Tranx or Fathom??

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
6,433
5,095
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
Genuine question as I’m sure the test subjects have done quite a bit if testing on the reels, including yourself, does Penn see any direction in using the same frame but a different set of internals (humor me, SS, different bearings and placement, etc) so far?

I’ll thrown in I think that if someone wants a reel for fishing bigger grade pelagics, maybe up to 100lbs? That I see Penn needing a bigger reel the size of a Tranx 500 .. seems like most of the stuff is in place, especially with the current level wind frames. An idea way out in the outfield, but it could be a start.


The designs are set for now. Minor "running changes" may occur during the life of a series, but that's about all.
Outside of our geographic area, there is not that much demand for a 500-size LP.
It won't be this year or even next year, but if tastes evolve in the direction of large LP's in more geographic areas, it could happen.
 
Upvote 0

Larry S

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,200
    500
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    Penn doesn't have a track record in LP reels. I suspect they're a modified Abu from the same factory in China that makes the Abu's. Somebody at Pure Fishing decided that Penn needed a LP reel and there you go...
    Yes, the more availible, the more we buy?
     
    Upvote 0
    May 8, 2020
    407
    309
    Point Loma
    Name
    Troy
    Boat
    Fun Ones
    The designs are set for now. Minor "running changes" may occur during the life of a series, but that's about all.
    Outside of our geographic area, there is not that much demand for a 500-size LP.
    It won't be this year or even next year, but if tastes evolve in the direction of large LP's in more geographic areas, it could happen.
    Makes sense on the premise of a 500, seems like PENN has a larger east coast market based off the insta account. How much larger is that east coast market?

    Running changes being accessories? Like a power handle change or something along those lines? That be neat.
     
    Upvote 0

    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,678
    891
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    10 years? If you're still alive in 10 years you should buy all brand new tackle.
    How old are you son, I have Penn reels that are forty plus years old and work as well today as the day I unboxed them.
    Substance over fancy, Penn all day, I know my grandchildren grandchildren can get use out of them.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: azbaseball
    Upvote 0

    Paulo Grandez

    Member
    Sep 28, 2014
    718
    409
    818
    Name
    Paulo
    Boat
    N/A
    How old are you son, I have Penn reels that are forty plus years old and work as well today as the day I unboxed them.
    Substance over fancy, Penn all day, I know my grandchildren grandchildren can get use out of them.
    I'm 46 pops, I'm a firm believer in the latest and greatest, out with the old and in with the new.

    Life is short you're supposed to treat yourself not cheat yourself.
     
    Upvote 0

    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,678
    891
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    I'm 46 pops, I'm a firm believer in the latest and greatest, out with the old and in with the new.

    Life is short you're supposed to treat yourself not cheat yourself.
    Latest does not always translate to greatest, I have Penn Internationals that are forty plus years old, works as well or better than the new stuff, (little fine tuning from Cal) the latest are design to catch fishermen the are no better at catching fish.
     
    Upvote 0

    Paulo Grandez

    Member
    Sep 28, 2014
    718
    409
    818
    Name
    Paulo
    Boat
    N/A
    Latest does not always translate to greatest, I have Penn Internationals that are forty plus years old, works as well or better than the new stuff, (little fine tuning from Cal) the latest are design to catch fishermen the are no better at catching fish.
    How do you know the old stuff works better than the new stuff?
     
    Upvote 0

    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,678
    891
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    How do you know the old stuff works better than the new stuff?
    Because I bought tons of the new stuff believing they had advantages over the old stuff, how disappointing.
    Not ashamed to admit I fell for the sale pitch.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: [email protected]
    Upvote 0

    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    9,302
    7,438
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    Because I bought tons of the new stuff believing they had advantages over the old stuff, how disappointing.
    Not ashamed to admit I fell for the sale pitch.
    It shiny, pretty, smooth to turn the handle... in the store. It's made from and features a bunch of meaningless gobbledygook terms invented by the marketing dept plus lots of plastic. It's all downhill from there!
     
    Upvote 0

    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,678
    891
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    It shiny, pretty, smooth to turn the handle... in the store. It's made from and features a bunch of meaningless gobbledygook terms invented by the marketing dept plus lots of plastic. It's all downhill from there!
    You got that right.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: [email protected]
    Upvote 0

    Paulo Grandez

    Member
    Sep 28, 2014
    718
    409
    818
    Name
    Paulo
    Boat
    N/A
    Because I bought tons of the new stuff believing they had advantages over the old stuff, how disappointing.
    Not ashamed to admit I fell for the sale pitch.
    I don't believe you.

    Having old stuff is cool, but that doesn't make you superior.

    I see old guys all the time on boats with their big five sabers and their penns and TLD's and they always have the audacity to make some comment towards guys with new tackle and they specially hate braid and they're not shy about expressing that either. Anyhow I never see those guys win the jackpot and if they're lucky enough to land a yellow tail it takes em forever.
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0
    May 8, 2020
    407
    309
    Point Loma
    Name
    Troy
    Boat
    Fun Ones
    I don't believe you.

    Having old stuff is cool, but that doesn't make you superior.

    I see old guys all the time on boats with their big five sabers and their penns and TLD's and they always have the audacity to make some comment towards guys with new tackle and they specially hate braid and they're not shy about expressing that either. Anyhow I never see those guys win the jackpot and if they're lucky enough to land a yellow tail it takes em forever.
    If you’re saying that you need braid and new reel to kill a yellowtail faster, meh to you. Plenty of older reels that are more then capable to operate as efficiently as a new reel. Take older Trinidad’s and torques, frankly TLDs ain’t that bad, Newell’s still perform the same as any low pro fishing calico bass from the back of a sportie.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: [email protected]
    Upvote 0

    Paulo Grandez

    Member
    Sep 28, 2014
    718
    409
    818
    Name
    Paulo
    Boat
    N/A
    If you’re saying that you need braid and new reel to kill a yellowtail faster, meh to you. Plenty of older reels that are more then capable to operate as efficiently as a new reel. Take older Trinidad’s and torques, frankly TLDs ain’t that bad, Newell’s still perform the same as any low pro fishing calico bass from the back of a sportie.
    I agree with you 100% and I've seen it done and one of my favorite setups is my 270h and Sealine 30.

    I'm just giving this old timer a hard time. Guys that don't want to spend money on new stuff and then act like they're Superior because they only use old stuff get on my nerves.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: Chucker o’ Jigs
    Upvote 0

    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,678
    891
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    I agree with you 100% and I've seen it done and one of my favorite setups is my 270h and Sealine 30.

    I'm just giving this old timer a hard time. Guys that don't want to spend money on new stuff and then act like they're Superior because they only use old stuff gets on my nerves.

    Hey Paulo, for your information, I would not be caught dead on a sport boat, fish my own boat, chart my own way find my own fish, no sitting in the galley waiting for the Captain to tell me when to drop my line.
    I have caught sailfish with a Penn 505HS, Marlin using a 12T, yet I spend money buying Tranx, torques and LP reels and they are no more efficient that the old stuff, what impresses me is the smaller two speed fathoms and the newer rod material.
    But go ahead poke fun a this old guy, I have a feelings if I gave you the helm you would be lost.
     
    Upvote 0
    May 8, 2020
    407
    309
    Point Loma
    Name
    Troy
    Boat
    Fun Ones
    I agree with you 100% and I've seen it done and one of my favorite setups is my 270h and Sealine 30.

    I'm just giving this old timer a hard time. Guys that don't want to spend money on new stuff and then act like they're Superior because they only use old stuff gets on my nerves.
    Yes it’s infuriating to me as well. Newer reels at the higher end is often a vastly superior model to previous iterations off the shelf.
     
    Upvote 0

    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
    7,893
    9,845
    .
    Name
    .
    Boat
    .
    The original question. But outdated now with parts availability. Why?

    Stoked I have stored a CT 250, TE300, and TE400 in LA. With after market parts that are now way outdated :D

    The original TE300 and TE400 with Trinidad drags had the side plate for large drag , why are they gone? Shallow water rock fish. The original CT400 with straight spectra was Fat Bait style. Bummer they are discontinued. Great reels

    Sight fished my person best c bass on the surface of ancient bull kelp. With a TE300 straight spectra and a swimbait. Bottomed out a 65# scale. They have Trinidad drags


    FB_IMG_1621051119672.jpg
     
    Upvote 0

    azbaseball

    Member
    Apr 2, 2007
    600
    841
    la mesa ca
    Name
    mike de vito
    Boat
    20ft nitro
    How old are you son, I have Penn reels that are forty plus years old and work as well today as the day I unboxed them.
    Substance over fancy, Penn all day, I know my grandchildren grandchildren can get use out of them.
    forty years they are almost brand new I still have and use my squidder and jigmaster from the 60-70's You can still get parts and upgrade the drags. I also have Mitchell 300 and 309 I used for surf fish. The reels are in good shape but I take care of them.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: onehottip
    Upvote 0

    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    9,302
    7,438
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    forty years they are almost brand new I still have and use my squidder and jigmaster from the 60-70's You can still get parts and upgrade the drags. I also have Mitchell 300 and 309 I used for surf fish. The reels are in good shape but I take care of them.
    Yeah, well, the Squidder drags are still dime sized even if you upgrade to Carbontex and those 3.3:1 gears with that tiny spool diameter are painful to wind in to change a bait. But, yes, you can easily get parts for all of them!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Paulo Grandez
    Upvote 0
    Aug 11, 2015
    260
    137
    43
    Vancouver
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    Zodiac
    The komodos just seem like cheap junk to me that will not last especially when you compare it in your hand to a Lexa or Tranx. The Fathom LP look nice and well its Penn so they should stand behind their product but I'd wait a year or two to see how they stand up in battle and storage.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Tom Chavez
    Upvote 0

    Amadeus

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Mar 17, 2011
    1,236
    631
    San Diego/CA/US
    Name
    Wai Jung
    Boat
    Seahawk II
    The "low profile" of a Tranx 500 is a misnomer. Fished next to a guy who had one, and its height was almost exactly the same as my Okuma Catalina CT-25L level wind. From side-by-side, side-profile photos of the 400 and 500, any height difference is nominal as well.

    The true difference is the frame form factor (vs. round), and the functionality of the thumb button (vs. an eccentric lever)...calling it as i see it, just not "low profile". The "LP" variation is not worth Shimano's $$$ premium, IMHO...YMMV.
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
    6,433
    5,095
    By the lake
    Name
    Tunanorth
    Boat
    Bass Tracker 16
    Makes sense on the premise of a 500, seems like PENN has a larger east coast market based off the insta account. How much larger is that east coast market?

    Running changes being accessories? Like a power handle change or something along those lines? That be neat.


    Its more of a "world" market situation, but it is true that SoCal/Baja is pretty small in the big picture.
    That said, the VISX Internationals, and Torque 2-speeds [and Fathom LD2's b y extension] are very much west-coast specific designs.
    "Running changes" are minor adjustments that could be anything that does not require a full re-engineering; normally just a different material for this or that part, and also possibly a different handle, etc.
     
    Upvote 0
    May 6, 2004
    528
    469
    66
    Newport
    Name
    Dave
    Boat
    28 Farallon HOOKED
    If the little switch on the side plate on the Tranx gets accidentally bumped the side plate will fall off of course into the water. And good luck getting a replacement side plate. Months !!!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: fishwithwill
    Upvote 0

    PhilM

    Newbie
  • Dec 14, 2018
    75
    15
    44
    N. Idaho
    Name
    Phil
    Boat
    B
    Update: I got the Fathom reel and put it through its paces. Here is some feedback if you are in a similar situation.

    I thank you all for your input and comments. I do appreciate it.

    Let me start by saying I was in a time crunch to get a reel. I was waiting on a Lexa 401 that was on backorder for months. I should not have waited so long to move forward with another. My preference was to get another Lexa, but I could not find one anywhere. No biggie. Like I said in my 1st post. I have Penn and Shimano, both in big gold reels, spinning and bait casters. I think to date, I have over 25 reels, mostly Penn and Shimano With that, here we go:

    The pictures may no do any justice, so I will try and be as descriptive as possible. I will be comparing it with a Lexa 300 as I have two of them and have run them through the paces and they are saltwater only. I use my Curados for freshwater.

    The target use for these reel was saltwater only. From a Kayak in Hawaii and shallow depth rock and ling fishing in Oregon and Washington. From the Kayak, I throw 120g and 80g plugs and spoons. I also do some bait dangling on occasion. Level wind is a big plus for me. Light weight is another plus. I went on a ling trip and used a very nice aluminum reel that was in the $600 range and it was nice and smooth as butter, but it was heavy and no line wind was a PITA for me. I was going to buy this from my friend and now glad I didn't.

    Having seen the low profile reels in operation for rockfishing and ling fishing along the shallow waters on the Oregon coast, it was time for me to rethink using the round reels. This is purely a personal preference of mine, 100% impulsive.

    Lets start with availability. I could only find Fathoms, and not the 401 series Shimanos nor Lexas.

    Next, was price. They are all within $25 - $50 which is OK. Its not like the huge price difference between my 130's. I would have went either way depending on availability.

    Size and weight: The fully spooled 401 Fathom weighs about the same in my hand as a 301 Lexa spooled up. The Penn is about 20% bigger or more. The Penn has 50# Tough line and the Lexa has 50# PP.

    Casting: Not a reason why I bought it, but thought I would include it. Hands down the Lexa. Chucking a 120g plug has been common fare for me with spinning gear. On the same rod, I was able to get about 15 yards further with the Lexa. The Fathom is definitely noisier when paying out the line casting. Its sounds like the Bantom mags of the mid 80's. Again, I did not buy it for that purpose, but I can see myself shelving the 6000 and 14000 egg beaters for the Fathom and start using it for chucking the plugs. I get it there is difference of lines etc, and that plays into it all.

    Fit and finish. Penn. The Lexa is shinier and the Penn is matte. Again, Ford vs Chevy .. I prefer matte, but that's just me. The contrasting gold and black of the Penn in the sunlight is pretty cool.

    Operation: Pretty close with the spool settings, drag and other setting. Meaning, they feel the same. Now, reeling the plug back in ... Not even close. The Lexa is way smoother. Not saying the Fathom is rough, but you can tell the difference. In full disclosure, I did open the Penn up and grease it like I did the Lexas and all of my saltwater reels, and that helped a lot, but the Lexa is still smoother.

    I am not a professional in any way, but to me, the insides of the Penn look stronger.

    Drag: I do not know the specs of either reel. From a user standpoint, that user being me, hands down the Penn was was smoother, especially when you start dialing in the drag over 3/4 turned down or close to maxed out. At 20#'s the Lexa was a little rough, where the Penn was smoother. Perhaps I was at the limits of the Lexa, who knows. I pulled 27#'s with the Penn and it was still smooth. I have a pull gauge I use for the Gold reels.


    My intent was not to start a brand loyal debate, because at the end of the day , these low profile reels are just bass reels. I do see me using them for much more, which I am, and using lighter rods and these lighter reels, I can see me doing much more than casting worms or rattle traps. $250 - 300 is a lot to spend on something that IS going to fail in saltwater, however I take care of my stuff. We shall see how long term use treats these brands.

    I saw some comments about Pelagics. Yes I fish for them off Kayaks and small vessels in Hawaii but I use my International's, for that. The 16's off the yak and normally the 70's -130's in the boats, all worked over by Cal's. I would think that any sustained use of the Lexa and Fathom for Pelagics would break them down real quick... I do see some guys fishing for Tuna in Oregon with these low profile reels, but they are 10 -30 pounds and I normally use my Slammer 3 for Shibi's and Ono's that size., so the Gold reels would be overkill in Oregon and Washington. I cannot see my self fishing for Tuna stateside, but if I did, I do not think I would use either of these low profile reels. I am not sure I would use a 500 series reel. I would have to try one, but at the price and size, I might consider a round reel at that point.

    Now the last question that may be on your mind. Would I buy another? Yes and no. I do prefer the Penn over the Lexa for what I intend to use it for. If I was looking for a smooth reel and did not test the limits of the drag, Lexa all the way. Remember, I may use these off the yak in Hawaii so drag in this instance is more important. No buyers remorse here, and I feel the Penn will be ripping lots of ling lips for a good time to come.

    Thanks again for all of your input. This last minute crunch was trying but at the same time, good.






    20210518_112945.jpg
    20210518_113022.jpg
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0