I have decided to reacquaint myself with a conventional reel. I haven't tried to use one since I was a little rug rat. I was notorious for backlashes/birdsnests. I want to get a vintage Penn reel in excellent working condition and was wonder what recommendations other have. Since I do not have a boat, have no access to a boat, can't afford a boat, don't know how to operate a boat, I am limited to shore, docks, and piers. The main places I plan on using this would be the public pier at Panacea, Florida as well as beaches and piers in Mexico Beach, Florida and Panama City Beach, Florida. Keep in mind I am a beginner with very limited long-forgotten experience with these type of reels.
And to answer some anticipated questions: my Great-grandfather and my Grandparents on my mother's side used Penn conventional reels and tried unsuccessfully to teach me how to use one. And from my research, which included contacting several folks who have done reel repair maintenance for many years, modern Penn reels under about $250 are made in China and quality control is "spotty" (some claim it's nonexistant) and the older Penn reels, properly maintained, are much better.