Power-Pole Anchors vs. Minn Kota Talons
When purchasing a shallow water anchor, it is better to have one than not. It will improve your angling and boating experience. Launching your boat becomes much easier, not to mention the countless times it can be used fishing. From stopping your boat up shallow to fish a piece of cover to holding your position in the wind and waves to make precision casts. The possibilities are endless in their use and effectiveness. Power-Pole and the Minn Kota Talon are great products that will help improve that experience. If you are looking to purchase one, there are many things you need to consider to find the best fit for your needs. Let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages for both to find the right fit.
- Hydraulically driven
- 3 models: Blade, Pro Series II, Sportsman II
- Remote use
- Depth: 4', 6', 8', 10'
- Up to 4 color options
- Fold-out deployment
- Weight: 21lbs - 38lbs (each)
- 2 - year warranty - electrical & hydraulics
- 5 – year warranty - mechanical parts
- Lifetime warranty – Everflex spike
- Electrically driven
- 1 model
- Remote and Bluetooth use
- Depth: 8', 10', 12', 15'
- Up to 6 color options
- Straight down deployment
- Weight: 38lbs – 55lbs (each)
- 5-year limited original retail purchase warranty – electrical and mechanical
- Limited lifetime original retail purchase warranty – spike
The most obvious difference between a Power-Pole and a Talon is their design. The Power-Pole is a sleek design that deploys by folding out until the entire pole is in the water or when the spike meets the bottom. The Talon is a little wider with the main controls in the middle of the unit, and the spike deploys straight down while the rest of the unit is stationary.
Both serve the same purpose, but the advantage the Power-Pole will have is when deployed, the Poles will be out of the way as you fish and move around your boat. You know when a Power-Pole is down and secure because the entire unit moves as one. The Talon is stationary, and you lose maneuverability around the boat as they will always be upright. The Talons feature indicators on the unit to let you know the depth of the spike. Noticeable but not nearly as apparent with a stationary design.
If you are adding accessories to your boat, the weight of these features adds up, contributing to your boat's performance. From the tackle, tools, safety equipment, batteries, fuel, full live wells, and passengers, it all adds up. Adding a shallow water anchor to the back of the boat will increase that weight slightly or significantly, depending on your choice.
A 4ft Power-Pole Pro Series II is the smallest Power-Pole offered and weighs roughly 21lbs. The top-of-the-line 10ft Power-Pole Blade weighs a little over 31lbs. Whereas an 8ft Minn Kota Talon weighs in at 38lbs, and a 15ft Talon is 55lbs. Weight is a factor to consider based on the type of boat and whether you plan on mounting one or two anchors to your boat. Overall, both companies share 8ft and 10ft sizes, the most popular and common sizes. Power-Pole will have the edge in this category based on its design, eliminating the extra weight.
It is no secret that electric hook-up will be an easier install as it doesn't require any additional pumps to be mounted. Many older boats do not have the space for hydraulic pumps, making a Talon an easy choice when deciding between the two. Even though installing hydraulic pumps may not be as convenient, they are relatively simple and small enough to place in just about every boat.
Both offer the proper mounting brackets adequate for your boat. Power-Pole brackets are designed differently, making them sleeker and lighter, but more options are to choose from. The Minn Kota brackets are bulkier and heavier but adjustable, so you only purchase one bracket and adjust it accordingly.
When it comes to noise, as an angler, you want to be as stealthy as you can be. When dropping your anchors, you don't want to make any more unnecessary noise. When maintained properly, both the Power-Pole and Talon are very similar in the noise they make.
An electric motor on a Talon allows for smooth straight-down deployment. But the build-up of debris from the spike can make its way into the Talon. After much use, this can cause the deployment to become a little nosier if not maintained and cleaned.
Having hydraulic controls and the fold-out deployment method of the Power-Poles can attribute to its noise. Power-Pole allows you to adjust the speed at which it drops; doing so makes a Power-Pole even quieter and stealthier at a slower speed. You may sacrifice the speed but the majority of the time, it's not going to affect your use.
Power-Pole is virtually unmatched in terms of customer service. They set the bar high and continue to meet customers' expectations repeatedly. Being able to call and speak with a representative or a technician one on one makes for a streamlined process. When you are spending your hard-earned money, you want the service to back it up, and Power-Pole delivers time and time again.
This isn't to say that Minn Kota has bad service, it's just how high Power-Pole has set the bar that makes it tough to compare and expect them to meet the same reputation.
There is nothing cheap about boat ownership, and when adding shallow water anchors, you want the most reliable product for the money. Power-Pole will be the most reliable because it is run off of a hydraulic system that is not as susceptible to the elements as an electrical system that the Talon offers. If you plan to be in saltwater, you would likely want to avoid the Talon, as saltwater and electrical hookups do not mix well. It is difficult to keep a Talon clean as the spike retracts back into itself, where it collects debris and gunk. Because of its fold-out design, a Power-Pole can be serviced and cleaned with plenty of room to work with.
Another factor is drive-off protection. It is only a matter of time before you try and drive away with your anchors down. If this is the case with Power-Pole, you may notice they are deployed before even taking off because you cannot see them as they fold down into the water. If not, and you do drive away with them down, the flex of the spike is unmatched in the industry, and they will simply drag along.
It is much easier to forget that your Talons are down because they are stationary, only showing a light on the front that they are deployed. Minn Kota has installed a drive-off alarm that will beep when trying to drive off. The spikes are not as flexible with the stationary Talon design. If you are not careful, there is a severe risk of snapping and breaking your Talon spikes.
Both Minn Kota and Power-Pole provide the features anglers need and love. When looking at remotes, a Power-Pole supplies you with two wireless remotes and access to the free mobile app where you can control your Power-Poles. A wireless foot switch is also available to purchase. The Talon also has two wireless remotes and access to the free mobile app. A wireless foot switch is also available to be purchased. Being that Talon's are Bluetooth compatible, they can be used through other devices such as Humminbird electronics and I-Pilot remotes. Both offer multiple ways to control your shallow water anchor, no matter what you choose.
Now that we have gone through a lot of the nitty-gritty that Power-Pole and Minn Kota offer in their respective shallow water anchors. Both accomplish what they set out to do, but it is fair to say that Power-Pole will offer a better all-around experience. Minn Kota has designed and built a fine product, but we feel that there are more benefits to purchasing a Power-Pole. This can be based on its strong hydraulic performance, lightweight design, and renowned customer service. Power-Pole has brought us the most effective shallow water from the beginning with their innovative design and testing. They continue to produce a quality and reliable product that they fully stand behind. There is no telling what they are up to next to improve their products. We highly suggest that you look into purchasing a Power-Pole. You will not be disappointed with the results.
- Stan Miketa