The 13 Fishing Fate Black rods were some of the more hotly anticipated new rods announced last year. I have been fishing them since late last summer, and just realized I hadn't wrote a review of them. Since the first picture I posted with them last fall, people have been asking me about the "green rods." With so much curiosity and people still asking about them, I wanted to share some thoughts on this $99 workhorse rod from 13 Fishing.
They come in 9 Baitcaster powers and actions and 7 spinning power and action combinations. They feature 30-ton Japanese HTC3 blanks, Evolve seamless reel seats, tangle-free guides, and Portugese cork handles. Their sizes range from 6-foot, 7-inch medium power rods to 7-foot, 11-inch heavy power rods.
Quality custom reel seat
Lime green. It's usually the first thing that you seen when you go in a tackle shop that carries the rods. But the Fate Black rods are not only eye catching but a pretty heavy duty rod at the $99 price point. Many of the rods at the $99 price point you find are thin, hollow, brittle-sounding, cheap blanks, with cheaper components put on them to keep the price point down.
One of the first things that stood out to me on the Fate Black rods, and what I always look at first when I pick up a new fishing rod, was the reel seat.
It featured a custom locking nut and custom cork inset to hold the reel snuggly in place, which is a big deal for sensitivity and fluidity in casting and retrieving. I liked that the reel seat felt solid. It did not feel like cheap plastic that was going to break if you cinched your reel down too tight on the seat. It holds the reel foot tight with no flexing or sliding.
Good guide design
The guides are matte black against the bright green blank, with a solid, tangle-free construction. They feature Zirconium inserts, and casting is very quiet and smooth with a wide variety of line sizes and types. I've fished fluorocarbon and braid on several of the rod models, and they all throw and fish really well.
Heavier, more durable design at lower price
The Fate Black rods would fall in the heavier blank category to me. 13 Fishing constructed the blanks from Japanese 30-Ton HTC3 Low resin materials and covered them in a radioactive green paint. One thing I've noticed about the finish on these rods is that, while it looks bright, it is actually a more matte appearance. The paint doesn't chip or crack like the clear coat on a many similarly priced rods. You will get a scuff if you drop the rod on the ground or bang it against something, but it will not compromise the integrity of the rod with a chip or spider cracks that can lead to weak points and breakage later.
The powers and actions are a little on the heavier side as a result as well. I felt like the MH rod fished more like a blend between a MH and H rod. But I like that with this $99 rod, I can throw it in the bed of my truck and leave it. That way, I can stop when I'm out and about and make a few casts if I come up on some good looking water. I think guys that fish a lot in Johnboats, walk the banks or carry their fishing stuff in the back of their truck will really appreciate this bit heavier design.
Stands out while handling serious abuse
I have fished the Fate Black rods in a variety of techniques. I really like the MH rod for frogging and the heavy power rod 7-foot, 4-inch rod for flipping. I lean more towards those types of applications with this line of rods.
I have thrown crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits on the the 6-foot, 7-inch and 7-foot, 1-inch medium power rods, and they have been very sensitive and hook and play fish well. The cork grips are very comfortable, and the hook keeper makes getting your rods ready to move quick and painless.
All of the rods have decent tip action, but the backbone is what will attract most anglers. You can swing fish without a care in the world on these rods. I have done a lot of bank fishing with these rods and fished on the river quite a bit with them as well. Places where I might get into skinny water and have trees around and above me while I fish. There is nothing worse than swinging a rod into a tree branch and hearing that crack thinking you cost yourself a rod. So a more durable rod for that is welcome.
I highly recommend the 7-foot, 3-inch medium heavy and 7-foot, 4-inch heavy if you're looking for strong durable rods in that $99 budget range.
You can find the 13 Fishing Fate Black rods at this link at Tacklewarehouse.com and retailers that carry 13 Fishing rods.
This was one of my first outings fishing the Fate Black rods all day. I was pretty rough on them intentionally, banging them on tree branches, swinging fish, dropping them on my boat deck and more to see how much abuse they could handle. They are still going strong months later.