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Rod Review

What the Finesse: Talk about Endurance, Powell’s new Spinning Rod


Date: 10/12/11
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Powell
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.33 - BEST VALUE AWARD!

Introduction: To celebrate 100 years in the rod building business Powell introduced their Endurance Series of rods at the end of last year. These rods make use of Fuji components and stand out from the crowd with a striking purple finish. In keeping with our “What the Finesse” theme we take a closer look at one of the new spinning rods from the Endurance first.


Powell 6101L Spinning Rod Specifications

Material Maxumfiber
Length 6'10"
Line Wt. 4 - 10lb
Lure Wt. 1/8 - 1/4oz.
Pieces 1
Guides 9 Guides + Tip Top Fuji Alconite
Power Rating Light
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 4.3 oz
MSRP $169.99


Do you like purple? Powell's new Endurance rods feature a purple pattern and threading


Impressions: A century in the fishing rod building business? That is what we call “Endurance!” Though the market for rods has changed many times over through the decades Powell seems to stay ahead of the curve by producing quality rods that are also affordable for mainstream consumers and the Endurance rod series is designed to continue this practice. 


The Powell Endurance rods look very similar to the Tackle Warehouse rods but in purple motif, the first stick we take a look at is the light action 6101L spinning rod


To best understand the Endurance Series let’s take a look a season back when Powell partnered up with the team at Tackle Warehouse which includes Pro Angler Jared Lintner to introduce new application exclusive specific rods. With similar cosmetics to the TW application specific rods the new Endurance rods feature the same eye-catching “water spot” graphics on the split grip and right above the foregrip, only instead of a red hue these new rods feature purple. The rod’s descriptions and logos are all silver and the purple lower section actually matches up surprisingly well with silver reels (the old purple JDM Alphas also looks absolutely wicked on the baitcasting rods).


The rear 8.5" handle features a split grip design with the purple water drop pattern


This purple theme is further emphasized with matching thread wraps with black and silver trim and purple anodized aluminum winding checks. The rest of the blank is matte black which contrasts nicely with the purple.


Paired with compact spinning reels the rod balances out well


The blank itself makes use of Powell’s proprietary maxumfiber that is designed to be both extremely strong and still feel lightweight in hand. Both the casting and spinning rods feature Fuji reel seats and Fuji Alconite guides. The lineup of Endurance rods consist of 16 rods (12 casting and 4 spinning) and the first rod to undergo a season of testing here at TT is the Powell 6101L spinning rod. Like other Powell rods this particular rod makes use of a split grip design with cork and EVA blended together into a tiny rear grip. The open hook hanger is able to accommodate everything from darter heads to drop shot weights and is strategically positioned in the split grip for rapid access.



Lab Tests: As the chart below illustrates the Powell Endurance 6101L rod had a much softer tip than both of our two "What The Finesse"  baseline rods and the butt of the blank actually falls in the middle. It actually transitions to a surprisingly powerful backbone in the lower half of the blank and this deflection indicates that the rod has a soft forgiving tip, which should make it easy to cast a wide range of baits, but still have enough power to move fish when loaded up.


Lab Results for Powell Endurance 6101L

Avg RoD (1-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Powell Endurance 6101L


Real World Tests: Over the course of the next few months we fished the rod at a number of different bodies of water including Clear Lake, Sonoma, Berryessa, and the California Delta. We used a variety of different reels but mainly focused on finesse fishing mono and fluorocarbon based lines from Toray and Sunline rather than using braided lines.


The rod's tip makes it possible to cast even lightweight lures and rigs


Casting: When fishing for panfish or trout I can certainly appreciate a nice parabolic action but when targeting bass with spinning rods I typically prefer a fast or extra fast blank that is more responsive. The Endurance rod achieves this and delivers a nice balance of an overall crisp “feel” with a very forgiving tip when there is weight on the end of the line.


The cork handle is comfortable in hand


It is interesting to note that Powell uses a slightly smaller diameter starting guide on the Powell rod series. This is designed to improve casting distance, casting accuracy, and overall sensitivity. During our casting tests it was very hard to discern any improvement in casting distance, the same can be said for casting rods outfitted with smaller or even micro-guides, the casting delta is really minute. What using smaller guides accomplishes is a change the feel of the rod, and casting accuracy seems to improve slightly, especially on shorter casts where anglers will have a little more control of the line earlier when exiting the spool.


I found the rod very accurate when casting

Next Section: Will this spinning rod "Endure"









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