Penn Fierce Vs Penn Battle – Which One Is Better?

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If you’re already a Penn fan, or simply looking for an affordable, quality spinning reel, then the Penn Battle and the Penn Fierce have likely entered your deliberations.

On paper, the Penn Battle 3 is the better spinning reel. Especially now as the Battle III has hit the shelves sporting a few upgrades. 

Keep in mind that the Battle III should outperform the Fierce III as it costs on average 25 to 30% more, depending on where you purchase.

Interestingly, the respective price points see the Fierce sitting at the high end of entry-level and the Battle sitting firmly at the low end of the mid-price category.

So, should the question be which reel is better, or which one should you buy? Are you getting the extra value paying more for the Battle? 

Or are you better served settling for the Penn Fierce and stocking up on new lures with the balance?

They are both nice spinning reels, so you can’t really go wrong. Ultimately, it’s a budget thing. Should you punt the extra few bucks for the sleek-looking Battle with its extra features? 

Let’s review both models.

Penn Fierce III Vs Penn Battle III Reels – What Are The Main Differences, And Which Should You Buy?

The Penn Fierce and the Penn Battle are both great reels, but they each have their pros and cons. If you want to know more, continue reading for a detailed review of both fishing reels.

Penn Fierce III Spinning Reel Review

The Penn Fierce III is a great option for the budget-conscious angler. 

When you have to pay an extra 20 to 40 bucks in a purchase, it’s great to know tight budget restraints won’t see you destined to fish gear of questionable quality.

Overall, the Fierce III is a pleasure to fish. It has a smooth and powerful crank, with a smooth and powerful drag system. 

The series delivers great fishing access with a full useful size range from 1000 to 8000.

Anglers can chase the smallest of brook trout in mountain streams, tuna, and GT’s in the blue water. There are excellent models for surf and rock fishing, and the estuaries are completely covered. 

Anglers can expect success with all but the largest bluewater species.

Anglers can expect reliability and a reasonable level of durability. Expect consistent performance at peak spec for a few seasons. 

Even those who choose the Fierce as their go-to weapon and fish it hard regularly can assume they’ll get full value from their modest investment.

Clean it carefully and regularly, service and grease at considered intervals, and you’ll have a stayer. 

In my experience, the gears, and the anti-reverse system particularly, are prone to damage from heavy impact. Take care not to drop them on hard surfaces.


  • Affordable quality
  • Reliability
  • Smooth crank and drag system
  • Size range


  • A little heavy by modern standards
  • Vulnerable to dirt and water ingress
  • Gears and anti-reverse systems vulnerable to impact

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

The Penn Battle III Spinning Reel Review

I’m an angler who is very tough on fishing reels, and my care routine leaves a lot to be desired. In many ways, the Battle caters to my heavy-handedness and neglect.

The new Battle has sealed bearings. For a surf specialist like me, this offers value. 

They’re not foolproof or bombproof, but they do mitigate sand and water ingress to a degree. Keeping sand out of your bearings improves longevity out-a-sight.

The precision-cut of CNC gears delivers a more precise mesh, and therefore crank.

A turn of the handle is slop-free, which delivers further durability due to the significant reduction of movement between gear teeth.

I’m also a fan of the chunky bail arm. In theory, it must be stronger than the thinner gauge wire. 

Regardless of that, I like the look, and it promotes a confident feel. I’m also not delicate when I handle bail arms 

Like most spinning reels from the Penn stables, the Battle III is smooth, strong, and robust. 

It’s a joy to fish, and I have the benefit of knowing, it goes some ways to cope with my lack of reel handling care and manners.

The Battle III also features an extensive range. 

The addition of a 10,000 delivers better access for the surf, rock, and blue water angler chasing a larger class of fish. Starting at size 1000, the Battle range covers the lion’s share of fishing applications.

The Battle III series offers 3 high-speed models for those needing more speed: the 4000,6000 & 8000.

In my opinion, these are excellent sizes on which speed is added. It’s ideal for big lure anglers, and those needing to pull fish away from structure quickly.


  • Extensive model range
  • High level of durability – all metal, including the rotor
  • Smooth crank and powerful drag system
  • Sealed bearings
  • Looks great


  • A little heavy by modern standards
  • Gears and anti-reverse systems vulnerable to impact
  • The addition of a spare spool would make it more price competitive
  • Price point brings competitors into the equation. Other manufacturers might deliver better value

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Comparison of Features

Here is a features chart and a specifications chart that illustrates the core differences. 

Note that the 3000 size has been used to demonstrate the core specification differences.

Bearings5+1 Sealed4+1 Shielded
Body / Sides PlateMetalMetal
RotorMetalGraphite Techno Balance
Capacity RingsYesYes
Super Line SpoolYesYes
Bail WireAlloy Heavy Duty OversizeAlloy Heavy Duty
Spare SpoolNoNo
Instant Anti-ReverseYesYes
Series Size Range1000 to 10,0001000 to 8000
Live Liner ModelsNoNo
High-Speed Models4000,6000 & 8000No

The Battle III sizes 1000 to 3000 have a brass pinion and aluminum main. Sizes 6000-10000 have a brass pinion and main. Follow the link under the chart to get the specs for all sizes of both reels.

Specifications For The 3000 Size Penn Battle III and Penn Fierce III

Spool Capacity Mono yd/lb200/8 165/10 120/12200/8 165/10 120/12
Spool Capacity Braid yd/lb250/15 180/20 130/30250/15 180/20 130/30
Max Drag15lb | 6.8kg15lb | 6.8kg
Weight11.8 oz11.8 oz
Retrieve35″ | 89cm35″ | 89cm

Follow the links below to get the full specs of each size from both Penn series:

Conclusion. Which Penn Reel is The Best?

If you can stretch the budget, I would recommend the Penn Battle III over the Penn Fierce III. That’s not to say the Fierce is a poor option.

On the contrary. If your budget is already stretched, as many of our budgets are in perpetuity, the Fierce is a fine option.

I like the durability benefits of CNC, the stronger bail arm, and the sealed bearings in the Penn Battle III. Despite its extra weight, the full metal body and rotor are also a winner for me.

I also like the extensive Battle III model options. You can create a formidable spinning reel arsenal, covering countless applications with just the new Battle series alone.

I have broken two of my Penns due to impact. Both were Spinfisher models, both were full metal bodies, both were dropped on the rocks, and both broke the anti-reverse mechanism. 

This is not a criticism as such, more a heads up. Don’t drop your Penn on hard surfaces. Both the Fierce and Battle are subject to this piece of advice.

Ultimately, whichever spinning reel you choose, Battle or Fierce, I’m confident you’ll get plenty of sessions of fun fishing.

Both spinning reels feel very similar. The deciding factor for me is the punt I’d take on the Battle’s superior durability credentials. 

It’s a punt because you can’t really be sure that the Battle will outlast the Fierce. You’re making this assessment based on credentials.

The only way to know for sure which model is the better buy is to buy both, use them in an identical fashion over many sessions, and see which one is still performing to spec, following rigorous deployments. 

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