Penn Fathom

My first saltwater casting reel was a Penn reel, it was the Penn Squidder 140L. The Squidder has been and continues to be my favorite! This reel is a no bells and whistles true workhorse that when serviced annually has lasted me for years! I’m still using Squidders that my father used to use. However, Penn discontinued making this reel a few years back which upset many a angler that used them. Many can be found on eBay, but there is no other reel like it. That is when Penn started to make a reel that was comparable yet modern by today’s standards.


Penn Fathom star drag is lightweight, quick on the retrieve, and extremely castable due to its revolutionary Live Spindle design. The revolutionary Live Spindle design makes the Fathom SD one of the longest casting reels on the market. A Full Metal Body and sideplate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads, and the powerful HT-100™ drag system will stay smooth from start to finish.

Penn Fathom 12

  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 360/10 260/12 230/15
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 525/15 420/20 320/30
  • Bearing Count – 6
  • Max Drag – LB 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear ratio – 6.0:1
  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 320/12 280/15 190/20
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 500/20 380/30 270/50
  • Bearing Count – 6
  • Max Drag – LB 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.0:1
  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 320/20 290/25 220/30
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 650/30 450/50 370/65
  • Bearing Count – 6
  • Max Drag – LB 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.0:1

Penn Fathom 30

  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 440/20 300/30 250/40
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 625/50 500/65 440/80
  • Bearing Count – 6
  • Max Drag – LB 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.0:1
  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 350/30 300/40 220/50
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 725/50 600/65 525/80
  • Bearing Count – 6
  • Max Drag – LB 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.0:1

Penn Conflict Spinning Reel

The Penn Conflict Spinning Reels striking cosmetics, durable design, and silky smooth drag are a few of the reasons why so many anglers fish this reel. The Conflict’s full metal body construction allows it to maintain precision gear alignment under severe punishment while its Techno-Balanced™ rotor (reinforced graphite on 1000-4000 sizes) ensures a smooth retrieve. From tuna to trout, the Conflict was designed to perform and engineered to last.

The Conflict shines mostly in rotor and line management including line lay. It remains light even compared to nowadays standards. It has all the features like braid ready spool, full metal body to keep itself relevant in today’s market as well.  Another thing I like is the handle which is made from EVA foam knob. Very comfortable to fish even on a colder day.

Now for a breakdown of the sizes and uses for each. The Conflict comes in eight different sizes.

Penn Conflict 1000 Spinning Reels

The smallest of the models can be used for both Freshwater and Saltwater handling largemouth bass and crappie very easily, and even small panfish in saltwater.

  • Mono Cap – YD/LB 275/2 135/4 105/6
  • Braid Cap – YD/LB 160/6 130/8 110/10
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag – LB – 9lb | 4.0kg
  • Gear Ratio – 5.2:1

This reel is ideal for lakes and small ponds, but can also handle striped bass and many 10+lb bluefish with ease. Another good use is for reds and trout fishing inshore saltwater.

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 240/4 180/6 125/8
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 210/8 180/10 165/15
  • Bearing Count  – 8
  • Max Drag – LB- 10lb | 4.5kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.2:1

Penn Conflict 2500 Spinning Reels

It’s the 2000, with a little more beef!

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 255/6 175/8 140/10
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 240/10 220/15 160/20
  • Bearing Count – 8
  •  Max Drag LB – 12lb | 5.4kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.2:1

Penn Conflict 3000 Spinning Reels

This size is great for inshore saltwater from flounder, trout, redfish, snook and bluefish.

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 200/8 165/10 120/12
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 250/15 180/20 130/30
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag LB – 15lb | 6.8kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.2:1

Penn Conflict 4000 Spinning Reels

The graphite rotor in this size makes the reel extremely lightweight and doesn’t compromise strength. This reel is well capable of catching stripers and bluefish in the 30+ inch range with no problems, even in moderate current.

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 270/8 220/10 165/12
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 360/15 260/20 185/30
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag LB – 15lb | 6.8kg
  • Gear Ratio – 6.2:1

Penn Conflict 5000 Spinning Reels

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 225/12 200/15 135/20
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 420/20 300/30 240/40
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag LB – 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 5.6:1

Penn Conflict 6000 Spinning Reels

Looking to catch grouper or kings from a boat? Maybe even a tarpon? This reel will be able to handle that and put the fish, and you, to the test.

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 335/15 230/20 210/25
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 490/30 390/40 335/50
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag LB – 25lb | 11.3kg
  • Gear Ratio – 5.6:1

Penn Conflict 8000 Spinning Reels

Surf fishing here we come! This is the perfect (maybe even a little oversized) reel for catching large red drum, striped bass, black drum, and sharks from the surf.

  • Mono Cap YD/LB 340/20 300/25 230/30
  • Braid Cap YD/LB 475/50 390/65 345/80
  • Bearing Count – 8
  • Max Drag LB – 30lb | 13.6kg
  • Gear Ratio – 5.3:1

Okuma Ceymar C-30

The Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30 is turning heads as the price tag on this is under $50 on most models! No one can believe that there can be so much performance with a price tag like that!

These reels have powerful forged aluminum handle arms with premium EVA knobs, a precision elliptical gearing system which includes machine cut brass pinion gears for durability, and seven bearings with quick set anti-reverse bearings that deliver fluid performance and commanding hook sets.

Ceymar Spinning Reels have lightweight handling, a blade body design that is ultra compact, along with a spool and computer balanced rotor that is ported to extreme levels to reduce weight.

  • Heavy duty, solid aluminum bail wire
  • Machined aluminum 2-tone anodized spool
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system
  • Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
  • Corrosion resistant graphite body
  • Narrow blade body design for reduced fatique
  • One year manufacturer’s warranty

The reel comes in various sizes for all your needs.

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel

  • 6.0oz, 5.0:1 Gear Ratio and Line Cap of 210yds/2lb test

The smallest Ceymar in the family, the C-10 is perfect for 2- to 6-pound test fishing line. A great choice for fishing trout, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and small perch where larger gear can easily over power fish. Pair it with an ultra-light fishing rod for a great combination. The C-10 is also a great choice for small ice fishing outfits.

Okuma Ceymar C-30

  • 8.2oz, 5.0:1 Gear Ratio and Line Cap of 200yd/6lb test

Okuma Ceymar C-40

  • 10oz, 5.0:1 Gear Ratio and Line Cap of 270yd/8lb test

These intermediate sizes suite the vast majority of anglers that fish for bass, walleye, steelhead, carp, catfish and more. The 30 size is more for finesse applications like drop-shotting bass or jigging walleye with 6- to 8-pound line. The 40 size has larger capacity, for bigger lures and fish like steelhead and catfish with 10- to 12-pound line.

Okuma Ceymar C-55

  • 14.2oz, 4.5:1 Gear Ratio and Line Cap of 240yd/15lb test

The 55-size spinning reel offers a lot of versatility in inshore saltwater environments. Striped bass, snook, redfish, shallow water bottom fish are all in the wheelhouse of this highly capable reel. It will hold roughly 240-yards of 15-pound monofilament line. Many will fish this reel with 20- to 30-pound braided lines.

Okuma Ceymar C-65

  • 17.0oz, 4.8:1 Gear Ratio and Line Cap of 210yd/20lb test

At the 65-size, Ceymar reels come equipped with oversized Ergo Grip for exceptional cranking power. It’s the reel of choice for bigger water applications where a lot of line capacity is necessary. In saltwater, the C-65 will be great for fishing over reefs or casting long distances from piers and jetties. In freshwater, this reel will often be fished for catfish in big rivers and lakes.

Best Fishing Reel Review and Buying Guide

There are so many different fishing reels that hit the market every year, it’s impossible to keep track and be able to compare one reel to the next.  No matter what type of fishing you are into, be it saltwater, freshwater, or fly fishing, there is a reel out there that will suit your needs and I’m here to help you find it.

I, myself, am an avid angler and enjoy all the types of fishing noted above. It is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, and I am in the process of passing it down to my kids who seem to enjoy it as much as I do.  Our one true passion is surf fishing for big bull Red Drum on a barrier island, but we will not pass up the opportunity to hit up a local pond or jump in the boat and try our luck elsewhere.