Penn handle blanks



Fishing Reel Service and Repair

Whether you are preparing for salmon, steelhead, bass or saltwater trophies we are your one stop shop for fishing reel service and repair in the Pacific Northwest.  Located on Mercer Island, one block off off of I90 we are your local,  fast turn around solution to fishing reel repair, annual service and upgrades.  We specialize in service, repair, upgrades and custom reel building.  We are happy to take your call and walk you through the process and provide a realistic timeline for completion.  Expedited service is available if needed.  Don’t let poor performing equipment stand between you and a fish of a lifetime. Give us a call today!

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.


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!



High Quality Upgrades for Penn 4/0

Another true craftsman has started production of high quality upgrades for the Penn 4/0 fishing reel.  Ted “Maxed Out” on has introduced some really exciting parts for your Penn 4/0’s that convert a standard 4/0 to the narrow version.  They are called Tank Tops!

Colored eccentric levers, spacers and seats all made to the highest standards with 6061 aluminum, and made in the USA.  Available in 5 colors; black, blue, silver, green and red.

Ted includes delrin spacers for the reel clamp and eccentric levers to eliminate the chance of electrolysis that can eat away at your reel.


Cortez Conversions plus the tank tops makes for a nice combination!

Feeling Narrow Minded…



Narrow models from Penn and Newell


Top to bottom:

Penn Senator 1/0 – 3:1 Gears

Newell 220 – 5:1 Gears

Penn Jigmaster 501 – 4:1 Gears

Penn Squidder 146 – 3.3:1 Gears

Penn 4/0 T4N – 4:1 Gears

Upgraded Penn 9500SS Spinning Reel

There are many high end, large capacity spinning reels on the market today.  They all come with a big price tag.  Some require expensive maintenance to maintain their performance.  Add into the purchase equation planned obsolescence in manufacturing and parts availability you get a very expensive reel with a short life.  However, they are technologic wonders!  Smooth as warm butter.   I chose to go another direction.  I’m going retro and upgrading the Penn 9500SS.

With help from a friend I secured a NIB 9500SS off eBay.  Warranty card read 1998 as the manufacture date.  After nearly 20 years there are many upgrades available for this model and series.  Over the years, handles and knobs, drags, even ratchets and dogs enhanced the performance of these reels.  I won’t be doing all of the available upgrades, but a few are down below.  Once completed this reel will be an excellent surf casting reel for larger game fish, floating a crab for pier tarpon or jigging up a creature from the deep.    It is capable of delivering 20lbs of drag straight stock.  Replace the delrin top washer with an equivalent Carbontex drag washer. Install new upgraded drag kit.  You will have a very capable reel large capacity reel.  The specs on the reel are: 4.2:1 gear ratio, weight 32 oz, line capacity 300 yrds 30lb mono, 500 yrds 80 lb braid.

Drag Upgrade Package

  • 6-950MSP Rear Drag Conversion Kit
  • 52N-650N Knob, Drag Knob with Seal, SS insert

Stock drag components

Upgrade replaces the original drag washer glued to the drag plate.  Upgrade comes with new SS drag plate, Carbon Drag eared, and the gold plate in the second picture.  The drag surface is huge!


Upgraded Drag Knob


Original Drag Plate


Drag Upgrade


Stainless Steel 16 tooth Titanium Ratchet and Dogs Kit

To minimize back play in the handle and strengthen a vital area of the reel we will install a new ratchet with more teeth than the original.  We are going with a stronger metal in titanium and more resistant to salt water corrosion.


Several true craftsman on have produced custom titanium ratchets and dogs.  Check them out!

Handle & Knob

Reel Power Handes


Naval Brass Main Gear 


This is the tough part of the upgrades.  The 9500SS came with two versions of gears.  The first is the preferred naval brass gear set.  The one on the right is combination of several alloy’s.  So when purchasing a 9500SS its a crap shoot!  Either you get one in brass or you don’t.  They have long been discontinued and are expensive when they show up on Ebay.

Manual Bail Conversion Kit

One of the possible upgrades is to remove the bail assembly and replace with a bail-less kit.  I have both at the original kit and this aftermarket kit to test.  Bails can become bent on the boat and they can magically close at the wrong time sending your lure or metal to Davey’s locker.


Aftermarket Kit


Penn Original Kit


Went with the Penn mod as it the rotor seemed better balanced when rotated.  Plus I like the design better, less things hanging around to get caught on stuff.


Business Card

Penn 49 Fishing Reel

I have a friend that received this reel from his father when he was 18 years old.  It was used to bottom fish in the Pacific Northwest.  For its age and use it was in remarkable condition.  Strip down and cleaned, new greased carbon drags, new reel foot, greased and oiled!   Good steel gear and pinion.  Arguably better than new!


Penn 49 with Carbon drags from

Custom Penn Narrow 4/0


Fit and finish are getting better and better.  Component are getting stronger and more corrosion resistant.  Handle is from Motive Fabrication Knob options:

Large Round knob from Pro Challenger and the large knob on the right is 6/0 knob.  He has several sizes.  Both are bullet proof and fit comfortably in my hand.


Pro Challenger stainless steel bridge with two dogs, 4:1 gear,pinion, 10 tooth gear sleeve.  Most notable is the new carbon Hex Drag system.

Stainless steel star is from Motive Fabrications

Narrow,  aluminum frame, head and end plates, offset two position handle with large 6/0 knob, all stainless internals, upgraded drags, fully adjustable spool bearing caps, (2) SS spool bearings,  aluminum spool, bring em on.