is without a doubt one of the best reels under $100 that I have used throughout the years. It features a gloss black body, matte black tension knob, star drag and handle and has matte white grips that certainly makes it look sharp. It weighs 7.3 ounces which is fairly good considering the price tag is only $80. The Origin A comes in two different gear ratios, a 6.6:1 (27.8 IPT) and a speedy 8.1:1 (34 IPT). An 8 speed reel is actually pretty insane for this price point. Unfortunately, it has a fairly low drag at only 13lbs. The Origin C is $20 more but has nearly 30% more drag at 18lbs. Spool wise, we are looking at an average size being able to hold 135 yards of 12lb test.
This reel features a 7 adjustment centrifugal braking system on 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 braking power 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 potential issue is that the sideplate does not possess the bettlewing design that the more expensive Concept reels have. This will really only be a problem if you lose your grip on the sideplate though, so make sure to hold onto it tight.
How does this reel perform? Surprisingly good for $80. These reels in my opinions are on par with the Origin C, older Blackout and even around the realm of the Revo S/SX which is nearly $50-$80 more. Many people say 13 Fishing is not a quality company, but the Origin line of reels have been amazing, and I often find myself reaching for them when deciding what equipment to bring with for the day. Being as though the Origin A is so cheap, I am not worried too much if it gets scratched or banged around. The bearings on this reel are also a little surprising to me. After owning it since it originally released in 2017 and probably tens of thousands of casts later, they do not show any sign of grittiness or noise which is insane coming from a reel this cheap.
One caveat with the Origin A is the white handle grips. Yes, they are an interesting aspect visually, but they have the same issue as the whole Origin C, they’re white, and they get dirty and like to stay dirty. Actual cleaning products will help but do not expect plain water to clean these grips. One cleaned fairly easy while the other took some actual hard scrubbing with soap and a little isopropyl alcohol. You can clean them with whatever you’d like but it will most likely run on the paint of the reel as well whether it’s the main body or the handle so be sure to use something paint friendly. Being as though the grips are much smaller than a whole reel to clean, it is tolerable, and I wouldn’t put it as a strike against this reel.
BFA’s Score: 10/10. It is one of the cheapest reels I own but easily performs as good as any reel in the $100-$150 price range.
Check out the Origin A here: https://amzn.to/3tdQe2J
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