Penn Squall Vs Fathom

Penn Squall Vs Fathom: Which One Is Better?

Penn Fathom and Penn Squall are two popular models for anglers offshore, near shore, or land-based. Both of these reels are considered beasts as they can fight almost any fish that can be caught. They can work well with many different types of fishing: Cast, jig, troll, set live baits, or bounce the bottom. They have much in common.

But depending on the price and preferences of each person and how they work, these two types of reels have certain differences. In the article “Penn Squall vs Fathom”, we will help you get an overview of these 2 reels. That way you can decide whether or not to add them to your collection.

If you are looking for a Baitcaster for saltwater, you can refer to the following article: Top 7 Best Baitcasting Reel For Saltwater 2022

The common points between Penn Squall vs Fathom

I am excited to introduce the new low-profile casting reels, a beautiful piece of equipment that performs flawlessly has a butter-smooth drag, excellent free spool, and castability. Penn has come through with two platforms for this reel. First, there’s the low Squall profile and the Fathom low profile casting reel. These reels perform perfectly for your beginner angler, up to the experienced pros that designed and field-tested these reels.

HT 100 drag system throughout both platforms. The gold standard ten drag is very smooth, extremely strong, and not sticky. One of the things that I love about this set of reels and their sizes is that they match just about anything that I’m going to come across, guiding locally and in short.

You can be fishing 10 feet of water for calico bass on a rip bait, and suddenly, “boom” then comes a 50-pound sea bass it eats the same bait. So with these reels, you have the pulling power, the line capacity, and the drag to go ahead and land any of those big fish that happen to be what we call incidental catch. The spool of this reel is full of 65-pound spider wire.

There are three different sizes from the 200, 300, and 400 size reel. All these reels are filled with braided lines. These reels perform flawlessly with monofilament but fishing the braided line. The line capacity is the amount of drag these reels get. You put the braided line on here, and you’re good to go for just about anything.

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The difference between Penn Squall vs Fathom

So the main differences between the Squall and the Fathom. It’s a higher price point. Mainly it’s around handle knob upgrades, it’s also in the construction of the body where the cranking side plate on the Fathom is aluminum vs graphite on the Squall. But you can tell the reels are extremely smooth but most importantly they’re very durable, they are meant for salt water.

And one quick thing on the reels that you can see the difference: the magnetic brake system, so you have dual braking options on Fathom. In Squall, you got a single braking option which is no centrifugal brake, just the magnetic brake.

Build material

When it comes to building materials, the Squall and Fathom series differ drastically. The former features a graphite frame and side plates while the latter is constructed entirely of metal – an ideal choice for targeting bigger fish that can put up quite a fight! 

While graphite may be sufficient when dealing with smaller catches, those looking to go after larger species such as big tuna, sailfish, or marlin should opt for the superior strength offered by metals to ensure success on their next fishing adventure.

The problem with graphite is that with higher pressure comes the risk of warping graphite components, resulting in impaired performance. 

The Fathom series is designed with heavyweight fighters in mind, employing only metal parts that won’t warp under extreme pressure. To ensure a reel can combat heavyweights like saltwater fish, metal is your best choice – and that’s what makes Fathom special! 

However, if you’re fishing with lighter species such as wahoo or dolphin then graphite reels from Squall are just right for delivering smooth operation every time.


When it comes to the Penn Fathom vs Squall, each one offers a variety of sub-models with slight differences. Even though the Fathom is slightly heavier due to its metal construction, this difference in weight won’t affect your angling performance if you are using a heavier rod for larger species.

Ultimately, both reels provide excellent options so it just depends on which features best meet your needs as an avid fisherman!

Ball Bearings

The Fathom Level Wind and the Squall share many similarities when it comes to their ball-bearing components. Both reels include a similar quantity of bearings, providing excellent smoothness in operation. However, each reel varies slightly, such as the Fathom Level Wind has a few extra bearings to enhance its already exceptional performance.

Both models come stocked with stainless steel ball bearings to withstand corrosion in saltwater areas. In conclusion – every model offers superior quality craftsmanship without compromising on performance!

Max Drag

The Fathom series reels provide greater drag pressure than the Squall series, allowing anglers to confidently pursue larger fish. The Fathom series has been designed with bigger fish trophy hunters in mind, offering greater drag pressure to meet the challenge of higher resistance and tougher fights. 

Gear ratios

Penn Squall and Fathom reels share many similarities, however, the Fathom tends to excel when it comes to gear ratios. This is especially prominent in its lever series models providing anglers with a more efficient line retrieve so they don’t have to do as much manual reeling. 

This factor is important for professionals as anglers because a high ratio means less reeling time – allowing for more line retrieve so that you can take on bigger catches! For those who prioritize higher gear ratio’s over other aspects of their reel makeup, then the fathoms are worth considering!

Key features of Penn Squall and Penn Fathom

Penn Squall:

Penn Squall Vs Fathom: Which One Is Better?

The PENN Squall is the perfect solution for avid fishermen and women who seek lightweight performance. Combining the innovative qualities of strength, dependability, and agility with best-in-class features, this spinning reel is designed with anglers in mind.

Whether you’re a recreational fisherman or heavily invested in the sport, the Squall provides you with the ideal performance and features to give you an edge on the water. This ambidextrous reel is made from sturdy aluminum that guarantees long-lasting durability and improved material strength. Its ergonomic stainless steel handle brings comfort when in use while its lightweight graphite frame and side plates make it easy to carry and store.

Enjoy greater convenience with fast gear access side plates and three plus one shielded stainless steel ball bearings that allow for improved retrieval of the line while maintaining ultimate performance over time. You can also expect unrivaled power via its HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers technology, which makes it easier to move heavier loads without full manual intervention on your part. These powerful components promise smooth casts and effortless retrieves from any distance, making it an ideal choice for any experience-level enthusiast who demands more out of their equipment during use.

When quality matters most, rest assured that choosing the PENN Squall will provide you with every advantage necessary to succeed as a fisherman: strength, dependability, reliability …everything necessary for your next fishing endeavor.

Key Features:

  • The frame and side panels are constructed of graphite 
  • The main gear is a high-strength copper alloy
  • Live Spindle with free-floating spool
  • Versa-Drag system with HT-100 washers
  • Ball bearing system in
  • Stainless steel 6+1
  • Stainless steel gears


  • This is a perfect fishing reel for catching big fish, surf fishing, and trolling in brackish water.
  • This reel has a great drag system and retrieves ratio.
  • The reel is durable.
  • The level wind worked perfectly on the reel.
  • These are the best reels for budget-minded anglers looking to reel in a big fish.
  • The reel feels smooth, solid, and very good-looking.


  • There is some wiggle in the crankshaft, and the rod clamp does not fit.
  • The pinion bearing is permanently attached to the side plate so you can not replace the bearing when it goes out – you have to buy a whole new side plate.
  • Pinion gears tend to strip out, leaving level wind dead in the water.

Penn Fathom:

Penn Fathom:

The Penn Fathom is the perfect addition to any angler’s arsenal. This heavy-duty lever drag fishing reel offers unparalleled durability and robust cranking power for tackling tough catches. Constructed from die-cast aluminum for unbeatable rigidity, its full metal body and side plates are the elevated standard in strength.

For convenience, the Quick Shift 2-speed system allows you to easily shift into either high or low gear with a fast flick of your thumb. With the Dura-Drag system, snags and hesitation are a thing of the past – even under extreme drag settings! A smooth cranking experience awaits thanks to five shielded stainless steel ball bearings, switchblade harness lugs, and double dog ratchet anti-reverse. To top it all off, this impressive rig allows for up to 300 yards of line capacity for your next big fishing day.

Key Features

  • All metal frame and parts (aluminum alloy) very stiff and strong
  • All stainless steel gears
  • Dura-Drag washers and HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Protective coated stainless steel ball bearings
  • Double-dog ratchet anti-reverse
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • Good level wind system


  • This reel is very smooth reeling.
  • This reel has a two-speed feature that makes it easier to fight a big fish.
  • The reel has a lever drag that makes it easy to adjust the drag on the fly.
  • The reel is also extremely lightweight, and compact, but extremely durable.
  • Lots of room for plenty of lines.
  • This reel is easy to cast.
  • This is a great reel for the money and should handle pretty much anything from striped bass to small tuna. 


  • This reel has a bit of play in the handle and the button used to switch the cranking power isn’t as nice as some higher-priced reels, but it works well.
  • The harness lugs are a little narrow
  • It’s extremely hard to cast but it’s not made for casting so that’s not a con.

PENN® Fathom® Lever Drag 2 Speed
119 Reviews
PENN® Fathom® Lever Drag 2 Speed
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PENN Squall II Level Wind Conventional Fishing Reel, Black Gold, 15
1,800 Reviews
PENN Squall II Level Wind Conventional Fishing Reel, Black Gold, 15
  • Fast Gear Access Side Plate
  • 3+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Lightweight graphite frame and sideplates
  • Forged and machined aluminum spool

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Both types of reels above are Penn divided into Lever drag, Level wind, Star drag, and Low profile types for anglers to choose from depending on personal preferences.

penn squall vs penn fathom
PENN® Fathom® Lever Drag 2 Speed
119 Reviews
PENN® Fathom® Lever Drag 2 Speed
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1
  • Box Black Gold 5 6.1:1 / 2.8:1

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why you should choose Penn Fathom?

With the Penn Fathom and Squall, it’s a competition of size! The answer lies in understanding that while they both offer formidable technology when it comes to catching fish, the difference between them lies within fish’s size capabilities and level of aggressiveness – making one more suitable than another based on preference or location.

The Penn Fathom offers more durability and strength than most fishing reels, making it a great choice for anglers who need to tackle big catches. Its durable construction will stand up to the rigors of daily use, and its two-speed feature makes it easy to adjust on the fly.

It also has plenty of room for lines and is highly adjustable. The Penn Fathom is an excellent choice for any fisherman looking for a dependable and powerful reel that won’t break the bank. Its strong performance will help you bring home some serious catches!

The Penn Fathom offers anglers the ultimate in performance and strength with its solid metal construction and boasting end plates made for optimal performance. Ideal for harvesting big, aggressive fish that require extra muscle to reel them in, the Fathom is designed to handle the toughest challenges without warping or bending – even after years of wear and tear!

If you’re an avid angler, it’s essential to ask yourself how often deep-sea fishing makes its way onto your agenda. Is this a once in awhile excursion or something that happens regularly? The decision for the type of reel is just as critical – if guided trips are occasional events then Squall could suffice but captains who offer reels from their charters should invest in more dependable gear such as Penn Fathom because metal frames ensure maximum longevity and performance!

Why you should choose the Penn Squall?

The Penn Squall is a great choice for anglers who don’t fish in deep seas very often. Its lightweight and compact design makes it easy to carry with you and its five ball bearings will provide smooth cranking action. The Squall also has a lever drag that makes it easy to adjust the drag on the fly, switchblade harness lugs, and double-dog ratchet anti-reverse technology.

It’s also much more affordable than other reels in the same size range like the Fathom. And while it may not have as many features as some of the higher-end models, it should be able to handle most saltwater fish just fine.

So if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable reel with plenty of features and a lightweight design, the Penn Squall is a great option. It’s perfect for anglers who don’t need the added power and strength that comes with something like the Fathom – but still want a dependable reel capable of bringing in some big catches! With its easy-to-use design and powerful performance, it’s sure to become an essential part of your fishing gear.

Questions & Answers

Can a single-style power handle be added?

Yes, there are a number of aftermarket handles that will fit.

How is the casting on the Squall? I’m thinking about getting a 400 size for musky fishing in and I’ll be mainly casting.

I can’t say it is the best casting low-profile reel on the market but it is very good for its comparable price range. I have no experience with musky fishing; however, I’m very happy with my 400 casting large lures (swim baits, bucktail jigs, flutter spoons) to striped bass. Hope that helps.
Is the squall sealed? If not how does it hold up frequently dunked in saltwater?

Neither the Squall/Fathom low-profile reels are sealed. They do have stainless bearings but like all stainless bearings, they are “stainless” and will still rust. The reels are too new to tell how they will hold up to 1-2-3 years of saltwater abuse. 
IMO the new Penn low-profile series of reels was born from the Abu Revo Inshore (and possibly another model or two). These reels/designs have a legit track record in the marketplace. However, as with any reel that isn’t sealed, a reel needs frequent maintenance when frequently dunked in saltwater.
How much 30 lb braid does the 300 hold?

The 300 holds roughly 235 yards of 30lbs braid. That number might slightly differ depending on what brand braid you use. 

Penn Squall vs Warfare: Which Is Better?

Fishing enthusiasts have been debating the merits of Penn Squall vs Warfare reels for years. While both offer high-quality features, it’s worth noting that the Squall is equipped with more advanced mechanisms and thus may be a better investment overall – particularly if you want to target larger species in saltwater. 

With the Warfare, novices and budget-savvy anglers alike can experience outstanding performance with a sophisticated design. It utilizes a star drag, level wind, and lever drag system to provide smooth yet powerful action – perfect for targeting smaller tuned as well as other mid-sized saltwater species. Its HT100 drags are incredibly reliable while its spool capacities are remarkable in size, allowing you to confidently bring in moderate-sized tuna despite an impressive spool capacity.

The Warfare only offers two bearings compared to other models, such as Fathom which boast superior durability and resilience over time. Ultimately there are pros and cons to each reel depending on your preferences; however, when selecting between these two options from Penn Fishers must keep your performance level in mind first.

Penn Squall vs Shimano TLD: Which is Better?

When it comes to reels for serious anglers, the Penn Squall offers many advantages over Shimano’s well-loved TLD model. For those who demand versatility and value from their investments, as well as superior performance in different fishing scenarios – such as nearshore heavy tackle work -the Squall is a clear winner thanks to its four additional bearings and updated design features compared with the classic TLD.

For years, the Shimano TLD held a special place in anglers’ hearts—with its reliable cranking and stellar durability. But now there’s a new challenger on the scene: Penn Squall. The smooth crank and durable internals set this reel apart from its predecessor, while state-of-the-art Dura-Drag washers ensure maximum performance over extended use without needing maintenance or part replacements as often. It seems like only time will tell who takes their seat at the top!

What is the Level Wind best used for?

The level wind feature found on many reels, including the Penn Squall, is designed to help guide your line back and forth across the spool evenly as you retrieve it. This makes sure that you don’t get any line tangles or snags along the way. The level wind feature also helps with casting, so that your bait or lure lands in exactly the spot where you want it to go. 

With the Level Wind, jigging and bottom fishing become effortless experiences. This is mainly due to its ability to keep line laying nicely across your spool even when battling hard-fighting fish species that can cause difficulty in other reels. For anglers looking for a smoother experience with fewer line issues, this reel could be exactly what you need!

Overall, this feature adds an extra layer of control and precision to your fishing experience – helping make casting and retrieving easier than ever before!


Above is our article “Penn Squall vs Fathom”. Overall these are 2 types of reels worth the money for their quality. Depending on your needs and economy make your own decision. See you in the next posts, good luck!

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