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Reel Review


Hybrid Powerhouses - 13 Fishing's Limited BOSS Series Baitcasters


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

Total Score: 8.38 - GREAT

Introduction: 13 Fishing started as a rod maker and in the span of just a few years has transformed into a vertically integrated fishing tackle brand, adding components, reels, and lures to their lineup. The company is known for introducing products that stand out from the competition in terms of technologies and designs, and is definitely not one to shy away from bold styling. Last ICAST the company introduced a limited run of premium baitcasters, the BOSS series, which make use of a combination of bearing types with more robust brass gearing.


 13 Fishing BOSS Limited Edition 8.1:1 Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12/100 (12/125 on 6.6:1 reel)
Frame/Sideplates Aluminum/Airfoil carbon
Retrieve Ratio
8.1:1 (6.6:1 on BOSS Power Reel)
Weight 6.3 oz (6.5 oz. on 6.6:1 reel)
Ball Bearings 10 BB/CZB + 1RB
Tested Max Drag 22.3 lbs (measured),
22lbs (manufacturer rating)
Features CZB Comp Spool bearings, Bulldog titanium drag, centrifugal cast control system, beetle wing sideplate, aluminum frame, black seal high spin bearings, brass gearing, Trick Shop compatible, carbon components
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $400.00


The BOSS reels feature the familiar 13 Fishing profile


Impressions: At first glance the BOSS Series reels do not look all that differentiated from 13 Fishing’s other baitcasters in terms style or form factor, and they actually appear more subtle than some of the company’s other more affordable offerings including the brightly colored Inception, Concept Z3, and TZX reels. It is only after examining them closely, or spending a few moments fishing these reels do you realize the additional styling elements and features, including carbon fiber handles and knobs, and most importantly a hybrid bearing configuration that is designed to enhance the performance and feel of these reels during casting and retrieves.


The more powerful 6.6:1 gear ratio version features larger power knobs and a unique drag star

Both the 6.6:1 and 8.1:1 reels make use of carbon fiber handles, and the lower speed reel features a 100mm version fitted with BFG knobs for maximum leverage, while the high speed reel comes with a shorter 90mm handle and some slick looking sculpted carbon fiber knobs. These two elements make up the most distinguishing characteristics on what otherwise are rather stealthy looking black baitcasters.


The BOSS reels feature different spools, both are ported and supported by CZBs, and the 6.6:1 reel has a deeper spool to support more line capacity

The frames of the BOSS reels are crafted out of aluminum, and while they are light at 6.3oz. (8.1:1) and 6.5oz. (6.6:1) it would have been nice to see the company offer a magnesium, or carbon composite based offering, in an effort to drop that weight even further.


The shallow spool weighs in at 12.1 grams

The BOSS frames are finished with a glossy piano black finish which looks fine but also fingerprints quite easily. Personally I prefer 13 Fishing’s matte paint finishes better, like the one found of the TXZ, or even the matte black Concept A. While the black finish isn’t polarizing it also doesn’t immediately stand out from the rest of the lineup.


The deeper spool that comes with the 6.6:1 reel weighs slightly more at 13.9 grams

The most interesting aspect of the BOSS reels is not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside, and the decision to use a combination of CZB comp spool bearings and Black Seal corrosion resistant high-spin bearings, paired with high tensile strength brass gearing to improve retrieve feel and durability.


Time to see what these BOSS reels can do on the water


Next Section: The BOSS hits the water...









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