Penn 209 Levelwind?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by Cat Man Joe, May 28, 2007.

  1. Cat Man Joe

    Cat Man Joe New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Illinois
    Im looking for some advice regarding this reel. I met a guy who rebuilds em and has some for a decent price. I was reading in here a little about them and Im a little concerned. I fish from the bank, dont have a boat, so I do alot of casting. Should I stay away from the 209 and go with an Abu 6500c3? Theres a big difference in price but I know you get what you pay for. Just wondering what you guys think. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. hnterrcc1951

    hnterrcc1951 New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    indiana
    i also have 209s and if you live in ok and fish 100yrds or more get something else, but out of a boat or fishing from bank, ive found the biggest fish are not that far from banks. with 9ft rods i can cast 120ft with no trouble using 20lb b big game. hope this helps! hnterrcc
     

  3. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Joe I've only put a tape to one cast to see how far it went and on that day it was cold,28 deg.the 209 was spooled with 50lb mono and the rod had been in the back of my pickup so the reel and line was cold but I made a 75 yd cast and thats 225 feet.I fished with 209 Penns for 35 years and never had any problems catching catfish with one and as a mater of fact the best one I ever hooked up(70+ lbs) was at night and the hook was no more than 30 ft from the bank.
     
  4. hnterrcc1951

    hnterrcc1951 New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    indiana
    thats just what im talking abought, unless you live in ok ,fish the dam, you dont have to cast 10 mile to find fish. i think its a macho thing! hnterrcc
     
  5. Cat Man Joe

    Cat Man Joe New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the help guys, I just wanted to see what a few guys who knew about them thought. Youve helped out alot, enough for me to make up my mind and I appreciate that. Thanks again guys.!
     
  6. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    The Penn 209 has been the World wide standard for big saltwater Stripe Bass,Red fish,Halibut,Cod,etc.,and huge freshwater fish such as Sturgeon,Catfish and Salmon for almost 50 years.Both coast of the U.S.,the Georges or Grand Banks off of Nova Scotia,the North Sea off of Scotland,the Mediterranean Sea,or a thousand miles up the Amazon or the Mississippi,you were and still are subject to find someone fishing with a Penn 209 for large fish.You are subject to find a Penn reel anywhere in the world.A British officer told me of one purchased from a trader in Nepal.Now you were also subject to find the Abu Garcia reels in fresh water world wide.Abu Garcia has become fairly popular,along with Pflueger and others in the last decade for what I call the medium light saltwater fishing.These reels seem more popular for casting in fresh water,but are being used for saltwater now.Now,I have seen 10 to 12 year old children casting Penns of all sizes including the larger Senators when they had the chance.As some could not speak english or even read,I know that they didn;t all learn by reading the instructions.This is why I don;t have any sympathy for anyone that says that they could not learn to cast or operate a certain type or brand of reel unless you are mentally or physically handicapped in a way that prevents it.I say this at 62 as I am both and I have learned to get 30 feet out of a cast in the last year by working at it.I think that most that "can not learn" just don;t have the will to stick with it to learn.I think both reels are great as too many people love both to be all wrong.When you can afford it,one of each may may handle much of your fishing.My "Gator"rod and antique classic Diawa Millionaire #4 with 12# line would handle all of the catfish that I have ever caught or even fished for from a boat over a clean bottom.Please let us know what you decided and how you like what you get.Best of luck.I love You Brothers and Sisters,peewee
     
  7. Cat Man Joe

    Cat Man Joe New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the advice Peewee, Ill let you know what I decide and how it works out for me. Thanks again.
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Already been said...unless you're fishing where you need to make really long casts, the 209 is a very good, rugged, inexpensive choice. After having bought one, I'd never 'upgrade' to a 6500. I'd definitely recommend staying with Penn and going to something like a 320GTi or 320GT2. IMO, the difference between one of these reels and a 6500 is about the same as the difference between a Hummer and a Kia Sportage.
     
  9. beetle

    beetle New Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    Ohio
    Joe, I own a 209 and a bunch of different size Abu's. The 209 is a good reel but for ease of casting the Abu's win hands down in my book. The 209 is way more hands on and takes a lot of practice to learn. I use my 209 in a boat so casting is not a problem for me but when I am bank fishing I will take one of my Abu's. If you grew up casting them type of reels (like the 209) it will come easy for you but I learned on an old 5000 Abu and they are just a lot more cast friendly to me. The 209's are well made reels and if you like them you will not be sorry, but if you have never cast one then you will need some practice for sure.
     
  10. P. nasuta

    P. nasuta New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Louisiana
    Hi Cat Man Joe,

    I have a 209 and a few other Penns. I love them all and can get some good distances out of them. There are a lot of Penns available on Ebay. If you need to cast a great distance, you may want to consider the Penn Jigmaster, it is not a levelwind but can cast very far. If you have trouble with backlash or just want to keep more skin on your thumb you can easily mag these reels. Some saltwater guys remove the levelwind from the 209s to get more distance.

    Take Care,
    P. nasuta
     
  11. Davidsed505

    Davidsed505 New Member

    Messages:
    43
    State:
    Ohio
    As mentioned, it takes a lot of practice to cast a 209, but can be done, and you can get good distance from them. The plastic spools and aluminum spools are easier to learn with, due to lighter weight of spool. Have to get the plastic spools on ebay, they haven't made em in a while. And if you use plastic spools, make sure to use nylon backing first on the spool to absorb the force of the mono when it shrinks. (mono stretches, and a heavy enough fish will stretch that mono...the mono will want to return to normal, and the nylon backing allows the mono to do so without crushing the spool.) Another thing I've noticed is make sure the levelwind system is clean as possible and well oiled. Some like to put grease on the worm gear (inside the left side plate) but this slows the spool down too much, I believe. I clean the parts well and oil the worm gear, idler gear, etc., and get much more distance. I'll bring a thing of reel oil and drop a drop or two in there each time out.
    Definitely worth the practice, I believe. They are great reels, and with the aluminum spool, one can add a magnet to help control backlash. I originally did this, but as I kept practicing, I took the magnet out, as it cut down on distance somewhat. Technique is soooo important in casting, which I had to learn, coming from 100 percent spinning reel experience. But like PeeWee said, it can definitely be done. And once you can cast these reels, ain't nothing out there you can't cast!
     
  12. shovelheadstalker

    shovelheadstalker New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Arizona
    I love my PENN 209....a little hard at fist to lean but this reel is a beast!!

     
  13. bucknbill

    bucknbill New Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    State:
    Ms
    Penn 209 is a work horse, not much glamour but it fishes hard. I have several 6500,s and they have there place too. Penn a little harder to cast but it,s not bad at all. Go for it, it can stay with you a life time. I just took my 7000 off one of my rods and goin back with a 209
     
  14. shovelheadstalker

    shovelheadstalker New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Arizona
    I've got three of them. All metal insides circa 60's-70's made in the USA. Also, fishing with a PENN 60 Long Beach another work horse. Love them old PENNS! Perfect for big cats. Casting comes with time. You'll learn.

    The old Sentor 6/0 and Mariner are kick ass as well.





     
  15. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    I have several Penns. I have five 209 USA in the mix. Work horse as stated. No problem with casting. I note this is an old thread but a good one. I wish I could find someone to go through them and tune up.
     
  16. shovelheadstalker

    shovelheadstalker New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Arizona
    I just grab some old junky ones and take them apart and put them back together again. I take pictures along the way so I can remember how they fit back together.






     
  17. shovelheadstalker

    shovelheadstalker New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Arizona
  18. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,227
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I have 2 of them and never had problems casting, however you can get more distance with a longer rod and lighter line
     
  19. shovelheadstalker

    shovelheadstalker New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Arizona
    Heavy action 7' pole with a 50 lbs line and 3 oz weight. No issues. I've also used 72 lbs line with no problem.

    The lighter line should help but no too light.








     
  20. Mic

    Mic Active Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Cedar Creek, Tx
    I agree the 209 is the first level Boss when it comes to strength~! I learned to rebuild them by talking to a feller on here named Snagged II. Still talk to Greg and he's still a great source of information. He hooked me up with the Alan Tani web site. Here's a link to the 209 rebuild
    http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=659.0

    Great site with great information!

    This is the same person and place that turned me on to the Penn 210's. I now have 10 of them, but 1 had to be sacrificed for parts. No worries, they are great reels as well and got their start from the 209.