As a former fisherman with over 20 years of experience chasing everything from mahi-mahi to marlin, I know how important having rugged and reliable gear is when facing monster gamefish offshore.
This past week while fishing the pristine offshore waters of Hawaii, I had the chance to put the new Penn Slammer IV spinning reel to the test. After multiple days battling tuna, barracuda, and bottom fish, I’m thoroughly impressed by this reel’s durability, power, and performance.
Penn Slammer IV Spinning Reel – First Impressions
Penn has long been the leader when it comes to bomb-proof spinning reels built for extreme saltwater duty. The Slammer series in particular is revered for its metal construction, sealed body, and lust for punishment. The Slammer IV takes these traits to another level, with enhanced sealing, carbon fiber drag, and super-duty components.
After dragging it through the sand, dunking it daily, and hooking up to powerful Pacific predators, the Slammer IV kept performing like a champ. Its resilience and power are exactly what hardcore anglers need when tackling offshore gamefish.
Penn Slammer IV Review: Built to Withstand Offshore Abuse
The Slammer IV boasts a full metal body and sideplate designed to take a beating offshore. Compared to graphite reels, the all-metal build simply has greater impact resistance when dropped on hard boat decks. Even after several unfortunate collisions with the gunnel, the Slammer IV kept on grinding like nothing happened.
The IPX6 sealed body also locks out the elements exceptionally well. Salt spray, sand, and sea water couldn’t infiltrate the gearbox or drag system. Corrosion won’t be an issue with this reel even after years of offshore fishing.
Serious Drag to Stop Powerful Pelagics in Their Tracks
The Slammer IV’s carbon fiber Dura-Drag system generates an incredible max 40 lbs of silky-smooth drag pressure on the larger models. When hooked up to a blistering yellowfin tuna or giant trevally, I could easily dial in extra resistance when needed to turn the fish.
The sealed drag stays smooth and consistent trip after trip, with no grittiness or jerkiness even when generating high levels of pressure. It’s simply unmatched when it comes to putting the brakes on fast 150+ lb tuna and other smoking offshore runs.
Retrieves Line at Warp Speed for Fast-Moving Fish
A versatile 5.6:1 gear ratio gives the Slammer IV a great blend of speed and power. Combine the fast gears with the machined aluminum spool, and this reel can retrieve line at warp speed when you need it.
This came in handy multiple times when hooked up to fast-moving tuna that were quickly burning line on long initial runs off the coast. The Slammer IV’s incredible cranking power allowed me to reel quickly and regain precious line when it counted most to land the powerful fish.
The Ultimate Offshore Weapon
The Slammer IV simply has the brawn and ruggedness needed to battle heavyweight pelagics offshore all day long. The enhanced sealing keeps salt and sand out of the works trip after trip. The carbon fiber drag provides unwavering pressure to stop powerful fish dead in their tracks. And the sturdy build and components can take hard offshore punishment year after year. I’ve previously reviewed the Penn Slammer III.
For serious anglers who spend their lives in search of offshore giants, the Slammer IV belongs on your rod. After extensive testing in the challenging Hawaii waters, the Slammer IV proved itself as the ultimate offshore spinning weapon. This reel has certainly earned a permanent spot in my arsenal for future offshore adventures targeting the world’s largest and fastest gamefish.