Penn Battle Spinning Reel Review

Rally around the sleek black and gold design of the Penn Battle II. Striking outside features and an elegant framework display a reel equally well built on the inside. Come with us as we explore the 8 different models and the 7 distinct features packed into the Penn Battle II spinning reel.

Penn Battle II Features, Specifications & Model Comparison

The Penn Battle II spinning reel series ranges from ultralight to medium in size. Anglers can employ monofilament as thin as 2 lb test or as heavy as 30 lb test, depending on which model they use.

The reels vary in weight from 8.1 ounces on the light end to 30.2 ounces in the heaviest model. That’s quite a difference in size from end to end, but it’s not the only variable that changes. Have a closer look at all the models in the Penn Battle II line.

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Key Features Shared By All Penn Battle II Models

All reels in the Penn Battle II series share 7 distinct technological features.

  • Full Metal Body, Side Plate, And Rotor: The full metal body eliminates any kind of twist that occurs under pressure in hard plastic reels. Metal side plates offer better protection for inner components, and the metal rotor ensures precise alignment of gears.
  • HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers: The term HT-100 stands for Hi Tech-100 miles tested with no significant washer wear. These drag washers are built to last and actually lose friction when heated.
  • 5 Stainless Steel Bearings: It goes without saying that a saltwater reel needs stainless steel bearings. 5 bearings offers a more fluid retrieval. It keeps away from the 3 or 4 bearing systems not typically favored by anglers.
  • Instant Anti Reverse Bearing: Backward play in a spinning reel spool usually results in a bird’s nest. The anti reverse bearing prevents such undesirable occurrences.
  • Solid Aluminum Bail: One of the most susceptible parts of the reel to taking damage is the bail wire. The solid aluminum wire of the Penn Battle II resists warping or bending that can lead to immediate performance issues.
  • Superline Spool: Mentioned in the title and not forgotten. This feature puts a rubber gasket on the spool where the line is tied. It prevents any slipping of mono line and removes the need for braided backing.
  • Line Capacity Rings: Another title topic and one that is self explanatory. Too much line will slip right off the lip of the spool and end up in knots. The spool on the Penn Battle II comes built with rings telling you the exact point to stop adding line.

Penn Battle II Models

  • BTLII1000  • BTLII2000  • BTLII2500  • BTLII3000
  • BTLII4000  • BTLII5000  • BTLII6000  • BTLII8000

Penn Battle II Specs & Comparison

The smallest of the Penn Battle II reels weighs in at a mere 8.1 ounces. It can easily hold 275 yds of 2 lb mono, 135 yds of 4 lb mono, and 105 yds of 6 lb monofilament line classifying it in the ultralight range. Braid lays on the spool at 160 yds/6 lb, 130 yds/8 lb, and 110 yds/10 lb test. The front drag system maxes out at 9 lbs of resistance, and the gear ratio is 5.2:1.

Next up from the smallest reel is the BTLII2000. It weighs a light 9.8 ounces and holds 240 yds/8 lb mono, 180 yds/6 lb, and 125 yds/8 lb monofilament line. Braid capacity is 210 yds/8 lb, 180/10, and 165 yds/15 lb braided line. The drag increases a little at 10 pounds max resistance and the gear ratio also moves up to 6.2:1.

The third spinning reel in the Penn Battle II series. This reel is still lightweight at 10.3 ounces. It’ll hold mono line at 255 yds/6 lb, 175 yds/8 lb, and 140 yds/10 lb test. Those that prefer braid can expect 240 yds/10 lb, 220 yds/15 lb, and 160 yds/20 lb test. The drag resistance jumps to 12 pounds max but the gear ratio stays the same at 6.2:1.

The lighter of the two middle reels adds a little beef and weighs 12.3 ounces. It can hold 200 yds/8 lb, 165 yds/10 lb, and 120 yds/12 lb test mono line. Switching to braid will give 250 yds/15 lb, 180 yds/20 lb, and 130 yds/30 lb line. The drag on this model is a bit stronger at 15 pounds maximum resistance. The gear ratio again stays the same at 6.2:1.

The larger of the middle models offers some leeway on strong running fish. It doesn’t get much heavier weighing 12.8 ounces, but does hold a larger spool which allows more line. Mono wraps round the spool at 270 yds/8 lb, 220 yds/10 lb, and 165 yds/12 lb test. Braid will give you 360 yds/15 lb, 260 yds/20 lb, and 185 yds/30 lb test. Notice that the line strength didn’t change from the 3000 model! The maximum drag and gear ratio also stay the same at 15 pounds and 6.2:1 respectively.

The 6th model in the Penn Battle II series transitions to a beefier reel. It weighs 19.8 ounces which is a 7 ounce change from the 4000 and the biggest jump yet. The bigger reel translates to mono line at 225/12, 200/15, and 135 yds/20 lb test. Braid goes on the spool at 420/20, 300/30, and 240 yds/40 lb test. You get a higher maximum drag at 25 pounds with the 5000 model, but the gear ratio drops to 5.6:1.

The second to the heaviest Penn Battle II reels weighs 22.1 ounces. It holds mono line of 335/15, 230/20, 210/25 and braid falls in at 490/30, 390/40, and 335/50. The maximum drag stays at 25 pounds as does the gear ratio at 5.6:1.

This reel tops the series and weighs in at 30.2 ounces which is another big jump from the previous model. The bigger spool makes room for heavier line with mono amounts at 340/20, 310/25, and 230 yds/30 lb test. Braid weights and lengths are 475/50, 390/65, and 345 yds/80 lb test. The max drag lifts to a solid 30 pounds, but the gear ratio gives a bit dropping to 5.3:1.

Pros And Cons Of The Penn Battle II – What Anglers Have To Say


Getting right to the main point is the price. The front drag system alone makes these reels worth the price. Penn didn’t stop there, adding 6 more features described in detail above.

The availability of 8 different size models gives fishermen an enormous amount of latitude. Consider the fact that 2 or 3 of these reels could cover nearly any fishing situation and would only run around two or three hundred dollars. Now that’s value!

I don’t normally care enough about the appearance of a reel to make mention of it, but take another look at the image and I bet you agree. The Penn Battle II will get noticed by friends and strangers alike.


Negative feedback amounts for only a small amount of all Penn Battle reviews. Still, insights into customer concerns might lead you to choose a superior product so let’s cover them now.

The most numerous complaint I’ve read is failure of the stainless steel ball bearings. Higher quality saltwater fishing reels usually have a system to protect inner components from harsh marine elements.

The Penn Battle II has stainless bearings, but no way of keeping grit particles and corrosive saltwater from getting into the reel. I don’t doubt these reports, but I do wonder if proper maintenance might have prevented most of them.

Because of the reported concerns and the lack of an internal protection system I do recommend purchasing a set of backup bearings with these reels.

Common Customer Questions

Most of the frequently asked questions have already been answered in the information above, but there are a couple still lingering.

  1. Question: Is there a left handed version of the Penn Battle II? Answer: All reels in the Penn Battle II series are left/right hand versatile. Simply unscrew the reel handle and screw it in to the other side.
  2. Question: Is the reel compatible with both fresh and saltwater use? Answer: Yes it is with a couple notes. This reel will last longer without an overhaul used in freshwater only. Regardless of water type, a thorough washing with fresh water after each use will extend the reel’s life considerably.
  3. Question: What size reel should I get for 15 pound mono line? Answer: The key here is to use the specs provided above in each reel model. 15 pound mono line could be spooled on the 5000 or 6000 models, which leaves you the decision to go heavier or lighter between the two reels.

Final Opinion – Penn Battle Review

After looking at all the features, the price range, and the pros of the Penn Battle II spinning reel I find it hard to put too much stock in the cons or the negative reviews. It’s not much of a leap to believe that a certain small number of these reels have bearings that seize up prematurely.

It’s also certainly true that not everyone maintains their reels as well as they probably should be. I know because I’ve been guilty of it myself. Proper maintenance is the key with these reels, especially since they lack the inner protection system used in more expensive lines.

Grab yourself an extra set of bearings which won’t cost much. They’re easy to replace or you can bring them to a local shop and have it done. It’s very much worth the small effort in maintenance to own such a well built reel at the price of the Penn Battle II.

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