Then I happened on a fishing specialty shop that had a large stock of old reels.

Antique and classic fishing equipment has a large number of collectors with an even larger number of reel manufacturers that have gone by the wayside. Keeping this in mind it is important to decide which reels to specialize in.

The sickness started for me when some of my spinning reels were not operating properly and needed overhauling. In a short time I became proficient at working on them and moved on to open-faced bait-caster fresh water reels. I was informed by the specialty shop that the reels I thought of as my favorite casting reels were antique. I never thought of them that way, after-all I purchased them new and have used them for years. It was the “years” part I never really considered. Now I understand that my Penn spinning reels, Daiwa Pro-caster‘s along with my Ryobi bait-casters are considered collectables and outdated.

I never really worried about owning the “Latest-Greatest” fishing equipment, so I continued to teach myself how to work on reels. I would purchase old reels that were no in working order and challenge myself to restoring them to working and in like new condition.

Then I started on old Penn reels, the really old reels the ones with “Bake-lite” side plate’s spools and crank handles. I restored Penn 60’s, 77’s, 80’s 85’s 150’s, 180 and 350’s. They were fun and looked really nice when I finished. But I needed more challenges, and it wasn’t long before I moved to the larger salt water deep sea reels; The Penn long beaches and soon I found myself working on Penn Senators.

Penn Senators, the mac-daddies of the saltwater fishing. These were the reels I learned to fish with when I was twelve. I was like a kid in a candy shop when I picked up my first Penn Senator 3.0 112H. I paid $15.00 for it, crusted and covered in green salt corrosion, and locked up completely inoperable. The shop-keeper thought I had completely lost my mind when I asked him for a price. However after only three hours, I had completely disassembled it and had almost all the corrosion and pitting removed. I started putting it back together. It took me three or four tries but soon I had the drags figured out and the reel was fully functional. When I took the reel back to the shop, the man simply shook his head in disbelief and back to the Old-Reel Bins I went.

I now have a complete collection of saltwater deep-sea reels ready to go. But more so is the pride and satisfaction with the knowledge that not only did I do them myself, but a piece of history was saved and can be used again for its intended purpose. I have Penn 4.0s, and 6.0s on Senator Rods as well as a 3.0 a 4.0 and 6.0 hi-speed Senators waiting patiently as I search for their rod counterpart. In time I would like to have the complete collection of Senators from the 1.0 to the all-illusive 16.0 but for now I enjoy working and maintaining the reels I have.

I still dabble in large surf-reels like the Daiwa BG-90s, and the Penn silver series surf-reels used on my 14’ ugly-sticks, but the big boys, the Penn Senators will always be my favorites to work on and fish with as my Love of Penn Reels continues.

must65gt


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    • must65gt profile imageAUTHOR

      must65gt 

      3 years ago

      thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope the information you needed was provided for you.

    • profile image

      Ronny 

      3 years ago

      Outstanding content. Just what I was exploring for!

      All the best,

      p.s.

      Check out your fresh SE stats with type in google lepsoft RankChecker

    • must65gt profile imageAUTHOR

      must65gt 

      6 years ago

      The reels although unused, probably need to be cleaned and re-lubed but they should be easy to work on if you know how (Penn Reels can be tricky if you've never done one before). The book values and ebay stats do not show a high value for these reels even though they sound like reayl nice reels. they would not do well for freshwater unless you are going after some monster catfish or trolling for sturgeon(lol). If you wish to sell them, email me yhour price and I will try to purchase them. Thanks for reading and your imput

    • profile image

      emeyer 

      6 years ago

      hello, i found 2 Penn long beach 67s in my in-laws garage. they look brand new, in fact I don't think they have ever been spooled. Torpedo reel handles one green and one off white(early plastic?). Anyway, I think they were manufactured around 1965. No boxes, but I found a catalog copy right 1965(No.28), penn oil, tool and extra parts). I live in Indiana, have no idea if they are worth anything. I like freshwater fishing, but not sure I need these, not to may oceans around Indiana.

    • must65gt profile imageAUTHOR

      must65gt 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing Irishcowboy, email me and I will try to help you with the reels must65gt@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      irishcowboy 

      6 years ago

      I have an Antique shop and I recently got 5 senator reels/rods from a friend that was going to leave them behind after carrying them around for the last 30 yrs.He bought them used so I don't know the age for sure they are difinatly for deep sea fishing and they weigh A lot, how is the best way to price these, they just look so . awesome! thanks for any feed back...also got a tackle box full of huge lures and hooks!

    • must65gt profile imageAUTHOR

      must65gt 

      6 years ago

      thanks for dropping by Colorad, the Penn 60's are gresat reels. There isn't much that can go wrong with them as lolng as you keep them lubed and rinsed after use. If you decide to take them apart, be careful of the "Jesus Spring" or anti-reverse lock spring. If it pops out it can take forever to get it back in. If you need help e-mail me and I will be happy to help.

    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 

      6 years ago from Denver,CO

      I have a couple Penn 60s that my brother found for me at a garage sale. I believe it was about $35 for both, with rods included. I've been using them for trolling with lead core, but it's probably about time for me to clean them up.

    • must65gt profile imageAUTHOR

      must65gt 

      6 years ago

      lol...make sure you oil it before taking it out and using it. It may well need cleaning as well...Thanks for reading and commenting

    • BizVT34 profile image

      BizVT34 

      6 years ago from USA

      I grew up with all these reals and still have a few in good shape. Can't beat the Penn Senator. I think I'll load one up and give it a trip this spring. Voted up and shared.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 

      6 years ago from Neverland

      I am not a big fisher but I know plenty of people who are and they will love this Hub :) I do appreciate the reels in the photographs.

    • profile image

      David 

      6 years ago

      Used to love Penn reels when the company was based in the US they made great products. My first yellowfin was caught on a Penn international 50 wide. Now, I find the products to be of a lesser quality.

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