During the last winter I was searching for a modest spinning reel for pursuing stripers and by modest I did not necessarily mean cheap. The reel would be relied upon to face extensive fish and salt water angling from a kayak for no less than a couple of seasons. To fit my prerequisites they would need to have a sufficiently smooth drag so the fish can turn and keep running without pulling snares, however it must be heavy enough to keep the fish from running into the rock. My target was $100.
I do not like to spend a lot on the reels I use because I feel that such funds could be used for other important needs. In terms of pricing, I feel that there is a major difference in quality between a $50-$100 reel and a $25-$50 reel, yet it is very difficult differentiating between a reel that sells for $75 reel and a reel that sells for $150. Also, with the way that reels can easily get destroyed on a kayak, I’m not willing to spend more than $100 on them. After some series of research, I finally decided to buy a Penn Fierce 5000 as it was able to meet my specifications.
Firstly it was within my budget as it sells for $70. The Penn Fierce 5000 has 300 yards of 30# braids, and has up to 20# of drag weight, and has a weight of 19oz. The gears were smooth and it also has a good fit and finishing. The reel felt truly strong and it had a comfortable handle which here large enough to be held with gloves or cold fingers. So I used 30# Power Pro to spool it up and went fishing with it.
I have made use of the reel for worm set-ups, swimming eels, throwing top water plugs and jigging soft plastics. This reel soon turned into my top pick and I used it on most of my salt water trips this year. Despite how hard I worked the reel, it had very small wears and it was serving me well even more than my expectations. While using it, I was able to get my best personal striper this year. Due to how well it served me, I was convinced to buy the 2000, 3000 and 4000 models so that I can use them for my inshore set-ups and on fresh water.
Comparing Penn Fierce to Competitor Rods
If I were to compare the Penn Fierce 5000 with other reels that sell for between $50 and $100, I will score it 8 out of 10. The only disadvantage I noticed with using it is that it is very heavy due to its full metal body and it might feel unbalanced, if you place it on a very light rod. But in actual sense, it is due to its full metal body that makes it to be very solid and gives it the ability to run smoothly even when heavy loads are placed on it. I however had no problem with the smaller models when I used them on my 7” TFO spinning rods.
This is what Penn has to say in regards to its Fierce models:
- Full metal body and side plate keep exact gear alignment under heavy loads
- Anodized and machined aluminum spool
- Main shaft made of stainless steel
- 4 ball bearings made of stainless steel
- Infinite anti-reverse
- Smooth retrieves from Techno-balanced™ rotor
- Anodized and machined aluminum handle with soft touch knob
|Model||Mono Cap. (yds/lb)||Braid Cap. (yds/lb)||Bearings||Max Drag||Gear Ratio||Line Retrieve (in)||Weight (oz)|
|FRC1000||180/2 • 115/4 • 80/6||160/6 • 130/8 • 115/10||4+1||7 lbs||5.2:1||20||7.7|
|FRC2000||260/4 • 210/6 • 140/8||260/8 • 225/10 • 170/15||4+1||7 lbs||6.2:1||29||8.8|
|FRC3000||250/6 • 170/8 • 140/10||275/10 • 205/15 • 170/20||4+1||10 lbs||6.2:1||31||11.7|
|FRC4000||280/8 • 230/10 • 170/12||335/15 • 275/20 • 205/30||4+1||13 lbs||6.2:1||34||12.5|
|FRC5000||250/12 • 220/15 • 190/17||405/20 • 305/30 • 250/40||4+1||20 lbs||5.6:1||37||19|
|FRC6000||320/15 • 280/17 • 220/20||445/30 • 365/40 • 310/50||4+1||20 lbs||5.6:1||39||20.6|
|FRC7000||390/17 • 310/20 • 280/25||505/40 • 430/50 • 360/65||4+1||25 lbs||5.3:1||39||26.4|
|FRC8000||390/20 • 350/25 • 260/30||550/50 • 450/65 • 390/80||4+1||25 lbs||5.3:1||41||27.4|