Let me first start off by saying that I'm a mate on one of the biggest party boats in Miami. I have fished Penn my whole life. I grew up with your products. In fact, I ONLY own Penn. From International 30's to Spinfishers to Battles to Senators. I've got most of your line. Every one of these reels has worked always. Granted, the above are rarely used. I don't get to go fishing so often outside of my job so most of these stay in the house. However, the reel I use everyday on the party boat is a Squall 15. And I've got to say, it's absolute trash.
I baby this reel as it is my 'money maker'. It's rinsed thoroughly everyday and I use reel butter in the bearings at LEAST once a week since it was recommended to me. However, over the last couple of weeks this reel has slowly began deteriorating. It grinds when reeling. The handle locks up. It makes the most annoying noises and the drag isn't smooth as it once was (mind you the biggest fish I've landed with this reel is a 8lb red grouper). Why is it I can have a Spinfisher from the late 80's/early 90's that still works as if it was new but a 7 month old CONVENTIONAL reel can't do the same?
I've ALWAYS recommended Penn to my customers. They see me slaying the snappers and ask me what I use and how I use it. I explain. I've had at LEAST 3 customers in the last 2 weeks go from renting our rod/reels to buying Penn Battles based on my recommendation. But you know what? I don't think I can anymore. Or at the very least tell them to buy used older reels and to completely stay away from the Squall.
Did I get a lemon or is 7 months the lifespan of a $150 reel?