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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 15: A Powerhouse of a Cranking Rod, the 8 foot Powell 806CB (continued)


Power: You want power? With the Powell 806CB you get plenty of it as this stick has the backbone to turn even the biggest fish. This rod offers more muscle than other rods designed for fishing deep diving crankbaits and even double digit stripers posed no challenge. Powell rates the 806CB as a “heavy” 6 power rod and it actually feels heavier than that when you hold the stick in your hand, but once there is a lure on the line it feels appropriately rated.

The 806CB has a hook hanger below the cork grip...

During tests I landed a number of largemouth bass up to six pounds on deep diving cranks at Clear Lake and in each and every case the fish felt smaller than they actually are. I can’t emphasize enough just how powerful this rod feels when it is loaded up. Even Delta Stripers up to 11lbs could do little to cause concern when guiding them back to the boat with the 806CB, this is one powerhouse of a rod.

While great for jigs this placement is somewhat strange for a crankbait rod which puts the treble armed crankbait right by the grip

Ergonomics: The Powell 806CB is one of the heavier rods in our crankbait rod wars and weighs in at (7.1oz.). The rod is tip heavy by itself but feels fairly balanced when paired with even 9oz. and heavier baitcasters. This rod pairs just fine with a Shimano Calais or Calcutta TEDC reel and together with this rod the entire rig feels responsive and is actually easy enough to work all a day long. Note that I typically palm my reels over the entire reel so that my fingers often extend around the front and the reel fits in the very back of my hand to act as a counterbalance, if you typically hold your rod the majority of the time on the handle behind the reel a heavier reel will have the opposite effect. 

With longer baits we ended up just hooking the lures on our reels

The 806CB does have a hook hanger but it is somewhat oddly positioned behind the cork handle on the split grip. While this makes it easy to hook cranks on it also is somewhat dangerous when dealing with the large hooks found on most deep diving cranks. This hook hanger position is more suited for jigs on a flipping rod. With the treble hooks we found that the hooks would get in the way and swing around wildly when we were running the boat. It was also a little hairy hooking and unhooking the crank if trying to hold onto the cork handle, most of the time we had to hold onto the small reargrip/buttcap below.

The 806CB is finished with a small rear grip finished with an EVA foam buttcap

Price & Applications: The 806CB retails for only $169.00 making it one of the most affordable deep diving crankbait sticks in our CB Rod Wars. This is a very reasonable price for a quality rod that is able to take a lot of punishment, in fact I’ve never had a single Powell rod ever break on me during a field test, something that cannot be said about many other more expensive brands. Sure there are more refined rods, lighter rods and even more flashy rods but few deliver the solid value that the Powell is able to at the 170 dollar price point.

Along with bass we managed a few nice striper with this powerful cranking stick

The 806CB really is designed for the heavier stuff and while it is rated from ¼-1oz. I prefer to fish baits for ½-1.5oz. on this rod. It has the ability to move big fish and can be used for largemouth, striped bass, and for targeting smaller pike with lipless cranks.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Powell 806CB Crankbait Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Powell 806CB is built with quality components and features the clean and attractive design and build quality that we have come to expect from Powell, we ranked this category slightly higher than the 754CB because of the use of quality graphite  8
Performance The Powell 806CB is not a all round cranking stick, instead this rod is designed specifically for big deep diving lures and in this category it is very good 8
Price This rod is a great overall value, it offers more value than many of the competing rods in the CB Rod Wars 8.5
Features This rod is all about business, nothing too flashy here just a solid design consistent with Powell's previous offerings 7
Design (Ergonomics) While heavier than many of the rods in the crankbait rod wars the 806CB is also among the beefiest and we actually found the rod to balance well with a wide range of baitcasters. Note that I typically palm my reels over the entire reel so that my fingers often extend around the front and the reel fits in the very back of my hand to act as a counterbalance, if you typically hold your rod the majority of the time on the handle behind the reel a heavier reel will have the opposite effect. The hook hanger is a nice addition we just wish it was above the reel seat on this particular rod 7
Application The 806CB may be billed as a heavy powered cranking stick but it doubles as a good big ripbait rod and paddletail stick 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Powerful rod is capable of turning big fish without breaking a sweat L Heavier than some crankbait rods but somewhat expected at this length, we were able to balance the 806CB with a variety of reels
J Casts larger and heavier lures very well L Odd hook hanger location for crankbaits
J Able to be used for other applications besides just crankbaits including mag ripbaits and paddletails  
J Great durability and reliability  
J Very reasonable price  


Conclusion: The 806CB is yet another steady performer from the team at Powell and is a good tool for tossing long lipped deep diving crankbaits as well as large sized ripbaits and even the occasional soft bodied swimbait. The 806CB has heaps of power to move even big fish away from structure and yet the maxumfiber blank is just forgiving enough to give anglers a progressive action that keeps fish pinned on treble hooks. While not designed as an all round crankbait rod the Powell 806CB excels at the big stuff, and if you like cranking fish from down deep this rod is certainly worth a cast.


Looking for the Powell 806CB? Try Tackle Warehouse.










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