Penn Fierce II review

Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel Review: Worth It? + My Verdict

Whether you’re soaking bait off the pier, drifting live shrimp under a popping cork, or working swimbaits over offshore structure, having a rugged spinning reel you can count on trip after trip is a must. The Penn Fierce II fits the bill for anglers looking for versatility, durability, and power at a reasonable price point.

After relying on the Fierce II for everything from jigging bottom fish to fighting bulldog drum this past year, I’m convinced this reel has the blend of toughness and performance needed to handle a wide range of fishing scenarios.

This detailed review covers the Fierce II’s standout features along with how it held up to real-world use across fresh and saltwater applications. Read on to understand why it makes a great choice for anglers seeking one reel to do it all without breaking the bank.

Penn Fierce 2 Review: Metal Construction Built to Last

At its core, the Penn Fierce II utilizes a full metal body and side plate to provide rigidity and precision gear alignment under heavy loads. Penn didn’t cut corners with plastic pieces here – this all-metal foundation gives the Fierce II long-lasting durability:

  • Full aluminum body and side plate: Resists flex and corrosion to provide season after season of reliable performance.
  • Heavy duty aluminum bail wire: Stands up to years of opening, closing, and bending without weakening or warping.
  • Stainless steel main shaft: Smooth, corrosion-free performance season after season.

This precision metal framework gives the Fierce II the backbone needed to bring hard fighting fish to the boat trip after trip. The all-metal construction really shines when hooked up to bulldog fish that put tackle to the test.

Powerful Drag System

Once you’ve got a feisty fish on the line, a smooth drag system is crucial for tiring it out while preventing break-offs. Here’s an overview of the Fierce II’s drag capabilities:

  • Carbon fiber drag washers: Provide consistent tension without overheating. Dissipates heat buildup well.
  • Up to 25 pounds of max drag: Gives stopping power when boatside with sizable fish. Plenty of tension in the larger sizes.
  • Precise adjustment: The front drag knob has clear detents for fine-tuning pressure in 1/2 pound increments. Allows keeping tension just right as a fish tires.
  • Smooth engagement: No jerkiness when the drag first engages. Does not require an initial yank to get the reel spinning.
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Whether battling bulldog catfish in current or stopping offshore tuna in their tracks, the carbon fiber drag provides plenty of strength and predictability to subdue most species without question.

Available Sizes for Any Scenario

One thing that makes the Fierce II so versatile is the range of sizes offered, allowing you to tailor it to your target species and fishing style:

  • Sizes 1000 to 3000: Perfect for inshore finesse fishing of smaller species that require a balanced setup. Excel with light line and lures.
  • Sizes 4000 to 6000: Ideal all-around sizes to cover everything from coastal wrecks to bluewater trolling offshore. Great balance of capacity, power and control. My favorite sizes.
  • Sizes 8000 to 10,000: Specialized for going toe-to-toe with heavyweights like giant trevally, cobia, tuna, and offshore abyssal monsters. Purpose-built for heavy line and huge battles.

With available sizes from 1000 to 10,000, you’re able to equip the Fierce II exactly how you need for increased efficiency no matter what scenario you’re fishing.

Silky Smooth Cranking and Sensitivity

For a metal-bodied workhorse reel at this price point, I was thoroughly impressed by how smooth the Fierce II feels during retrieves:

  • 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings: Shielded stainless bearings keep salt and grit out while providing buttery smooth rotation even under heavy loads. Zero grinding or stickiness.
  • Instant anti-reverse: The instant the handle turns, the anti-reverse bearing locks the rotor in place for solid hooksets. No sloppy engagements here!
  • Superline spool: Allowing direct braid-to-spool line attachment prevents any line slippage that could cause grinding.
  • Techno balanced rotor: Graphite rotor is computer balanced to prevent wobbling that could make retrieves rough.
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These thoughtful design elements come together to provide remarkable smoothness for a reel at this price point. You can crank at high speeds all day without fatigue or disturbance.

Durable Construction

For a reel built with value in mind, the Fierce II shows incredible resilience season after season. Key factors that enable its longevity:

  • Full metal body and aluminum bail wire: I found zero issues with the CNC machined components showing any signs of corrosion, pitting, or fatigue over repeat saltwater trips.
  • 6 sealed stainless steel ball bearings: Keeping water and grit out of the bearings prevents any degradation in smoothness over time. They spin like new every season.
  • Graphite rotor: Although not as rigid as metal, the rotor showed no signs of flexing or cracking under pressure. Resists damage when banged around.
  • Braid-ready spool: Allows direct braid attachment to prevent slipping and groove cutting that could ruin the spool lip.

By relying on quality materials fit to precise tolerances, Penn created a reel that will clearly go the distance through years of hard fishing.

Any Downsides?

For its affordable price, the Fierce II has very few drawbacks worth noting:

  • Bail closure feels a little clunky at times when flipping back and forth repeatedly. A minor nuisance.
  • The graphite rotor lacks the ultra-rigid feel of full aluminum or carbon fiber competitors. But a smart material choice to shed weight.
  • Paint finish on metal pieces prone to chipping and wearing over time. Does not affect corrosion resistance.
  • Slight handle vibration felt at super high retrieve speeds. Common issue for any reel and barely noticeable.
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When you consider its reasonable pricing, these are very minor trade-offs. For a versatile saltwater reel expected to endure heavy use, the Fierce II holds up incredibly well.

Final Verdict After Extensive Field Testing

After a full season of hands-on fishing from shore, pier, boat, and kayak, here is my final take on the Penn Fierce II:


  • Metal components provide extreme durability
  • Powerful and smooth carbon fiber drag
  • Lots of sizes available for any scenario
  • Surprisingly refined performance for the price
  • Withstands years of saltwater use


  • Bail closure could be a bit smoother
  • Rotor not as rigid as full metal designs
  • Paint finish chips over time
  • Slight vibrations at high speeds

For anglers seeking a versatile workhorse spinning reel that can hold up to years of heavy fishing across fresh and saltwater, the Penn Fierce II is a standout option. The all-metal construction and carbon fiber drag give it the backbone needed to subdue feisty fish trip after trip.

Despite the affordable pricing, it delivers remarkably smooth cranking power on par with models costing much more. Plus with sizes ranging 1000 to 10,000, you can equip it perfectly for chasing anything from finicky trout to offshore tuna monsters.

If your ideal season involves bouncing from stalking redfish in the marshes to dropping bait in the shipping channel and trolling offshore beyond the bluewater horizon, the Fierce II has the versatility and toughness to make it happen. This finely balanced combination of strength, smoothness, and value makes it one of those “quiver of one” reels that can master every fishing adventure.