When you start thinking about the best spinning combo for bass fishing, dozens of rods and reels come into your mind. Then you can’t decide whether to pick an Ugly stick and match it with a Shimano or consider some of the newer brand’s combos such as the Piscifun Carbon X, from Piscifun who makes killer rods and reels for a great price.
These new companies save a lot of money since they are internet-based fishing brands and in exchange, they pump the specifications out of their fishing tackle.
All are good options, you can’t go wrong with any. But I’ve chosen the PENN Battle III combo, keep on reading and you’ll find why.
Battle III Specs
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|Size||Gear Ratio||Bearings||Max Drag||Weight||Line Retrieve||Braid Cap.||Mono Cap.|
In my experience, some ready-to-fish combos could have a better-selected fishing gear. One example of this is the Ugly Stick paired with a Shakespeare reel. By no means is a bad combo, it’s still a good one but when we look into the specs we find the reel falls short on performance, such as the ball bearings, gear ratio, and quality. I wonder why didn’t they just give it away in a McDonald’s happy meal.
Oh, and by the way, the price doesn’t exactly fall.
When you’re buying a rod n’ reel combo you must place close attention to the specs because here is where companies save money. I think they are important so I made the specs tables for you. They’ll sell you a medium performance gear for a full price tag.
Why wouldn’t they? They are doing the task of thinking and building something for you, and that comes at a price.
Oh… and that’s not all… you get very limited options to choose from if you want to mix and match your fishing combo.
But in this case, not PENN. PENN has recently launched the new Battle III Combo and has different combinations to choose from depending on the reel size and rod length. Alternatively, you can take a look at the best selling Battle II Combo as well. Both of them will deliver great performance for a great price.
But there’s a reason why the Battle III is replacing its predecessor, and we’re gonna find what’s new.
Keep on reading.
Bye-Bye Battle II
The PENN Battle II has been one of the angler’s favorite fishing reel for the past years. This includes fresh and saltwater fishing depending on the reel size. It is the best selling spinning reel on Amazon and it’s no surprise. The quality, performance, value, and reliability of the Battle II has made it endure along all these years to remain as the king of the hill.
But the age is showing, competitors are getting better and it is now time to pass the crown to the new to-be-king.
PENN Battle III Spinning Reel – The Proper Reel For a Bass Fishing Combo
PENN is an American fishing tackle company. Based in Iowa, formerly Philadelphia, they have recently launched in a new spinning combo for fishing and it’s the Battle III the reel they’ve chosen. It’s no mistake.
The reel is beautifully crafted in a full-metal body and, to lose some weight, aluminum is used for the spool. While the reel itself can be found in black and red, the one that comes in the combo is black and gold, the PENN’s flagship colors. Simply gorgeous.
PENN foresees that we anglers are going to like this set, and sure we do, so they put together the LE model that comes in black, white, and blue for a limited stock. The rod is also matched to the reel giving it a beautiful touch.
Battle III Features
The Battle III comes with some set of improvements over the last generation reel.
Some of the improvements are:
- Full Metal Body and Sideplates
- CNC Gear Technology
- HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
- 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball-bearing system
- Graphite Composite Blank
- PENN Dura-Guides
One of these features that I like the most is the CNC Gear technology. What is CNC technology? It means Computer Numerical Control, and what that does is that a computer has precise coordinates on where to cut the gears with high precision. This makes them strong, symmetrical, makes your reel work smoother, and it is also more resistant. In summary, the gear quality has been raised.
HT-100 Drag Material
PENN has been using the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system since 1985, and they keep pushing it on the newer reels due to the great success, and its acceptance. It is a front drag type and the max drag for the new reel goes from 9lb or 4kg up to an impressive 30lb or 13.6kg. This shows the wide variety of models that you can choose from this fishing combo. Check the spec table.
The gear ratio slightly varies depending on the model. It goes from 4.7:1 (8000 model) up to 6.2:1 (most models, check the spec table). I consider the 6.2:1 setting as a fast and efficient reel that will work with you and not work you out. With these gear ratios each time the handle completes a full turn, you will recover from 22” or 56cm to 41” or 104cm of line depending on the reel size. Not bad at all for your crankbaits or spinnerbaits.
6 Ball – Bearings
The reel comes with 6 sealed stainless steel ball bearings. They got sealed and this makes them better saltwater resistant than the previous generation. The reel is not completely sealed so after sea fishing, you must rinse your reel with fresh water to make sure it doesn’t rust or degrades. I’m not too much into sea fishing but bass fishing, so I’ll leave that to other more experienced anglers.
By having 6 ball bearings over 3, 4, or 5 that other combos have, I guarantee a smoother casting and line recovery every cast. All models come with 6 ball bearings.
You will have a complete variety of reel sizes to choose from, and that’s great but some might find it confusing.
As a general rule, the bigger the reel the bigger the catch. But it comes at a cost. Weight.
You can find this reel from the model 1000 to 10000 in this combo. This selection lets you choose different styles, techniques, and the possibility for bigger catches. However, starting in the 5000 model, the reel comes with a power knob for better grip.
I find the model 4000 just to be in the sweet spot. It is small enough to go inshore fishing but also large enough to go offshore. The 4000 sits almost in the middle and this allows you to do a bit of what the lower or higher models can do.
The combination of rod and reel that PENN puts together is ideal in my opinion.
All in all, the new Battle III spinning reel has been a good upgrade from the last generation, and it is worth taking a look. For the features it has and the blank that it comes with I consider it as the best spinning combo for bass.
Now, let’s talk about the spinning rod it comes along.
The Combo Spinning Rod
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|Reel Size||Length||Action||Power||Line Weight||Lure Weight||Guides||Pieces|
|4000||7'||Fast||Medium||10-17lb||1/4-1oz||8||1 - 2|
|5000||7' - 8'||Moderate Fast / Fast||Medium Heavy||12-20lb||3/4-2oz||6||1 - 2|
|6000||6'6'' - 7' - 9'||Moderate Fast / Fast||Medium Heavy||12-25lb/30-80lb/15-30lb||3/4-2oz / 2-5oz / 1-3oz||8 - 8 - 6||1- 1 - 2|
|8000||7' - 10'||Fast / Moderate Fast||Heavy||15-30lb/20-40lb||3/4-2 1/2oz / 1-5oz||7 / 6||1 - 2|
The blanks that come in this combo, for all reel models, are made of graphite composite. All rod’s handles come with premium cork and EVA materials depending on the length and reel model you’re getting.
PENN has thought of all fishermen and chose different lengths to cover different styles of fishing such as light inshore, surf fishing, nearshore, and offshore as I stated above, but none of them have a hook keeper.
The lengths start at 6’6” up to 10′ and the power options are light, medium light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy. All guides are stainless steel under the PENN Dura-Guide.
What Are People Saying?
People are welcoming this fishing combo extraordinary. It is hard to find on shelves so I suggest looking up for it online before running in circles from store to store. I’ve left some links you can click on to find the lowest price and availability.
The Battle III reel is relatively new so we’re at the stage of finding issues and problems. However, I trust that since its gears are CNC cut, the reel will last longer than the Battle II and that’s a high benchmark. The improvements the Battle III received are enough to make it stronger and better, but not riskier in terms of longevity or design flaws. In other words, it was upgraded and improved. Not completely redesigned where flaws could come out.
PENN has been in the business for more than 80 years and this gives us trust in them. We can rest assure that when PENN talks about fishing, they surely know what they are talking about.
If you prefer to build your combo, consider the Piscifun X. You can’t go wrong either.
Are you looking for a new place for bass fishing? Have you considered Utah?
Take a look at my article on the Top 7 Places for Bass Fishing in Utah.
I hope you liked my review, is there anything you would like to tell me about? Make sure to comment below.