When it comes to spinning reels I have tended to be a Daiwa and Shimano man through and through - notwithstanding the odd dalliance with Okuma, Van Staal etc. - and to many of us into lure fishing especially it’s hard to look beyond the two spinning reel titans. Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs with any number of different reels over the years, but essentially you know what you’re going to get with Daiwa and Shimano, and that’s generally a good to excellent amount of spinning reel for the money you spend. Around the £150 mark can get you a damn fine spinning reel from those two big boys of the fishing tackle world, but if this Penn Clash that I have here carries on like this then in my book things get a little more interesting…...
I did a preview of this Penn Clash 3000 back in December last year (check here), but it wasn’t really until after my leg had healed up that I could get out and start using it properly. I’ll be honest though, I never saw myself lusting after a Penn spinning reel for the sort of lure fishing we do here in the UK and Ireland. I’ve heard plenty about how robust some of their spinning reels are, and I still have a pair of their original (and very good) Penn Mag 525 multipliers hanging around - but wanting to hang one of their spinning reels on say a 10-30g lure rod didn’t really register with me until I got my mitts on their new Clash 3000.
I really, really like this reel - so far of course, but as it stands at the moment I reckon it’s a fantastic spinning reel. I will keep using it and report back again, but at the moment this Penn Clash 3000 is one mightily impressive bit of kit, and for the £150 and under that I am seeing it selling for, if it remains somewhere close to as smooth and delightful to fish with as it is right now then it’s going to end up being one serious bargain if you ask me. But how long will it stay nice and smooth for, indeed how long should I expect it to stay like it currently is when compared to other reels I have used over the last few years? Well from bitter experience I am making sure to keep an eye on the roller bearing area (regular oiling), as indeed I would on any other spinning reel save for the Daiwa Mag Sealed ones that Daiwa say are protected from saltwater intrusion. I’m doing nothing different with this Penn Clash 3000 over anything else I would use.
It’s light, the line-lay is great (as per that preview here), it’s performing perfectly with this outstanding so far Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid (preview here), I absolutely love the big, chunky handle, I can live with the slightly faster retrieve ratio than I am used to, and the reel just inspires confidence with how solidly built it feels when you wind lures in, indeed the only thing that niggles me so far is that you don’t get a spare spool with it. This Penn Clash 3000 reminds me a bit of fishing with a reel like the Shimano Sustain 4000FG (review here) - essentially the same size and weight, with a similar feeling of “substance”, but I will be interested to see if the various bearings in the Penn turn out to be of better quality than those in the Sustain. Lovely reel, but over a lot of time I can’t help but feel the bearings inside have been somewhat skimped on.
That’s about it so far with this Penn Clash 3000. I can’t believe how much I am loving lure fishing with a Penn spinning reel, to the point that I am now starting to lust after one of the smaller ones for putting on a lighter lure rod/mullet fishing, and then a slightly larger one for battering bigger pollack in deep water. The 3000 that I have here would do all this just fine, but it’s a measure of how much I like this reel that I am dreaming about owning others. I would like to get hold of some spare spools for it, but at the moment I am pretty sure they are not yet available here in the UK. Time will be the key here, as in I need lots more fishing time with this Penn Clash 3000, but if after a few more months it’s performing as flawlessly as it is now then I reckon we’ve got another serious player in the lure fishing world.