What’s Inside A Penn DX Reel? (Battle III And Slammer IV Series)

What’s inside a Penn DX Reel you ask???

Welcome inside the Salt Strong Reel Room where we’re breaking down DX reels to learn more about the inner workings and other functions.

It is important to know what goes into each reel when deciding which one is right for you.

Take a look!

What’s Inside A Penn DX Reel? [VIDEO]

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Featured Spinning Reels:

We have FOUR reels on the table for this video.

I’ve got the standard model Penn Battle III and Slammer IV and then there’s a DX Series Reel for each.

The differences between each series of reels are a bit more complex than just color.

To start, DX stands for Dealer Exclusive.

That means that not all retailers have access to the DX Model.

We’re fortunate enough to offer these reels and they are definitely a step up from the standard series.

Penn Battle III DX Series VS. Standard

Once I opened up each reel and took apart the pieces, they appear exactly the same.

They are both solid-metal body reels, with the same bail arrangement, both have HT-100 Drag Stacks along with a sealed ball bearing and a collar on the side plate.

Not only that, but they both include brass pinion gears.

Aside from a $10 difference at tackle shops, the ONLY visible difference between the inner workings of the two reels is the material used to create the main gear.

The Battle III has a coated aluminum main gear and the Battle III DX has a coated brass main gear.

Brass is a harder metal than aluminum.

Aluminum is slightly softer and that means the brass gear will wear better over time than the aluminum gear.

This makes a big difference for those anglers looking to target bull redfish in deepwater constantly winching down to reel in fish.

Brass will maintain its integrity better than aluminum in the long term.

Penn Slammer IV DX Series VS. Standard

Things are A LOT more complicated when it comes to the Slammer IV DX and the standard version.

The standard Slammer IV is an entirely different animal with IPX6 Seal and a brass main gear.

On the 2500 size only, Penn utilizes their HT-100 drag system.

But on the 3500 sizes and above, they make use of their DuraDrag system.

Penn makes use of a phenolic coating that bonds the carbon-fiber washer to the eared washer.

That helps improve the performance and longevity of the drag system.

These reels are roughly $30 apart on the price scale.

The standard Slammer IV includes protective rubber seals throughout the main gear and main shaft as well as the nuts and bolts within the reel.

So what sets this reel apart from its DX Series version?

The first change is Penn included an additional ball bearing within the reel.

Although it is not a huge difference maker, I think it is better to not need an extra ball bearing and have it rather than to need it and not have it.

When it comes down to it, the thing that sets these reels apart is the main gear.

The Slammer IV standard offers a brass main gear.

But the Slammer IV DX offers a stainless steel main gear on a stainless steel pinion gear.

Stainless steel is rock solid.

The machinery and process to create stainless steel main gears are intense.

It is a harder metal that takes longer to cut and will wear down the machines used to assemble the gears.

Penn uses their CNC Gear Technology (Computerized Numerical Control) to design the stainless steel main gear.

It is a precision aspect of coding their computers to cut all of their main gears to their specifications.

This is to ensure everything is cut perfectly and the exact same way each time.

As far as which reel you should lean toward, that remains to be seen because DX reels are fairly new to the market.

However, brass does offer slightly better corrosion resistance than stainless steel.

The benefit of stainless steel main gears is longevity.

Stainless steel is of the highest quality that you can put in an inshore spinning reel.

➡ Get any of the Reels featured in this video

If you are a Salt Strong Insider Member, if you buy any reel in our tackle shop, we’re going to give you FREE braided line AND we’ll spool it up for you on top of FREE SHIPPING!

All you have to do is pair it up with a fishing rod, tie on a leader, and hit the water!!

If you have any further questions or comments about any of the standard models or DX Series reels from Penn, please let me know down below!!!

Do you have personal experience fishing with a DX Series reel?

Please share in the comments section!!

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.

1. Weekend Game Plans (updated weekly)

These regional game plans will show you exactly what types of spots to target in under 10 minutes… just click the video to start, and you’ll be informed on what to do on your next trip.

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2. Smart Fishing Spots Platform (updated every 15 minutes)

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3. Community Reports (live feed)

The Insider Community platform is what you can use to see what is biting near you, and you can get to know other members who fish in your area. Plus, you can use it to keep a log of your catches so you can use past trips to help predict future catches.

➡ Community Platform 

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Fishing Joe
6 months ago

Hey guys
I just got a battle 3 dx 3000
Caught a 6kg cat fish and the reel went “kaput”.
Apparently the o/s gear broke or got disconnected.
All the hype about it’s durability?
Few months back I caught a 10kg grass carp with my battle 2 2500…with no issues. By the way I own 7 penn reels.
Already send it back to the dealer.

Jude Gustafson
7 months ago

There are a couple other differences between the Battle 3 and the Battle 3 dx other than the main gear material. First off, the spool is supported by a ball bearing in the dx rather than a bushing to allow for better support. Another interesting difference is that the dx’s drag cap utilizes a wave spring which makes it easier to fine tune your drag. These are very small differences but I thought it might be good to add in.

8 months ago

What IBX eating is the Penn Battle DX?

Jeff Mortellaro
10 months ago

Hello there Justin! With your expertise in mind, I would like to see a video of the basic disassembly and reassembly of reels. Nothing brand specific, just general order of disassembly, and what not to do, if that makes sense. Thank you in advance, and my apologies if this has been done and I haven’t yet found it. Jeff

John Thomson
10 months ago

Off topic, but will we see a report from you any time? Do they have you tied up making rods or something?

Eric Benoit
10 months ago

Great comparison, have you broke down the new Penn Authority reel to see how it would compare?
I am actively upgrading my tackle and trying to understand all the different options. I do like Penn and have a few Spinfisher VI, Battle 3 etc.

Mike Kirkley
10 months ago

Of all the rules, which is the most water, resistant or waterproof

David Bankston
10 months ago

That was very informative. I have used Penn reels for over 40 years, from my first Penn Senator to my Battle III spinners. I have never had one fail while using it. I break them down, clean and lube them once a year. I rinse them after every use, that’s it… I have landed some very large reds, stripers, and gator trout with them. Never failed on me…

10 months ago

Thanks for the view inside those reels! Is Penn using a bushing instead of a sealed bearing on the DX Series bail line roller?

Steven Herrmann
10 months ago

I have over 25 years experience working in the metal working Industry and I can vouch for the precision of CNC machining. We kept tolerances to .0001 inch or better. I was involved with both the programming and the quality control of the machining process. This equipment could maintain high quality in the product.


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