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REVIEW: 13 Fishing Concept Z Baitcasting Reel…

13 Fishing Concept Z Review Payne Outdoors Chris PayneI first saw the Concept Z in person at a local tackle shop, Tightlines PFT in Killeen, last week. Having a review for the 13 Fishing Inception in the works I picked it up, gave the spool a spin, scoffed, and put it back down. I think the words I used immediately were, “That sucks. How are they going to sell those if someone actually tries it?” It was different to put it nicely. The Concept Z didn’t free spool much at all. It’s how I’ve gotten an initial feel for reels on the rack for the better part of 20 years. The Z did not impress. I was confused, a bit perturbed I had eaten an ounce of marketing hype, and curious at the same time. I talked with the shop owner and ended up taking it home for further testing. I had to be missing something.  There had to be more. This entire review could fall under a file named, “Don’t Judge a Book” but I think this quote from Henry Ford sums it up better.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

13 Fishing Concept Z Review Payne Outdoors Chris Payne

The Concept Z was a puzzle I needed to crack. Were people just enamored with casting distance, Tequila Sunrise colored reels, or something I couldn’t see or feel yet? I found my answers for the most part. I’ll briefly talk about the Concept Zero Bearing (CZB) but I don’t want this to turn into a debate over the technology. Matt Baldwin, a Product Development Director for 13 Fishing has already addressed a lot of that. Here is a quote pulled from a Tackle Tour forum where it was being discussed. When confronted about the claims of zero bearings Matt had this to say:

zero BALL bearings guys….its the steel material, the balls, the races, and the shields that are causing so many issues within your reels. Noise, corrosion, and performance loss over time….these are a large majority of the reasons you need service. The CZB solves the issues while still delivering the performance characteristics you desire. It exceeds performance in many areas as well.

A bearing is a machine element that constrains relative motion to only the desired motion, and reduces friction between moving parts. … The simplest form of bearing, the plain bearing, consists of a shaft rotating in a hole.
Bearing (mechanical) – Wikipedia

Call it a bearing, call it a bushing….no matter. It works, try it…you might be very very surprised. It took years to get this right.

13 Fishing