Review of Penn Fishing Rods

penn fishing rods for sale

Penn Fishing Tackle Company has prided itself on producing some of the highest quality rods available on the market today. In fact, Penn Fishing Tackle Company has been making fishing reels, rods, lures, and apparel since 1932. Each rod blank is selected to match with a particular application and action, resulting in a wide array of rods that are ideally suited for unique styles and uses.

The difference between Penn fishing rods and other manufactured rods is that the company uses a keen eye to enhance the production process. Rod blanks aren’t just chosen, but hand-selected to ensure that they are properly formed and formatted. Even the color schemes are wrapped by hand, making for a definitively focused manufacturing process.

This focus certainly pays off. The skill, knowledge, and passion that goes intoPenn fishing equipment has set records in almost every IGFA classification. In fact, Penn currently holds over 1,400 IFGA world records. Anglers across the world and from all different levels of experience depend on upon Penn fishing rods, making them a nationally recognized and trusted brand.

Penn separates their rod categories into jigging, inshore, boat, and surf rods. When searching for the best rod, it may be difficult to determine which model is best suited for your own needs. By closely evaluating the top-rated Penn fishing rods, anglers will be perfectly prepared to identify the best Penn fishing rod for their own unique needs.

Rod Characteristics

As we take a closer look at the most popular Penn fishing rods, we will also provide a brief overview of what qualities and components that fishermen should be looking for in a high-quality rod. To pinpoint the best rod for you, the following characteristics should be considered:

Flexibility & strength

Stronger rods tend to be heavier and less flexible, which means they may also be less sensitive to small tugs and bites. On the other hand, lighter rods tend to have enhanced sensitivity but less strength, making them less ideal for larger fish.

Rod length

The length of the rod will primarily determine the casting distance, though it can also become a factor in strength, too. Most rods up to 6 feet in measurement will come in one piece, with longer rods disassembling for easy transport.

Rod material

Fishing rods come in either fiberglass or graphite construction, with a great deal using a blend of the two. The difference between choosing a fiberglass rod or a graphite rod usually comes down to preference and application. Graphite is lighter and more sensitive but can damage easily. In contrast, fiberglass is tough and flexible, but less sensitive overall.

Top Rated Penn Fishing Rods

Penn fishing rods provide high levels of value through durability, specific application, and varying degrees of strength. High manufacturing quality certainly sets Penn fishing rods apart from competing brands. By looking at the different components that make each top-rated rod so popular, professional and amateur anglers alike can quickly determine the best Penn fishing rod for their fishing needs.

1. Penn Prevail Surf Spinning Rod

The Penn Prevail series is well-known for strength and durability, and the Prevail Surf Spinning Rod is certainly no different. What sets this Penn fishing rod apart is a keen focus on providing ultimate protection while surf fishing. Part of this protection comes from an outer shield of woven carbon fiber. This helps encapsulate the rod blank and guide wraps, allowing for long-lasting durability.

Ocean air and water can easily damage rods, but adding stainless steel guides and rubber shrink tube handles ensures that the rod stays protected against harmful saltwater sprays. As an additional benefit, the stainless steel guides include aluminum oxide inserts. Not only does this protect the integrity of the rod, but it also provides steady guidance for fishing mono or braid.

With six different models ranging from 8 to 12 feet, there is no doubt that this Penn fishing rod is made with application and variety in mind.

What You Should Consider:

Purchasing this Penn fishing rod on its own means ensuring that the reel is perfectly matched. While the chosen reel does not necessarily have to be from Penn, it’s worth mentioning that this rod will provide optimum performance with Penn Sargus, Fierce, or Pursuit spinning reels.

2. Penn Level Wind Combo

The Level Wind Combo Penn fishing rod and reel set are one of the top-rated rod and reel combos available. For fishing applications from a pier or from a boat, durability and efficiency are key. This Penn fishing rod and reel combo featurea strong glass blank with a solid, rugged tip to increase strength. While most glass rods tend to come in heavier weights, this rod has been specially engineered to maintain lightweight qualities.

 Glass composite and innovative construction combines to create a durable yet lightweight rod, increasing overall comfort during use. The reel components include anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and machine-cut brass.

 Not only does this produce a durable reel, but these materials ensure that the reel is protected from corrosion throughout saltwater and freshwater application. With a powerful drag system and gear ratio, this Penn fishing rod and reel combo is ideally suited to manage even the heaviest of fish.

What You Should Consider:

This rod comes in two different sizes: 6’ and 6’1”. The difference between the two sizes is primarily seen in the attached reel. The 6’ model will come with 290-yard and 20-pound capacity, while the 6’1” model comes with 300-yard and 30-pound capacity.

3. Penn Squadron Inshore Spinning Rod

With a unique style and composition, the Penn Squadron offers a superior feel for a superior level of comfort. The premium cork and EVA handles provide long-lasting grip, even when dealing with wet conditions. 

They also promote ultimate comfort, allowing for this Penn fishing rod to be easily held for long periods of time. The aluminum oxide guides not only keep thefishing line intact, but they also create more fluid, efficient line movement. The 7-foot model comes with medium rod power and extra fast action, meaning that the rod has flexibility only in the very top of the blank.

The graphite composite blank allows for a lightweight, sensitive feel, making this Penn fishing rod ideally suited for shallow water species.

What You Should Consider:

The full series of Penn Squadron rods alternate between cork and EVA handles. The 7-foot, medium power and extra-fast action model comes with a premium cork handle. Anglers who prefer EVA may want to check out the additional models within the Squadron line of Penn fishing rods.

4. Penn Battle II Combo

This spinning combo is a top seller amongst Penn fishing rods, and it’s easy to see why it is so popular. The graphite composite rod manages to combine durability with lighter weight, enhancing performance for long and short fishing trips alike. 

With aluminum oxide guides, anglers won’t need to worry about fishing line becoming tangled or slipping out of place. The attached reel has been formatted for prime performance along with the rod, making for immediate and simple application. The reel comes with a Superline spool, allowing for superlines to be tied directly to the spool without using backing.

For anglers looking for high levels of performance without the additional hassle of matching a reel to their rod, this rod and reel combo is the perfect solution.

What You Should Consider:

With a vast array of sizes to choose from, keep in mind that the 6 and 7-foot lengths come in one piece, while the longer rods are in two pieces. While length often factors into strength, it can also make a difference in transportation. Make sure that you are prepared to transport rods that cannot be disassembled.

5. Penn Mariner II Boat Casting Rod

The Penn Mariner II is an incredibly versatile rod, suitable for a wide array of fishing techniques and saltwater species. The tubular glass blank is in one piece, creating an overall tough composition. The heavy-duty stainless steel guides ensure that fishing line will stay in place, even throughout heavy stress and hard use.

An additional benefit is that this rod is created with protection against harmful saltwater conditions in mind. Stainless steel guides and a graphite reel seat work together to prevent corrosion from saltwater sprays, ensuring that the rod can last for longer periods of time.

By including a graphite gimbal, this Penn fishing rod offers greater control and leverage. Anglers who find themselves in a tough struggle with large saltwater fish species will certainly appreciate the added strength from the gimbal, which keeps the rod butt firmly planted.

What You Should Consider:

With a length of 6 feet, this Penn fishing rod may not be suited for those looking for long, arching casts. The benefit to the shorter length, however, is that it comes with added strength to bring in tough fish species.


Whether looking for a rod and reel combo or a standalone rod, investing in Penn fishing rods means investing in decades of proven innovation, performance, and customer satisfaction. There is no doubt that Penn fishing rods will continue to be a popular choice. Their commitment to combining durability and affordability certainly has made them into one of the most well-known fishing manufacturers across the globe.

By looking at the qualities of the most popular rods, professionals and amateurs alike will find themselves well-equipped to find the best Penn fishing rod for their fishing preferences, environments, and techniques.

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1 thought on “Review of Penn Fishing Rods”

  1. I purchased a PENN Mariner with a reel while deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the Army. It lasted less than 4 months and it was properly cared for. Being it was the best option here on base (we only had 2) this one and an ugly stick, I reached out to PENN in hopes of getting it replaced. They actually came back to me and asked for $20, the rod is listed for $27. But to give them the benefit of doubt I asked if they wanted to reconsider the $20 fee and they responded with please pay $10. I am surprised by the lack of customer service concerning this matter, especially over just $10. I knew it was not a great rod when I purchased it form the Base Exchange, however guys you should at least stand by your product, especially when you are selling it to Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen!

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