by John Skinner
There are some good sales out there right now on popular Penn SSg/SSm and Slammer spinning reels that are soon to be discontinued to make way for the highly anticipated Penn Spinfisher V series. The immediate question that comes to my mind is "Will I be able to get parts for the discontinued reels?" I posed that question to Penn Business Manager, Mike Rice, and his answer should be reassuring to anyone looking to take advantage of the sales. "10 years is the number we have agreed to internally. It's possible that some could run out in year 9, while others are in stock for 15 years." Ten years is a long time, but keep in mind that there's a good chance parts will be available for even longer by looking to local tackle shop stocks and online sources such as Ebay.
Something that was nice about the current SSg and SSm reels is that you could use spools from as far back as the original SS lines. For example, 550SS, 5500SS, and 550SSg spools are all interchangeable, which means that spools purchased on Spinfishers over 15 years ago work on today's Spinfishers. Given that the new Spinfisher V reels will have much larger drag washers and sealed drag systems, you'll be unable to interchange them with the older spools. I asked Mike about the projected price for extra spools, specifically about the price of an SSV5500 spool. I was pleasantly surprised at the very reasonable $37 quote.
The 3500-8500SSV reels are expected to become available in October, with the 9500, 10500, and Liveliner models due out in January. The 9500 and 10500 models are very large reels in the 38-ounce range that will probably see much more use as offshore reels rather than in the surf. A bailess model of the 6500 will be offered in 2013. Mike said they may offer other bailess models in the future depending on the demand for the bailess 6500.