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Reel Review


Leaner, Meaner, and a whole lot Greener. Meet the 13 Fishing Inception Sport Z Baitcaster (continued)

Casting continued: This is the same strategy with the Inception SZ, which positions these CZBs around the spool, where they will most benefit casting. To further improve casting distance, and impact feel, the reel also makes use of the same high spin spool shaft utilized in the brandís higher end reels. The end-result is not only a better long distance caster, but one that also pitches well. Overall I found that the Inception SZ outcasts the standard Inception by roughly 15 percent when fishing the same lures in identical conditions. What is drastically different between the SZ and standard Inception is that friction-reduced casting feel.

The SZ easily outcasts the standard Inception

One issue that we did experience about six months into the tests was the reel becoming a little louder on the initial front end of casts. Though the CZBs are designed to be self-lubricating we found that extended use resulted some additional noise emanating from the CZB and spool shaft contact points. Long distance casting didnít seem affected, but shorter pitches did seem to take a little more effort as initial startups were not quite as fluid as before. To address this we put a single drop of oil (INOX) on the inner raceway of each CZB, after which the reel casted similarly to how it performed right out of the box.  

The reel also features the company's Ocean Armor 2 saltwater protection process to improve durability in harsh environments

Retrieve: Now that I have fished a few of the latest generation 13 Fishing reels Iíve started to notice the signature retrieve that all of these reels seem to exhibit, and especially those with CZB bearings, and that is a very connected feel to the gearing.

Time to take a look at the heart of this reel

The Inception SZ is smooth, but not in a ďbuttery smoothĒ way, as you can clearly feel gearing connection during retrieves, which for many anglers feels accurate and even reassuring. The Inception SZ is a basically a souped up Inception, and comes in only one retrieve, a very multi-purpose 7.3:1 ratio which is good for the vast majority of bass fishing applications.

The main gear is constructed out of aluminum

The Inception SZ feels balanced when it comes to speed versus power, and I found that when retrieving deep diving cranks, or fighting fish larger than four pounds, I never experienced any hint of gear-bind whatsoever. The reel also delivers excellent response with tight gear tolerances, and the effective anti-reverse helps to deliver solid hooksets.

The teeth on this reel isn't all that small, but edges are very precise

Over the course of the last few months the Inception SZ has continued to remain smooth, but similarly to observations with casting, it has become a little louder. Part of this is the main gearing is aluminum, and while the Japanese Hamai cut gearing is very precise, the material isnít as dense as brass, and the teeth on the main gearing is not as fine as those found on some premium competing reels.

A look at the Japanese Hamai cut gearing

This isnít to say that the aluminum main gearing exhibited any failures, and after applying some additional grease and oil inside the reel I was also able to bring it close to original out of the box performance.

I actually quite liked how the Inception SZ looked on the Fate Black rods. if you are going to go green you might as well go all the way

Drag: The reality is that for most bass fishing applications a max drag of 10-12lbs. is usually more than enough, as long as that drag is smooth and reliable under extended use. Like other 13 Fishing reels the Inception SZ boasts a very robust multi-disk drag system that packs a lot of surface area into the stack. Rated at 18lbs. we were able to achieve 17.2lbs. of pressure on the machine in our lab. Max drag settings often require complete lockdown, and our tested max pressures are certainly within the acceptable delta.

One of the reasons that the drag is so robust is the use of multiple carbon washers on either side of the main gearing to increase surface area

Why offer such a powerful drag? The Inception SZ is being marketed as a do-everything workhorse reel, and is designed for use in both fresh and saltwater applications, so that extra pressure is certainly desirable when tangling with powerful species like stripers, redfish, and snook.

In the lab, and the field, I found the Inception SZís drag to be more than powerful enough, and while not as smooth as the companyís higher-end reels, it was smooth and helped protect lighter lines under load.

The Inception SZ does sit pretty low on most rods

Next Section: The best of both worlds?









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