Penn Spinning Reels for Tuna Fishing
So which Penn spinning reel should you use for Tuna?
It really depends on the size of the tuna. That’s why I’m writing this article. To give you a guideline of which Penn spinning reel to use for a certain size tuna. Typically you match fishing line weight with fish weight. However, you can catch a 60 lb blackfin tuna with 20 lb line but you have to fight the fish longer before you can bring it in.
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Tuna Weight: 2 – 20 lbs
Penn Fierce II – This is a super bargain spinning reel at around $70. It’s not as tough and durable as the Conflict II or Slammer III but still able to do battle with some good sized tuna as long as you get a larger model like the 5000. The max drag is 20 lb and line capacity is 420 yards of 20 lb braid or 300 yards of 30 lb braid. This gives you a lot of line to let a strong tuna run. Tuna are very strong runners and will challenge rod and reel.
Penn Passion – this spinning reel is a little lighter (and cheaper) weight than the other Penn spinning reels and so I’m going to recommend a larger model. The 4000 should be great spinning reel for 20 lb tuna. The braided line capacity is 260 yards of 20 lb test. The max drag is 15 lbs. The 4000 will have plenty of line capacity to wear out a 20 lb tuna without having to brute it in which could overtax this reel.
Penn Clash – This is a little beefer than the Passion spinning reel. I’m going to recommend the 4000 model though. The line capacity for braided line is 260 yards of 20 lb test but you could go heavier and fill the spool with 30 lb braid and have 185 yards to do battle with. 185 yards is typically enough for 30 – 40 lb tuna. The Penn Clash is a popular spinning reel for saltwater and priced right.
Penn Conflict II – The 3000 model would do well for tuna under 30 lbs. The line capacity with braided line is 180 yards of 20 lb. This is about ideal for a 20 lb fish. The Penn Conflict is a great spinning reel and budget friendly. You can’t beat it for value.
Penn Slammer III – I would recommend the 3500 model. The Slammer III 3500 is a spectacular spinning reel but is a little light for most tuna if using mono fishing line. The heaviest monofilament line is 8 lb BUT if you fill the Slammer III spool with braided fishing line then you can get 220 yards of 20 lb test on it and this is good for tuna up to about 20 – 30 lbs. You could even land a 50 lb tuna but it may take 20 minutes or so to bring it in.
Penn Spinfisher V – I would get the 4500 model. The Spinfisher V is a kick-ass tuna spinning reel and is very popular for blackfin and bluefin tuna. This is the reel used in the video at the top of this page. It’s a brute of a spinning reel but is still very affordable. It’s well under $200. The braided line capacity is 280 yards of 20 lb test and max drag is 25 lbs. This reel is absolutely fantastic!
Tuna Weight 30 – 80 lbs
Penn Fierce II – get the 8000 model for medium to large tuna. The 8000 holds 345 yards of 80 lb braided line. The maximum drag is 25 lbs which is perfect for tuna in this weight class.
Penn Passion – the Passion is a little light for tuna in the 70+ lb class but it’s still doable as long as you don’t mind a long fight. The 5000 is the largest Passion model and can hold 240 yards of 40 lb braid. The max drag is 25 lbs.
Penn Clash – the 8000 model is a great choice for tuna up to about 100 lbs or so. It holds 345 yards of 80 lb braid or 390 yards of 65 lb braid. Both line choices would be excellent. The maximum drag is 30 lbs. This is a great saltwater spinning reel.
Penn Conflict II – the Conflict II 5000 is on the light side but can make it interesting to hook into a 60+ lb bluefin tuna. The braided line capacity is 240 yards of 40 lb test. The maximum drag is 20 lbs. I would not recommend this spinning reel for tuna over 50 lbs but it has caught 70+ lb tuna.
Penn Slammer III – OK…this is an awesome spinning reel for tuna! It’s beefy and holds a ton of fishing line. The 6500HS, 7500 and 8500 will be awesome for tuna up to 100 – 150 lbs. Line capacities are from 420/50 to 555/65 (yards/lb)
Penn Spinfisher V – Another fantastic spinning reel for large tuna. The Spinfisher has been used to catch countless tuna. Charter boats frequently stock their spinning rods with Penn Spinfisher V reels. They are fantastic! Take a look at the following models; 7500, 8500 and 9500. Line capacities range from 320/65 to 490/80 (yards/lb). You can’t beat a Spinfisher for tuna or other large saltwater game fish.
Tuna Weight 100 – 200 lbs
Penn Slammer III – Go with the 10500 model. It’s a killer reel but a tad smaller than the Spinfisher V. Braided line capacities are 845/50 to 540/80 (yards/lb). Maximum drag is a whopping 60 lbs. A fantastic saltwater big game spinning reel for sure.
Penn Spinfisher V – I would recommend the 10500 model. It’s a beast. The 10500 holds 750/50 to 580/80 (yards/lb) of braided line. This is just a great spinning reel for anything up to about 200 lbs including bluefin tuna, sharks, marlin and swordfish.
Tuna Weight 250 – 1000 lbs
Penn Torque II – the 9500 is the biggest and baddest Penn spinning reel for tuna. The Torque II is huge and built like a tank. Line capacities are 575/65 to 420/100 (yards/lb) for braided lines. Maximum drag is 60 lbs. This spinning reel has caught tons of huge fish from 200+ lb sharks to 400 lb grouper…260 lb bluefin tuna and 300 lb black marlin. It’s simply the best saltwater spinning reel for tuna.