Penn just announced that they are bringing back the Penn 704z and 706z spinning reels. They will each cost $200 and will be available Fall 2013. That probably means early October. For those who are unfamiliar with these reels, they are the largest two models of the Penn Z Series and a certain group of surf fishermen can’t get enough of them! They go on eBay and craigslist scouring for the old models in good condition or buying beat up reels for the parts. It will be interesting to see the reaction to the new ones.
One of the positives about the new 704z and 706z spinning reels is that they are being made in the USA. This is not a Chinese reel. Penn’s keeping the Z Series in America. With that said, I don’t know how this reel is going to go over with the public. I know that they will be very popular at the release date but will this series be sustainable? For all the guys who claim to love them and own multiple reels, Penn discontinued this series for a reason. They weren’t as popular as you think. Now Penn’s bringing back what is essentially a 20+ year old reel into 2013, doubling the price and expecting huge sales? I doubt it. Just compare them to the Penn Spinfisher V 5500 and 6500 Spinning Reels, and the results are lopsided in the Spinfisher’s favor. The Spinfisher is water tight, smoother, more ball bearings, better drag system and costs $40 less. Will anglers really choose the Z Series over the Spinfisher V?
It is important to say that there are a few reasons why those dedicated surf fishermen love their 704z and 706z reels. They can take a beating! You can put one of them through hell and it will keep going. If you do manage to wear out a part, you can always replace it. The Z Series features a very simple design making them easy to clean, and anglers can customize them by drilling holes in the cup to make them lighter and drain the water. The 704z has a bail and the 706z is bailless.
I’m into technology so I would always choose the Spinfisher V over the Z Series, but there are many anglers who really love their Z’s. I have a strong feeling that they will be popular in the Northeast for the first surf season and that is it. Let’s see how many anglers who’ve been clamoring for the return of the 704z and 706z come out in the Fall, and the following Fall, etc.