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Rod Review

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

Sensitivity: The 711H is not as sensitive as the other MAX rods, mainly due to its size, and the fact that it is covered with a thick coat of gloss. This rod is designed to be a powerful stick, and the gloss helps acts as a shield from damage. With that said the 711H is plenty sensitive for fishing swimbaits of all sizes.


For day 2 we paired the 711H with the Daiwa Millionaire Black Sheep

With even a 3oz swimbait on the line we were able to detect the slightest bumps with structure, and strikes translated well through the blank. To put it all in perspective, you wouldn’t want to drop shot with this rod, but it isn’t designed for that application, and for the application that is intended for it shines.

Once again the rod balanced out perfectly

Ergonomics: The Powell 711H is well balanced for a swimbait rod, especially one that has a split grip cork handle. The cork on this handle has a thinker diameter than many of the rods in Powell’s lineup. This is for two reasons, one to accommodate the larger diameter blank, and two, to provide a more solid grip when tossing those massive baits. With some bigger swimbaits it is easier to toss them with a two handed cast.

Casting with the Black Sheep rig

In cases like these I was concerned about the lack of complete cork grip, but my worries soon vanished as I discovered how easy it was to grip the graphite blank right at the cork butt and cast with both hands. In fact the cork bulb at the end serves as an anchor point, making it easy to catapult the biggest swimbaits with ease.

Cal compares the Powell 711H to enthusiast import sticks

The one thing noticeably absent from the Powell 711H is a hook hanger. This is common among many swimbait sticks, as the large swimbait hooks are not easy to get in and out of any normal sized hanger. Small to medium swimbaits can be secured to the guide foot, but larger baits like the Huddleston and the Spro BBZ are best hung right on your reel.

Don't want to hang baits on those enthusiast reels? You can try the guide feet, though big baits don't stay on all that well


Some anglers, especially those with enthusiast import tackle, will have reservations about scratching their pricey reels when doing this. At the end of the day it comes down to preference. Would you rather have an oversized hook hanger that can get possibly get in the way or simply attach your swimbait to your reel?


Zander finds small jerks with the 711H are enough to impart realistic action on mid sized swimbaits


Next Section: Ergonomics cont'd, Price, and Ratings










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