Penn Spinfisher VI

Penn Spinfisher VI reviews:

4.6 rating
4.6 out of 5 stars (based on 36 reviews)
Very good25%

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Penn Spinfisher VI details:

The Penn Spinfisher VI is the newest edition in a long line of Penn reels known for durability. The most recent Spinfisher boasts the same rigid full metal body and HT-100 Drag system that made the previous Spinfisher a top performer. What’s new is that the Spinfisher VI has an improved water resistant rating, meaning its internal components are even less susceptible to damage from water intrusion, as well as the implementation of Penn’s CNC Gear Technology, giving you ultra-precisely machined gears for unparalleled smoothness and durability.

Penn has added two new models to the Spinfisher line-up with the 2500 size and bailless 4500 size, giving surf, inshore, and offshore anglers a Spinfisher VI that will fit any application imaginable. If you are looking for a highly durable, high performance spinning reel at an affordable price, the Penn Spinfisher VI is the reel for you.

One of the most recognized and accomplished saltwater spinning reels in the world, the PENN Spinfisher is a real workhorse. The PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel builds on that legacy with a full metal body and sideplates that keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment, while the IPX5 Sealed design keeps saltwater out to ensure consistently smooth performance.

The oversized bail wire virtually eliminates the chance of failure in the heat of battle. Anglers the world over strongly approve of the Spinfisher’s sealed drag system with premium HT-100 drag washers. Line capacity rings on the braid-ready spool wall help you judge how much line is out, and how much is left. Built to last, this reel is suited to inshore, nearshore, offshore, and surf angling – in short, everything saltwater!

The PENN Spinfisher VI features IPX5 sealing so whether it gets hit with a wave, or you let it ride in the spray all the way home, you don’t have to worry about saltwater getting into the gearbox or drag system. Our HT-100 drag washers are housed in a fully sealed spool to give the stopping power needed for big saltwater fish. A Full Metal Body and sideplate keep the CNC Gear System in precise alignment under heavy loads. Available in standard, Live Liner, Long Cast and bail-less models.

With the addition of Penn’s CNC Gear Technology and IPX5 seals, the Penn Spinfisher VI is a top contending spinning reel in its class.

Penn Spinfisher VI model specifications:

Model Number:
Gear Ratio:
Line Per Handle Turn:
Weight oz:
Mono Line Capacity:
Braid Line Capacity:
Max Drag:

Penn Spinfisher VI FAQs:

What rod pairs well with a Penn Spinfisher VI for big amberjacks?

I would go with one of the Trevala rods.

Which spinfisher VI for live bait Sailfish

You'll want the model SSVI8500LL

What is the difference in the 2500LL and the 2500?

The 2500LL features a live liner feature for live bait.

Is there a bailess kit for the 5500?

Currently there is no bailess kit for this reel.

Penn Spinfisher VI Video:

PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel Product Video
Watch this video on YouTube.

Penn Spinfisher VI Reviews:

Nice n smooth but one nightly issue

4.0 rating

I like this reel a lot, smooth and well finished, and casts like a champ
My only real grumble is that the spool has an annoying habit of letting the outer coils of line spill over and get round / under the spool skirt, tangling round the main spindle. This requires removal of the spool and untangling the ensuing wrap-round
If the spool skirt was deeper I don’t think this would happen as the gap would be closed?
I suspect I might need to reduce the line fill level, but the advice was to fill to almost to the brim so as the enable best casting distance, we’ll see, apart from this a nice reel

Still the best reel for large capacity

5.0 rating

I highly recommend this reel for any seasoned anglers out there looking for a heavy duty spinning reel capable of holding large capacities of heavy pound line. Many customers of this reel will use it for saltwater fishing, but this is also a great reel to have for all you boatless bank fishers in freshwater.
This is my first Penn Spinfisher VI, I already own several Spinfisher V models. I purchased the 6500LC this time. The casting distance on this reel paired with a 10 foot heavy rod is phenomenal. Fishing from the bank, I can easily throw an 8oz lead out twice as far the anglers next to me using conventional rod and reel combos. The build quality, just like the Spinfisher V, is study and rigid, while the operation is incredibly smooth. You can truly feel the material difference. Even with the added weight this is such a great reel to hold in your hands.
The biggest improvement compared to the Spinfisher V is that there is now an audible click now on the drag. It’s great to hear a fish fighting on top of physically feeling it, so this is a very welcome change and makes heads turn when you get that big bite.
This has not been an issue, but I am not a fan of Penn including an anti-reverse switch on this model. While I am familiar with back-reeling techniques on spinning reels, I do not think they have a place on high-end heavy duty reels of this caliber. I do not know any anglers would would ever reverse reel on large fresh or saltwater fish. With the build quality Penn has accomplished, I would not expect it to fail here, but it’s worth pointing out that anti-reverse switches are highly prone to failure on cheaper reels over time. This switch appears to only be present on the LC (Long-Cast) models.

An alternative to Van Staal??

5.0 rating

I waited 30+ years for Penn to offer a small, lightweight, bail less reel.
Was it worth the wait?? Yes and No!
First the good: Great looks, good price, excellent drag, and perhaps the best line lay of any reel I have ever owned. The reel is very smooth making it a pleasure to use. Penn has outstanding customer service and parts are readily available at reasonable prices.
The build quality is very, good for the price, and should last for decades of heavy use..
My issue with the reel is that it may be over engineered and too smooth… if the handle is between 11 and 3 o’clock during casting the rotor turns and the line catches the roller. Penn’s recommended fix was to pack the reel with grease.
This recommendation did solve the problem, but exposed another issue. The seal for the side plate is a very thin,fragile gasket. It tore when I removed the side plate to add the grease. The gaskets are available and inexpensive so I purchased several for future use. The reels 6.2 gearing a little high for fighting large fish in the surf.
I do recommend this reel. In my opinion it is a good option for most fishermen. Penn’s line lay and drag are better than my Van Staal.
Penn’s excellent customer service is also a huge Plus

SSVI6500LL for Surf Rod

5.0 rating

Great reel. I use the live liner feature for surf fishing and it works great. Engage the live liner drag while in the sand spike and after a strike, start reeling and the normal drag engages. Much easier than my Battle ii where the drag is set light in the sand spike and after a strike you fumble tighten the drag to fight the fish. Word of warning, forget to set the live liner while in the sand spike and if a ray or shark strikes, you’ll be chasing the rod down the beach. I also like that the new Spinfisher VI is sealed; no matter how careful you are, reels get wet at the beach.

Penn Spinfisher VI 8500LL

4.0 rating

As a mechanical engineer, I liked the reel overall. Well built , like a tank. The seals are thick and do the job for splash.
Not for dunking in the water, but more than enough for surf fishing. It is smooth. The baitrunner mechanism is really good. Much more stable and simple than Shimano.
– Dimensional precision
– Smoothness
– Baitrunner mechanism
– All metal, like a tank
– The ball bearings and the anti-reverse bearings are not standard and difficult to source. I wanted to upgrade them in the UK, but no chance. I just changed the grease inside the ball bearings which are chrome steel. Ant-reverse has plastic springs. Good for corrosion resistance, but not my type. The only bearing you can find standard is the line roller bearing. I guess this is an important point for servicing.
– The blue grease inside is horrible. It is sticky and its viscosity is high. It is OK, but with a better grease (SKF), the reel is much more smoother. Also, the factory over greased the reel and some irrelevant parts.
– The spool skirt thickness is so thin, It is OK, but would be better if it is thicker.
– The black paint is horrible, but on the other side, is is easy to repaint.
– The back-up anti-reverse system is so fragile and week, Its spring is so thin. As this is a back up system, it doesn’t matter.
For the price point, it is an excellent reel. The only reason for taking away one star is the non-standard ball bearings and the anti-reverse bearing used in this reel. If you are looking for a baitrunner for surf and salt water, this is the one. As a mechanical engineer I service my reels regularly so I prefer standard sized bearings in a reel. Overall 4 stars.

Powerful drag and IPX5 water resistance

5.0 rating

I’ve caught slot Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, and Flounder on this Spinfisher VI 2500 reel. Plenty of drag and line capacity for just about everything you’ll catch inshore or nearshore in Florida, including Bonnethead Sharks.
One of the major selling points for me was IPX5 rating. It doesn’t take much saltwater to start corroding parts, so keeping saltwater out and grease/oil in was a big selling point for me. These reels aren’t cheap, so I want them to last.

Quality materials and craftsmanship

5.0 rating

I haven’t fished with this reel, yet, so I can’t speak on how it performs. However, I did want to say that I am quite impressed with this hardware (I got the 4500 live liner). It’s very solid, very smooth, and I’m sure it will perform just fine.
The most significant influences on purchasing this reel was the all-metal body and the IPX5 rating. All of my fishing is done wading in the bays along the gulf coast, and sometimes I’ll get waist-deep or more. It’s nice to know that the occasional dunk in the saltwater won’t ruin my reel (until I can rinse it off with fresh water, of course).
It might be several months before I can get down to the coast to fish for redfish, flounder, and trout, but with this new hardware, I’m surely looking forward to it!

Excellent quality

5.0 rating

What an excellent product for an awesome price The reel is light weight and solid. I was looking at heavier styles for surf fishing but extremely happy I decided to give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Incredibly durable

5.0 rating

Most durable reel I have ever used. This reel is the standard for all spinning reels. It functions perfectly, and does not break. I have more than 20 of them and have not had an issue on any of them in 2 years of charter fishing.


1.0 rating

I just purchased a Spinfisher VI 3500 to replaced my beloved Spinfisher V 3500. After 1 day of paddle board fishing the reel feels tired, weak, and worn, besides making a terrible racket of noise retrieving a 1/4’oz lure. I have many iterations of Penns, and I was very excited to try the new VI but I’m not sure I can give this a positive review at all.

Long, Smooth Casts

4.0 rating

I bought the 3500 and 4500, with Battalion II rods based on the advice of a South Florida Fishing Guide, Capt Benny Blanco. I am completely satisfied. I cannot believe how far this rig will cast.

Great Protection from saltwater.

5.0 rating

I originally used a Shakespeare reel with Ugly Stick but it was not compatible with saltwater. Purchased the 2500 then 4500 for a larger rod.Working great with no nesting of fishing line and smooth reeling with no worries of saltwater contact.

Classic Penn

5.0 rating

The reel is fairly fast on the pick up, I like the line management system and the way the line lays evenly on the spool. Took me three times to spool it right. Haven’t gotten too much time on the water with it yet, lots of wind knots, due to an FG knot. Highly recommend this reel for the speed, power, and ability to get sprayed down with the hose at the end of the day.

Features found on high end high priced rods.

5.0 rating

First day on the boat my clients were constantly trying to commandeer this rod from each other. I guess that I will be switching over to all Spinfisher VI’s

Stellar drag system, ultimate performance

5.0 rating

I’m a guide in south Louisiana and I used these reels for bull reds and drum, it has unbelievable stopping power and very smooth drag system. I will be changing over my whole line up to spinnfishers.

Tough reel

4.0 rating

I bought a couple of these last month and have fished them a lot over the last 3 weeks. They were exactly what i expect of Penn, quality, toughness, and they catch fish. I ran into some big fish, snook and tarpon, and they worked very well.!

Water proof

5.0 rating

I bought this reel the spinfisher v instead of the vi because it had more drag I bought the 8500 model and used 70lb line for grouper and it worked like a charm I also used it for shark fishing and I caught a 30-40lb bull he pulled me in waste deep water on a rock and the reel got dunked under water I didn’t reel underneath the water but I swam back to land that was 10 feet away and my reel still have me a smooth fun exiting experience and when I got home their was not a drop of water I am happy I made this amazing affordable purchase you should too penn rods and reels are a game changer

Dependable Everyday!

4.0 rating

As a South Florida offshore fisherman I’ve used all of the larger models with up to 80 lb braid catching sailfish, wahoo, mahi, grouper, amberjack and more!
This reel has preformed flawlessly!

Work Horse.

5.0 rating

If you want a reel to abuse, this is the one. In the long tradition of Spinfishers before it, upgrades in technology and materials make the next gen SFVI the choice to be on the boat day after day, season after season.

Spinfisher VI 4500BLS is a very nice reel.

5.0 rating

The reel finally came into stock at J&H tackle and as soon as I fished it I loved it. I filled it with 20lb braid and hit handled striped bass from the surf (moderate surf conditions, no huge winds) in the low and mid teen range. Drag was very good. I had a lot of reservations about filling a spool with straight braid, no backing, but so far the drag has handled very well, no issues with wind knots and I really love the reel. Reel is paired with a 9 foot surf rod that I primarily fish smaller bucktails, soft plastics, smaller rigged eels, bombers and other plugs under 2.5 oz.
Overall, I want to say that I am very pleased having a smaller lighter bailess reel that I is affordable. I was able to sell my smaller Van Staal 150 for $500, purchase this reel, a dozen bucktails, leader material, terminal tackle and still have $250 in my pocket for the week. Thanks Penn. Let’s see how this reel holds up over the next 10 seasons and I will re-post next season as well.

Great, Reliable, dependable reels.

5.0 rating

Using 5500 Spinfisher for my “go to” surf reel and she performs outstanding day in day out. I fish three days a week on average, reel is working great with simple light wash down daily and seasonal cleaning and lube. I own seven Penn Reels, great equipment, second generation and still strong. My Dad taught me how to fish with these reels fifty plus years ago. They will be passed on to my son some day.

Awesome reel!

5.0 rating

I bought the 2500 for a smaller rod and landed striped bass upto 25lb on it no problem. Super smooth drag and retrieve. can’t beat the reel for the price.

Great for Yellowfin Tuna

5.0 rating

I’m not much with a bait caster so a spinning real is my choice when I’m not drop fishing off the side of a boat … got a 60 lb Bluefin tuna with a drop lure on a Penn International 16. But back to the Spinfisher VI … Once I got used to the manual bail I was able to place the lure, a flat fall, where I wanted it to go for an immediate bite before the rest of the passengers. I like to ocean fish, but I don’t have my own boat so it’s elbow to …, tangled lines, and competing with those using live bait … 30 – 50. The reel has a spool capacity for that run which seems to occur often and the drag is more than sufficeint for a Yellowfin Tuna of 18.6 lbs. … that’s the largest of the three I recently landed. I used a Penn Spinning rod with the reel.
Best part … I’m over 70, still using Penn, and discovering new reels to help me catch fish!

Amazing reel!!!

5.0 rating

I am a guide in the Florida Keys so I need a dependable reel with a great drag system and I chose the 3500 for my customers to use and man am I impressed with these reels super smooth, lighter than previous model, and a great drag in them!!!!

They keep improving!

5.0 rating

I have been fishing with these Penn reels for over 40 years. They are tough and hold up to salt water exposure. The reels are stronger, lighter, water proof and smoother action with the extra bearings. I will keep purchasing them as long as I fish.

Nice but just one tinyyy complaint

4.0 rating

The Penn Spinfisher VI 4500 is just an all-around good size and nice reel to have not too big and not too small its a very smooth reel I havent had any main problems yet but my one complaint is the paddle handle its just kinda tiring fighting in a nice fish with a nice reel but a not so good handle usually with Penn reels the power knob comes into play around the 5000 sizes I would say go up to a 5000 but I personally prefer smaller reels but thats my only complaint but thats not that big of a deal to knock a nice reel over a handle so I highly recommend this reel

Another winning reel from Penn

4.0 rating

Excellent workmanship with a power full drag. Feels like a reel that costs twice as much.

My inshore go-to reel

5.0 rating

What can I say about Penn reels that anglers haven’t already said? If you fish, then Penn reels have been in your vocabulary for a while. The spinfisher line has always been a great series, but the new models in the VI are above and beyond expectation. Great line lay, no wind knots, bail is solid and the drag is smooth. What more can you ask for? Love the products. Lots of great stuff to say. I own 3 models the 2500, 4500bls, and the 6500bls. The bailess models I use for surf fishing (but I do not wetsuit with them, I mostly use them for beach and jetty applications where they won’t get soaked too bad..really wish they were fully sealed like my Van Staal) and the small 2500 is my fluke, porgy, weakfish, tog etc inshore special go to in any application in my kayak reel.

Happy so far - waiting for something bigger

4.0 rating

I’m in love with this reel since taking it out of the box. It’s very smooth and has a great drag. Its super easy to adjust to a bailless reel (I’ve been using one for 5 years). I’ll be pairing it with my Tsunami Airwave Elite for casting lures in the Chesapeake bay.

Excellent reel!

5.0 rating

Smooth, solid, tough as nails. Penn hit a home run with the new Penn Spinfisher VI. This review is for the 5500 longcast. These reels are built to withstand the saltwater elements. Fully sealed to keep water and sand out. Easy hose spray hose down at the end of the day.

Bullet Proof Surf Reel

5.0 rating

This reel is a little heavy compared to my Shimano, 5500 ULTEGRA reels. The weight difference is negligible as the Penn, is more solidly built. I have an ULTEGRA, that has not been used much, in for service as it retrieves rough under load. I believe the Penn, Spinfisher 5500 LC has a better drag and a more sturdy build. With reasonable care this reel should last a long time.

Absolutely awesome reel!

5.0 rating

I have 3 generations of Penn Spinfishers, and this one is by far the best. Smooth but audible drag. Withstands a lot of abuse from both the elements and dunking in saltwater. It really is an amazing reel for the price.
Love the audible but finely adjustable drag. It doesn’t slip like some reels. If I had to choose again, I’d likely select the 6500 Live Liner.
Manual bail is a bit of a nuisance until you get used to manually flicking it over, but a very low issue in my opinion unless you are a hard core caster of artificial baits.

Fantastic Reel!

5.0 rating

Reel is a beast, great for chunking bunker for bass and blues. Tank of a reel!

best value reel

4.0 rating

best value reel a classic you can trust. fished them on guides boats forever and have them in my personal arsenal.

Penn Spinfisher VI SSVI5500LC

5.0 rating

I tried this on my 8ft Terramar Inshore while I waited on my order to arrive.
But now it’s on my Tsunami 932xh it’s a good match size and power wise to this rod but would easily still be a good fit on up to an 11 foot medium or 10 heavy rod, I wouldn’t put it on a medium light or less unless you somehow managed to find an 11+ foot which you can probably get a better setup anyway.
Anyway for the reel it’s built tough enough haven’t seen any signs of water getting in or any other problems like that.
Have yet to notice any signs of beach,boat, or truck rash yet, and while I don’t masochistically throw my gear around, I certainly don’t baby it eaither.
It does cast a mile without having to go super light on your line.
The only problem I have run into with it is that the spool is so tall and it makes so many passes of decent tight line lay when you close your bail and start putting line back on after a cast you’ll end your cast with the line coming off of the top of the spool while your rotor is on the entire other end of the spectrum. When you reel up and start laying line over the gap in lays it can cause both distance as well as wind knot problems on your next cast.
But it has an anti reverse switch which I flip to get the line lay back more to where it should be, before reeling up.

Penn Spinfisher VI

5.0 rating

Great reel. A lot of improvements over the older spinfisher v.

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