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Topic: Vintage Penn 209 for rockfish?  (Read 655 times)

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SpeedyStein

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Bottom line up front: should I buy a left handed vintage Penn 209 for inshore use?

The long version:
I've been on a bit of a retro kick lately, and acquired some vintage Penn backwards (right handed) reels. I've cleaned them up, and a couple a pretty nice. I really dig the old school aesthetic, and I like the durable feeling and seemingly infinite serviceability. A huge capacity makes it even more appealing for me.

Only problem is that all the reels I have are right handed, and I fish left handed. I know, I know, I need to grow up and learn the other way. It would really open up a lot more reel options. Like, all of the reel options, haha.

Old Penns are really hard to find in left hand models. And if looking for a specific model, I guess set the eBay alert and prepare to wait.

I really want to find a Jigmaster. Don't really care about the age, color, etc. Just want the larger drag washers and higher gear ratio, but seems like all the other left handers out there are onto the same thing, haha. I actually also like that it is open face, keeps things simpler.

All that said, I found a relatively clean Penn 209 left hand level wind for an acceptable price on eBay. Should I grab that one, or hold out for a Jigmaster? Or, if anyone has any old left handed Penn reels, and they wish it was a right handed model, I would happily trade.
- Kevin


jkjhung

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I am also a fan of vintage Penns and also crank lefty. My favorite setup for halibut is a narrowed jigmaster on a seeker 270. I may be biased, but Id say wait for a jigmaster. Squidders and surfmasters also come in lh, so you can keep an eye out for those too. Have you tried asking if anyone has one for sale in the alantani forum or vintage Penn reels facebook group? I had some luck finding mine in both those groups


SpeedyStein

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I knew someone else here would be a fan! And a lefty too!

I pulled the trigger on the 209 - it came in a lot of 3 reels for $35 shipped, so not out much if I don't like it.

I figure I could at least give be this one a shot for a while, and see what I think of the size/weight/dynamics. If I like it, I will keep looking for a jigmaster for a heavier rod setup.
- Kevin


jkjhung

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Wow $35 for 3 reels- sweet deal! If I remember correctly the 209 and jigmaster are pretty similar in size. Keep in mind that for the jigmaster there are many different aftermarket narrowing kits, so you can customize one to pretty much any width you like.

Enjoy the new reels! If i see a good deal on a lefty jigmaster Ill remember to let you know


Squidder K

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I have built a lot of Penn's, the 209 has never been one of my favorites.  The narrow Surfmaster 100 makes a great reel for most anything.  Same size is the Squidder 146, or slightly larger 145.  The 60 series is larger but is a workhorse.  Delmars, they work but why go out with a 2:1 retrieve.    Alan Tani has a ton of Penn and other reel rebuilds on his site.  Great guy!  Several companies including Alan, have upgrades for the old Penn's.  I have attached some images of various reels I have tinkered with. You go easy or you can go crazy.

Hot rod Squidder is a 146 a Cortez Conversion this is an extreme reel, something I wanted to build for myself and still can't bring myself to use it, it's too nice, if there is such a thing.
Tanked Penn 112 is narrowed with an after market kit.
The H2 is a Chinese Penn that has been gutted and has 112 internals now.
The Shimano has aftermarket drags, and an Alan Tani handle, great reel to fish with.
Kevin Storm
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jkjhung

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Sweet collection you got there Squidder K! The extra narrow Tiburon frames are awesome


SpeedyStein

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Thanks for the pics guys! Those are some sweet setups! Lots of custom stuff out there for these old reels, some good upgrades to make them more capable. I will probably be looking at stainless sleeves, carbon drags, and maybe alloy spools for the ones I plan to use.

Waiting on the 209, should be here late this week. eBay pics looked pretty good, not collector quality but certainly plenty of life left.  Should make a good troller once I get it cleaned up a bit. Wasn't really my first choice, but it was a lefty available on eBay for a good price, so I jumped on it.

Hoping to find a decent lefty jigmaster, but I'm patient. Will jump on the first one I find, don't want to spend more than about $50-60 on one.

- Kevin


SpeedyStein

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Hey, quick question - what line are you guys running on these reels? Only gonna fish metal spools - thinking 30lb mono backing to 30 or 40lb braid on top. Pretty much gonna be for striper/halibut/bottom fishing, maybe an occasional sturgeon day here and there.
- Kevin


jkjhung

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Hey, quick question - what line are you guys running on these reels? Only gonna fish metal spools - thinking 30lb mono backing to 30 or 40lb braid on top. Pretty much gonna be for striper/halibut/bottom fishing, maybe an occasional sturgeon day here and there.

I have a couple of mine set up with 50lb powerpro. Reason for that is because sometimes the thinner diameter lines sneak into the gap between the spool and the frame, which can sometimes lead to heartbreak while fighting a fish. And yes I use a 30lb mono backing as well


SpeedyStein

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Right on, thanks for confirming the strategy.
- Kevin


TeeKay

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I'm a fan of old Penns as well. Carbon fiber drags, steel gears, ss sleeves and they're ready for anything NorCal throws at em. I'm partial to the jiggies and squidders but have a monofil I may upgrade if I get bored over winter. 50# braid to 30#/40# topshots for all of them.


SpeedyStein

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Nice collection!

I'm gonna get mine all cleaned up and ready to fish, and will share some pics then.
- Kevin


 

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