Best Baitcasters 2018: 13 Fishing's Concept Z

Best Baitcasters 2018: 13 Fishing's Concept Z
What? No bearings? Hmm. Well, we checked it out in Florida's saltwaters and found the Z was impressively smooth and likely would resist corrosion better without all those surfaces.

best baitcasters 2018
What? No bearings? Hmm. Well, we checked it out in Florida's saltwaters and found the Z was impressively smooth and likely would resist corrosion better without all those surfaces.

As part of Game & Fish's series of reviews of the best baitcasters 2018, we look at 13 Fishing's Concept Z.

By Pete Robbins

The bright red finish is a giveaway this reel offers something exceptional, but its appeal is not just cosmetic.

For years, there has been an arms race among manufacturers to maximize or optimize the number of ball bearings in their offerings. Oddly enough, the Concept Z actually has no ball bearings.

The bearing-less Z casts like a dream, and is also a thing of beauty, with an aggressive looking star drag and skeletal handle that looks like it's straight out of a reel customization shop or a sci-fi movie.

Best Baitcasters 2018 Series

New baitcasting reels reviewed by Game & Fish

Click Here: More articles on Fishing Reels from G&F

What distinguishes it?

The Concept Z has a dramatic look. But beyond its visual appeal, the Concept Zero Bearing technology, one which eliminates the need for bearings by replacing them with a proprietary polymer, sets this reel apart from the field. If you've had problems with bearings getting gunked up or corroded, consider that problem eliminated. 

High-end features previously found only in more expensive reels?

The Concept Z is impervious to saltwater, and has Japanese Hamai-cut gearing to service a rock-solid 22-pound drag and dead stop anti-reverse. Normally new technology means paying the price to be an early adopter of the latest innovations, whether it's electric cars or virtual reality, but in this case, the Z is fiscally priced at just $200.


  • Gear Ratio 6.6:1, 7.3:1, 8.1:1
  • Line Capacity  135 yds / 12 lbs
  • Weight   6.1 oz
  • Bearings 0
  • Price   $200


  • No-bearing design
  • 22 lbs of drag
  • 6-way centrifugal braking system
  • Arrowhead line guide

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