The new age of anchors is finally upon us and its no longer just for the professionals with $100,000 boats. Minn Kota and Power Pole make affordable shallow water anchors that you will soon see on every new fishing boat.
The catch (besides the fish) is determining which one is the right investment for you. Minn Kota has recently muddy the waters by adding a like-for-like product to the forefather's of the automatic anchor in the Minn Kota Raptor. Customers now have more options than ever, but don't worry competition is a good thing and we are here to help.
At Kayamping.net, we combine real-world experience with the detailed analysis of reading through each anchors specification and product manual. We did the analysis so you don't have to!
Our Top 5 picks for Best Shallow Water Anchor:
- Minn Kota Talon - Best Overall
- Minn Kota Raptor - Most Technology
- Power Pole Blade - Runner-Up
- Power Pole Pro II
- Power Pole Sportsman II - Best for Casual Use
Best Shallow Water Anchor: Key Points
We chose the Minn Kota Talon as the best shallow water anchor overall because of it's space saving vertical deployment, tech integration with other boat accessories, automated sensing, and range of deployment length.It is the only anchor to deploy vertically meaning it is categorically different and thus superior to every other anchor on the market,
However, if you prefer spider-like deployment then the Minn Kota Raptor is the best option. Power Pole is traditionally thought to be the best anchor, but Minn Kota has simply done a better job integrating technology into their products. You won't go wrong with a set of Power Poles but the cutting edge is Minn Kota at the moment.
Minn Kota TalonBest Overall
Deployment Style: The Talon is the only shallow water anchor to deploy straight down into the water. All other shallow water anchors deploy backward then downward similar to a spider's leg. Vertical deployment saves space behind the boat that can be used for swimming or fishing instead. Don't worry about driving off with them deployed because the Talon's have an alarm that rings before this can happen.
Anchor Length Options: The Talon boasts the longest length options of any shallow water anchor with the 12ft & 15ft foot versions. It's closest rival only maxes out at 10ft. Deployment. The extra length enables boaters to anchor in more places and is esspcially useful in areas with rocky or steep banks like the North East of the US or the Great Lakes.
Integration with other accessories: Minn Kota fits the Talon into its revolutionary One Boat network. Minn Kota's lines of Trolling Motors and Hummingbird series of FishFinder are fit seamlessy together with the Talon. This means total low speed control of the boat with a single remote. Power Pole offers no such feature at this time.
Electrical Power: The Talon is the only shallow water anchor to completely use electricity to complete power the unit. All other anchors use hydraulics to power their anchor. This design change is the reason the Talon is able to incorporate so many more features than Power Pole like a built-in light & anchor hold sensing technology. The electrical power also lends itself to easy incorporation of more sensors and computing power for future versions of the Talon.
Early Reliability: The Talon is the first electrically driven shallow water anchor because electronics and salt water are natural enemies. We simply did not have the technology or components to make a reliable electric anchor that could last in the past. As a result, the pioneers of shallow water anchors, Power Pole, created theirs using a simpler hydraulic system. However, we feel the many benefits of the Talon outweigh the small chance you will experience any problems.
Height Not in Use: The height of the Talon tower can be problematic for users who park their boats in garages or drive under low bridges. You basically have two options at this point: remove the Talons or purchase a bracket that allows the Tower to tilt down. The brackets run a bit more than the standard Talon brackets so factor that into your decision.
The Talon is the industry leader largely due to its unique all electric design and vertical deployment. It has the most length options and integrates technology like the One Boat Network and anchor hold sensing seamless into its operation.
Minn Kota RaptorMost Technology
Technology: Unlike its prehistoric namesake, the Raptor was introduced in the Summer of 2020 making it the newest shallow water anchor on the market. Now-a-days everything new means more and better technology integration and the Raptor is no different. The anchor features automatic sensing of the water floor for ideal anchoring. It also showcases live current, wind, and tide sensing that adjusts the anchor's hold in real-time. No other anchors sports this much automated anchoring.
Integration with other accessories: Like the Talon, Minn Kota combines the use of the Raptor, Hummingbird FishFinder, and line of trolling motors in the One Boat Network. This means total control of your boat's accessories with a single device. It is truly a convenience that Power Pole does not offer at this time.
Dual Hydraulic Pumps: In a surprise move, Minn Kota steered away from the all-electric power system of the Talon in favor of its primary competition's hydraulic framework. The engineering behind moving a double-hinge arm simply lends itself better to hydraulics. However, Minn Kota differentiated itself by employing one hydraulic pump per pole meaning it has two power systems as opposed to Power Pole's central system.
Product Longevity Unknown: A new product means there simply isn't much data to study if the Raptor will hold-up to the test of time. Minn Kota engineers surely put the anchor through the stress test, but company tests are different than user tests. We have no reason to believe the Raptor won't hold work as intended, but you never know.
The Raptor, released in the Summer of 2020, is the newest product in our round up. It improved upon Power Pole's hydraulic, spider-like deployment system by integrating the latest automatic sensing technology.
Power Pole BladeRunner-Up
from Price not available
Speed of Deployment: The Blade is the fastest anchor in the game. With a deployment speed of 4.025 sec. you will be anchored almost instantly. Professional fisherman will find the most utility in this feature because it means you can get down and locked-in position as soon as you spot the perfect casting location.
Soft Close Technology: To make the ridiculous speed of the Blade possible without creating a massive noise distrubance in the water, Power Pole needed new closing technology. Coined Soft Close Technology, the hydraulic system uses a special cylinder to offset the movement force of the arm and muffle vibrations. This is the only Power Pole version with this mechanism at this time. The Blade, like a good knife, moves quick and silently as advertised.
The bracket: that attaches the anchor to the transom of your boat was improved only for the Blade. The design features a stronger and more flexible design that absorbs wave impact better and puts less stress on the transom. Additionally, it routes the main hydraulic hose differently to make install/removal easier than ever. We wish this was included on all Power Pole products.
Lack of Feature/Integration with Other Accessories: The Power Pole really has no computer based technical integrations outside of a remote control for operation. Mechanically it is superb in it's movement, but it does not offer the automated solutions of Minn Kota's line-up. We hope future versions of the Blade will incorporate more technology to stay in line with Minn Kota.
The Blade leads Power Pole's line-up with all new Soft Close technology and the quickest deployment speed of all anchors on the market. It is a reliable product that has stood the test of time. It's ranked lower than the Minn Kota products because it has fewer features than its competition.
Power Pole Pro II
Reliability: The Pro II is the embodiment of Power Pole's long-lasting reputation. It is constructed with high-quality aircraft grade aluminum and uses thick, sturdy tubing for the hydraulic fluid. If something does break, Power Pole has a nice warranty that may outlive your boat. The Everlast anchor spike has a lifetime warranty, and the electrical and mechanical functions are covered by 2 and 5 years respectively.
Speed of Deployment: Although the Blade is the quickest anchor in the Power Pole fleet, the Pro has a respectable deployment speed of 4.5 seconds. The time difference between the two is hardly noticeable. However, it is louder than the Blade since it does not employ Soft Close Technology.
We don't love and we don't hate it: The Pro is just at an odd price point and feature crossroads. There is really no reason to get a less than 8 ft. anchor so the length options add no value. The Pro is marginally better than the Sportsman II with a 0.5 second faster deployment and one additional color option. If you want Power Pole, the Blade or the Sportsman should be who you choose between.
The Pro is a step down from the Blade, thanks to a lower price point. It functions well and is reliable but lacks the speed and style of the Blade. Our recommendation is to either choose the Sportsman or the Blade if you want Power Pole.
Power Pole Sportsman IIBest Value
Best on A Budget: The Sportsman II is designed to be the entry-level model in Power Pole's line up. It lacks the efficiency and speed of the Pro and Blade, but otherwise is exactly the same. At the lowest price point of any shallow water anchor, we love this model for its price point.
Good for Pontoon Boats: For those uninterested in fishing tournaments, who just want a shallow water anchor that works, the Sportsman is perfect. The extra 1.5 seconds of deployment lag is no big deal if you aren't in a rush. It makes the ideal anchor for leisurely docking or swimming.
Slow Deployment: Now we have to mention the slow deployment speed as a con because this is what separates the higher end Power Poles from the Sportsman II. However, it really not a big impacter if you won't be anchors 10+ times an outing.
Lack of Options Length & Color: Part of being the entry level model means fewer options because it is cheaper to manufacturer. The Sportsman II is only made in 8 ft length and black paint color. Power Pole chose 8 ft. length because it is the most popular length so it may well suit your needs. Otherwise, you will have to pay up for the Pro or Blade for more color and length options.
The Sportsman II is Power Pole's entry level anchor. It is the least expensive anchor on the market and has no length or color variations. We recommend this anchor for people on a budget or casual fisherman.
Shallow water anchors have grown tremendously in popularity over the past 10 years for really good reason. The sheer convenience of parking your boat without dealing with traditional anchors or tie offs has driven this boom in demand.
Manufacturers have felt the increased demand and begun making anchors more reliable and affordable. It won't be long until these anchors come standard on most boats.
Outfitting your boat has never been easier so don't wait 5-7 years for boat makers to get on-board. Outrig your vessel with shallow water anchors and see what all the fun is about!
Frequently Asked Questions