By Hai Truong
What all Penn guys have been waiting for and what Penn competitors have feared, the new ‘CLASH’ and the fifth year in their evolution of lightweight spinning reels. The ‘CLASH’ is their lightest spin reel to date, making its debut earlier this year at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, better known as ICAST in Orlando, Florida mid July. Where they took another award for Best Saltwater Reel in the New Product Showcase category.
Last year’s award also went to their “Battle II”, one of their stepping stones in lightweight spin reels by Penn and always great to see a dedicated company continuously making improvements while maintaining the same price points.
At first glance we see the iconic black and gold color scheme, than quickly notice all the laced carbon fiber in a sealed spool knob, sealed spool and side plates, combined with the weight reduction in body, handle, aluminum bail wire and spool makes for most of the trimmed fat. The rest sits inside with their CNC Dura-Gear technology for longevity and nine sealed bearings keeps everything moving smoothly. 2000-5000 models also feature a ‘Rigid Resin’ rotor, a high strength graphite and CNC aluminum gear. The rotors in the 6000 and 8000 series are made of aluminum with CNC brass gears. All models have a CNC brass pinion. This review is on the 3000 series.
Wrap all this with their Full Metal Body that eliminates twist or folding under extreme loads and drag pressure for a low weight, precise and smooth inshore/freshwater spin reel. The 3000 offers a max drag of 15lbs. with a 35 inch per crank on line return is very nice on a small body reel. The carbon drag washers have proven themselves over the last decade with the HT-100 system. I really like all the weight reductions and the CNC machined internals feel smooth yet solid. Anti-reverse stops on a dime and I’m very particular about this, any kick back should not tolerated. There is a seal for the clutch bearing that helps protects the anti-reverse from corrosion, one of the main bearings causing a rough feel and usually 2nd to go to the line roller bearing pending use.
The largemouth bass was caught the next morning back in Miami, FL from Orlando’s ICAST, while testing various products. The freshwater tarpon was caught more recently and performed amazingly well on lite tackle, I actually felt like I had a bit too much reel and found myself backing off the smooth drag, making confident adjustments in transition and under load was like a finely tuned tool of the trade.
Available October 2015.
*Note none of the ‘CLASH’ series are completely sealed.