New PENN Fathom II star drags

PENN

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
6,517
5,280
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
All of your favorite sizes, with some new twists.
The size 40, 30, and 25N now feature a choice of either 4.8-1 or 6-1 gear ratios, plus easier servicing and improved freespool lever, still $219.99 retail.
Size 12 and size 15 are 6-1 gear ratio only, but now have dial-type mag cast control, easier servicing, and improved freespool lever; still $199.99 retail.
"Casting Special" version in size 15 only, features external knobby mag cast control, upgraded bearings, additional line capacity to regular size 15; $249.99 retail.
All with 30 pounds max drag.
Due in your local tackle shop by the end of September.
http://www.pennfishing.com/penn-ree...fathom-ii-star-drag-reel/1509857.html#start=6
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
6,517
5,280
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
Hi Steve. Any idea if the spool from a fathom 25N will fit in the new fathom 25N II?


No, minor redesign to improve the freespool lever.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chxh8me
Upvote 0

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
6,517
5,280
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
Are they as strong as the non level wind fathoms?


Frame, gears, drag, and other internal parts are equally strong compared between the two series. A levelwind mechanism itself does have weak points that a "non"levelwind reel does not.
 
Upvote 0

Jaysons999

Internet fisherman
  • Apr 5, 2015
    2,903
    2,691
    35
    San marcos
    Name
    Jay
    Boat
    18' Starcraft “Ace of Spades”
    Steve i have a question regarding clamps, actually the screws for the clamps.. have you found a suitable alternative to the screws that come with the reel? I would so much rather have a screw that has a hex head. the standard straight slot head seems to break apart and they are just hard to tighten.
    Plus the bolts are too short to mount to my 6480 and ulua I have to make custom sets.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Cubanaso
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    What makes them easier to service?


    Easy 3-screw take apart, with everything self-contained, so no loose springs or other parts falling out and getting lost. Simple to re-lube and get salt out, etc.
     
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Steve - What changes made from 15 to 15cs to increase the line capacity? Thanks!



    Because the "Knobby Mag" cast control does not require thumbing, the "flange" on the edge of the spool is machined out, which allows quite a bit of extra room for line.
     
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Interesting...not what I would have thought.

    Am I correct assuming that A) 15CS side plate fits the 12 and B) stock 15 spools fits the 15CS?


    We double-checked with the engineer, and the "special" bearings will not fit the "regular" sideplates or spool axles, so the various interchanges will not be possible.
    However, for the angler who may want the regular 12 or 15 with a 4.8-1 gear ratio, the gears are interchangeable amongst the "regular" models.
     
    Upvote 0

    Toro-X

    Independence 100 lb club
    Jun 27, 2006
    363
    53
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Bobby
    Boat
    none
    We double-checked with the engineer, and the "special" bearings will not fit the "regular" sideplates or spool axles, so the various interchanges will not be possible.
    However, for the angler who may want the regular 12 or 15 with a 4.8-1 gear ratio, the gears are interchangeable amongst the "regular" models.

    Steve,
    Do you mean the 4.8 gears from Fathom II will fit in the older Fathom12/15? Or does it only fit in the newer Fathom 12/15?
     
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Steve,
    Do you mean the 4.8 gears from Fathom II will fit in the older Fathom12/15? Or does it only fit in the newer Fathom 12/15?


    Only the new Fathom II's.
     
    Upvote 0

    Song

    Newbie
    Jun 10, 2015
    21
    26
    Name
    John
    Boat
    N/A
    Are the 30 and 40 Fathom II star drags WIDE like the original Fathom star drags?

    Would be nice for the 30 and 40 star drags to have the same body styles as the 2 speed Fathoms.

    Using the wide star drags gives me flashbacks of the Penn Squiders. Ergonomically speaking, it doesn't palm well and when fighting a fish, the reel is difficult to stabilize under cranking pressure. Fishing surface irons and guiding the line is also very problematic with wide reels like Daiwa Sealines and larger Fathom star drags.
     
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Are the 30 and 40 Fathom II star drags WIDE like the original Fathom star drags?

    Would be nice for the 30 and 40 star drags to have the same body styles as the 2 speed Fathoms.

    Using the wide star drags gives me flashbacks of the Penn Squiders. Ergonomically speaking, it doesn't palm well and when fighting a fish, the reel is difficult to stabilize under cranking pressure. Fishing surface irons and guiding the line is also very problematic with wide reels like Daiwa Sealines and larger Fathom star drags.


    The sizes on the Fathom II star drags are the same as the gen1 star drags.
    Size of the "30" is the same between the lever drags and star drags, but as noted, the star drag "40" is lower and wider, while the lever drag "40N" is taller and narrower, though both "40's" have the same line capacity.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Chicago Pete
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Nice testimonial from one of PENN's youngest pro staffers, 19 year old Nathan Winicki of Oceanside, fishing onboard the Shogun.


    While fishing for yellowtail on a long range trip off the coast of Mexico, Steve gave me the opportunity to test the new second generation Fathom 25N. The method was casting surface lures to cruising schools of 25-40 pound fish; a true challenge for the angler, as well as his tackle. In short, the outfit exceeded my expectations and rose to the occasion. When fishing a “surface iron”, the gear ratio of the reel dramatically affects the action of the jig. Having the option to choose between a 6.1 or 4.8/1 gear ratio allowed me to hone in to the exact speed presentation that triggered a strike. Steve also told me that he had deactivated all internal brakes, allowing me to cast farther with more ease. However, more control was needed as the spool would quickly backlash if special care was not taken. This highly customizable feature allows the angler to adjust the reel to match their individual skill set and needs. A short video explaining the proper way to do this would be helpful. Overall, the PENN Fathom II will be my go-to recommendation to anyone looking for a reel with the speed, power, and castablility that is needed for top-water gamefish.



    nathan FTHII yellow.JPG
     
    Upvote 0

    Yuri_SD

    Almost A Member
    Sep 11, 2019
    115
    46
    San Diego
    Name
    Yuri
    Boat
    none
    Hi Steve,
    Trying to decide between getting current 25n model Star Drag vs new version, but don't have enough information.

    Changes that I see so far from release notes and spec published by retailers (using 25N as an example)

    SDv2 ------ vs ----- original
    7 --------Bearings------ 5+1 in original
    30lb---------Drag--------25lb
    61:1-----Gear ratio-----6.0:1
    42"-------Retrieve-------40"
    19.4oz-----Weight------17.9oz



    So my questions are:
    1) what is specifically improved about the lever?
    2) does lever or bearing count improve casting distance?
    3) how did the drag improve by 5lb? bigger disks?
    4) more capacity on spool and higher retrieve due to actually more space on spool or different shape/size of connecting center and side plates?


    New version seems like it should be able to handle bigger fish and be better for casting perhaps?

    and lastly - any chance there is an updated Lever Drag in the works to benefit from similar updates?
     
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,517
    5,280
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Hi Steve,
    Trying to decide between getting current 25n model Star Drag vs new version, but don't have enough information.

    Changes that I see so far from release notes and spec published by retailers (using 25N as an example)

    SDv2 ------ vs ----- original
    7 --------Bearings------ 5+1 in original
    30lb---------Drag--------25lb
    61:1-----Gear ratio-----6.0:1
    42"-------Retrieve-------40"
    19.4oz-----Weight------17.9oz



    So my questions are:
    1) what is specifically improved about the lever?
    2) does lever or bearing count improve casting distance?
    3) how did the drag improve by 5lb? bigger disks?
    4) more capacity on spool and higher retrieve due to actually more space on spool or different shape/size of connecting center and side plates?


    New version seems like it should be able to handle bigger fish and be better for casting perhaps?

    and lastly - any chance there is an updated Lever Drag in the works to benefit from similar updates?


    1. Ha-Ha, unfortunately the exact technical changes are beyond my engineering knowledge, I [along with a number of others] just told to engineers to "fix it".
    2. Anecdotally, I feel no difference in casting distance or smoothness.
    3. Correct.
    4. Minor difference in taper of spool shoulder and flange.
    5. A big difference for a lot of people will be the ability to easily remove the right sideplate to do minor service and cleaning without loose parts flying around.
    6. Plenty of debate here at BDO regarding the 4.8-1 vs. 6.1-1 gear ratio; for many anglers it was as much about presenting lures at the proper speed as much as it was about the increased power of the lower gear ratio.
    7. No changes to the lever drags in the immediate forseeable future.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Drew Davidson
    Upvote 0