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Rod Review

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

Ergonomics Cont'd: While consumers of Japanese import tackle rods are used to not having a hook hanger we have found most domestic consumers prefer to have a hook hanger. The Powell hook hanger design is one of the better designs, and even with a thicker gauge more offset wire it would stealth better than the vast majority of hook hanger designs, so while we were somewhat torn on this one, we ultimately lean towards the implementation of a oversized Powell hook hanger.


Under normal loads the tip of this rod is able to react more nimbly than most swimbait rods

Price & Applications: There are two new swimbait rods in the Powell Max series, and both are identical in length, but differ in power and action. The 711MH is rated for baits 2-5oz while the 711H we tested is designed to handle baits 5-8oz in weight.

The 711H features subtle transitions from grip to blank

While the 711H has a Mod-Fast rating we found it fast enough to fish baits under 5oz in weight, so if you believe that you will toss any baits larger than 5oz in weight then you will want to opt for the 711H rod we tested. This heavy model can even be used in a number of inshore saltwater applications as well.

The rods are outfitted with Fuji hardware

Both rods retail for 199.00 which is a reasonable price for a powerfully built rod of this quality and custom feel. As with all Powell rods you can fish with confidence, as each rod comes with an “Unconditional Original Owner Lifetime Warranty.”

Smaller swimbaits like the Rago Raptor stay on the guide feet much better

This warranty is limited to repair and replacement of the rod and does not cover direct, indirect, consequential, incidental or any other type of damage resulting from the use of the product. If you are worried about breaking your rod with those big baits your not going to focus on fishing. Under normal use this warranty should inspire confidence in anglers to whip those big baits without fear.

The 711H under heavy load testing

Powell SB711H Swimbait Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Every Powell rod we have tested thus far has been built with quality construction and materials, the 711H is no different 9
Performance The 711H performed well in all our tests other than extreme sensitivity...but that makes absolute sense for a rod that is built for power. The tip on this rod is fantastic for fishing a wide range of swimbaits, even those rated under its spec 9
Price At 199 dollars the Powell falls right in the middle of the swimbait rod prices. There are cheaper rods, but few that offer the same features and custom rod feel 9
Features The 711H has a number of nice features including the split grip, quality guides, and premium grade cork. The one thing it is missing that some anglers may want is a oversized hook hanger...not every angler is willing to hang those big baits on their guide feet or expensive reels 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomics on this rod are also very good. The rod is surprisingly balanced for such a long rod, and the cork grips are great for single and double handed casts 9
Application We scored the 711H high in application because of the rod's amazing range. It can be used to toss small and large swimbaits and even pull double duty as a inshore saltwater stick 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Fantastic lively tip for a swimbait rod L Some anglers will still want a hookhanger
J Good weight, Well balanced  
J Can fish a wide range of bait sizes and weights  
J Multiple applications...can even be used for saltwater  
J Reasonable price  

Fishing swimbaits may not always catch you numbers, but it can catch you quality fish... and the Powell 711H makes it easy to toss even the biggest baits

Conclusion: Powell may have joined the bass party just recently, but judging from sticks like the 711H you would never know it. The 711H is a finely crafted rod, one that comes with a reasonable price tag, yet manages to maintain a custom rod look and feel. The split grip on this rod is well executed and the rod is surprisingly balanced for such a long rod once a round reel is bolted on. Keith Bryan, the President of Powell is all about bringing more application specific rods to market now that the MAX series has rods that cover all the main applications, and judging from what has been done on the swimbait side, the company is doing right by it's respectable brand. If slinging big swimbaits is a preferred technique of yours then the Powell 711H is certainly a quality rod that is more than up to the challenge. So flexible are the capabilities of this particular rod that you will definitely see it again in upcoming tests of upcoming new supersized swimbaits!











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