Penn Squall Conventional Reel Review – Lever Drag


The Penn Squall conventional reel comes in two modes – the Penn Squall Lever Drag and the Penn Squall 2 Speed Lever Drag. They are made by one of the best brands in manufacturing fishing reels. These reels are the right choice when you want a reel that does not set you back during fishing.

In comparison, the two are for budget-conscious guys, just the same case with the Penn Pursuit, which offers a graphite bodied, high-value for money reel for your fishing needs. The two also offer a graphite body construction. The Squall category is suitable for people who do not need to use the reels on a day to day basis. Unlike the Penn Fathom and Penn International, you do not get a full metal body on the two Squall models.

All of the comments in this article are based on my own experiences and judgements.

Bestseller No. 1
PENN Fishing Squall Lever Drag Reel , 30
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Made using only the highest quality components
  • Tested for quality and durability

Quantitative Score

Performance – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Durability – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Value for Money – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click here to learn more about how we score.


For Penn Squall conventional reels, the main shaft is constructed using stainless steel just as the 4 bearings. In addition to the anti-reverse system and machined aluminum spool, this reel is also braid-ready. The rotor is made of graphite, side-plate aluminum, a thick ball wire ball system.


Penn Squall Lever Drag Conventional Reel

Graphite body construction

The graphite body makes it corrosion resistant for those who are looking for fishing reels that will provide a service for a long time. However, this will not be as stiff as aluminum and will flex a bit, which based on my experience means the gears may wear out easily.

Forged machine spool

The spool is made of aluminum and the capacity rings can inform you how much line is left on the spool. This means you will never get the line finish up which could occur when fishing the large species.

Good capacities on lines

The spools can hold between 550 yards of braided lines weighing 50 lbs up to 1050 yards of 65 lb weight.

Stainless steel gears

The pinion and main gears are stainless steel meaning they are stronger than bronze but they can also corrode easily. These types of gears are on both the Lever Drag and Lever Drag 2.

Dura drag system

The two Penn models of fishing reels incorporate the Dura-Drag system which is even stronger than the HT-100. The HT-100 is one of the outstanding features on the Penn Pursuit III reel, and this makes it high-end drag. In fact, the drag system makes it worth the expenditure.

For Penn Pursuit III, the HT-100 drag system is of its kind, the actual aspect that makes it stand out from among many reels. This system is popular, but also reliable. For those looking for a powerful drag on a fishing reel, the drag makes the Penn Pursuit III perform like top fishing reels, packing in the power and reliability of being used across many fishing applications. These reels are applicable in salt and freshwaters. Nevertheless, the Penn Pursuit III can be used in fishing big as well as small fish. 

Penn Squall unboxing

Stainless steel bearings

With 6 bearings that are made of stainless steel, you get a durable but not so light-bearing system. Drag 2 is made of 4 bearings also made of stainless steel.

In comparison, Penn Pursuit III also offers a smooth retrieve operation given that the 4 bearings are made of stainless steel.

Silent double-dog anti-reverse

This system provides a tighter grip for engaged reels, meaning you get a backup. It also prevents any wear and tear on the reel because it will distribute pressure across 2 paws on the system.

In comparison, the Penn Pursuit III spinning reel provides anglers with a good range of sizes – about 6 sizes – and the spool is prevented from going back thanks to the anti-reverse system. This will make the hook ups really tight.


These are installed on both the single and double speed models. You can skip using the lugs on the single speed reels, in which case you should click them down and out of the way.

Versa-handle system

Retrieving is fantastic on these fishing reels because you can adjust speeds to 2 different levels by positioning the handle in two different positions.

Fame-flush ratcheting lever drag

During the rough seas and on day time, you get the danger of the drag sliding around. This problem can be prevented by using the ratcheted drag lever.

Variable sizes

It is offered in 2 models of about 9 sizes in total, each size having different weight, line capacity, and gear ratio among other features.

Penn Squall Lever Drag Conventional Reel


The smallest of the Squall Lever Drag provides a gear ratio of 6.1:1, has 6 bearings, has a max drag of 13 lb, weighs 18.2 oz, and can have a capacity of between 390 to 260 yards of monofilament line weighing 20 to 30 lbs. The largest of the model has a gear ratio of 4.3:1, max drag of 33 lbs, and a weight of 28.1. It can take between 1050 to 775 yards of monofilament lines weighing 65 to 100 lbs.

The Squall 2 Speed Lever Drag has three variants with the smallest having a gear ratio of 4.5:1 to 2.1:1, 4 bearings, max drag of 26, and weight of 38.5 oz. It can contain a monofilament line of between 1090 to 540 yards of between 15 to 30 lbs in weight. The largest weighs 55.6 oz., provides a max drag of 40, and has a gear ratio of 2.9:1 to 1.5:1. It can contain a monofilament of between 1550 yards to 565 yards of between 30 lbs and 80 lbs. 

All of the sizes and variants are braid-ready. 


  • A high-quality Dura-Drag system
  • Can be used for fishing all kinds of fish both freshwater and saltwater
  • Good for beginners and advanced anglers


  • Does not provide a lot of features for that price tag
  • Has a low drag for an offshore fishing reel compared to alternatives with the same sized model
Bestseller No. 1
PENN Fishing Squall Lever Drag Reel , 30
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Made using only the highest quality components
  • Tested for quality and durability

Alternative Comparison

I also like to compare reels to other options in my reviews. In this case I have picked the Penn Fathom. The Penn Fathom is another lever drag overhead reel manufactured by Penn. These comparisons below are based on a 40 sized reel model:

FeaturesPenn FathomPenn Squall
Gear Ratio 5.0:1/2.5:15.1:1
Max Drag40 lb20 lb
Braid Line Capacity 785 yards of 50 lb 750 yards of 50 lb

The Penn Fathom is a larger, more heavy duty version of the Squall. It comes with the 2 speed gearing system which is particularly useful against big gamefish. It also has double the max drag on the same sized reel. If you are targeting large gamefish then I would personally recommend the Fathom, otherwise the Squall could handle smaller varieties.

Penn Squall Video Review

Have a look at this Penn official product video for the Squall to see how it works and its functionality:


For the numbers inclined anglers, have a look at all of the models and their specifications below. The left hand series can be seen by scrolling to the right:

ANTI-REVERSE FEATUREMulti-StopMulti-StopMulti-StopMulti-StopMulti-StopMulti-Stop
BRAID CAPACITY YD/LB1025/20 775/30 550/501075/30 750/50 625/651050/50 875/65 750/801050/65 900/80 775/1001075/30 750/50 625/651050/65 900/80 775/100
BRAKING SYSTEMNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
COLORBlack GoldBlack GoldBlack GoldBlack GoldBlack GoldBlack Gold
DRAG MATERIALDura DragDura DragDura DragDura DragDura DragDura Drag
DRAG TYPELever DragLever DragLever DragLever DragLever DragLever Drag
GEAR RATIO6.1:15.1:14.3:14.3:15.1:14.3:1
MAX DRAG LB13lb | 5.8kg20lb | 9.0kg27lb | 12.2kg33lb | 14.9kg20lb | 9.0kg33lb | 14.9kg
MONO CAPACITY YD/LB390/20 350/25 260/30490/25 360/30 300/40500/30 420/40 310/50500/40 370/50 330/60490/25 360/30 300/40500/40 370/50 330/60
RECOVERY RATE37″ | 94cm37″ | 94cm35″ | 89cm35″ | 89cm37″ | 94cm35″ | 89cm
REEL HANDLE POSITIONRightRightRightRightLeftLeft
REEL SIZE304050604060
REEL SPOOL MATERIALAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum
WEIGHT18.2 oz20.9 oz27.4 oz28.1 oz20.9 oz28.1 oz


That brings me to the end of my review. The Penn Squall is certainly a great conventional reel that packs in a lot of performance for its price range. If you are not sold and want to have a look at some alternatives then please have a look at my article highlighting the best conventional reels available.

If you own a Penn Squall, then please leave a comment below with your experience so we can all learn from your wisdom.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.