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Penn Prepares to Roll out a Brand New Slammer Spinning Reel


Date: 7/4/16
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Penn
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: ICAST 2016 is just a week away and some of the manufacturers are starting to introduce some of their new reels in advance of the show. One such example is the return of the Penn Slammer, a heavy duty spinning reel that is back by popular demand.


Penn Slammer III 6500 Spinning Reel Specifications

Construction Aluminum frame
Line Capacity - Rated 12/390, 15/345, 20/205
Retrieve Ratio 5.6:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) 42"
Weight 24.3 oz
Drag 40lbs. max rated
Bearings 6BB + 1RB
Drag Type Carbon and Steel Multi-Washer
Origin Made in China
MSRP $249.95 (for smallest 3500 size, other larger sizes like the 6500 prices will be unveiled at ICAST)


Slam On: We were lucky to get our hands on one of the new Penn Slammer III reels in advance of the show, and while we have not been able to get the new reel in the field yet we were able to run a few tests on it in the lab to provide this preview.


Back by popular demand, the newest Penn Slammer


The Penn Slammer III is a major redesign for the series and is intended for heavy-duty saltwater applications. The new reel features the same black and gold finish that that the series is known for, but that is pretty much where the similarities end.


The Penn Slammer III features a sleeker more modern design, it may be black and gold but everything else is all new


The new Slammer III features a sleeker more modern profile and has been designed with a number of new performance and durability enhancing features. To ensure long-term performance in the harshest environments Penn engineered the Slammer III with a new Sealed System called "IPX6" which is designed to keep water out of the gear box and drag system in heavy spray and offshore conditions.


IPX6 is what Penn is calling their new sealing design and technology


The Slammer III also incorporates a proprietary sealed "Dura-Drag" system with multiple washers that deliver plenty of smooth pressure even under extreme settings. The drag in our mid-sized 6500 size test reel was able to deliver 38.2lbs. of drag pressure which is very close to the manufacturer rated 40lbs. at max drag setting. The massive 10500 size Slammer III is rated to deliver a whopping 60lbs. of drag pressure!


Within the spool the Dura-Drag system is sealed to keep water and contaminates out


Each Slammer III reel is built with CNC gears that are precision built by computers, precision brass main, pinion, and oscillation gears which are all individually machined for exact tolerances to provide smooth operation. The reel feels smooth when cranked and the gear mesh is excellent, helping keep the reel quiet and friction free even when spun quickly.


A look at the upper drag washers normally locked under the sealed system


The Slammer III is also surprisingly fast and our 6500 test reel comes with a 5.6:1 retrieve ratio that is capable of retrieving 42 inches per turn. The line pickup on this reel makes it a good choice for a wide range of applications, and even fish charging the boat will have a hard time keeping up with anglers.


The aluminum handle is a thing of beauty


The construction on the new Slammer III is a major step up from previous versions. The reels feature full metal body, sideplate, and rotors and the machined handle is a thing of beauty. Penn took ergonomics seriously when they refreshed the series and offers anglers a second EVA knob which reduces weight and provides a softer grip option. Personally I still prefer the strength and durability of the standard aluminum knob.


Penn bundles a spare EVA knob with each reel for those looking for a lighter and softer option


The new Slammer is offered in eight different models so that there is a reel for everything from inshore, near shore, to offshore big game applications. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 with 37 inches of line retrieve on the smaller reels, to slower but more powerful 4.2:1 with 43 inches of line retrieve on the largest reels.


The 5.6:1 gear ration in the 6500 size is capable of pulling in 42 inches per turn


The 3500 Slammer III is the smallest of the family weighing only 13.9oz. while the massive 10500 reel weighs 43.1 ounces and is designed to tangle with big offshore species. While Penn has definitely loaded up the new Slammer with performance enhancing features it also strived to do this at a reasonable price for anglers, and prices will start at only $249.95 dollars.










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