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PENN Pursuit III Spinning Reel Review

Dale Shetler
By Dale Shetler
Updated February 16, 2021
PENN Pursuit III
  • Affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • Saltwater safe
  • Loud
  • Breaks prematurely
  • Not very powerful
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The PENN Pursuit III offers a durable construction, smooth fishing experience, and lightweight design. Together, these features make the reel a great investment for saltwater anglers. It even offers features that eliminate rotor back play, corrosion, and more, making the PENN Pursuit III a leading spinning reel.  

The PENN Pursuit III Spinning Reel

The PENN Pursuit III is one of the leading spinning reels for saltwater anglers. Coming in many sizes, this reel is suitable for most fisheries. Complete with a number of luxury and functional features, the PENN Pursuit III is one that you can depend on, no matter the fishing environment or fish size.

The most notable aspect of the PENN Pursuit III is its durability. It is made from a corrosion-resistant graphite body, allowing it to remain intact and efficient even in saltwater environments. At the same time, this fishing reel is ultra-lightweight, considering its intense durability and power.

More so, the PENN Pursuit III comes with an Instant Anti-Reverse, which eliminates rotor back play, allowing you to instantly hook up every time. Smooth retrieves are offered, thanks to the four shielded stainless steel ball bearings. These two aspects make the fishing experience smooth and reliable.

All around, the PENN Pursuit III is ideal for saltwater conditions because it is durable, lightweight, and comes in many sizes. Though it won't be the best option for professionals, it is great for beginners wanting to get started in saltwater fishing.

Technical Specs

  • Model: PURIII2500
  • Weight: 9.8 oz.
  • Bearing Count: 5
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Max Drag: 10
  • Retrieve: Right/Left

Features

Out of all the fishing reels on the market, the PENN Pursuit III comes with some of the most impressive features.

For one thing, it has HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers, that are both heavy duty and highly efficient. Part of the reason the drag system is so smooth on this reel is because the drags are sealed. These drag washers provide always lubricated smooth drag. They are matched with a graphite body, which is both lightweight and corrosion resistant.

On top of the lightweight and durable construction, the PENN Pursuit III fishing reel comes with a 4+1 stainless steel bearing system. This system helps keep retrieval smooth and efficient, even in saltwater conditions. These features further show the durability of the reel.

Finally, the last notable feature of the PENN Pursuit III has to do with the spool. It comes with a machine and anodized aluminum spool, meaning that it is efficient and precise. These features make it more useful and reliable. It also comes with Superline spool and line capacity rings.

All Features

  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Graphite body
  • 4+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Machined
  • Anodized aluminum spool
  • Superline spool
  • Line capacity rings

Pros

Since the PENN Pursuit III comes with quite a few impressive features, it is no shock that it has a long list of pros. Let's take a look at some of the most impressive pros for this fishing reel:

First and foremost, this is a great starter saltwater fishing reel because it is durable yet affordable. This reel certainly is strong enough to withstand saltwater environments like it claims. Still, the price isn't too expensive for what it offers. All around, this is a highly durable saltwater reel that is great for beginners or those on a budget.

Since this is a more affordable option, it's great for learning on. You can also loan it out or test out rougher techniques without feeling stressed over messing up your expensive reel. At the same time, it doesn't come with unnecessary features. It simply comes with what you need and what you need to learn about.

Another great benefit of the PENN Pursuit III is that it is easy to assemble and disassemble. Whenever you need to clean it or change out parts, you won't have to struggle learning how to take the reel apart. It is rather straightforward.

Thus, the PENN Pursuit III is an affordable, durable, and easy to assemble fishing reel, making it great for beginner saltwater anglers.

All Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Saltwater safe
  • Easy to learn on
  • Easy to assemble/disassemble

Cons

Even though our own experience with the reel, as well as reviews we read elsewhere, was largely positive, there are a couple of negatives about the PENN Pursuit III.

Most notably, it is incredibly loud. Though you might mistake the noise as being friction from the line, it's actually the reel. This is a very odd occurrence, especially since other PENN Pursuit models do not have this issue. The PENN Pursuit III is the only one that is loud.

Another drawback of the PENN Pursuit III is that it isn't the most powerful reel. Like we mentioned in the benefits, this certainly is a fishing reel for beginners. Anyone with a little bit more experience or looking to fish larger species probably won't like this model.

Additionally, the gear does seem to malfunction rather quickly. It's a good thing that this model is relatively cheap since you will need to buy a new one pretty quickly.

All Cons

  • Loud
  • Not very powerful
  • Breaks prematurely
PENN Pursuit III

Conclusion

To summarize, the PENN Pursuit III is a great fishing reel for beginners just getting started in saltwater fishing. It is simple to use, basic, lightweight, and durable. Not to mention, it is highly affordable. This makes it great for someone not really sure how to fish in saltwater yet.

For more experienced saltwater anglers, however, you will likely want to go with a more durable model. The PENN Pursuit III is a bit loud and it isn't the most powerful, meaning that you won't be happy if you have had a better reel in the past.

Still, you can't go wrong with the affordability and ease of use that comes with the PENN Pursuit III. Beginners would be smart to go with this reel.

ModelWeightBearing Braid Capacity (YD/LB)Mono Capacity (YD/LB)Max Drag (LB)Gear Ratio
PURIII25009.85240/19, 220/15, 160/20244/6, 175/8, 140/10106.2:1
PURIII300011.85250/15, 180/20, 130/30200/8, 165/10, 120/12126.2:1
PURIII400012.45360/15, 260/20, 185/30270/8, 220/10, 165/12156.2:1
PURIII500019.75420/20, 300/30, 240/40225/12, 200/15, 135/20206.2:1