Penn Slammer 3 Review

F.I.S.H.Y

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  • Sep 27, 2019
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    Been looking at a new popping settup for a while now. I was initially ganna get a Okuma Makaira but decided I would rather get a Slammer and save some more money for other settups too. Went with the slammers 6500.

    First impression:
    The handle fits in your hand well and feels very nice. The round Design actually feels nice on a popping reel, better than the standard football knob. It is a smooth reel, not just that but you can feel power while reeling. The weight of the rotar creates momentum that makes winding easier, very nice! I also noticed the drag is very very powerful! I can't imagine what would happen with your standard graphite rotar on a reel with this much drag. After about 7 turns it completely locks up, around 40lbs of drag.


    I did my research before getting this reel, watched a lot of videos and reviews. These 2 were the best.
    In the second video nomad really says a lot about these reels. They even claim that they are holding up better than reels like Shimano Stella's, and Daiwa Saltiga showing a box of the reels beimg sent back for service.

    Here is a Comparison also of the Shimano Twin Power vs the Penn slammer 3.
    The people who actually fished the two concluded that the slammers are superior.


    Honestly the slammers are the best you can get for $300. I mean not even the Shimano stella uses Brass on Brass gears... They are made in China, doesn't mean they lack quality! They are actually built very very well for Chinese made products to the point you wouldnt even notice it was unless told so.
    If you think about it, if slammers were made in Japan or the USA they would probably retail around $400-500.

    Drag:
    The drag on this reel is truly phenomenal! Penn managed to get there flagship Dura-Drag in this spinning reel. It is the same drag used in the Penn Torque and Penn VISX. It makes the drag very strong and very smooth! Also includes Penn's "Slammer Drag" Design which you will find on the Saragosas, Twin powers, and even Stella's. One of the smoothest drags in the spinning reel market. Saying this drag is powerful is almost an understatement! It produces 40+lbs of drag as fast as a Shimano Stella. The Dura Drag gets its name for a reason to. It's nearly indestructible! Nomad said the drags were lasting out on the water 4 months at times preforming flawlessly. The clicker is also very loud on this reel! Louder than some of my conventional reels. I can conclude the drag system on the Penn Slammer 3 is one of the best in the market!



    Pros:
    Aluminum rotar++++++
    Aluminum body and side plate.
    IPX6 Sealed but still super smooth!
    All brass Oscillation, Pinion, and Main Gear
    Suuuuuper smooth dura drag
    Extremely comfortable Handle
    Titanium Oscillation Shaft



    Cons:
    Lowest drag setting is 2 lbs.

    Conclusion:
    I highly recommend this reel, I don't think there is many reels that compare to the slammer 3 for the price.
     
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    tunanorth

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    A key thing to add about the drag material used is that the "Dura-Drag" material is the same as is used in Internationals and Torques.
    Truly awesome stuff, but it is indeed the reason that the "minimum drag" is relatively high.
    Also it is a "Slammer Drag" design, meaning it has drag elements at both the top of the spool like standard spinning reels, and also a large drag element at the bottom of the the spool.
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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  • Sep 27, 2019
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    A key thing to add about the drag material used is that the "Dura-Drag" material is the same as is used in Internationals and Torques.
    Truly awesome stuff, but it is indeed the reason that the "minimum drag" is relatively high.
    Also it is a "Slammer Drag" design, meaning it has drag elements at both the top of the spool like standard spinning reels, and also a large drag element at the bottom of the the spool.
    Your right, dura drag is one of the best spinning reel drags out there really. Tackle advisors really likes it and says it is almost like a Lever drag system. The only complaint he had was that the drag was too high at the Lowest setting. This reel will put the hurt on fish though with a drag like that.
     
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    Mandaragat

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    In the second video nomad really says a lot about these reels. They even claim that they are holding up better than reels like Shimano Stella's, and Daiwa Saltiga showing a box of the reels beimg sent back for service.

    You're watching a Purefishing commercial, owner of Penn brand. Watch video of Anglers and not Endorsers. Not saying it's not capable reel.
     
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    Mandaragat

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    Not a fan of Chinese Penn or tackle in general. Left a bad taste in my mouth. The opposite is true when talking of US made red senator and Spinfisher.
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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  • Sep 27, 2019
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    Well they are only made in China to save labor labor costs, it also saves money for us. And they don't lack in quality. You can't dislike a product just because it's made somewhere you dislike, where do you think your phone was made? If Penn made there reels in the us the Slammer would not be $300.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    Your right, dura drag is one of the best spinning reel drags out there really. Tackle advisors really likes it and says it is almost like a Lever drag system. The only complaint he had was that the drag was too high at the Lowest setting. This reel will put the hurt on fish though with a drag like that.

    At 29:00 in the video, Tackle Advisors also mentions the knocking that occurs when the spool reaches the changes direction during the oscillation cycle. I have this knock on my 6500 and it is super annoying!! Penn, please offer an O-ring retrofit!!! I don't want to have to open it up to pack more grease.

    FWIW, the reason I chose the S3 was size. The frame and body of the S3 looked/felt more compact to me than an equivalent size Saragosa. But... there's a new 'gosa coming to town so if I was looking for a new spinner, I'm not so sure I'd buy the S3 again.
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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  • Sep 27, 2019
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    At 29:00 in the video, Tackle Advisors also mentions the knocking that occurs when the spool reaches the changes direction during the oscillation cycle. I have this knock on my 6500 and it is super annoying!! Penn, please offer an O-ring retrofit!!! I don't want to have to open it up to pack more grease.

    FWIW, the reason I chose the S3 was size. The frame and body of the S3 looked/felt more compact to me than an equivalent size Saragosa. But... there's a new 'gosa coming to town so if I was looking for a new spinner, I'm not so sure I'd buy the S3 again.
    Haven't discovered that problem yet but yeah, I chose the slammer over the Saragosa because the Saragosa has a Plastic rotar and sideplate but the slammer is all aluminum. I fish Saragosas 5-6k but over that I get Slammers for the drag and added strength.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    Didn't mean to say size was the only reason I chose the S3, but the old 'gosa was just looked honking huge to my eye. S3 over the old 'gosa for sure.
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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    Didn't mean to say size was the only reason I chose the S3, but the old 'gosa was just looked honking huge to my eye. S3 over the old 'gosa for sure.
    I just took out my slammer 6500 and I don't feel any knocking at all??? Is it something loud because I can't hear it or feel it.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    I hope you don't have it on yours. I feel it when cranking. It's like whir, whir, whir, whir, clunk, whir, whir, whir, clunk, whir, whir, whir, clunk. Subtle, but it's definitely there.

    Can't recall if it's better or worse with speed of crank, but I've got a lot of my house boxed up and can't dig it out at the moment.
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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    I hope you don't have it on yours. I feel it when cranking. It's like whir, whir, whir, whir, clunk, whir, whir, whir, clunk, whir, whir, whir, clunk. Subtle, but it's definitely there.

    Can't recall if it's better or worse with speed of crank, but I've got a lot of my house boxed up and can't dig it out at the moment.
    They might have fixed it then. It just goes whir, whir, whir the whole time. Feels good, you can feel the momentum of the rotar build up and make winding easier, that's another benefit of a aluminum rotar. Maybe you should sell yours for a new one. If you fish Saragosas 5-6k and slammers 6.5k and up that would be a very good spinning Arsenal. You don't really need all the drag in the 3.5k and 4.5k Slammers and the aluminum rotar but in the Saragosas it's actually nice having the Graphite parts to save weight on the smaller reels, they have a very smooth feel to. Saragosas for.all day work and Slammers for heavy duty stuff.
     
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    caranxo

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    But small saragosa are only fast ratio...there is also the spheros!, low ratio.
    In mid-range for popping there was only one!, slammer hs 8500...now there is the saragosa 18k!
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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    But small saragosa are only fast ratio...there is also the spheros!, low ratio.
    In mid-range for popping there was only one!, slammer hs 8500...now there is the saragosa 18k!
    I'm planning on useing them for only jigs, plugs, and possibly smaller poppers. Mostly inshore.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    They might have fixed it then. It just goes whir, whir, whir the whole time.

    Cool, gonna go look up the schematics!

    Update: Well, the current schematic for the 6500 on Penn's website is Rev.02 05-15-18.

    Compared the suspect parts to the Rev.00 01-18-2017 schematics for my 6500HS. They are identical. Nothing has been changed or fixed. I think you're fortunate to have a smooth one. Enjoy!
     
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    F.I.S.H.Y

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    Cool, gonna go look up the schematics!

    Update: Well, the current schematic for the 6500 on Penn's website is Rev.02 05-15-18.

    Compared the suspect parts to the Rev.00 01-18-2017 schematics for my 6500HS. They are identical. Nothing has been changed or fixed. I think you're fortunate to have a smooth one. Enjoy!
    If it buggs you that much I'm sure you could get the o ring from Shimanos website and install it onto the Penn
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    If it buggs you that much I'm sure you could get the o ring from Shimanos website and install it onto the Penn

    Hmmm good idea but a bunch of reasons why this wouldn't work...

    It's not the end of the world, just something Penn overlooked that could/can be fixed to improve customer satisfaction.
     
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    Composite

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    Been looking at a new popping settup for a while now. I was initially ganna get a Okuma Makaira but decided I would rather get a Slammer and save some more money for other settups too. Went with the slammers 6500.

    First impression:
    The handle fits in your hand well and feels very nice. The round Design actually feels nice on a popping reel, better than the standard football knob. It is a smooth reel, not just that but you can feel power while reeling. The weight of the rotar creates momentum that makes winding easier, very nice! I also noticed the drag is very very powerful! I can't imagine what would happen with your standard graphite rotar on a reel with this much drag. After about 7 turns it completely locks up, around 40lbs of drag.


    I did my research before getting this reel, watched a lot of videos and reviews. These 2 were the best.
    In the second video nomad really says a lot about these reels. They even claim that they are holding up better than reels like Shimano Stella's, and Daiwa Saltiga showing a box of the reels beimg sent back for service.

    Here is a Comparison also of the Shimano Twin Power vs the Penn slammer 3.
    The people who actually fished the two concluded that the slammers are superior.


    Honestly the slammers are the best you can get for $300. I mean not even the Shimano stella uses Brass on Brass gears... They are made in China, doesn't mean they lack quality! They are actually built very very well for Chinese made products to the point you wouldnt even notice it was unless told so.
    If you think about it, if slammers were made in Japan or the USA they would probably retail around $400-500.

    Drag:
    The drag on this reel is truly phenomenal! Penn managed to get there flagship Dura-Drag in this spinning reel. It is the same drag used in the Penn Torque and Penn VISX. It makes the drag very strong and very smooth! Also includes Penn's "Slammer Drag" Design which you will find on the Saragosas, Twin powers, and even Stella's. One of the smoothest drags in the spinning reel market. Saying this drag is powerful is almost an understatement! It produces 40+lbs of drag as fast as a Shimano Stella. The Dura Drag gets its name for a reason to. It's nearly indestructible! Nomad said the drags were lasting out on the water 4 months at times preforming flawlessly. The clicker is also very loud on this reel! Louder than some of my conventional reels. I can conclude the drag system on the Penn Slammer 3 is one of the best in the market!



    Pros:
    Aluminum rotar++++++
    Aluminum body and side plate.
    IPX6 Sealed but still super smooth!
    All brass Oscillation, Pinion, and Main Gear
    Suuuuuper smooth dura drag
    Extremely comfortable Handle
    Titanium Oscillation Shaft



    Cons:
    Lowest drag setting is 2 lbs.

    Conclusion:
    I highly recommend this reel, I don't think there is many reels that compare to the slammer 3 for the price.


    If I need less then 2lbs of drag for anything it isn't worth catching.:D
     
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    Composite

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    Your right, dura drag is one of the best spinning reel drags out there really. Tackle advisors really likes it and says it is almost like a Lever drag system. The only complaint he had was that the drag was too high at the Lowest setting. This reel will put the hurt on fish though with a drag like that.

    Even in FW where I might dial the drag down to let a fish run when baitfishing I have never felt that the lowest setting of drag on a slammer was an issue.
     
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    tunanorth

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    Even in FW where I might dial the drag down to let a fish run when baitfishing I have never felt that the lowest setting of drag on a slammer was an issue.



    Apparently there are a fair number of anglers who simply loosen their drag up to replicate a "Live-Liner" type reel.
    When they get a bite, they tighten up the drag and set the hook.
    It is true that if you do this style, the Slammer III drag may not get loose enough for you.
     
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    hucklongfin

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    I’m more concerned with effective rather than maximum drag. Max drag on a spinner is measured, for marketing purposes, with a nearly empty spool!

    Why would you be concerned about 2# of drag on a 6500 size reel? It’s more of an offshore size. I’ve never wanted to use 2# in the ocean or even freshwater unless I’m trout fishing. My inshore spinner is a Stradic 4000 and even it’s often over kill For the 3 b’s. I’ve seen plenty of 2500 spinners at Catalina and they do just fine but then I’ve caught YFT on 10 day trips on a Curado 300 and YT, YFT, Dorado and Wahoo with a Lexa 400 on 5 & 10 days too... and a tonnage of YT at Cedros.

    I don’t get why you’re so concerned with the rotor material. You can’t grind on a fish with a spinner, you have to pump and wind. There shouldn’t be a lot of pressure on the rotor!

    Have you heard the expression “never trust sponsored advice”? Paid shills aren’t objective! I’m sure those Nomad guys would rather be using Saltiga or Stellas but they’re providing loaner reels that don’t see maintenance For months... and Daiwa/Shimano aren’t paying them to use their gear! If you go on one of their trips and bring your own Stella 8k/14k/18k they won’t tell you that you should’ve got a Slammer!

    A Chevy, poorly maintained would probably hold up better than an equivalently maintained Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari or even a Honda Civic type R. I don’t know about you, uh can you drive yet? But I’d rather drive any of those over a Chevy... non Corvette!
     
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    Mandaragat

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    Well they are only made in China to save labor labor costs, it also saves money for us. And they don't lack in quality. You can't dislike a product just because it's made somewhere you dislike, where do you think your phone was made? If Penn made there reels in the us the Slammer would not be $300.
    I agree to savings/profits but haven't seen lowering of price after a transfer of production. As to quality, I haven't seen a product transferred to China for improvement of quality. Strength in Chinese manufacturing is cost and not quality to meet a certain profitability of the company and price point for the consumer. If you want quality product from China, you'll pay top dollar like Nitecore brand.

    I source chemicals from China to meet the need of cost conscious customers but will offer chemicals manufactured in US, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Japan if quality is the priority. In betweens are India and Taiwan.

    I don't generally dislike China, it's the idea of outsourcing of manufacturing to save on cost/increase profits and mostly, only the lower-end models are outsourced. I didn't buy a Saltiga conventional because it's made in Korea but bought the spinner variant and an OJ. I stopped buying Owner treble hooks but not SJ38/41s. I also refrained buying Malaysian/Indonesian/Chinese Shimanos. Of course, as long as I can afford my way.

    By the way, all my iPhones up to the 11Pro Max were ASSEMBLED IN CHINA.
     
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