Great casting, a smart finish, two spools and competitive price, what’s not to like?

Tested by PAUL FENECH Photography by LLOYD ROGERS


RRP: £149.99

If there was one notable and positive aspect to come out of the global pandemic we’ve all endured during the past two years, for anglers at least, it is the fact that shore fishing has blossomed and seen a huge upsurge in participation.

With more people coming into the sport, it also appears to have sparked new life into many of the companies who provide us with quality tackle. The amount of new kit being launched is astonishing and the choice is now vast.

For any new shore angler, choosing a perfect reel can be a daunting task. Also, for those who are coming back into the sport after a lengthy lay-off, tackle has certainly changed to varying degrees. Reels especially have come a long way in terms of quality, while the resurgence in popularity of the fixed-spool is certainly evident all over the UK. I recently got my hands on the third generation of Penn Surfblaster model, and I have to say, I was mightily impressed with its performance.


Appearance-wise it really does look smart in its matt finish. Rather chunky and a little heavy at over 26 ounces (755g), it gave every indication of being a truly impressive shore reel. It is supplied with two coned aluminium spools – shallow and deep versions. The shallow version is for those anglers who want to use a light braided mainline. When you consider it will easily swallow up 580 yards of 15lb braid, that’s more than enough for any venue. A deeper spool is included and stores 500 yards of 30lb braid, so in terms of line capacity, all bases are covered.

The whole unit is saltwater resistant and, as long as you remember to rinse it under fresh warm water after every session, it will last for many years. It’s also equipped with five sealed ball bearings that help to maintain an incredibly smooth 4.7:1 crank. It boasts a smooth HT-100 drag system and a super-smooth slow oscillation that will lay your mainline perfectly, so casting will be on point every time. The handle is certainly strong and extremely comfortable, which is important, especially when playing a large fish at distance.


I decided to load the deeper spool with 15lb mono and finished off with a tapered mono shockleader. I prefer tapered shockleaders simply because the knot that joins them both is so neat and small.

Attached to the rod, it is noticeable that the reel is heavy, but it is not a major issue, and the balance wasn’t such a problem. That said, I wouldn’t like to be holding a rod in the surf for long periods.

It casts like a dream. The line flies off it and because it’s laid perfectly on the spool due to that slow oscillation, you can simply forget about any dramas or hiccups throughout every cast. Whether you cast off-the-ground, lay-back, over the top or pendulum style, I’m sure, like me, you’ll be impressed by its performance.

It’s a top reel designed to be used by beginners to the more experienced angler and priced considerably well that should suit most budgets.


MODEL: Penn Surfblaster III 8000LCEU



CAPACITY: 580yd/0.28mm (shallow); 500yd/0.35mm (deep)

WEIGHT: 26.6oz (755g)


DRAG: HT-100

PRICE: £149.99

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