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BrianBM

Penn Baja Special, CURRENT PRODUCTION ONLY

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The Baja Special ( a narrow 4/0 113) was discontinued and then reinstated to Penn's production line. It is still made in Philly, and at roughly $230 is probably the cheapest Penn still made in the US. It doesn't have the ISP design that appeared briefly in the Metal Senator or the Torque conventional reels, but otherwise had a reputation as the cream of the Senator crop.

 

Has anyone bought any of the current-production Baja Special reels, and, if so, how do you like it? Any observations? Comments? It's gotten good press in the Bottom Fishing Forum as a tilefish reel. Chark likes it, but he's a hell of a good salesman / copywriter and could sell me a Fish-O-Matic for tuna, if he carried them.

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Brian, I have the new production model and also had the old. love them both. It is a smooth powerful reel that you can use tuna jigging, tilefishing, deepwater cod jigging and use it for many other species, grouper,Snapper and the such down south.

 

 

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There are two differences between the new and the old 113HN.

The very first production run [2004] had 5 ball-bearings and a nylon/plastic drag star.

Starting in 2005, a 6th BB was added due to a somewhat sloppy handle, but no other functional issues.

The boxes were never updated, and to this day still say "5 ball bearings", but the owner's manual in the box shows the correct number.

In 2007, production was discontinued, and "closeout" pricing put a ton of these reels into circulation due to price markdowns.

In 2008, due to numerous requests [mainly from San Diego long-range boat Captains], production was resumed, with the nylon drag star changed to the same metal one found on the TRQ300.

Reel is still in current production [on page 9 of 2012 Penn catalogue].

Many anglers don't know you can change the "orientation" of the gear box to "forward" or "rearward" as you see fit, by simply loosening the 4 right sideplate screws and rotating the sideplate one click, the re-tightening the screws.

It is indeed the least expensive USA-made Penn model.

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Thank you both. Goes on my Christmas list. (FishNH, as you see, prior discussions of tilefish are much on my mind.)

 

A pity that Accurate doesn't make a narrow frame for the Metal Senator, which does have the ISP arrangements of components. I have one NIB, when Chark was closing them out.

Filling that reel with quality solid braid would cost more than the reel did.

 

Tunanorth, FishNH, the contemplated use for the Baja Special is tilefish. A solid braid would offer a bit less drag in the water than a hollow braid. Would either of you care to recommend a braid for this particular use? Straight up and down with up to 5 lb. of sinker in up to 1000' of water.

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Thank you both. Goes on my Christmas list. (FishNH, as you see, prior discussions of tilefish are much on my mind.)

A pity that Accurate doesn't make a narrow frame for the Metal Senator, which does have the ISP arrangements of components. I have one NIB, when Chark was closing them out.

Filling that reel with quality solid braid would cost more than the reel did.

Tunanorth, FishNH, the contemplated use for the Baja Special is tilefish. A solid braid would offer a bit less drag in the water than a hollow braid. Would either of you care to recommend a braid for this particular use? Straight up and down with up to 5 lb. of sinker in up to 1000' of water.

 

There are not many times you will have to use 5lbs. Most times 2's and 3's.

I use suffix or stren for braid.

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Tunanorth: Many anglers don't know you can change the "orientation" of the gear box to "forward" or "rearward" as you see fit, by simply loosening the 4 right sideplate screws and rotating the sideplate one click, the re-tightening the screws.

 

:th: Now that's a smart feature. :th:

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Is the anti-reverse quiet?

 

 

This reel uses a "Double Dog" anti-reverse system for "never fail" reliability, and does not have an IAR bearing.

When the reel is filled with line and used outdoors, its pretty inaudible.

Empty of line and cranked inside a tackle shop, you can hear a little clicking.

 

 

 

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Thank you both. Goes on my Christmas list. (FishNH, as you see, prior discussions of tilefish are much on my mind.)

A pity that Accurate doesn't make a narrow frame for the Metal Senator, which does have the ISP arrangements of components. I have one NIB, when Chark was closing them out.

Filling that reel with quality solid braid would cost more than the reel did.

Tunanorth, FishNH, the contemplated use for the Baja Special is tilefish. A solid braid would offer a bit less drag in the water than a hollow braid. Would either of you care to recommend a braid for this particular use? Straight up and down with up to 5 lb. of sinker in up to 1000' of water.

 

 

This reel holds over 600 yards of 65-pound braid.

Figure out what the lightest braid you can get by with is, then fill 'er up as high as you can get with that.

On ultra-deep drops, you want to start back up with at least a moderate amount of line left on your spool.

You are correct, using solid braid is just fine.

ISP notwithstanding, the 113HN is a superior reel to the metal Senator.

Keep that NIB Metal Senator model just as it is, it will likely be a valuable collectors item someday, as only about 400 were ever produced.

 

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can anyone confirm the 400 production number on the 113MTL? I emailed penn several months ago out of curiosity and the response was that they could not give me that information. I heard somewhere that the number could be up to about 1000 units?

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