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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Rod Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 2 (Rods) - Perfectly matching reels in application, balance, and style (continued)

Powell: It seems like it was just yesterday that Powell jumped into the bass rod game, actually it was one year ago at ICAST that they first introduced their new series of rods. In the short span of a single year the company has successfully introduced a complete lineup off bass rods to complement their already exhaustive fly rod lineup. While Powell is new to many bassmen, the company has actually been building fly rods since 1910!


Keith, Owner of Powell, showcases his latest prototype


We met up with Keith Bryan, owner and President of Powell rods. He was excited to reveal a number of new fly rods, including combos for beginners that would retail for less than 150 dollars! This is for a rod that looks like a 200 dollar rod and a metal reel with a real drag. Bringing quality and affordability together seems to be a specialty of the brand and one of the reasons why the company's Max bass rods have become so popular so quickly.


Powell has been building fly rods for nearly a century, but in a single year their bass rods have exploded in popularity


At $169-$199 a piece the Max rods are an attractive product in the custom rod space, but as our own tests show, they have what it takes to compete performance wise with rods costing 30-40% more. This year the lineup only grows with more casting versions that make use of glass for that inimitable action that is perfect for working deeper diving jerkbaits. In addition to the glass rods get ready for two swimbait specific rods from Powell. These swimbait rods are specifically designed to chuck the largest baits without having to worry about stressing your rod.....or your arm for that matter. Stay tuned for more info on these rods soon. 


New glass rods are on the way


But the big story at Powell is the company is about half a year away from introducing a brand new series of rods positioned above the Max series! While it is still early we were able to get some spy shots to give you an indication that the best is indeed yet to come from this manufacturer.


Spy shots of the prototype display a more obvious graphite weave 


We don't have a name, or even a price point yet. What we do know is that these rods will use a even more advanced version of Powell's "Maxumfiber" material. They will feature a more complex graphic weave pattern for increased sensitivity and strength throughout the rod. To combat uneven weight the rod will be integrated with a very attractive Powell counter balance weight at the butt of the rod.


A counterbalance weight is marked with the Powell brand


At the show we played with the prototypes and found them to offer a very attractive action. When whipped back and forth the rods recover extremely fast, and they appear very sensitive. What I like about the rods in particular is that they do like the existing Powell rods, but souped up. Imagine taking your Powell Max rod to a custom rod builder and asking them to supercharge it...the result would look something quite like these prototypes.  


The rods feel very light and sensitive


The yet to be named series of rods sport a custom rod look and feel...and that's a very good thing in this business


Half a year seems like a long time away but leave it to Powell to try and bring that schedule in. No other rod manufacturer has gained popularity in a new segment so quickly.

Next Section: Lipper, Tools and Rods go hand in hand









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