New Penn Torque gets a SJ Sand Test

There are some things that go together like hand and a glove. Peanut butter and jelly, bucktails and a pork rinds, Charlie Sheen and liquor, Penn reels and surf fishing. Yes, since Penn Reels discontinued beloved 706 series spinning reels there has been a void in their lineup when it comes to battle tested surf spinning reels surfcasters have came to expect from this venerable manufacturer. There are very few seasoned anglers who did not own a Penn 704 or Penn 706 reel and loved it.  And most of these fellows, including many on Surfcaster’s Journal staff still to this day continue to scrounge the tackle shop for parts for these workhorses of the surf. We all have heard the rumors that Penn Reels was in the process of designing a USA made high end spinning reel but to be honest, there were so many delays in making these reels available to the public that many in the surfcasting community assumed that there must be something wrong with a design.

Oh, how wrong they were! Instead of rushing with a halfassed product into the market,  Penn took the time to test and tweak the reel until they were satisfied with it. They had hardnosed surfcasters on their staff testing the reels and providing feedback and it shows in the final product. We got our hands on a reel in late summer and immediately spooled it with some Western Filament Tuff Line XP braid and loved the way the line was spooled onto the reel. We  took it down to the beach and made few casts.  We were offered the bailed version last year when it came out but we decided to wait for the bail less version, reasoning that most of our readers would prefer that version. The Torque 5 is slightly smaller than some of the most popular reels used in surf today like Van Staal 250 or ZeeBaaS 25 but we felt that line shot off the spool just as well. The drag was incredibly smooth and we loved that we can increase or decrees the drag gradually .

 The real test would come in few weeks when fall run kicks into a full gear but first we had to do a patented Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine sand test. Ok, it’s not patented and we have been called idiots for doing it but we feel that this type of testing is needed on a reel that is supposed to be not only marketed to the surf fishing crowd but cost a pretty penny too. So we went to the beach with our video camera, got the reel wet so the sand adheres to is better. We dug a hole in the sand and buried the reel completely. For good measure we stepped on the sand few times. When we took the reel out ,it was caked in the sand which got into every nook and cranny of the reel. We walked to the water, rinsed the reel few times and made a cast. You know that grinding sound your old 706 used to make when you would get hit by a wave? It’s not happening with a Torque. We were stunned that all, and we mean all the sand had flushed out. On the first cast, we expected some resistance, some grinding as the sand flushed out but we got none. The reel was clean as a  whistle and smooth as butter. We are looking forward to some more testing


11 comments on “New Penn Torque gets a SJ Sand Test

  1. cory nguyen

    awesome not like i will probably be able to get one for awhile. would’ve been funny and cool if you hooked up on a fish.

  2. woodwker99

    I’m thinking that THIS reel IS the one I will get long before I get a z or vs. they are after all Penn reels. (my Pen/stalled 704 would be never forgive me if I went any other way).

  3. Greg Tucceri

    The reel is fantastic I’m glad I waited for the bailless model after months of waiting. I’ve been fishing the reel hard for the last month since Zeno sent it to me and have nothing but positive things to say. Line lay,casting distance,and just over all smoothness of the reel are just a few,big plus for me being a lefty.Spooled with 30 lb sufix 832 plugs fly and paired with the torque rod makes a nice balance. Much lighter than a VS 250 and in my opinion so far casts further. Caught another 20 lb fish with it sat nite in the heavy surf and performed flawlessly. Don’t be afraid this reel is the real deal and for much less than a VS or ZB. Thank you once again SFC and all who voted for me in last years contest and especially Steve K for taking that picture.

  4. Greg

    nycsteve, the maintenance is just like any other penn reel. do it when you think it needs it, as often or as spaced out as you feel need be. they are just as simple as an old z or an ss series from penn.

    I have a trq7 and have put it though some serious work since last fall and it’s going strong. fishing it in the boat, in the sand, jetty and swimming some bars and rocks. it’s the real deal. one feature that I feel stands above all other reels is the trq’s drag and it’s drag range from light to tightened down it, it is smooth and consistent all the way. The reel also has incredible line lay which aids in getting alittle extra distance. take my opinion for what it’s worth to you, i also own acouple vs and a zb.

  5. Doug Yankauer

    Having owned and sold VS 150 thru VS300 I was looking for a quality replacement reel to fish Cape Cod Canal. I chose the Penn Torque TRQ7 and couldn’t be happier. I had also gone the Daiwa Emblem way for “long distance” casting. While the Daiwa Emblem will give me a bit more distance than the TRQ7 the Daiwa reels feel like they are bending under the pressure of the strong Canal currents. That and the constant bail snapping shut in the middle of my casts.
    The TRQ7 is like a smooth, powerful whinch. Built like a tank with an incredibly smooth drag and the option to manually close the bail Penn has really outdone themselves this time. The TRQ7 will become a reel for the ages. Well worth the money. Nice going Penn.


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