has been given the name “Blackout” for a reason. Physically every spot externally on the reel is matte black except for the worm gear and the line guide shaft. There are very few reels on the market with this characteristic which enables it to be matched with nearly any rod or line combination color wise. It features 6 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing and it only weighs 7.2 ounces. The drag is a little on the lower side though only putting out a maximum force of 13lbs which is enough for everyday bassin but in regards to other reels, it’s fairly weak.
The drag tension cap does not click for fine adjustment but when it comes to pitching baits to cover, this reel is unmatched for the MSRP of $120. To aid in perfect casting for both short and long distances, they incorporated a 7 adjustment centrifugal braking system to the spool. Yes, it is only 7 adjustments but I can honestly say it is better than a lot of other manufacturers braking systems which can have infinitely many more settings. Accessing these brakes are incredibly easy as well as adjustment. There is a small lever on the bottom of the reel that you simply flip the other way and the sideplate falls straight off. After doing so, located on the spool is our centrifugal brakes labeled 0-6. 0 has the least resistance and 6 has the most with 2-3 being the sweet spot that offers the best casting to control. To adjust, grab the outside area of the dial and turn it, a little white dot at the top will indicate your brake setting. One caveat though, the sideplate does not possess the bettlewing design that the more expensive Concept reels have, so you better make sure you’re in an area where it can easily be recovered in the event it slips out of your hand.
When it comes to the performance of any reel, the gears and bearings are essential. If they’re too cheap, they will start to wear down quickly resulting in the purchase of new components or simply a new reel. No amount of oil or grease will fix cheap parts. Coming from 13 Fishing, it would be expected that their components are top notch and they are. After two seasons of fishing with this reel without any cleaning or maintenance, it still feels as solid and smooth as day one. Even though it is part of the Origin line of reels I personally do not really see any difference in terms of quality between the Blackout (most expensive) and the A (least expensive) even though the manufacter price on the Blackout is nearly twice as much.
There is one small “issue” with this reel though, the matte paintjob tends to show more “scratches” than other reels. If you physically run your fingernail over the paint, it will leave a faint slightly brighter trail behind it. It isn’t wrecking the paint, but it is noticeable if you really look. So, with that being said it may be in your best interest to baby this reel, not drop it or let it touch other equipment when in the rod locker or laying on the boat deck.
BFA’s Score: 10/10 Especially if you can find it.
Unfortunately, it appears as though this particular Blackout reel was only manufactured for a short duration. If you happen to come across one, it is certainly worth every penny.
Check out similar reels:
Origin A – https://amzn.to/3qTZkgF
Origin C – https://amzn.to/3a4b2hX
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