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Rod Review


The Search for One: The 13 Fishing Archangel is the Very Definition of a Halo Product (continued)

Design/Ergonomics: The Archangel weighs in at only 4.9oz. with a balance point of 6.75". Overall when paired with most of the Concept reels this rod feels very well balanced, and with the Concept KP it is so light that it feels like an extension of your arm. The Archangel is designed with a very clean look and feel and I applaud the choice to use the metal components in the EVA handles to mix up the styling versus employing a traditional split grip design, which has become very mainstream as it has become the de-facto norm, and in my opinion somewhat played out.

The Fuji seat is painted to match the rod's enthusiast styling

Lab results for 13 Fishing Archangel AAC72MH

Model Avg RoD (2-32 oz) Taper Measured Weight (oz) Balance Point (inches) Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
13 Fishing Archangel AAC72MH 1.74 X-Fast 4.9 6.75 0.19
MBR783C GLX2000 1.72 Fast 4.8 5 0.11
TSFO 26 Rod Average 1.69 -- 4.92 7.65 0.19

The colors and graphics all look sharp but the one part of the rod that I could potentially do without is the integration of the cork grip with the EVA handle. While I still love the feel of cork I’ve never been too keen on the combination of the two on a premium rod, preferring manufacturers to go one or the other for the most consistent look and feel.

The part of the rod that was the most prone to wear and tear was no doubt the cork grip. Though I appreciate how 13 Fishing went the extra mile to mix things up I'd personally still prefer if the rod just made use of EVA grips throughout

In the case of the Archangel the cork looked great when new but doesn’t hold up as well as EVA, and over the season and a half that I fished the rod was definitely the portion of the rod that exhibited the most wear and tear, with the cork changing color and losing small bits, which is all par for the course under heavy use. If the entire rod grips were EVA the rod would have looked new even after two seasons of use. That said, the cork does match up well with the cork grips on the company’s Concept A, C, and E reels, and one of the coolest things about 13 Fishing’s reel lineup is the ability to customize your reels with the brand’s “Trick Shop” components for a truly personalized outfit, something that enthusiasts will really appreciate when finding that perfect pairing for the Archangel.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for 13 Fishing Archangel AAC72MH

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

One of many 1-2lb. Delta bass taken on the Archangel

Application: In the “Search for One” rod that can do it all the Archangel proved that it was an extremely multi-talented performer worthy of consideration. The zonal blank does a good job providing anglers with a very smooth taper, and yet the rod still has that very refined tip which allows anglers to make precise casts with lighter baits. This same tip also makes it possible to fish smaller crankbaits and even ripbaits effectively, which is similar to what we observed with the recently reviewed St. Croix Elite EC70MF rod. While the Archangel is equally talented across the application spectrum it certainly does have a lot more enthusiast appeal, but all this comes at a very high price premium.

Want a hook hanger? You will need to add one like this Fuji option

In comparison the St. Croix Legend Elite, which also is armed with Torzite guides, is a downright steal at only $390 dollars. The Archangel is designed for those anglers that will accept nothing less than the ultimate in performance and refinement. Will you catch more fish with the Archangel than a competing premium rod in the 400 dollar class? Probably not, but will you have more fun doing it if you’re an enthusiast angler, most definitely.

The gold badge at the end of the rod is a nice touch. The details throughout this rod are top notch, and they should be at this price point!


13 Fishing Archangel AAC72MH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built to exacting standards with top notch materials. Though 13 Fishing is an American Company the Archangel is all JDM. The build quality and attention to detail are top notch 9.47
Performance Excellent performance across just about all categories. The Archangel rod delivers both great casts and confident retrieves. Our particular test rod was a little light for pitch and flip work but it can pretty much do it all and that great responsive tip makes it a great choice for both plastics and even some reaction bait work 9.6
Price You want the best? You will need to pay for it with the Archangel. At $675 dollars this rod is expensive. It costs more than other top shelf rods that utilize Torzite but it also fits the "enthusiast" class mold better. If your a die-hard enthusiast the price for entry is par for the course 5
Features Loaded with features, this rod packs a ton into a small lightweight package. My favorite feature? The blank and metal components, followed by the Torzite guides 8.8
Design (Ergonomics) Very good ergonomics. This is not the lightest rod but it sure feels that way with excellent balance. Put a magnesium reel on this rod and it feels absolutely sick! 9.0
Application Designed to be a well rounded casting rod this stick is certainly a candidate for the "Search for One" and handles the mid range of the bass fishing spectrum beautifully. The rod is able to handle baits that weigh more than 5/8oz. and I was impressed how good this rod was for fishing both plastics and mid sized reaction hardbaits, and even topwater lures 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Awesome taper with a very responsive tip - High quality product with a massive price tag. Truly made for the enthusiasts
+ Offers JDM build quality, styling, and performance - There are few rods out there that look and feel as enthusiast as the Archangel but there are more affordable Torzite equipped rods on the market
+ Has plenty of personality, this rod will stand apart from the competition and exudes "cool factor" - The cork within the rear grip feels good but ages faster than the rest of the rod. I would have preferred a complete EVA handle
+ Good for a wide range of applications  
+ Paired with a lightweight magnesium reel this stick feels extremely precise  


Conclusion: There are rod companies that have been building high end rods a lot longer than 13 Fishing, but there are few that are building as exciting rods today. The Archangel is not for everyone. There are many anglers that will shun this series as it is simply too extreme, too different, and most off all too expensive. The Archangel wasn’t meant to be a rod for the masses, 13 fishing has those anglers covered with the Omen rods, and to an even greater extent with their very aggressively priced ONE3 Series. The Archangel was designed to be the company’s halo product, a rod that while not all anglers can afford is a showcase of just what the company is capable of bringing to the table. In this endeavor 13 Fishing not just succeeds they crush it. This is that type of rod that makes you just want to go out and fish, and backs it up with the power and sensitivity to match.


The Archangel was among the most sensitive and responsive rods we have ever fished

Even now, a season later, every time I hold the Archangel rod I marvel at the little details, but most of all just how refined and crisp this rod feels. It is rare that a rod delivers just that right balance of sensitivity, power, and ergonomics, and yet the Archangel checks off all three boxes with ease, making it certainly worthy of the rod’s halo positioning.

The 13 Fishing Archangel is truly the definition of a halo product, it is positioned right at the top with a price point to match, but is a showcase of just what the company is capable of building for enthusiasts

At the end of the day it boils down to whether or not this rod is truly a fit for you. Priced at the upper echelon of the market the Archangel rod is even more expensive than competing rods armed with Torzite guides like the Phenix K2 ($500-$575), and the aggressively priced St. Croix Legend Elite ($395), and yet compared with these rods the Archangel arguably does exhibit the most enthusiast look and feel. While I find it hard to justify the cost of this rod I cannot deny that it is among the most refined rods that I’ve ever fished. It is so hard not to wear a silly grin when landing fish with this rod, much like I feel when carving up a good road with a premium sports car. No, this rod is not for everyone, but if you are one of those anglers that is looking for something different, unique, and extremely high-performance the 13 fishing Archangel rods are a great weapon of choice, and is thus far the first and only rod to take home our “Ultimate Enthusiast Award” this year.

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