Brand Comparison

13 Fishing Reels Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best 13 Fishing reels. Find a top-rated option from this popular brand.

by Andrew

Brand Comparison

13 Fishing Reels Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best 13 Fishing reels. Find a top-rated option from this popular brand.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Sit back, relax, and know that you’ve got all of the right equipment with you on your next fishing adventure. The lures are essential, and so is the line, but your rod and reel are your main weapons, so be prepared, especially when it comes to your reel.

13 Fishing Company offers exceptional reels in the mid-high price point. You’ll get a reel that's not only sturdy and reliable but also fun and customizable, thanks to 13 Fishing's Trick shop. Learn about this feature and more in our guide to the best 13 Fishing reels on the market.

Preview

Product

Reel Size

Gear Ratio

Line capacity

Check Price

13 FISHING Concept Z 8.1:1 Gear Ratio...

13 Fishing Concept Z 8.1:1 RH

3.94 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches

8.1:1

135/12 yds/lbs. (mono)

13 FISHING - Inception Sport Z - Low-Profile...

13 FISHING Inception Sport Z LH

4 x 4.5 x 2 inches

7.3:1

12/135 yds/lbs. (mono)

13 FISHING Concept Z3 7.3:1 Gear Ratio Left...

13 FISHING Concept Z3

5 x 5 x 2.5 inches

7.3:1

12/240 yds/lbs. (mono)

13 FISHING - Creed GT - Spinning Fishing Reel...

13 FISHING Creed GT

12.7 x 12.7 x 10.16 cm

200/8, 170/10, 145/12 yds/lbs.

13 lbs

13 FISHING - Black Betty Free Fall Ghost -...

13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ghost

6 x 6 x 4 inches

2.5:1

8/80 6/100 4/125 3/175 2/350 yds/lbs.

13 FISHING Prototype TX 4.0 5.3:1 Gear Ratio...

13 FISHING Prototype TX

3.94 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches

5.2:1

6/335 8/260 10/220 yds/lbs.

13 FISHING - Radioactive Pickle Ice Combo -...

13 FISHING Radioactive Pickle

25 x 3 x 5 inches

2.5:1

4/125 3/175 2/350 yds/lbs.


Unique Features Of 13 Fishing Reels

6-Way Centrifugal Braking System

Like the Pro-Ti Speed Spool, some models will cast quietly and fast with an adjustable centrifugal brake system. This allows the spool to have maximum braking power by simply clicking its external dial. There are up to 27 variable settings to choose from. Any 13 Fishing reel with an external 6-pin QuietCast ACB system will have you maximizing each smooth cast, even with light lures.

Corrosion-Resistant Bearings

You can trick out your 13 Fishing reel with the Concept Zero Bearing kits. They include all of the bearings needed, setting unparalleled performance on durability and corrosion resistance. Expect these bearings to be smooth, quiet, and deliver shocking casting distance. There are 4 bearing kit models, all compatible with specific reels. To find out which kit to get, visit this page for more info.

Ocean Armor Saltwater Protection

Keep the saltwater elements out of your new reels’ parts that are most susceptible to corrosion. The Ocean Armor Saltwater protection is a finish that allows the reel to be solid, without any flex. So it can be strong enough to last a lifetime. 

Dead Stop Anti-Reverse System

It’s great to find a fishing reel with an anti-reverse bearing that works well. 13 Fishing created a dead stop anti-reverse system that can put bearings by different brands to shame. This system delivers an incredibly smooth experience and will allow your spool to come to a full stop. We thoroughly enjoyed this feature, especially on the Concept C model.

Arrowhead Line Guide

The Arrowhead Line Guide is a patented feature from 13 Fishing that does a great job at evenly covering the spool with line. It precisely puts the line on the spool when retrieving a catch, so there aren’t any lumps or tangles appearing during the time you need it the least. This feature seriously sets itself apart from competing brands, as it operates smoothly and efficiently.

13 Fishing’s Trick Shop for Customization

13 Fishing may make incredibly strong and sturdy reels, but they also enjoy the fun in angling. They continue to break new ground by opening up their Trick Shop so anglers can buy different reel components. This allows intermediate and professional anglers to jazz up their reel, whichever way they prefer. It's also an excellent way for beginner anglers to learn more about reels and their components without having to buy a ton of them. 


7 Best 13 Fishing Reels Reviewed

1. 13 Fishing Concept Z 8.1:1 RH

best 13 fishing reel

Reel Size

3.94 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches

Weight

6.04 oz.

Gear Ratio

8.1:1

Line capacity

135/12 yds/lbs. (mono)

Max Drag

22 lbs

Ball Bearings

Zero

The first reel on our list is strong enough to get sprayed, splashed, and even the occasional dunk will be fine. The Concept Z model by 13 Fishing was designed for inshore fishing, and it’s perfect for kayak, small boat, and surf fishing. It’s HD hard aluminum frame and gear side plates give it the ultimate protection. Yet, the concept Z model stays incredibly lightweight, weighing only 6.08 ounces.

This baitcasting reel casts like no other. It features 13 Fishing's CZB (Concept Zero Bearing) polymer technology. 

"It's time to rethink everything you know about bearings.”

It couldn't be any more accurate, with this zero bearing low profile reel. This reel can cast lures significantly farther than reels with traditional ball bearings. You’ll also receive all of 13 Fishing’s other patented features, like the 6-way Centrifugal Braking System, the  Arrowhead Line Guide, and Dead Stop Anti-Reverse.

The Bulldog drag system will give you the power to pull in flounders, whiting, spotted sea trout, and more. The max drag of this system is 22 lbs, so it should be more than enough for most anglers. There are left and right-hand orientations available in both sizes, 7.3:1, and 8.1:1. Both models have the same body features and handle, so the final decision on speed is up to you.


2. 13 FISHING Inception Sport Z LH

best 13 fishing baitcaster reel

Reel Size

4 x 4.5 x 2 inches

Weight

6.9 oz.

Gear Ratio

7.3:1

Line capacity

12/135 yds/lbs. (mono)

Max Drag

18 lbs.

Ball Bearings

2CZB + 1 RB

Prefer a sportier model? This Inception Sport Z model was released onto the market in 2019 and drove baitcasting anglers wild.  Its eye-catching lime green frame has Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection, so it's protected in fresh or saltwater environments.

What we loved the most was the Japanese Hamai Cut Gearing system on this model.

The brand has said that this system is exceptionally durable and built to go the distance. You can transition the power smoothly from the reel to the tip of your baitcasting rod.

The Inception Sport Z also has multi-material oversized drag washers so you can pull in fish up to 18lbs. For such a small, compact reel, this max drag is quite impressive when you’re stopping big fish in their tracks.

You can expect CZB, instant anti-reverse, high spin spool shaft, and other features with the Inception Sport Z baitcasting reel. 13 Fishing also allows you to buy and upgrade some reel components sp anglers can make this reel their own. For a reel in the mid-priced section, it has some killer features and performs well under pressure.

There’s only one size available, and that’s 7.3:1, but it is available in left and right-hand orientation. If this gear ratio isn’t too fast, be sure to buy the right-hand retrieval before checking out as it’s non-reversible.

Outstanding,” remarks avid fisher John.,

“I bought this as well as a 13 fishing rod and it is a beast when coming to fresh water fishing.”


3. 13 FISHING Concept Z3

best 13 fishing saltwater reel

Reel Size

5 x 5 x 2.5 inches

Weight

9.7 oz.

Gear Ratio

7.3:1

Line capacity

12/240 yds/lbs. (mono)

Max Drag

30+ lbs.

Ball Bearings

Zero

You may think all of 13 Fishing reels are saltwater friendly, but that isn’t quite the case. We picked the Concept Z3 as the best saltwater fishing reel because it doesn’t just have corrosive resistant properties. It excels at handling big fish, too. With a max drag of 30+ lbs, and with 13 Fishing's patented Ocean Armor Saltwater Protection, you can be sure that your reel can withstand the harshest saltwater environments.

This new generation from the Concept series still boasts all of the same Concept features. It’s powered by 13 Fishing's new Concept Zero Bearings for smooth operation while remaining quiet and controlled. Once you hook up the 22 lb Bulldog drag and Japanese Hamai cut gearing system for your trip, let the reel do the rest, all you have to do is turn the handle.

Speaking of the handle, the Z3 model is fitted with an EVA XL tech knob, so you’re comfortable all day long. If you want to customize the handle even more, then the Trick Shop will be of great use to you. It has a ton of reel components compatible with the Z3 for easy customization.

“Make room for Concept Z’s big brother, the Concept Z3.”

This upgraded model has similar patented features with some bonuses. The Z3 has an HD aluminum frame, a new HAM gearing system, and an airfoil carbon palm side plate. Otherwise, the 6-Way centrifugal braking system, arrowhead line guide system, and beetle-wing rapid access side plate are all the same.


4. 13 FISHING Creed GT

best 13 fishing spinning reel

Reel Size

12.7 x 12.7 x 10.16 cm

Weight

8.5

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Line capacity

200/8, 170/10, 145/12 yds/lbs.

Max Drag

13 lbs

Ball Bearings

10+1

Not only can 13 Fishing create killer baitcasting reels, but the Creed GT proves to anglers that they can perform just as well in spinning reels. The Creed GT is packed with style and features. One of the nicest has to be its lightweight, Ari Foil carbon handle.

13 Fishing has said that this slimmed down handle significantly reduces the Creed GT’s weight without sacrificing strength.

It’s finished with large EVA knobs for easy application.

You don’t have to worry about saltwater damage with the spool either, as it's constructed of ported aluminum. The Creed GT also features a corrosion-resistant drivetrain and a carbon 6-disk drag system, perfect for saltwater applications.

The line management system is different with this model, compared to the Concept series. It still stops the line from building up, but it also allows backing knots to sit flush within the spool, resulting in exceptional line management.

The drag on the reel was very smooth right out of the box. We loved the 3000 reel size as it could pull up to 10-14 lbs. Any smaller in size, and it will lose its versatility. You can catch panfish, bluegill, smallmouth bass, and more with this aesthetically pleasing spinning reel. 

Even though the Creed GT looks and feels like a high-end reel, it’s very reasonably priced. For a spinning reel with a smooth rotor, smooth drag, strong frame, and incredible bail wire, you should expect to pay hundreds, but 13 Fishing shows off what they can do with new technology and offers it at an affordable price for the average angler.


5. 13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ghost

best 13 ice fishing reel

Reel Size

6 x 6 x 4 inches

Weight

8.01 Ounces

Gear Ratio

2.5:1

Line capacity

8/80 6/100 4/125 3/175 2/350 yds/lbs.

Max Drag

4 lbs

Ball Bearings

4+1

13 Fishing brought an inline ice fishing reel onto the market in 2019 after a ton of research and anglers’ opinions. All of this research was used to make the Black Betty FreeFall Ghost Inline Ice Reel. This is the best 13 Fishing ice fishing reel as it uses 13 Fishing’s technology and strong materials for components.

We’ll start with the graphite frame exterior that isn't just strong but aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It also features a sturdy aluminum handle with soft-touch knobs that are perfectly sized to operate even with fishing gloves on. Anglers all over the States can utilize the Black Betty’s 4 stainless steel ball bearings and its graphite star drag with infinite anti-reverse.

Yes, this ice fishing reel certainly is constructed of the finest materials, but it performs superbly too. When you use the FreeFall trigger, you can get instant hookups by releasing the trigger in the perfect target zone.

It’s not the fastest ice reel on the market, but there are different sizes available. The model we’ve picked is a perfect choice for shallow to mid-depth (5-50’) ice fishing. There’s also a choice of 3 colors, and all of them come with 13 Fishing's 1-year warranty.

“I was blown away at how easily it drops micro panfish jigs right back down to the depth you want to fish. the inline reel eliminates line twist and tangle!”


6. 13 FISHING Prototype TX

best for inshore fishing

Reel Size

3.94 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches

Weight

10.58 oz.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Line capacity

6/335 8/260 10/220 yds/lbs.

Max Drag

16-18 lbs

Ball Bearings

8+1

The Concept Z may have been a reel designed for inshore fishing, but it’s a baitcasting reel, and some anglers simply stick to spinners. Allow us to introduce to you the Prototype TX  Saltwater Inshore Spinning Fishing Reel. This castable and durable spinning reel is aimed for inshore saltwater anglers interested in light line fishing.

The Prototype TX Boasts a superior 12-pin Japanese anti-reverse system that will leave your reels’ handle rotating to a complete stop. You’ll also receive 13 Fishing’s patented 4D forged drive gear to help everything rotate in the interior, as well. Encase these features within an old school metal body cover, and you’ll get a reel durable enough to withstand wind, rain, and water.

You don’t get the patented Ocean Armor Protection on this model, but it is protected by a proprietary n.e.r.d. repellent coating resistant to saltwater. This spinning reels' max drag will range depending on the reel size you prefer. We recommend the 3000 reel size with a gear ratio of 5.2:1. You’ll get a max drag of 16-18 lbs, and you could catch trout, bass, walleye, or whiting for your supper. This reel is seriously worth considering if you want a good all-round spinning reel that’s made to handle the most demanding conditions.


7. 13 FISHING Radioactive Pickle

best 13 fishing rod and reel combo

Reel Size

25 x 3 x 5 inches

Weight

8.78 oz.

Gear Ratio

2.5:1

Line capacity

4/125 3/175 2/350 yds/lbs.

Max Drag

10 lbs

Ball Bearings

3+1

Another product that 13 Fishing released within the ice fishing game was the Radioactive Pickle inline ice combo. They’ve upped the bar and have created a combo that’s suitable for most anglers. 13 Fishing combined the effectiveness of the Tickle Stick Rod and FreeFall Ghost Reel to create one dynamic duo.

From the split grip handle to the flat-tip construction on the rod, this combo is a perfect choice for anglers getting into the ice fishing game. 

Another thing you’ll notice after opening the box is its’ radiant, neon green color. This may seem loud or too-sporty, but anglers who night fish or fish until the sun sets will understand the importance of a brightly colored rod and reel, especially on the ice.

This ultra-light model is equipped with an equally beneficial reel. It’s good for fighting line twists with the inline design. The oversized handle is easy to use, and the free-fall drop lever is conveniently positioned at the top of the reel. It rests right below where your index finger lies when gripping the handle. This lever is perfect for jigging light lures so you can strike at a fish from the drop. Simply set the drop speed on the dial that you’ll find on the side of the reel.

“This is by far the best rod and reel combo I’ve ever bought and used. PERIOD. My go-to rod in upper MI for slaying the 12-14 inch yellow perch all day long.”

5 star review from Dustin S.


Pros & Cons of 13 Fishing Reels

Pros
  • Sturdy reels with exceptional components
  • Trick shop allows you to customize your reel
  • New and specific technologies within each model of reel
  • One year warranty on all products
  • Some reels are designed with specific fishing styles in mind, like pinching, jigging, skipping, or merely casting
Cons
  • Mid-high price points
  • Baitcasting reels seem to be more challenging to use for novice anglers
  • New company to the competition

About the 13 Fishing Company

13 Fishing may not be around as long as other fishing companies, but they’ve learned fast. Since 2011, 13 Fishing Company has specialized in creating low profile baitcaster reels that many baitcasting anglers already know and love.

Within a decade later, they’ve progressed in making combos, spinning reels, and educated themselves on what anglers are looking for. As we mentioned, 13 Fishing has created some key concept reels with zero ball bearings—something other brands haven’t mastered yet.


Comparing 13 Fishing Reels To Other Brands

  • 13 Fishing vs. Zebco
    Zebco was created much earlier than 13 Fishing in Tusla, Oklahoma in 1949. Their main focus was on creating reels that were free of backlash. They’ve designed youth combos, as well as great spin casters. They have a ton of models, all that get upgraded each couple of seasons. If you’re looking for a reel that's more defined (especially as an intermediate or professional level), then we suggest 13 Fishing Company.
  • 13 Fishing vs. Lews
    Another company that has been around since the ’40s is Lew’s. Lew Senior had a passion for fishing while growing up in Alabama and began making desired grade bamboo rods. Nowadays, anglers know Lew’s rods and reels as high quality at a mid-price point. They can last years with the right maintenance, and their warranty is great. Expect a limited lifetime warranty once you buy one of their reels.
  • 13 Fishing vs. KastKing
    KastKing is another brand that offers a limited lifetime warranty on their reels, giving you the ultimate peace of mind. KastKing also makes a wide range of rods and reels to suit anglers of all levels and budgets. As there are many styles of reels that are specifically suited to specific fishing techniques, make sure you do your research before buying.  
  • 13 Fishing vs. Piscifun
    Made in the USA, Piscifun creates spinning, baitcasting, fly reels, and more with incredible quality and at a low price point. They have extended their research, listened to anglers' needs, and began creating high-quality reels and rods that last a long time. 13 Fishing has less interior parts, and they're reels tend to be a lot lighter. Still, we expect great competing models coming in the future from Piscifun.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do you set up and use 13 fishing reels?

There are a few steps in the process of setting up a 13 Fishing reel. First, choose your line and check your line capacity on your reel. Fluorocarbon or braided lines are typically good lines for 13 Fishing, and their strong yet sensitive, too. Next, spool the line onto the reel, and leave a third of the reel to stop the line from over-running. You’ll need to set the spool tension and adjust the brake system before you begin casting. Watch this video to help you master this step.

How do you adjust the 13 fishing concept?

If you want to get the most out of the 13 Fishing concept, then we recommend setting the centrifugal dial to 5 once you take the reel from the box. After you break in the reel, you’ll want to start dialing the dial down and adjusting the spool tension to get the most from your new piece of equipment. Now when your spool is spinning at a high rate, the 13 fishing concept will come into play.

How often do I need to change the polymer bearings on a 13 Fishing reel?

There are fishermen across the States that have bought 13 Fishing reels and have fished with them weekly for over a year. The ball bearings don’t need to be replaced after every few trips. Sometimes they can last for years. It’s good to know that 13 Fishing offers the 13 TrickShop Zero Bearing Kits in case your reel suddenly stops running so smoothly.

Does right hand retrieve mean the handle is on the right side of the reel?

Yes, the handle will be located on the right for right-hand retrieval, and vise versa. 13 Fishing has created the American Hero Speed Spin Series with left and right orientation, available on the same reel.

What are common 13 Fishing reel problems, and how can I fix them?

A common problem we’ve noticed was that customers weren’t happy after getting in touch with 13 Fishing’s warranty and replacement services. Whether a rod or reel needed to be returned due to damages, or defects, many anglers were left waiting before they received their orders again.

Do these fishing reels have a lifetime warranty?

Unfortunately, you won't have peace of mind for a lifetime. Still, you will have some for a one year period. 13 Fishing Company is also selling spare parts and replacement pieces so you can pimp out your new fishing reel without spending a ton of money on a brand new reel. For more information on your new reels warranty, check it out here.

Where can I buy 13 Fishing reels and other reel parts?

The best place to buy reels and reel parts is either directly from the 13 Fishing website, or you can search and select your order on Amazon. It’s worth checking on both sites to see if there are any good deals and to read other anglers’ reviews and opinions. You could have your new 13 Fishing reel in just a couple of days!


Conclusion

Bar none, the pinnacle of 13 Fishing is their design and new technology. This is evident in all of their models and concepts. The 13 Fishing Concept Z is a well-refined piece of equipment designed for today's most discerning and professional anglers. That’s why we've picked this model as the best 13 Fishing reel on the market. We’re sure you’ll love it, too.

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