Every few years, the fishing industry explodes with enthusiasm when a new, innovative technology comes to market. Something that takes the idea of what is possible to new levels and encourages the industry to think outside the box of what is known. Think about the invention of the jack plate, a technology that allowed anglers to get their boats out of the water in an instant, and run shallower water than ever imagined. Or the invention of shallow water anchors which allowed fisherman the ability to remain standstill in up to 10 feet while the bite was hot. And let’s not forget about the Minn Kota Ultrex, a trolling motor debuted last season, allowing anglers to remain in one location according to GPS coordinates, regardless of depth. Technology rules all.
Like the new boat accessories, reels have also taken on new form. At 13Fishing, a shocking new invention has also been molded for fresh and saltwater anglers alike. This is where CZB technology took form. For Matt Baldwin, Reel Developer at 13 Fishing, the idea dates back a long time. Beginning his career as the manager of a large rod and reel shop, Baldwin emphasizes the understanding that “ball bearings were a problem.” Working with some of the best saltwater anglers on the Gulf coast, the company began to experiment with ways to eliminate the corrosion problem.
“The CZB is a special engineered polymer material that was specifically built for fishing this,” said Baldwin. 13 worked alongside a polymer company in the United States to help the company’s reels to perform at their highest level. It was in putting the reels in the hands of top tournament pros and guides that they realized it was going to change the way the anglers went about tournament fishing. As Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Coulter put it, “You can’t throw it any farther.” In other words, a true GAME CHANGER.
The industry changing technology was brought to the main stage during ICAST 2017, the largest fishing trade show in the world. The hype continued to grow during the B.A.S.S. Elite Series post- season, where 13Fishing Pro Dave Lefebre used almost exclusively his single Concept Z Reel. Skipping docks, he would catch one of the biggest fish of the tournament on his final cast, moving him into the semi-final round of the bracket challenge. Hands down, it was one of the most thrilling fish catches of the 2017 Elite Series season. As Lefebre explained, he was unable to put down the Concept Z, clearly showing his confidence in the reel.
So, let’s take a quick look at the details. For those who have not been able to get your hands on this epic reel, you aren’t the only one! Places like Tackle Warehouse have sold out like the most sought-after concert tickets, and orders continue to place the reel on backorder. The reel features include:
- EVA foam handle knobs which many anglers have grown to love due to the comfort over long days of fishing. True to the brand, the 13Fishing logo is etched into the foam.
- As with most all 13Fishing reels, anglers can look forward to the Star Bulldog Drag System, 22lbs of brute strength which will allow you to pull fish out of the thickest of cover.
- The fine tune knob has a nice clicking sound that will help you dial in for any lure.
- The reel has an internal 6 way centrifugal braking system, accessed via the beetle wing door, which helps also to keep water out of the gears, especially critical for saltwater guys and gals.
- There are three CZB polymer bearings, one that is attached to the spool and the other two on each side plate. This feature makes casting virtually silent on the retrieve and I look forward to seeing whether this performance lasts throughout the season.
- The tradition arrowhead guide system allows the line to freely enter and exit the spool while casting, reducing backlashes and also helping to improve casting distance.
- The reel body and handle is made of light aluminum and only ways 6.4 ounces. With it’s stylish orange finish and the company’s Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection Process, it will stand up to the elements.
As I hit the water this season, I am energized to experience the advantages of the CZB technology. The cool thing is any Concept reel can be upgraded to the CZB bearings. Greater casting distance will mean the ability to back off the fish and will keep the bait in the strike zone longer. Look out for performance updates throughout the VA Elite 70 season. I hope that you too will consider 13Fishing before heading out on the water this year.