No question the Penn Slammer series is a classic spinning reel and the symbol of a fishing reel that is really tough. The Penn Slammer III is a more than worthy successor with modern reel technology and new features. Also the main problem of the old Slammer, the not so good line laying, is solved. I bought the Penn Slammer 3 as a reel for the Daiwa Prorex and my upcoming holiday on the Canary Islands and here is my first impression The test will be extended as soon as I have fished more with the reel.
Before I buy a reel I do a lot of research and the reason is you are my readers. Of course with cheap reels I also buy faster and risk a bad buy, but with the Slammer I had no worries. So the reviews and videos I have watched are all clear and the reel is great, especially for the price. Because saltwater suitable and robust reels usually cost much more, the Slammer 3 with its ~100-160 € depending on the reel size is almost a “bargain”.
My first impression and novelties of the III
My first impression of the Slammer is quite clear: great reel with interesting design and great and well thought out new features. Some things have not changed, thank God, and so the Penn
Slammer is again a full metal reel, which is a guarantee for its robustness. Other things have not changed at Penn. The reel is really well greased and no matter if you take off the brake knob or turn the crank: the blue Penn reel grease will do the trick. Here there is a big difference to Daiwa and Shimano rollers, which are oiled and only very economical. Penn doesn’t spill grease, but rather uses it to make a big splash. This further contributes to the robustness of the roller, even if it has the disadvantage that the roller does not turn as easily in the shop. The other brands just don’t turn as easily after half a year of fishing. The Penn will survive years without maintenance with the grease bath, and the grease on the reel helps to make it waterproof.
That’s what the new Penn Slammer III does compared to the old version
The new Slammer doesn’t turn as easy as my old retracted Slammer 460, but that should change soon, when the grease is better distributed. Nevertheless the high gear ratio is noticeable. But there are also many new and positive innovations of the Slammer 3.
- It is much lighter and smaller than the old
- The line is laid even with thinner braided top
- The spool is sealed
- Completely new design
- Higher gear ratio
- There are rings on the spool which indicate the line fill level
- The large crank handle turns very easily and can be replaced
- The axle is a little thinner, but still thicker than on other spinning reels
I have now had the Slammer with me on some spinning trips on pike on the lake and have now been able to outwit the odd esox with it on my rod. Spooled with a braided 20 lb line (0,23) I never had problems with wigs or the like. The winding pattern is good and the line hanger has never just been folded down for me. Only in the cold the metal crank knob gets a bit cold. Fishing with gloves is the order of the day here. For pike I had to turn the reel much slower because of the high gear ratio, especially in winter you have to pull yourself together to keep the lure from passing the mouth of the pike.
Of course I had no problems with the reel during the fight: the reel is really strong.
But the next test of the reel is still to come: spin fishing in salt water for bonitos, big garfish and bluefish in just under two weeks. Of course I will report how I did with the reel.
The Slammer III is suitable for this
The smallest reel of the Slammer is a 3500 reel, which already suggests the area of application of the reel series: here we are talking about big fish where robustness is required. The smaller two versions are ideal for fishing for pike and zander but also cod and any small and medium-sized marine predators. Even warm-blooded smaller predators from southern climes should grab the small Slammer reels. The reel can also handle bigger lures and especially jerks and poppers, other stationary reels are not so slammers. The bigger versions are then for the really big fish, like here in freshwater catfish or in the sea then everything that makes the rod really crooked.
Especially the high gear ratio makes this reel perfect for fast predators, no matter if for speedjigging or fast leading of plugs. Obviously for pike spinning you have to turn the reel slower and a hard start when starting the crank is noticeable, but this is completely normal for 6.2:1 ratios. I can imagine the smallest of the Slammer 3 reels also very well on a long sea trout rod for spin fishing for trout and cod, because it balances the long rods with its high weight very well.
For those who like it fast even in the big reel sizes, Penn launched the Penn Slammer III HS last year. HS stands for High Speed, a high gear ratio with high line pull. But for anglers in this country it is not very interesting, except for holidays in the south and fishing for big and very fast fish, like GT, Wahoo and Co.
The Slammer III models in the overview
Alternatives to the Slammer
If you like it a bit lighter, the Daiwa BG is a good choice. The Daiwa sea reel is available for a little less money and has become very popular with sea anglers around the world since its launch.
The old Penn slammer was a reel that anglers who treated their tackle roughly and badly or simply wanted a sturdy workhorse, wanted. The new one now also satisfies more demanding requirements, although it is not immediately super smooth, but you can save yourself the maintenance for a while. It is a recommendable spinning reel that is worth every cent and I am looking forward to many years with the Slammer 3. Of course the reel weighs a bit more than plastic spinning reels but that is the price you have to pay for a full metal body. I think the reel is just awesome!