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Reel Review


SLIDE into the Next Phase of CZB Equipped Reels with the 13 Fishing Concept Z SLD


Date: 6/13/21
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: 13 Fishing
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.48 - INNOVATION AWARD

Introduction: The fishing brand that continues to break

from convention, or at least is willing to introduce products with differentiated features, continues to be the crew at 13 Fishing. The team has never been afraid to question what makes a good reel, rod, or lure, and building their brand with bold products. Building upon the bearing-less design of the original Concept Z, the new Gen II Z SLD (Slide) reel is designed to take cast control even further with an additional braking system that can be adjusted on the fly, and even between casts.


 13 Fishing Concept Z SLD Baitcaster Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/125
Frame/Sideplates Cast Iron Carbon Frame and Sideplate
Retrieve Ratio
7.5:1 (Left)
Weight 6.73 oz
Ball Bearings 0 (CZBs instead)
Tested Max Drag 23.7 lbs

- SLIDE Magnetic Cast Control System CZB Bearing Technology
- Ti-Armor Aluminum Hamai Cut Drive Gear
- Advanced Polymer Drag System
- Alert Drag Clicker
- Arrowhead Line Guide
- KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper
- Low-Friction 6-Way Braking System
- Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate System
- Trick Shop Compatible

Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $275.00


Last ICAST 13 Fishing completely revamped their Concept Series baitcasting line


Impressions: The original Concept Z reel was introduced three years ago and broke the mold for what anglers expect from their reels when it came to equating bearings with casting distance, or a smooth retrieve. Instead of using traditional bearings 13 Fishing made use of polymer bushings, which they marketed as "Concept Zero Bearings," or CZBs.


The most exciting addition was the new Concept Z SLD which introduced the SLIDE Magnetic Cast Control System


Though Concept reels didn't freespool like traditional reels they did cast surprisingly well, and exhibited a uniquely smooth feel, and also came with the added benefit of not being prone to any corrosion from the elements whatsoever.


The new reels featured a compact and angular profile


As you might expect the original reel was met with a lot of skepticism, and many anglers didn't really believe that the reels could perform even close to reels equipped with traditional ball bearings. 13 Fishing priced the reels appropriately at $199 dollars, making them more accessible to a wider group of anglers. There was a lot of hype about what the reel's could achieve in terms of casting, but for the most part the reels delivered. As more anglers gave the brightly colored orange reels a chance they started to build a following over time.


Inside the flip down Beetle Wing Side Plate we find the familiar 6-Way braking system


The biggest issue with that original reel was it was a little unrefined, and prone to a bit of maintenance. Some anglers found that after a few months the reels did not deliver the same out of box feel, and we also found that though the CZBs were designed to be self lubricating, the reels could become noisier over time, and especially during casting. A little drop of oil into the CZB inner races every few months helped remedy this.


Time to see what the new Concept reels are all about


Fast forward to the most recent ICAST and the company introduced an update to their entire Concept lineup, including a refresh to the Z Series. The biggest surprise was the rollout of the Z SLD, which incorporated a built in secondary slide magnetic cast control system.


The Gen II Concept Z takes much of what anglers liked about the original and put it in a less polarizing Destroyer Grey frame but to make sure it links to the original there are numerous orange elements, including the brightly colored knobs, some branding in the fascia, and the slide switch itself.


Matching the new reel are the optional rubber Skull Cap protective covers


Next Section: SLIDE into those Real World Tests









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