alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Because it was there.... Penn LeveLine 350
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
August 03, 2021, 05:22:19 PM *
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Author Topic: Because it was there.... Penn LeveLine 350  (Read 1361 times)
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cdaline
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« on: March 21, 2021, 10:57:46 PM »

Found non-working circa 60 ... USA Penn LeveLine 350.
Not exactly sure what I paid ( swap meet) as I bundled.
Will say $10. I suspect an early cousin of the Level wind
Series. I knew nothing about it but was intrigued by the
engineering. As a kid I never mastered thumb steering
the line onto the spool while landing a fish... this design
may have prevented the line mountain I usually ended up
With center spool. Not sure how long this design lasted. A
Very pleasing visual but I wonder how effective as Penn
moved on to other designs. Good bones here... seems
very interchangeable with other similar Penn reels. This
reel just needed some appreciation. Getting the line guide
re-mounted was finicky. I did not have new replacement
drags so will change those out when they arrive. Reasonable
shape visually , some residual oxidation, side plates uncracked
Frame straight, pole seat level. Had the dreaded crunch on
arrival. Remidied with deep clean, oil, lube. As I have other
reels that probably out perform this reel I’ll probably relegate
It to shelf sitter after a test drive. Cool Penn for 50-60 years
old. Easy on the eyes and smooth action. Glad I got to mess
with this reel.
Chas

https://imgur.com/a/xKaKtqi

Chas
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 07:11:03 PM by Bryan Young » Logged
oldmanjoe
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2021, 11:46:11 PM »

  Looks like you found a good one , that cleaned up real good .
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cdaline
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 11:50:46 PM »

Thanks Joe.... missed this in my childhood. (60's).. a pretty cool
bit of Penn engineering.

Chas
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Gfish
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 02:50:45 AM »

The manual recomends 30" between the levelwinder and the first guide on the rod for best operation. Probably not to big a deal, though.
Was using one a couple of years ago and got a simultaneous quadruple hook-up---2 rods, 2 lures trolled on each rod. 3 fish broke off after a few min. and I landed one of the ones on the 350(was on a modified a cheapo rod for the 30" thing). Big ol' hard-fighting Skipjacks(about 15-20lbs.). 3-lures and 3-fish lost, but had lots of fun! The drag wasn't up to it, though. Had a difficult time cause it wouldn't torque down enough. I had my thumb on the spool as much as possible.
Not a perfect functioning levelwind system for an even winding function, but much sturdier the those of the Peer, Monofill, and other Penn lw reels.
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cdaline
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2021, 04:04:41 AM »

Thanks for the experience and recommendations Gfish . I was wondering
how these performed in real world conditions. I'm thinking will be more
of a collector piece.... but do plan a test run. Thanks.
Chas
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Cuttyhunker
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Cuttyhunk mid 50's


« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2021, 08:07:35 AM »

I plan on trolling a pair of 350s this summer in New England for stripers.  Was going to go with the 309, but this is the second time I've heard kudo's for the 350 over the worm driven level winds.  I remember as a kid Penn advertising heavy for "The reel with a brain".  Maybe it just looked too weird in a world used to the old Pflueger worm system.  Function bows out to form.  Anyway Gfish thanks for the drag comment.  You know what was in the one you had that day?  I'm thinking going 5 smooth with Dawn might be in order here.
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oc1
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2021, 08:17:25 AM »

My recollection is that the 350 was sort of a failed project for Penn.  They did not sell well at all, especially compared to the Peerless levelwind, Squidders, Jigmasters and such.  The unconventional conventional.
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Donnyboat
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2021, 02:18:11 PM »

Thanks for posting this Chas, the 350 that I just restored, takes front & for place in my collection, great design  engineering when it was invented, I guess because of the high line level, they were`nt the best for casting, that possibly why they, did not sell well, but a tuff strong reel all the same, cheers Don.
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gstours
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2021, 02:36:40 PM »

The levelwind idea seemed great about 60 years ago.  These were fished by me and my friends and I never knew any better, the penn name sold them for me.  Ive never known them to be very strong in the drag butt with fat mono they do just fine.  I wish the reel came with a faster retrieve as i remember.   Simple and foolproof .   Butt time marches on..  Now they are Mantle pcs.     
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Gfish
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2021, 03:08:12 PM »

The standard 3+3 w/ a standard red fiber undergear washer. Toughest lw system I know of out there.
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Cuttyhunker
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 08:20:47 PM »

Pretty much an old reliable 155 with some extra trinkets bolted on.  They're going fishing in all their glorious weirdness sitting in for my old 2/0's.  Have to read the manual, wasn't aware of the 30" from reel to the first guide, but it makes sense for the system.
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cdaline
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2021, 01:39:36 AM »

Great stuff Team Tani! I'm only 65 but this one passed me by.... I think Dad
bought us all JigMasters for surf/boat (wooden inboard) for fishing the Sea of
Cortez. Of course all my brothers and I dreamed about were "Senators". Appreciate
all the recall by end users. Now I'm going to go look up some of their old print
ads. Thanks again.
Chas
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Lingwendil
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2021, 06:29:50 PM »

I've caught a lot of smaller (12-16") stripers with mine, and even a pretty good sized bat ray- they are a joy to use but have rather slow retrieve. They are a rather large reel for the drag capacity but I find especially on a longer rod they are a pretty nice reel with a decent line lay with 25# trilene big game neon green (solar) mono for me. Keep the spool full and they will have a faster retrieve.

While i wouldn't necessarily choose it as my go-to reel they are easily my favorite overall for how unique they are.
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Penn and Pflueger nutjob!

Eyes out for: Pflueger Rocket, vintage 4-1 ratio or better spinning reels (especially metal-bodied and ultralight!)
CooldadE
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2021, 10:45:16 PM »

The largest sturgeon I ever landed was with a 350 Leveline...



Cool
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Cuttyhunker
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2021, 12:33:41 PM »

Impressive Cool, I'm moving away from the 49's as trollers, which have been fine reels, moving to level winders because my guests may be on heavy blood thinners, (ahhh the golden years) have never done, or can't figure out the thumb level wind maneuver.  I was planning on keeping a set of 309's as a backup to the 350's, but from yours and other testimonials it looks like the 350's will be fine on the New England stripers.  If they do workout as I expect I'll probably swap out the 209's for trolling in in Fl for the 350's as well.  Weird to look at, but should put fish in the boat just fine.   
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