Penn’s newest International reels were first shown at ICAST 2017. Penn’s new line does indeed represent a significant improvement over what they’ve been supplying in the past. The VISX models compete with the top echelon of long range oriented reels.
The older generation reels were excellent for what they were intended to do, trolling duty. But, at the rail there were other large game reels which killed them. Penn could not compete, that was clearly indicated by folks targeting cow sized tuna on the long range fleet. Avet’s Pro series set the standard back in 2005 and they’ve kept improving. And, for those wanting to fish the USA standard – Penn – Cal Sheets got a fair amount of business improving and enhancing those tanks. Then came Okuma’s Makaira series, as we were first to announce, the Makaira series reels were game changers for the industry. That was proven fact. Penn went back to the drawing board, hard, and I will suggest copied several design aspects of the Makaira design (pull vs push, silent dogs…). That’s easily confirmed by anyone who does a side by side comparison and pushes the lever and turns the handle. The guys at Penn spent their time well, the new VISX series in the International line-up stand on their own, they are excellent reels.
For long range style fishing, comparing top notch gear, Penn now can compete with Okuma Makairas, Avet Pro series, Accurate ATD’s. Penn is back in the game big time with their VISX series. The VISW’s are also a nice improvement over previous generations of wide trolling oriented reels. Internationals now compete very well with the best of long range reels. Thankfully, Penn International Series reels are still made in the USA.
The PENN International VI series is designed and manufactured in the USA of domestic and imported components. Precision machined from high-strength, lightweight, aircraft grade aluminum in our Philadelphia machining center. Our experienced crew has been designing and producing durable, high-quality reels in this facility since 1932. The VI consists of a large stainless steel gear train for strength and speed, and a Dura-Drag system which results in a smoother start up and virtually eliminates hesitation, even under extreme drag settings.