Over the past year or so I’ve been fishing with various prototypes of a brand new Penn 535Mag2 reel. Although, for obvious reasons, I can’t always spill all the beans on new reels we’re working on, I have tried to keep everyone informed as the reel progressed through its various prototypes via my blogs and Facebook page. At last though, the reel is about to hit the shelves and I can fill you all in on what for me has been one of the best and most versatile reels I’ve been lucky enough to help work on.
The Penn 535Mag2 is designed as a large capacity casting reel. The spool capacity takes roughly 300yds of 20lb mono line, or 220yds of 30lb mono line. If you chose to load with braid, then the spool eats up 450yds of average diameter 50lb braid.
The important design features include a lightweight graphite frame and side-plates making the reel light in weight but strong.
It has a forged and machined aluminium spool, a marine grade bronze main gear and a stainless steel pinion gear for maximum strength and winching power when you need to really bully big, heavy fish. The gear ratio is 6.0:1, so it’s a fast retrieve allowing tackle to be skimmed back across the surface to save losses.
It carries 6 shielded stainless steel ball-bearings strategically placed to make the reel smooth under load when retrieving.
The drag system is what’s called a “Versa-drag” with HT-100 drag washers. This allows the sequence of metal and HT-100 drag washers to be altered to give a wide range of drag settings to suit all fishing conditions. The drag can also be locked down when you need to literally drag big fish out of weed beds and snag ridden ground.
The key factor when initially working on this reel idea was that we wanted a reel that cast exceptionally well for its size. With this in mind the spool sits on a live spindle meaning, when in free spool, the spool is totally free to revolve and is uninhibited. Plus the reel is fitted with a dial-in turn button that instantly adjusts the braking to give you instant adjustment when casting with varied sized baits, and when fishing in rough and changeable fishing conditions or when casting in to strong head winds. To further increase casting performance the reel sports a narrow spool design, proven to be better for long range casting and overall balance.
It also features a cranked winding handle with an ergo dynamically designed finger grip. You can also adjust the throw of the handle to increase cranking power if need be. The overall weight of the reel unloaded is 18.5ozs.
What makes this reel so special is its versatility. Yes, I use it for all my rough ground shore fishing for big conger, bull huss and deep water cod, and personally I find the reel excels at this type of fishing. You can also use the reel for uptide casting off the boat when after big cod, conger, rays and tope in fast tides, but I’ve also been using it as a normal downtide 20/30lb class reel when fishing off the back of the boat for everything from rays, to tope, to conger. Having lent the reel out for the day to anglers I’ve been fishing with, some have used it for working and retrieving big lures over wrecks too, and with great success.
As you can see, this reel has become an important part of my fishing and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check it out when you next need to replace or add a reel to your armoury!