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Rod Review

Toss the biggest swimbaits with the new Powell SB711H rod (continued)

Casting cont'd: While the flipping sticks could handle the weight of the baits for the most part the tips were often overloaded and you never really could cast with complete confidence. In addition with the completely rigid butt section found in most flipping rods casting a swimbait all day would turn your arm into jelly. With a proper swimbait rod like the 711H casting large plugs won’t even tax your muscles.


No hook hanger means you need to hook your baits on your reel

Retrieving: The same lively tip in this rod that makes it possible to cast lighter baits also allows you to work lures without having to move the rod excessively. With extremely stiff sticks you have to move the entire rod to get swimbaits to surge forward, with the 711H a simple twitch of the rod, similarly to the jerk used when working a large jerkbait, was enough to impart realistic action to swimbaits like the Spro BBZ1 and the Jerry Rago Raptor.

The rod may be big but it still features a blank through reel seat. The reason we didn't find it as sensitive as some of the other MAX rods was simply due to the rods size and thick gloss coat

As with all fishing techniques being flexible and adapting are key. With swimbaits that often means switching out your baits to target different depths like floating or sinking models. Sometimes the difference between getting just followers or real strikes is as simple as varying your retrieve. The Powell 711H allows anglers to work a wide range of lure sizes and weights with the forgiving action.

Preparing to lob cast a good sized bait

Power: It took us longer then we would normally like but Cal and I finally found the fish at Clear Lake. We ultimately located some bass willing to pursue the big swimbaits we were testing under and around docks. The fish would charge out at the swimbaits and twice we actually witnessed decent sized fish follow our lures but fail to commit. Determined to fight a respectable fish with the 711H we continued to cast over and over again alongside the structure.

I was surprised how easy it was to toss big baits with single handed casts

When it seemed like all we could do was get fish to follow we finally got our first hookup. It was a solid strike, and it was undeniable, the bass was hooked and it headed straight toward us! I cranked down on the Daiwa Black Sheep and caught up to the fish hurriedly at which time I could feel the weight on the end of line. The tip of the 711H immediately angled towards the water as the remaining three quarters of the rod responded quickly.

The cork and foam butt


There was no doubt, we had a quality fish on the end of the line judging from the movement on the tip, yet I felt completely in control of the situation. The Powell loaded up with attitude and even the large fish could do little to fight the counter pressure with the rod just slightly angled. As Cal prepped the net I relished the remaining fight and guided what we later discovered was a 7lb largemouth into the net.


Cal tests the rod's casting abilities


Next Section: Sensitivity and ergonomics










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