The Penn Battle II spinning reel has been around for some time, and the brand has produced several popular fishing reels over the years. We consider it one of the most high-quality reels in its price range. It comes in eight sizes, from the light 1000 for the small freshwater game to the most massive 8000 for larger species.
With its full metal body, the Battle II offers increased durability for a reliable reel that we can rely on every day. This model is the most affordable Penn spinning reel to contain the HT-100 drag system. The manufacturer has sealed the five stainless steel ball bearings for an extra layer of protection from rust. The instant anti-reverse feature is also a beneficial feature for fighting fish.
The Battle II is compatible with both mono and multifilament or braided lines. Penn reels can also last for years if we take care of them properly. In this review, we will cover our favorite features of this series and everything else you need to know to get the real value for your money.
Penn HT-100 Drag System: Why Is It Important?
If you are new to fishing, we call a couple of friction plates inside the spinning reel the drag. When we are about to reel in the fish, the last thing we want to experience is a broken line. And that point is when the drag system comes in.
When the fish pulls on the line, the resistance on those plates decreases, and the reel turns backward. This action results in the line letting out to prevent it from breaking. One setback drag washers experience is heat exposure. When those friction plates rub together, they produce heat that should recede from the system.
Because of its heat dissipation properties, carbon fiber is the best material for drag washers. In the 1980s, Penn started using carbon fiber with the production of the HT-100 system. HT stands for high tech.
Since the HT-100 washers can manage friction more than older asbestos models, they provide an overall painless feel when reeling and reduce the chance of the line breaking. This model has up to 20 percent more drag than the previous versions. This addition is useful to have when stopping a fish heading for cover.
The max drag for the Battle II series starts at 9lbs for the 1000 version up to 30lbs for the 8000.
Sealed Stainless Steel Ball Bearings Offer a Smooth Experience
Fishing reels have ball bearings primarily to reduce friction and facilitate free movement of the spool, as that allows for maximum casting distance. The more resistance the spool encounters, the shorter the casting distance becomes. With less friction, it will also be simpler and faster to retrieve the line.
The Penn Battle II spinning reel has five ball bearings, the same number as the previous version. The manufacturer only had them shielded before; now, however, they became sealed stainless steel ones.
Corroded or rusted ball bearings due to saltwater intrusion negatively affect the reel’s performance, and these sealed ones will help prevent that from happening.
With this helpful addition to the reel’s features, that is one less reason to take our Battle II into a repair or maintenance shop.
Line Capacity Rings Are a Helpful Indicator on the Spool
Penn introduced this new feature on their more modern reels like the Squall and Fathom series. Now, Battle II has this valuable characteristic as well, and it is one of our favorite additional features.
The capacity rings let the angler know about the amount of line on the spool. We will see markings at one-third, two-third, and full line capacity. They are essential when determining how many lines to put on our spinning reel. Too little or too much fishing line can negatively affect our casting.
With these rings, we will no longer have to question how much of our line is left when fighting fish. They also work great as a gauge to help avoid spooling.
Spinning Reel Features and Specs You Need To Know At a Glance
- Full metal body and side plate – The reel constitute a metal body and metal side plates, ensuring precise gear alignment under heavy retrieve loads.
- HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers – HT stands for High Tech. The number 100 signifies that no significant change occurred when the initial testers took a corresponding value of 100 miles of fishing line against the drag of the reel.
- Five sealed stainless steel ball bearings – They have a superior hardness and are also resistant to corrosion and moisture. Higher grade ball bearings have a high quality of stainless steel.
- Instant anti-reverse feature – With a one-way bearing added to the reel, the Battle II model has eliminated back play on the rotor when instantly setting the hook.
- Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire – The sturdy bail ensures that the line will not keep coming out of the spool.
- E-coating corrosion resistance design – This feature makes sure the spinning reel can withstand damage from corrosion and other chemical effects.
- Line capacity rings – The reel has visual indicators on the side of the spool to show how much line is ready for use.
- Techno balanced rotor – This design ensures a smooth retrieve.
- Superline spool – The reel is compatible for use with Berkley Superlines. It also has a rubber seal that prevents the line from slipping under pressure.
- Braid ready – Anglers can use the reel with braided fishing lines. Since braided lines result in more enormous reel pressures, not all reels in the market are suitable for them.
What Do Other Anglers Say About the Battle II?
One of the things users like about the Battle II reel is the durable handle shaped like a football for a secure grip. Anglers can easily switch the handle left or right to accommodate the dominant hand for reeling. The rubber knob is comfortable to use even after hours of casting. The full metal body and aluminum casting also look very sleek, yet the frame is sturdy enough to reel in the big game.
Penn upgraded the Battle II with an improved paint job that protects the spinning reel from corrosion compared to its previous version. This paint sealant makes Battle II more durable and easier to maintain.
Most anglers have a great impression on the drag system. It runs very smoothly and is capable of handling quick long runs. Some users even say it feels much more expensive than it is: a definite bang for your buck.
With the sizes’ gear ratio ranging from 5.2:1 to 6.2:1, this middle-speed model enables beginners to fish baits easier. The reel can also hold a lot of fishing lines, depending on the reel size and the line type. We have not seen any complaints on line capacity, especially for inshore fishing.
We would often see anglers refer to the Battle II model as a workhorse or a tank because of its high quality juxtaposed with a relatively affordable price.
Here are some of the product reviews from real users.
Shortly after moving to the Gulf Coast, I picked up fishing. For the price, the Battle II puts in work. Great casting and retrieving, it’s simply amazing! I’ve pulled in just about every species on the coast, including the bull-red drum. Very slight maintenance is required. Great reel for the price.
I bought the Battle 2 4000 Combo last year to replace my old Pike setup, and it was fantastic for Northern Pike in Quebec. The 4000 is almost too big for pike as anything under 5 lbs. It didn’t stand a chance. It casts well, has good action, and is comfortable to use. I just bought the Battle 2 2500 to replace my walleye setup, and I’m looking forward to using it this summer.
I own/use 6 Battle II reels and haven’t had any problems. Casting & Drag systems work flawlessly. Great inexpensive tool for hardcore or armchair fishing. Just keep them clean and well-greased
I’m a huge Shimano fan for Freshwater fishing, but once I hit the salt, it is Penn all day. The 5000 and 8000 sizes are my go-to. They can handle Striper, Leopard Sharks, and even 80lbs Bat Rays, which can run for hundreds of yards and pull like machines. These reels are worth the penny. They are big & beefy like a tiger tank.
After spooling with 15lbs Power Pro, I put it on a St. Croix rod with light power and fast action. I went fishing the next day and caught several speckled sea trout with this outfit. The reel worked fantastically and flawlessly. The drag is excellent. Shipping was fast, and the price of the reel was way below locally or in other online stores. I have 6 or 7 other Penn Battle II reels of larger size, and all of them are exceptional.
The Opportunities for Improvement for This Fishing Reel
The larger the fish we want to catch, the bigger the size of the reel we need to get. The sizes 5000, 6000, and 8000 are ideal for catching large-sized fish, but they are heavier than other reels in the same class. At 559 to 855 grams, these hefty reels may not be easy to cast nor use for extended periods, especially for everyday fishers.
Some anglers like to have a lighter reel to compensate for the medium weight rods they use, but we want the solid build as it feels sturdier to hold.
Fishing reels, in general, require regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain their efficiency. When we expose the parts to saltwater, sand, or other elements, we must ensure to clean them thoroughly after every use.
When we take the reel apart for cleaning, be extra cautious with the parts, especially with the anti-reverse spring. Some users report challenges when putting the whole reel back together. Some anglers also state the bearings were wearing out and spools loosening after a period of use.