Parts for a Penn Reel

Parts for a Penn Reel
Penn is most recognized for its spinning reels, although it also produces baitcasting reels and heavy reels for big-game fishing. The first step to being able to repair and refurbish your own Penn reel is to be able to identify its various parts. Spinning reels have a different construction that most conventional fishing reels but a relatively simple and straightforward design.

The Housing

The housing is a single metal piece that mounts to the rod and acts as a support strut for the rest of the reel assembly.


The Spool

Unlike all other fishing rods, which feature a side-mounted spool, spinning fishing reels have a reel that mounts from back to front, requiring a different mechanism than most reels.

The Handle

The handle is a single steel arm that mounts on the side of the housing. It is tipped with a plastic or rubber grip that spins freely, allowing easy movement.

Crosswind Mechanism

This mechanism is a small shaft and a series of gears that converts the rotation of the handle 90 degrees to match the movement of the spool.

Central Shaft and Accessories

The spool is mounted on the central shaft and has a series of washers, gears, bearings and a clutch. The gear and clutch keep the reel from unspooling too quickly when a fish is landed and to easily switch from unspooling to reeling in.

Ball Arm

The ball arm is an accessory unique to the spinning reel. It flips back and forth over the exposed end of the spool, forcing the line to move only in one direction or another. The ball arm automatically flips over when the angler starts to reel in, preventing the line from being pulled out. The arm can also manually be moved over to allow line to spool out when playing the fish.


Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.