Penn Squall LevelWind 15LW-50LW Review
Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.
The Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW: a classic conventional saltwater reel suited for all skill levels. It was also the first reel I learned to salmon fish on! The Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW is Penn’s newest iteration of it’s flagship entry level conventional reel. The reel comes in seven iterations, from the tactile 15LW rated for 17lb test line, to the beefier 50LW rated at 50lb test line. All are built from a durable, yet lightweight graphite frame with strong side plates. The reel also has a bronze main gear paired with a stainless steel pinion gear. Let’s dive into the features of the Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW.
HT 100 Carbon Fiber Drag System
The Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW has a carbon fiber drag systems that keeps the reel cool and smooth under the most extreme circumstances. The drag system has carbon fiber washers that are lightweight and prevent heat build-up from excess friction. Definitely an important feature when you hook into a +50lb fish!
Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
Another feature that adds to the Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW’s durability is its 2+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. This reel is at home on the ocean, so having inner components that are protected against rust is crucial. The ball bearings also feature an anti-reverse setting that keeps the line from slipping in crucial situations.
High-strength Bronze Main Gear
The main gear system of the Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW is machined out of solid bronze. This ensures the reel performs at a high level even under the most intense circumstances. It’s also a differentiating factor as many lower quality reels feature gear systems made out of weaker metals.
Light Weight Construction
The Penn Squall LevelWind 50LW’s frame is made out of graphite which keeps the overall weight down. This adds to the otherwise large reel’s agility and makes for easy maneuvering in the middle of fighting a fish. The graphite is also immensely strong for its weight, and will resist damage over many years of heavy use.
Now we will review each model and cover the differences between them.
The Penn Squall LevelWind15LW has a monofilament line capacity of 320 yards of 15 lb test, 280 yards of 17 lb test, and 220 yards of 20 lb test. For braided line, it has a capacity of 580 yards for 20 lb test, 435 yards for 30 lb test, and 305 yards for 50 lb test. It has three bearings and a max drag setting of 15 lbs.
The Penn Squall LevelWind20LW has a monofilament line capacity of 415 yards of 17 lb test, 315 yards of 20 lb test, and 290 yards of 25 lb test. For braided line, it has a capacity of 865 yards for 20 lb test, 650 yards for 30 lb test, and 455 yards for 50 lb test. It has three bearings and a max drag setting of 15 lbs.
The Penn Squall LevelWind30LW has a monofilament line capacity of 455 yards of 25 lb test, 370 yards of 30 lb test, and 285 yards of 40 lb test. For braided line, it has a capacity of 1020 yards for 30 lb test, 710 yards for 50 lb test, and 590 yards for 65 lb test. It has three bearings and a max drag setting of 20 lbs.
The Penn Squall LevelWind50LW has a monofilament line capacity of 435 yards of 40 lb test, 320 yards of 50 lb test, and 285 yards of 60 lb test. For braided line, it has a capacity of 900 yards for 65 lb test, 775 yards for 80 lb test, and 665 yards for 100 lb test. It has three bearings and a max drag setting of 20 lbs.
- Built for saltwater.
- It can handle a lot of different test lines.
- Features are limited to basics.
There’s a reason why this was the first reel my father introduced me to for salmon fishing: it really can do it all, and not at an astronomical price. It’s a great reel to start with and can be used in many different situations. An excellent choice for both beginners and experts!