Recently got in a Penn 980 Mag reel. I have to say that I am impressed with this reel. Let’s take a quick look at what I found. First some basic stats:
- 4.25: 1 gear ratio
- SS Gear and Pinion
- Two SS Ball Bearings for the spool
- One adjustable rare earth magnet for spool control
Second is the beefy spools. Here is a comparison between a jigmaster spool and the 980 spool. The Penn 980 is 1.6 mm thicker on the spindle.
Next is the gear. Jigmaster 5:1 on the left, 980 on the right. The 980 is beefy!
This reel is being used in Alaska jigging for halibut so we will throw in a new stainless steel drag sleeve from ProChallenger and SS dog from Keta’s Kustoms with Bryan Young’s Ultimate Upgrades 5+1 carbon drag kit.
Theses upgrades will add some top end to the drag range and smooth out the drag. In addition I will install a Delrin washer under the main gear and on top of the drag stack. Looks like a smooth 18lb of drag with some more room to go.
All in all, I would say this is an excellent reel with plenty of drag, steel where it matters and magnetic spool control for easy problem free casting. Just might have to put a couple of these into the arsenal soon!