13 Fishing Concept A2 Baitcasting Reel Review

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The 13 Fishing Concept A2 baitcaster is a nice reel. However, when I find myself using the word “nice,” it generally means I’m a little underwhelmed.

In my opinion, this price point is a little overcrowded with brands and models, with few standing out.

This is how I feel about the 13 Fishing Concept A2. 

There’s a lot to like, and I’ve no doubt you’ll enjoy using it. My main criticism is that it’s missing a standout feature(s) that would set it apart from worthy competitors.

To give you an example of what I’m talking about, I’ll compare it to the Shimano Saragosa and the Daiwa BG spin reels, as these reels target a similar budget.

They both have an affordable price point yet have features and performance that make them stand out in a crowd and put them at the top of their respective categories.

Accessibly priced performance reels all have some level of compromise to ensure they remain affordable. 

So long as this compromise is tempered with something exceptional, as the Shimano Sarogosa and BG are, then you have outstanding value.

Is there something outstanding with the Concept A2? Let’s have a closer look at the 13 Fishing Concept A2.

13 Fishing Concept A2 Casting Reel Review

I like the makeover and the stealth black. Aesthetically, the addition of cork knobs and the cork highlight on the thumb bar are nice touches.

I don’t underestimate attention to detail where cosmetics are concerned. I like to use a good-looking reel. It doesn’t help me catch fish, granted.

13 FISHING - Concept A2 Baitcast Reel - 5.6:1 Gear Ratio - Left Hand Retrieve (Fresh+Salt) - A2-5.6-LH

But nor does a pretty car get me somewhere any better than an ugly car. But we’d prefer the pretty car – most of us, anyway.

It’s nicely palmable and has a heap of smooth predictable drag for wrestling belligerent fish. 

Spool capacities are acceptable, and it’s particularly solid thanks to the alloy construction. 

There’s no twist, movement, or slop to speak of, and you feel pretty confident when under battle with an angry load.

Casting manners are pretty good, without being mind-blowing. The arrowhead guide does as it promises, delivering a uniform line lay which informs casting length and casting predictability.

It feels very smooth, with a light crank, and no hint of handle, gear, and clutch movement outside of essential movement and rotation.

While this is good, it’s not something I see as a special feature these days. At this price point, a smooth buttery feel without any excess movement should be the norm and standard. 

Fortunately, this is the case with the 13 Fishing Concept A2.

The Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate System is useful in that it remains connected and won’t fall off into the water.

It was a mistake to make it plastic, and while keeping the weight down, I wish manufacturers would stop sacrificing strength for a few indiscernible grams.

The braking system is really good, easy to set with increments you can hear and feel. 

One of the best features of this reel is that I would recommend it to any angler, from baitcaster beginners to the most experienced baitcaster master.

It’s easy to set up, easy to adjust, and very easy to dial in without a huge level of experimentation. And it’s this feature that attracts my recommendation.

It’s strong, has solid basics, and is very easy to use. And there’s a heck of a lot to be said for these features.

There are four speeds from which to choose, which is another excellent feature of the series. 

From cranking to high-speed flipping and pitching on the drift, there’s a left or right-hand reel to suit.

The 13 Fishing Concept A2 Casting Reel will (and should) attract anglers looking outside the square and beyond the big Japanese brands.

Features

  • HD Aluminum Frame with Ocean Armour 2 Treatment and Anti-Electrolysis Screw Pads
  • H.A.M. Japanese Hamai Cut Hardened Brass Drive Gear
  • 2 Anti-Corrosion High Spin/4 Stainless BB/1RB
  • 25lb Bulldog Drag System
  • Arrowhead Line Guide
  • Reinforced Clutch Cam
  • KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper
  • Low-Friction 6-Way Braking System
  • Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate System
  • Trick Shop Compatible
  • Dead Stop Anti-Reverse
13 FISHING - Concept A2 Baitcast Reel - 5.6:1 Gear Ratio - Left Hand Retrieve (Fresh+Salt) - A2-5.6-LH
  • HD Aluminum Frame with Ocean Armor 2 Treatment and Anti-Electrolysis Screw Pads.
  • H.A.M. Japanese Hamai Cut Hardened Brass Drive Gear
  • 25 lbs. Bulldog Drag System
  • 7BB (2 High Spin Corrosion Resistant BB, 4 Stainless BB, 1 Dead Stop Anti-Reverse)

Last update on 2022-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

13 Fishing Concept A2 Main Features

HD Aluminum Frame with Ocean Armour 2 Treatment and Anti-Electrolysis Screw Pads

Significant effort has been made to keep the rust at bay. While making it suitable for saltwater, it’s a reel more likely to see the fresh stuff. 

Nonetheless, any anti-corrosion protection will assist a conscientious angler to keep a reel in peak condition for longer.

H.A.M. Japanese Hamai Cut Hardened Brass Drive Gear

A significant feature that allows anglers to target a larger class of fish. It’s a light crank yet feels very strong under load.

Reinforced Clutch Cam

It feels great – solid with not a hint of play. Time will tell with these things, however. Dirt, water, greases, impacts, and other such things can hurt a clutch. 

Longevity and reliability are the measures of a good clutch. Time is required to test fully.

Low-Friction 6-Way Braking System

Pretty impressive actually. Easy to tune and easy to master quickly. A few casts, and you’ll have a great feel for it.

Trick Shop Compatible

This is a 13 feature many anglers appreciate. The handle and knobs will appeal to some and not to others. If you want a different handle/knobs, it’s great to be able to customize them.

25lb Bulldog Drag System

The smooth and predictable drag system has 25 pounds of stopping power. Fortunately, the strong frame and brass gears match up to this brute force.

KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper

I have reviewed this feature before and found it has fine attention to detail. 

However, while some will use it religiously, I get the impression the cynics will see it as creativity that could have been better spent elsewhere. 

Perhaps on a metal side plate.

Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate System

Despite the awkward name, and the fact that something as rudimentary as a side plate might be considered a feature, the plate is functional, and won’t fall into the water. 

It should be metal. It is susceptible to impact.

Pros

  • Very easy to dial in and master
  • Strength is a feature
  • Drag capacity, combined with rigidity and brass main gear
  • Great speed range in the series

Cons

  • Nothing truly standout considering the price point and competition
  • Plastic sideplate
13 FISHING - Concept A2 Baitcast Reel - 5.6:1 Gear Ratio - Left Hand Retrieve (Fresh+Salt) - A2-5.6-LH
  • HD Aluminum Frame with Ocean Armor 2 Treatment and Anti-Electrolysis Screw Pads.
  • H.A.M. Japanese Hamai Cut Hardened Brass Drive Gear
  • 25 lbs. Bulldog Drag System
  • 7BB (2 High Spin Corrosion Resistant BB, 4 Stainless BB, 1 Dead Stop Anti-Reverse)

Last update on 2022-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

13 Fishing Concept Reels Good?

13 Fishing Concept Reels make reliable go-to reels for a larger class of inshore fish. Tackle trophy bass using a huge variety of techniques and lure types.

How do you Adjust the Brakes on the 13 Fishing Concept?

Unlatch the side plate and simply turn the dial.

Are 13 Fishing Reels Good for Saltwater?

All reels are good for saltwater. All you have to do is clean them after each session, and deep clean them every few months, depending on usage.

The Concept A2 has HD Aluminum Frame with Ocean Armour 2 Treatment and Anti-Electrolysis Screw Pads, delivering robust protection in saltwater environments.

Verdict

The 13 Fishing Concept A2 Baitcasting Reel is a solid offering with plenty to like.

While for many, the 13 Concept A2 won’t ignite their fishing dreams, it will work beautifully as a regular go-to for trophy bass, when a variety of techniques are required to lure your quarry.

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