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?
Brett - first of all we're here to help...we'd like to see your reel in Philly....we will repair or replace it at no charge since it's less than a year old...just need you to ship it to us.
3028 W. Hunting Park Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132
Second of all......price point is irrelevant. Forget $150....you could spend $1500 on a reel that wasn't designed for what you're doing...and it would fail too. The Squall 15 was not designed for constant up and down of bottom fishing. The Squall 15 is was designed to be a surf casting/live baiting reel...graphite frame and sideplates...magnetic brake adjustment.....live spindle.....counter balanced handle with a paddle knob. We have reels designed for what you are doing...you may own a few of them....112H2 or 113H2 is probablby the most common conventional reel recomendation we make for small-average snapper/grouper.
Penn is doing the right thing for me. Only time will tell what happens but Mike @ Penn seems to be doing his best to make sure I stay a happy customer. Will post again once everything is said and done.