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Post 24 Jun 2020, 20:45 • #1 
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Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
I found one of these Penn ultralight spinning reels in a box with 6 spare spools & what appears to be another complete reel, all in pieces. Also, extra spare parts. A bunch of bail wires, bail springs, crank handles, screws etc.........
These were my fishing reels from the early 80s, though I did have a Swedish-made C4 that I later sold. Do these reels have any value, other than as fishing tools?




At the lime I was impressed at the durable, quality construction of the Penns & also that they were easy to strip down. Only one ball bearing, yet they were built like a watch. There was a local tackle store where you could buy spare parts, screws bail wires & bail springs.

Using Williams silver spinners with the tripple-gang hook replaced by a store bought fly. Sometimes I used tiny Italian spinners with the tripple hooks removed. Always 4lb Trilene with a micro ball-bearing swivel.
The store-bought flies were Turrall's from Sri Lanka or Kenya, tied most likely by 10yr. old girls. As a school teacher, this did not agree with me. I had to learn how to tie these damn flies.

So this is how, through the back door, I stumbled onto fly fishing & fell down a rabbit hole. I first learned to tie these flies for my ultra light spinners. Then I had a local guy build me a spin/fly rod out of an 8' 5WT HMG blank. I received a Pflueger reel from my wife. Soon casting lessons followed, then joining fly fishing organizations, fly-tying clubs, demos at sport shows, etc...

I was well hooked & down a deeper rabbit hole. My first love is still fly tying.
But, I haven't used a spinning rod since the mid 80s, or a casting rod since the mid 60s.

My present trout club is strictly fly except for the very young or the very old. So, it seems that I will at some point start spinning for trout & pan fish again. Are there sources today for 6-7'fiberglass spinning sticks (I don't mean Fleabay)?


Last edited by blueprof on 24 Jun 2020, 23:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 24 Jun 2020, 21:46 • #2 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
ebay completed sales for Penn 420SS


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Post 24 Jun 2020, 23:36 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1202
Location: US-CO
blueprof wrote:
Are there sources today for 6-7'fiberglass spinning sticks (I don't mean Fleabay)?


eagle claw still makes glass spin rods, and they're decent.
Also Bass Pro has their Micro Lite Glass spin rods, I had one briefly until #1 son lost it overboard a canoe.. liked it, and for $20 pretty much unbeatable..

not much for higher end glass in spin rods though, it hasn't taken off again the way glass fly rods have.
My next plan is to build a spin rod on a 7' 3 or 4wt fly rod blank, but have so many other projects backed up it could be a while..


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 00:16 • #4 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks. Do you mean that only the old clunky glass is available for factory spinning rods? So, no S-glass or even E-glass?
If custom, then what blank brands would you recommend?

It's strange, when I had that graphite 8'/4pc. 5wt HMG blank built up to be a spin/fly (it was a popular concept then) the rod did not turn out to be either a good fly rod or a light spinner. I had a Canadian-built (Niagara Falls) light Fenglass for 4-6 lb lines that worked well with both my Penn ultralights & my ABU C4. I kick myself now for selling the Swedish reel & the rod.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 07:54 • #5 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Your best bet is going to be matching the reel with vintage glass or cane UL or L rod. It will take some looking to find the right rod - most vintage glass spinning rods will be ML.
Otherwise, look at some of the threads below about rods built by Trout Smiths - Shane - contact him to see what he has to offer. I think you'll find his prices realistic and workmanship exceptional.

Most glass and glass-blend today is used for toughness in big fish rods, offshore, inshore, bass and walleye

Most modern L and UL rods are going to be built for braid and 2-6-lb fluoro using micro-guides.
The Japanese offer surprising performance in cutting edge Light Game and Trout rods.
Grey Ghost recently picked up a 5'3" new model Yamaga Blanks rod
For ten years, my daughter's Penn 4200SS was matched with an inexpensive 7'9" Takamiya UL Rockfish rod, for inshore UL, and it's still a remarkable rod
(before that, the reel split time between a Falcon FS-UL-15, and inshore Falcon ML Open Hook Special - good graphite rods)

If Japanese UL interests you, might look at UL rods made by Major Craft - they have many models in the 5' to 7' range.
The tubular tip rods are more in line with a North American interpretation of UL - the solid tip rods are all Japanese, XUL, and these soft tips will literally double over tip to top spinning guide without breaking (seen my buddy do it on his Major Craft, while landing a big fish, yet).


There's a guy in NY who imports XUL Japanese rods and has a nice blog - he's posted on the forum before
https://www.finesse-fishing.com/finesse ... shing.html


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 12:35 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thank you "Bulldog".
There's a lot of good info here to bite into. I have been interested in getting a Japanese glass fly rod for a while,... so maybe it could be a spinning rod instead.
Re that particular Penn spinning reel: would it be able to handle today's braided line? I'm thinking of the bail wire, the chromed roller or the lip of the anodized aluminium spools. Or should I stick to some form of modern mono?


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 12:41 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3365
Location: USA - Illinois
Mudhole has a line of one piece glass rods. I believe they are s-glass with med-fast tapers. Been thinking about building one but my to-do list seems endless.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 12:44 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks. I will look into this too. I've dealt with Mudhole before. Good folks.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 14:25 • #9 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
blueprof wrote:
Thank you "Bulldog".
... would it be able to handle today's braided line? I'm thinking of the bail wire, the chromed roller or the lip of the anodized aluminium spools. Or should I stick to some form of modern mono?

I would stick with good fluoro or copolymer on the 420SS.

Seaguar Abrazx, or spendy Tatsu - their Senshi nylon is a great choice in light lines - these are all thin, tough, low-stretch monifilament lines.
YoZuri makes a good 6-lb copolymer (spooled in above photo) and inexpensive in bulk spools.
Everything I mentioned has great knot strength, very important in light lines.

You need a ball-bearing line roller with braid to keep the braid and roller from tearing each other up, so I wouldn't recommend it with this reel.
Plus, light-test braid is so thin, you should use it with shallow spools.


I'm with John on the Mudhole S-glass blanks - that makes a lot of sense.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 16:22 • #10 
New Member
Joined: 05/22/18
Posts: 20
Location: US-VA
Daiwa has the fiberglass Sweepfire in UL @ 5' 6". Model SWD 562ULFS, but I have no experience with it. Daiwa puts the tip in as the total line guide count.

I have a newer Eagle Claw, but I don't pair it with my Penn 716Z, which is about the same size/weight at the 420SS I believe. I like it with a Quantum Ntrous 2000 size.

The BPS Microlites feel much more tip heavy than the EC do. I took the Nitrous into Cabelas just to try it and was not pleased.

I use a green copolymer (name escapes me) with mine and it does well. On another UL reel I use Berkley Solutions 4 lb which does well also, and seems to handle the line twist longer than other monos.


BTW, you kept the reel in very fine condition, but I wonder why so many spools, but that will help in field testing different lines. The 716Z goes on ebay for ~$75 up to I think I saw a boxed new one for ~$181. Penn has re-released two surf models for ~$200, so these prices for 40ish year old reels are amazing to me. Mine has and will be fished with, but some of those others are probably purchased purely for collection.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 16:53 • #11 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
one other copolymer - friends rave about Sufix, but I've been sold on Seaguar so long.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 18:12 • #12 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Each of my 420ss reels came with its usual single spool. But, at one time I ran a 2lb, a 4lb & even a 6lb Trilene (dark green) on separate spools & a clear 4lb mono on a separate spool. The rest (2) were kept for spare parts, which I never needed. I have a whole bunch of spare bail springs, but I never broke a single one. The only thing that wore out regularly was the Tefflon brake disc. I still a a dozen or so left.

Must confess, spare spools & parts go for all my fly reels too: Valentines, LRH & SA System 5s & a Tibor Light. I have a weakness for spares. It's just me.

Used the 420ss quite a lot, caught enough trout. The foot will show quite a bit of wear where the slide rings held the reel to the corks. Always have kept the little Penn in a leather case between trips. You could get good quality USA-made leather cases for spinning reels 30yrs ago. Don't know if you can now.


Last edited by blueprof on 26 Jun 2020, 00:16, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 25 Jun 2020, 18:58 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3365
Location: USA - Illinois
When I was in the Keys and fished a lot for Bonefish, I used the Penn 450SS spooled with 10 lb. Ande pink mono - besides the normal wash down with fresh water, you needed to take apart the reel's drag washers, and lube between each washer with a good silicone lubricant, if not, they would seize up/get sticky hot and bust off a fish. Same for any spinning reel used there on Bones, Permit, etc.
That, and other eras of Penn reels are tanks, with very few service issues. Enjoy your great Penn!


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 22:32 • #14 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6726
Location: Holly Springs, NC
blueprof wrote:
S-glass or even E-glass? If custom, then what blank brands would you recommend?

If you don't mind building your own, there are options. Keep in mind, most blanks are one piece. While that makes a nice rod to fish, transport is a bother. Some of these blanks are cheap enough to buy a second one to turn into spigot ferrules.

The MHX blanks from Mudhole mentioned above can be found here (MHX-S-Glass-Blanks)
Also from Mudhole are Custom Rod Builder E-glass (CRB-Value-E-Glass-Rod-Blanks)

Angler's Workshop has more glass offerings;
Ameriglass (Ameriglass) mostly 2-piece blanks
Batson Forecast blanks (Batson, search in the various links labeled Forecast). There have been many short fly rods built on Forecast glass blanks. You will see them called Tadpoles.
Additional MHX glass blanks (MHX Freshwater, again you will have to search around in this catagory)
Seeker S-glass trout blanks (S-Glass 2 Piece Trout). These were new to me. Did I mention these are 2-piece rod blanks?
There are additional Seeker glass blanks in this section (Seeker, again look around in the different links)

Jann's Netcraft offers their own E-glass blanks (Jann's fiberglass rod blanks)

Finally, Lamiglas offers classic E-glass blanks, but not as many as in the past;
Kokanee glass blank (FL9041 kokanee trout, this is a 1-piece version of the FL904 fly blank)
The Lamiglas two piece fly blanks can also be made into slow action spin rods (freshwater blanks, the best prices at the moment are through Lamiglas)


Tom


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Post 26 Jun 2020, 00:05 • #15 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
This is super Tom, thank you. I could build my own.
I did have a honey coloured see through glass from Lamiglas back in the 80s.

BTW: Thank you for your detailed instructions for uploading pictures to a post. This digital Dinosaur got it on the first round.
It's a heck of a lot better than some of the image hosting sites I've attempted to use in the past.
Is FFR hosting images for its members now?


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Post 28 Jun 2020, 21:19 • #16 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16311
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
jhuskey wrote:
...you needed to take apart the reel's drag washers, and lube between each washer with a good silicone lubricant, if not, they would seize up/get sticky hot and bust off a fish...

SW drag grease (also used on gears for the same reason - work makes heat) has a high viscosity-breakdown temperature - Cal's Star Drag Grease is the old reliable, with a 500oF dropping point.
MTCW sells one in Japan with 600-degree dropping point.
You don't need much - like when you dress your cork fly reel drag with neatsfoot oil, the less residual you leave, the better.


blueprof wrote:
...Is FFR hosting images for its members now?
Not exactly image hosting, because you don't have an accessible archive, and the links to photos uploaded here won't work on other websites.


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