Penn Baja Special...Opinions??? Post 2005 Production Reels

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sundaytrucka

Fish or Die
Sep 8, 2013
259
45
Orange County
Name
Scott
Boat
I wish...as in, I wish I had a boat.
I am interested in purchasing the Penn Baja Special, post 2005 model; I am pretty much sold on this reel, but wanted to hear people's opinion about capabilities, limits, strengths, etc. Any quirks or tips I should know of?

For the apparent abilities and pricing, at $249 MSRP, it seems like a great reel.

I am planning to use one with 80# Spectra and a 2'-6', 40#-50# Fluorocarbon leader; for large live bait fly-lining, heavy yo-yo jigging, and dropper loop rig. Any opinions with these setups/uses?

Using it primarily for larger yellowtail and similar size tuna.



Thanks for any input!
 

maxpowers

Member
Jul 25, 2007
982
575
Fountain Valley, CA
Name
Mike
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someday a 23' Striper
Go for it. With 26+ pounds of drag and a disengaging spool, it will be grest to flyline sardine. You can probably fish with 60 lbs topshot on there since that reel should hold 400+ yds of 80 lbs solid spectra easily.
 

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
Just to clarify newer vs. older 113HN's.
The newer ones have 6 ball-bearings [vs. 5], although many of the boxes for new ones still say 5, so you need to check the owner's manual, which will show either 5 or 6.
The newer ones have a metal drag star [vs. nylon], which is pretty easy to tell, and easy to retrofit.
The majority of anglers also prefer to flip the harness lugs upside down, move the handle to the outermost hole, and orient the gear box "forward" instead of "rearward", though there is plenty of variation in those preferences.
 

Wendell Fox

Member
Aug 3, 2006
397
235
75
Foster City, CA
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Wendell Fox
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Boston Whaler 17
It's the perfect Yo Yo reel for Yellow Tail and can be used for Wahoo too. Suggest you move the
handle to last hole for bettor and faster cranking power. Reverse the lugs. Mine is loaded
with a topshot of 75 yards of 50Lb mono over 80Lb Spectra. This reel resists boat rash which I like.
I have mine on a 700XH. Lots of power for tossing lures at Yellow Tail & Wahoo. For bait fishing there is
probably bettor reels out there but it will work fine in this capacity too. I consider this reel a must have
essential for long range fishing.
 

dan1

I Should Upgrade My Account
Feb 7, 2008
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People's Republic of Kalifornia
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dan
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.
Great reel, corrosion prone.

I bought a used one a few years ago and the handle would not turn. When I took it apart, I found it was filled with beach sand on both sides of the spool. I'm guessing it was sitting like that for months since no one else bought it. How it got like that I haven't a clue. I saw zero corrosion after cleaning out the sand and nothing was greased. It works as good as new and can easily call it 8/10 condition. Maybe I got the super alloy model?
 

BrokenBackRebel

GringoJustin
Nov 26, 2005
748
357
35
Somewhere between San Diego and Yelapa
Name
Justin Ryan
Boat
Mi Sueño/Aztec/Apollo
I'm probably just a little biased after working in tackle shops for 12 years and seeing multiple side plate screws shear off. Still my favorite yoyo reel. At least the retainer rings and the reversible lugs give you a couple options for removing the side plate after twisting the head off a screw. But don't listen to me, fish the reel, maintain it and you'll love it.
 

NorthShore41

Member
Jul 19, 2010
673
5
Mo Town, CA
I love fisin with the reel. If you do your own maintenance they are a little tricky with the dogs, but if you break a part don't expect to have them readily available. It may take a while t get some parts as these reels never really garnered great popularity with sales. I don't know why because it is a great reel, but they just don't sell that well.
 

maxpowers

Member
Jul 25, 2007
982
575
Fountain Valley, CA
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Mike
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someday a 23' Striper
I just picked up a used reel from a fellow bd'er. Took it apart and completely serviced it in about 30 minutes. I did evrything on this reel that Alan Tani did with the exception of installing a new handle. Reel now spin smooth like butter and pulled plenty of drag. Will load 80 lbs solid Sufix and top off with short 60 lb fluoro leader. thinking of splicing on a 20 yrd section of 100 lbs hollow to make the loop.
 

joel8080

Newbie
Jul 14, 2012
89
25
Oceanside
Name
Joel Sidney
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27 Blackfin
Go to Scotts and go to 113hn any parts in show short supply buy them and you will never have a problem with parts. Great reel and easy to maintain just keep the screws & plates greased, but the same for any reel where you mix SS & aluminum.
 

sundaytrucka

Fish or Die
Sep 8, 2013
259
45
Orange County
Name
Scott
Boat
I wish...as in, I wish I had a boat.
Thank for all the replies, and tips guys; especially about keeping the screws greased and reel maintained, really helped my decision making. You know how it goes, we all like a vote of confidence in a product we are thinking of buying.

Thanks again for all the input Tunanorth! I am going to get the Baja Special and one of the PENN Fathom 25N models, both great products from Penn.

WOOOOO.....FISHING!!!
 

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
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Bass Tracker 16
lighter, and less $$ than Torques...the only Senator still MADE IN USA,...........



Just to clarify two points, 113HN Baja Special weighs 28 ounces, the equivalent line capacity Torque [TRQ40NLD2] is 27 ounces. Also, Senator 116L [12/0] and 117L [14/0] are "Made in USA".
 
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ReelDealAngler

Born To Fish
Apr 21, 2013
652
351
Dana Point,CA
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Garry
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Reel Estate
Just to clarify two points, 113HN Baja Special weighs 28 ounces, the equivalent line capacity Torque [TRQ40NLD2] is 27 ounces. Also, Senator 116L [12/0] and 117L [14/0] are "Made in USA".

Just shows how far Penn has come in the past 3 years... they now offer a 2-speed 4/0 narrow reel with excellent free spool that weighs less than the original 4/0 narrow reel design that has been so popular for several decades with west coast jig fisherman for both the yo/yo jig and surface iron applications. The new Torque 2-speed makes a lot of sense if you are fishing Long Range as you can get into some larger grade yellows on the yo/yo application and when fishing Wahoo the 2-speed is also nice to have when throwing the heavier shiny Hoo jigs just in case that 100lb class YFT decides to eat your jig... you got a better chance at landing it, and this year we had some jumbo BFT that were eating the traditional blue/chrome heavy jigs as well and that Torque 40NLD2 is a perfect fit IMO for all 3 of these applications mentioned. For the non jumbo models the 113HN Baja fits the bill well as it basically replaces the narrow 4/0 reel of yesteryear that was a key design for the west coast sport fishing market. The Baja being a star drag reel with a disengaging pinion gear will also cast the larger surface iron like the popular Salas 7X very well when coupled with a longer jig stick... I own 3 Baja reels and use them for the larger surface iron, Wahoo bombs (less chance of YFT eating those so no 2-speed needed), and the yo/yo jig on YT up to 40lbs. IMO the 113HN is hands down the best value in a saltwater fishing reel to be found today for the west coast applications that reel design was intended for, they are basically bomb proof if you maintain them properly, and if you de-grease the spool bearings and re-lube them with a finer synthetic oil they will cast the larger size surface iron and wahoo jigs/bombs as well as any reel ever made including the stock Newell reels (and I was the Newell rep for several years). IMO every west coast sport fisherman should have at least one 113HN Baja in their arsenal as that reel can be used very effectively for numerous applications and it is one of the most dependable reels when properly maintained that money can buy.

Tight lines and blue skies!
 

fishon2

Newbie
Nov 17, 2008
45
0
Nassau Bay, TX
Name
John
Boat
Sold mine, Fishing buddy's 36 Contender.....
Just to clarify two points, 113HN Baja Special weighs 28 ounces, the equivalent line capacity Torque [TRQ40NLD2] is 27 ounces. Also, Senator 116L [12/0] and 117L [14/0] are "Made in USA".

Ya, I guess I am behind the times (should have checked all the Torque specs closer), sorry forgot about those big Senators. I corrected my post..........Thanks
 

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
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Tunanorth
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Bass Tracker 16
it's a common question; Penn has 43 current reel SKU's that are "Made in USA", including:
International lever drags, Torque lever drags, International baitcasters, Torque star drags, "Z" series spinning reels, Torque spinning reels, Senator 12/0, Senator 14/0, and 113HN Baja Special, plus everything in the "Custom Shop".