Penn Fierce vs Battle: Spinning Reel Face-off

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Penn Fierce vs Battle Feature Image

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Penn Spinning Reel Range

When it comes to spinning reels, you have probably heard the name Penn more than a few times. You can be completely brand new to fishing, but if you spent any time at all looking to purchase a spinning reel to get started with, Penn is a name that has surely popped up.

Penn is one of the top choices for spinning reel selection available today. In fact, they offer more than 16 different high-quality reels that can work for complete beginners all the way up to commercial anglers and charter captains. Selecting the right Penn spinning reel that will work for you can take a bit of research, however.

The first thing you will notice is Penn puts an emphasis on providing a wide range of sizes for all of their reel models. In fact, most will go from 1,000 to 10,000 or more. The lower range is great for fishing in rivers when using light spinners, while the 10k or higher reels can help you successfully land the largest deepwater ocean fish possible!

Penn Fierce III vs Battle II – What Are the Most Important Differences?

Penn has put a lot of effort into the construction of both the exterior and interior workings of each reel they produce.

The Penn brand of spinning reels share many of the same qualities. Penn has put a lot of effort into the construction of both the exterior and interior workings of each reel they produce, and it shows. Other companies may boast about their machined components, but Penn stands behind theirs.

If you’re a true connoisseur of fine fishing equipment, you will notice both the Fierce and Battle line are made with the highest levels of waterproofing to keep the internal bearings and other moving parts dry. This also ensures you get a smooth and consistent cast, regardless of the conditions you may be fishing in.

Drag System

All Penn reels include the patented HT-100 drag system or the upgraded Dura-Drag system.

Both the Battle and the Fierce reels are made to put in a day of work, whether you are fishing for small baitfish or looking for that next saltwater trophy. All Penn reels include the patented HT-100 drag system or the upgraded Dura-Drag system, both of which stand apart from other drag systems because of the carbon fiber washers. You’ll notice a distinct feel when using the reel to haul in even the most aggressive and hard-fighting fish.

To go into more detail, the HT stands for High Tech, and the 100 designations were used to show the consumer what type of testing the drag system went through in its creation and initial manufacturing stage. In this case, Penn stands behind their drag system as it can easily handle 100 miles or more of the line moving through the system quickly before major wear starts to show on the internal components.

If the reel specifically mentions Dura-Drag instead of HT-100, you can rest assured knowing that the system went through more than one full day of continuous pressure on the drag components. In fact, Penn normally shoots for 36 hours before they release a statement on the durability of the drag system.

In the case of both the Fierce III and the Battle II, you will be getting a reel that uses the HT-100 carbon fiber system, giving you the highest quality of control when it comes to landing your next hard-fighting trophy.

Penn Fierce vs Battle Stats

Penn Fierce IIIPenn Battle II
Size range1000 to 80001000 to 8000
Number of ball bearings4 + 15 + 1
Material of rotorGraphiteMetal
Material of body and sideplateMetalMetal
Bail armAluminumHeavy-duty aluminum
Drag systemHT 100 carbon fiber dragHT 100 carbon fiber drag
Braid ready spoolYesYes
Maximum drag pressure9 to 30 lb9 to 30 lb
Gear ratio5.2:1 to 6.2:15.2:1 to 6.2:1
Anti reverse gearYesYes
Weight7.80 to 28.70 oz.8.10 to 30.20 oz.
Our Score

If you’re searching for a reel that can be your all-around go-to device for any kind of fishing you may want to do, the Fierce III is the powerhouse you need. It’s outstanding for beginning fishermen and fisherwomen but can also hold its own for experienced anglers as well.

When you pick up a Fierce III, the first thing you will feel is the weight of the reel. It’s not overly heavy, but definitely not a flimsy lightweight piece of plastic either. It’s made from a combination of metal, aluminum and graphite to ensure you get years of use out of it in both freshwater and saltwater fishing conditions.

While the biggest complaint with the Fierce III is that it uses a graphite rotor, the budget-friendly price point of less than $100 more than makes up for that fact. However, even though the graphite rotor may be undesirable to some anglers, it is definitely not a flimsy component. Penn has taken strides to ensure the durability of this fully machined part.

With both the Fierce III and the Battle II you will be getting a reel that uses the HT-100 drag system. This system is made with carbon fiber washers and has been heavily tested with more than 100 miles of line of various types to ensure it can last through countless fishing trips.

If you’re looking for not just reliable performance, but smooth performance as well, the inclusion of the HT-100 is a great move on the part of Penn themselves. You will be hard pressed to find another reel in the same price range that performs even half as well as the Fierce III when it comes to the smooth and accurate presentation you get from the drag system.

The 4+1 ball bearing system is made from stainless steel and aluminum components to give you a reliable and extremely durable line management system. If you do a good amount of fishing, you will be happy to know the Fierce III comes in a range of sizes to suit your needs. These can range from 1000 to 8000, with 2500 being the most popular size for beginning anglers.

Fierce III is an outstanding choice for beginners, weekend anglers, and those just wanting a well known name in the reel industry to add to their gear collection. The price is very affordable, and the performance the reel offers is well above the industry standard. 

  • Weighs roughly 8 to 30 ounces, depending on size
  • Made from aluminum, metal, and graphite
  • Excellent choice for entry-level fishermen
PENN Battle II Spinning Reel
PENN Battle II Spinning Reel
PENN Battle II Spinning Reel
Our Score

While the Fierce III is a great starter reel for beginners, the Battle II takes the cake for reliable strength and durability when it comes to fighting those massive trophy freshwater fish. This reel is a step up from the Fierce line to give you more bark and less bite. The full metal exterior construction is a sure sign that this reel is made to haul in the big fighters.

While it does share some similarities with a wide range of other Penn brand reels, such as the patented HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, it also has a few features that help it stand apart from the crowd. With the HT-100 drag system, however, you are getting some of the best heat dispersion and pressure sustaining power to tire out even the most aggressive and hard fighting fish. Say goodbye to the days of broken rotors and put your trust in the Battle II to haul in multiple powerful fish.

The Battle II is made from heavy duty aluminum, carbon fiber internal components, and solid metal exterior casing and plating. It’s a pretty big step up from the Fierce III when it comes to durability, so if you have had reels fail in the past with large trophy catches, the Battle II will hold its own with ease.

This is definitely the leading reel when it comes to freshwater fishing, however it does have a habit of rusting and seizing up pretty quickly with saltwater use. While you can use this reel perfectly fine in saltwater conditions as well, it is always a good choice to ensure you give it a good rinse after the expedition to remove any salt from the inner workings.

For average anglers or those just getting into the hobby, the addition of another ball bearing may go unnoticed. However, for anglers that spend more time with a rod in their hand than anything else, the difference is noticeable. While both the Fierce and Battle reels will give you a smooth and reliable lead and reel-in, the Battle scoots ahead by being able to offer this same smooth feel at a slightly higher speed. If you are wrestling with a high energy fish that likes taking your line, it will be both smooth and silent.

  • Heavy duty exterior construction gets you an extremely durable reel
  • Shines bright as the leading reel in quick and silent reeling-in
  • Offers a felted washer component on top of the HT-100 drag system


While both the Fierce III and Battle II are perfectly suitable choices for the average fisherman, the Battle II moves slightly ahead as the winner in this battle. Its heavier overall construction, better internal layout, and additional ball bearing helps to give it a bit of an edge. However, both reels are in a very similar price range and can definitely make your first experience of freshwater fishing an incredibly memorable one.

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Teresa Taylor is a keen kayak fisher and lover of all types of fishing. She writes about a range of fish species for Tackle Village and reviews lures and gear.
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