From Coast to Coast with the 13 Fishing Omen
Total Score: 8.33 - GREAT
Introduction: Shopping for a new Bass rod sure has become
interesting the last several years. Never before has there been such a broad
spectrum of rods on the market, both from fresh companies as well as old
familiars introducing new technologies and designs. In particular, the
competition among affordable to mid priced offerings has never been so fierce.
Many of these sticks are good, but for me none of these really hit a true home
run with the overall packaging.
The Omen rods feature a clean design
with a matte gray blank reminiscent of classic G. Loomis IMX's
At ICAST 2012 in Orlando there was a newcomer to the
scene named 13 Fishing. While en route to various appointments and meetings at
the show, I really caught nothing more than a brief glimpse of their booth and
honestly wasn't even keen to exactly what they were exhibiting. It wasn't until
after ICAST I was online browsing through the plethora of ICAST videos when I
happened upon theirs. In it they highlighted their Bass rod lines, the value
priced Omen series and mid priced Envy series. With my interest piqued, I
contacted Zander about testing one and he purchased an Omen OBC73M from Tackle
Warehouse and sent it to me within a couple of weeks. Since I was vacationing
in California, Cal dropped the rod off at Hi's Tackle Box in South San Francisco
where they were gracious enough to hold the rod for me to pickup. After
partially overcoming jet lag, I met Michelle at the shop and grabbed the Omen to
begin the testing process. Suffice to say it was a tag team effort to bring this
rod in for review.
||10 - 17 lb
10 + tip
The rod specs and even the graphite tonnage “J-30T” is listed.
What I like best about the look of this rod is it's overall simplicity. The
matte gray blank is adorned with 11 Evolve Titanium framed Y-Guides featuring
Zirconia inserts. The first 2 guides are double footed, while the rest leading
to the tip top are single foot. Securing them to the blank are gloss black
wraps. The guides not only look good and are sized right, but they seem to be
of excellent quality, with no visible imperfections noted.. Same goes for the
wraps as well. They are clean, with no drips or sloppiness.
Guides are clean and sized correctly so as to not overpower the blank.
Moving down to the handle portion, you'll find several
different features. The split grips are a combination of foam and cork. The
cork seems decent, but premium cork is not expected at this price point anyway.
It's diameter is also slightly narrower than average. The rubber end cap shows
a 13 Fishing symbol, with and adjacent cursive text saying “make your own luck.”
The most standout feature of the handle area is the
reel seat and trigger design. The reel seat and locking ring are a silver
graphite weave that looks futuristic and tasteful. Speaking of the locking ring
and reel hood, it twists with relative ease but could be a bit smoother. The
ring surface is also very smooth to the touch, and it can be a tad tough to grip
when locking or unlocking a reel, especially with slippery hands.
Custom designed “hair trigger” reel seats offer increased blank contact.
The reel seat is designed for maximum contact with the
blank. The blank is fully exposed underneath the reel, and the custom “hair
trigger” design provides cutouts on each side of the trigger for added finger
contact. This seemed gimmicky and possibly uncomfortable to me at first, but
that couldn't be further from the truth. It is extremely comfortable and
transmits sensations very well. In fact, the relatively thin cork handle
combined with the added blank exposure of the reel seat makes the rod
feel narrower and more precise in hand.
Looking at the reel seat from the top, you can see how the trigger portion
tapers inward where the cutouts are located. This adds to the overall
comfort and gives your fingers a natural place to settle in.
In hand, the Omen feels great. It doesn't have
extraordinary lightness, but it is well balanced which gives it a light overall
sensation when fishing. The cork and foam combined with the silver weave
accents of the reel seat makes for an upscale jdm style look. Personally, I'd
prefer full foam grips but that's just me.
The Omen is extremely comfortable to hold. The silver reel seat ring does a
great job of covering exposed threads. I favor this design over any type of
Taking a look at our deflection data, you'll see that the Omen starts out inline
with our MBR783C GLX baseline rod, but exhibits softer qualities when the weight
really starts to add on. Even though the Omen OBC73M measures out to be softer,
in my eyes it remains very true to its medium power rating, as well as it's line
and lure ratings. Also keep in mind the MBR783C is also 9 inches shorter, and
is a medium heavy rod rated for a bit heavier lures.
Omen OBC73M : 9.5" Rear Handle : 10+tip Guides : Made in China : Fast Taper
: Medium Power : 1/4-5/8 oz: 10-17 lb
Balance of the Omen is also noticeably better than
our average. With a reel attached, feel in hand is excellent. For example,
with a 6.7 ounce Shimano Scorpion 1000XT aboard, the balancing point is right at
the winding check.
Real World Test:
I had a unique opportunity to test the Omen both in
California, as well as here at home in Florida. The California Delta and San
Francisco Bay were fished out west, while the normal variety of lakes and ponds
were tackled at home. 14lb mono as well as 20lb braid were the lines of choice.
A chunky Senko fish from the California Delta.
Next Section: A Casting Omen