Penn Clash Spinning Reel Review

Updated on May 20, 2022 by

The use of computer machined gear technology is what sets the Penn Clash spinning reel apart from its competitors. This inshore specialist is ultra-lightweight and has surprisingly good durability.

The lightweight reel’s use of Dura-Gear computer numerical control cut gears provide for extreme durability and rivals top tier reels.

It might not be the greatest reel to ever come off the manufacturing line, but the well-built Clash is a good-quality reel that features some top of the line features.

To come up with this review I have judged the reel based on its performance, durability, and features including corrosion resistance and construction quality.

Penn are one of the top manufacturers of spinning reels and are based in the USA.

Penn Clash Spinning Reel

Penn Clash Spinning Reel Review 1
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Accurate Casting

Quantitative Score

Performance – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Durability – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read more about how our scoring system works.

Penn Clash Reel Overview

Pinpoint Casting

The Clash’s casting strength is its precision. At short and medium distances, it can cast quite accurately. But the reel suffers somewhat at long distance casting compared to other reels.

High Max Drag 

Despite the reel’s low weight, the Clash can drag up to 20 lbs into the boat with the largest model (5000). The smallest reels in the Clash range weigh in at just 8.2 ounces. But it is powerful enough to drag a 20 pound fish. The Clash uses Penn’s HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers that are designed to provide excellent drag while lasting the test of time.

Completely Protected Casing

The Clash’s drag is sealed making it perfect for salt or freshwater fishing. This versatility is one of the Clash’s big strengths. The carbon graphite rotor in the smaller Clash models is lightweight and well protected. The larger Clash models feature an aluminum rotor that adds extra weight to the reel.

Best Slippage Protection 

The Clash’s gear system is its real talking point for me. Featuring Dura-Gear Computer Numerical Control machined gears it performs at a level you would expect from a more expensive reel.

The smaller models, the 2000 through 5000, use brass pinion gears and an aluminum drive gear, compared while the larger 6000 and 8000 models use a brass pinion and brass drive gear. These gears as well as stainless steel ball bearings provide excellent slip prevention.

Penn Clash sitting on its box


  • I found the Penn Clash to be lightweight and durably built and protected from potential salt damage.
  • The Clash can provided accurate casting in short to medium distances.
  • The computer cut gears are among the best in this reel’s class and I feel like they belong in a top tier reel


  • In wild weather conditions, especially in strong wind, the lightweight reel can make casting difficult.
  • The 9 pound drag capacity on the smallest model (1000) is good for a lightweight reel but could be too small for keen anglers.
  • I don’t think it has the bells and whistles of some competing reels at the same price point

Penn Clash Spinning Reel

Penn Clash Spinning Reel Review 1
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Accurate Casting

Penn Clash II vs Battle III

One of the main comparisons I have been referring to when reviewing this is between the Clash and the Battle. They are two similar level Penn spinning reels that you might have trouble deciding between. To help answer this question I have put together this competitor comparison.

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

My takeaways from comparing these two reels are that they are very similar in terms of specifications. The Clash comes at a higher price and does have some extra features that the Battle doesn’t. The extra bearings make the retrieve feel smoother and is certainly more robust.

Penn Clash Video Review

Have a look at this official video by Penn highlighting the Penn Clash II, the ultimate inshore reel:


BRAID CAPACITY YD/LB160/6 130/8 110/10210/8 180/10 165/15240/10 220/15 160/20250/15 180/20 130/30270/15 195/20 140/30360/15 260/20 185/30410/15 295/20 210/30420/20 300/30 240/40
GEAR RATIO5.2:16.2:16.2:16.2:17.0:16.2:17.0:15.6:1
MAX DRAG LB9lb10lb12lb15lb15lb15lb15lb20lb
MONO CAPACITY YD/LB275/2 135/4 105/6240/4 180/6 125/8255/6 175/8 140/10200/8 165/10 120/12215/8 175/10 130/12270/8 220/10 165/12305/8 250/10 185/12225/12 200/15 135/20
RECOVERY RATE22″31″33″35″41″35″44″38″
REEL SIZE10002000250030003000400040005000
WEIGHT7 oz 8.3 oz8.8 oz10.1 oz10.8 oz10.6 oz11.4 oz16 oz


What is the weight of the reel?

The smallest Clash models are quite light, just 7 oz with the largest model at 16 oz

What is the max drag?

Maximum drag capacity of 20 lbs with the largest model 5000 series.

What is the gear ratio?

The Clash gear ratio is 6.2:1. There is also a high speed model with a 7.0:1 gear ratio.

Is the reel saltwater resistant?

Yes, the device is resistant to saltwater and sand.

What is the retrieval rate?

This changes depending on the model, but goes from 22 inches to 41 inches per crank.

What is the difference between the Penn Clash I and Clash II?

The updated Clash II comes with a hydrophobic line roller which repels water to avoid salt build up and corrosion. It also has Penn’s clutch armor system which protects both the pinion and clutch systems.
This gives the Clash II improved durability but similar performance.

What are the lines on the base of the spool?

These are line capacity rings which indicate 1/3, 2/3, and full fishing line capacity so you can judge when you need to replace your spool.


The computer cut gears of the Clash system are its headline feature. They give the reel a premium feel and wouldn’t be out of place in a top tier reel. The Clash is good quality reel that will do the job for freshwater and saltwater fishers. But it’s 10 pound drag capacity of the 2000 series may not be enough for some.

I am extremely impressed with the amount of performance you get out of this reel at this price point. It is one of the very few reels that I have given a 5 out of 5 score for.

If you are looking for alternate options then have a read through our review of the best inshore spinning reels.

Happy fishing!

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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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