What Constitutes Fishing Success?


Time to throw away the spring bobbers?

August 23, 2012 Comments (0) Fishing Product Review

Whoa, Black Betty…….

There’s nothing like a good song to get your pumped up for an upcoming event. During my high school years, Welcome to the Jungle was great for the beginning of our football games. For basketball, we played Pump up the Jam. Even Eye of the Tiger gets people pumped up. Hearing those songs on the radio makes a person remember back to their glory days. Black Betty by Ram Jam is one of those songs, it gets the old heart pumping and ready for action, but I never had a glory-days memory to relate to it. Till now……

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The people at 13 Fishing opened up shop a couple years ago working behind the scenes, building special label products for some of the bigger companies. After recognizing the need for a fresh brand that answered the cries of ice fishermen everywhere, they brought their own offerings to the table last ice season, and it was an overnight success. Continuing on the tradition of listening to what customers wanted in a product, they expanded their lineup in 2012, in an attempt to redefine the norm. Instead of slapping their label on some generic made gear and try to fit in, 13 Fishing examined what was missing, what the customers yearned for, and designed multiple products to answer those needs. And from that, it was born, The Black Betty, available as a stand-alone reel ($39.99) or as a rod & reel combo ($59.99), new for 2012.


At first glimpse, the flat black reel with a catchy name screams “touch me”, “hold me”, “try me”. The white lettering on the reel stands out, like chrome on a 1957 Chevy. Holding the aluminum reel, one wonders how it could feel so firm and strong, but so lite in the hand. The rubber grip on the reel almost grabs your fingers back, like a perfect melt. The drag dial turns effortlessly, allowing you to fine tune the feel without being too sensitive to the turns. The folks at 13 Fishing even designed the reel eyelet to be adjustable as well as switchable left-to-right hand reel, giving us ice fishing fanatics total control over every aspect of how it performs. This very well could be the best money spent this ice season. Lets not forget that the reel alone won’t catch the fish, time to attach it to the supplied 27″ ultra lite Black Betty rod of the combo…..


Attaching the reel to the rod is made simple by the screw-on attachment butt of the rod. No more zip ties, black tape, or rubber straps. The attention to detail stands out on the end-cap with a subtle logo pressed in. With the reel attached, the combo feels balanced and ready. While others have fallen short of minor details in design, this combo allows enough clearance between the rod and reel to fit my fat gloved hands between the pair to perform necessary pencil-grip jigging. Flicking the tip of the rod, I discover how flexible this ultra lite combo is. After the first 2 rod eyelets, the 27″ loses most of it’s backbone in what one can imagine as a pan-fishing dream. The last 3 eyelet stretch of the rod just yells at you to leave your spring bobber in the tackle box, ready for any sensitive bite. The more I flick it, the more I find myself daydreaming of a 10 inch blue gill or a 12 inch crappie or a 14 inch perch on the end of the line, giving me the fight of a lifetime. Dreams of sight fishing Lil’ Millers Bay on West Lake Okoboji, the Black Betty reel design eliminating that dreaded line twist that hampers the finicky bite, the ultra lite rod letting you feel every little tick and allowing you to enjoy a hearty fight from gills & crappie & perch, I find myself counting down the days till chunky water is upon us. And when the hard water season gets here, you can bet this combo will be the first setup I pull out of my GIB bag. You will be the first to hear how well this beauty performs on the ice…. Stay tuned……


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