There's no question kayak fishing is very tough on reels. With the kayak low in the water and the angler fishing down at water level reels take a lot more abuse than they do in boats. Add in the occasional oops when a reel gets dunked in the water and you have the perfect storm for "reel" problems.
For fall 2009 Penn Reels has introduced the Conquer, a new line of reels that are ideal for kayak anglers. Like the Slammer series the Conquer reels have sealed drags and the tough Penn quality and reliability we have come to expect from Penn reels, but the Conquer brings much more to the table.
To start with it's a 10+1 shielded stainless steel bearing super smooth reel with a one piece machined aluminum gear box. It has a Superline Spool designed to accommodate braid with no backing and a friction trip ramp that prevents premature bail trip when casting. The spool design resists wind knots has a lip made of a proprietary metal called Eternal Alloy that resists scratches and dents. But the coup de gras is the Easy Access System which enables the entire rear of the reel to be opened for easy maintenance, cleaning, and lubrication.
Talk about perfect for kayak anglers! By simply backing out a single screw on the stem of the reel the rear hatch opens and gives full access to the gearbox. No more reel disassembly to reach all the internal gears and bearings and everything is inside the gearbox so nothing will fall out. For on the spot maintenance or regular maintenance it just doesn't get any easier or convenient.
I had the opportunity to fish the 4000 both with top water lures and live bait, and it performed fabulously. Very smooth, lighter than my Slammer 260, great drag, and everything I wanted in a reel. The only bummer is that it was a sample and I couldn't keep it!
The Conquer is available in four models , the 2000, 4000, 5000, and 7000. Most inshore saltwater kayak anglers will choose the 4000 which weighs in at 11.1oz and has a 5.8:1 gear ratio. Offshore anglers will opt for the larger and 5000 or 7000 models. Penn Conquer MSRP is from $199.99 to $219.99. This is definitely a must have reel for kayak anglers.