If you own a Penn Senator fishing reel, upgrading the handle can significantly improve performance and comfort. With new technologies and materials available, 2023 presents some exciting options for Penn Senator handle upgrades. In this article, we’ll go over the top handle upgrades to consider for your Penn Senator reel this year.
Choose a Longer Handle for More Cranking Power
One of the best upgrades you can make is to switch to a longer handle. The stock handles on most Penn Senators are relatively short. Going to a longer handle increases torque and gives you more cranking power to battle big fish. It also reduces strain on your wrist and forearm during long fights.
For Senators in the smaller 5500 to 6500 size range, a 7” handle is ideal. Larger Senators used for offshore fishing like the 9500 benefit from extra long 10” handles. Going with a longer fiberglass or aluminum handle significantly increases leverage. Just make sure it balances well with the reel.
Upgrade to a Comfortable Power Handle
If you want the ultimate in comfort and fish fighting leverage, upgrade to a power handle. Power handles have oversized knobs specially designed to fit in your palm. The large contoured grip allows you to lean into the crank for maximum torque. Brands like OnTop, Release Marine, and Flex Knob make excellent power handles for Penn reels.
Many anglers also find power handles more comfortable. The contoured design reduces hand fatigue compared to thinner, hard plastic stock handles. For Senators used in long offshore battles, a power handle can give you a real advantage over big game fish. Just note that very large knobs may be prone to hitting the rail or rod if not paired properly.
Try a Spinning Reel Handle Upgrade
One unique option is upgrading to a spinning reel style handle. These have a long arm and a rubberized grip on the end. Brands like Chile Pepper offer spinning handles to retrofit onto conventional Penn reels.
Spinning handles work well for several reasons. Anglers used to spinning reels will already be familiar with using them. The rubberized grip is very comfortable to crank compared to metal or hard plastic. And the added length provides increased leverage for fighting strong fish. Definitely look into a spinning handle if you want a smooth, comfortable cranking experience.
Upgrade to a Counterbalanced Handle
Counterbalanced handles are specially designed with a rear counterweight. This gives them perfect balance for spinning effortlessly with little inertia. Brands like REV Conventional and Accurate offer counterbalanced handles for Penn reels.
The perfectly balanced handles greatly reduce fatigue when reeling constantly to work lures or bait. Reeling for hours is no problem with a counterbalanced upgrade. The weights allow precise adjustments so anglers can customize the handle feel. If you need to cast and retrieve all day, a counterbalanced handle is a game changer.
Choose a Corrosion Resistant Upgrade
Saltwater anglers should look for upgraded handles made from corrosion resistant materials. The stock metal handles on Penn reels will eventually corrode and become rough overtime when exposed to saltwater.
Upgrading to handles made of aluminum, stainless steel, or fiberglass prevents this corrosion. Brands like REV offer hybrid handles with aluminum bodies and stainless steel knobs. And full fiberglass handles are completely impervious to saltwater corrosion. Investing in an upgrade now will keep your handles smooth for seasons to come.
Add Heat Shrink Tubing for Extra Grip
For a quick and affordable grip upgrade, add some heat shrink tubing to your existing handles. Just slide quality shrink tube over the handle, then use a heat gun to make it mold tightly in place. Using thick silicone or bike handlebar wrap also accomplishes the same effect.
The added texture and cushioning gives you a more secure grip. It also makes handles more comfortable when fighting a hard pulling fish. The shrink tube reduces hand fatigue and prevents slipping. Best of all, it only costs a few dollars and can be installed in minutes.
Upgrading stock handles is one of the best upgrades you can make to a Penn Senator reel. With options like power handles, counterbalancing, longer lengths, comfortable grips, and corrosion resistance, you can significantly improve the ergonomics and fish fighting capability. Use this guide to help select the right handle upgrade to match your needs and fishing style for 2023. Investing in a quality handle makes a big difference in reel performance.