February 17th, 2016
In the last few years 13 Fishing has come a long way and displayed that they are not a fad; they’re here to stay! With the success of their Concept reels, 13 Fishing is building on their success and have introduced the Omen Black line of rods.
Our team tested the following models over the summer of 2015:
- OB2S73MH – Omen Black 7’3″ M Spinning Rod
- OB2c73MH – Omen Black 7’3″ MH Casting Rod
- OB2c71M – Omen Black 7’1″ M Casting Rod
We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a few samples of the Omen Black rods and here’s what we thought:
Straight out of the box the 13 Fishing Omen Black rods were surprisingly light. I was impressed with my first glance! The cork handles were also an immediate plus to me and traditionalists will really like this touch. Many rod manufacturers choose to go with EVA foam in an effort to reduce cost, but 13 Fishing has opted to keep this key feature and we like it!
- 30 ton Japanese Toray Carbon
- PVG technology – Poly Vector Graphite technology allows for the strategic interlacing of graphite to precisely control the fiber angle alignment during the blank rolling process; PVG’s tighter graphite composition increases sensitivity and hoop strength by preventing energy loss due to ovalization under extreme pressure
- ALPS Guides with Zirconia inserts; ALPS guides with Zirconia inserts are precisely placed on each blank to maximize blank performance, while also increasing durability and casting capabilities
- Evolve Enage reel seat
- Evolve Snag-Less hook keeper
- Hand Selected 3A Portuguese full cork handle
The Omen Black series of rods are moderately priced and will run you from $99 – $139.99 US, depending on the model. Rods directly competing in this price range have to be packed with features as well as be versatile. Anglers who own rods in this category are looking for something that can be used for many different presentations.
Interestingly, the 13 Fishing lineup has enough models that are technique-specific, so an intermediate angler could choose to fill his/her entire lineup with Omen Black rods without having to mortgage their house. The Omen Black series of rods are also great for a beginner who will be expanding their rod collection.
Rods that directly compete with the Omen Black rods include:
- Abu Garcia Ike rods (MSRP $139.99)
- Abu Garcia Villan rods (MSRP $149.99)
- Daiwa XT Tatula rods (MSRP $99 – $119.99)
- Dobyns Fury rods (MSRP $109.99 – $119.99)
- Duckett Ghost Series rods (MSRP $99.99 – $109.99)
- Denali Jadewood Series rods (MSRP $99,99 – $129.99)
- Denali Kovert Series rods (MSRP $139.99 – $149.99)
- St Croix Rod Mojo Bass Series rods (MSRP $139.99 – $149.99)
- Shimano Compre rods (MSRP $99.99 – $119.99)
- Phenix Maxim rods (MSRP $109.99 – $129.99)
As you can see, there is a lot of choice in the sub-$150 price range and there are many rod lineups to choose from. Our team agreed that the 13 Fishing Omen Black was definitely packed with features for its price range and well worth the investment.
On The Water
The 13 Fishing rods are very versatile. We chose to use the 7’1″ Medium model as a spinnerbait rod, while the heavier 7’3″ MH rod did some swimjig duty. The 7’3″ MH Spinning rod was also used for dragging tubes in smallmouth waters as well as drop-shotting.
All three of the rods tested were rigged up and used throughout the summer. Our team used the rods with flourocarbon, mono and braid lines. The Omen Black series doesn’t have a gloss coat of paint applied on it. In fact, they seem unpainted, almost unfinished, and this makes them rough to the touch. Of course, the lack of clearcoat paint on them makes them lighter, so it’s a tradeoff.
During use, we also found that the Evolve Snag-Less hook keeper made it difficult to unhook jigs from the hook keeper. The barb would often catch on the hook keeper and the jig we were using needed to be twisted to get it loose. During extended use this was somewhat a minor source of frustration. Using the Evolve Snag-Less hook keeper with Texas-rigged soft plastics also requires the angler to un-thread the soft plastic lure partially from the hook in order to use it.
On the positive side, the Evolve Snag-Less hook keeper is a safer design. If you are looking for a rod as a gift for a younger angler this feature may be something you are interested. Young anglers are less likely to hurt themselves as the hook keeper covers the sharp hook when in use preventing snags and injury.
During use, the Omen Black rods, proved to be very sensitive while having plenty of backbone for heavy applications; this was particularly true for the spinning version. The Omen Black rods loaded up nicely when setting the hook and were smooth as well, We can’t be sure since 13 Fishing hasn’t disclosed the ratio, but we think the Omen Black is 70/30 split; meaning that is has 70% backbone and 30% tip.
The 13 Fishing Omen Black rods are a moderately priced rod that offers anglers the capability to expand their rods and stay within the same series. The Omen Black rods have key features such as Portuguese cork handles and 30 ton Japanese Toray blanks that traditionalist anglers will appreciate. Whether you are looking into this rod as a first time buyer, or an experienced angler looking for a moderately priced option, this rod is seriously worth considering.
To check out 13 Fishing’s Website – Click Here!
To browse models and Buy – Click Here!
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci