Iâm not a âflashyâ angler by any meansâIâve never been concerned with the vanity of bass fishing. I donât have the newest bass boat, the fastest motor or a bunch of stickers on my rig. My reels are scratched and scuffed, my rod blanks are covered in dried-up fish slime and thereâs a permanent mud line on my boat from banging around the rivers of my local fisheries. Thereâs absolutely nothing wrong with having a slick fishing setup, but I just keep things simple. It works for me.
With that being said, I made a major upgrade to my boat last year. I bit the bullet, went against my relatively traditional style and installed two Power-Pole Blades on my boat. The idea has always intrigued me and as much as I frequent shallow water, I decided it was finally time to put âem to the test.
After using them regularly for well over a year, Iâll be totally honestâI wonât have another boat without them. Hereâs why.
- You will fish differentlyâin a good way
- Practical features
- Installation is fairly simple
Theyâve changed the way I boat and fish
Iâll admit that I was a bit apprehensive about adding the Power-Pole Blades to my rig. I had fished for decades without them and caught plenty of bass along the way. But after sharing boats with some of the best anglers in the world while working on content for Wired2Fish, my thought process started to change.
I didnât want to âlookâ like a pro. That was never my intention. Instead, I got to see the numerous ways these guys used their Blades throughout a day of fishing. It was impressive, to say the least. These anchors proved to be extremely versatile tools that made common boat control issues an afterthought.
Fast-forward to today and I cannot imagine fishing without them. I know that sounds like a ridiculously declarative statement, so before rolling your eyes like I once did, hear me out.
- Traileringâ Loading and unloading my boat has been made significantly easier with the addition of my Power-Pole Blades. I fish by myself a lot due to my odd work hours, so I donât always have the luxury of having a buddy back my trailer down for me. But these anchors allow me to load and unload my boat in less than two minutes. I back my trailer down, hop in my boat, back the boat off and immediately deploy the blades at the ramp. Then I get out, park the truck and my boat is waiting for me, ready to go. No more digging through my compartments looking for that mildew-covered anchor rope.
- Dockingâ Tournaments with well over 150 boats are very common around here and I fish almost every one of them. Unfortunately, however, our ramps and marinas arenât built for such a crowd. This used to frustrate me to no end because if I wasnât one of the first 30 boats in the water Saturday morning, Iâd have no place to dock my boat for registration. Since installing my Blades, Iâm able to ânose inâ to very tight areasâor even bare banksâwithout worrying about my boat floating away. If Iâm lucky enough to get an actual dock slip, I can now deploy the Blades and keep my boat a few inches away from the dock. This results in less rub rail damage and I donât have to worry about the wake of other boats slamming my rig into the dock.
- Re-riggingâ I guide a fair number of fishing trips on the weekends. This often leaves me sitting on my front deck re-tying lures and re-rigging baits for most of the day. I have found the Power-Pole Blades to be hugely advantageous for this. If weâre fishing a good area and getting lots of bites, I can deploy them quickly and quietly if someone breaks off or gets a nasty backlash. Instead of constantly hopping up to bump the trolling motor, I can sit in one spot without drifting over our productive water.
- Windy conditionsâ I love cranking shallow water, which also means I love the wind. It helps the bite considerably. But high winds make it tough to patiently and thoroughly dissect small areas without making a bunch of noise on the trolling motor. When Iâm approaching a wind-blown flat or brushy dock, I simply âpole downâ and Iâm able to take my time picking apart cover.
- Play timeâ When summer rolls around, I donât fish much on the weekends. Iâm not too big on fighting giant boat wakes and spearing waves when fishing offshore. So my boat turns into a recreational vessel a lot of the time. Iâll take the fishing gear out of the boat, grab a radio, a cooler and a few floats and spend the day with friends on the natural beaches found throughout my home lake. Before getting the Blades, we always had to keep a close eye on the boat and yesâweâve had to swim it back to shore a few times. Now I nose up to the bank, put the Power-Poles down and relax.
Iâve really been impressed by some of the design features on the Power-Pole Blades. Iâm not much of a gear head, so I was very relieved when I discovered how easy they were to operateâeven for guys like me.
They have three different speed settings that control how quickly they deploy, and all you have to do is hit one button to cycle through the speeds. I keep mine on the fastest speed most of the time, especially when itâs windy so Iâm able to come to a complete stop in just a few seconds. When spring comes, however, Iâll actually change to the slowest setting. This allows me to be very extremely stealthy when Iâm approaching a big bass on its bed.
Regardless of the speed, however, Iâve been pleased by how quiet the two pumps are. To this day, Iâve never seen a shallow water bass spook after deploying my Poles.
Iâve also enjoyed the flexibility of the Everflex spike. Itâs made of fiberglass, so it doesnât crack or warp when you suddenly stop at high trolling motor speeds. Instead, youâll be able to feel them flex, almost like a diving board. Theyâll stop the boat without any problems, but youâll feel the boat pendulum backwards a bit as the spikes flex.
A few months ago, I thought I messed up big time. The spikes were barely touching in 8 feet of waterâI have the 8-foot, not the 10-foot modelsâand I cranked the big motor and headed to another spot without putting my Poles up. I got on pad and it sounded like someone was skiing behind my boat and as I looked behind me, sure enough they were still deployed. I cringed and immediately came to a stop, figuring that I had to have broken something. Much to my surprise, however, everything was still totally intact and functionalâeven after reaching 40 miles per hour.
Installation isnât that bad
Now keep in mind, I already said I wasnât a gear head. So I just assumed the Blades would be a pain to install. They actually sat in my office for a few weeks because I procrastinated the installation. But with the help of a goodâand mechanically inclinedâfriend, it really wasnât that bad. In fact, I could probably install them on my own if I ever needed to.
The toughest part for us was finding a suitable place to mount the hydraulic pumps. My boat is a 1999 model, so it was made before Power-Poles hit the fishing world. This means that there wasnât a terribly convenient place to mount the pumps. After a lot of scheming and consideration, we ended up mounting them underneath one of my back compartments. We removed the insert and had just enough room to mount both of them.
From there, it was just a matter of mounting the Poles on my jackplate and running the hydraulic lines. We were able to run the lines through the same hole as my steering cables, so there we didnât have to drill a single hole in the top cap of my boat.
All-in-all, it probably took about three hours to complete the installation, not including the pump placement conundrum. On newer boats with more room and an updated design, I donât see why installation should take any more than two hours from start to finish.
I could have published this review several months ago, but I wanted to make sure I put these anchors through everything I could possibly imagine. And Iâve certainly done that to the best of my ability. After using them multiple times per week for 16 months, I can comfortably say that they have, in fact, made my life much easier on the water.
And like I mentioned in the beginning of this piece, I can also say that I will not have another boat without them. I sincerely mean that.