Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since my last product review, but I am going to fill the gap, with the most interesting way! So let’s go!
Shore Jigging Reels… The dark side of the moon…
When it comes to heavy fishing styles, like shore jigging, heavy lure fishing or jigging, most of us have a big variety to choose regarding rods, lines and lures. But this is definitely not the case with reels, as there are not many choices regarding tough ones. Casting a jig all day, gives a hell of a stress to your reel and this causes gear, bail, or anti reverse failure in time. As a result, we tend to turn to high end Japanese reels to do the job done, or we choose medium priced Japanese reels as an alternative. But through time, wear and tear is unavoidable. Especially medium-priced reels, show signs of wear quite soon. Of course here, plays a significant role how often someone goes fishing and how persistent he is. If you go fishing once or twice per month, then you might be super happy with your medium-priced reel, but if you go several days per month (or week) and you hammer like “a dog of war” hard all day, then things are way different! You need a strong reel you can trust and rely on! And guess what? There is a Bad@ass reel out there that “can take a punch” (or even a kick) and keep on doing it’s job, without costing a fortune! So let’s talk about Slammer, a powerful reel made by Penn!
Fishing with Slammer IV first thoughts
The reel does feel robust and gives the impression of a tank! It is smooth (as smooth as a tank can be) and the balance between torque and speed is combined perfectly! Line management is surprisingly good and simple, without additional twist or stress on the braid. Smooth and efficient drag performance without “bumps” during running of the fish and excellent casting performance without any unnecessary friction as the braid flies from the spool!
Penn Slammer IV Overview
The Penn Slammer is a popular and well-regarded series of spinning reels designed for saltwater fishing. It has gained a reputation for its durability, robust construction, and smooth performance, through the years. As we speak, there is the Fourth (IV) version of Penn Slammer in the market, that shares the same (or even more) durability with its ancestors, along with an even smoother performance, and an impressive IP6 water sealing feature, that guarantees that no matter the conditions, it will keep away from your gear box, water, salt or sand. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I have been testing these reels for more than a year, to be sure that it is not just talking and fancy bullet points! Did I say, “testing”? No… I kicked the hell out of them, and I faced absolutely no issues, although intentionally kept them unwashed and without maintenance for all this period of time. And there came the surprise! I have complained many times about the saltwater protection of High End Japanese saltwater reels I was using in the past, that for some reason after 2010, all showed corrosion signs after a while. So imagine my enthusiasm when I discovered that a 300€ price range fishing reel can handle salt, much better than a 1000+€ reel…
Here are some key points to consider when we talk about the Penn Slammer IV fishing reel:
- Durability: The Penn Slammer range is known for its robust construction. It is built to withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing, making it a reliable choice for anglers who target big game fish. The reel features a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, which adds to its overall durability. IP6 Sealed body and spool design, add even more durability and longevity on your reel.
- Smooth Drag System: The Slammer reel typically boasts a high-quality drag system, which is essential for battling powerful fish. It offers consistent and smooth drag performance, allowing you to handle various fishing situations effectively, thanks to the Dura-Drag material. Note that the exact same drag system is used to the Big Game Penn International reels, that are commonly used to defeat the monsters of the oceans.
- Saltwater Compatibility: The Penn Slammer IV is specifically designed for saltwater fishing, so it’s less prone to corrosion and damage caused by exposure to saltwater. This is an important feature for anglers who primarily fish in marine environments with high salinity waters like the Mediterranean. And if line roller is the weak part of most reels, Penn Slammer utilizes a hydrophobic line roller bearing that saltwater has no effect on it. Salt poses no threat at all for “Slammers”…
- Bearings and Gearing: Penn Slammer reels typically come with a good number of stainless steel ball bearings, contributing to their smooth and reliable performance. The gearing is often well-constructed and capable of handling the pressure of fighting large fish. Penn Slammer IV comes with 8+1 Stainless Steel bearing system and CNC Tech Hardened Brass Gears that can withstand any fight and stay smooth through time.
- Price: The Penn Slammer reels are considered mid-range to upper-mid-range in terms of price, depending on the specific model and size. They offer a good balance of quality and affordability for many anglers while they stand out by far at the same price level competitor reels, as being far more durable!
- Line Capacity: Depending on the specific model, Penn Slammer reels come in various sizes to accommodate different line capacities. This versatility is a significant advantage, as it enables anglers to target a wide range of fish species. Line capacity levels on the spool are ideal to help you calculate your braid intake.
- Maintenance: While the Slammer reels are known for their durability, like any fishing reel, they still require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Proper cleaning and lubrication are essential to keep the reel in top shape.
Penn Slammer IV or Penn Slammer IV DX?
To be honest, I tried both, and wasn’t able to destroy either. The main differences between these two, identical in performance reels, are:
Penn Slammer IV DX reels have a Stainless Steel Gearing, they have one more stainless steel bearing in the spool, and are grey colored.
Penn Slammer IV reels have Hardened Brass Gearing and are painted with the classic Black – Gold Penn colors of war.
I can’t tell if stainless steel Gearing is stronger than Hardened Brass Gearing because both are indestructible!
Which Sizes for Shore Jigging?
I have been using three sizes for my shore jigging set ups.
- Penn Slammer IV 4500 did great on my SGS6 Shore jigging 10’ MH 30-100gr rod. With a weight of 425gr, a drag performance up to 13.6kg and a 6.2:1 gear ratio that provides 102cm line retrieve, is perfect for both Jigs, plugs and topwater lures! This size can take up to 300m of PE# 2.5
- Penn Slammer IV DX 5500 was a blast on my SGS6 Shore jigging 10’ H 60-150gr rod. The 629gr weight balanced PERFECTLY with the rod, and the monstrous 18kg drag performance was always more than I ever needed. What is surprising with this size is that the 5.6:1 gear ratio is still considered fast and while Penn claims that it provides 99cm line retrieve, all my tastings were always around 102cm. That gives incredible action and high power for using flawlessly Jigs, plugs and topwater lures! This size can take up to 300m of PE# 3.0 which is my preferred.
Penn Slammer IV DX 6500 is what I call, a war machine that matched perfectly with my heavier set SGS6 Shore jigging 10’ HH 70-180gr rod. Having 686gr weight, and the same powerful 18kg drag performance, is a reel for the big deal. Here the 5.6:1 gear ratio provides up to 107cm line retrieve, (possibly more) while keeping the torque at high levels, allowing the angler to hammer all day with minimum fatigue. This size can take up to 300m of PE# 4.0
In summary, the Penn Slammer IV fishing reel series is a solid choice for saltwater anglers seeking a durable, reliable, and smooth-performing reel. It’s known for its ability to handle large and powerful fish and is generally well-regarded by the fishing community. However, it’s essential to choose the right model and size that suits your specific fishing needs and preferences. As with any fishing equipment, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure its longevity and continued performance.