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Penn Spinfisher V Review – All Round Saltwater Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher V review -  a top all round saltwater spinning reel that won't break the bank!
Penn are a legendary reel manufacturer that have always prided themselves on building the highest quality reels. The Spinfisher V reel from Penn is no exception. If you are looking for a great workhorse reel that can withstand the stresses and corrosive enviroment of saltwater fishing then the Penn Spinfisher is an excellent choice.

This is the fifth generation Spinfisher in the series and the previous generations had built quite a reputation. Thankfully the Spinfisher V has more than lived up to it's predecessors quality and performance.

It is suitable for light trolling and great on deep drop for yellowtail. Yet the Spinfisher is still a very capable casting reel if you are more likely to find yourself surf casting.

The appearance is a striking ​gold color contrasting with a matte black finish. The spool is incredibly well finished and looks almost flawless in fact it actually looks better without line on it!


HT-100 Slammer Drag
The Spinfisher V comes with Penn's HT-100 Slammer drag system. The slammer drag system comprises of 3 over-sized HT-100 drag washers. Two of the washers sit underneath the spool whilst the other is one top for more drag pressure essentially doubling the maximum drag pressure. The HT-100 system is also extremely well sealed further increasing the overall durability of the reel.

​Water Tight Design
The main design brief of the Spinfisher V was durability in the harsh corrosive saltwater environment that it is used. Penn went out of there way to make every component as water tight as possible. It has 6 seals that ensure saltwater has a hard time penetrating the drag and gear components(on the live liner models there are 9).

penn spinfisher v spool

Superline Spool
The Superline spool on the Spinfisher is machine cut from anodized aluminum and perfectly balanced to the finest tolerances. It is braid ready meaning no more backing required, it also has line counter rings so you know how much line is out​. 

Make no mistake these reels are tough and the addition of so many extra seals and full metal body construction do provide great protection from the saltwater. However like any reel you really are best advised to rinse them in fresh water once you are finished. Rinsing a reel after use at sea can have a significant increase on the working life of the reel and it only takes a few moments to do.

Penn Spinfisher V Review

The Penn Spinfisher V is one exceptional saltwater spinning reel. It is a step above the Penn Clash in terms of size as the Clash starts at a size 2000 and finishes at 8000.

Available in two different styles: live liner and regular
Across the range you have a choice of eleven different reels. The smallest version starts at 3500 and tops out at 10500, so there is quite the range of sizes to help match your needs.

There is also a live liner model available in some of the sizes if you require the feature. A live liner is the same as a Shimano bait runner. You have two drag settings. One is the main drag setting. The second is usually used when the fish strikes the bait. Some fishermen prefer to let the fish run just after taking the bait. When you need to strike you just turn the handle and the main drag setting is engaged.​

Given that the range only starts at 3500 it is clear that Penn's intention with the Spinfisher V in terms of size is for the upper end of the ​saltwater spinning reel market. And it is in the upper sizes that it is not only most popular but also were it really starts to shine.

Penn created a lot of hype before the release of the Spinfisher V. It posted several video's of the Spinfisher V being reeled underwater as well as playing some very heavy fish. Thankfully the reel has lived up to the hype and the Spinfisher V reel has firmly established itself with saltwater fishermen.

If you are looking for a no frills highly reliable and durable saltwater spinning reel then you can't go wrong with a Penn Spinfisher V. These reels are built to last and may be still faithfully serving you in a decades time.


  • ​5 shielded stainless steel sealed ball bearings 
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • HT-100 Slammer drag system
  • Machine cut anodized aluminum spool
  • Full metal body construction
  • Techno balanced rotor
  • Superline spool is braid ready

Penn Spinfisher V 3500 Review

The 3500 is the introductory model and is clearly best suited to very light saltwater spinning use.

  • Braid: 230/10 215/15 165/20
  • Mono: 390/4   250/6   210/8

Penn Spinfisher V 4500 Review

The 4500 model is a nice step up and also includes a live liner model.

  • Braid: 365/15 280/20 200/30
  • Mono: 300/8 250/10 185/12
  • 4500LL live liner model​

Penn Spinfisher V 5500 Review

The 5500 is where things start to size up in the Spinfisher V range. You can start to target some bigger species of fish from here on up

  • Braid: 425/20 320/30 250/40​
  • Mono: 360/10 270/12 240/15

Penn Spinfisher V 6500 Review

The 6500 has the most variety in the range there is the inclusion of a live liner model. And interestingly it also has the only bail less model available across the whole range.

  • ​Braid: 430/30 340/40 280/50
  • Mono: 330/12 300/15 210/20
  • 6500BLS bail less model
  • 6500LL live liner model

Penn Spinfisher V 7500 Review

  • Braid: 430/40 360/50 320/65
  • Mono: 440/15 300/20 210/30
  • Infinite anti-reverse back up ratchet​
  • 7500LC long cast model which holds slightly more line than the standard model

Penn Spinfisher V 8500 Review

  • Braid: 650/40 540/50 470/65
  • Mono: 440/20 300/30 250/40 
  • Infinite anti-reverse back up ratchet​
  • 8500LL Live line model

Penn Spinfisher V 9500 Review

  • Braid: 630/50 540/65 490/80
  • Mono: 360/30 300/40 220/50
  • Infinite anti-reverse back up ratchet​
  • Triple-supported over-sized stainless steel main shaft

Penn Spinfisher V 10500 Review

  • Braid: 750/50 670/65 580/80
  • Mono: 415/30 350/40 255/50
  • Infinite anti-reverse back up ratchet​
  • Triple-supported over-sized stainless steel main shaft