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Cast Control Unlike Any Other: 13 Fishing Launches the Innovative Z SLIDE Baitcaster


Date: 6/3/20
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: 13 Fishing
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: 13 Fishing is doing what the company is known for, pushing the boundaries of what anglers normally expect from their tackle, and in this case baitcasters. The innovative new Concept Z SLD challenges what anglers can expect from low-profile cast control systems with an innovative on-the-fly magnetic slider that is integrated right next to the spool itself.


Never one to sit idle 13 Fishing is once again challenging the status quo with the introduction of the Concept Z SLD baitcaster


The New Concept Z SLD Baitcaster: This season 13 Fishing is redesigning their line of Concept baitcasters, and rather than blow up their original design and build a new one from scratch they wanted to expand on what anglers already liked about their current line. While we will delve into all the specifics of the newly launched Concept Gen II A and C Series reels in another article we wanted to first dive deeper into the most innovative new Concept reel, the Z SLD.


The new Concept Z SLD baitcaster is quite unlike any other baitcaster, and is designed to push boundaries in terms of design, materials, and features, starting with a "SLIDE" magnetic cast control system that gives anglers the ability to make on-the-fly adjustments between casts. 


The Concept Z SLD is just one of the new Concept reels that is being launched this week. Popular Concept A and C lines will also be refreshed


As with previous generation reels anything branded as a "Concept Z" platform is designed to be a showcase for 13 Fishing's latest technologies. The company describes the series as their "innovation platform," and the reels that are designed to challenge the status quo.


The "Z" Series continues to be 13 Fishing's innovation platform where the company debuts their newest features and technologies


The original Concept Z was the first reel to debut the somewhat polarizing CZB bearing technology, and while some anglers call them fancy bushings others have embraced the design, and the unique performance and feel characteristics that they provide. The Concept Z SLD will continue to leverage CZB bearings (6 CZB + 1 Dead-Stop Anti-Reverse) and a slew of new improvements including an advanced polymer drag system rated to 20lbs., a carbon hybrid frame that actually makes use of a cast iron blend for strength and low-weight, and the SLIDE cast control system.


13 Fishing Concept Z SLD - Right Handed
Gear Ratio Line Per Crank Line Capacity Max Drag
6.8:1 26.9" 12/125 20 lbs
7.5:1 29.7" 12/125 20 lbs
8.3:1 32.8" 12/125 20 lbs
13 Fishing Concept Z SLD - Left Handed
Gear Ratio Line Per Crank Line Capacity Max Drag
7.5:1 29.7" 12/125 20 lbs

The single biggest differentiator in the Concept Z SLD is the SLIDE magnetic cast control. This new reel actually makes use of two cast control systems, the traditional 6-way centrifugal braking system found on other Concept reels hidden under the "Beetle Wing" rapid access side plate, and an externally adjustable magnetic system positioned on the opposite side of the spool.


It is no secret that we have knocked 13 Fishing in the past for their lack of externally adjustable cast control systems in their Concept reels and head of reel design, Matthew Baldwin, made sure to point out to us that this new SLIDE feature takes things to the next level.


We spoke to Matt to learn more about the design and intended use of the SLIDE feature, as well as more specifics about the new reel's construction.


The big differentiator in the SLD, besides the continued use of CZB bearings, is the new externally adjustable SLIDE magnetic cast control


Zander (TT): The Concept Z SLD's hybrid centrifugal and magnetic slide braking system is interesting in that it allows anglers to adjust the settings on the fly. Can you tell us more about the idea behind creating this feature?

Matt (13 Fishing): The idea behind this feature was to create an “outside adjustable” system for braking control…but why stop there. I listened to all the anglers tell me that the outside systems from competing reels that were user friendly and that they didn’t require opening the side-plate. After using all of them I determined that the outside adjustments were good, but no matter what you still have to stop fishing for a minute and make the adjustment. I wanted to create one in which you could truly make the adjustment without a single hesitation… you just never know when you see a blow-up, a tail, or a wake upwind and you can’t afford that extra few seconds.

Casting is governed by two casting systems which can be used independently, or together for maximum and on-the-fly adjustment quite unlike any other reel on the market


Zander (TT): What are the target anglers, and applications, that 13 Fishing feels would benefit most from the Concept SLD's SLIDE magnetic cast control feature?

Matt (13 Fishing): I think both freshwater anglers and saltwater anglers could benefit from how easy this is to adjust. It’s adjustment truly at your fingertips. It just makes sense, and that’s why we filed a patent for it.


Though polarizing 13 Fishing doubles down and puts CZBs in all of their highest-end reels. The Concept Z SLD makes use of 6 CZBs and one dead stop anti-reverse


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