The days of battering your boat and scaring away the all the fish from tossing an old anchor and chain into the water are gone. A new age has dawned with the invention of shallow water anchor poles.
All your required to do is push a button and the poles slide quietly into the water to hold the boat in the perfect position. The only difficult choice about it is choosing between the two major brands Power Pole vs Minn Kota Talon.
30 Second Summary: Talon vs Power Pole
The Power Poles are the best choice for saltwater fishing because the spike tips hold rocky or sandy bottoms well and the spider-like deployment of the poles provide extra stability needed in turbulent water.
Freshwater fisherman will prefer the Talon for its ultra-quiet deployment and smaller overall size takes up less space on the rear of the boat. In general, the Talon is the best choice due to its overall longer poles and ease of transference to other boats.
Talon vs Power Pole: Feature by Feature
The longer the poles the more areas you can anchor. It also gives you more options of approach when you see a spot. You can anchor further away if the boat's shadow would cause issues. Simply you have more control over where you can anchor the boat.
Talon's longest pole out reaches Power Pole by 5 whole feet making it 33% longer than its competitor. This difference gives the Talon a considerably larger range of anchor points within a body of water.
Power Poles first extend out behind the boat then down to the bottom. The spider like approach gives the Power Poles a wider base that allows them to anchor with a slightly higher holding strength than the Talon.
The upright pole holsters are moved into the water so there is no obstruction to the fisherman. However, it doesn't completely solve the problem because now you have another obstacle for the fish to snap the line on.
The Talon deploy straight down into the bottom with a two stage driving mechanism that gets the poles down more quickly than the Power Poles.
Once at the bottom, the Talon sends three pulses to pile drive the pole spike deep into the bottom. The downside of this deployment style is that you cannot tell by quick glance if the Talon's are anchored or upright.
This can lead to cost problem covered next.
Accidental Drive-Off Protection
Since the Talon's look the same in-use as not in-use, it can lead to people driving off with the anchor down.
Talon's ridged poles have some flex, but many have reported the poles will break if this scenario happens. Talon installed an alarm to prevent this from happening but it's not fail safe.
Power Poles present less of a risk of drive-offs because the upper arm are in the water when the unit is deployed. A quick glance will tell you if the poles are up or down. In the event you don't look the Power Poles have greater flexibility so they likely won't break.
Don't make a habit of driving off without checking the anchor but you're safer with Power Poles.
Anchor Holding Power
Power Poles hold into sandy and rocky bottoms better than Talon overall. The spider-like deployment method coupled with a superior spike tip and hydraulic power allow the Power Pole to stick firm into most bottom materials.
However the image above shows the Talon has multiple settings for different scenarios. The Talon offers more options for anchoring strength.
Power Pole is simply renown for their exemplary customer service. This company was founded on an innovative product and strong customer support because they understand you are investing into their product so they will invest a lot in you.
This is not to take anything away from Minnkota's service, but it is typical large corporation service.
Let's get this straight, motorized anchors are a luxury product. They are complex machinery designed to provide you with best anchoring experience possible.
Now that's out of the way, both anchor offers tremendous value in terms of convenience. The ability to drop anchor silently so you can drop your lure in the perfect spot is priceless.
After using them just a single time, you won't want to fish any other way. You get a locked in anchor every single time.
In terms of cost, the Power Pole is more expensive than the Talon.
However this should be expected because fishing in saltwater requires a larger, strong anchor so you aren't paying for nothing.
Keep in mind that if anything breaks, Power Pole's customer service will be bending hand over foot to get you back running as soon as possible.
For those who want to share their shallow water anchor across multiple boats, the only choice is the Talon.
Minn Kota's poles can be transferred from one boat to another in 20 minutes. If the second boat has the mounting bracket, it can be less than 5 minutes.
This all boils down to the Talon only have three parts: the mounting bracket, battery wire, and the Talon's themselves.
Power Poles' hydraulics and mounting prevent it from it being easily transferred from boat to boat. These should be viewed as a semi-permanent fixture that can be moved for long-term use only.
If you're using these anchors for fishing, then you must consider the noise these anchors make when deploying. There's no point in dropping anchor if you scare the fish off before you line enters the water.
In bodies of water with current the sound differences are negligible, but if you're fishing in calm waters especially fresh water the Talon is the better bet.
The Talon creates fewer disturbances because it deploys straight down and via an electric motor. Think the sound differences in an electric car (Talon) vs a traditional gas car (Power Poles).
Traditional gas cars have moving parts like crankshafts and pistons which create the noise you hear when your car is started. Electric cars do not have moving part so there is nothing to generate sound.