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Reel Review


Hybrid Powerhouses - 13 Fishing's Limited BOSS Series Baitcasters (continued)


Real World Tests: I received the Concept Boss reels from 13 Fishing right before ICAST 2019 and have been fishing both models over the course of the entire season using both monofilament and braided line across finesse and power fishing applications while targeting largemouth bass. In addition to power fishing with these reels I also doubled own on swimbait tests to see how the baitcasters would hold up to heavy casting and retrieves with larger and heavier baits. Through the course of the tests I fished the reels spooled with monofilament line and also straight braid, and braid tipped with fluorocarbon leaders.


Casting the BOSS reels feels similar to other 13 Fishing CZB equipped reels, and the delivers strong max casting performance with light overall startup feel

Casting: If you havenít had a chance to cast a CZB equipped reel the best way to describe it is that it is noticeably different than traditional bearing equipped reels, and while the initial startup feels light at first the reels typically are able to deliver max casting distance with relatively little effort. Freespool the BOSSís spool with your thumb and you will be disappointed, but tie a lure on the line and make a cast and the BOSS delivers excellent distance and control, much like the other CZB equipped reels.


CZBs support the spool on both sides

When cast the
BOSS reels exhibited the same signature whirring sound as other CZB equipped reels, and dialing in the settings to match lure weights and your personal thumbing style is really critical to how well the reels handle. The 6-way centrifugal cast control system is as consistent and reliable as we have grown accustomed to, but it is starting to show its age as well, and not being able to adjust the system externally is a letdown in a reel of this price range.


One of the coolest elements on the 8.1:1 BOSS reel are the sculpted carbon fiber knobs

The BOSS reels performed exactly as we expected them to in the casting department. If you havenít fished a CZB equipped reel it will feel unique, and if you already have  it will feel near identical. Take the time to dial the BOSS in and the reelís casting ability will not disappoint.


After extended casting the CZBs have continued to hold up well and we didn't need to add any oil after months of use (if you do need to add oil after heavy use a drop of INOX does the trick nicely)

Retrieve: While the 13 Fishing Concept reels have always been good casters they havenít really set the bar when it comes to smooth feel, or the ability to maintain that smooth feel as well as some competing reels over the long term. The BOSS addresses this with not only the hybrid bearing/CZB buildout but the use of Japanese Hamai-cut brass, versus aluminum, gearing.


The difference in feel is noticeable, and this are not only the smoothest feeling 13 Fishing baitcasters Iíve fished to date, but the longest lasting as well. Even after a season of use continues to deliver a smooth and solid feeling retrieve.


A look under the hood reveals the brass master gearing

While CZBís are basically bushings constructed from advanced materials 13 Fishingís Black Seal bearings are a more traditional take on bearing design, but come with the added protection of latex races which act as a barrier from the elements, and also help seal in corrosion resistant oil. By strategically locating these Black Seal bearings on the gear shaft and handle knobs they provide smooth feel and increased resistance from the elements.


Even though brass weighs much more than aluminum 13 Fishing has kept the weight down by aggressively porting the gearing


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