The recently re-vamped Penn Spinfisher Live-Liner features improved sealing, allowing it to withstand the occasional splash in the surf or spray on the boat. I’d spooled it with 65-pound-test braided line, or which it holds up to 555 yards, although I added a couple hundred yards of backing. The drag was perfectly smooth for several big surf sharks, and the reel itself had good cranking power and seemed no worse for wear after an inadvertent drop in the sand and a month of bouncing around the back of my truck. The other reel I used for surf sharks this year was my beloved coffee grinder, a 20-year-old Penn 706z, and it was a stark contrast to the faster retrieve rate, powerful drag, and smoother performance of the Spinfisher VI. I didn’t stop fishing my 706, but I did secretly hope that the bites would come on the newer Spinfisher.
I never had the chance to test it on tuna, but give the experience with 50- to 80-pound browns, medium-class yellowfin are well within its range. The 8500 LiveLiner would be overkill for stripers. The 4500 would be a good fit for throwing worms and clams for stripers, while the 6500 would make a good bunker and mackerel chunking reel, while serving double duty for sharks.