Penn fishing reels began with tackle inventor Otto Henze. He was just 25 years-old when he left his homeland of Germany and immigrated to the United States. Henze found employment at the Ocean City Reels Company, which was located in Philadelphia.
Otto was a visionary with the great ambition of owning his own tackle company where he could make reels with the ability to set world records.
In 1932, Henze left his job and began his fishing equipment business. He called it the Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company. The factory was small as it was located in a third floor loft in Philadelphia. However, Otto introduced two reels that year.
The first reel was the Mod F, which was constructed as a surf casting reel that weighed 12-ounces and included bakelite side plates. That same year, Henze issued the Mod K reel with similar styling and equipment as the Mod F, but was designed with a spool that was lever free with metal armored side plates. The reel inventor produced two types of Mod K reels. One was designed with a star drag while the other reel did not include one.
Otto Henze waited until 1933 to sell his reels to the general fishing public and gave his first two reels new names. The Mod F is now known as the Sea Hawk and the regular Mod K is called the Bayside while Henze gave the Mod K reel that included the star drag device the name Long Beach.
Vintage reel collectors will know that they have found a Sea Hawk reel by the mechanism's dark brown finish along with the bright turquoise handles and nickel plated enhancements. The reel features non-stripping gears and the spool is a lightweight edition. Moreover, collectors can recognize the vintage Long Beach reel by the yellow or turquoise crank handle.
In 1936, the Penn Company released the Senator reel, which would become the company's most popular reel. In fact, the reel soon turned into the device most often used when winding in world record breaking catches.
Collectors interested in adding a Senator reel to their tackle boxes should look for an aluminum spool with a graphite rod clamp. The reel is painted scarlet red and features nickel plated enhancements.
The vintage Jigmaster 500 reel manufactured by Penn is a classic reel that collectors will find in bright red. The reel has a chrome crank with a black handle. Also, the fishing appliance is subtly labeled with the Penn brand while chrome enhancements around the spinner give the reel a traditional appearance.
In 1938, Otto Henze began selling the Penn Squidder reel. The device was built as a surf reel, which gave anglers the opportunity to expertly cast their lines. Additionally, the reel was produced in classic chrome with a green bakelite handle.
The Penn Company introduced two new reels in 1953. The Peerless number 9 was the first reel released. It was built as a light-tackle reel and is perfect for all levels of freshwater fishing while the Sailfisher number 130 was the second reel issued that year.
Collectors who add the Peerless reel to their display of vintage tackle will have a striking reel in their collection. This piece of fishing equipment was produced in a deep red and includes the company's trademark turquoise handle. The reel also features nickel plating, and anglers who prefer classic tackle will be pleased with this reel's performance.
The Sailfisher was designed as a free spool reel. Furthermore, the fishing device was constructed with added support along with star-drag and is preferred by anglers with an interest in light-tackle.
Penn reels belong in a collection of vintage fishing equipment. Moreover, the lasting quality of classic Penn reels will ensure that anglers experience a lifetime of catching fish.