My Penn SSVI 2500 Experience

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The hype is real. Everyone is praising the new spinfisher but my experience is much different. I recently bought 2 2500 spinfishers VI. I am comparing them directly to the daiwa BG 2500. I bought these to use on my kayak since they are supposed to be sealed. I thought it would be a good upgrade. With that being said my BGs never game me issues I just wanted to try Penn again.


1. On the 2500 size reel line lay is bad on 10lb braid. Both reels bowed out the line in the middle after adjustment and undercut the top and the bottom of the spool, more so on the 10lb line.


2. They pack a lot of grease under the spool support bearing which causes the spool to ride too high. Even if you take all the shims off the line will be bottom heavy. Once you clean the grease out the thickest washer they give seems to center the line on the spool the best.


3. The line roller is so loose that it clicks under load. It moves left to right very easily and I guess there is no shim support on the sides. Tightening the roller bearing screw does nothing. So if you are holding your rod sideways and reeling fast under some load it clicks really loud as it changes sides.


4. Who ever designed that spool has never fished in their life. There is a almost 90 degree edge that catches line constantly and wraps around the front of the spool. The Daiwa BG is a dome shaped spool and drag knob. I never had it catch on a BG and I close the bail with my hand. The spinfisher has caught my line many times on that tiny lip right by the drag knob.


5. The drag clicker doesn't engage on light drag settings. You have to crank the drag down for it to click when line is going out.


I know that some reviewed the bigger sizes with glowing reviews, but the 2500 to me is a bust. Just passing on the info. I wish I took more detailed pics but it's too late now. I sent both back.


Size wise the 2500 VI has slighty more capacity then the 2500 BG.

The BG has a bigger handle. The knobs on both reels are crappy. 

The BG is much smoother but not sealed.

The Penn feels like a clunky Penn, the BG feels more refined.

The bail wire click is more positive on the VI and on the BG it is mushy.





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Faithless your complaints seem legit. I would personally reach out to Tony on the Penn forum and I am sure he will help you out. If those reels went out of the factory with issues, I am sure he would like to know and he will do the right thing. It's too bad. I swore off Penn years ago and like you tried them again at some point. I had the same bad experience the second time around. It was Tony, the SOL forum and all the product updating that kept me sticking around. If I bought a new Penn and had your issues, I would feel almost obligated to contact him. Penn needs to know what's going on at the consumer level.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I don't want help from Tony or specialized treatment from Penn. I want to be able to walk into any store and buy a Penn reel and have no issues. Granted I had bad experiences with the battles and spinfishers Vs. I was told by the marketing machine that these reels are much better than the older version. All best features combined into one. So I bought two to see if they really are. As soon as I started spooling them with line I noticed issues right away. Maybe the bigger sizes are great, but the 2500s have issues.


It is possible I got 2 bad copies from a first / bad run. Unfortunately, history seems to repeat for me with budget Penn reels. So just passing on the info of what I experienced. I am sure that some people think the BG is crap too and have legit issues. Which is fine, out of 8 BGs I bought I had one make a minor noise which was exchanged for a perfect one. BGs have their own short comings too. No such thing as a perfect reel but those are pretty damn good odds for $85 reels.


I know I will get hate on here from Penn guys for posting this. Especially the ones that already bought the reel and need confirmation of how great the reels are. If you are happy with it and it works for you, great! I wish that was me. I am not a Penn hater. I started with Penn, moved to Shimano and now I am playing with Daiwas. Wanted to go back to Penn, just can't do it at this time.

Edited by faithless

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 2/11/2019 at 0:05 PM, HKJonathan said:

Very interesting. Scooby-Doo, what say you?

I know one person personally with the 2500 who I've spoken too directly about his.

Elias is not a fan of it at all.  Very rough in feel and lacks torque.  Although he didn't mention line lay issues at all.  (I'm pretty sure it was a 2500) I think he put out a review today abouut it.

And my 4500'd using 14lb fireline ultra and j braid stacked line like the japanesium brands.


Unfortunatley I guess with the 2500 and light line there is no avoiding that gapping issue. 

I doubt it's 2 duds.  

I spooled up 8lb super slick v2 on a ballistic lt 2500 and it wanted to do that.

Had i gone with 6lb j braid grand i'd bet it would show.


Maybe the 2500 is  just a crappy line layer.  That 15lb (what is it P line cxx? or halo?)  for it to show there isn't gonna affect anything.  But it's no bueno that you can even see it.


Faithless..I'm not doubting you at all.....I came into the spinfishers thinking they were gonna be **** line layers.  But I found gaps to be much worse on battles and others if spooled under light tension.   Higher pressure and very steady uniform pressure really made a noticeable difference.

Gotta say though.  Looking at the pics it doesn't look that bad honestly.  Maybe it's the angle.




Edited by scoobydoo

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For what it's worth ... Do It Yourself line lay on a Penn SS VI 4500:



20lbs test Invisi-braid ... the reel held about 270 yards ... not the 300 specified.

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Thank you for the review Faithless, i'm in the market for a 2500 size reel and was considering the SS VI. Looks like i need to look into a couple more reels in that size.

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