Penn 85 Sea Boy: anybody use?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by bradb, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. bradb

    bradb New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    ohio
    i was looking at Chef Jim's Penn Reels website, and noticed the Penn 85, which he describes as a "Good economical, sturdy reel for big catfish." No level wind, slow retrieve ratio, no frills. Pretty common on ebay, and go pretty cheap. i looked at the schematic drawing, and they look like the model T of fishing reels! almost no parts.

    anyway, i'm thinking i need to try one out just for schitzengiggles. anybody out there use one?
    ps. please don't bid on the one on ebay i'm going after.
     
  2. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Messages:
    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    i dont know much about them, but i wouldn't own a reel without a level wind...you will have to pay close attention to what you are doing while reeling in every cast and especially if you have a big cat on....
     

  3. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Believe it or not,it just becomes second nature after awhile.You don,t even notice your doing it.When i,m carpfishing with my 6500,s,I find myself thumbing the line on without even realizing iy.
     
  4. bradb

    bradb New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    ohio
    i got the one i was after for $5 + $5 shipping, so i guess i'll be finding out.
     
  5. bradb

    bradb New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    ohio
    got it in the mail this AM. Its gonna need a good overhaul, but thats what winter is for.
     
  6. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    I've never used a Penn 85 Sea Boy, but I do own a Penn 79 Sea Mate. They are very similar. I got mine for about $10 at least 30 years ago still in the box at a "going out of business" sale. Mine has no level wind, either. They're mostly meant for fishing piers and trolling, I think. I don't use mine much, but have it spooled with 25 lb. test Big Game and it casts great. Yep, it just takes some use to thumbing with your left hand to level the line on your spool during your retrieve. I think not having a level wind increases your casting distance. However, I prefer a reel with a level wind. Yep, it has a VERY slow retrieve ratio.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  7. MedicMike

    MedicMike New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    New Jersey
    My Penn 85 was my first reel-I got it at age 9 or 10. I still have it and use it for bottom fishing for summer flounder and catfish here in NJ. I love it.
     
  8. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Brad,
    That reel looked like was made in the 1950!:crazy:
    They are JUNK! They cast like crap!
    They are considered the Zebco 606 of saltwater conventional reels.
    I'll save you the heartache and tell you not to buy one.
    Go with the PENN 209 or 310 GTI!:cool2:
     
  9. kyjake

    kyjake New Member

    Messages:
    714
    State:
    kentucky
    The Penn 85 was made for the old nylon and other braided lines of their day.If you use mono on them and leave it on them for several years it can shrink and crush the spool.You can keep this from happening by using a few turns of something besides mono at the bottom of your line.The 85 cast much better than the Penn's with brass spools.
    Jake
     
  10. bcheney

    bcheney New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    mississippi
    I have owned several Penn Reels but not the 85 (I do want one though!). I'm not sure if there was a bad Penn reel made. What they lack in cosmetics and finesse, they made up for in brute strength!
     
  11. catwhisper

    catwhisper New Member

    Messages:
    456
    State:
    georgia
    i just recently aquired two Penn Peer 209's. they had been sitting in a shed for over 15 yrs. took them apart and cleaned and lubricated and they are my #1 reels now. would not have one without levelwind. just my opinion!
     
  12. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    True. I took the levelwind off of my Ming Yang for a little while (just to try it out) and it is fine. I have used other reels without a levelwind in the past, but not on a constant cast/retrieve reel.
     
  13. bradb

    bradb New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    ohio
    got the 85 overhauled with some new parts, lubed, and spooled with 30# big game. plan to fish it side-by side with my penn #9 and 209 for comparison. now the hard part will be waiting till spring.