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Rod Review

Toss the biggest swimbaits with the new Powell SB711H rod

Date: 2/28/07
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Powell
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.00


Introduction: With the arrival of so many new and exciting swimbaits to fish these days rod manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with their own individual takes on the ideal rod. Powell releases the new 711H Swimbait rod which is designed to toss even the biggest and baddest trout imitating baits.

Powell SB711H Swimbait Rod Specifications

Material Maxum Fiber TM
Length 7'11"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 11.5"
Line Wt. 15 - 30 lb
Lure Rating 5 - 8 inch swimbaits
Pieces one
Guides 9 guides + tip
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Moderate-Fast
Rod Weight 7.4 ounces
Manufacturing Country China
MSRP $199.99


Impressions: Powell’s MAX series took the bass rod market by storm not too long ago. The company successfully transitioned from one of the most established fly rod manufacturers to a serious player in the bass rod space. Since the original rods were released Keith Bryan has continued to improve and increase the total number of rod offerings, and has released new application specific rods including their new swimbait and drop shot rods.


The Powell 711H is one long rod


The first time I held the new 711H in my hands I remarked how light the rod was for such a lengthy stick. Powell has tweaked the blank to make it even more balanced on this latest generation of rods, and the 711H doesn’t suffer from the same tip heavy feel that many competitors with split grip cork handles exhibit.


The new swimbait rod is the newest member of the Powell MAX Series

In terms of aesthetics the 711H carries on the same clean look as the existing Powell rods, and features blue threading in the base of the rod, and simple transitions throughout. Where this rod differs from the other ones is that it features a clear coat of gloss over the entire rod, whereas the lighter rods in the MAX series feature a matte finish free of gloss. I must say that the Powell rods are among the cleanest rods on the market. They are clean in design and yet sport a custom rod feel with the well implemented split grip design.

Even though this is a big rod it still features the split grip design...and we are glad it does

Lab Tests:

Lab Results for Powell SB711H Swimbait Rod

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Rated Action
Measured Weight
Balance Point
7.4 oz
765MH Flip
5.1 oz
766H Flip
5.6 oz
G.Loomis BB964 GL2 (Custom)
7.0 oz

Rate of Deflection (RoD): The 711H tests out similar to that of our custom Loomis BB964 GL2 until we hit 32 ounces at which point, the SB711H stiffened up quite a bit by comparison. The lab tests show a rod with a surprisingly agile tip for such a robust blank. The rod loads much higher up than most sticks allowing anglers to have a rod that will load quickly and still allow anglers to throw a wide range of baits ranging from quite light to extremely heavy.

This RoD Deflection Chart shows the deflection characteristics of our Powell SB711H against that of two Powell Flipping sticks and a custom stick built off of a G.Loomis BackBounce blank.

Spine, Weight, and Balance Point: The Powell 711H weighed in at 7.4oz, which is right in the middle of where most swimbait rods come in. In our lab the lightest swimbait rated sticks were all import rods. The balance point was 13.5" measured from the center of the reel seat towards the tip of the rod, and during our tests the line never once came in contact with the blank during load tests. The spine on this rod, just like all our other swimbait test subjects, came out on top.


For day 1 of our tests we paired the rod with a Calcutta TE

Real World Test: So where to properly test a swimbait rod? While we had to hit our backyard water in the Delta we knew that we had to go somewhere special to justify throwing swimbaits all day for two days. It didn’t take long for Cal and me to pack our gear and head north to Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely in California. Clear Lake has a surface area of nearly 44 thousand acres and yet has an average depth of only 27 feet, making it a prime location to fish suspended lures. We hoped that here we could get into some quality fish to truly test the capabilities of the Powell 711H.

Unlike the other MAX rods the 711H does have a cork foregrip

Next Section: Our first casts with the Powell 711H









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