Inside The Penn Fishing Company: A Legacy of Quality

Oct 03, 2023
Joshua Fuld

CEO and Founder

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction: A Legacy Like No Other

Hey there, fishing enthusiasts! Today, we’ve got something super special for you—an exclusive history with the brilliant minds behind the Penn Fishing Company. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making some of the best fishing gear in the world, then you’re in the right place.

Quick Fact: Did you know that the Penn Fishing Company has been around since 1932? That’s almost 100 years of fishing awesomeness!

Penn’s Humble Beginnings (1920s-1930s)

Otto Henze’s American Dream

Let’s rewind the clock to the roaring ’20s. Otto Henze, a young machinist from Germany, landed on American soil with a dream. He got his start working at the Ocean City Reels Company in Philadelphia. But Otto was a man with bigger plans—he dreamt of owning his own company and making record-breaking fishing reels.

In 1932, Otto made the leap and started his own company, PENN Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company. With just a small rented space in Philadelphia, he began selling his innovative reels. His first sale? A set of reels to the Miller Auto Supply Company for just a few bucks. Just like that, PENN was in business!

The Game-Changing ‘Senator’ Reel

In 1936, Otto changed the fishing game forever with the “Senator” reel. This bad boy was capable of landing the biggest, most powerful fish in the ocean. It was like the Michael Jordan of fishing reels!

The Martha Henze Era (1940s)

Breaking Barriers

After Otto’s sudden death in 1948, his wife Martha took over the reins. Martha was a trailblazer, one of the few women running a company in those days. Under her guidance, PENN continued to thrive.

Records and Innovations (1950s-1970s)

Setting the Pace

The ’50s and ’60s were exciting times for Penn. They were setting records and launching new products like it was nobody’s business. In 1955, all five new IGFA records were set using PENN reels. Can you believe that?

Penn 704z Spinning Reel

Spinning into the Future

In 1961, the Penn Fishing Company made a splash with their first spinning reel—the Spinfisher 700. Fast forward to 1966, and the International series was born, making waves in the big-game tournament scene.

Jaws and the Biggest Catch

In 1979, Frank Mundus caught a Mako shark weighing a whopping 1,080 lbs! He was the inspiration for a character in the movie Jaws, and guess what? He used a PENN reel for that record catch!

Modern Milestones (1980s-Present)

Celebrating 50 Years and Beyond

In the ’80s and ’90s, PENN reels set hundreds of IGFA world records. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in style, with even more groundbreaking products.

Innovations in the New Millennium

In the 2000s, the Penn Fishing Company continued to innovate, launching the International V and the International Torque, which was named the America Sportfishing Association’s Saltwater Reel of the Year in 2006.

Why Penn Stands Out: A Personal Note

As someone who’s been helping people buy the right fishing tackle for years, I can tell you that PENN reels are a solid choice. They’ve got a reel for just about every type of fishing you can think of, and they’re all top-notch quality. With a legacy of nearly 100 years, you can trust that a PENN reel will deliver.

The Latest Reel from the Penn Fishing Company

Conclusion: The Legacy Continues

Penn’s story is one of innovation, perseverance, and, most importantly, a love for fishing. From Otto Henze’s big dreams in a small loft to being a global leader in fishing gear, the Penn Fishing Company has come a long way. And the best part? They’re just getting started.

Happy fishing, everyone! And for more fascinating reads, check out our blog.

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