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There’s plenty of Penn fans – I’m one of them. And there are a lot of us questioning the need for both the Penn Battle and Penn Spinfisher VI series. They’re remarkably similar.
At times it can be hard not to be cynical, accusing Penn of creating shelf-filler.
If you’ve read any feedback around the traps, you’ll understand that there’s plenty of Penn users calling the Spinfisher VI reel a Battle with sealing.
While I sympathize with these opinions, I’m more inclined to give Penn the benefit of the doubt here.
The differences between the two spinning reels are minor, granted. But when one doesn’t need the sealing, or the drag power of the Spinfisher, why pay the extra cash when the Battle will cover your applications?
Let’s have a closer look at the Penn Spinfisher VI vs the Battle.
We will analyze the differences so you can work out which Penn provides the best value for your applications.
Penn Spinfisher VI vs Battle III – What Are The Main Differences?
A reasonable summary would be to say the Spinfisher VI reel is a heavier duty, more durable spinning reel. And that would be pretty accurate.
There are three main differences in the series. I suggested in the intro that the differences are relatively minor.
Others might argue differently, and in some respects, they’d have a pretty strong argument. It comes down to application.
If you’re purchasing spinning reels and refining your choice to get the best possible value, covering only what you need in terms of applications, then the differences in features and specs will definitely inform your reel choice.
Let’s have a look at the 3 main differences in the series.
The Spinfisher VI spinning reel has IPX5 sealing. The body and the spool of the Spinfisher reel are sealed. It’s by no means waterproof, but the technology does deliver modest protection from water ingress.
For boat, surf, rock, and kayak anglers, this added protection can make all the difference in a purchase.
Keeping the water out, particularly saltwater contributes to the reel operating at peak performance for longer. The better you prevent water ingress, the longer your reel will last.
Keeping the water grit away from the gears prevents wear and corrosion. Keeping water and grit from drag washers ensures superior drag performance and longer-lasting washers.
2. Size Range and Options
The small Battle sizes start at 1000 and they also have a 2000 and 2500. The Penn Spinfisher VI starts at 2500.
Both reels go in standard increments through the sizes, with only the Spinfisher offering a 7500. The Penn Battle 3 finishes at 10000, whereas the Spinfisher offers a 9500 and a 10500.
It’s important to note that the Spinfisher VI reel offers bailess, longcast, and live liner options. The Battle offers high-speed models in sizes 8000, 6000, and 4000.
3. Max Drag
On average, the Spinfisher drags are more powerful than those in the battle series.
Follow the links under the chart below for all the specs, but here are a couple of examples. The Spinfisher 10500 delivers 50 pounds of max drag, where the 10000 Battle has 40 pounds.
The Penn Spinfisher 2500 delivers 15 pounds of max drag, where the 2500 from the Battle series offers 12 pounds.
One can argue till the cows come home whether this is a compelling difference. In my opinion, no.
As a rule, Penn offers substantial drag powers throughout their range. The Penn Battle 3 is powerful enough; the Spinfisher spinning reel simply takes it the extra yard.
Key Feature Comparison Chart
|Feature||Spinfisher VI||Battle III|
|IPX5 Sealed body and spool||yes||no|
|CNC Gear™ technology||yes||yes|
|HT-100™ carbon fiber drag||yes||yes|
|5+1 sealed stainless bearings||yes||yes|
|Full Metal Body||yes||yes|
|Line Capacity Rings||yes||yes|
|Live Liner Models||yes||no|
|Long Cast Models||yes||no|
Full Penn Battle III Specs Here
Full Penn Spinfisher Specs Here
Last update on 2021-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Penn Battle III Spinning Reel Review
The Penn Battle III is a very capable spinning reel. The series covers a huge number of applications from inshore to offshore.
While it doesn’t really cater for ocean prowling monsters, the 10,000 (the series largest) will still provide access to moderate GT’s, tuna, and the like.
While relatively heavy, the robust construction augers well for surviving tough fishing and tough anglers.
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t expect anything else from Penn; strength is in their DNA. The all-metal body is a feature I like.
Having said that, some may be disappointed that the smaller models have alloy main gears instead of brass.
I’ve not experienced a problem, and there is a weight benefit. However, on paper, it’s a drop in strength.
Spool capacities and max drag strength is classic Penn overkill. It’s a good approach as it broadens a spinning reel’s versatility to tackle unexpected trophy fish.
Given the choice of less weight or greater capacity, I’d go for the greater capacity every time.
CNC machined gears should add to the longevity of the Penn Battle 3. They also enhance the feel and strength of the crank. Supported by 5 (+1) bearings, the Battle has a crank you’ll enjoy.
While not sealed like the Penn Spinfisher spinning reel, it should be noted that the stainless bearings are sealed, which does provide a modicum of protection from water, sand, and dirt ingress.
The high-speed sizes are well-considered and will appeal to big lure anglers, surf anglers, and those who need the pick-up to whip belligerent fish out from structure.
The Battle III delivers endurance, performance, options, and great value for a modest outlay.
There’s a good reason the Penn Battle III won the 2020 ICAST Best of Category Winner – Saltwater Reel.
- Excellent size range and model options
- Value for money
- Gear strength and crank power
- Spool capacities and max drag capacities
- I’m not a fan of superline spool (rubber backing on arbor) and capacity rings Penn should invest in more useful features over these gimmicky additions
- Some will find them a little heavy relative to Japanese models
- Prefer brass gears throughout the sizes
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel Review
I’ve had two Penn Spinfisher reels. I destroyed one after several years of heavy fishing and angler abuse, yet it served me very well indeed.
I still use the IV (a 7500) which I deploy on the rocks and in the surf for larger targets.
It’s scared, battered, and past its peak, but it goes with me every time I wet a line without fail. It’s my go-to for live baits.
The Penn 4 is far smoother, more powerful, and more durable than my old workhorse.
However, I still don’t think Penn has addressed the tendency of the anti-reverse to break (damage) due to heavy impact. It has happened to both of my Spinfisher reels.
I’m not sure if it’s an anti-reverse fragility thing or if I’m just too brutal with them. But I have read and heard of quite a few instances where impacts have compromised gears and anti-reverse.
The Penn Spinfisher now has IPX5 sealing. A sealed spool and body adds to its durability credentials, but don’t be tempted to submerge them.
They’re not waterproof, more like water-resistant.
Of course, the Spinfisher is strong as an ox under load. They’re a joy to fish, loaded with power, and have plenty of spool and drag capacity to aid in the big fights.
This is the big thing for me and keeps me coming back to the Spinfisher. I feel confident fishing a Spinfisher when I’m tackling really tough loads.
The model options are a great feature, with the live liner, long cast, and bailess options proving desirable to surf anglers and live bait anglers.
The Spinfisher is recommended over the Penn Battle 3 if you are looking for a little more drag capacity and the reassurance of sealing.
- Excellent model options
- Gear strength and crank power
- Spool capacities and max drag capacities
- Sealing and CNC gears will help encourage longevity
- Not a fan of superline spool (rubber backing on arbor) and capacity rings. Penn should invest in more useful features over these gimmicky additions
- Heavier than competitors
- Possible fragile anti-reverse mechanism. Don’t drop them on concrete
Is the Penn Battle sealed?
The Battle does not have any IPX sealing. The bearings are sealed, however.
What is the difference between Penn Battle 2 and Battle 3?
The biggest difference between the Penn Battle 2 and Battle 3 is the CNC gearing which enhances cranking and durability.
The styling is a little more understated with the aggressive circular spool porting dropped for the new model.
What Size Penn Battle III Should I Buy?
While predominantly an inshore reel, covering everything from babbling brooks to surf and ocean rocks, the Larger models do have offshore capability.
For finesse fishing, the 1000 through to 2500 sizes are great. The 3000 and 4000 are excellent all-rounders with the 4000 being very capable of tackling big beasts from the surf.
Moving upward from these sizes, you’re targeting a larger class of fish.
The 5000 and up are great for piers and jetties – plenty of strength. I like the 10000, for bridge and break wall monsters, as well as chasing anything from the rocks.
If you’re looking for nearshore capability, casting lures at reefs, lighter trolling, or bouncing the bottom, the 8 to 10000 sizes are very capable.
As a surf angler, I like the 6000HS for hedging my bets, despite the heavy feel.