Penn Fierce III Review (Top Pros & Cons, And Who It’s For)


It’s reel review time!

If you’re looking for a durable, affordable live bait reel that’ll give you a lot of bang for your buck, then you’re going to love this reel review!

Justin, our head of tackle, and I are tag-teaming this Penn Fierce III review as he’s breaking down the specs of it and I’m showing some fun on-the-water footage of it in action.

Check it out below!

Penn Fierce III Review [VIDEO]

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There’s a lot to like about the Penn Fierce III, but it’s not perfect, and it’s not for everyone, so check out the pros, cons, and specs below.


  • Full metal body that doesn’t bend or flex
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system
  • Durable
  • I’ve used my Penn Fierce IIIs for 5+ years
  • Low price
  • Overall great value for the price


  • Heavier than most other inshore reels (so it’s not great for people who use artificial lures)
  • Does not have corrosion-resistant ball bearings

Penn Fierce III 3000 Specs:

  • Weight: 11.8 oz
  • Line capacity: 250/15
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Max Drag: 15 lbs.


penn fierce 3 review

If you use live or cut bait and want an affordable, durable reel, this reel is for you.

But if you use artificial lures and make dozens of casts throughout the day, this reel’s heaviness compared to other inshore reels might not make it the best option.

You can get it from our shop here:

And if you want 20% off of this reel, as well as all of the other gear in our shop, click here to join us in the Insider Club.

Have any questions about this reel?

Have you used it before?

Let me know down in the comments!

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christopher siebers
2 months ago

Why is a lighter reel necessary for for throwing artificial lures?

Travis Beswick
2 months ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Isn’t it due to reel sizing? It’s more like a 5000 sized shimano

Stephen Allen
2 months ago

Great stuff guys! I have a Fierce III 2500 on a Toadfish “Convict” rod, and a 5000 on an old 10′ Tsunami surf rod, I’ve not used the “Convict” setup yet, but the surf combo has been great.
I was curious if a 4000 or 5000 would be a good choice as an affordable “shallow” jigging reel, like for patch reefs and near shore wrecks in 30-80′ of water on a 1530 class rod? Target species would be whatever bites.
Thanks for your time.

Justin Ritchey
2 months ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Hey Stephen! I love talking about jigging, under any circumstance! Regardless of where you will be fishing (Panhandle, Southeast Florida, Gulf Coast, etc.), if you plan on jigging in 30-80′ of water around structure I would definitely stick with a 5000 size, and using 30lb. braid. The most important thing to consider here is that you will be battling most of these fish away from structure, so the metal body & carbon fiber drag on the Fierce III will be your biggest asset. Since the body (and therefore) the gear size between the 4000 and 5000 are different, I would side with the 5000 so there is less tension under load when you are cranking a fish away from structure. Ex: I wish I had purchased a Slammer III 5500 instead of the 4500 when jigging for AJs in Southeast Florida, since the gear size between the two is substantial and I’ve noticed a difference in my winching capabilities. So for jigging, go with the 5k. Hope that helps!

Stephen Allen
2 months ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Thanks for the info!

Dana Endorf
2 months ago

Great review, Wyatt. I started out with a Penn Fierce III 4000 reel and a Penn rod. It was an incredible starting rod/reel combo. I still use it when I fish live bait. I’ve had it two years and I fish 2 to 3 times a week. The combo is still going strong. I don’t use this set up for throwing artificial lures because I agree with you, it’s on the heavy side. But if you’re looking for a great starting setup, you can’t go wrong with this Penn rod and reel setup.

Joe Moody
2 months ago

You mentioned it was heavey how much does it weigh?

Mel Crissey
2 months ago

Great review Wyatt. I have three Penn Fierce reels. Two Fierce II is 3000 and a Fierce III in 4000. You described them perfectly. I also have several Battle II and Battle III spinning reels, two Penn Conflict spinning reels and a bunch of Penn conventional reels. They are all very rugged and excellent drag systems. I’m glad you did this piece on the Fierce IIIs as too many people think that you must have a $200-$250 reel to be an effective angler. Well done.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mel Crissey
David Hagler
2 months ago

Huge fan of the Fierce! My son and I use them for fluke and striped bass fishing. I just bought a Battle, so I will have a comparison at the end of this season.

Bernardo Melendez
2 months ago

Small suggestion: Justin, in that video, kept moving that reel up and down so much. It would be nice to actually see the reel without it being waved up and down, just so we can actually see the product. That applies also to other videos when the viewer wants to see the lure or the line knot you guys are using. People are interested in those types of details, IMHO.

Dave F.
2 months ago

So, basically, you just need to swap out the bearings and you are good to go !

2 months ago

Love my Fierce 3 have landed multiple over slot reds on the surf and at the same time don’t have to stress over my boys getting a little rough with them on the boat.

Joe Falzone
2 months ago

Very good video a lot of good info on it. I would like to see you guys do one on the PENN battle IV 4500 series.


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