Penn handle blanks



Handles and Knobs

A friend and fellow angler here in the Pacific Northwest has introduced a new upgrade for Penn Jigmasters and 113H/349.  Some of you may have already seen some of his other awesome upgrades.  I wrote about Tank Tops and eccentric levers that come in a range of colors in a previous post. (Penn 113 Narrow) To start, the handle blanks will be black, silver or red, with green and blue coming shortly after.  The Eva knobs are also customizable by color and aluminum end caps too!  Lots of color options available.  The quality and craftsmanship of all the product I have seen from Tank Tops is top notch!  Comfortable cranking power!IMG_1244



The Tank Logs are made proudly in the good ol’ USA!  Look for them on sale at in February!


New Partnership

Effective today you will be able to drop your reels off and pick them up at Outdoor Emporium in Seattle, 7 days a week!   Invoicing and communication on estimates will be handled through


Outdoor Emporium is the largest independently owned and operated sporting goods store in Seattle with a huge selection of the finest reels, rods and tackle in the area.   We are thrilled with this opportunity to partner with such a fine organization and look forward to adding value to our mutual customers.

We service and repair reels from most of the major manufactures.  So if you have a couple of reels that are in need of professional attention please drop by Outdoor Emporium!

Outdoor Emporium

1701 4th Ave S

Seattle, WA  98134

(206) 624-6550

Since 1975 Sportco & Outdoor Emporium have offered customers the largest selection of outdoor related products at affordable everyday warehouse pricing. We feature over 60,000 different items in hunting, fishing, camping, athletics, hiking, clothing, footwear and security vaults.

Sportco & Outdoor Emporium are warehouse style sporting goods stores that are located in Fife and Seattle, Washington respectively. We have an optional yearly membership program that offers substantial saving throughout the year. We feature annual Outdoor Tent Sales in April and August and you can find us at the Western Washington Sportsman’s show. Our mission here at Sportco & Outdoor Emporium is to offer our customers the largest selection of outdoor related products possible at affordable everyday low warehouse pricing. Our goal is to have customers who are totally satisfied with the quality, price and availability of the products we carry.

Sportco & Outdoor Emporium are a division of Farwest Sports, Inc., a Washington State corporation established in 1965. Farwest Sports also owns and operates Sports Service, the largest wholesaler of outdoor related sporting goods in Washington State.


Shimano Chronarch 201E7

Low profile casting reel with high speed gears and 7 bearings.  Local reel that has been used hard and dunked in the local glacial streams more than once.


Outside looks dirty and silty if that is a word.  Worm gear is filled and every crevasse is filled.  Im not optimistic about the inside at this point.

Shimano Chronarch

Shimano Chronarch

As I expected.  This fine silt throughout the reel and a lack of lubrication.  I see no corrosion so at least it all comes apart well.

So out of the 7 bearings in this reel, four need to be replaced.  Both spool bearings, the pinion bearing and the drag sleeve bearing.  The anti-reverse bearing is in good shape and the two handle bearings will be operational.  Customer invested a couple of hundred dollars for this reel and now if need at least $45.00 worth of parts plus labor.  If you dunk your reel, be sure to run fresh water over it for awhile when you get home to help minimize the damage from the silt and water intrusion.  Now lets see how she cleans up after an ultrasonic bath.  I was surprised to see one carbon fiber drag washer and one composite washer.  I will be replacing the composite with carbon fiber, both greased.




Penn 980 Mag Tuned Reel

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!

Penn Senator 111 2/0 Fishing Reel

Next up is the Penn 111 2/0 fishing reel.  Single dog, steel gear and pinion, metal three piece spool, three stack drag, and low and slow gears 2.25:1.  Seems like it would make a great live bait reel.  Upgrades needed for this reel are as follows:

  1.  SS gear sleeve (98-60A)
  2. Carbon drags washers set (
  3. SS drag washers set
  4. SS spool (29M-60)
  5. SS power handle
  6. Power knob (

These little reels set up with an upgraded drag sleeve and good handle and knob can really crank at 2.25:1 ratio.  The Penn 2/0 and 3/0 are the same reel except the 3/0 is wider.  Like the 1/0 the 2/0 fits nicely in the palm of your hand.  Nothing fancy just good torque and a decent drag with upgrades.


Pro Gear 255 Fishing Reel

The Pro Gear 255 appears to be the same size as a Penn 146, but with some really nice upgrades.  First the two piece frame is really nice and strong.  The tolerances are outstanding and using braid will be no problem.  Pro Gear 255 Schematic,  the gears and drags are the same as a Penn 500 series.

She came in pretty beat up.  Bearings shot and some light corrosion and wear from the eccentric lever hitting the side plate on top.  The internals were in good shape, just needed a good cleaning and re-lube.  Flushed the bearings, new Bryan Young 5+1 drag kit, and “Bam” fishing machine.  Free spool is amazing.  10-12lb drag easily up to 15-17lb with a new SS gear sleeve.  Awesome small reel!



Black Senators

9/0, 6/0, 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 1/0 Black Penn Senators.  This has been fun!  Started with a stock 1/0  and went through the whole upgrade process.  I was so impressed with what these old reels are capable of I kept going slowly finding used reels at very reasonable prices.  Here are some of the upgrades available:

  • Handles and Knobs
  • Stainless steel gear sleeves
  • Steel or stainless steel gears and pinions, yokes etc.
  • Drag inserts and multi drag washer upgrades
  • Stainless steel dogs
  • Custom aluminum frames
  • Aluminum Spools
  • Aluminum cross bars
  • Stainless steel cross bars
  • Custom eccentric levers

All in you can invest a considerable amount in a reel that is 30+ years old.  Most parts are still available for most models.  Considering the vast number of upgrades available it really speaks to the engineering and reliability of these iconic reels.


Custom Penn 113 4/0 Black Side Plates Narrow Fishing Reel

The Penn 113 4/0 fishing reel is slow, heavy, and the drags are weak as compared to modern standards.  In the stock version the line capacities are as follows:

650/20 Mono
440/30 Mono
370/40 Mono

Three  versions of spools came out for the reel, two stainless steel and heavy, one black aluminum and better for casting.  The main gear on this one is steel with a steel pinion.  A single dog is standard with a brass gear sleeve.  Drag is rather weak considering the size and capacity of the reel.  Gear ratio is 2:1

Here is the build list to convert it to a narrow “Grouper Special”

  1.  Source a Long beach 66 Spool
  2.  New “Tank Top” and base from Ted on
  3. Gears 2.5:1 from
  4. Pinion from 66
  5. Drags from
  6. SS Dogs from Keta on
  7. SS Gear Sleeve Alan Tani
  8. SS handle from Motive Fab
  9. Knob from Pro Challenger

This build will improve the gear ratio, narrow the 4/0 width, improve the strength, and improve the drag.

Little Blue…Penn 501 Reel

Build list:

  • side plates
  • SS gears, pinion, aluminum spool and knob
  • Motive Fabrications SS counter balanced handle
  • Tank Top Eccentric Lever
  • Tiburon Frame
  • A few Penn parts

This is a retirement gift that will spend its days chasing fish in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Contact us!