13 Fishing Concept C2 Casting Reel Review

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The reputation of 13 Fishing is to get you on the water in a reliable manner without breaking your bank.

And despite the fact that most of their products are affordable, they do offer a few baitcasters that compete at a premium level.

One of those is the 13 Fishing Concept C2 baitcaster, which is designed for the more serious and discerning baitcaster fan.

The Concept C2 delivers robust durability, plenty of features, and a refined feel with plenty of grunt and backbone for the tough stuff.

For those who like to fish light without sacrificing strength, the C2 offers a fatigue-free extended casting session.

Let’s have a closer look at the 13 Fishing Concept C2. 

13 Fishing Concept C2 Casting Reel Review

The C2 is a genuine attempt to compete with the big Japanese brands whose higher-end reels deliver strength and rigidity in a lightweight package.

Fans of Shimano and Daiwa will be impressed, as it is built for the serious angler for whom all boxes need to be ticked, not just a few.

13 FISHING - Concept C2 - Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel - 7.5:1 - Right Hand Retrieve (Fresh+Salt) - C2-7.5-RH

The 13 Fishing Concept C2 delivers this in an upper mid-price package. You get rugged durability in a heavy-duty 200 size baitcaster that weighs in at a surprising 5.8 ounces.

For some anglers, the size to weight ratio may take a little getting used to. While the reel is lightweight, the smoothness and refined feel take it to another level.

What you’re looking at is not what you feel. Although it looks great, it feels even better, as one would expect something heavier upon first glance.

A few casts, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. You don’t even need to get it under load before you’re convinced this is a great reel. It feels strong. It feels rigid.

A battle with something big from the cover is all the evidence you need that the C2 performs as promised. The 25 lb Bulldog Drag system is the icing on the cake.

Wind on the drag as hard as you dare, and you’ll feel nothing (Within reason. Don’t point it at a Yellowfin Tuna) in the way of flex and twist during a fight. 

The rigidity is impressive.

The C2 has 4 right and 3 left-hand options, with the only other variable being the retrieve rates via differing gear ratios.

You can select a Concept C2 for technique and lure specific applications, or you can hit the middle ground, choosing a ratio that covers all of your favorite lures and attack plans.

Excellent corrosion resistance makes it an ideal saltwater option, but freshwater anglers will find it more appealing as a fantastic bass reel.

Having said that, I’d cast this at anything from drum to tarpon, stripers, trout, and salmon. 

While the spool size might become an issue for bigger fish, its strength and powerful drag will compensate to a degree. 

Anyway, it’s all about the sport and the challenge. It’s a robust reel. Test it, and test yourself!

Features

  • Cast Iron Carbon Frame and Side Plate Construction
  • High Spin Spool System
  • Ti-Armor Aluminum Hamai Cut Drive Gear
  • 25 lb Bulldog Drag System
  • 9 BB 
  • Arrowhead Line Guide
  • Reinforced Clutch Cam
  • KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper
  • Generation II Hard Anodized Worm Shaft
  • Low-Friction 6-Way Braking System
  • Beetle Wing Rapid Access Side Plate
13 FISHING - Concept C2 - Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel - 7.5:1 - Right Hand Retrieve (Fresh+Salt) - C2-7.5-RH
  • Hi-Tech Cast Iron Carbon Frame and Side Plate Construction
  • High Spin Spool System
  • Ti-Armor Aluminum Hamai Cut Drive Gear
  • 25 lbs. Bulldog Drag System

Last update on 2022-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Main Features of the 13 Fishing Concept C2

Cast Iron Carbon Frame and Side Plate Construction

This is a critical feature but I’m not sure if it’s just clever marketing. All cast iron has carbon in it – it’s an alloy of carbon and iron. 

I assume the lightweight feel and ‘high-tech’ nature of the body are due to an elevated percentage of carbon in the mix. 

Whatever the case. It’s light, strong, and rigid. So, happy days.

9 Bearings

The 9 bearing mix is made up of high spin corrosion-resistant ball bearings, stainless ball bearings, and dead stop Anti-Reverse. 

It’s smooth, spins beautifully; it’s tight with no play to speak of. And I’ve no doubt it will contribute to a much longer working life due to the bearing support of rotating parts.

Drag System

The max drag is generous for a baitcaster. When spool capacities are a little lacking, as they are with the C2, I think the substantial max drag offers reasonable compensation. 

It’s smooth and predictable under load.

Arrowhead Line Guide

This is a great line guide. It appears durable enough, but more importantly, line management is very good, with friction kept to a minimum. 

There seem to be few corrosion points or line-jam locations.

KeepR Integrated Hook Keeper

This feature might not seem like much, but it’s actually a very cool detail. We hook our lures to just about anywhere we probably shouldn’t. 

Often, it causes wear and damage over time. Having the KeepR system in such a perfect spot was a great idea.

Gears

The machined alloy gears feel great. There’s no movement or slop. 

The Generation II Hard Anodized Worm Shaft will have no issue with corrosion (Under normal use) but may wear quicker than you’d like depending on the mesh at a microscopic level. 

Any gear with coatings is only as durable as the coating and will wear as play increases over time.

Low-Friction 6-Way Braking System

I found casting manners to be excellent. I also found the braking system easy to work out, and very reliable. 

The beetle wing cover is very easy to use and ergonomically sound. 

It’s a good solution for those who seem to drop-side plates in the water. Keep in mind that when open, it’s a weak point, so don’t drop the reel when the access plate is open.

Size Options

ModelRatioRetrieveCapacityMax DragWeight
C2-5.6-RH5.6:122.2″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-6.8-RH6.8:126.9″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-7.5-RH7.5:129.7″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-8.3-RH8.3:132.8″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-7.5-LH7.5:129.7″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-6.8-LH6.8:126.9″12/12525lb5.8oz
C2-8.3-LH8.3:132.8″12/12525lb5.8oz

Alternatives To The Concept C2

This price point is highly competitive in the baitcaster market. I expect this is why 13 Fishing has pulled out all the stops to make something genuinely competitive.

Ironically, many will be trying the C2 as the alternative. But if you’re looking for a comparison, try the Shimano Tranx, the Shimano Curado, the Daiwa Tatula, or Penn Fathom. See below.

Shimano Fishing Tranx 400Hg A Low Profile Reels [TRX400AHG]
  • HAGANE Body
  • Super Free Spool
  • Viable Brake System
  • CoreProtect
Shimano Curado 200K HG Lowprofile Freshwater Fishing Reel
  • Built tournament tough; this low-profile baitcasting reel is the benchmark for durability and reliability which is why generations of anglers have looked to curado as their trusted partner
  • Featuring shimano's latest technology such as the super smooth; efficient; and durable micromodule gearing
  • Employs svs infinity braking system providing easy-to-manage and consistent spool control and brake force for precision casting with lighter lures as well as precise adjustments when switching baits or a change in condition
  • Utilizes x-ship technology to improve durability and long-lasting performance; as well as a smoother; more powerful retrieve making this the ‘go to' casting reel for both freshwater and saltwater action

Last update on 2022-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Daiwa, Tatula Casting Reel, 200, 6.3:1 Gear Ratio, 7BB, 1RB Bearings, 28.2" Retrieve, Right Hand, Black
  • Aluminum Frame and Gear Side Plate with Reinforced Brass Gears
  • 100mm Swept Handle and Soft Touch Knobs
  • A Matte Black Finish with Tatula Spider Graphics
  • 7BB + 1RB, 6.3:1 Ratio
Penn FTH300LPLH Fathom LH Low Profile Baitcast 300sz,Metal
  • Setting the standard in saltwater fishing since 2029
  • No matter where you fish, or what you fish for, look to PENN to perform flawlessly now and in the future
  • Exceeds the highest expectations of any angler

Last update on 2022-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Notes About the 13 Fishing Concept C2

If you haven’t tried 13 fishing yet and are looking for a 200 size baitcaster, now would be the perfect time to give it a go.

Given the price, you’d think it was a pretty low-risk bet – and it is. This is a lovely reel to catch fish.

Critically, however, it also has the backbone to see out a few pretty rough seasons of hardcore casting and wrestling monsters from the cover. 

It would seem 13 fishing have done the work here, and the Concept C2 is worth consideration.

Is There Anything I Didn’t Like?

No. There’s a lot to like about this reel, and I’ll think most will be impressed. My only criticisms are that there’s no left-hand slow crank and that the spool capacity is a little light on.

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