The art of “mojo” fishing for striped bass is really pretty simple, just drop that big old jig to the sandy bottom, let out a few more feet of line, and begin your slow troll. It always helps, of course, to know an approximate depth where your presentation is sitting and how much line is actually off the reel, which is why many folks prefer a lever wind reel with a line counter. It’s also a great feature when vertical jigging on marks, whether stripers suspended in the middle depths or jumbo black sea bass just above the rubble.
If you’re in the market for another tool for the fall arsenal, you might consider the new PENN Squall II Level Wind, which has been designed to tackle most of our favorite offshore and nearshore species and will stand up to the punishment dealt out by big fish. Evolving from the successful first generation of the PENN Squall, the latest version II incorporates key technology add-ons that make these reels a great value. For example, this lightweight reel features PENN’s proprietary Fast Gear Access Sideplate, allowing anglers to quickly grease and clean their reel without the risk of losing parts.
While also available in star drag, it’s the Squall II Level Wind with a 3+1 shielded, stainless-steel ball bearing system and HT-100 carbon-fiber drag system that features line counter models with PENN’s “Windshield Wiper” Design and updated lens retainer. Entirely surrounded by a lightweight graphite frame and sideplates to make the reel corrosion resistant, the PENN Squall II Level Wind and matching Level Wind combos are terrific conventional setups for offshore, nearshore, and trolling. Those matching sticks are built from either a one-piece tubular glass blank with a solid tip or a graphite composite blank, depending on the model. Rod blanks are customized with PENN Dura-Guides, which provide reduced friction and performance during drag-peeling battles.
The PENN Squall II Level Wind Reel is effectively priced to sell, with prices starting at $139.95 for the SQLII20LW on up to $169.95 for the SQLII50LW. Add the matching rod to your PENN Squall II combo, and prices range from $189.99 to $209.99, an affordable entry into your fall bass options – black sea or striped – and should be available now in most local shops.
For those who prefer the “star drag” and have no interest in the line counter feature, the PENN SQLII12SD will give you 20 pounds of drag and a spool capacity of 345 yards of 30-pound braid at $159.95, on up to the SQLII40SD with 25 pounds of draft and spool capacity of 580 yards of 80-pound braid at just $179.95.
As we’ve all learned over the course of the past year, product availability is still difficult during this global storm, even with PENN products. But we reached out to their product reps, who are telling us they expect things to clear up soon, though prices may increase in 2022; so be sure to look for the new Squall II when it makes landfall near you in 2021! Learn more at pennfishing.com.