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The PENN Conflict II is perfect for targeting saltwater gamefish like striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, false albacore and bonito.
The PENN® Conflict® II’s smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system and lightweight design fit nicely into the light tackle mold.

SPONSORED - It has taken a long time, but Northeast anglers have finally embraced the values of light tackle fishing and are now leaning heavily on lighter gear, primarily spinning, for much of their inshore fishing. Targeting popular bottom species like fluke, sea bass, porgies and blackfish with standard conventional outfits has been the rule rather than the exception for many anglers, but these same anglers are now discovering the distinct advantages to scaling down their gear.

One of the best and most recent examples is the use of light spinning tackle by fares aboard open (party boats), long a bastion of the conventional outfit mentality and a place where tackle for the most part easily overmatched the quarry. These days, captains are encouraging customers to outfit themselves with light spinning rods when targeting summer flounder, and instead of using standard fluke rigs, sinkers and baits, bucktails tipped with Berkley Gulp have become the preferred option on many boats. Some captains are even supplying light spinning tackle to their customers. The reason is simple – you will catch more fish on the light gear, and have a lot more fun doing it. And thanks to the high tech advances in rod and reel manufacturing, tackle is lighter and more powerful than ever, enabling anglers to land fish they never would have thought possible not too many years ago. Numerous fluke topping the 10-pound mark, including several 13 and 14 pound doormats this season, have been landed on what would be classified as light spinning gear in recent years.

Even blackfish anglers, who have relied on heavy conventional outfits to deliver crab baits and heavy payloads, and to steer tog away from nearby structure when hooked, have been swayed by the virtues of light tackle. Light spinning gear and tautog jigs tipped with crab are being used almost exclusively by some blackfish sharpies these days.

While the rods and reels are more powerful, braided lines like Berkley Fireline and Spiderwire Stealth have enabled anglers to match the smaller and lighter gear with stronger lines due to the fine diameter afforded by braid. A typical 3000 size reel that used to pack 8-pound test mono can now be spooled with up to 20-pound test braid that features the same diameter as the 8-pound mono. For the most part however, 10 to 15-pound braid is favored by most anglers, and easily gets the job done.

Penn’s Conflict II series of spinning reels fit snugly into this light tackle approach, which includes targeting gamefish like striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, false albacore and bonito.

The PENN® Conflict® II’s smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system and lightweight design fit nicely into the light tackle mold. In fact the Conflict II is the lightest PENN reel ever designed. Its RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor are extremely lightweight and durable, and 20 percent lighter than the first-generation Conflict. These reels have also been beefed up internally with PENN’s CNC Gear Technology and 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system, making it the ultimate PENN Reel for inshore fishing. The Conflict’s Superline Spool™ requires no backing thanks to the rubber gasket which keeps superlines from slipping on the spool, and line capacity rings ensure you will always have adequate line capacity.

The six models in the Conflict II lineup include the 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000, covering every type of fishing from freshwater panfish and trout, to bucktailing fluke, serving Gulp to knothead sea bass and tossing plugs to big stripers and blues. The MSRP ranges from $149.95 for the three smaller models, to $169.95 for the 3000 and 4000, and $199.95 for the 5000.

For more information about PENN, visit www.pennfishing.com.

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