Penn Live Liner vs Shimano Baitrunner : Which is Better

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Penn and Shimano products are unmatched in their quality and durability. If you are an angler, you have probably used products from the two brands or at least heard of them. Penn Live Liner and Shimano BaitRunner reels are made with the angler’s needs in mind. Anyone who’s used the two can attest to their performance. Telling which is better can be challenging since some people have different preferences. Some people will go with their accustomed brand, others the additional technology and others the overall performance of the reel. In this article, we have reviewed the two reels for your ease.

Penn Live Liner vs Shimano baitrunner : Head to Head Comparison Table

Live Liner
Penn Live Liner
Shimano Baitrunner
Penn Live Liner
Shimano Baitrunner
13.8 to 32.3 oz
13.5 to 30oz
Gear Ratio
Gear Ratio
4.7:1 to 6.2:1
4.4:1 to 4.8:1
HT-100 fibre drag washers
Higher max drag
Ball Bearings
Ball Bearings
Max Drag
Max Drag
15 to 40lb
15 to 35lbs
Spool Material
Spool Material

Penn Live Liner

Penn Live Liner reels feature a full metal body that enhances maximum durability and an IPX5 sealed body and spool design.

The sealed body and spool design keep the gearbox and drag system safe from sand, salt, or dust particles.

Penn Live Liner feature a CNC gear technology that ensures accurate alignment even under heavy loads. Their drag system consists of HT-100 carbon fibre drag washers that offer a powerful drag ranging from 15lb to 40lb. Additionally, there are five ball bearings that ensure easy and quick retrieves and an instant anti-reverse bearing to eliminate pullback and backlash. Their gear ratios range from 4.7:1 to 6.2:1 giving the reels enough power for different applications.

These reels come in different sizes and models. The sizes range from size 2500 to size 8500. Size 2500 to 4500 have an automatic bail trip, while size 6500 to 8500  have a manual bail trip.

The different models include SSVI2500LL, SSVI4500LL, SSVI6500LL and SSVI8500ll.


  • Full metal body for improved durability
  • Smooth and powerful HT-100 drag
  • Aluminum spool material
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Right and left-hand orientation
  • Sealed body and spool
  • Recommended for beginners and veterans


  • This reel is a little heavy
  • They have no spare spool
  • They are a little expensive

Shimano Baitrunner

Shimano baitrunner reels have stood the test of time and remained the best reels. They are suited for use in smaller waters, but they also function fine for floater fishing. With Shimano Baitrunners, you can have the Shimano Baitrunner D and Shimano Baitrunner OC reels.

These reels have a gear ratio ranging from 4.4:1 to 4.8:1, so you can be sure of smooth and fast retrieves. They also offer a powerful drag with drag power ranging from 15 to 35 lbs. The drag system allows free spooling with the bait closed, and it lets your bait move more naturally.

They have a consistent spool speed due to the oval oscillation gear that eventually results in better casts. Additionally, they offer Dyna-balance technology for increased sensitivity and smoothness.

The Shimano bait runners have three ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing that gets rid of pullback and backlash.


  • Powerful drag system with a maximum drag of 35lbs
  • Shielded bearings on both ends
  • Dyna-balance feature for increased sensitivity
  • Anti-reverse ball bearing
  • Propulsion line management system for increased castability
  • Fast and efficient retrieves


  • The reels are quite expensive
  • The 4000 Baitrunner OC reel comes with felt washers instead of carbon washers.

Penn Live Liner vs Shimano Batrunner : What’s the Difference

Penn Live Liner and Shimano Baitrunner reels are incredible reels and made for anglers looking for outstanding performance. Differentiating the two is not complicated as you can easily identify their varying features. Their differences include,

Ball Bearings

The first difference you will note about the two reels is their ball bearings. Penn Live Liner has five ball bearings and a reverse bearing, while the Shimano Baitrunner reel comes with three bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing.

Gear Ratio

The two gear ratios vary significantly as the Penn Live Liner gear ratios range from 4.7:1 to 6.2:1 while Shimano Baitrunner gear ratios range from 4.4:1 to 4.8:1.

Additional technology

Penn Live Line reel comes with a Superline Spool, Full metal body, IPX5 sealing, HT 100 drag washers and a CNC gear system. Shimano Baitrunner, on the other hand, comes with propulsion line management system, FLUIDRIVE II, S A-RB and super stopper II.

Maximum Drag

Penn Live Liner comes with the HT-100 drag system with a maximum drag within the range of 15 to 40lbs. In contrast, Shimano baitrunner reels come with a higher max drag, with the maximum drag ranging from 15lbs to 35lbs.

Final Impression

Choosing between Penn Live Liner and Shimano Baitrunner reels can be challenging due to their quality and strength. Having used the two products, I would go with the Penn Live Liner reels. First of all, they are cheaper, have a greater gear ratio and have more bearings. So, you can be sure of smooth retrieves. Shimano baitrunner reel is not any less as it comes with improved technology like propulsion line management FLUIDRIVE II and Super Stopper II. Some people will prefer the Shimano BaitRunner for their improved technologies; that’s why I advise going with what works best for you.


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