DEC 27, 2017 - MIX & MATCH REELS: PENN 99 - 110 - 250 - 259 - 500 WITH HOPEFULLY A FEW QUESTIONS ANSWERED

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DEC 27, 2017 - MIX & MATCH REELS: PENN 99 - 110 - 250 - 259 - 500 WITH HOPEFULLY A FEW QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:21 pm

The idea for this post actually started with a discussion on socialized media about the wonderful images on a number of the old Penn Reels leftside plates. The information was on "who" as to the initials 'EH' that are seen within the engraving on a number of the original Penn Reels, in particular the 99, 250, 259 along with the 140 Squidder and original 'black' Senator fishing reel line.

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The answer was that during the mid to latter 1930's, Otto Henze the original owner of Penn Reels, had a close family member with the name Ernest Haecker, and who turns out to be the brother to Martha Henze whose maiden name was Haecker, and was the wife of Otto. Ernest Haecker who was the general manager, proceeded to engrave the scenic fishing images into the mold of the bakelite material with the initials EH. If one does look closely to the scenic leftside plates, the EH can be seen. It was a unique mark of craftsmanship on what Otto Henze felt was a line of fishing reels that anyone, that being a fishermen could afford.

For those who tinker with Penn Reels, many would believe they all have similar internal rightside parts and in particular the 110 Black Senator, 250 Surfmaster, 259 'Peerless' Live Bait Caster and 99 Silver Beach. Each though have either subtle changes and can be seen such as with the spacing betwen the reel post especially with the Silver Beach and Surfmaster line, or the screw pattern on the base that goes within the chrome rings. The major difference among these reels actually originated from the early years at Penn Reels with the 'Coronado' and 'Oceanside" line which had the one-piece take apart screw release on the rightside plate.

There is also something else here that many amateur reel repair people find out when trying to put the 3/0 size Jigmaster drive train parts in the 110, 250, 259 and 99, This is due to the size of the gear pocket within the rightside plate where you cannot use the bridge assembly or gears from the 500 reels as seen below:

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Once again I have to point out that the 110, 250, 259 and 99 where considered part of the original line of Penn Reels developed by Otto Henze from the mid 1930's to 1940 and all used the same gear bridge and main gear:

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(Attribution: old Penn Parts catalog @ Scotts Bait & Tackle)


One can clearly see the difference between the 3-99 and the 3-500 bridge which was introduced in the last years within the 1950's (approx. 1959):

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I hope this answers the question to "why can't I put Jigmaster gears within the 110, 250, 250 and 99" as these parts are NOT interchangeable.

I should also point out that the 99 or the Silver Beach reels which we are familiar with actually came out in the last years of the 1940's as the original line of reels where from the standard surf line Coronado reels made up of the 90, 92 and 95 models and their 'high grade' surf line called Silver Beach but with model numbers 97 and 98. These reels were produced from the latter 1930's through World War II, but then discontinued as the 'new' 99 was the replacement for these 5 different reels.

Here some have said, "but the aluminum 501L Jigmaster spool fits on these reels" and this is true...to some extent. Keep in mind that that the first three reels listed just below can be made up in different size configurations using Newell conversion parts or aluminum Accurate or Tiburon frames/kits to either make the narrow (Jr.), midsize (given the generic term of Albacore Special or ABS.) or full size:

110 - 1/0 is the same size as the Jigmaster 501

250 - Surfmaster can be consider the lower gear ratio version (3-1) of the FULL SIZE 500 Jigmaster

259 - Live Bait Caster was not a one-piece take apart yet also a FULL SIZE 500 size Jigmaster

Then their is the 99 line....

99 - Silver Beach had different post and base spacing from the above reels thus these conversion parts were not interchangeable and different in that it was the only one of the group that came in the midsize version. Both Newell conversion parts (except the base), Accurate (discontinued kits) or Tiburon P29 kits can be used if you want to upgrade and keep the 99 reel width.

The next question is "why convert the 110, 250, 259, and 99 reels to 500 type reels?"

Personally I have found it not only simple due to parts availability for the Jigmaster, but more so in upgrading a larger size gear train, that being the main gear and drag washers similar to what is found in the 500 and or Penn Red 3/0 Senator. In fact with PRO CHALLENGER has been making available a number of high quality internal parts, especially the stainless bridge with double dog bridge assembly along with the availability of putting in an ULTIMATE DRAG UPGRADE kit.

Another important point I like to emphasize is that in using the Jigmaster reel internal parts, you have the Jigmaster bridge sleeve which allows one to use not only the much larger power handles, but have the choice of various large knob choices depending upon what you feel is most comfortable to hold. This is a big difference over the handle choices for the 110, 250, 250 and 99 reels. In summing up what you can do here to a JIgmaster, definitely beefs up these reels to what is on par with a Daiwa 50H and/or Newell 300 series reel as far as fishing for various gamefish.

I have done this conversion to a number of 110, 250, and 259 reels, just using the leftside plate of these reels to convert them to various size JIgmaster reels:

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There is also the ability to use different main gears, pinion choices (if you can locate the 13-99 pinion) and of course drag kits. You also can go online and shop on online auction sellers for original Newell 4-1 stainless steel gears sets if you do not want to use the bronze Penn main gear.

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The other choice which I do prefer if using braided line and wish to use a Jigmaster Jr. reel, is to shorten the 250 or add the rightside 500 frame ring to the 110 or 259 which allows it to be able to remove the rightside plate. Again due to your fishing tackle preference, the Jr. size is perfect for striped bass and blue fishing with mono line:

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Moving along to the 99 or Silver Beach model, years back it was very popular to use for bottom fishing especially when using the plastic spool which came with the reel. These days you will find those who either attached a Accurate kit or our preference with the Tiburon P29 kit to a 99. Here there is a great option in using the Newell conversion kit to keep the 99 width reel, but upgrading to the more powerful gear train of the JIgmaster:

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You may notice that one of the ALB. SPC. leftside Jigmaster has nothing engraved or stamped into the leftside plate and wonder if Penn Reels came out with such a model direct from the factory.

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For a time period from the mid 70's through sometime in the 1990's, Penn Reels came out with a generic red 'blank' plate that fit the Jigmaster line of reels which had nothing stamped writing inscribed on the leftside plate.

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Note that the original Penn Jigmaster came with no markings indicating the reel type or model number either plate and only just a silver sticker on the rightside plate. Sometime during the early 1960's, Penn Reels eventually came out with reel markings on their familiar 'wine' colored plates:

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There is also the issue of having a chrome ring on the leftside plate to protect the reel, and which is seen on both the 110 - the 1/0 Black Senator a narrow size reel and/or the full size 259 Live Bait Caster. Both reels were NOT one-piece take apart reels and you may wish to leave them in their original width. One option though is if you like the chrome leftside ring on your JIgmaster, you have the choice of using the leftside plate from the 110 or if you can find a 259, use the leftside plate from that reel. The last choice for those who are handy is to carefully cut/grind a Jigmaster plate to seat a chrome ring:

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I should add that their is another easier option if you like a chrome leftside ring to protect your reel, and that is to purchase this reel:

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A word on the aluminum Accurate and my preference Tiburon frame/kits.

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I have attached an significant number of these kits to various reels over the past two decades and have come to find that the Tiburon Kit normally were more headache-free than the Accurate kit as far as the alignment of their screw holes. This I could say and was in particular to the quality control of the latter Penn Reel reel parts, that being the inner rings. I would say if you like an aluminum frame, to consider one if you purchase both the frame and spool. I do realize that some fishermen like the aluminum frame with a lighter in weight Newell conversion spool, but at times the CNC cut spool goes in as smooth as butter when you do these conversions. Sometimes if you do get binding, is to switch around the older inner rings particularly on the rightside of the reel to solve this problem.

Some will say and I do agree that aluminum frames due add weight to the narrow or Jr. size reels, especially when in comparison to a Newell conversion kit. But they do shine on the full size or extended wide reels and the added weight is barely negligible.

A last word since I have not addressed the other popular take apart reel from Penn, that being the Squidder.

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(Thanks to the FISH PRO)


The Squidder is a an excellent one-piece take apart reel that was extremely popular back in the day, and for many of us was desirable and sort after in the midsize 145 and narrow 146 Jr. width....that was until Newell came out with their 200 series line of reels. Strangely, Carl never made the spools from the 140 line nor the Surfmaster line (100, 150, 200) interchangeable with the 220, 229 and 235 reels, thus each reel has it's designed spool that cannot go into the other similar sized reels. Also i pointing out that the main gear of the Squidder and Surfmaster is from the Penn 60 Long Beach line and thus smaller as well as the drag washers than what you will find in the 3/0 size gear set in the 200 series Newells. Here again, the handle choices are more limited along with those handles having smaller knobs in comparison to the Jigmaster/300 series Newells.

Personally I would not go out of my way to purchase a Squidder since for a few dollars more you can purchase any 200 series Newell Reel. I am also going to point out that a better value option if you like a Penn Reel of this size is to purchase the Surfmaster, especially the narrow size 100 as it is a little workhorse of a reel. It was (now discontinued) noticeably lighter than the Squidder with a plastic spool, along with not having (it is unnecessary) the knuckle-buster feature. Back in the day I and a few others used to say you could not beat the 100 Surfmaster for fishing for scup, sea bass and fluke.

Here is a leftside plate from the Surfmaster line introduced in 1940 which was marketed as an alternative to the higher priced Squidder that was introduced the previous year, and "at a price within everyone's reach."

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I do hope I answered a few questions here that have come up over the years, and I hope those who are looking to upgrade this line of Penn Reels, these days you have a number of options as I have pointed out here. One has to consider with all the latest hi-tech reels that have come out over the past decade, these particular reels which are still using parts developed during the 1930's, still work as well or better these days. Here is to the heyday of these wonderful Penn Reels....

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EC NEWELLMAN
 
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