jjdbike

VR vs Penn Slammer 4?

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Hey everyone,

This may sound like a really stupid question and in fact it may be. On the other hand, there's been several threads about the various Van Staal reels comparing durability and price. In several threads I read people saying how good the Penn Slammer 4 is and have even seen it compared to the VR. Recently a tackle shop owner called the new Slammer the poor man's VR. The Penn is roughly $280 and the VR is $520, a $240 difference. Obviously for nearly double the price, one would assume that the VR would have very significant advantages over the Penn. That being said, for the surf fisherman that is hard on their stuff, gets it sandy, splashed and occasionally dunked, how do they really compare?

 

For those of you who know, can you please compare - contrast the Penn Slammer 4 (3500 or 4500 size) to the Van Staal VR? I'd sure love to see a rubber hits the road comparison and I'm sure many others would to see this as well.

 

Thanks in advance.

JD

Edited by jjdbike

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I'll be interested in what people have to say being as just purchased the slammer 5500 4 dx. Should be arriving this afternoon and I'll be putting it to use asap. 

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2 mins ago, Big Biscuit said:

I'll be interested in what people have to say being as just purchased the slammer 5500 4 dx. Should be arriving this afternoon and I'll be putting it to use asap. 

Thanks Big,

Yes, I meant the DX, which seems to be roughly $40 - 50 more. I don't know but might be a worth competitor to the VR.

Good luck w/ you Penn, looking forward to hearing how it performs and holds up for you.

Tight lines.

JD

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I have the slammer 3 4500 and beat the snot out of it. Dunks, splashes, and its still going pretty strong after a full year. It is starting to show signs of wear...makes screeching sound when reeling. More annoying than anything. The drag still works good as new though.

 

Im actually going back and forth right now between the Slammer 4dx and VR. I've spent a lot of money on Penn reels though the past 2 years and think I might go with the VR this time around. I read a review from John Skinner somewhere and he said the only knock on the slammer 4dx is that it isn't fully sealed, great reel otherwise.  

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I concur with PhishOnLI.  I purchased the Slammer III 5500 and have used it pretty heavily for a year and a half. It gets in the water a lot, sits on the sand etc. Mine has lost some of its smoothness, but it still reals fine and the drag is excellent.  I suspect I will grab the Slammer IV or IV DX and not go up a few hundred to the Van Staal VR.

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21 hours ago, PhishOnLI said:

I have the slammer 3 4500 and beat the snot out of it. Dunks, splashes, and its still going pretty strong after a full year. It is starting to show signs of wear...makes screeching sound when reeling. More annoying than anything. The drag still works good as new though.

 

Im actually going back and forth right now between the Slammer 4dx and VR. I've spent a lot of money on Penn reels though the past 2 years and think I might go with the VR this time around. I read a review from John Skinner somewhere and he said the only knock on the slammer 4dx is that it isn't fully sealed, great reel otherwise.  

Thanks,

1 year of use and it's showing wear & screeches..... Slammer not fully sealed.

17 hours ago, Dr. Billvis said:

I concur with PhishOnLI.  I purchased the Slammer III 5500 and have used it pretty heavily for a year and a half. It gets in the water a lot, sits on the sand etc. Mine has lost some of its smoothness, but it still reals fine and the drag is excellent.  I suspect I will grab the Slammer IV or IV DX and not go up a few hundred to the Van Staal VR.

1 1/2 yrs and lost smoothness.....

12 hours ago, Joe Paranee said:

For what you are wanting the reel for VR all the way. They are light and perform well for their price point 

Yes,

Sounds like the Slammer is 2nd best, but VR is the way to go. If I win the lottery (I'd need to play first), the upcoming VSX 50, but I really don't have that kind of $$$. To be honest, I'll be looking for a used VR.

Thanks!

JD

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I am already mulling a similar choice for my next reel, and I found this discussion helpful. I really like my Slammer and have used it a ton, but I do look enviously at the Van Staal and think it is the superior reel, but, of course, you pay for that quality.

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20 mins ago, Dr. Billvis said:

I am already mulling a similar choice for my next reel, and I found this discussion helpful. I really like my Slammer and have used it a ton, but I do look enviously at the Van Staal and think it is the superior reel, but, of course, you pay for that quality.

Exactly,

The question is....is the VR $200 superior to the Slammer 4 DX? Could be a pay me now or pay me latter situation. Cry once now shelling out the extra $ for the VR, or cry latter when I need to replace the Slammer. 

JD

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Never had problems with my old Penn’s. Can’t speak to the new line up but I’m sure they are well made and will serve anyone great.

Only have one VR and it really doesn’t get a ton of use but it’s a nice little reel.

What I can add is that I bought my VS reels (3)  in 2005. 17 years without a failure.

For me it’s not about crying once now or later, it’s about having the best tool to do the job and the piece of mind.

I would recommend saving some more coin and going up to the VSX or Zeebaas.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So, I was a huge supporter of the 4500 slammer 3's. Till I fished a pair of them 3-4 nites a week from April till July last year. One was lightly fished and a couple years old the other one was new. Both eventually had bearing issues, one had a main gear issue, and the new one had a seal failure/ water in the body. Neither were dunked, tho they get splashed.

I'm not penn bashing at all here I've got a large amount of penn reels. 

But, if your gonna fish alot. I'd go vr I've got a 50/75 and a 150 second gen. I've got no complaints, the 150's gotta have over 100 hours on it by now. The 50 way less, my only complaint with that reel is it's not as smooth as the 150. But, the line lay is perfect. 

I've thought alot about buying a slammer 4, but decided it can't be that much better than the 3's. My biggest problem with penn is they keep changing their designs. Granted it's all for better. But, it's getting kinda ridiculous how many generations of the same reel they keep putting out.

Edited by Haycreekrambler

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15 hours ago, LowEnd said:

Never had problems with my old Penn’s. Can’t speak to the new line up but I’m sure they are well made and will serve anyone great.

Only have one VR and it really doesn’t get a ton of use but it’s a nice little reel.

What I can add is that I bought my VS reels (3)  in 2005. 17 years without a failure.

For me it’s not about crying once now or later, it’s about having the best tool to do the job and the piece of mind.

I would recommend saving some more coin and going up to the VSX or Zeebaas.

Yes, agree. Only prob is, VSX is huge jump from VR.

JD

13 hours ago, Haycreekrambler said:

So, I was a huge supporter of the 4500 slammer 3's. Till I fished a pair of them 3-4 nites a week from April till July last year. One was lightly fished and a couple years old the other one was new. Both eventually had bearing issues, one had a main gear issue, and the new one had a seal failure/ water in the body. Neither were dunked, tho they get splashed.

I'm not penn bashing at all here I've got a large amount of penn reels. 

But, if your gonna fish alot. I'd go vr I've got a 50/75 and a 150 second gen. I've got no complaints, the 150's gotta have over 100 hours on it by now. The 50 way less, my only complaint with that reel is it's not as smooth as the 150. But, the line lay is perfect. 

I've thought alot about buying a slammer 4, but decided it can't be that much better than the 3's. My biggest problem with penn is they keep changing their designs. Granted it's all for better. But, it's getting kinda ridiculous how many generations of the same reel they keep putting out.

I'm sold on VR vs Penn.

Thanks!

JD

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Purchased the slammer 4 5500 bailess. Best purchase. Super happy with it. Great bailess reel without the nonsense price tag.  A bit on heavier side compared to a Van Staal but so is everything. There’s also a reason you see 20,000 used VR models for sale after half a season or less.  Not worth the fashion show price tag. 

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On 6/16/2022 at 9:29 AM, jjdbike said:

Thanks,

1 year of use and it's showing wear & screeches..... Slammer not fully sealed.

1 1/2 yrs and lost smoothness.....

Yes,

Sounds like the Slammer is 2nd best, but VR is the way to go. If I win the lottery (I'd need to play first), the upcoming VSX 50, but I really don't have that kind of $$$. To be honest, I'll be looking for a used VR.

Thanks!

JD

jj........i have both (slammer 3 not 4) and love both.  The thing that makes the VR that more attractive is the weight (50 & 75).  I must say though, it sounds like the slammer reviews up top aren't that bad for guys not really "caring" for them the way some of us do................meaning freshwater rinses and occasional oil and grease points.  That said.....when i used my 4500 constantly in the wash and cared for it as described, it is as smooth today as when i got the damn thing.  True affordable workhorses!!

 

I can only imagine how the newer 4's perform with equal maintenance and care.  i might look at the smaller DX3500  :th:.......but yeah, i love my VR's weight and quality also.

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What penn needs to do is make some cut outs on the spool and rotor.  This would reduce some unneeded weight.  And it would help drain water and debris so much faster.

 

To me, the slammer 3 and 4 is almost identical.  

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