Affordable price point, but
but with solid rigidity

Lever drag reel PENN, FATHOM Ⅱ & FATHOM Ⅱ 2speed

The FATHOM lever drag reel from Penn Reel is currently available in FATHOM II and the FATHOM II 2speed model, which was added this fall. In this issue, we will introduce the features of each as well as the advantages of the Lever Drag Reel. Both of these lever drag reels are useful from inshore waters to expeditions.

Lever drag reel PENN, FATHOM Ⅱ & FATHOM Ⅱ 2speed

Advantages of Lever Drag Reels

There are two types of drags for bait reels: star drags and lever drags, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages. While star drag can be easily set by simply rotating the drag setting, it is difficult to know how much to turn the drag value up or down during a fight. If you adjust it during a fight, you need to do it approximately, or remember how much it changes by 1/2 turn or 1 turn. It is similar to the drag on a spinning reel. On the other hand, lever drag reels have the advantage that it is easy to quickly adjust the drag value up or down during a fight by memorizing the drag value at the lever position.

There are two types of lever drag reels: those with a memory in front of the strike indicator and those with a memory beyond the strike indicator. The lever position that puts the drag in a state of maximum effect is the strike position.

For example, when setting the maximum drag setting for line strength, the maximum value should be set at the strike position. when using a line with a linear strength of 64 lb (29 kg) with PE No. 4, the probability of line breakage is low if the line strength is set to 1/3 of the line strength, which is the general drag setting. In the case of this PE #4 line, this would be 9-10 kg. If the line is set to this value at the strike position, it will not break by adjusting the lever. However, there may be times when you do not need that much drag value, or you may want to lower the drag value to prevent a fish from breaking its mouth while you are fishing, or you may want to lower the drag value a little to accommodate a fish’s sudden plunge when it comes close to the boat’s edge. In such cases, the drag value can be easily lowered by lowering the memory from the strike position. If you know what the drag value is in kilograms at this lowered lever position, you will not have the wrong drag value when you operate the drag during a fight with a fish. On the other hand, we can set the lever at the front position from the beginning, jerking and fighting with a drag value lower than the max drag value, and raise it when we feel a stronger drag is necessary. If the maximum value is set at the strike position, line breakage will not occur due to over-tightening of the drag.

The FATHOM II lever drag reels are suitable for everything from inshore jigging to slow jigging and large fish fishing, and are available in a lineup to suit a wide range of applications.

This lever drag reel allows the angler to change the drag value by operating a lever. By knowing the drag value in the memory on the reel in advance, it is possible to quickly and surely adjust the drag during a fight.

Features of FATHOM II

So, what are its performance features? The first thing to note is the die-cast one-piece full metal body. This frame and side plates composed of metal parts firmly support the gears and firmly transmit rotation without distortion even under high loads. Inside, both the main gear and pinion gear are made of stainless steel material for superior durability and smooth rotation.

In addition, many models of lever drag reels use a preset knob for drag adjustment, but the drag value can be changed by accidentally pushing the knob during a fight, so FATHOM II uses a pull system. The FATHOM II uses a pull-type knob to adjust the drag. The FATHOM II has a smooth drag performance. The lever drag reel can be equipped with a drag washer of about the same size as the spool, which allows the drag to work more evenly than a star drag reel.

It also has an easy-to-grip football-shaped handle knob and five sealed ball bearings for smooth reeling. The lineup includes four sizes: 10NNLD, 15LD, 25NLD, and 30LD.

FATHOM Ⅱ is available in four sizes and can be used for everything from inshore waters to expeditions and deep sea jigging.

Body is made of stainless steel. The frame & side plates firmly support the gear without distortion even under high loads.

Main and pinion gears made of stainless steel for superior durability and smooth rotation.

The drag is set by pulling the base of the lever and then turning it. This eliminates the trouble of accidentally touching the drag during a jerking fight.

Capacitance ring on spool to keep track of remaining line level while fighting; 1/3 and 2/3 of line remaining can be grasped. It also serves as a guide for the lower line.

Lever drag that can be equipped with a drag of the same size as the spool diameter; the DuraDrag system used in FATHOM II. The DuraDrag system is used in FATHOM II. The drag glides smoothly and firmly both at the moment of a hit and during the fight, preventing line breakage.

Even more user-friendly
FATHOM Ⅱ2speed model

Then, in September 2023, the FATHOM Ⅱ2speed model went on sale. This 2-speed model allows the user to change between high and low gears with a single push, even during a fight. The basic construction is the same as that of FATHOM Ⅱ, but there is a push button at the base of the handle that allows the user to instantly change from high gear to low gear. A small button below the push button allows the angler to return to high gear. For example, when jigging, the rod is in high gear, and when fighting a large fish and more power is needed, the rod can be switched to low gear. You can also use it in low gear when you want to probe more finely, and reel it in high gear when you want to quickly get it off the bottom after a hit.

FATHOM Ⅱ and FATHOM Ⅱ 2speed are widely used for high pitch jigging, slow jigging, and inshore jigging with the smaller model.

By pressing the button at the red arrow, you can change from high gear to low gear. To change back, press the blue arrow on the underside to instantly change to high gear.

Incidentally, high gear is set at 6.2:1 for the 10XNLD2 and 15LD2 (maximum line take-up of 81 cm per handle revolution), 5.5:1 for the 15XNLD2, 25NLD2, and 30LD2 (maximum line take-up of 97 cm per handle revolution), and 2.8:1 in low gear for all models. The low gear allows the angler to reel in the line even a little at a time in situations where a fish does not come up from a certain depth or the angler has difficulty fighting the fish due to its low power.

In addition to the two speeds, the shape of the handle has also been changed from FATHOM II. It is equipped with a large T-handle knob that provides powerful and comfortable support for long-time reeling, and the handle arm length has been increased to 82mm.

The 15XN has the same body size/spool diameter as the 25N, with a narrower spool width of 36mm (43mm for the 25N).

Large T-handle knob fits the hand and is easy to grip. Hand does not tire easily even after long jerking.

Both FATHOM Ⅱ and FATHOM Ⅱ 2speed have enough line capacity for each size, so they will be useful for targeting big fish in deep water, big fish with thick line, red crucian carp, black crucian carp and lingcod in middle & deep water. The affordable price range makes it a good choice for first-time lever drag reel anglers. The FATHOM Ⅱ2speed was used by the reporter himself for three days the other day. An article on his impressions will be published at a later date.

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Summary: Angler’s Time editorial staff

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