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Reel Preview


A First Look at the Upcoming 13 Fishing Inception Sport Z Baitcaster


Date: 1/22/19
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: 13 Fishing
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: 13 Fishing has never been afraid of bold designs and styling when it comes to their tackle offerings. The company is preparing to introduce a new Inception Series reel at the upcoming Bassmaster Classic, and it will be the first reel in the mainstream series to make use of the company’s Concept Zero Bearings (CZB). There is simply no overlooking this new reel as it wears the same bright green finish that debuted on last year on the company’s Fate Black Gen 2 series rods.  


The Inception Sport Z will be introduced by 13 Fishing at the upcoming Bassmaster Classic

Greener and Meaner: When 13 Fishing debuted their Gen 2 Fate Black Series the rods were anything but black, in fact they were green, like really-really green. The kind of bright green that would make Kermit or the Hulk envious. It turns out there are a lot of anglers that liked the rod’s aggressive styling and value, because the new Fate Series has quickly become a top seller for the company at the highly contested $99 dollar price range. To follow up on this successful launch the company is preparing to introduce the Inception Sport Z (SZ), which is designed to match up perfectly with the Fate-G2 rods in terms of both styling and performance.

The Inception SZ features the same bright green finish and is the obvious follow on to the Fate Black Gen 2 rod series introduced a year ago

We received a pre-production Inception SZ reel from 13 Fishing to get a firsthand look at what the new series has to offer. The new reel clearly has a much more vibrant look than the current matte grey Inception reel and brings some of the brand’s more recent features and designs into the series, including the addition of the Beetle Wing rapid access sideplate, and the integration of the KeepR hook keeper into the bridge of the frame. This new bright green reel will not replace, but rather co-exist, with the current grey colored Inception.

The Inception SZ features the same basic footprint as the current reel but has Ocean Armor 2 corrosion protection

Most exciting of all is that the Inception SZ also gets the Concept Zero Bearing treatment with integrated CZB spool and palm cover bearings! Anglers that are familiar with the Concept Z baitcaster know that the CZBs are designed to reduce the surface area contact with the spool shaft, lowering friction, and improving overall casting distance. As an added benefit the polymers used in the construction of the CZBs also make them corrosion proof.

The new reel builds on the current Inception and makes use of CZB spool and palm cover bearings

The Inception SZ will also make use of the same high spin spool shaft utilized in the brand’s higher end reels. The end-result is not only a better long distance caster, but also improved pinpoint pitching as well.  

The Inception SZ has a familiar compact profile and integrates the KeepR hook keeper into the crossbar

Another improvement over the previous generation is the inclusion of the Gen 2 hard anodized worm gear. Anglers can visually identify the difference simply by checking if the worm gear is slightly brownish in color, as this is the result of a second stage of treatment in which the entire gear is hard anodized for enhanced durability. The original version is nickel plated, which is what gives the gear the bright silver appearance.

A look under the handle sideplate reveals the Japanese Hamai cut aluminum gears

In terms of capacity the Inception SZ will offer the exact same line capacity as the current reel (135 yards/12lb.) and will be available in 7.3:1 gear ratios, in either left or right hand configurations. Our test reel weighed in at 7.01oz. and we expect the mass production reel to be very similar.

The drag system makes use of familiar carbon and steel washers to generate 18lbs. of pressure

Features that carry over from the current Inception reel include the Arrowhead line guide, Japanese Hamai cut aluminum gearing, the reliable internally adjustable centrifugal cast control system, and a swept handle with EVA knobs.

The reel features a black swept handle and EVA knobs, but if the already bold green and black styling is not to your liking you can mix things up with the company's Trick Shop components

The green finish on the Inception SZ is not only more striking in appearance, it is more durable and corrosion resistant as well, as it makes use of the same Ocean Armor 2 saltwater protection system that can be found on the more expensive Concept Z and saltwater oriented Concept TXZ reels.

Looking to put your own spin on the Inception’s already bold styling? The new reel is designed to be fully compatible with the company’s “Trick Shop” components, so feel free customize away.

The first fish caught with the 13 Fishing Inception SZ. Time to put this bright green reel through the complete gamut of tests

So how much will this bright green Inception set you back? The Inception SZ will retail for $150 dollars each when they become available shortly after the Bassmaster Classic March 15-17th in Knoxville Tennessee. Considering the fact that the Inception SZ boasts numerous upgrades over the standard Inception, and the company normally sells just the CZB spool and palm cover bearings for $10.99 each, the $30 dollar premium over the existing Inception looks like a very worthwhile investment… as long as you like green!









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