PENN SSVi: First Look

johndtuttle

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Heya Boyos,



Well Looky here! Fresh off of ICAST 2018 PENN was gracious enough to send out an SSVi 4500 for our perusal and dissection:












This is the replacement for the workhorse SSV introduced some 6 years as a long awaited revival of the Spinfisher series of reels that PENN has been producing for decades.

PENN introduced in the Slammer III reel the idea of independent labs testing and certifying the amount of water resistance/proofness a reel actually had and chose a manufacturing standard called the Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This is what it looks like in chart form:



The idea being that there is a progression that is easily understandable in degrees of water resistance and waterproofness that is real and verifiable with independent testing. This goes much beyond ideas like "sealed" or "dunkable" that are really vague. "Sealed" means nothing other than seals are present, just what they hold back and for how long is unknown. "Dunkable" means to the fisherman that the reel can be cranked underwater (at a normal in your hands depth) for some amount of unspecified time...But in both cases we can see that just how much water or how deep and for how long is really the important idea for the user. The IP standard puts some actual numbers and pressures to those levels of protection and it would be great if all reel makers used this standard. Then we would have real information about their claims.

Since the introduction of truly sealed reels the budget fisherman has seen great improvements in sealing and PENN follows suit with with the SSVi. It is rated to the IPX5 standard which is sealed against jets of water (rain, spray, hoses) the most common sources of water entering the reel.

This starts off with seals at the top and bottom of the drag stack:







Sealing of the Main Shaft and Rotor to protect the Pinion Assembly:

















The Body is sealed of course, at the handle and around the edges and with sealed bearings throughout the reel:





Its nice too that PENN has gone to retaining the bearings with these screws. It reduced side to side slop and holds close tolerances in the gears longer, I believe.

Black anodized machined aluminum Main Gear in the SSVi 4500 with brass pinion. The SSVi doesn't have the extra slow oscillation that the Clash has, just a standard (and proven) sort:





The handle, like the old SSV is the simple peened on paddle in the 4500. The idea is simply works with little maintenance for the life of the reel:



Removable auto bail trip if you want to go manual:



The Line Roller assembly is a simple affair. One sealed bearing and one bushing:





And rather than an under-spool bearing the SSVi uses a simple bushing with seals. This seems to simplify the sealing and is proven over decades in the "Z" series to be simple and reliable at these modest drags (20# in the 4500):







Cheers. I'll try to update the thread as requested. Let the comments flow!

regards
 
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tunanorth

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Great to see you back John!
 

fishfish

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Love your reviews and thanks again John but how's this compare to the Slammer 3 series build-wise ?

Thx, Gerry
 

tunanorth

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Love your reviews and thanks again John but how's this compare to the Slammer 3 series build-wise ?

Thx, Gerry

I'll let John give the long answer, but the short answer is the Slammer III is IPX6 rated, and retains the "double drag" design, plus uses the "Dura-Drag" material instead of HT100.
 

fishfish

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By any chance....Anyone know if the handle arms are interchangeable between these 2 reels of the same size ?
Not a fan of the bright gold handle arms in the Slammer series. Perhaps I can swap arms on a Slammer for a Black VI arm instead.
 

johndtuttle

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By any chance....Anyone know if the handle arms are interchangeable between these 2 reels of the same size ?
Not a fan of the bright gold handle arms in the Slammer series. Perhaps I can swap arms on a Slammer for a Black VI arm instead.
PENN will have to chime in to be certain, but I believe so.
 

johndtuttle

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Love your reviews and thanks again John but how's this compare to the Slammer 3 series build-wise ?

Thx, Gerry
Yes, the sealing is a little better on the Slammer III than the SSVi and overall the Slammer III is a heavier reel, built heavier to hold up to the amazing drag.

I would fish the SSVi for the Surf or Inshore, Offshore more of a light tackle paddy reel. The Slammer III is a true offshore reel for big 'uns, imo, or anytime you really want a tank.
 

fishfish

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Awesome.....thanks Mike and John !!!
Appreciate it mucho !!!
 

johndtuttle

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The Oscillation gear has a Nylon washer on it's backside:



And is mounted on a Brass bushing:



The Clutch pops out after quite a bit o' wiggling due to tight tolerances in it's housing:



Some shots of the under the rotor slots that interlock with the slots on the bearing retainer:





Which is clearly not a "water proof" sort of seal, but in it's favor keeps the reel more free spinning. The white coating is a hydrophobic material that forms the seal in it's "maze of interlocking" grooves.

Main Gear pulled out. Machined aluminum with black anodizing:

 
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fishfish

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Very thorough breakdown again John !!! Wow !!!
 

PENN

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Love your reviews and thanks again John but how's this compare to the Slammer 3 series build-wise ?

Thx, Gerry
Drag Material (HT-100 vs Dura Drag)
Drag Design (higher max on Slammer)
Rotor material (nylon on smaller Spinfishers)
Gear material (all Brass machined on Slammers)
Weight (Spinfisher is lighter)
Handle arm/knob (machined on Slammer).

Mike
 

KINGSIZE

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Got a Calstar 6480L and 196-8L spinning rods ready. Gonna have to figure out what sizes for both rods.