The Powell Inferno series rods are a solid choice with quality guides that can slip into the freshwater fishing arsenal of any experienced angler.
With top-notch performance, the Inferno Series rods offers all-around fishing tools that work for a wide range of lures, including light lures, allowing a spinning reel to perform lure actions as well as using finesse with baitcasting reels.
And even though this isn’t one of the more expensive options, plenty of folks throw loads of money on their tackle without considering whether it’s a good value.
That’s why this product review examines the Powell rods to help guide quality choices and figure out whether this mid-tier option is right for you or whether you should just get something at a bargain price.
- Plenty of backbone
- Great price-to-performance ratio
- Mid-micro guide system
- Merely adequate guides
- Not the best reel seats
- Only extra-fast actions
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
This series of rods offers a plenty tough carbon fiber blank made of high-modulus graphite or carbon fiber, but it employs a manufacturing process to improve on the already solid build.
While the 36-ton graphite fibers afford a blank with plenty of stiffness provided, and you won’t have to worry about it being too brittle to stand up to tough fights with larger fish.
That’s because the Inferno spinning rod uses Powell’s Maxumfiber graphite fibers reinforced with their Mini Matrix manufacturing process.
This approach takes tube-shaped carbon molecules that are 50,000 times smaller than human hair and holds them together with a coagulated resin to create a smooth finish for an ideal combination of strength and sensitivity in this durable choice.
Continuing down the blank, this pole uses stainless steel metal guides, but the guide material is only one of the guide system’s noteworthy attributes.
The guide quality gains just as much benefit from its construction as Fuji Concept mid-micro guides which significantly reduce the amount of play the line has during the cast.
The Inferno spin casting model is also a split handle rod, and while they are excellent handles, they don’t have the same profile you might expect to see on competitors.
For one, the split handle rod employs a more rounded profile so that the pole sits more comfortably in your hands while also providing additional sensitivity with the exposed raw blank.
The Inferno’s high-modulus graphite or carbon fiber rod blanks create a plenty tough carbon fiber blank on its own in a blank with plenty of stiffness provided.
However, it’s the 36-ton carbon fibers that allow this fishing pole to offer such an ideal combination as they increase the sensitivity of the blank without sacrificing too much in the way of brittleness for a solid choice.
The guide material of the ring system sees the use of stainless guides which may not inspire the most confidence when casting but offers much more durability than smoother metals.
This design choice is especially important when using a braided line in muddy water as it ensures you don’t have to worry about the pole’s tip-top ring.
This spin casting rod’s primary handle materials are high-grade cork which provides a comfortable grip that won’t slip and won’t break down with the proper care.
This can be seen as moderately better than a split EVA foam handle, though it won’t feel quite as comfortable. That said, cork can handle the pressure of tough fights better.
The spinning pole’s Pacific Bay Minima reel seat is a bit interesting in that it uses both graphite and nylon to help further reduce weight.
That said, while reducing a rod’s weight is generally the best way to increase its sensitivity, the hybrid material reel seat may be seen as a bit of a wash since nylon doesn’t transfer vibration as well as carbon fiber– even if they’re both extremely lightweight.
The high-end performance of the Inferno spin casting rod makes adoption among bass anglers that much easier, but the extra-fast action allows this pole to produce a precise lure action on a broad range of lures from Light lures to heavy lures and everything in between.
That said, this does exclude a couple of different fishing styles.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to fish these styles with the Powell Inferno, but you need to be an exceptionally experienced and skilled angler to do so.
So using a soft bait with a drop shot can work, but this lineup’s exclusively extra-fast action is not the most conducive for the easiest and most effective results.
Not the most impressive part of this rod lineup’s specs, neither is the rod power ratings anything to disparage.
The power range covers everything with the word “medium” attached as well as light which gives a full spectrum that includes medium-heavy, medium, medium-light, and light power ratings.
While the medium-heavy power rating is likely what most experienced bass anglers looking for a worm rod will gravitate towards, this series of rods offers lighter power models as well.
Still, whether you opt for the medium-heavy power or a lighter power, the Powell rods provide a blank with plenty of backbone.
This spinning lineup bucks the trend of an aluminum oxide guide system and instead opts for stainless guides that may not be quite as smooth but are a significantly more durable choice.
However, the Powell Inferno spin caster aims to shore up this potential issue by using Fuji concept mid-micro guides which have much smaller rings.
While the mid-micro guide system doesn’t make the stainless steel rings any smoother, it does help keep the fishing line tighter to the blank during the cast.
This system reduces the amount of slap the line has during the cast, increasing your casting distance and helping to maintain casting accuracy even in the windiest conditions.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
The Powell Inferno series of spinning rods hit the mark with their excellent handles, though that’s not to say that they’re without criticism.
The primary handle materials see the Inferno avoid using a split EVA foam handle in favor of a high-grade cork split-grip handle.
In general, this can be seen as a bit of a wash, but fishermen tend to prefer cork.
Part of this has to do with the fact that cork feels more substantial in your hand and gives a better feeling of a tight grip (though high-density EVA foam is comparable– at least compared to softer EVA foams).
But the Powell cork grip handles also feature a slightly ovular shape that feels more ergonomic and helps reduce hand fatigue for all-day fishing trips.
Uses (Who is this good for)
The Powell markets itself to bass fishermen, but it’s far more capable than just that.
Bass fishing rods are particular freshwater fishing tools, but the Inferno can cross multiple boundaries, able to bridge into the finesse fishing style.
Though, most anglers use finesse with baitcasting reels as opposed to a spinning reel, even if it’s not the dominant technique in bass angling.
That said, the Inferno is more than capable of keeping up with a bass fisherman, regardless of the specific species or waters.
From the windiest conditions to the harshest tournament conditions on planet earth, an experienced angler will appreciate the versatile combination of a blank with plenty of backbone and a top-notch performance ratio.
Even though it doesn’t come in at a bargain price, the medium price range makes it easier for adoption among bass anglers.
Whether fishing senkos or shakey heads, this rod shows it can handle a variety of lures from light lures to heavy lures with a level of performance that makes it a no-brainer for anyone’s all-around fishing arsenal.
However, this may not be the best starter fishing rod, though since it doesn’t come in at an egregious price point, it’s still a suitable option for beginners with some time under their belt.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
The Powell Inferno spinning lineup comes with a Pac Bay Minima reel seat which is unusual in that it’s made of graphite and nylon which is even more unexpected given that its price is not what you would normally consider a budget-friendly option.
Granted, the use of nylon helps keep the pole extremely lightweight.
However, nylon has some other potential issues, first and foremost being that nylon does not transfer vibrations as well as the significantly stiffer graphite material.
In this instance, it seems as if Powell opted for the increased durability that nylon can provide, allowing the reel seat to better absorb impacts and other types of accidental damage.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
The Inferno is sneakily one of the more overlooked amazing options with a versatile combination of high-end performance materials and advanced manufacturing processes expected to be found on more expensive options.
This approach makes the Powell spinning pole suitable for tough tournaments and able to rigorously battle larger fish.
Experienced bass anglers will appreciate this rod’s ability to apply any dominant technique in bass angling and its quality guides that work well for a range of lures.
Of course, the Fuji Concept mid-micro guide system also allows you to keep your worm on target when pitching as well as set even a single hook in tough mouth quarry.