Most anglers know the Penn name from the reels they make, but how about their rods? This Penn Carnage II rod review is the first look from FishtFight at Penn fishing rods. In the form of Shimano Trevala rods, the Penn Carnage II series offers lightweight rods with the power to fish braided line. Find out how Carnage II Boat Casting, Jigging Casting, and Spinning rods stand up to the competition in this detailed account of their capabilities.
Penn Carnage II Offshore Rods
Product: Penn Carnage II Boat Casting, Jigging Casting, Boat Spinning, & Jigging Spinning Rods.
Overall Ranking: 88 out of 100.
Price: Mid Range.
Owner: Pure Fishing, Inc.
Intro To Penn Carnage II Rods
Penn puts up a capable series with their Carnage II rods. Durability and performance may not be up to the abilities of Seeker, CalStar, or Phenix brand rods, but the prices don’t surge up as high either. What you get is an all-around good performing piece of equipment when you invest in the Penn Carnage II. Penn offers choices in surf rods as well, though this review will only cover the Boat and Jigging series in both Casting and Spinning models.
Penn Carnage II Models, Specs & Features
Take note as you read through the model numbers. The beginning letters signify the Carnage series with the following numbers giving you the rod’s line rating. Next comes C or S for Casting or Spinning, and finally the rod length numbers at the end.
Carnage II Boat Casting Models
• CARBWII3080C66 • CARBWII50130C66
• CARBWII80200C66 • CARBWII2050C70
• CARBWII3080C70 • CARBWII50130C70
Carnage II Jigging Casting Models
• CARJGII80200C58 • CARJGII50130C62
Carnage II Boat Spinning Models
• CARBWII1530S70 • CARBWII3065S70
• CARBWII4080S70 • CARBWII50100S70
Carnage II Jigging Spinning Models
• CARJGII80200S60 • CARJGII50130S64
Penn Carnage II Boat Casting Specs
7 models in total fill up the Penn Carnage II Boat Casting line. While there aren’t a lot of options with only 2 lengths to choose from, the 6’6″ and 7′ rods cover a good range of line ratings. In the 7 foot rods, you can go as light as a 20-pound braided line or move up in power to 200 pounds. The 6’6″ models begin with 30-pound braid, and also go as high as 200-pound test.
Carnage II Boat Casting rod blanks use what Penn calls SLS3 construction. A light yet powerful design that allows thinner diameter rods to deliver incredible amounts of backbone. As for the number of line guides, the 6’6″ rods have a total of 9 and the 7′ models use 10. This includes the tip. Carnage II Boat Casting models use Fuji K guides with alconite inserts.
These are all one-piece, moderate action rods with power ratings that range from medium-light to heavy. Reel seats offer a quality Pac Bay aluminum material as do the gimbals, which come with a rubber cover. Both the fore and bottom handles use a comfortable rubber shrink grip.
Carnage II Jigging Casting Specs
You can see right off the bat the change in reel seat and handle design of Penn Carnage II Jigging Casting models. The 3 models in the lineup turn to a Fuji reel seat and there’s the addition of a finger grip for vertical jigging. Besides that, many of the specs carry over from the boat casting models. Blanks still use the SLS3 construction and guides are Fuji with alconite inserts. At the butt, you keep the aluminum gimbal with a hard plastic cover. Like the boat casting models, these are all one piece sticks with 9 guides including the tip.
Rod action changes from the moderate Carnage II Boat Casting models to moderate-fast in the jigging models. Line ratings are similar to the boat rods, but with fewer options. The shortest 5’8″ Penn Carnage Jigging Casting Rod is the most powerful. It rates between 80 and 200-pound braided line. In the middle is the 6’2″ rod which rates from 50-130. Last up is the longest 6’6″ model and it rates the lightest between 30 and 80-pound braid.
Carnage II Boat Spinning Specs
Once again there’s plenty of carryover from Penn Carnage II Casting Rods to the Spinning models. Carnage II Boat Spinning Rods still use the SLS3 blank construction as well as Fuji K guides with alconite inserts. They keep the aluminum gimbals for locking into rod holders and have the covers to protect your stomach. Boat Spinning rods don’t provide many options in length, with 4 models reaching 7′ and one 7’6″.
Like the Boat Casting models, the Boat Spinning rods bend with a moderate action. Power ratings range from medium-light up to heavy. You can start a bit lighter with 15-pound braid or move up to a model that rates for 100. Penn Carnage II Boat Spinning Rods top out at a considerably lighter line rating than their casting counterparts.
4 of the Boat Spinning models come with 9 line guides while the last 7’6″ rod has only 8. That 7’6″ model is also the only one that uses two pieces instead of a one-piece blank. The Boat Spinning rods go with the Pac Bay aluminum reel seats like the casting models and have the rubber shrink grip handles.
Carnage II Jigging Spinning Specs
With 3 models, SLS3 construction, and a moderate fast action, Penn Carnage II Jigging Spinning Rods mimic the Jigging Casting Rods. They start a little longer at 6′, but move up to same 6’6″ length. Power ratings also are a mirror image running from medium to heavy. Line ratings provide the power of the casting models, unlike the Boat Spinning Rods. They start with braid rated for 30-pounds and move up to 200.
Two evident differences from the Jigging Casting to the Jigging Spinning models are the lack of the finger grip or the Fuji reel seat. Jigging Spinning models keep the boat style Pac Bay reel seat and they don’t offer the finger grip handle. Besides that, Penn Carnage II Jigging Spinning Rods keep the aluminum gimbal with cover and are all one piece poles. The shortest 6′ rod has 7 line guides and the other two make use of 8.
Features Of Penn Carnage II Rods
SLS3 Blank Construction
The construction that Penn calls SLS3 makes use of a composite material, a mix of fiber and glass. Blanks consists of carbon fiber forming the inside and outside layers with the composite in the middle. Because of the design and construction, Penn Carnage II Rods stay thin but keep the power necessary to fish heavy braid.
Fuji K Line Guides w/ Alconite Inserts
Penn chooses to use quality components by going with Fuji K guides. Guides are wrapped onto the blank then covered with a laminate and employ alconite inserts. Alconite is a type of ceramic that can withstand heavy pressure and is lighter than aluminum oxide. It’s also resistant to corrosion with the inserts sealed and laminated to the guides.
Fuji Reel Seats
Consistency in quality components shows up with the use of Fuji reel seats. Be aware that the models using the Fuji-style reel seats fall in the Penn Carnage II Jigging Casting series. This is a move away from the aluminum Pac Bay reel seats that the other models feature.
Pac Bay Aluminum Reel Seats
Anglers will find these in the Penn Carnage II Jigging Spinning, and both Boat style rods. Pac Bay stands tall in the manufacturing world of reel seats and is another quality choice in components. Aluminum reel seats offer more stability and durability than graphite designs, as long as you clean the salt off.
Aluminum Gimbals With Covers
On the butts of all Penn Carnage II models is a strong and lightweight aluminum gimbal. The gimbal has crosshair grooves that allow an angler to lock the rod into a holder. A common boat design for trolling, the gimbals have covers of plastic or rubber. These slip right on when it’s time to take the rod out of the holder and do battle. They protect the fighting belt or your stomach against damage from the gimbal.
Rubber Shrink Grip Handles
Perhaps not as thick as EVA handles, the rubber shrink grip still provides a balance of comfort and grip that most offshore anglers prefer. All models display a split grip design with a shorter section up top, and the reel seat in the middle.
Pros & Cons Of Penn Carnage II Rods
If you approve of the thin powerful rod style with the intention of fishing braided line, Penn Carnage II rods are more than capable of landing that trophy yellowfin tuna or amberjack. Price is a huge selling point since many similar rods will ask you to give more. Taking a look at components, quality isn’t an issue with brands like Fuji and Pac Bay. Owner comments reveal the final results of several offshore experiences. The majority show anglers coming out on top.
Many anglers cringe when they hear the words offshore rod and line guide inserts in the same sentence. Although they fit snug and have an epoxy coating, many still won’t trust them. Have just one of those inserts pop out of the line guide and your rod is out for service.
Other than that, the biggest complaints lie on the side of versatility and rod options. Looking at all the Penn Carnage II models, there are options in action from moderate to moderate-fast as well as in power. Power ratings range from medium-light to heavy, but length options are minimal. If you like the method of fishing monofilament line with a thicker fast action rod, maybe take a look at Daiwa Proteus or Shimano Tallus rods instead.
Best Angling Style Using Penn Carnage II Rods
Using a thin and relatively shorter rod to fish braided line with the power to handle explosive saltwater species is the calling of these rods. Whether it be live bait on the fly line with a boat rod or dropping a vertical jig, it is a certain kind of style. Be sure you know the technique before you commit.
Penn Fishing Rod Support
Penn offers a substantial amount of service centers both inside and outside the USA. All rods come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. Be sure to register your equipment with Penn by visiting their website directly after a purchase. This will help expedite the process should you need to activate your warranty.
Bending Out The Final Thoughts
Overall Ranking: 88 out of 100 anglers approve of Penn Carnage II Offshore Rods
Penn delivers that light, thin rod style with the power to deck enormous trophy fish in ocean waters around the world. Are Carnage II Rods top of the line? Anglers can spend a lot more on higher tech equipment that will provide the same results. There certainly are some advantages that come with high-cost rods, but anglers also do just fine without them. The Penn Carnage II is just such series. They provide that certain style of fishing and don’t ask quite as much.