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PENN Clash II Reel Product Review

February 27, 2020

As a full time fishing guide the spinning reel is my day to day tool of the trade.  Now I know there are lots of other important gear that can make or break my fishing trips, but the spinning reel is definitely at the top of the list most days.  What makes a good, great or even the best spinning reel in my opinion?  The 200 plus days I see on the water a year gives me a lot of time to think about these kinds of things and trust me lots comes to mind!  Here are things that are important to me in a spinning reel.   Weight(light without sacrificing strength), Smooth that stays smooth, dependable day after day and of course the price point.  Thinking of all of those things, this is not the easiest decision or heck even the easiest to find on the market today with so many options out there.

I recently got to use a spinning reel that I was quite impressed with. It is the new PENN Clash II spinning reel.  PENN fishing tackle asked me to take a few of these reels for a “spin” to see what I liked or did not like about them.  Honestly there was not much I could find I did not like about the Clash II reels I fished.  The new PENN Clash II series is made up of six sizes of spinning reels; 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000; also there are two high speed sizes 3000 and 4000.  I’ll talk about why high speed spinning reels are useful later in this review.   I believe there is a size Clash II for just about any kind of inshore and near shore saltwater fishing scenario.

The PENN Clash II in my opinion is probably one of the best inshore reels I’ve every used.  Featuring PENN’s proprietary CNC Gear™ Technology and HT-100™ carbon fiber drag system, the Clash™ II can handle any inshore species you hook into.  The Hydrophobic ‘say that three times fast’  Line Roller Bearing, along with the Clutch Armor System ensure protection to critical components in all weather conditions without sacrificing weight; while the Leveline® Slow Oscillation System ensures perfect line lay cast after cast.

Here are the features of the new Clash II series:

  • Full Metal Body and Sideplate
    • Gives a rigid framework to keep gears in alignment under heavy loads.
  • CNC Gear™ Technology  with a Brass Pinion and Aluminum Main Gear
    • Durability, Smoothness, and Precision is what CNCGear™ Technology delivers. By using state of the art software and CNC machinery the drive, pinion, and oscillation gear are cut to exact tolerances using premium metals.
    • CNC machinery cuts gears directly out of a solid piece of metal, giving it more precision and resilience than other manufacturing processes that utilize molds to shape gears.
    • CNCGear provides precision and therefore exact alignment, which means smooth performance.
  • HT-100™ Carbon Fiber Drag System
    • Drag is used to help fight or tame fish without breaking off line and without fighting the fish into exhaustion.
    • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers provide smooth drag under heavy loads. All HT-100 washers are greased with our proprietary PENN® grease for longevity.
  • 8+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing
    • On most spinning reels the line roller bearing is a crucial point that can become weak due to saltwater exposure. The Clash II features a specialized line roller bearing with hydrophobic properties which prevents saltwater from penetrating the bearing and causing harm or deterioration.
  • Clutch Armor System
    • Proprietary system including seals around the rotor and the pinion gear that protect the pinion assembly, including the clutch. This is the most critical area on a reel to protect.
  • Leveline® Slow Oscillation System
    • The perfect oscillation for an extremely even line lay.
    • Even line lay on the spool means less likelihood of wind knots and line twist, resulting in better, smoother casting
  • 3000/4000 Standards have a paddle knob and include a power knob in the box.
  • 3000/4000 High Speeds have a power knob only.
    • Let’s talk about why a high speed saltwater spinning reel is useful?  I was not sold on the idea of a high speed inshore spinning reel when I first talked to PENN about the new Clash II series.  My mind was changed after fishing the high speed spinning reels; 3000 and 4000 sizes.  They give you the ability to cast and retrieve more quickly, allowing for more casts and the ability to keep up with fast-moving fish that have the potential to cause slack in line.  I really liked using them for Bonito, False Albacore and Mackerel using casting spoons and jigs, as a guide I can see where this will really helped my clients that don’t fish much.  This will allow those clients to retrieve lures at the fast speed I need them to present to those “reaction bite” fish like Bonito, mackerel etc.  And also think about this, how about casting popping & rattling corks.  Cork goes down you know you better get that slack up fast before that fish spits out the lure!!!  Trust me the Clash II high speed reels work great for that too.

The PENN Clash II reels will start to hit stores next month around (mid March) and price range for these reels will be $199 to $239 depending on size.  All in all I’m very excited to fish these reels on my own while fun fishing as well as my clients using them.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a Clash II at your local tackle shop and see how good these reels feel.   Thanks for reading and good fishing to you.

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