This has been a very interesting discussion as I must admit I wouldn’t have even considered a Penn for salmon/surf fishing. Penn make great, tough, bottom fishing reels of which I have several. One of the best features of the Penn Squall is the very low price compared with other contenders. I have seen several Youtube videos that show the Penn’s spool spinning for up to a minute straight out of the box when flicked into free spool. At about $200 it looks worth trying out.