Penn Pursuit II 5000 Review: How Good Is It Really?

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We are back with another Penn review, today we are taking an in-depth look at the Pursuit II 5000 model to see how good it really is. We will be looking at the main features of the reel and giving our honest opinion of what is good and bad (you can check the current price and more info on Amazon here).

If you are on the fence about this reel then our Penn Pursuit II 5000 review should help you out.



Let’s take a look at the main features of the Pursuit II 5000;

Gear Ratio & Retrieval

So, first off, the Pursuit II 5000 is a decently fast spinning reel in terms of line retrieval. It features a gear ratio of 4.6:1, which is not bad at all. Yes, there are higher gear ratios out there, but also much lower. Therefore, with this spinning reel, you can haul in roughly 27 inches of line with every revolution of the handle.

We would call this a medium or medium fast retrieval rate. This makes this particular spinning reel fairly well balanced in terms of retrieval speed. It is good for smaller fishing applications, and for medium fish too, but probably not the largest ones.

It moves more than fast enough for finesse fishing techniques and for those times where you need to reel fish in fairly quickly. However, it is probably not the best for the largest of fish out there, ones that require a bit of muscling and a slow retrieval rate.

Ball Bearings & Smoothness

In terms of the ball bearings, the Pursuit II 5000 comes with 4 shielded ball bearings and 1 shielded roller bearing. For one, the ball bearings are made out of stainless steel and are of a high quality.

They are definitely quite smooth and allow for really fluid casting, retrieval, and overall spool motion. We would like to see a couple of extra ball bearings here to make things even smoother, but for a beginner spinning reel, it is not bad at all.

On a big side note, the bearings are indeed shielded. This means that they are sealed off so no water can get in. In other words, the bearing system here is designed to keep out saltwater, making this reel ideal corrosion resistant and ideal for saltwater fishing.


Now, the Pursuit II 5000 is quite durable. It’s not the most durable out of all reels out there, but more than durable enough for beginners and occasional use. The body here is made out of corrosion resistant graphite. Yes, there are stronger materials than graphite, but all in all, it’s more than durable enough for most purposes.

The important part here is that it is corrosion resistant, which once again makes this thing ideal for saltwater fishing, and of course for freshwater fishing applications too. The spool on this thing is made out of lightweight aluminum, which is not bad at all, not awesome, but does the job.

It works well enough and should be able to handle a fair amount of stress. The spool is anodized aluminum, so once again, saltwater won’t break it.
However, on a side note, one thing that could use some improvement here is the handle. The handle is totally made out of plastic, which is not that durable, which could end up being a problem if you are cranking in heavy loads.

The handle is nice and smooth to use thanks to the roller bearing, plus it is fairly comfortable to hold as well, just not all that durable.

Drag & Anti-Reverse

Another aspect of the Pursuit II 5000 that is worth noting, is that it has a pretty good drag system. It uses a front oil felt drag system. We do like this quite a bit, although a multi-disc drag system might be just a bit better. The drag system here, while it does work well, is not the most durable in the world. Keep in mind that the maximum drag here is 20 pounds.

20 pounds is a decent amount of drag and should let you snag some pretty nice sized fish. If a fish applies some force to the lure, the line won’t shoot out in the opposite direction. If it applies more than 20 pounds of force in the opposite direction, the drag system will let go and stop the line from snapping. It works well for most basic fishing needs no doubt.

Also, it is worth noting that this reel comes with an infinite anti-reverse system. This means that when you cast the lure or when you let line out, the handle won’t spin in the wrong direction at top speeds. It won’t spin at all, thus keeping your fingers safe from harm, plus it helps preserve the integrity of the handle and handle gear too.

Line Capacity

In terms of line capacity, the Pursuit II 5000 is fairly decent, especially when it comes to braided line. Now, it cannot handle all that much monofilament fishing line, but we would recommend using braided line with this thing anyway. It can hold up to 420 yards of 20 pound braided line, 295 yards of 30 pound braided line, or 325 yards of 40 pound braid.

This is actually quite good, both in terms of line test weight and length. If you use this spinning reel with braided line, you can definitely do some long distance fishing and get some pretty heavy fish too.

The anodized aluminum spool also comes with line capacity rings, so you know exactly how much capacity it has and how much line you have let out.

Weight & Balance

This reel comes in at roughly 1.5 pounds. Now, this is somewhat on the heavy side as reel’s go, definitely not what we would call lightweight. On one hand, this means that it will affect balance a bit, and it might cause you to fatigue fairly fast.

Do keep in mind that there are also heavier reels out there, but also many more lighter ones. Though being a bit heavy does inspire confidence in terms of its ability to handle some weight and pressure.


  • Good retrieval rate for fast and medium speed fishing applications.
  • Great for saltwater fishing.
  • Decent level of durability overall.
  • High maximum drag capacity.
  • Good anti-reverse system.
  • Works well for beginners.
  • Great line capacity (braided line).


  • Not the best option for very large fish.
  • Not the best for mono line.
  • The handle seems to be a bit weak.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

An Alternative

Let’s take a a quick look at a good alternative to the Pursuit II 5000, If you are looking for some other options then we would say the Slammer III 9500 is worth checking out.

The Slammer has a full metal body, not graphite. This does make it quite a bit more durable than the Pursuit. However, it is also much heavier. The Slammer III comes in at a whopping 2.5 pounds, or about a full pound heavier than the Pursuit.

Yes, this can make it a bit hard to handle and balance, especially for a long duration, but it does also mean that it is durable and has enough weight to it to be able to handle big fish.

The Slammer does actually have a slightly lower gear ratio and retrieval rate than the pursuit, which makes it ideal for large fish. However, you can get high speed retrieval models of the Slammer III, if that is what you need.

What is really impressive about the Penn Slammer 9500 is the awesome 60 pound maximum drag. The high max drag, combined with a high line capacity, and a whole lot of durability, makes it ideal for large fishing applications.

You can check the current price of the Slammer III on Amazon here


All in all, we think that the Penn Pursuit II 5000 is a good spinning reel to go with. No, it is not the absolute best one out there, but it’s certainly fine for beginners, intermediate anglers, and for occasional fishing.

It has a good level of durability, a medium-fast retrieval rate, a fairly high caliber drag system, high line capacity, and has a good anti-reverse system too. No, it does not particularly excel in any single division, but it is comes with a good balance of all of the most important features.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.