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Reel Review

A Proven Concept, the 13 Fishing "C" Series Low Profile Baitcaster (continued)

Casting: The Concept C makes use of a 6 way centrifugal braking system that while reliable does require anglers to take down the sideplate to access the adjustment on the side of the spool. We found the reel to be a good caster and predictable for both short pitches and long range hardbait bombs, but as we observed in the initial Concept A review this system is not the fastest or easiest to adjust, especially on the fly in the field.  

The Concept C is a consistent caster and feels much like the Concept A in this area

All of the Concept Series reels make use of an oval shaped line guide called the "Arrowhead" line guide. This proprietary design is intended to allow line to flow out of the reel more naturally, improving casting distance and control. It was very hard to measure a difference in tests but suffice to say that the reel is a very component caster once you dial in the centrifugal brakes to suit your personal preferences. 

Cast control is located inside the non handle sideplate and on the spool itself

Retrieving: We found the Concept A reel to be decent when it came to smoothness of retrieve. The Concept C in comparison is definitely smoother and delivers a more friction free overall feel, especially under pressure.

Under pressure the gearing feels connected and powerful

We got into a number of smallmouth bass during tests this fall and they were no match for the winding power that the Concept A was able to generate, and while the drag was certainly inspiring confidence what I really liked about this reel was just how connected it felt to what was happening at the end of the line at all times. 

A look at the master gearing, the teeth are precision cut and mesh up nicely

Performance Ratings for 13 Fishing Concept-C Reel

Retrieve (1-5)



Casting  Range(1-5)




Rating(= Tot/Pos* 10)









Drag: There isn't a whole lot to be said about the "Bulldog Drag" that we haven't already said in the original Concept A review. The Concept C tested close to the manufacturer's spec and delivered a maximum drag pressure of just over 20lbs. at maximum lockdown. The last 25% of the drag adjustment delivers the majority of the resistance so really rotating the drag star to the maximum is necessary to achieve anything over 20lbs. of pressure.

A look at the complete "Bulldog Drag" system. Plenty of surface area here to create pressure

While max drag pressure is a spec that anglers seem to place a high priority on what is actually much more important is the consistency and smoothness of the drag. In this area 13 Fishing's Bulldog Drag delivers nicely. The use of so many washers that consist of both carbon and steel provides plenty of surface area, and helps ward off line threatening lock ups.

Features Ratings for 13 Fishing Concept-C Reel

External Brake Adjust (1-2)

Bearing (1-2)

Knob   Bearings(1-3)

Micro  Clicks (1-3)

Reel Cover(1-2)




Rating (=Tot/Pos* 10)










The knobs on the Concept C are cork which looks and feels great but the overall size of the knobs are quite large

Design and Ergonomics: When we tested the Concept A reels we remarked how good the reels overall ergonomics were. Even more impressive was that 13 Fishing got the Concept A so right out of the gate, as many other manufacturers have had to go through many seasons and iterations to get a reel to this level of ergonomic refinement.

The reel seems to comfortably disappear in hand when palming

The Concept A palms beautifully, and it sits so low on most reel seats that it seems to disappear in your palm. The gearbox on the reel doesn't extend as far as some competing reels, which adds to the sleek and compact look and feel of this reel. The one ergonomic element that is still somewhat polarizing are the knobs. I love the way the cork grips look and they feel grippy even when wet but they are pretty thick. Though they are ergonomically shaped they are so thick that some anglers may find them to be a little unnatural feeling versus more traditional flatter style paddle knobs.

The handle is offset to reduce wobble

Like the Concept A the Concept C makes use of a combination of an aluminum frame with the company's carbon composite sideplates that provides a lightweight yet durable and solid feel. The Concept A weighed in at 6.7 oz. (6.8oz when spooled with line) and the Concept C tips the scale right at 6.1oz.. While .6oz. may not seem like a lot it will be noticeable by discerning anglers looking for every bit of weight reduction in which to create their lightweight rigs.

Design and Ergonomics Ratings for 13 Fishing Concept-C Reel

Length (1-5)



Overall Weight (1-5)

Ease of Breakdown (1-5)



Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)

5 4 5 4 4 22 25


Those anglers that want an extremely lightweight reel, and are willing to pay for it, can soon also consider the new 13 Fishing Concept KP which is constructed out of magnesium to reach a weight of only 5.14 oz.! Unfortunately while very impressive in low overall weight the Concept KP will retail for a whopping $480 dollars, which is more than two of the Concept C's will cost you!

The reel sits pretty low on traditional reel seats

In terms of service the Concept C is reasonably easy to service and breaks down pretty quickly. Oddly enough The most difficult part of putting this reel back together is positioning and locking in the audible clicker which is a small spring loaded pin on the drag star. If your not careful it is easy to lose this tiny component during the breakdown and re-assembly.

See that small spring loaded pin in the drag star? This combined with the notched plastic gasket create the reel's audible drag adjustment

Application Ratings for 13 Fishing Concept-C Reel

Horizontal (1-5)



Big Baits (1-5)

Topwater (1-5)



Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)









Next Section: A Proven Concept









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