Are 13 Fishing Rods Any Good? A 13 Fishing Rod Review For 2022

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Even though 13 Fishing has very good marketing campaigns and stylish branding, the company appears to have genuine substance beneath all the gloss.

13 Fishing casting reels, in particular, have made quite the splash on the market, impressing the digital age of modern angler.

Looks account for a lot, and their gear always looks great. 

This aesthetic touch runs right through their rod range. They have a wide range of products for a variety of budgets and they perform as well as they look.

Let’s take a closer look at some worthy 13 Fishing rod offerings. I’ve selected 8 rods from different categories. But first, let’s introduce the beginners to 13 Fishing.

History of 13 Fishing. Who is 13 Fishing?

13 Fishing began as many companies do. A drive to do something better, in this case, fishing manufacturing.

The concept was to make a better fishing company, through the involvement and inclusion of its customers, underpinned by a drive to make fishing exciting and fun.

13 Fishing specifically targeted young people and anglers of the digital age. 

Initially specializing in hardwater and inshore fishing, they have expanded over the last decade to grow their range to include a much broader range of fishing techniques and applications.

13 Fishing made a point of not just delivering performance and function but ensuring their brand had a unique focus on aesthetics. 

This form and cosmetic attention are apparent in all aspects of 13 Fishing, from their advertising to their fishing equipment.

Owning their own component company ensures they can offer customers something that’s unique, and not available to other brands.

13 Fishing have attempted to stand out and forge their own path, and their success suggests that their approach is working exceptionally well.

For What Type of Anglers are 13 Fishing Rods Best Suited?

13 fishing has a broad range of fishing rods at a range of price points. In that regard, there’s a 13 fishing rod for most anglers.

However, when you visit their site, you’ll notice their rods are categorized as being saltwater, fresh, or hardwater.

While hardwater is definitely a specialty deserving of its own category, I fail to see why there might be a distinction between fresh and saltwater – a problem I have with the industry in general. 

This is confusing, and I have no idea why a rod that is good for the fresh isn’t good for saltwater.

My suspicion is that it’s a marketing tool, and of no value to a better grasp of fishing applications. 

In my opinion, this is unfortunate. 

And if 13 fishing were really looking to refine their categories, they’d be better served, or we’d be better served, by suggesting applications, targets, and techniques over salt or fresh.

Ultimately, you’ll find closed water anglers more drawn to 13 Fishing rods. This is a mistake, as 13 Fishing has something to offer to those who fish outside the heads, and the beaches and rocks.

Their rods feel great, look great and perform admirably under a huge range of applications and conditions.

Their top shelf section will definitely appeal to the more discerning well-budgeted anglers looking for the best in responsiveness, feel, and sensitivity. 

For those with tighter budgets, or for anglers who prefer mid-range products, there is a much wider selection.

Are 13 Fishing Rods Any Good?

The best answer to this is to say 13 Fishing rods are very competitive and fast becoming a force to be reckoned with for fishing enthusiasts. 

The 13 Fishing Fate Black and the Ambition Combo are both ICast awarded series, with the kids’ Ambition rods something extra-special.

The Ambition rods express what the company is all about, and despite all of their other cool gear, they are a standout.

It is in keeping with its corporate goals and the reason why the company was formed. It’s all about fun but super edgy fishing.

The Ambition is an affordable rod designed to encourage young people to the sport, and therefore is made with full consideration of great looks, performance, and versatility. 

It’s not just a kids rod; it’s a WOW kids rod that I’m certain would have blown my mind when I was 8 years old – it does now.

There’s obvious attention to detail and a clear pursuit of performance designed into their rods, right across the range.

Ultimately, determining if something is good or otherwise will come down to subjective appraisal – Is it good for you? Is it good for your applications relative to other brands?

That said, 13 Fishing has invested in all the right rod features. So, yes, they’re good. And I’d encourage any angler to check them out.

What’s the Average Cost of a 13 Fishing Rods?

Please note these processes are approximated. Prices will vary depending on where you purchase.

The Ambition Kids rod starts at around 30 dollars, with the entry-level Rely rods around 40 to 50 dollars. 

The Fuse spin and casting series are their flagship rods, retailing at around 450 dollars.

There are plenty of options between the 100 and 250 dollar mark, with the Envy series hitting as high as 375 dollars.

Hardwater rods start at 20 dollars for the Infrared series, with the top-of-the-line Archangel going for 150 dollars.

For a 13 Fishing ice rod, most of us will be looking for between 30 and 80 dollars to cover most of our hardwater applications.

Best Budget 13 Fishing Rods

13 Fishing FateGreen Fishing Rods

The Fate Green series isn’t their least expensive but still sits well inside the entry-level price point. 

I’m not a fan of the color design, but plenty are, and it’s targeted at a different market to the one I belong to.

13 FISHING - Fate Green - 7'1" M Inshore Spinning Rod - FTGS71M

Aesthetics aside, a performance look to the Fate is matched by a surprising performance feel.

The hand Selected 3A Portuguese cork handle has a traditional, old-school look and feel. 

Most importantly, it transfers everything that’s happening on the business end, to the angler’s hand.

The Japanese 30 Ton HTC 3 Blank is responsive and sensitive, probably more than the price point would indicate. 

The tangle-free guides with Zirconia inserts seem a little on the fragile side yet deliver top-notch line management.

The Evolve Engage Reel Seat beautifully holds the reel, ensuring all power is delivered to the fight.

The Fate has a broad range of inshore applications, offering medium-light to medium-heavy power, with lengths 7’1” to 7’6” ideal for lure casting from a boat or kayak.

Key Features

  • Japanese 30 Ton HTC 3 Blank Construction
  • Tangle Free Guides with Zirconia Inserts
  • Evolve Engage Reel Seat
  • Hand Selected 3A Portuguese Cork Handle
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

13 Fishing AMBITION Spinning Rods

The 13 Fishing Ambition rods are nothing short of fantastic and are my favorite rods of the 13 Fishing range.

The future of the sport is in the hands of the kids, and this sort of gear is inspirational. 

13 FISHING - Ambition - 5'0" M Spinning Rod - A2S5M

Available in three lengths, ultra-light, medium-light, and medium, parents have a little wiggle room to select rods that are more appropriate for their children.

These rods perform particularly well, and they look fantastic. In no way do they look like a kids fishing rod. 

They look every bit as professional as the gear the big kids are using, and the young ones like this.

Moreover, I’m an advocate of young people learning the sport using quality equipment. Responsive rods assist young anglers in developing better skills faster.

My choice is the 8 to 12-pound 5-foot medium. It has the right balance of everything, with that little bit more forgiveness.

Key Features

  • Japanese 24 Ton HTC 2 Blank Construction
  • Stainless Steel Guides with Polished Inserts
  • Evolve Seamless Reel Seat
  • High-Density Japanese EVA and Premium Cork Handle

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 Best 13 Fishing Casting Rods

13 Fishing DEFY BLACK Casting Rod

There are 14 Defy Black casting options from which to choose, allowing anglers to refine a choice to application.

Catering for medium to heavy, the Defy Black is the first choice of the budget-conscious angler looking for serious power to wrestle a larger class of fish from heavy cover.

13 FISHING - Defy Black - 7'0" Crankbait Casting Rod - DB2C7C

There are three crankbait options built with moderate actions which are ideal for getting peak action from your favorite cranks.

For those targeting genuine monsters, the two 8-foot swimbait models are available in heavy and extra heavy.

Both have line ratings to 40 pounds, the heavy model will handle big swimbaits up to 14 ounces.

The gloss back color is very striking, with the Fishing 13 proprietary grips adding an ergonomic feel and professional edge. 

The reel seats (proprietary) have a very solid feel with a tight fit, allowing every bit of action downstairs to be transferred to the angler.

While classed as a freshwater rod, I’d use these everywhere. Don’t be put off by the classification; this is on the radar for saltwater anglers too.

Key Features

  • PVG Japanese 24 Ton Blank Construction
  • Evolve Stainless Steel Alconite Guides
  • Evolve Snaggle Tooth Hook Keeper
  • Custom Evolve Seamless Reel Seat
  • High-Density Japanese EVA Split Grip Handle
  • CGE1 Blank Construction (Cranking)
  • Evolve Snagless Hook Keeper (Cranking)
  • Evolve Engage Reel Seat (Swimbait)
  • Evolve Foxhole Hook Keeper (Swimbait)

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

13 Fishing OMEN BLACK Casting Rod

The Omen Black is a classy bit of gear and at this price point, probably my strongest recommendation for a huge list of inshore applications land-based and afloat.

These are powerful rods, yet have outstanding sensitivity and top-shelf responsiveness. 

13 FISHING - Omen Black - 6'10" M Casting Rod - OB3C610M

The handles feel great, with the stainless guide adding durability to great casting credentials.

The big feature of the Omen is the series range. 

I get the feeling 13 Fishing recognizes this as a popular price point for such a rod type and therefore gives the angler a fantastic range of options for getting application-specific.

Given the chance to select only one Omen, I honestly don’t know how to choose from this range, as 4 of them jump out at me immediately.

Given the boaties have a mega list from which to choose, I think I’d go with either of the swimbait models.

At 8 feet, with ridiculous amounts of power relative to weight, these would be my first choice for tackling larger fish from land-based positions.

You can fish pretty gnarly locations and pretty heavy cover and your Omen will compensate and back you up when it comes to landing a trophy fish.

Key Features

  • Japanese 36 Ton Toray Graphite
  • 4A Hand-selected Portuguese Cork Handle
  • Evolve Snaggle Tooth Hook Keeper
  • Custom Evolve Ported Reel Seat
  • ALPS 316 Stainless Steel Guides with Zirconia Inserts
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Best 13 Fishing Ice Combo

13 FISHING – FreeFall Stealth – Ice Fishing Combo

Priced to sell and styled to attract younger anglers, the Ghost is not just a clever bit of marketing but an accessibly priced option that will deliver great results for the majority of hard water anglers.

The choice might be tough for a few of us, as those who like that bit of length will be drawn to the 30” rod.

13 FISHING - Freefall Ghost Stealth Ice Combo - 27" L (Light) - FF Ghost + Tickle Stick - Left Hand Retrieve - Black/Grey Camo - StealthFF-LH-27L

But the extra power in the 27” light model is quite compelling, as you have that extra bit of power should a trout or walleye of size take a serious interest in your minnow.

Six and a half pounds of max drag is light-on but enough to subdue fish of size you might not have expected.

Ergonomically, the Ghost fishes well. It’s nice to have a comfortable outfit in conditions that are rarely comfortable.

I like these series for bluegill, perch, walleye, crappie, smallmouth, and lake trout.

Reel Key Features

  • FREEFall Performance Window
  • FREEFall Drop Lever
  • Instant Anti-Reverse
  • 3+1 Ball Bearings
  • 2.5:1 Gear Ratio
  • Soft Touch Handle Knobs
  • High Strength Composite Frame 

Rod Key Features

  • Tickle Stick (PC2 Flat Tip Blank Construction)
  • Alps Thin Wire Guides
  • High-Density Japanese Split Grip Handle
  • Evolve Soft Touch Reel Seat

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

13 FISHING – White Noise – Spinning Ice Fishing Combo

The White Noise combo is a great example of an affordable ice kit that will be appreciated by hardwater anglers of all skill levels.

While not exactly feature-laden, that’s not its intention. The idea is solid basics with attention to cold climate performance issues such as defrost reel lubricant.

13 FISHING - White Noise Ice Combo - L (Light) 25" - WNC2-25L

3 BB with Instant Anti-Reverse and a solid Toray graphite blank head the feature list, giving it a balanced combination of performance, durability, and sensitivity.

Around the 50-dollar mark, depending on where you buy it, you will get a quality rod for the equivalent of pocket change.

There are ultra-light, light, and medium options with top lengths at 28” and an option for the shorties at 19”. 

The reel is left or right-handed, suiting all anglers, and the combo is suitable for a large range of applications, covering all but trophy pike and browns.

Excellent value for everyday ice fishing adventures.

Reel Key Features

  • 3 BB with Instant Anti-Reverse
  • Aluminum Handle with Soft Touch Knob
  • Defrost Reel Lubricant

Rod Key Features

  • Solid Toray Graphite Blank
  • Lightweight Evolve Electric Blue Guides
  • Hidden Evolve Reel Seat

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Best 13 Fishing Spinning Rod

13 Fishing ENVY BLACK III – Spinning Rod

The Envy Black III is top-shelf performance and priced accordingly. Such is 13 Fishing’s confidence in the Envy, it comes with a 10-year warranty.

The Evolve Soft Touch Seamless Reel Seat is perfectly integrated into the hand-selected premium Portuguese cork handle.

Last update on 2022-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fuji stainless steel K frame guides with SIC Inserts deliver perfect line management and durability. However, this is not a rod to throw around.

While designated freshwater, I’d use this classy rod for any inshore application, saltwater or fresh.

It’s built for working premium lures, both hard and soft, and will deliver peak performance with matching reels spooled with braid.

Lengths start a 6’9”, topping out at 7’4”, which will suit a modest range of land-based applications. However, this is a series I’d recommend for those fishing afloat.

Powers range from medium-light to medium-heavy, covering a large range of species, techniques, and applications.

The only disappointment is that there is no ultra-light model for the finesse sports anglers. 

The Envy Black will appeal to the more discerning angler looking for the ultimate in rod performance.

Key Features

  • Japanese 46 Ton Toray Graphite Blank
  • Japanese 30 Ton T-Glass Blank (Cranking)
  • Hand Selected Premium Portuguese 5A Split Grip Handle
  • Evolve Soft Touch Seamless Reel Seat
  • Fuji Stainless Steel K Frame Guides with SIC Inserts
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

FATE BLACK GEN III – Spinning

The Fat Black Gen III spinning series offers outstanding performance for a very accessible price.

As with nearly everything 13 Fishing, cosmetics are a standout, making them look far more expensive than they are.

13 FISHING - Fate Black - 7'3" M Spinning Rod - FTB3S73M

Light yet powerful, this is as one-handed operation as spin setups get, with sensible reel selection delivering professional level balance and ergonomics.

The use of EVA over premium cork has allowed for cost savings but doesn’t detract from the overall feel.

Yes, premium cork feels amazing, but you don’t really feel the difference unless you’re swapping between the two frequently during a session.

Evolve stainless steel Alconite guides sit well on the Japanese 30 Ton PVG30T blank. 

It’s light enough to feel like an extension of your arm yet has the power to subdue largemouth and trout, given the appropriate rig.

While there is a dedicated finesse model, my favorite of this series is the 7’2” light power. 

With a line rating of 2 to a pounds, it will suit a mid to high level 1000 spin reel, providing outstanding sport and refined finesse fishing with the lightest of unweighted soft plastics.

The purpose-built finesse model is 6’10” and rated 4 to 10 pounds. I feel this would offer those anglers new to finesse fishing a little more forgiveness when honing new finesse skills.

Key Features

  • Japanese 30 Ton PVG30T Blank Construction
  • Evolve Stainless Steel Alconite Guides
  • Evolve Soft Touch Custom Reel Seat
  • Evolve Soft Touch Carbon Divide Reel Seat (Finesse)
  • High-Density Japanese EVA Grips
  • Evolve Snaggle Tooth Hook Keeper

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Frequently asked Questions

Is 13 a Good Fishing Brand?

Of all the newcomers in the last couple of decades, 13 Fishing stands out as a solid brand. 

Recent interest and a 49% acquisition from Rapala would indicate that the 13 Fishing model has been recognized by the industry as something special.

What may happen in the future is anybody’s guess, as corporate machinations tend to influence products. 

However, for the time being, the performance of their product suggests 13 Fishing to be a good, competitive brand.

Is 13 Fishing an American Company?

13 Fishing is an American company based in Clearwater, Florida.

Where are 13 Fishing Rods Made?

It would appear that 13 Fishing rods are assembled in the USA, built from components manufactured locally and in Asia. Blanks, for example, are Japanese.

Does Rapala Own 13 Fishing?

Rapala owns a 49% stake in 13 Fishing. While this is 1% short of ownership, such a large stake suggests significant controlling interest.

Rapala is a globally respected brand. Their lures in particular, are nothing short of legendary.

It’s important to know that Pure Fishing now has an approximately 20% interest in Rapala, which means 1/5 of the Rapala is owned by a private equity firm.

I’m of the opinion that the significant involvement of private equity firms in fishing brands might not be in the best interest of anglers.  

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