Is the Penn Authority the Ultimate Reel? Exclusive Review Reveals Why It Might Just Be the Last Reel You'll Ever Need!

Reviewed by: Pete Danylewycz
Last Updated:
penn authority reel review

Sizes: 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500, 6500, 7500, 8500, and 10500
Maximum drag: (2500) 20 lbs., (3500) 30 lbs., (4500) 30 lbs., (5500) 40 lbs., (6500) 40 lbs., (7500) 50 lbs., (8500) 50 lbs., (10500) 60 lbs., Line capacity: (2500) , 55/6, 175/8, 140/10, (2500 HS) 255/6, 175/8, 140/10, (3500) 360/6, 285/8, 220/10, (4500) 425/8, 320/10, 235/12, (4500 HS) 425/8, 320/10, 235/12, (5500) 430/10, 30/12, 230/15, (6500) 390/12, 345/15, 205/20, (6500 HS) 390/12, 345/15, 205/20, (7500) 490/15, 330/20, 220/30, (8500) 455/20, 310/30, 260/40, (8500 HS) 455/20, 310/30, 260/40, (10500) 435/30, 360/40, 255/50
Bearings: 13
Gear ratio: (2500) 5.7:1 30 IPT, (2500 HS) 7.0:1 37 IPT, (3500) 5.7:1 34 IPT, (4500) 5.7:1 37 IPT, (4500 HS) 7.0:1 45 IPT, (5500) 5.2:1 36 IPT, (6500) 5.2:1 39 IPT, (6500 HS) 6.2:1 48 IPT, (7500) 4.7:1 38 IPT, (8500) 4.7:1 42 IPT, (8500 HS) 5.3:1 50 IPT, (10500) 4.2:1 43 IPT
Weight: (2500) 11.9 oz., (2500 HS) 11.9 oz., (3500) 14.3 oz., (4500) 15 oz., (4500 HS) 15 oz., (5500) 23.6 oz., (6500) 25.4 oz., (6500 HS) 25.4 oz., (7500) 29.7 oz., (8500) 31.1 oz., (8500 HS) 31.1 oz., (10500) 37.3 oz.

Penn Authority Review

penn authority reel review

If you’re looking for tournament-winning performance, the Authority is Penn’s top of the line.


USAngler Rating: 

As an experienced angler and writer for USAngler, I've had the opportunity to extensively test Penn's flagship reel, the Authority. This reel is a standout in both inshore and offshore fishing, available in sizes from 2500 to 10500. It's a formidable competitor even against the best conventional reels, showing exceptional performance in windy conditions. The smaller 2500 and 2500 HS models are superb for casting to species like reds, snook, and specks, offering precision and reliability. As the reel sizes increase, so does their capability, with the larger models handling almost any game fish you might encounter.

Penn's construction of the Authority with an all-metal body and side plate ensures remarkable rigidity and strength during intense battles. This design, coupled with its IPX8 rating, means these reels are fully sealed against saltwater intrusion, safeguarding the internal components effectively. The HT-100 drag system in the 2500 model provides 20 pounds of reliable drag, while the larger models feature the Dura Drag system, utilizing lubricated carbon-fiber discs for smooth, consistent performance against powerful species.

The Authority's CNC-machined stainless steel gears are a testament to its strength and durability, offering high torque and fast retrieval rates, especially in the HS models. Gear ratios are well-matched to each reel size, ensuring efficient line retrieval. The spool capacities are generous, which I believe are shared with the Slammer IV, making them ideal for various fishing situations.

In summary, the Authority stands as an upgrade to the Slammer IV, boasting lighter weight, stronger gears, and enhanced waterproofing. For anglers seeking top-tier performance in a spinning reel, the Penn Authority undoubtedly represents the pinnacle of their lineup, offering unmatched strength, speed, and durability.


  • All-metal body and side plate delivers uncompromising strength and rigidity
  • CNC-machined stainless gears are smooth, powerful, and fast
  • Big aluminum spools offer unbeatable capacity
  • HT-100 and Dura Drag drag systems are the stuff of legends
  • IPX8 waterproofing


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penn authority reel

The Authority is Penn’s flagship reel. If you’re looking for the best Penn has to offer, your search is over.


Available in sizes ranging from 2500 to 10500, the Authority is a no-holds-barred inshore and offshore spinning reel that can give even the best conventional reels a run for their money, especially in windy conditions.

The 2500 and 2500 HS are simply perfection for casting to reds, snook, and specks, offering everything you need to net common game species in all conditions. Stepping up to the 3500, you’ll gain the capacity and drag you want for striper and other large, aggressive fish, and as you continue on to the truly large reels, almost anything becomes possible.


Penn offers the Authority with an all-metal body and side plate that holds precision-machined gears fast no matter how hard the fight is. You can really feel that rigidity and stiffness, and of course, these reels are sealed against saltwater intrusion, earning an IPX8 rating.

In all practical conditions, this ensures that the guts of the Authority will remain dry and clean. Even cranking this reel underwater shouldn't pose a problem, not that this is recommended.


Penn equips the 2500 with the HT-100 drag system, delivering 20 pounds of reliable, consistent drag. All of the models larger than that share the amazing Dura Drag system, which uses lubricated carbon-fiber drag discs to produce exceptionally smooth resistance.

Truly fight-winning the Dura Drag is perhaps the best on the market when you’re fighting powerful species like reds, tarpon, shark, or tuna.


Penn uses CNC machining to produce solid stainless steel gears, offering greater strength than any alternative. Proper heat treating ensures that this material is able to drive the spool under tremendous strain, and the torque the Authority generates makes a HEMI envious!

Gear ratios are well matched to each size of the reel, with great retrieval rates, especially on the HS models. Inch for inch, they match the lightning speeds of the Slammer IV, offering more than enough retrieve to keep up with the fastest fish.

Capacities are excellent as well, and I suspect that the Slammer IV and Authority share spools.

In essence, then, the Authority is an upgraded Slammer IV, offering lighter weight, stronger gears, and even better waterproofing.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for tournament-winning performance, the Authority is Penn’s top of the line.

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. Whether he's casting a line in a quiet freshwater stream or battling a monster bass, fishing is his true passion.
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