Skipper of Minehead based charter boat Alykat, Dave Roberts, tests the new Squall II from PENN on a day of mixed ground fishing in the Bristol Channel

Though billed as a narrow-spooled jigging reel, we chose a day on mixed ground fishing to put this new design from PENN through its paces. As with all previous Squalls, I was immediately impressed. Straight from the box, it looked stylish with its graphite frame and sideplates. Though looks are not critical in performance, this was a virtue in my book. Loaded with 30lb mono, the Squall was tasked to battle a range of fish, from lowly dogfish to some fairly hefty huss and conger eels. The reel handled everything that was thrown at it with ease and confidence, aided by its stainless-steel pinion gear. I was particularly impressed with its light weight and smooth operation through its Versa-Drag system and HT-100 washers.

New features

Its cranking handle is large and comfortable, as is the star drag. This is particularly useful when hauling large fish from deep water or even jigging for long periods of time. Its new Fast Gear Access Sideplate feature makes for easy plate removal. This is a great little add-on, making removal of the plates at sea so much easier. The screws are also designed for use with either flat or cross headed screwdrivers. There are capacity lines on the inside of the spool to show how much line is either still available or let out. Ratchets would not be my first choice of feature on any reel, but if there must be one, the one on the Squall is easy to use and certainly lets everyone know that it’s there!  

The Squall II is available in both left and right handle versions and comes in five different sizes from 12 to 40. Overall, this is a fantastic addition to the PENN multiplier range and a model that my anglers will be using frequently.


  • Ball bearings: 6+1
  • Line capacity: 345yds/20lb
  • Gear ratio: 6.1:1
  • Line retrieve per rotation: 102cm
  • Weight: 522g
  • Drag force: 11.3kg
  • RRP £199.99