Rod Review: 13 Fishing Muse Gold

13 Fishing hit the scene several years ago and was originally best known for a unique ice fishing reel that took the market by storm. Since then they have been working towards building a complete lineup of open-water rods and reels for both walleye and bass. The Muse Gold series comprises seven different spinning rods with prices ranging from $175–$185. The series includes rods designed to cover the preferences of most anglers, from rigging to jigging to bobber fishing.

My first impression of the Muse Gold was that it was well constructed and had good components, especially the handle and guides. The handle's flair is aesthetically pleasing, but also functional. The short fore grip allowed me to keep my hand on the blank to feel for slight taps, while the tapered rear grip was comfortable and easy to grab when casting.

musegrip

The guide train includes four micro guides with zirconia inserts that make for a very lightweight tip section. My only concern with the micros is that those small inserts could be prone to icing up early and late in the season. The three high-frame guides closer to the handle feature long, narrow frames and a smaller ring size designed to reduce weight and, according to the manufacturer, reduce tangling, which I found to be true.

muse guide

The screw-down-style reel seat prevents the distraction of feeling cold components with your hand while working baits and accepts larger size reels with no trouble. Its quality and durability is top notch; in fact, the Muse features components that are as good or better that those found on most rods in its class.

My first couple trips with my 6-foot 9-inch, medium-action test sample were for smallmouths. I threw jigs, bladebaits, and even a jerkbait for a while, landing spunky bass on all three lures. I later used it as intended, for walleyes. Since it's longer than my walleye jigging rods, the Muse Gold was perfect for pitching and working jigs semi-vertically. When spending this much money on a rod, I like to be able to use it for several different applications, and that's the case here.

muselabel

Perhaps my favorite thing about the rod was how the light tip section tapered directly into the blank's backbone. This allowed me to work lures slowly and feel every tick perfectly, yet set the hook without having to move the rod in a “bass-style” hook set.

My only knock on the Muse Gold is that the rod felt a little heavy and maybe isn’t as sensitive as other rods I own at this price point. If I could change one thing, it would be to leave off the clear coat finish, which would make it lighter and perhaps more sensitive. Overall, though, the Muse series is well built, with good componentry, and worth a look by walleye and bass fishermen alike.

musebutt

THE SPECS (as tested)
Type: Spinning
Length: 6 feet 9 inches
Action: Medium
Guides: Kigan 3D ZH
Reel Seat: Evolve
Blank: High-modulus 36-ton Mitsubishi graphite
Price: $175

THE SCORES
Action: 9
Guides: 8
Reel Seat: 8
Handle: 9
Blank: 8
Aesthetics: 8
Fishability: 8
Durability: 8
Innovation: 7
Value: 7
TOTAL: 80