As an avid inshore angler who spends countless hours each year on the water targeting snook, redfish, and trout, having reliable gear is critical. The saltwater environment can quickly corrode lesser reels, so you need something built to withstand the elements. After testing the Penn Spinfisher V, I believe it’s one of the toughest and most durable sealed saltwater spinning reels available today.
Penn’s Spinfisher Legacy of Rugged Dependability
The Spinfisher V carries on Penn’s long legacy of building reels specifically for saltwater use. Earlier generations gained a cult-like following for their reliability in harsh surf and offshore conditions.
The Spinfisher V takes corrosion resistance and waterproofing to the next level. With Penn’s IPX5 sealed design, the internal components stay protected even after repeated submersion.
After putting it through the ringer myself, including dunk tests and months of saltwater use, I’m confident this reel has the durability serious anglers demand. Keep reading for my full review.
Penn Spinfisher V Review: Heavy-Duty Construction Withstands Abuse
The Spinfisher V boasts an all-metal construction from the body and side plates to the thick aluminum bail wire and oversized stainless main shaft. This gives the reel far greater strength than those made of graphite or composites.
It’s built to handle punishment like being dropped in a hard boat deck or submerged while wading. The type of abuse that would crack or shatter a plastic reel won’t faze the Spinfisher V.
The spool sports a unique double-anodized aluminum design perfect for braid. The deep grooves help grip slippery superlines for solid hooksets and control.
Plus, the Spinfisher V retains its ruggedness without feeling like a brick. It remains surprisingly lightweight at just over 15 ounces.
Waterproof Sealing Keeps Saltwater Out
The most impressive feature of the Spinfisher V is the IPX5 rating for water resistance. Lab tests show the reel can be submerged up to 3 feet for 30 minutes without water penetrating the gearbox or drag system.
The O-ring seals and gaskets form a veritable fortress around the internal components. I personally dunked the reel on several occasions with zero issues afterwards.
You can wade, kayak fish, and chase stripers in the surf with total confidence. Rain, salt spray, unexpected dunking, it’s no match for the Spinfisher V’s defenses.
This level of waterproofing is a must for inshore anglers. Saving your gear from the corrosive effects of saltwater will extend its lifespan considerably.
Powerful Drag and Fast Retrieval for Hard Fighters
The carbon fiber and stainless steel drag washers provide 20 lbs of smooth, reliable drag pressure. For an inshore spinning reel, that’s serious stopping power when you need to turn a big redfish or jack crevalle.
The 6.2:1 gear ratio delivers extremely fast line pickup – 34 inches per turn of the handle to be exact. When chasing fish that are prone to long, smoking runs, you need quick line retrieval to catch up.
Between the strong drag and fast gearing, the Spinfisher V has the strength and speed necessary for tackling saltwater bruisers. You won’t be left fruitlessly cranking as fish peel more line.
Suitable Line Capacity for Inshore Applications
The Spinfisher V 4500’s line capacity of 300 yards of 8 lb mono or 365 yards of 15 lb braid is perfect for targeting typical inshore species. You have ample line for long casts to fish holding in the shallow flats and mangroves.
Serious offshore anglers may want to size up for chasing pelagics way downrange. But I found the 4500 model provides great versatility for nearshore fishing, whether trailing live shrimp under a popping cork for trout or tossing diving plugs for kingfish.
The braid-ready spool really allows you to maximize the thinner diameter of modern superlines. You can pack on extra yards of braid without compromising free-spooling performance.
How Does It Compare to the Spinfisher VI?
Penn has also released the Spinfisher VI reel, an upgrade that improves on the venerable Spinfisher V platform. Let’s look at how they compare.
The Spinfisher VI has better sealing with the new IPX6 rating, allowing continuous immersion. It also utilizes Penn’s HT-100 drag washers in a fully sealed spool design for even smoother, stronger drag pressure up to 50 lbs.
The gear ratios now range from 4.7:1 up to 6.2:1, giving more low-speed options. And the Spinfisher VI has bigger line capacities to please offshore anglers.
However, for inshore fishing, the Spinfisher V is still a fantastic choice. The sealed body and carbon drag offer reliable performance for less cost. While the VI offers advantages, the V remains a great value for shallow water angling.
Final Thoughts After Extensive Testing
For anglers seeking the ultimate in corrosion resistance, the Penn Spinfisher V delivers exceptional waterproofing in a durable package. The IPX5 rating means you can rest easy after submerging the reel – the sealed design will keep on ticking unphased.
The carbon fiber and stainless drag, rapid gear ratio, and sturdy metal construction equip the Spinfisher V to battle large saltwater gamefish without issue. While the Spinfisher VI now exceeds it, I still recommend the V for budget-minded inshore fishing. It continues to uphold Penn’s hard-earned reputation for unmatched toughness and reliability.
This concludes my review of this workhorse saltwater reel. Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to provide more details on this impressive sealed spinning reel.