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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The reason I have stuck with Penn over the years is because of the toughness and reliability of their International line of products. Within the last couple of years, I have added some Tiagras to my spread and we are running a mixture of Penns and Tiagras, and quite happy with both of them.

Yesterday I called Penn's and Shimano's parts departments;.... Penn, to order a retaining screw for the shift housing, and Shimano, to order a reel clamp bolt that I accidently wrenched off. This is how my calls went:

Shimano - I was answered promptly and cheerfully by a guy named Herbert who listened to my story, and took my order. He said the part would be sent to me at "no charge" even though I explained to him that I had accidently tightened them too hard. We said our good-byes and hung up with me feeling like the guy really cared about making me happy.

Now, for Penn - The lady who answered my call to the parts ordering line treated me like I was trying to pee in her coffee. I got the impression that my call to order a part was an annoyance to her daily routine. The screw I ordered, which is a tiny screw less than 1/2 inch long cost $2.25 and the shipping cost is $5.50. Now I never expected anyone to offer me the screw free of charge, but what I did expect (and I think all customers are entitled to) is to be greeted by someone pleasant..... someone that represents the company well.

These examples are by no means a reason for me to either like or dislike either company.... I'm more impressed by their products, and how well they work for me and my friends. But somewhere in the back of my mind, the anti-Penn seed has been planted.... thanks to one uncaring employee..... I guess I'll just have to see how it grows from here.
 

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Tom,

That goes to show how important good customer service can be. Or more importantly, how much bad customer service can hurt future customers. I for one will be adding a number of offshore combos to my equipment list, and Penn will not be a brand I will consider.

Thanks for sharing your experience with both companies.

Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with Okuma?

Joe
His Doghouse Too
 

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I received the free upgrade for the shimano torium drag system and in the process of installing I cracked a thin drag washer. I called shimano and they sent me two, free of charge. Their shipping fee (paid by them) was about $1.50 for a box that was about 6x6 inches. Maybe Penn is trying to make some money off the shipping too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Joe:

I have had some very bad experiences with Okuma. The internal gears on one turned to mush while fighting a fish. Sent it back to Okuma, who "fixed" it. Two weeks later something broke inside while winding in an in-line sinker. Since then, I've talked to scores of folks that had similar experiences.

Mike:

OK, now I get it;-)
 

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Tom,

Thanks for the feedback. I currently own four Okuma Titus 50W's, and am in the process of increasing my stock of offshore tackle. I was truly impressed by Mike's reels and setups, and was wondering if I spend the extra money for the Shimano's, or would maybe the higher end Okumas do me good enough.

Joe

btw - you need to read Mike's posts very carefully. A quick read through is like only half watching a Monty Python movie - you may miss much :D
 

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Joe,

I have a couple of the Okuma Titas Gold 50s. I think for Okuma that is their top of the line. They are not near as good as the Tiagras. I'm sure you discovered for yourself Saturday, when a big BFT is ripping line from the Tiagra, the drag was smooth and consistent, meaning the drag was what you set it on. On my Okumas, that same fish pulls drag in a more jerky, inconsistent manner. I'm afraid that one day, with the bigger fish that you have to play tug of war with over a period of time that the Okuma's inconsistent drag will spell lost fish. I am phasing out my 2 Okumas I have left and going to an all Tiagra spread. Last winter I was able to find some good deals on new Tiagras but this winter I did not find any good deals as all the auctions came in close to full retail. One could take a chance on some used Tiagas but I just prefered to go new and start from day 1 taking care of them. If you're on a budget and can't go with Tiagras, before I would buy another Okuma, for the same money I would get the new Shimano TLD-A Series 2 Speeds.
 

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Flats - Penn 50TW and Penn 50SW on bent butts
Shorts - Two Penn 30SW
Longs - Two Shimano Tiagra 50WLRS
WWWB - Shimano Tiagra 50WLRS
Dinks - Two Penn 10LD Graphite
DFA - Penn 80SW, custom drags and bellvilles

Only the 10LDs purchased new - but at 1/2-price. Everything else used...

Brian
 

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Tom
A number of shops in Hampton Roads have parts for Penns.. I use Lighthouse Bait and Tackle as well as Princess Anne, both in VB..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Art! Nice to see you survived the winter!

Brian: Great spread.... similar to ours;

Flats: Tiagra 20's
Shorts: Tiagra 30's
Meds: Tiagra 30's
Longs: Tiagra 30W's
High SG: Penn 70VSW
Low SG: Tiagra 50W
DFA: Tiagra 80W
Pitch Bait: Penn 12LT

Ooops.... I guess we do have more Tiagras than Penns.
 

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Tom:
I have had both and am really pleased with my Shimano's, durable and like you said great customer service.

Like Kevin said Princess Anne can take care of your Penn's.
 

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LBP is an authorized Shimano repair store? Wish I would have known that before I drove all the way to Queens Creek Outfitters.
 

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Hopefully that was just a gal having a bad day and not the norm...I have 100% Penn on my boat. Never really hqad to deal with the CS end of it. Just usual keep up with small stuff. washers etc. I am going to add a couple Shimanos to the spread this year just because.

It seems like this all happened overnight with no warning or notice:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tolmaz: Be careful man..... you're gonna like 'em!

Lucian: Thanks! I didn't know that. Always nice to see the guys at Princess Anne Dist., never really thought of them as repairing.... I'll give them a try next time for sure.
 

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shimano

on the shimano side I had a reel a few years back that had been recalled , and I had used & abused mine for a few years before the recall .

boxed it up and sent to shimano in california . they sent me a newer model reel to replace mine instead of making the changes on my old one . new reel arrived in less that 10 days .

all of my offshore reels are shimano . I use them fishing three days a week or more during the summer , and have not had a reel break yet .

we normally fish 4 80s and 7 50s in our spread . the 80s are for wwwwb baits for bfts .

Kevin:fishing2:
 

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Love Shimanos, but over the years 3 things piss me off, - 1 , the auto-disintegrate silicone drags in ALL beastmasters 2) newer TLD 25's have baby handles that are too small for a perch reel, just retarded. 3) the Older Tiagras had so little anodizing that just looking at it made it scratch. Newer ones much better. Not good for $500+++ reels

Penns have had their drag issues over the years, too. Interesting to see under new mgmnt how the quality goes.

Okumas to me are like training wheels on a bicycle. Sure, some need them to get started, but eventually you will outgrow them and discard....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...training wheels! I love it!

I don't know what Shimano did to improve the toughness of the finish on the Tiagras, but it sure holds up better on the newer ones.
 

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I've never had an issue with any Shimano reel I have owned period. They have all performed exceptionally well from their inshore stuff to their TLD's that I have owned. Their customer service has been great the few times I have used it. Never for repairs, only factory upgrades or recall items. My only concern with Shimano is their tendancy to upgrade a line and then not support the older stuff with parts, for example, the Beast Masters. Those reels were 20 years ahead of their time, and woul sale like hot cakes today.

My offshore collection is all Penn except for a couple of TLDs, four 70VSW's, four 50 VSW's, two of the Intenrational 50 II's and a pair of 15 kg's for the flats. Oh, and another 70 VSW on a planer rod. Tha main reason they are all Penn's is that I could always get a better price on them than I could the Shimanos when I was ready to buy some reels. I had one 70 fail on the first fish it ever hooked up with. The low speed gear retaining plate screws sheared right off. I took it into Bishop's and they went through Penn and repaired it at no charge. With the new Dura drags, I think they are every bit as good as the Shimano Tiagras. Even with the old HT-100's, if you greased them they performed well, but they did wear out quick. I am curious to see how things go with the new management, hopefully not straight down hill. My offshore training wheels were Penn 6/0's, and I still love those things. They see mostly inshore use on drum, cobia and AJ's now, but I will sneak them in on a flat line every once in while still.
 
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