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Fishing from a paddle boat...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-
My dad bought a Penn 350M back when I was in imp - he used that reel for years on bull reds and big allagator gar. Now that I am trying to get into Surf fishing, I had been considering trying to get a couple of these from e-bay (they seem to go for less than $20, usally). This weekend I had a chance to take my Dad's 350 to the beach - really couldn't fish with all the weed, but I did try. However, when the weed loaded up the line, I had to lock the drag all the way down to pull in the ball of weed. Now I am having doubts about wether or not the reel will be OK for surf fishing. I mean, I know the this very reel has pulled in literally dozens of 6'+ gar, and more big reds than I can count, so I feel like it should be able to handle most if what I will hook up with. (how does a 6' gar stack up to a shark, anyways? 4'er? 5'er? 6'er?)

Does anyone have any experence with this reel? What is the diffrence between the 350 and the 350m? I have heard that the 'M' denotes a Metal spool, but all the reels that I have seen all have crome spools - even the non 'm' 350's. What is the drag rated for - should I spool it with 20lb? 30lb? Also, the reel seems to be the same size as a jigmaster or maybe a 309 - does anyone know if the aluminim spool from one of these reel would fit on the 350?

Thanks.
 

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I am not personally familliar with that reel. Look on penns website or email them about line capacities. I can tell you that gar in my opinion are no comparison to sharks. Iused to do a lot of bowfishing and gar are slow swimmimg and powerful where sharks swim extremely fast and are very powerful as well. http://www.pennreels.com/
 

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Fishing from a paddle boat...
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The 350 is no longer made - it looks to be about the same frame size as the 309 (I have never had the two reels side-gy-side, but they are close). The special feture in this reel is the bar-type level wind. the line runs across the top of the bar, and the bar rotates as the handle is turned. one-half turn of the level wind bar moves the line all the way across the spool, the other half turn moves the line back. the line is not 'traped', like it is in a conventional 'finger' style levelwind, so it should not be a problem for casting or big drag pulls.



No-one hase use this reel??

Jerry
 

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Used a many 350s

Grew up on the 350m and yes the m denotes metal and I have seen plastic spools. You don't want one of those!!!
Line capacity is less than jigmaster or 309 closer to a squidder.
Loved those reels, had many a great day with gar and later with stingrays. Found it was abit too small for rays. LOL
CAST GREAT even tho it only has bushings and no bearings.
Should do fine for reds and sharks, worst thing can happen on sharks is you lose all your line.
I changed and went to fishing jigmasters ,, just for the added line capacity.
Here on the upper coast I could wade to the second bar and make my cast.
By the time I returned to the beach, there wasn't much line left on the 350m.
As for the drag,,,change out the washers and it should service you well.
I would use it until I decided I wanted something bigger.
good luck Lou
 

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The 350 is closer to the 209 in line cap. According to the penn parts listings the 29l-200 aluminum spool will work. This is the spool used in 200l Surfmasters and 155L Beachmasters and should be avalible new for under 20 bucks. I imagine you could get 300 yds of 25lb test on it with without too much trouble.
As to comparing gar to sharks, I have to be honest I haven't caught a good size gar in over 12 years and then it was with a 209 and a cheap Del Mar boat rod. He weighed in at 109 and 6ft long and put up a good fight. My best shark to date is a 4'2" blacktip on a 113HLW and a cheap surfrod. I'm not as young as I once was and reeling in a blacktip from 150+ yards over a couple of sandbars after a 100 yard sprint to my rod wore me out worse than that gar did from the bank of the channel I caught him from.
In truth anything that can handle a 6 foot gar will probably work on up to a 5 foot shark if you are patient and wear the fish down. My buddy caught a 5'10" bull shark on a 309 fishing the Mansfield jetties it took him over an hour to land it. Sadly it didn't survive and we ate bull shark for a month. If you aim to release all your sharks bigger tackle that can shorten the fight and get it in in good enough condition to survive is recommended. Hope this info helps.
 

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Fishing from a paddle boat...
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here on the upper coast I could wade to the second bar and make my cast.
By the time I returned to the beach, there wasn't much line left on the 350m.
I noticed that this weekend - the 350 I was using had 40lb BG - I walked up current about 50yds, cast upcurrent to the 2nd gut. Back at the rodholder, I noticed half the line was already gone. This reel is my dad's - I was thinking if I get one and put 20 or 25lb, I should get a lot more line on it.

yes the m denotes metal and I have seen plastic spools. You don't want one of those!!!
If both spools are crome'd, how can I tell them apart? My dad's is a 'm', but he broke a sideplate, the new side plate has the '350' stamp, not '350M'

Jerry
 

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The plastic isn't chromed and is sometimes mistaken for aluminum by novices. The plastic isn't designed for mono or heavy loads and will crack and break on you. I had it happen to me once on an old 150 Surfmaster reel. I had been reeling in heavy surf weights all morning and the line kept packing tighter and tighter until one side of the spool broke off.
 

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All of the parts are the same in a "350" and a "350M" with the sole exception of the spool. If the spool is chrome over bronze, its a "M". The plastic spools came in several colors with red being the most common I think. Looking at a Penn #36B parts catalog(from a time when the 350 was in production) the 29-350 and 29-350M are the only spools listed to fit the 350 and they aren't listed as fitting any other reel.
Penn may have adapted a newer spool to fit the 350.
30 years ago, the 350M was a fairly popular reel.
 

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I went and doubled checked against the oldest Penn catalog I could find and came up with the same thing. However Scott's bait and Tackle website showed that the 29l-200 will also work however I don't have a 350 to expermint with. Here's the page I looked at: http://www.scottsbt.com/acb_sbt/showprod.cfm?&DID=8&CATID=52&ObjectGroup_ID=176
Scott's been about the best reference online so far for running down Penn parts on older discontinued models I've been able to find.
 

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Fishing from a paddle boat...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cool, thanks all.

Garfisher - we typed our replys at the same time - thanks for the input. I am glad to hear about the Crome spool - All the 350's I have seen on e-bay have crome spools, but almost none are listed as 'M's. Right now, I don't have a lot of extra money to spend on gear, so the less than $20 avalability on e-bay, plus the sentmental value makes it and attractive reel for me. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't let the sentamental value get me into a reel that would not do what I needed. If I get spooled every now and again, I won't mind, but I don't want it to happen with every good hookup.

Also nice to know that the 209 aluminum spool should fit - If needed, I could swap it out and mag it.

Thanks all-

Jerry
 

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Actullay its the 200 spool not the 209. 20 bucks for a reel and another 20 for a spool and you should be in business. A few bucks for drag washers and some magnets and you'll have a reel that should have bull reds shaking with fear.
 

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A 209 spool will not fit a 350. My old catalog list the spool width of the 209 as 2 1/8 inches and the 350 as 2 7/16 inches. That is a pretty significant difference.
The Penn 200 is listed as having a 2 7/16 inch width spool, so it may work.
 

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Gundoctor is right it may work. See if you have a friend with a 200 Surfmaster first and if he has a spare spool see if it works before buying one. Even if its an old plastic spool it should fit as well as an aluminum one. If it fits then invest in an aluminum spool. Better to be cautious than end up like me with a shop table full of parts that don't match anything I have.
 

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