Penn or Mitchell......Penn or Mitchell - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default Penn or Mitchell......Penn or Mitchell

Alright I might be poking the hornets nest here, but I wanted to have the experienced pier pounders weigh in on what they think is best "classic" spinning reel for pier fishing for kings, cobia, reds, etc. and why. Tell some actual experiences good or bad for each.

Here are some of my choices in no particular order:
1. Penn 706
2. Mitchell 302
3. Penn 7500ss
4. Penn 8500ss

Open to comments on other brands and models as well.

What I'm trying to do is pair up the perfect reel for a custom king rod I'm thing of cooking up.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:20 AM   #2
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My top two would be the 706z and the Mitchell. I have a Mitchell 303(right hand retrieve of the 302)and love it. My friends use the 706z and I use his sometimes and it is also a very great reel. I'll just compare them and you can pick.

Mitchell
Pros:
Holds a little more line than the 706z.
Is older and some people like the classics.
And you can usally get it for a good price.
Cons:
Doesn't spread line very good. It gets kinda bulky in the middle.
Some people say you can't use braid, but mines still fine.

706z
Pros:
It is easier to find a manual for this reel. Or most come with it.
Can hold braid.
Cons:
Can't think of any right now.
Except that they cost quite a bit.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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I would use the Mitchell. For kings n the others 4 cobia. just because you will need to use braid for cobia.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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850SS +Sufix Tritanium = Goodness. I am not a braid fan.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #5
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704z great reels , plentiful, same as 706z just has a bail, ive caught kings, bull reds never been let down
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Default Mitchell or Penn

I use a Mitchell 402 with manual bail, crosswind cam and HT-100 drags. I see no reason to change what works.

I didn't have a 704Z long enough to really get used to it. Some slob stole it off my front porch. I liked it while I had it.

Pros and cons, as usual but I'll take the Mitchell. JMHO C2
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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I've had my 706z, 8500 and 7500 for a long time and they have all worked flawlessly and get abused quite a bit...
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulf*fishing View Post
Alright I might be poking the hornets nest here, but I wanted to have the experienced pier pounders weigh in on what they think is best "classic" spinning reel for pier fishing for kings, cobia, reds, etc. and why. Tell some actual experiences good or bad for each.
In my opinion the 'classic' pier spinning reel is green 706Z - round handle

The other is a Mit - 302 modified with a manual roller and a cross wind gear set up (I never owned one but the they modifed the reel's interals so to move the spool up and down to criss cross the line between - for longer casts and less chance of burying the line in the spool)

Edit - *** just read up to Charlie2 post - I had forgot that it was actaully called the cross wind cam and the 402 was the 302 with the manaul factory installed I think, part of the fun of pier fishing was tinkering with the reels and making custom rods ! ****

The simplicity of the 706Z - a purpose built manual reel - makes it my favorite.

Like most all older spinning reels - they were not designed to handle high strenght - small diameter braid. so as long as you are using 20 lb mono - or braid without too much drag - these reels work fine

if you spool with 65 lb braid and try to crank down the drag.. you will at best get eratic drag performane or at worst bust the reel's gears - dish in the drag washers etc...


Still love the way a 706Z sounds when reeling up fast for the next cast - or snapping up a few quick yards of line turns when snobbling a cig!

Last edited by Mullethead; 12-23-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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The Mitchell 402 was the "high speed" version of the 302...not much higher gear ratio, but it is noticeable. Also the 302/402s both came "stock" with bails, but PUMs were readily available and still are. Personally, the 302 and 402 are my favorite, with the 402 having a slight edge. I justify this decision based on you can pick them up cheap, parts are not expensive, and they'll take a pounding.

The 402 pictured below was my Christmas break project: bought on eBay for $30 shipped, media blasted it, and coated in Cerakote firearms coating (graphite black and titanium). I did all the VS-like drilling myself. This will be my cobia reel when spring time rolls around!






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Old 01-02-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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I have all of these except the 8500. I personally prefer the 706Z, gold spool. I have had to drop a main gear in one of these, but it was self inflicted damage winching up a bunch of too-heavy oversized fall spanish. I just like the way they feel. Each on the list will work fine. If you like manual pick ups (takes some practice), then you will want a 706 or a 302/402. You will likely not like a 302/402 without a manual conversion as there is not a convenient way to trip the bail back withour reeling fwd= PITA. The 704 without the manual conversion is like this too. It is inconvenient as you will open the bail a bunch every day casting and fishing, not to mention freespooling with a setup like this can be a crap shoot. The 402 has helical cut gears and is a little faster and came with the pancake handle but reputation is the helical cut gears are not quite as tough as the 302's. I do have a 41 year old 302 that I got as a teen that has not had a part put in it- yet- other than an ugrade that consisted of a crosswind, manual, and a drag refurbishing when I upgraded it to manual. On the 7500SS (discontinued/US made) and 7500SSM (newer Chinese made) you can manually flip the bail back and forth and is a relatively inexpensive reel if found in good used condition that can be used without mods. I have both and actually like the line lay and anti reverse better on the SSM but you do not have the lever that allows backreeling (minor). Both work just fine. People bash the SSM as it is Chinese made, but mine has not failed me yet.

Last edited by FishAddict; 01-02-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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