There are several considerations tackle manufacturers must go through before bringing a new rod range to market. With Penn expanding further into premium rod and reel design, with a motivation to create and deliver the best gear possible. Penn lifting the bar further, with the now legendary Slammer IV reel, it made a lot of sense to create  a rod to match.

Que in the Slammer rod range.

Twelve models make up the range and have all been vigorously tested to their limit, meticulously ensuring actions and attributes are on point for our favourite saltwater fishing techniques. The design team at PENN have employed two different blank construction methods in Slammer rods, optimising the graphite depending on whether a jigging or casting model.

For casting models, SLC² blanks house inner spiral carbon wraps and outer layers of longitudinal carbon fibres to provide an extremely strong, yet balanced rod.

For jigging, RCB² blanks consists of a rolled composite core and outer layers of longitudinal glass to provide a lightweight, thin, and parabolic blank that flexes from grip to tip, distributing weight for extra durability.

What impresses me most about the Slammer rods is their toughness; if you break one of these, you’ve done well. Or to put it another way, you’ve pressed it far beyond what any fishing rod should sustain. Lure anglers want to rip long casts and need to be able to put immense pressure on hard-fighting fish like kingfish before they make their way to structure and bust you off. Unfortunately, going hard in challenging sea conditions on big fish often means the fight time will be long, and this is when excess pressure can be put on a rod blank causing failure.

Sometimes an angler can lever the rod, and the blank inevitably becomes uncomfortable with its load position. It’s at this point when the Slammer range gets to work and helps you secure that fish of a lifetime. They are impressive rods that can withstand the punishment from a tired angler during battle.

The light casting range of Slammer rods for me have had the most use so far. The 7’3 is phenomenally good for chasing XL snapper in the shallow reefy terrain around NZ and found it perfect for sending 7” to 9″ Gulp! soft baits into water as shallow as 4 metres. When fishing shallow water for big fish you need a rod to have a good solid backbone to help you extract a fish away from structure the second it hits, or else it’ll have you buried in an instant.

Here in NZ, wind and rain were an ever-present factor during the last eight months. Eager for some fishing, team PENN recently hit the road searching for calmer waters and big fish. What we found was good and proved to be the perfect test day for the Slammer light lure rods. We had an insane day of casting in an area we had never fished before, with the three of us, Sam Wilkinson, Tom Harley and myself catching over 60 fish for the day. Sadly, no XXL snapper were landed, but we did manage a couple of fish in the 7-8kg range and many fish between 60-70cm. Apart from not landing any 80cm+ giants, the fishing was as good as it gets.

The Slammer range is outstanding, and the light casting range gets a massive tick from me, giving me exceptional performance and a blank designed for catching big NZ snapper in reefy terrain.

By Alistair Arkell – New Zealand ProTeam


Enlist to get our new gear releases, latest offers and advice from gun PENN captains. It’s for anglers worth their salt.