Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Penn Fishing Reels: 90 Years of Tackle For Anglers of All Stripes

The History and Legacy of Penn Fishing Reels

As the story goes, it all began with Otto Henze, a German immigrant who moved to the United States in search of the American dream. In 1922, Henze started Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia after leaving his job as a machinist for another reel company. His innovative designs and manufacturing techniques allowed him to price his reels lower than competitors, making Penn reels popular among anglers.

Martha Henze, Otto’s wife, played a significant role in the company’s success after her husband passed away unexpectedly. She continued to lead Penn Fishing Tackle, expanding its reach to international markets and introducing new products like the famous Senator reel. Under her leadership, Penn transformed from an established American company into a respected global fishing brand.

In 1959, Penn introduced its first spinning reel, the Spinfisher 700, which revolutionized saltwater fishing by making it easier for beginners to cast. Spinning reels are still part of Penn’s product lineup today.

Over the years, Penn has set numerous world records with its reels and sponsored anglers who continue to push the boundaries of fishing. Despite shifting ownership, Penn still manufactures three models in the United States: the Senator, International Series, and Z Series.

As more fishing tackle companies move their operations overseas, Penn stands out for continuing to produce quality reels with American heritage in its international markets. The company’s commitment to anglers’ needs and preserving history remains a hallmark of the Penn brand, making it an enduring part of the fishing community for generations to come.