Penn Battle II

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel Review – 2017

Reviewed Reel: Penn Battle 2

Overall Rating: 9/10

Great selection for the angler that likes a sturdy spinning reel that handles big fish well.  It's also a great choice for salt-water fishermen due to it's anti-corrosion features.  In the top group of spinning reels for the combo of feature-set and construction quality at this price point

Launched in 2014, the Penn Battle II is a refresh of the original Battle line of spinning reels.  With 85 years of fishing tackle manufacturing experience under their belt, Penn has a reputation of deliberate innovation - only changing a feature when it can be clearly improved upon.  Let's look and see if the Penn Battle II lives up to that history.

  • All-metal body construction equals great power transfer.
  • Five sealed bearings make it perfect for salt-water fishing
  • Handle wins rave reviews for its ergonomic fit.
  • Drag system vastly improved, which means the maximum drag weight has gone up between 15 to 50% (depending on the model).
  • A little heavier than most at a particular line size which can take a toll over a day of casting.
  • If all-metal isn't important to you, can find composite framed reels at this price point with a few more features.


  • Five sealed stainless-steel ball bearings + one anti-reverse bearing.
  • Keyed carbon fiberwashers in the HT-100 drag system
  • ​Full-metal body construction for strength
  • Line-capacity rings on the spool to give instant visual check of how much line remains.
  • One year warranty
  • Sizes go from the ultra-light 1000 Series up to the Deep Sea worthy 8000 series.  There is a Battle II series that will fit your fishing needs.


Here's a review based on the characteristics we think set one reel apart from another.  Click on a title to expand.


Construction/Quality - 9.5 /10

Ergonomics and Design -9/10

Features- 9/10

Applications - 9/10

Price - 8.5/10


Abu Garcia Orra SX Spinning Reel

At a similar price point, the Orra SX is a solid choice for those anglers willing to sacrifice a little stability for lower weight.   While you get more alloy bearings than on the Battle II, the Orra's aren't sealed.  This gives the Battle II an advantage for salt-water fishing.

Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel

The Stradic FK is an example of what you can get for an extra hundred dollars over the Battle II.  If you are willing and able to pay $150+ for a reel, it's a great reel.  Seals are added to the all-metal body to keep out water and everything else.  Forged gears add to precision and power. 

The Shimano Stradic FK spinning reel is a great choice

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

If you'd rather stay around $50 and aren't worried about debris getting inside the rod, you can't go wrong with the President spinning reel.  Sure the components aren't as high-tech but Pflueger is known for quality engineering. It really shows at this lower-end price point model. 

Should I buy the Penn Battle 2 spinning reel?

The Penn Battle II is a worthy refresh of a long-loved product line.  I'd recommend this reel to most everyone.  It's especially well-suited for anglers that don't treat their spinning rod and reels with kid gloves.  It's also a great choice for salt-water and surf fishing - if you aren't at the point where you want to spend $150 and up.  This reel will hold up well in rough environments.

This reel isn't the best choice for people who have trouble with a little extra weight.  If this describes you, in general you'll want to stay away from all-metal construction. The Abu Garcia Orra SX is a good choice for a solid non-metal body.

About the Author Arnold Martinsen

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