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Topic: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial  (Read 1324 times)

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Offline REEFMAN

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PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« on: August 04, 2018, 12:13:26 pm »
Here follows a comprehensive Photographic Service and Maintenance tutorial on the Penn Slammer lll - 6500 HS.
During the Tut, we will give a brief review of the different pro's and con's of the reel.





The HS version of this reel is Red and Black, with the standard version being Black and Gold.

First impressions are that the reel is Big and chunky, a bit on the heavy side and very solid.
Boasting all-metal body, side plates and spool. I read somewhere that the reel housing is in fact an aluminium alloy.
It weighs quite a bit more than the comparative size Daiwa BG 5000, but has a significantly better capacity. Both reels have a similar retrieve.

Reeling this reel is fairly smooth, but stiff with noticeable resistance - this is due to the many rubber seals that the reel has, making it one of the better Waterproofed reels on the market.
With rubber seals, one has to sacrifice some ease of rotation, I suppose.

The reel comes with 2 handles... one is a normal rugby ball shaped handle, very nice, fits the hand perfectly. The other is the "Jig handle". This is a state of the art Power handle, very pretty, very bling, very solid and very, very heavy! It weighs 177g on it's own, more than double the other handle. Combining this handle with the reel precludes it from any spinning activity, it's just way too heavy.
What is quite strange is that why they would include such a power handle in a reel this small? That Power handle no doubt costs a bomb, and while it would be great for the big gun jigging reels, (The large size reels in this range), it just seems like complete overkill on a reel this size, (medium range).

Can you imagine putting a handle that weighs almost 1/3 of the entire reel onto an already heavier than normal reel?? Sorry. *facepalm* Epic fail.

This reel costs nearly R4000, which is the average RRP. That's quite an outlay, comparable to the Shimano Saragosa.
So let's go through it...


The spool has a braid friendly rubber ring for easy attachment, and also the useful capacity rings that are now standard in many reels.









Robust look and feel... bold edges and curves.
2 handles standard.






We start this review off with a Big Oooops... shaking my head...



Now this is not a crtical issue that affects the functioning of a reel, but seriously Penn?! This didn't cross your mind during your R & D? Mind boggles. Really.










Underneath the spool.










One thing that really irritates me with Reel manufacturers is when they omit certain parts from their Reel Schematics diagram. I found 3 washers and other parts that weren't even mentioned in the schematics. Think that's nonsense! Just a Poor show.

An impressive thing about this reel was that Penn are really not shy to slap in some grease in the factory! Rubber seals and waterproofing rely on grease to make things smooth and work more efficiently. This is one of the few reels that can be fished right out the box. Unlike the Daiwa BG, which while they don't make claims to being waterproof, doesn't like water straight out the box. These reels (Daiwa BG) need to be opened and greased up properly if they are going to be subjected to Salt water.







Proudly American reel.... pffft.Think I should report you to Mr Trump.








Superb waterproof sealing of the Main shaft leading down to inside the Rotor.









Yet another seal going down to the Pinion!







Remove the Rotor and we have another seal for the AR Bearing!
These rubber seals used in the Slammer are that funny brown rubber, not sure what they're made of, but they are tough and robust, which to my thinking is a great improvement on the flimsy black O-Rings used in the Saragosa.




So if the Waterproofing of the Slammer has to be criticized, it's here.  There is quite a large gap between the Pinion gear and the AR Clutch sleeve, which could possibly leak water if the reel was submerged completely. Water can only reach here by coming up underneath the Rotor, but if you examine the bottom of the Rotor, it has a clever recess that fits exactly over the Pinion Gear seal labelled below. This is the seal that makes the Rotor have some resistance to reeling.




A teflon plastic Anti-reverse Pawl. Rudimentary, but it will work.











Clever meshing of the retainers and bushings. Several concentric lips will make it extremely difficult for water to enter from the outside.










Some more rubber seals...






Yet another part that doesn't appear on the Schematics. The AR Bearing was covered with so much grease that I'm surprised it even worked! AR Bearings are notorious for failing under greased conditions.




Very weird. Most AR bearings have a distinct warning - NO GREASE! :-)



The Brass Pinion Gear





The Slammer comes with an excellent Rotor Brake that is screwed down by 2 screws. Bail activation forces the Rotor Trip lever down on to the rubber stopper, which will then prevent the spool from moving in a cast.

This Rotor brake lever is a Auto Bail trip mechanism in the smaller versions of this reel, up to the 5500. The 6500 and above have the Auto Bail disabled.





Penn's not shy with the grease on their sealed bearings either!
One of the things I love about Penn reels is the fact that you can access the Gearbox by removing 3 screws... just awesome for DIY maintenance and quick lubes.






The Gearbox is sealed properly with a tough rubber gasket surrounding the periphery of the reel.
No shortage of grease here either!




No Worm gear Oscillation, this reel uses the Oscillating slider gear for movement.




CNC Machined Drive gear and all other gears too. Beautiful!





In order to remove the Drive shaft, the Slider guide needs to be removed.








Then I came across something weird.

Inside the aluminium body frame, there is a nook where the Pinion Gear fits into, around the Drive shaft. Most reels have this. What I was disturbed by is the fact that there was not even a plastic busing inside this circular recess, to prevent the Pinion from rubbing directly onto the reel frame! Tempered and hardened Pinion Brass rubbing on alu alloy?? Surely not.
I was quite taken aback by this and did some research. It was picked up on Stripersonline, where one chap's reel showed quite severe stress wear in and around that hole. A Penn Representative came online and explained that the Pinion doesn't actually touch the reel frame... I found this explanation to be odd, so I had a good look myself.








Here is the pic with the Pinion and shaft in place. There's a gap between the Pinion and Reel frame??? I call BS. I think this is a serious design flaw that some arb Penn Rep in the States tried to explain away. In my opinion, there is absolutely no doubt that the Pinion rubs against the metal of the Reef frame. This problem is so easily overcome by placing a bearing in the recess (in the top end reels) or a cheap plastic bushing as is the case in the cheaper reels. To see this in a reel costing so much...?? I am perplexed!

When the reel is under stress and big drag pressures, the Main shaft undergoes massive torsion forces, which are driven through the Pinion gear in several places, lastly ending up in the force being applied to the attachment of the Drive shaft to the Oscillating gear. These forces are sure to make the shaft move sideways and contact with tight areas is absolutely inevitable. The effects of this won't be evident immediately, but through time and use, there has to be wear, either on the Pinion gear or on the reel frame. The Pinion can be replaced but the Reel frame? Might as well throw the reel away! The damage shown on the one reel in question where it was reported was after 1 season of heavy use.





Here is the Saragosa Pinion Gear, that fits into the Reel frame on top of a ball bearing!





The Oscillation gear system. In cheap reels, this gear fits directly onto the reel frame stub, which eventually renders the reel useless through wear an tear. This is exactly what will happen with a Pinion gear fitting on the reel frame.




So the gear has a Teflon plastic bushing. Thank goodness. Cannot fathom why Penn could not have put a bushing on the Pinion.




Now my other gripe.
With Oscillating gear mechanisms, the nipple that the slider fits onto usually is quite a tight metal on metal fit. In the earlier oscillation gear systems, this used to cause a noticeable 'klunk' as the metal nipple reached it's furthest up or down excursion. With the development of these systems, O-rings were designed to be placed in a recess on the nipple so that when the slider reaches the end of it's excursion, the rubber O-ring cushions the metal on metal contact. I was surprised to see a bare metal nipple in the Slammer. During my research, it became obvious that this is another illogical skimp on Penn's part. There are many reports of anglers experiencing this metal klunk on use under moderate drag pressure. You won't feel it unless the reel is under a strong load.






This is the Oscillation gear from the Saragosa...





The sealing of this reel is exceptional. The worst place for water ingress is the handle area, and here there are solid rubber seals and the bearings are packed solid with grease.








The Slammer Drag.
Wow! One of the best Drag systems I've felt. This reel can lock down tight, until the spool doesn't move. Literally. It is also one of the best sealed Drags I've seen.

The one downside to the perfect waterproof sealing is that the latent Drag pressure on the spool is significant, even when the Drag knob is removed! The minimum Drag on this reel is still a few pounds, and something that would probably irritate me enough to quit using it.




Top of the spool.



Bottom of the spool.





Excellent plastic sealed washer screws.





Perfectly sealed Drag!









The keyed washer










The reel has 2 Drag components... a top Drag as well.






And perfectly sealed once again.










The Line roller system is also pretty excellent, with a plastic bushing on one end and a ball bearing on the other.








Conclusion

For a reel that costs as much as this, I expected a bit more innovation and way more attention to detail.
The Waterproofing of the reel is superb, with long lasting rubber seals throughout.
The Drag too, is outstanding, but that has long been the case with Penn Drag systems.
The Gear construction through CNC machining is pretty awesome, those gears are works of art.


The stiffness and resistance to reeling, as well as the latent minimum Drag are just irritating consequences of good waterproofing.
For someone like me who enjoys servicing my own reels, I'd much rather forego a few seals to have a reel that is pleasurable to use... as smooth as possible, Class and finesse.


The Oscillation gear klunk is also not what you'd expect from a reel in this class. An O-ring on the Osc Gear nipple would have cost what?

The Pinion gear/reel frame issue, however is a deal breaker for me - you expect this in a R300 reel, not a R4000 one.

I sincerely believe that Penn missed the boat with this one. Somehow they have confused their priorities - allocating massive budget to CNC gears and 2 handles (both of which, anglers really don't care about), instead of making sure the basic fundamentals of smoothness and longevity are first sorted.

It's just not good value for money.

And if it were up to me, I'd choose both the Saragosa and the Daiwa BG before this one.

Amazingly, this reel won best Saltwater Reel at the ICAST 2016 Show. (!!??) Wow. ICAST just took on a whole new meaning for me...



Schematics below....

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Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 03:56:36 pm »
Big thanks to Kes for the kind use of his reel.  :+ cred:

Now is not a good time to go fishing... said nobody... EVER!!

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Offline ianf

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 04:35:43 pm »
Great read Tony. Amazed at your attention to the tiniest details, and from that comes really good advice. Thanks for taking the time to put these tutorials together. We benefit so much from your efforts.  (clap) (clap)

Offline Visenvryheid

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 08:13:39 pm »
Just lost a whole reply..eish..same basic design in spool lip and oscillation mechanism to my 15 yr old budget penn accord and old fierce and battle and still looks like way older pflueger that the holding company bought up with their designs along with abu etc.. ..Lip sucks..come on, copy shimano guys..$20 budget shimanos have a better lip design..x ship standard on most shimano's too, that being bearing being supported by 2 bearings, even in sahara's costing just over a grand, better gears there too.. different leagues of reels..

http://fishing.shimano.co.jp/product/technology/global/sac/hagane2/en/technology/index.html

Their aim "eternally smooth reeling reels" and "no-one but shimano can achieve" and "only shimano can produce". Latter two statements referencing their manufacturing prowess, candidly stating they can build reels and gears that only they can produce. With all their years dominating cycling gears and growing up on them and using their reels while others died and these just keep on reeling smoothly I don't doubt them for a bit. I feel quite justified in another post where I said my shimano spinners were my cheapest by far, that if you equate how long they lasted and were still a pleasure to fish with..by far the best value bar one finnor and my multipiers. Carbon drag material is cheap in china so drags on todays reels don't mean much..The anti-reverse backup is a joke on the slammer and is the same design in my old budget penn spinners and a real fish that tests your greased up a/r bearing with blow your reel up and laugh at that plastic and rotor dog/pawl setup..Most mid range reels have better system or rather don't even bother and oversize the A/R and save weight for that messy and useless contraption that is there.. I had my battle exact same system engage on me once and the thing just went to pieces and the little springwire stuckout through the side of the reel and made the worst grrrrrrt sound while I still tried to fight a little bonnie..if it was a real fish haha the reel would have ja..thank goodness it was a bonnie and the reel is still grinding away after some repairs and pinion replacement again..But shame I've given penn/pure enough flack over that lemon of a reel but it boggles me as to why the design flaws have still not been dealt with years later and are now incarnated in their semi-premium gear?!

Thanks reefman for your tut and look inside..I feel completely justified in my earlier penn bashing in other posts, I have just been stating what I have experienced and can see with my own eyes..:) After the carry cat debacle now we can post away if we are justified without fear of being sued! Great stuff! Also feel justified for my opinion in the daiwa thread, I'd rather have a reel made well that is a pleasure to fish and designed from the ground up to last and "continue to reel smoothly after repeated reeling over a number of seasons" , to quote the shimano site above and made from the correct materials for the salt with no skimping and with over engineering rather than under engineering for cost, that has no sealing whatsoever and the innards are corrosion block grease smeared...than another reel that has flawed design and cheap materials and the best watertight sealing in the world. Let it get drenched in the salt, rinse and repeat..fishing becomes a pleasure instead of dealing with your equipment or the failure thereof. All decent modern spinners have good drags so that selling point is also mute..Penn lost my cash a long time ago, just wait for it to break and you need parts! hahaha good luck..

Also aside from maybe shimano and zebco, I think consumers have been taken for a ride with spinners..Shimano has listened and given us the reels we want, that we can fish how we fish them and still expect them to shake it off and ask for more..Been impressed with my later zebco reels too, quantum, finnor, earlier ones were junk and they realized that. Dealing with the local zebco agents is as bad as penn, penn local and international sent me the wrong part 3 times in a row, the same wrong part even though I had the correct part # etc..zebco international is only a pleasure to deal with,any finnor issue I'd go direct to them. Shimano you must go through your tackle store/agent for repairs and for the reel you want you will pay, but that said you will get the reel that you want, it will perform and when you fish it you will have a warm fuzzy feeling inside..It won't splutter and die when the salt gets into its innards or it gets dunked or splashed..This all why I'm so stoked i got ragged and ragged into learning to cast a multiplier..my adrenaline xmaster pro was just over a grand with machined oversize stainless gears, no factory grease (I pre-use blued it up and it's good to go, simple to DIY service),15kg carbon drag, 7:1 retrieve, sturdy double stainless steel dog/pawl and power handle..My last brand new-second hand grandwave from a reputable seller on the forums was just over a grand..just got a 600m spool of new co-polymer line of the brand I like for heavy spinning for R150..just put some magnets in me reel, cost me all of R16..can't compare the value and toughness of tire..I can cast further with less effort and fish more comfortable all day than when I used a grinder..I'm glad I saw the light and someone taught me basic technique..When I see spinners like in the above tut, I feel justified in telling a mate who has just started fishing to get a 40 casting reel and 12/13ft and just sukkel and learn to cast the thing..showed him basic technique I was shown, in my lounge, took grease out the bearings from factory, oiled them up and left him to go off and cast on his own with a 4 oz sinker..he was getting over 70m by the end of the afternoon and no major birdsnests, first day attempting to cast one of these.. now put mag it kit in his reel, take his cast control down and he will get over a hundred meters in no time I reckon..
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 12:07:11 pm by Visenvryheid »

Offline bassbug

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Re: Penn Slammer lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 08:22:02 am »
 :+ cred:
Wow  :tkx:  :win:

Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Penn Slammer lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 08:33:59 am »
Hahaha Dr Hoffman, great post. Agree with you 100%, it's much more fun to cast a multiplier; something satisfying about punching a sinker into the blue yonder.    :rck"

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Offline Visenvryheid

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 01:34:12 pm »
;)



https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/new-star-drag.693483/

I'm taking a wild guess at the RRP, but looking at the pricing of their other lever drags..which are a LOT more bang for your buck than with a spinner in the same price range..I reckon the RRP of these babies will be around the slammer's range or cheaper..open up an avet and open up a chinese made spinner and try compare the materials, reliability, design and precise engineering..but fishing companies try price them the same just because people can't cast a winch..This was drummed into my head and I made the switch for all but the light stuff and ja when that sinker or spoon flys and those bearings sing..eish..what a feeling! Everything is made to be ergonomic, from accessing the drag to putting the reel in or out of gear, you hardly have to take your hand off the handle..now compare that to when a big fish smashes you on your spinner and your locked down drag starts peeling off like it is in freespool, and you are fumbling trying to tighten the knob on the front of the reel with the line peeling past and left hand is struggling trying to control the rod on its own..Those were the arguements that won me over..Sur it has been a boomtime for the manufacturers profits..haha but with older tried and trusted multipliers the tooling and R&D is already long ago paid for and the faults have been long ago ironed out and the reels have reached their pinnacle of evolution..the reel companies just needed to get a whole new generation of fishermen kitted and I take my hat off to them they must have made a killing..but now they gotta step up and make well designed reels with all that profit.. With fish stocks the way they are in the states and the mind boggling number of new fishermen and women that have taken up the sport there have filled the coffers..the asian markets are where the manufacturers real money is..but the majority of companies must step up the the plate and reinvest their profits into real innovation and robust design or they will be left in the dust by the avets, accurates, zebcos and shimanos of this world..Saw the above reel in action on the latest show of blacktipH, he was on a charter catching king mackerels and a cobia or two..you could see the slammers by the gold jigging handle a mile away..blacktipH been though a few tackle sponsors now settled with shiny stellas and saragosas after reels and rods blowing up on him, and in latest episode on charter boat with their gear as soon as a decent fish and the pressure is on, the new looking reel starts grinding and not performing so well?!Hmm..you don't see the shows' normal reels doing that..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX3QLLyHupI

But ja for a $100 more than a slammer you can have a reel that can do this! And put some magnets in it if you are a pleb caster like me and you can throw it quite fine with some practice..

Offline Visenvryheid

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2018, 01:42:32 pm »
But then again in fairness..the basic pflueger design is a decent one and there are loads of possible materials that can be used..and if they work, well..there is a reason that it is used in hundreds of models of reels..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM44o54d7nc

But lets see how many times that reel can do that also..but if it works then credit to it..But reels are getting better and midrange reels are getting more competitive and cheaper and more value for money even if we don't see it here with the rand tanking..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rew5CGZPHIk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4WKqjmQbGw

« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 02:16:07 pm by Visenvryheid »

Offline Kes

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2018, 03:02:11 pm »
Big thanks to Kes for the kind use of his reel.  :+ cred:


No worries man. Only a pleasure.


Would putting on an O ring onto the oscillation gear sort the klunk out.?

Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2018, 04:32:48 pm »


Would putting on an O ring onto the oscillation gear sort the klunk out.?
Not really, There is no space for it. The Osc gear nub fits quite snugly into the transverse block groove. On reels with the O-ring, there is a recess cut into the nub where the O-ring fits into. This klunk is not a big deal. It only happens when the Drive shaft is placed under serious pressure - heavy Drag settings. So most of us would never experience it anyway...  :rotfl

So please don't get me wrong. This is not a "bad" reel.  This reel has caught many tons of Shark this last Sardine Run and there are many anglers very chuffed with their reels.
With it's Drag and waterproofing, it will still have many fans as a tough machine.




Now is not a good time to go fishing... said nobody... EVER!!

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Offline FALSBAYFISHER2

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2018, 04:50:34 pm »
Just in time!!
I wanted to buy a Slammer.
Thank you Reefman!!!!

Offline WalkersKiller

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2018, 06:19:28 pm »
Awesome tut Reefz!  :+ cred: :+ cred:

Offline Kes

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Re: Penn Slammer 111 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 07:49:19 am »


Would putting on an O ring onto the oscillation gear sort the klunk out.?
Not really, There is no space for it. The Osc gear nub fits quite snugly into the transverse block groove. On reels with the O-ring, there is a recess cut into the nub where the O-ring fits into. This klunk is not a big deal. It only happens when the Drive shaft is placed under serious pressure - heavy Drag settings. So most of us would never experience it anyway...  :rotfl

So please don't get me wrong. This is not a "bad" reel.  This reel has caught many tons of Shark this last Sardine Run and there are many anglers very chuffed with their reels.
With it's Drag and waterproofing, it will still have many fans as a tough machine.


Ok cool. Thanks bud...

Offline MIKE PIKE

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 08:20:12 am »
Great tut Tony , the attention to detail .... :Like: (clap) ..... :dwa: .... :hyst: ...only kidding , Penn make some great reels and have been around for ages ... :Like: :Like:

Offline PietervdM04

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2018, 07:01:52 pm »
Thanks Reef.


I really enjoy following your work. Thank you.  :tkx: :sreel:

Offline Kes

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Re: PENN SLAMMER lll 6500 HS - Review and Maintenance tutorial
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 01:56:55 pm »



I have mulled over this one ever since the review was done and couldn't quite understand how Penn could have messed up on a R4k+ reel.


So, the other I pulled mine out the box to verify whether the bail arm catches the drag knob and it actually does however, the drag knob has to be fully opened and almost to a point of popping out for the bail arm to catch it.


I called up my buddy with a 8500HS and verified this with him. The bail arm does catch the drag knob but as with my reel, the drag knob had to be opened fully for the bail arm to catch it. Couple of turns on the drag knob and the bail passes comfortably right over


Penn did mess up but nobody I know fishes with a drag knob fully opened on a grinder..


PS: Going to check this on my Shimano and Daiwa grinders this weekend.