PENN International 80 series reels are a very popular choice for fisherman targeting big game. Penn has produced a lot of different 80 class models over time. The original 80's were a single speed reels produced in 1967. Followed by other single speed models; Penn 80w, Penn 80T, Penn 80TW. Penn International II series (two-speed) reels arrived on the scene around 1985. Penn 80S and Penn 80SW were the first Penn International II two-speed reels followed by the Penn 80ST, Penn 80STW, Penn 80s 2-speed, Penn 80 SW 2-speed. The newest model in production today is the Penn International II 80VSW.
I own a Penn International 80 single speed reel, it is paired up with an 80 class bent butt rod. This reel is a monster; it weighs in at 6.75 lbs. A little to large for stand-up fighting but certainly can be used for standup fishing with a different rod. I purchased the reel with a rod used for less than $300. It had been sitting around unused for a long time. I replaced/upgraded the drag, greased it up and cleaned up. It looks and works like new even though it is probably 20 years old. Penn International Reels are rock solid and truly stand the test of time. If I were in the market for a new big game reel the 80VSW would be near the top of my list.
A new Penn International II 80VSW will set you back about $800, but used Penn 80 reels can be found on ebay and craigs list for very good prices all the time.
Penn International II 80VSW Reel
The flagship of the Penn International® Lever Drag family of reels, the International® V-Series raises the gold standard for offshore anglers. The International® V reels offer the most advanced and reliable fish-fighting performance in the world, with an ergonomically designed, contoured, one-piece machined frame, and unbelievable cranking power and strength. Distinctive pure gold color separates Penn from the impostors.
· Machine-Cut, Heat-Treated Stainless Steel Main and Pinion Gears, and Drag Cam
· Powerful Double-Disc Drag with 150-Degree Drag Quadrant
· Graduated Push-to-Turn Preset
· One-Touch Shifting
· Four Aircraft-Grade, Sealed, Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
· Machined, Gold Anodized One-Piece Frame
· Forged & Machined Spool and Side Plates
· Stainless Steel Reel Stand