Return of the classic ..PENN 706 Z

By now I am certain you have heard that PENN 706Z and 704Z are being made once again. Just like the original, the new version is made right here in USA ,Philadelphia if you want to be more specific.

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We have received a sample reel and were told that they expect the reels to be in the stores in September at cost around $200. First they want to test them to make sure all is well. We gave our sample to Lou Caruso, our Rod Guru for testing. I am sure that fishing with it will bring back a lot of memories for him.

The reel is the same reincarnation of the original as you can see in the video below. You can swap the parts from new version to old version. You should be able to get parts once again to fix your old Z reels. If it’s the same, then why would they need to test you ask? I asked the same question.

The reason for it is simple. The new reels will have parts made from some new suppliers and PENN wanted to make sure that everything is working as it should. Which makes sense.


The only difference in these reels that I could see is a Drag knob and lack of decal around the spool. Here is the video where you can see it for yourself including the inside of the reel


12 comments on “Return of the classic ..PENN 706 Z

  1. robertv

    From the E-mail I got from Penn, internally the new reels are identical to the original reels. I asked them if they were going to make part number 69-704, (manual bail kit for the 704) and was told that all parts were going to be made. We shall see. If Penn made a few changes to the reels like drilling the spool and rotor cup, change the anti reverse, put a gasket of some kind between the housing plate and the housing, beefed up the bail so it wouldn’t close during a cast and put a price tag around $300 on them, I think they would have a real winner.

  2. Brian K

    After fishing with these reels over the last 30+ years and catching many, many fish with them, I am glad we are once again going to be able to buy a fishing product made in the US. I hope they hold up as well as the older models. They were the workhorse for surf reels (and some boats) for many guys during the late 60’s through the early 80’s. If they do cost around $200.00 and hold up for 20 years of use that equates to only about $20.00 per year of use. Not bad! I doubt that any of the offshore produced spinning reel models sold now will hold up for 20 years.
    One thing I think should be noted is that anglers purchasing these reels should do regular maintenance on them to make them last (good rinses after EVERY use and drag cleaning every once in a while) AND what I feel is the MOST important thing is DO NOT OVERLOAD the reel. So many guys are OVERLOADING their equipment and wondering why they are not lasting. Penn reels have always listed breaking line strength on the reels and THAT is what should be placed on the reel for use. To many anglers are loading up their reels with braid or other lines that are NOT the recommended line breaking strength and then wondering why they are blowing apart when on a big fish or using to catch fish that are much more than the reel was designed for. Regardless of what pound line you put on SET your drag to the PROPER breaking strength and the reels will last a LOT longer.
    I am also glad to be able to get parts for the new reels that are going to be made and that they are interchangeable with the older models. Who knows if we support this effort from Penn Reels maybe some more fishing tackle Mfgs will see that people will buy them if they are made here and hold up. Would be good to know that our money spent on products made here will stay here in the US.
    Z, we all will be waiting for the reports on the reels with open ears and $$ in our wallets. I know you guys will pull no punches with your test report.
    Brian K

  3. BOB


  4. Tom W

    I still use a couple 706Z reels and they are super. For those who want holes/seals etc. buy a Torque, VS or ZB. $200 for a US made 706 Penn reel, it’s a winner!

  5. Barry

    I have never stopped using this great reel. I can’t wait to be able a new one to the rotation. The last one I bought was in 1985 for $69.99 Compared to the cost of other consumer product cost increases for a quality product made in the USA- $200. does not seem unreasonable today.

  6. Irish

    Im glad they’re back and love the plain look without the sticker. But why no metal sideplate? Im excited to get a few for my sons

  7. roy whittle

    i own four of these reels for 20 years, love them, finally blew out a bearing(man. pickup) on one this week king mack fishing, glad they coming back, can’t wait for reels and parts to come out, thanks Penn for bringing back a great reel. also own 4 850’s and 1 750, but 706z is really my favorite.

  8. Bill Vaudrain

    The Zs were designed pre-braid, so mono was the way to go. Braids tend to be a little limp and knots and such are the result. The answer to the problem is Fireline original fused line. I have used it on my 704 mint greenie and on the new 704Z that I was proud to field test for Penn and have never had a tangle, wind knot or any other problem.
    As to the $200 price tag: seeing as it’s a reel that will potentially give you DECADES of reliable service, you’ll probably never need to buy another one. PENN is in business to make money so I don’t begrudge them one bit on what they’ll make off of this re-released Made in America classic.


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