Latest ArticlesReels | Rods | Lines | Lures | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Watercraft | Apparel | Enthusiast | Interviews | Events | Maintenance | Autopsy

Hot Articles

A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod

SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster


ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series

Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal


Fly Rod Review

Powell's Tiboron XL Fly Rods serve up performance and value (continued)

Casting: There was a time when a 6wt. rod was all you needed for all trout, but these days anglers are tending to use lighter and lighter rods when fishing for trout. Still a 6wt. is a great all round trout rod which allows anglers to fish for everything from Rainbows to hard running Steelhead. The Tiboron has a nice tip capable of dealing copious amounts of line with little effort. The rod loads nicely and it doesnít take too many false casts to drop your flies in perfect position.

A look at the titanium stripping guides

The Tiboron didnít feel as crisp as the more expensive G.Loomis GLX rod in our test arsenal but it offers just as good overall casting distance. The Maxumfiber blank material delivers an extra fast action and I found I was able to push lines without having to overtax my arm muscles. The fast taper of this rod combined with a not overly stiff blank allows fly fishermen to form reasonably tight loops for quality control even under light to medium wind conditions. While the Tiboron XL 906-4 didnít offer the most immediate response when it came to comparable 6wt. rods it did have a forgiving overall casting stroke, one that will satisfy fly fishermen of many different skill levels.

Hard casting with weighted flies

Power: When it comes to power the Tiboron XL is all about ďsubtleĒ power. The rod is not overwhelmingly powerful nor is it too light. The rod delivers confidence with a fish on a line and allows the top half of the rod do the work. If I had to compare the Tiboron XLís power and feel to another well known rod series it performs most similarly to a G.Loomis GL3 fly rod. The rod handled rainbows in our test beautifully, and while we did not get into any big browns during our test I am confident that the Tiboron XL 906-4 will be able to handle these fish without issue.

The rod features light wire chrome snake guides

The tip is not as fine as some other 6wt. rods we tested so horsing fish too quickly can result in stressing light tippets. However the tip is tolerant enough that unless you really go wild on your sets you have nothing to worry about. While I didnít fish this rod from a float tube I tried to simulate holding the rod high and upwards on the deck of the boat and from shore when fighting fish and found the rod quite capable at wearing down fish while bringing line in via the reel versus stripping by hand.

The graphite reel seat comes to life in bright sunlight

Sensitivity: Like many other 4 piece fly rods the Tiboron XL loses a minor bit of sensitivity in comparison to two piece rods. But one of the things that the Tiboron has going for it is that it balances out nicely with a wide range of reels including our lightweight Galvan Torque T-4 and larger diameter Scientific Anglers System 2LA LA-678 fly reel. While I knew the Galvan would match up well I was surprised that the larger SA 2LA reel paired so nicely with this rod as it is designed for steelhead and bass applications. Balanced the Tiboron feels great when fishing nymphs under an indicator or tossing heavily weighted flies.

Fishing from shore in the Eastern Sierras

Price & Applications:  I honestly wasnít sure what to expect from the Tiboron XL fly rods, as the rods retail for significantly less than the average fly rod. By the end of the tests I found the Tiboron XL 906-4 rod delivered an unexpectedly good balance of performance and value. Quality four piece rods normally retail for over 350 dollars, and some premium ones can even get into the 600+ dollar price range. At only 289 dollars the Tiboron 906-4 costs about the same as a high end bass rod, which for a quality fly rod is a rarity.

The Tiboron XL 906-4 balanced out well with the SA System 2LA reel

The Tiboron 906-4 is a good rod choice for bigger trout, steelhead, and even dabbling with bass. Capable of long casts in light to moderate wind this is a good choice for a wide range of applications. The rod is capable of dealing streamers, long leaders, or fishing flies under a strike indicator, and can be used in large streams and rivers as well as open water on lakes.

Preparing for a steeple cast with the Tiboron XL

So who should consider the Powell Tiboron rods? Any angler looking for a great starting rod that doesnít ask anglers to make any real sacrifices. This isnít a starter rod in the traditional sense, and it certainly isnít like many of the stripped down cheap component rods offered by other brands, noÖthis is a rod that is a great first rod that can grow with the angler as their casting skills improve.

The rod has a hook hanger to hold flies when not in use

The Powell Tiboron XL is as forgiving as it is reasonably priced, and best of all with a 4 piece configuration this rod is also a fantastic choice as a second 6wt. just for travel or to stow in the boat. Powell backs up all Tiboron XL fly rods with a lifetime, original owner warranty. 



Powell Tiboron XL 6wt. rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Powell's Tiboron XL is a well built rod with quality appointments like lightweight guides, high end cork, and a sleek Ti-Graphite reel seat 7
Performance Great overall performance that surpassed the rod's price point. The Tiboron XL may not be the most crisp rod but it is able to quickly and offers quality control when casting both short and long distances 8
Price When it comes to price the Tiboron XL is a excellent price for a 4pc rod complete with a rod sock and cordura rod tube 8.5
Features The Tiboron XL is all about business and while it performs very well lacks a little personality in comparison to some of the other rods we are currently testing. Still when it comes to raw features the Tiboron XL has everything that you need, nothing you don't 6
Design (Ergonomics) The Tiboron XL is very well balanced and feels good with a wide range of reels 7
Application While many anglers are choosing 5 or even 4wt. rods to target trout the 6wt. still is a great all round choice for a wide range of applications ranging from mid sized trout to steelhead, and the Tiboron XL is no different. This rod is a well rounded starter rod that can grow with you 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Capable and forgiving caster L Not as crisp as some competitor offerings
J Well balanced for a 6wt.  
J 4pc and comes with a rod sock and cordura tube  
J Great price for a 4pc quality fly rod


The Tiboron XL serves up a healthy helping of performance that surpasses the sub 300 dollar price point


Conclusion: My experience with Powell up till now has revolved around the companyís Max series of bass rods, and while bass fishing is my first love there is just something raw and beautiful about catching a fish on a fly rod. It doesnít matter if it is a rainbow trout or a largemouth, somehow catching that fish on a fly rod seems like a unique achievement. Perhaps it is the tug of war on the fly line or simply just the art of casting a fly rod itself. Fly fishing is rooted in tradition, and Powell is a company that has a long history in fly, and the new Tiboron rods make use of much of what the company has learned through the last century to design a fly rod that anyone from a beginner to a experienced fly fisherman can fish. While not as crisp or refined as some premium fly rods there is no arguing that the rods are a price point well below most competitors, and the Tiboron XL series of fly rods truly delivers when it comes to performance that exceeds the asking price, making this one exceptional value.











Copyright © 2000-2018 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information.