Product Spotlight: Penn Slammer IV Spinning Reels - The Fisherman

Product Spotlight: Penn Slammer IV Spinning Reels


When conducting product reviews for the Fisherman, especially tackle and accessory items, I typically require working samples that I can use in the field before reporting back to our readership. For this issue’s review, I’ve had the chance to use Penn Slammer IV spinning reels for the past two seasons on my home and away charters and can write a small book on their performance in real-world conditions battling large gamefish like stripers, sharks, tuna and canyon-sized dorado.

Saltwater Workhorse

Introduced back in the summer of 2021, Penn Slammer IV spinning reels have found their way into the hands of thousands of discerning coastal anglers. From the product reviews I have read online, most anglers give these reels 4.5 stars out of 5, and I would agree. Are they perfect? No, not when comparing them to the $1,000 Gucci-style spinners. Are they one of the best reels for the money at 1/3 of the retail price? In my experience, my response to this question would be a resounding “yes!” Do I own and use these reels, bought with my own money at local tackle shops? That’s another big “yes” on the full transparency scale. I currently operate a Penn Slammer IV 5500, a trio of 6500s, and a beefy 7500 DX. When tuna jigging and popping are on the menu, they are my go-to reels. So what’s a DX model, a.k.a. Dealer Exclusive? More on that in a bit.

The Slammer IV Spinning Reel is packed with more features than ever before. Building off their proven IPX6 sealed body and spool, Penn redesigned the Slammer drag system to not only be better sealed but also offer a wider range of usable drag, all while being bearing-supported for extra smoothness. Incorporating all-brass CNC gear technology, 8+1 stainless steel bearings, and a hydrophobic line roller bearing, the Slammer IV has morphed into the ultimate workhorse reel. Other features include a full metal body and sideplate, sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag on sizes 3500-10500 (HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers on size 2500 only), plus a spare EVA handle knob (Sizes 3500-10500). The Slammer IV sizes 2500-5500 have an automatic bail trip, while sizes 6500-10500 offer a manual bail trip. All models have generous line capacity for 300 to 450 yards of your favorite superbraid, depending on model size.

Slammer IV DX

The DX or Dealer Exclusive series takes Penn’s workhorse Slammer IV up a notch. The Slammer IV DX upgrades the main and pinion gears to ultra-durable stainless steel for added toughness and corrosion resistance, all while retaining smoothness of operation. An additional S/S ball bearing (9+1) rides in the spool so the Dura-Drag is now supported by twin bearings. Is this worth the $30 upgrade? It is for me, plus the silver color (as opposed to basic black for the standard reels) is way cool.

My favorite feature of both versions of the Penn Slammer IV reels is the drag. The 2500 series features 20 pounds max; the 3500-4500 models offer 30 pounds of max drag; the 5500-6500 delivers 40 pounds; the 7500-8500 produces 50 pounds; and the 10500 is a whopping 60 pounds of max drag. With MSRP prices ranging from $260-$380, there’s a Penn Slammer IV that will fit your style of fishing and budget, including a bail-less 5500 model and a few high-speed versions (4500 HS, 6500 HS, 8500HS). For more information, visit


Balance Your Outfit: Knots, Lines, Leaders & Gear

Balancing your fishing outfit for extended fishing time.


Product Spotlight: Fin-Nor Spring Tide Sunglasses


Clockwork Carping: Mulberry Madness

Ripe berries drive carp crazy!