Used Penn 130's...how much of a risk?

soldsoul4foos

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Greetings,

I want to get into Tuna fishing. My job will allow the late nite, early morning hours, I already have a boat, and a friend of mine got into last year and will help me out with the details. Gear....

I'd like to pick up 2 or 3 penn 130's, but wonder what the risk is buying on craigslist and ebay for older reels. Is there a point where they can't be repaired by a penn dealer? What kind of costs to send to factory or a shop to have checked out and fixed whatever may be worn/old? What about the new penns? Junk? Two speed vs. single speed? I've seen some posts where folks have referenced 'made in usa' penn's vs. 'made by penn' reels. I assume the latter is made in mexico, taiwan, or some other place. Any advice would be appreciated.

Tight Lines,
Bill
Portland, ME
 

duxbait

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You cant really go wrong with the old penns. Just check to make sure that thier drag is ok if you can. Those reels are built solid and can take alot of abuse. As far as new reels go, buy tiagras new, not penns.
 

El Mar

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Keels Rock

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Just find out what year Penns you are looking at, mid to late 90s were the best ones. I would have them serviced by Lukes reel repair in Kennebunk, as he is the Man with servicing older Penns! The new Penns are junk, I would by Tiagras if goin new. You def want the two speed Penns if going used. When looking at used ask who had serviced them and the last time they were done in adddition to the last time the drag washers were replaced.
 

soldsoul4foos

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Thanks for the replies fellas. Very good advise. I'm thinking Penn 130 ST's if I can find a pair. There are some here and there on the web.

Good point about the drag washers. There are a total of 3 I believe, and those are the only real expense in refurbing the reels from what I've gathered after talking to Saco Bay.

I'm think I'm going to jump in the tuna ring with both feet this year coming up. :confused:

Thanks again,
Bill
 

Blacktide

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Thanks for the replies fellas. Very good advise. I'm thinking Penn 130 ST's if I can find a pair. There are some here and there on the web.

Good point about the drag washers. There are a total of 3 I believe, and those are the only real expense in refurbing the reels from what I've gathered after talking to Saco Bay.

I'm think I'm going to jump in the tuna ring with both feet this year coming up. :confused:

Thanks again,
Bill
The the guy who runs my boat has a pair of St's he wants to sell. PM me your # and I'll have him call you.
 

boot

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Tunascapes

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80w's do have a place. We use one for our kite rod because it is easier to move around and in a smaller boat we have more forgiveness. Capacity sure is not an issue if you go braid but you get different gear ratios than on the 130's. When it comes down to it, it makes a big difference and you can really put some more heat on larger fish. Most times it will make the difference in a 30min fight vs a 50min fight, might not seem like a lot but it really is.
 

ANUT

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Penn Reels are great. I have always used penn 80's and 130's. People who have a problem with a penn is because it has not been maintained. Do yourself a favor and check out Luke's Rod and Reel Repair he is the Guru. I promise you will be shocked how well a reel works when it leaves his shop. weather it be Penn, Shimano, or electric reels he covers it all. Great people Great place!! Go with the Penn real you won't be happier.
 

soldsoul4foos

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Just wanted to drop an update. I picked up two Penn 80 STW's yesterday north of Bangor. They are on 80 class penn rods. Going to have them checked out at a shop and respooled, but they look in excellent condition. Can't wait to try them out and with luck, hook up. I also picked up 3 survival suits and a 2010 epirb that he had and wouldn't be needing.

Thanks,
Bill
 

Downeaster

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Just wanted to drop an update. I picked up two Penn 80 STW's yesterday north of Bangor. They are on 80 class penn rods. Going to have them checked out at a shop and respooled, but they look in excellent condition. Can't wait to try them out and with luck, hook up. I also picked up 3 survival suits and a 2010 epirb that he had and wouldn't be needing.

Thanks,
Bill
I have a bit of GBT history having started fishing for them in 1974. With the advent of the Spectra-type lines, the need for a 130 class reel for any fishery really went away (though I'm sure that someone will argue the point for some special purpose use). I prefer Penn because, if there is a reel repair facility in any tuna port, they'll be able to quickly put a failed International back in order. The two-speeds have proved themselves to be durable over the decades.

As you know, the EPIRB has to be re-registered and you may want to have it looked over (by a manufacturer-approved service facility) despite its not necessarily having reached its service interval. Regards the survival suits, check them thoroughly (here's a good link). I've used beeswax with success on zippers but the most important thing is to practice - your entire crew should be able to don a survival suit in a minute or less.
 
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