13 Fishing Meta Casting Rod Review

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The 13 Fishing Meta Casting Rod has been highly anticipated since its announcement and we finally got our hands on it to test. Resident funny man and two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle teamed up with 13 Fishing to design a full line-up of casting, cranking and spinning rods, in an attempt to bring to market a high-quality but affordable option for any angler and every technique.

With 17 different options in size, action and power, and at a price point of $149 across the board, the Meta rod was a compelling option to test out. I focused on the 7-foot, 3-inch heavy-power, fast-action casting rod for the purposes of this piece. So, these are my thoughts on this rod build.

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meta rod blanks


I remember when 13 Fishing first started, I guess 10 or 12 years ago. I tried one of their early lower-end offerings, and it was a bit heavy, cumbersome and, I remember in particular, the reel seat wore a sore spot on my hand after using it for only a few hours.

One of the benefits though of what I do for a living, is I’m forced to continue to look at rods and reels and lots of different line-ups from brands where I might have written someone off on one bad experience as just a regular angler.

Since those early rods, I have since reviewed several other 13 Fishing products, and have been thoroughly impressed by the improvements in quality, materials and performance of their products over time. My experience with the Meta Casting Rod has echoed that sentiment, even taking it up a notch when considering price relative to the quality of this build.

It should come as no surprise though that the Meta series is high quality, since Bassmaster Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle not only signed off on these rods, but because he also has to rely on them to make his living as a full-time pro on the Elite Series. That alone carries more weight than any sales pitch or marketing scheme.


I have enjoyed fishing with the Meta rod thanks primarily to its simplicity in design. Companies these days go out of their way sometimes to create a rod that’s different. They’ll add in some little feature or two to set their product apart. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort and honor the desire to be different. But, these days it’s not as much about reinventing the wheel as it is producing quality.

Brand loyalty is also a strong motivator. Nike and Adidas both make a fine pair of shoes. It’s not that one is astronomically better than the other. Some people just like Nike, some like Adidas. One of the primary goals for each company is to just create an offering to meet the need of everyone who already likes their brand. The same is the case in the fishing industry.

If an angler finds a brand they like, he’ll often stick with it. If you already like 13 Fishing’s products, you’ll love the Meta Casting Rod. It has a clean design with tapering rod guide sizes, split EVA foam grips, a sleek reel seat and an open hook hanger mounted on the back of the rod.

For any who have read a rod review of mine in the past, you’ll know that last detail is always one of my favorites. I really like open bait keepers because they accommodate all types of baits. You can easily hang baits with exposed hooks, like jigs, spinnerbaits and lures with treble hooks. And, unlike with closed hook keepers, an open one also allows you to hang rigged soft plastic baits like Texas rigs, Flukes and topwater swimbaits, with their hook points still covered.


The specific rod I tested was a 7-foot, 3-inch heavy power with a fast tip. I assumed this rod would be a good light-duty flipping stick for baits in the 3/8- to 5/8-ounce range. When the rod came in, however, it was a little lighter with a lighter action than I had expected. I ended up using it instead for a topwater about the size of a Spook. The soft but fast tip gives you a lot of control to work a bait with the rod, and the length of the rod made for easy long casting. It would be a tremendous open water frog rod too for the same reason. Lots of tip control and power in the backbone for skipping under trees and in sparse cover and enough to pull them out.

I believe this exact rod would work well too for fishing lipless crankbaits in submerged grass with braid. It would be a really good size and action for that technique, and it is also a sensitive rod, so you’d be able to tell if you had a little grass on your bait, and then use the fast tip and length of the rod to rip the bait free.

I think this action Meta rod would also work well with mid-size to larger Whopper Ploppers and Choppos, as well hollow body frogs and larger spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. If I were to guess all of these rods are a little on the lighter side action wise, in comparison to a lot of the other rods on the market. This is likely just due to Swindle’s personal preference, as he really likes to set the hook hard on fish and probably prefers a sensitive rod with better action to one that’s super stiff.


With high-quality Japanese elements incorporated into the grips and blank of this build, Stainless Steel American Tackle Guides with DuraLite Inserts, an Evolve Custom Reel Seat and Open End Hook Keeper and a limited 5 year warranty, the 13 Fishing Meta Casting Rod speaks for itself when it comes to quality.

Adding 24-year-pro Gerald Swindle’s stamp of approval on top of these design elements speaks to the rod’s durability. And rounding it all off with a price tag of $149 makes this a quality buy if you’re in the market for a reliable casting rod that won’t break your heart or the bank.

You can find the 13 Fishing Meta Rods at these online retailers: