I've used several different 13 Fishing rods over the years. From frogging, cranking to flipping, I have a good bit of experience with their casting rods. But I haven't really fished with a bunch of their spinning rods. That changed this past spring, however, when I started testing out the Omen Black 3 spinning rod. I relied pretty heavily on spinning tackle this spring because the fishing was uncharacteristically tough for everyone around here, so I definitely put this rod series through its paces.
I'll go through the most noteworthy characteristics and explain what I learned about this affordable and value-packed lineup.
Feels like a rod twice its price
I'm a big on affordability in fishing. It wasn't long ago that I was a broke college angler scraping up change to buy a few bags of soft plastics, so I definitely appreciate reasonable price points and value when it comes to fishing gear.
If I were to blindfold you and put the 13 Fishing Omen Black 3 Spinning Rod in your hands, you'd think it was a $250 rod. I've tested rods in that price range before and this one has very similar weightlessness and balance. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a $120 price tag on these rods.
They feel wonderful in your hands and in addition to the lightweight construction, small details like the hand-selected 4A Portuguese split-grip cork handles give this rod the luxury feel of a high-end rod. If you're looking to upgrade your finesse arsenal, I think this is an excellent choice because you can get two high-quality spinning rods for the price of one expensive rod.
Sensitivity leaves nothing to be desired
As I mentioned earlier, the fishing here has stunk this year. You've really had to slow down and finesse them into biting which, admittedly, is not my strength. When you finally got a bite, you could barely feel it. I even switched to hi-vis braided line because the bites were so subtle.
The sensitivity of the 13 Fishing Omen Black 3 Spinning Rod has really been impressive and quite helpful during the past several months. If I'm fishing a shaky head underneath boat docks, I can feel very small changes in bottom composition, small pieces of brush and of course, those "mushy" bites that often result in missed hooksets.
I've also fished a bunch of weightless soft plastics with this rod. Just last week I was targeting grass beds with a soft jerkbait, but the bites were super weird. The bass were eating the soft jerkbait on the fall on slack line, so it was very easy to miss those bites. I'd twitch it twice and let it fall for almost ten seconds at times. It was pretty excruciating, but it was working. The sensitivity of this rod helped tremendously in regards to bite detection. It really was the perfect test for a rod's sensitivity and this one passed with flying colors.
The sensitivity is largely because of the PVG (Poly Vector Graphite) technology, which is said to align graphite fibers at a micro level which results in a tighter weave. That sounds mighty complicated to me, so I'll put it in "Walker" terms: You're going to feel everything that bites when you're fishing with this rod. Period.
I really like the line guide spacing
If you fish with enough spinning rods, you're bound to run into several that create a bunch of "line slap" when you cast. While I'm no physics major, I've always heards this happens because of poor line guide spacing and I certainly believe it. With some rods, it doesn't matter what type of line you're using. It's going to slap the heck out of the black when you cast, which kills your casting distance and will also cause some insane line tangles after a while.
I have not had that problem whatsoever with the 13 Fishing Omen Black 3 Spinning Rod. There's absolutely zero line slap which creates a noticeable increase in your casting distance. I've even tested this rod with straight fluorocarbon which is known for its unruliness on spinning gear and have had no issues. Whether I'm skipping or bombing overheard casts with those soft jerkbaits, I've been quite impressed by the casting distance. It's also worth noting that I haven't experience any of those big bird nests, even when using straight fluorocarbon.
Hook keeper stays out of the way
If I were a rod designer, I would put all of my hook keepers below the reel seat on the butt-section of the rod. When they're about the foregrip of the rod, they tend to snag slack line at times and while it's not a huge deal, it can get pretty annoying; especially when you're fishing in windy conditions.
The 13 Fishing Omen Black 3 Spinning Rod comes with an Evolve Snaggle Tooth hook keeper that I really like. It's not a closed hook keeper, which means you can keep your soft plastics rigged and still use the keeper. This is a big time saver throughout the course of a fishing day and just makes sense.
This is an excellent choice if you need to add to your finesse fishing collection. It's gorgeous aesthetically, but more importantly, it fishes and feels like a much more expensive rod. For $120, you'll be getting a heck of deal with this rod.