The Jade Rabbit: B&W Powerlite 16' 7/8 - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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The Jade Rabbit: B&W Powerlite 16' 7/8

Hello All,

After over a year since ordering, I have received Bruce and Walker's first Powerlite 16' 7/8, which I have named the Jade Rabbit...Because it is mine and I can.

I am really impressed with this rod. I fished the prototype for a week last fall and liked it, however I feel that the finished rod is even better. I got this rod for both long and short line use. It casts a Gaelforce 600grn scandi great, but truly excels with a Nextcast WA 52' 650grn (16' leader, 52' head, 60' running line) and I don't think that i have unlocked the rods full potential yet.

My idea for this rod was to have a long rod that was also versatile enough to fish wide variety of rivers and seasons. As I mentioned this rod handles scandi lines very nicely and I am also planning on testing skagits on it as well.

I think that there are alot of advantages to long spey rods beyond fishing long lines and casting far. The Jade Rabbit is a rod that I believe can move between approaches with ease, and offer superior presentation ability in a light, sexy package.

Gene was really great to work with and i enjoyed the process immensely. attached are some pics of the rod and my nine year old trying it out.

Sincerely,
Steve
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:41 AM
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I wonder if the rod is similar to the 15' 7/8wt 4pc. that came out a year or two ago, and has been mentioned in posts here. Seems like they would be related in some way. Your rod is very nice.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:58 PM
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SalmonCane,

As it happens I have the prototypes that Steve cast last fall, one of which, was the version selected for the rod seen above. It's been quite a while since I've cast the 15' 7/8 4pc but to the best of my recollection there is a measure of similarity. Both have softer, deeper flexing actions that make them really easy and fun to cast. The 16 has enough give that a 5lb fish would really bend it nicely but still has the bottom for a Clearwater B-run fish. A real sweet spot for rod strength. Both are very relaxing rods that are, like Steve mentioned, great fishing instruments and not just nice casting tools. As far as differences go I would venture a guess that the 16'er above is lighter in hand, and possibly swing weight, than the 15'er.

It's great to hear from guys who recognize the fishing advantages of longer rods, like mendability and line control, lifting sink tips easily with a single spey, even on mid and long bellies, etc. Haven't got my notes right in front of me but as I recall the prototype worked really well with an Aerohead 8/9, and WinterAuthority 70 6/7, (don't have a 70 7/8 at the moment but I'll bet it would also work like a champ), and Gaelforce 63 7/8. I would also venture a guess that a SalarFinder 45 F2 8/9 and a 15' tip would also be a spectacularly effective fishing combo. There are a lot more line options out there than most guys would think.

Steve, congratulations on developing a great rod. I am very much enjoying the prototypes ( both the green and red).

I see you're a shvingger too!

Tom McCoy

Bruce and Walker North America - Pro Staff
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 03:07 PM
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My dream to be realized sometime in the future would be a 15-16ft 7/8 weight. I think I just found one here. In a time where many are going to short spey and switch It's nice to see a long line slinger. I am jade with envy.

Dan

Which way to the river?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 07:50 AM
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Another fantastic review
I don't get to fish 16'ers as often as I would like, but when I do it's hard to get me off the river !!
As Cowboy Tom points out, line control and "lifting" authority is mind blowing with longer rods. I you fish a 15', the 16' is all that and more in my opinion.

Congratulations Steve with your new stick !!
Looks very classy, excellent trim ... love the name !!

These B&W sticks seem to be getting some love here ... making me very curious


Mike

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:51 AM
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Most of your "dreams" have been realised many years ago by B+W, I used to own a 16ft Merlin by them rated 7/9. It cast a Rio Accelerator 8/9 for miles.Sadly I sold it on to a Spey Pages member some years ago.It was a commercially available rod, old school slow and deeply loading!.B+W will make to order rods from their back catalogue, they were however quite a rare rod and current owners are reluctant to let go!.I might however know where there's one that needs a new tip section!.
Sorry not a hard sell.It was/is a very good rod!.
Yorkie.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:12 AM
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I know nothing of B&W rods, other than they have gone miles since they made the fiberglass club in my basement. That the newer ones are amazing casting instruments is clear from the river-crossing casts of a fellow who frequents my favorite run using a 16 ft Powerlite. What seems odd to me is using 600-650 gr. lines on a 7-8 rated rod. I cast lines from 450 to 520 grains on my 7-8s and fear I'd break them if I went much heavier. Are B&W rods routinely under-rated line wise?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I think the longer the line the more grains a rod handles, and that you are correct, some rods are a bit misleadingly named. I will go out on a limb and tell you that I believe that a line weight rating is determined base on the first 20’ of line, or something along these lines.

A 7 weight scandi may weigh in at 500-525 grains at 35’, but the weight of a mid belly for that same designation is going to be 600 at 50’ and 650 at 60’. The rods made for throwing these different lengths vary accordingly. However they are not too far apart and share many characteristics. In a skagit/scandi based comparison, the Jade Rabbit maybe the 13’9” burkheimer, which is an 8wt, but handles longer lines.

Based on today’s casting the Jade Rabbit takes a 600 gran compact skagit by airflo (w/ 15’ type 3 tip), a 600 grain 35ish’ Gaelforce scandi, a 6/7ish 70’ fall favorite, 8/9 52’ winter authority at 650grains.

The 7/8 70 FF has routinely bogged this rod down. It did last fall and has sine I received it. Today I cut 2’ off and it made a very big difference. I almost asked that this rod be called a 6/7/8 but when Simon changed his designations earlier this year it seemed that 7/8 would fit, but this is a light 7/8 when compared to my 16’ 8/9 Powerlite, which lacks the versatility but is a superior full floating long belly rod.

Also, as an additional casting note, today we had an across river upstream wind, and it easily took 15-20’ off my max cast with the 8-9 52’ WA. The Jade Rabbit is a light rod and wind can have an affect. I was still casting 100+, but the 16’ 8/9 or 17.5’ 9/10 would throw further into the wind.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longbelly Magic View Post
The 7/8 70 FF has routinely bogged this rod down.
I am surprised to hear this. I thought this rod would sling that line with authority. I use a Loomis Pro4x 7/8 @ 13' and a FF70 cast beautifully. I just recently realized that this line is a 8/9 which surprised me. Last year I tried an Aerohead which I think is 510gr. I couldn't cast this thing to save my life. I tried for over an hour to figure it out and finally to it off and looped on the FF70.

Dan

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:16 PM
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Nice!! I love seeing pics of peoples custom builds. Money well spent.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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The 7/8 70 really was too much. Which wild as the rod was really nice with the FF9/10 55’. So it was not an issue of grain weight. I took 24” off the back of the 7/8, down to 57’ and the whole setup came to life. The line should now weigh about 630grains. The 8/9 52’ at 650 may be easier to get distance from and there fore be my #1 all round choice. Though I will keep testing more lines.

I will definitely be switching the running line over to Varivas 37lb to get just that little bit extra as well.

Also, I wanted to note that the Gaelforce that felt so good at 600 grains is 39’ long. Incase you wanted to know.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:14 PM
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Please keep us updated on your preferred lines. Great information for future reference.

I see you're a shvingger too!

Tom McCoy

Bruce and Walker North America - Pro Staff
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:15 AM
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Hello everyone,
Very beautiful rod, B & W really make very good rods for
fishing, and completely agree with you, there is better ruen
that a long rod to be effective in its drift.

<(((((><
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:01 AM
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Gorgeous rod-thanks for sharing! I just picked up my first B&W and Gene was an absolute pleasure to work with. Cant wait to fish it!

Cheers, Chris
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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The Jade Rabbit: Reality

Just a quick update:
I have been trying and trying. There is no way that I can throw 4 rod lengths of running line through the guides with this rod and a WA 52’ 8/9. I swear I did it once, but I either measured wrong or had a tremendous hero wind.

Today, I managed 3.5 rod lengths and it was a serious effort. It is more than this set up is for. It is really a treat out to 2-2.5 rod lengths (32’-40’) out of the guides. I like to use a leader equal in length to the rod. So... 16’+ 40’+ 52’ +16’= 124’.

So in conclusion, this rod is good out to around 125’. At this range it is very hoppy. Easy and enjoyable to cast. Beyond 125’ it is time for the 16’ 8/9 with the 8/9 FF 70, which can deliver a much further cast.

The Rabbit very nice at shorter ranges and I believe has a lot to offer on light lines. I am planning to try a Beulah on it very soon. Thing the 56’ 610grn will be best. Would love some input.

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