powell rod $$$

#1
alright so my dad bought a fly rod at a garage sale the other day and it seams really nice but i have no Idea what kind of rod I'm looking at price wise. I was wondering what you guys thought about powell rods?

does anyone have a model df80-1
btw its a 4-5 weight
 
#2
Powell has been around a long time. I believe they started out making bamboo rods and their fiberglass and graphite rods tend to mimic the action of bamboo, so they are slow action rods. The df stands for dry fly, the 80 stands for 8 foot. I have an old fiberglass df-80 and a 9 foot graphite rod. I use and enjoy both.
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#4
Not a 4/5 wt., but I own a 9' - 8wt. that I use for bonefish, and its not a slow action rod at all. It's a really nice rod that didn't cost an arm and a leg ($350 or so as I recall).
Charles Schwab (of brokerage fame) used to own the company after the Powell family sold it as I understand it, and now someone else owns and runs the company.
 
#5
I own a fairly old light lines 9.5 foot for 4-5 weight. I'd call it medium action, wonderful feel, similar in feel to some of the Winston's. At the time I bought it, it was quite expensive, and it is still my rod of choice many years later.
 
#6
The old Powell rods are no more......The new Powell COmpany moved production overseas and you can get these rods for as low as $60 at Sierra Trading Post....the great older rods from Powell USA are wonderful however.
 
#7
Hey Guy,

Is your Powell rod a "Sil Sig" 9'6" 5 wt? I have one, old blued uplocking reel seat with a walnut insert, charcoal gray blank with green wraps. It's a great rod with a slow action close to fiberglass.----Steve:thumb:
 
#9
E. C. Powell, back in the 1930's or earlier, was a renouned West Coast builder of hollow-butt bamboo fly rods. His son Walton continued them into the fiberglass and early graphite era. His grandson Pres sold the company to new owners, who used the brand name to market a standard line of graphite rods made in Asia.
 
#10
no, Steve, mine is a pale red LL-9645, 9 1/2 for WF4/DT5. I ordered a kit, so it came with a cork handle, gold anodized reel seat with rosewood insert. It's action was initially like you suggest like some of the old high end fiberglass rods, or some of the nice Winston actions. I broke it a few years ago, the repair stiffend the butt just a bit and it's a bit quicker now. It'll throw a line about as far as I want to fish.

I keep trying to retire this veteran, but hey, it's still the one I grab going out the door.
 
#11
I own about 20 of the old Powell rods. I grew up in Chico and knew the Powells. I know quite a bit about the history of the company and the value and quality of the old Powell rods. I love the old Powells - some are better to fish with than others. fly physer - I have several rods of that vintage - a -1L, -1 and -2. Have you fished it yet?
 

Richard E

Active Member
#12
Powell has been around a long time. I believe they started out making bamboo rods and their fiberglass and graphite rods tend to mimic the action of bamboo, so they are slow action rods. The df stands for dry fly, the 80 stands for 8 foot. I have an old fiberglass df-80 and a 9 foot graphite rod. I use and enjoy both.
That's some OLD intel on Powell . . .

In the late 90's Powell made a push to market very high performance graphite rods. The rods weren't yet made overseas. Most of the rods were quite stiff and very fast action rods. Somewhere around 2004 or 2005 Powell made a big change, producing its rods overseas exclusively and selling its product direct from the factory, as opposed to selling through retailers. I believe Powell is still using that approach. The product is still high quality and provides great performance for the $$$. However, the customer service gets widely varied reviews. Also, modern-day Powell makes gear rods, i.e. bass rods.

Huge difference between the old Powell and the 'new' current Powell. Almost like it isn't the same company, as far as product approach, type, style, etc. . . .
 
#13
Here is the Powell story as brief as I can make it...EC Powell was a popular and innovative bamboo rod maker who worked out of Marysville, CA in 30s and 40s. His son Walton went into the business as well. Walton was always a bamboo rod maker, but branched into first fiberglass and then graphite too. Walton only ever made one line of graphite rods...The Walton Powell rod is how they were labeled. The action was slow - somewhat bamboo like as stated by Dan. These rods were built on charcoal gray blanks. Press Powell, Walton's son, started The Powell Rod Company in the late 80s when he came to the rod business. He was the one who produced the large inventory of graphite rods most people know from the "Chico" Powell period. the Signature Series, West Branch, Light touch, and Legacy were all his lines. Most of these, by today's standards, would be considered moderate action...the fastest action rods he made were the Legacy series...again today they would be considered moderately fast. These are among my favorite rods of all time. Walton did contribute and work with Press from time to time, but he continued to work mainly in bamboo and his sole line of graphite in his own shop with his own inventory. Walton later built the Hexagraph line of rods, a line he sold to Harry Briscoe, which were made of graphite but made to cast and look like bamboo (see www.hexagraph.com). In the late 90s Charles Schwab convinced Walton and Press to completely join forces under the Powell Rod Company umbrella and became an investor and evetually got them to sign over the rights to the Powell name in the interest of marketing. Within a couple of years the production had been moved to Rancho Cordova and all Powell familly members had been run out of the business and legaly barred from using the Powell name on any rods they built. Production was eventually moved overseas and the company has changed hands again and has greatly reduced it's fly rod line and is concentraing on bass/bait rods.