Penn Spinfisher SSM Series Spinning Reels

Saltwater Fishing - Helping you catch that fish of a lifetime

Penn Spinfisher SSM Series Spinning Reels

by Capt. Terry Rand

Another of Penn's notorious long standing performers.....

Penn Spinfisher SSM Series

Here is another of Penn’s best selling reels, the Spinfisher SSM series. The SSM is built in all larger sizes, geared towards saltwater fishing with the smallest size being the 650SSM. The series features full metal bodies and side plates for perfect gear alignment and top notch corrosion resistance.

First Impressions

For our purposes we chose the Spinfisher 850 for our review. As soon as you pick up the 850SSM the first thing you notice is the weight. At just over 27 ounces this reel feels like a tank. The body is all metal and it seems obvious that this reel is built for heavier rods and will most likely balance out best on a rod that is a little tip heavy. The standard Penn black body, gold spool and handle make this reel easily recognizable as one of the forerunners in the Penn spinning reel lineup.

When you give the handle a turn you can easily recognize that Penn feel of well integrated gearing. There are reels out on the market at this same price point that offer smoother retrieves but few of them feel as rugged as this machine. The rotor still gives a bit of an unbalanced feel as it rotates but it’s not enough to feel awkward. The large, aluminum spool of the 650 allows for up to 220 yards of 20lb test monofilament while the largest size, the 950, accommodates 290 yards of 40lb monofilament. This makes this reel suitable for all surf fishing applications as well as pitching baits to very large predators such as sailfish and marlin.

The SSM series also offers Penn’s oversized HT-100TM drag washer system which does not offer the increased drag pressure of the Slammer series but still provides ten pounds of drag on the 650 and fifteen pounds on the 950. This model also features many of the other Penn technologies including the Infinite Anti Reverse, the LeveLine wrap system and the two largest sizes also include an ergonomically designed power handle. In addition, the SSM also includes a shielded 5 ball bearing system as well as the Techno-Balanced rotor system.

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