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13 Fishing Concept C Review

The 13 Fishing Concept C is the next step up from the 13 Fishing Concept A in the low profile series of reels.  In reviewing the 13 Fishing Concept C, I could see that there were many of the same features as the Concept A such as the tight low profile that fits ever so nicely in the palm of your hand.  When compared to something like the Daiwa Tatula series of reels, you will immediately notice that the form factor of the body is much more compact.

The Concept C was introduced to the market in 2014.  When compared to the Concept A, the Concept C has a price point of about $60 with the primary differences being it is a lighter weight, has more bearings and it comes in a nice white vs. the black.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Very low profile and compact body
  • Extremely smooth reel with strong 22lbs. drag
  • Loaded with anti-corrosion bearings
  • Lightweight at just 6.1 oz.

The 13 Fishing Concept C is a compact performance reel and is available HERE.

Features

6-Way Centrifugal Braking System – The 6-way centrifugal braking system allows for you to adjust the 6 pins of the braking system to refine your casting.  I typically have mine set in the 3-4 range when fishing a 3/4 oz. crankbait.

4+4+1 Stainless/Anti-Corrosion High Spin Bearings – Designed for saltwater fishing, the anti-corrosion bearings create a very smooth reel.

Arrowhead Line Guide System – One of the most annoying things is when the line does not lay evenly on the spool.  The arrowhead line guide system does a great job of making sure that you get even line lay which means that you get a more consistently smooth cast and retrieve.

22 lbs. of Fish Stopping Bulldog Drag – The Bulldog drag system is smooth and strong from the start with no noticeable variation during a strong run from even a big snook. The only variation I was able to detect was when the drag was cranked all the way down and there is really no need to do that when you have 22 lbs. of drag to work with.

Beetle Wing Rapid Access System – The Beetle wing rapid access system allows the side plate to pop open and move to the side easily so you can access the braking pins for adjustment.  If you have ever used a baitcaster where the side plate comes completely off, then I am sure you have either lost the side plate or come close to it more than once.

Dead Stop Anti-Reverse System – The dead stop anti-reverse is solid and does not provide and slop or back play which means you will always get a solid hook set.

Concept Cork Knobs – The Concept A comes standard with high-quality cork knobs that have the 13 Fishing logo burned into them.  Besides looking sharp the cork provides a better grip than the EVA knobs found on most baitcasting reels.

13 Fishing Trick Shop Compatible – As fishermen and women, we like to add bling to our reels from time to time and with the 13 Fishing Trick Shop reel parts you can make your reel your own.

HD Aluminum Chasis – The HD Aluminum chassis is solid and eliminates flex which in turn makes the connection to the rod very firm.  The Concept C is finished in a white color and is then finished off with 13 Fishing’s Ocean Armor Saltwater protection to ensure a lifetime of quality fishing requiring only a freshwater rinse after each use.

Freshwater and Saltwater Capable – 13 Fishing has made this baitcaster for saltwater as well as freshwater fishing by using durable components and a great finish process.  Corrosion resistant bearings keep the reel running smoothly and the Ocean Armor Saltwater protection process keeps the saltwater elements out of the parts that are most susceptible to corrosion.

 

 Features at a Glance

  • HD Aluminum Chasis
  • 6-Way Centrifugal Braking System
  • 22 lb. of Fish Stopping Bulldog Drag
  • Arrowhead Line Guide System
  • 4+4+1 Stainless/Anti-Corrosion High Spin Bearings
  • Beetle Wing Rapid Access System
  • Dead Stop Anti-Reverse System
  • Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection Process
  • Japanese Hamai Cut Gearing
  • High Spin Spool Shaft
  • Concept Cork Knobs
  • 13 Fishing Trick Shop Compatible
  • Freshwater and Saltwater Capable

As you can see in the chart below, the 13 Fishing Concept C is available in 4 gear ratios.  These are the same gear ratios as you will find in the Concept A.  Here is a quick breakdown of what each ratio is best for.

The 5:3:1 retrieves 21” of line per turn, which is the slowest of the ratios and is typically going to be used for most crankbait applications. The slower retrieve permits the lure to get down deeper and provides the best action for crankbaits.

The 6:6:1 is going to retrieve 26.1” of line per turn. This is considered to be a medium speed gear ratio and is probably the best suited for an all-purpose setup.  What I like about this ratio is that it can be used for a number of techniques such as spinner, swim and jerk baits as well as topwater lures and crankbaits by adjusting your retrieve speed on the rotations.

For fishing heavy grass or mangrove cover and you have the need to get the lure back quicker, then the 7:3:1 ratio will retrieve 28.9” of line per turn. For flipping, pitching, and frogging this would be my choice.

When you feel the need for speed – see what I did there – the 8:1:1 gear ratio will bring that lure back at a rate of 32” of line per turn.  When you are fishing in heavy cover or around a lot of structure and you need to get the lure away quickly this is my choice.  Uses would be the same as the 7:3:1 ratio, the 8:1:1 just gets the job done a little bit quicker with the extra 3″ of retrieve per crank.  As you can imagine at this small a difference it is really going to come down to personal preference.

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.

ModelRetrieveLine Retrieve (in)Lince CapacityMax Drag (lbs)Gear RatioWeightBearings
C5.3-RHRight2112/100225.3:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C6.6-LHLeft26.112/100226.6:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C6.6-RHRight26.112/100226.6:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C7.3-LHLeft28.912/100227.3:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C7.3-RHRight28.912/100227.3:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C8.1-LHLeft3212/100228.1:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB
C8.1-RHRight3212/100228.1:16.2(4AC+4SS) + 1RB

Field Test

For my field test, I paired a Concept C 6.6 Right Hand retrieve with a 7′ G Loomis E6X crankbait rod.  This is the same combination I used when testing out the Concept A as I wanted them to be as close as possible.  The rod weighs 7 oz. and the reel weighs 6.2 oz. for a combined total of only 13.2 oz., light like a fly rod 🙂

As with the Concept A, I noticed how well the reel palms in your hand. It is small and compact, but the handle is larger than would be expected for a reel of this size and the large cork paddles are easy to locate and provide plenty of torque for larger fish.  My recommendation is to seal the cork with something like U-40 Cork Sealant to assure longevity of the cork.

The casting was very easy.  I set the braking pins on 2 to start with as that is what I had found to work best for me with the Concept A. Also, I put a bit more tension on the tension knob to adjust the brakes.  I really like the way this setup casts. It is smooth and I can get good distance every time, even in these windy winter conditions we have been experiencing lately in Southwest Florida.

I found the retrieve rate of 26.1″ per crank to be a nice pace and I really like the large cork handles.  I tried to cast the same types of jerk baits such as paddle tails with both weighted Owner twistlock hooks and with 1/8 oz & 1/4 oz Z Man Trout Eye jigs as well as a variety of crankbaits that I had used when reviewing the 13 Fishing Concept A a month earlier.

As with the Concept A, hook sets were solid and the drag was both solid and smooth.  I had a decent day of fishing considering the colder weather we have been having.  I was able to catch 3 Reds between 18″ and 22″ and a nice 26″ Snook along with a number of smaller trout.  Overall the rod and reel combination performed well.

So the question at hand is, “Is the 13 Fishing Concept C worth the extra $60 over the Concept A?”

Pros

  • Corrosion resistant to saltwater
  • 22 lbs. of drag that is very smooth
  • Beetle wing sideplate is attached
  • Trick Shop compatible

Cons

Same as Concept A

  • Not Magnetic braking, therefore not as fine adjustment is available
  • Have to open sideplate to adjust braking

Alternatives

If you want to stay within the 13 Fishing brand and save a few dollars then you can take a look at the 13 Fishing Concept A , while it is about $60 less expensive you are not going to get the additional bearings or the white color and it weighs in at an additional 0.6 ounces.

Daiwa is another brand I would have you look at.  The Daiwa Tatula series of reels has a lot to offer and the Daiwa Tatula Type-R is going to be the closest in terms of weight — 7.6 oz but only offers 13.2 lbs of drag.  One of the nice things about the Daiwa is that it does offer the Magforce magnetic braking system which in my opinion has a finer adjustment than the 13 Fishing braking system.

If you love Shimano then look at both the Shimano Curado I for about $20 less and then the Shimano Curado 70 for about $20 more.  The Curado 70 is going to be the closer of these two when it comes to weight but only offers 10 lbs of drag, the Curado I weighs .6 oz more and still only offers 12 lbs. of drag.  In my opinion, neither of the Shimano reels are going to allow you to land the bigger fish with the same ease of the 13 Fishing Concept reels.

 

In Conclusion

The 13 Fishing Concept C is a very good reel with an excellent drag system.  If you are the kind of person that fishes one reel primarily, then I would probably spend the extra $60 and go with the Concept C, over the Concept A because of the additional bearings and I really like the white color.

This reel was designed to be fished in saltwater and it is extremely lightweight but can still handle larger fish with its 22 lbs of drag.

Overall a good reel and a solid addition to my fishing arsenal.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
13 Fishing Concept C
Author Rating
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