Dating penn reels
The knob on the reel on the left has sharper, more pointed ends than the one on the right. Many models of Penn conventional reels have interchangeable parts, which probably was done to save production costs.
The stippled tailplate and headplate indicates an earlier reel when compared to a picture or smooth plate. The amber color along with the shape indicates an earlier reel. The Mod F was a ounce surf casting reel with genuine bakelite side plates. Gone are the burgundy side plates, replace by mostly black ones.
And, the box type and price nail it for being a to reel. So if you have a Penn with a wooden handle, it's probably pretty old. With the able help from Mike C, I was able to date the two pretty close.
If I had one, I probably keep it in the closet because they are so ugly. Would have been nice if Penn had stamped a production date on each reel, but that didn't happen.
Many models of Penn conventional reels were made over a number of years. Side plates have changed over the years too. If you ever see a picture of the green or grey Penns, you'll quickly realize why those colors didn't last for more than a few years. Henze was not only an inventor, I think, but he probably was a very smart business man. The Mod K had many of the same parts as the Mod F but with a lever type free spool and metal reinforced side plates.
When most people think of a Penn conventional reel, they picture the dark burgundy, later year brighter red, or black side plates. Gone are the embossed fishing scenes found on the sides of older Penn reels.
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