Should I Buy A Penn Spinfisher VI? (Pros & Cons Review)

We’re BACK in the Salt Strong Reel Room to take a much closer look at the Penn Spinfisher VI!!!

There is so much to get into about the Spinfisher VI and the related pros and cons.

The Spinfisher name has been around for over a decade and is iconic in the Penn world.

Below are the FIVE main details you should have in mind when thinking of buying this reel.

Take a look!!

Penn Spinfisher VI Pros & Cons [VIDEO]

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➡ Get the Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

If you’re in the market for an inshore spinning reel, you’re looking at A LOT of things.

Drag, line capacity, bearings, etc. are truthfully minimal in the grand scheme.

You should want to know how the reel performs, how well the seals are, the smoothness of the reel, etc.

Spinfisher VI Overview

The Spinfisher VI is a solid aluminum-bodied reel.

Aluminum reels come with their own set of unique pros and cons.

The benefits are no flex or compromising of the handle.

But it is slightly heavier than other reels.

In addition to an aluminum body, you also have what Penn calls their CNC Technology.

Penn has started to incorporate aluminum main gears meshed with a brass pinion gear.

In the case of the Spinfisher VI, you have an aluminum main gear on the brass pinion.

This will wear very well and remain rock solid and smooth.

IPX5 Rating

Penn has also been heavily advertising their IPX5 Sealed Reel feature.

The IP stands for Ingress Protection.

This is a rating given to products to determine how well it’s sealed from the environment.

Both solids and liquids – even in the form of moisture.

IP is then followed by two numbers.

The first number indicates how well the item is sealed from physical contaminants.

Then the second number is the seal rating against liquid contaminants.

In the case of a spinning reel, it is IPX because solids are basically negligible.

You don’t need to be worried about large rocks or larger physical intrusions.

We’re more concerned with the protection against liquid and moisture contaminants.

IPX5, when it comes down to it, means from a certain distance away and at all angles, this product can take jets of water at a certain pressure for a certain amount of time AND we can confirm that the inner workings of the reel are not compromised.

A rating of IPX5 means it has exceeded that standard.

In my personal opinion, that’s almost overkill but you won’t have to worry about sealing.

All in all, this is a well-sealed product.

HT-100 Drag

HT stands for “high-tech” and the 100 is what makes this interesting.

Back in the 1980s, Penn designed a carbon fiber disc drag that is put through a pretty rigorous test.

Penn put these carbon fiber drag discs on a machine and ran a monofilament line across them to engage the disc drag.

They did so for 100 miles of line.

Then they tested the carbon fiber disc drag and reported no degradation to the drag itself.

Carbon fiber is a superior product to traditional felt washers in other reels on the current market.

Penn is the originator, if you will, of using carbon fiber drag discs over felt washers.

Moreover, the grease Penn uses lasts a long time and protects against contaminants as well.

Seals (Location + Quality)

One of the first things I look for when looking at new spinning reels is the number of seals.

It is important to take note of where the preliminary seals are placed on the reel you’re interested in buying.

Just about every reel manufacturer out there places a seal right beneath the drag cap to protect the main shaft.

I’m more concerned with the seal right where the main shaft sprouts from which is slightly brown in color.

That lip seal prevents water from making its way down the main shaft and into the anti-reverse clutch bearing.

You DO NOT want this bearing to ever become compromised.

Penn utilizes a direct-drive handle design on this reel.

That means the handle threads directly onto the main gear itself.

When you remove the handle, you can see another sealed bearing that protects the main gear.

In total, there are FIVE sealed bearings on the Spinfisher VI.

There are two different types of bearings used: shielded ball bearings and sealed ball bearings.

Shielded ball bearings are best for blocking larger, physical matter.

Sealed ball bearings do a much better job of protecting against exposure to liquid or moisture.

Although not fully impenetrable, sealed ball bearings are of higher quality.

The areas of high contamination are well-sealed throughout this reel both on the outside and within.

The Cons Of The Spinfisher VI

There is not a perfect spinning reel on the market.

Some reels flat-out do some things better than others.

Penn is no different and clearly falls into that category.

However, there are a few cons to keep in mind.

The first is the weight of the reel.

The heavier a reel is, the more it will weigh on you the longer you fish with it.

If you’re fishing finesse 3-4 inch soft plastic lures in shallow grassy areas, this reel will get the job done BUT the 2500 size comes in at 10.7 ounces.

There are other aluminum-bodied reels out on the market that weigh lighter than the Spinfisher VI.

Sometimes by up to 2 ounces which is substantial if you plan on fishing for the entire day.

The final con to consider is overall fluidity and smoothness.

Keep in mind, this is subjective.

Smoothness to an angler varies depending on the type of fishing you’re doing.

If you want that refined, finesse feel of an inshore reel, then this might not be the best option for you.

But if you’re throwing bigger soft plastics or live bait fishing, this reel is a fantastic option.


penn spinfisher

All in all, the Spinfisher VI is a rock-solid aluminum-bodied reel that is sealed very well.

If you’re rough on your gear and you want something to last a long time without worrying too much about the finesse aspects of inshore fishing, this might be the reel for you.

We now have a BUNCH of different Penn Reel options in our online Tackle Shop!!

NOTE: Insider Members can get their reels spooled up with braid so they can hit the water immediately with their new gear!! Just make sure you are logged in at the time of your purchase!!

➡ Get the Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

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The 90/10 Rule is particularly applicable in the wintertime, you’ve just got to know where to start.

That’s where we come in.

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Please go ahead and leave us a comment down below!!

Finding The Fish Help

In order to help make sure that you are targeting the right areas based on the latest feeding trends and upcoming weather forecasts, make sure to use the following 3 resources because they will save you a ton of time.

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George Younger
6 months ago

Awesome job and review Justin, thank you! Have been contemplating the Spin fisher VI and your reviews go beyond the basic specs on the box. Long time Penn fan who considers the “weight” unwaivering reliability. If you could, do a comparison of the Slammer IV vs DX and dissect the Authority the Justin Ritchey way! Shout out to SS and Z fans! Still rocking the 706z manual. 💪🤘👊👍🍻

Jon Brasher
7 months ago

Great review, all valid points. I’ve been fishing a Spinfisher VI 3500 for a couple of years and love it. I am hard on my gear and the boat can get very wet on a windy day on the bay so the extra seal protection is a great piece of mind. And, reels do get dropped occasionally on the boat and on the dock so these reels can take it. I liked it enough to buy a 2500. The reals are a little tight when they are new but will get smoother as they get used (broken in).

Steven Russell
7 months ago

Really great information about the Penn reel

William Sowell
7 months ago

Have used the Spinnfisher VI for three years now. My go-to is the 3500 inshore, a bit heavy,but that is the last component that will fail when that Cobia or Tarpon grabs your Slam Shady while fishing trout. I use 6500 LL offshore and have hauled up some hogs. The only problem I have had in five reels is one line roller bearing, which was easy to replace.

7 months ago

I have light tackle fished for better than 40 years for ,tuna wahoo and the like. For me there will never be a better product than Penn’s 750 and 850ss series which deeply sadened me deeply to hear they don’t manufacture anymore. It was the reel of reels . My opinion is there is no reel now or ever made to compare.

Last edited 7 months ago by Robert
Philip Welsh
7 months ago

Great review. Thanks!

William Rellos
7 months ago

Great post thanks for sharing

Michael Bourdua
7 months ago

Great job Justin. This is the next level content that we are looking for on Salt Strong. Your macro to micro approach from the reel in general through the components and specs was really well done. Understanding the specific differences allows one to make good choices with their limited money and space. Thank you.

Pat Ogletree
7 months ago

Well done Justin! Loved watching this video. It’s a clinic on how to do a non biased review on any product.

David Kenley
7 months ago

New and old.I have the Spinfisher iv ‘s 2500,3500,4500,and 5500 models with an extra spool for each. A little extra weight is not a problem. I also use the z series 710z, 712z, and 704z. The 704 is an older” greenie”. The 704z is the one that they started making in the U.S. again. It’s still in the box .I’m still waiting for the greenie to wear out so I can use the new 704z. They might outlast me. thanks, David

David Kenley
7 months ago
Reply to  David Kenley

Correction: My spinfishers are sixes ss.


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