I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear news that a new beach reel is being launched, I can’t help feeling excited.

The pioneering 525 Mag multiplier, from Penn, has won admiration from shore anglers all over the world. When you add in the fact it can also hold its own on a boat too, the label of being a true all-rounder is certainly a valid one.

I can still remember when I bought my first original Penn 525 Mag. I took it home, filled it with line and two hours later I was on the beach fishing with it.

I also recall how blown away I was by it, not to mention the build…it was built like a tank. I know it’s a well-used cliché that you’ve probably read thousands of times, but the smoothness when casting was simply incredible back then. The magnetic control was also a real treat, while the winching prowess was an absolute pleasure. The very next day, I returned to my local tackle shop and purchased another one.

latest version

The latest version of the reel was launched on October 11 this year. Okay, the Penn 525 Mag3 isn’t a new reel, as such, because the mechanics are basically the same. Nevertheless, there have been some slight adjustments and improvements made, including a stunning new paint job.

Fully glistening in its synonymous Penn colours of red and black, it now features full stainless steel gearing. Also, the graphite cage has been strengthened, while the drag has been increased to 15lb.

Its predecessor – the 525 Mag2, alongside a 515 model, again won many hearts. I’d read many stories, though, of anglers experiencing problems, especially thin mainlines creeping behind the spool.

In all my years of using the reel, I can honestly say that I’d never had this happen to me. I even asked many of my match angling mates who were using the reel if they’d had any issues. Again, they revealed no problems – in fact, quite the contrary, and they were happy enough with the performance.

fully loaded

Straight from the box (I purposely did not open them up to remove any excess grease that may have been smothered on the internals), I fully loaded the 525 and 515 Mag3 models with 18lb mono and added tapered shockleaders on each. I then set off for a day’s beach fishing with them.

The mag adjuster on the sideplate is set with a firm click, and I found the reels that I was using needed a firm twist to set.

Starting with the mags fully on, my intentions were to knock them off by one increment on each cast.

There weren’t any real dramas to report on the reel’s performance. The smooth casting was still evident, (possibly it was even quieter), which was pleasing. The winch was just as incredible as it always has been and, as I’d expected, no line had sneakily crept behind the spool. I will however, admit that I preferred the larger 525 model over the 515. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the smaller reel, and I think it will be perfect for some sporting uptide tope action.

In summary, the Penn Mag is still a fantastic reel today, as it always has been; strong, fast and reliable, it still looks fabulous too.

Some may still argue, though, that the originals will always reign supreme, and in a way, I’m inclined to agree as I still use and enjoy mine and will never part with them, but I reckon you’ll enjoy every moment and get just as much pleasure and performance on the beach with Penn’s latest creations.

Tech Specs


  • LINE CAPACITY: 255yd/0.38mm
  • DRAG: 15lb/6.8kg
  • GEAR RATIO: 6.1:1
  • BEARINGS: Seven
  • SPOOL: Aluminium
  • RRP: £179.99


  • LINE CAPACITY: 250yd/0.35mm
  • DRAG: 15lb/6.8kg
  • GEAR RATIO: 6.1:1
  • BEARINGS: Seven
  • SPOOL: Aluminium
  • RRP: £169.99