How To Fishing Blogs

New Penn Battle III SW

Penn Battle II SW Coming to your local tackle shop VERY shortly.

Spoke with John at Trophy Tackle about this one. He thinks Penn will clean up with this new Penn Battle III SW $100 reel. I agree. Metal body and the aluminum main/bronze pinion gears out of the more expensive Clash II/Spinfisher VI reels. These should be way tougher than the lesser zinc gears which Daiwa uses in their BG reels, and even their brandy-new, just-released BG MQ reels. What the heck is Daiwa thinking? Why would they hobble their latest $200 reels with freakin’ zinc gears? At least Penn (finally) gets it.

And here’s a nice piece of news – the 6000-size and larger will include brass main gears, instead of the aluminum – an even stronger upgrade. I understand that the 5000-size retains the aluminum main gear, but that gear can be owner-replaced with the stronger brass main from the 6000. So that’s a great plus.

Its nice (and good marketing) that Penn is migrating these far superior gear sets down-market, to their more “popular-priced” reels. FYI, the PENN Battle SW III won “Best New Saltwater Reel” at the 2020 ICAST Show.

Penn is making some MAJOR moves this year. . .

It looks like Penn will be releasing a special version of the Battle III real soon - called the "Battle III DX." It will feature a BRASS main gear to match the brass pinion gear in ALL sizes, not just the 5000 and larger.

This is a big upgrade over the already upgraded and also brand new Battle III, which was up-gunned over the Battle II, with its aluminum main gear/brass pinion vs the II's zinc/pot metal gears.

Did you follow that last sentence? It even confuses me, a bit - and I wrote it! 8-)

I think I just might try a DX next season. Not super-pysched over the 6.2:1 gear ratio though. Not for what I do. But we shall see.

Oh, and for the fashion-forward, like Roccus7 ;), its colored silver/black vs the "standard" Battle III's black/gold finish.

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The reel I’m most interested in seeing is the new Daiwa Procyon LT-AL. Daiwa upgraded its frame to Aluminum from the original graphite, plus they've included machined aluminum/brass “digi-gear“ gearing in the 5:1 range. Way better for what I like to do. And NO DOPEY MAG-SEAL! It’s supposed to come in at roughly $35 more than The Battle III DX. Many good choices in relatively well-priced reels these days.
The "other" reel to look into is the new Shimano Stradic FL. A TON of technology has been migrated down into that reel from the world-class Stella series. They've put so much good stuff into this new Stradic that I see no reason to buy a more-expensive Sustain. Maybe they should have made this reel the new Sustain? Who can say where they take the next Sustain, as there isn't a ton of difference between this new Stradic and the MUCH more expensive (like double the cost) equally-new Twinpower FD.

Shimano is an interesting company, in that they pick and choose which reel, and which specific versions they will send here. For example, in Japan the Stradic FL is offered in a 5.2:1 version which is not available here. Only 6:1+ is sent to us. Also, in Japan they offer what they term the "C" versions - which means that they build any reel carrying a C in the model number with the next size down's more compact body.

So for example, a Stradic C3000 offers the larger rotor and spool of a true 3000-size, but the body is from the 2500 reels. Plus that specific reel IS a 5.2:1 reel. Perfect for cranking moderate-size fish off the bottom - without the bulk of a larger reel. This roughly corresponds to what Daiwa is doing with their newest reels, like the Certate, Luvias (Zaion graphite frame) and their latest, the BG MQ, which to me is a HUGE disappointment, because Daiwa chose to put zinc gears in it. What a shame.

Why cripple your newest $200 reel? I would have put that reel at the top of the $200-class, if they had not hobbled it. I guess they thought that putting better gears in it would move it too close to the Luvias and Certate - possibly cannibalizing the sales of those much more expensive reels? If that's what they were thinking, I strongly disagree.

But back to the Stradic. Unfortunately, the only way to get such a reel (The C3000 for example) is to order it from one of the many quality Japanese tackle shops that specialize in sending "Grey market" Japanese tackle here - such as Digitaka, Japan Lure Shop, Plat, ichiban, Asian portal fishing, or japantackle.com.

This is all well and good - and the reel will arrive in very short order from any of those sellers. However, there is always the issue of service after the sale. Shimano/USA will only service JDM-market reels if they cross over to the USA models. So they could probably service the bearings and other parts that cross, Japan -> USA, but things like that JDM-only 5.2:1 gear set? Yeah, umm, good luck. Shimano/USA no tiene.

So that means that should the reel require service involving the gear set, you either send it to a place like Japantackle.com for repair, or try to source the parts yourself from a Japanese vendor. If I were to purchase a JDM Stradic, I would also need to purchase a JDM 5.2:1 gear set for future repairs. And once those dry up after Shimano again refreshes the Stradic line, you can kiss your gorgeous reel goodbye. Or perhaps "save it," by shooting a set of USDM 6.2:1 gears into it. If they fit, which is in the 95% range of probability, I would think.

I still am considering the Stradic C3000 for next season, but there's a lot to think about, before clicking the "Buy" button. Penn Battle III DX and Spinfisher, Daiwa Procyon AL, JDM Stradic - all offer really good specs, but not too many offer less than a 6:1 gear set.

And here's a wild card - if you like high-end stuff, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, Shimano just released a new version of their up-market Twinpower, called the FD. Its basically a Stradic with a full metal aluminum rotor (instead of graphite/plastic), more bearings, a "doubled up" drag washer set, meaning that the drag system resides both above and below the spool, and better sealing. One step down from the world-class Stella ($800+), it sells for right around $400 or so.

In an uber high-end light tackle spinner it slots in cost-wise just below where the Van Staal VR50 lives - maybe a bit less. No doubt that the Twinpower is the considerably higher-tech reel, but then no reel is as water resistant as a Van Stall, and no reel (other than the Tsunami Evict) carries the SS gearing of the little Van Staal. No comparison in smoothness between a Twinpower and VR50 (or Evict) though. Shimano wins that one every day of the week. But of course there's a ringer or two with the VS VR50 - no left-handed option and the gearset is a fast-ish 6.2:1. Both non-starters for me, as I'm most definitely left-handed, LOL!

And then of course there's the Daiwa Certate, which might just be the nicest mid-high-end spinner ever built - but you have to live with the dopey Mag Seal bearings, which ONLY Daiwa, or an authorized Daiwa service shop has - not available for home repair dudes, like me, for example.

Yet another really nice piece is the Daiwa Saltist Back Bay 3000 and 4000 - it offers quality aluminum/brass gearing, a host of up-market features, a good 5.2:1 gear ratio and a really cool black-out paint job. But again, it carries those mag sealed bearings, which would be a big no-no for home servicing. Plus, one of my closest friends used his about 10 times this season, and now its locked up tighter than Fort Knox. And he does take reasonably good care of his tackle. So there's that, too.

In any case, you CAN find mag fluid on Ebay, being sold by a Korean vendor. However, they make it clear in the description that it is NOT a Daiwa product, and the minimum order is $50 or so - though that will take care of a multitude of reel services. But who knows if this stuff is the "reel deal," that it works as well as the original Daiwa juice? I certainly don't.

So many choices, so many different ways to skin this cat. Cost, taste, long-standing preferences, the ability to service yourself, all of these factor into the choice one can make these days.
"DX" version info begins at 1:38:

And here's what I've been waiting to watch - Nick Scoobydoo, a.k.a.: Tackle Advisors on YouTube has put out a definitive video on the Battle III DX:

Joe I have the battle 1 great little reels..know a couple of guys with the 2 not so good ..From what I read the 3 fixed all the problems with the 2..should be a great reel for fluke.
Let us know how it works once the weather breaks and the season changes!
Joe, I think a Black Hole Challenger Bank 691 UL would be a very nice match for that reel.

Just sayin'. 8-)
He seems to sell a lot more than he fishes. Maybe he should open a tackle shop. 8-)
L