Penn Battle III Spinning Reel Review

Updated on April 28, 2022 by

This is a thorough review of the Penn Battle III spinning reel so that you can decide whether this option suits your personal requirements depending on your preferred fishing location and target species.

Don’t let the weight of Penn’s Battle III spinning reel trick you – trust me, this reel is no lightweight. The Battle III range is a solid workhorse reel that suits freshwater and saltwater anglers. I was looking forward to testing this reel out for years – it has a strong reputation.

Penn has managed to make a well-engineered, high-quality, reel with the smallest models weighing in at just one pound. But beware – the bigger Battle III models weigh significantly more.Penn Battle III Spinning Reel Review 1

The Penn Battle III is the upgrade of the old Battle II and I will explain the evolution.

I rate all reels based on my own personal experience and judgement.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Quantitative Score

Performance – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Durability – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read more about how our scoring system works.

Penn Battle III Key Features

The Battle III is the definition of durability. It is made from high quality materials and designed to handle bumps, scratches, and big fish. This reel is built for serious abuse.

For people who have never used a Penn reel before you will notice the resistance when turning the handle is higher than that of a Shimano or Daiwa reel. This is due to the thick reel grease and fully metal rotor.

Excellent Durable Body

Penn is known for their durable, well-built gear. The Battle III line is no exception with a full metal body and side plates covering the rotor and aluminum bail wire. The build quality makes it well suited to saltwater fishing as well as for freshwater anglers.

I always appreciate reels that are durable as this gives the best value for money.

Penn reels are one of the few manufacturers based in the USA.

High-Quality Dragging Ability

The Battle III feature HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers that are designed to withstand hundreds of miles worth of fishing line drag. HT-100 washers are carbon fiber fabric laminated on fiberglass.

Although Penn was amongst the first to use carbon fiber for washers these types of products are more widespread in the industry now. For the Battle II the use of carbon fibre, along with the reel’s high-quality build is up to 30 lbs.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel Photo

Great Caster

The lightweight nature of the Battle III’s smaller models mean it can be a casting dream in good weather. But a nightmare when the weather gets wild. The smaller reels weigh just one pound, so casting is easy and simple in calm waters. But if the winds gets up that light weight could be your undoing.

While the Battle III’s small reels are light, the top end of the range is much heavier and could flip this issue on its head.  The reel’s line capacity rings are a handy way to quickly check how much line you have out when trolling or long casting, or even a way to ensure you’ve put the correct amount of line on your reel.

I found the casting to be accurate and to give good distance.


  • Great drag capacity up to 30 lbs and decent casting accuracy.
  • Durably built with a full metal body and carbon fibre drag washers.
  • Five stainless steel, sealed, ball bearings with an anti-reversal roller.
  • The smallest end of the range is extremely lightweight – weighing in at just one pound.


  • While the small Battle III’s are extremely light, the range’s bigger reels can be somewhat heavy.
  • Lightweight reels can be hard to cast in windy weather
  • The bearings don’t have a comprehensive sealing system so make sure you thoroughly flush and maintain your reel and store it dry
  • Lacks the features of the next model up the Clash II

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel Video

Have a look at this Battle III review by Project Reel for some more information to help with your purchase decision:


For the numbers buffs among us, have a read through the specifications of the Battle III 4000 series below:

BRAID CAPACITY YD/LB360/15 260/20 185/30
MAX DRAG LB15lb | 6.8kg
MONO CAPACITY YD/LB270/8 220/10 165/12
WEIGHT12.8 oz

Competitor Comparison Specifications

Let’s have a look at the specifications to compare the data between similarly ranked spinning reels. This data is based on a 3000 sized reel model.

Spinning ReelScoreBall BearingsSuitable for SaltwaterRetrieve RateGear RatioMax DragWeightMono Capacity (6lb)Price Range
Pflueger President5/59+1No31 inches6.2:110 lb7.6 oz145 yards$$
Penn Battle III5/55+1Yes35 inches6.2:115 lb12.3 oz210 yards$$
Pflueger Supreme XT5/510No33 inches6.2:112 lb8.0 oz230 yards$$

But what I really wanted to look at is the difference between the Battle III and the Clash II which is the next model up.

This comparison was done with the 3000 sized model.

FeatureClash IIBattle III
Gear Ratio6.2:16.2:1
Retrieve Rate35 inches35 inches
Drag MaterialHT-100HT-100
Max Drag15 lb15 lb
Mono Line Capacity200 yards of 8 lb 200 yards of 8 lb
Techno BalancedYesNo


What is the weight of the reel?

The Penn Battle III 4000 series model weighs 12.8 oz.

How many ball bearings are there in the reel? 

The reel has 6 sealed stainless-steel ball bearings.

What is the line capacity of this reel?

The line capacity of the Penn Battle III 4000 series is 270 yards of 8 lb mono or 360 yards of 15 lb braid fishing line.

What is the maximum drag?

Maximum drag weight is 30lbs.

What is the difference between the Penn Battle II and Battle III?

The Battle III comes with the upgraded body, rotor and bail design of the Slammer III. This gives the Battle III both improved durability and improved performance albeit at a higher cost. If you can afford the difference then go for the newer option.


The Battle III range are great workhorse reels that can suit many situations. Well built and durable, the inclusion of HT-100 carbon fibre washers means this reel is built to last. It has a good maximum drag weight of 30 lbs. The smallest Battle IIs are very lightweight, but that changes at the biggest end of the range which can be much heavier.

I have reviewed a lot of reels and this is the first that I have ever given 5/5 for all categories. You are doing well in selecting this reel.

If you are looking for more reels then read through our article on the best Penn spinning reels.

If you have used a Battle II then please leave a comment below with your wisdom so that we can all learn from your experience.

Happy fishing!

Photo of author

Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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