Installing two Power-Pole Blades on my boat has been one of the best fishing-related decisions I've made. When I finally made the decision to get them, I had no idea how much I'd use them on a daily basis. As cliché as it may sound, they have honestly changed the way I fish. You can read more about how and why I use them in this piece.
I used my Blades for quite some time with just the C-Monster Surface Mount Switch at my console and the C-Monster remote control around my neck. The setup was good, but I desperately needed a hands-free way to deploy them while fighting fish. After some research, I decided to go with the Wireless Foot Switches.
Here are my experiences with them.
Install and setup is a breeze
I'm not the most mechanically inclined—or patient—man you'll meet, so I always appreciate an easy installation process. From the time I unpackaged the Power-Pole Wireless Foot Switches to the time they were fully installed and ready to use was roughly 30 minutes.
Before installing and fastening the switches, I recommend pairing them to your Hydraulic Pump Unit (HPU) first—it's a lot easier when you're doing things solo. Press and hold the "Program" button on top of your HPU for three seconds until the LED light turns green. Press and hold the "up" foot switch for one second; the LED light on your HPU will turn off and then flash. That means the process is done.
Repeat with the "down" foot switch and you're ready for installation.
I wanted these switches right next to my trolling motor pedal so I could quickly deploy my Blades while fishing. I'm right foot-dominant, so I put the "down" switch on the right side and the "up" switch on the left side.
After making sure everything was centered and within easy reach of my feet, I marked and drilled three holes for each switch with a 1/8-inch drill bit. Then I used the provided screws to fasten them to the deck. That's it.
Stop your boat quickly
The C-Monster Surface Mount switch is good for docking your boat while operating your outboard, but it doesn't do you much good when you're fishing. If you see a big fish or a good-looking piece of cover, running back to the console to deploy your Power-Poles will burn precious time.
The Wireless Foot Switches, however, allow me to stop the boat quickly and quietly—without leaving the front deck—the minute I see something that warrants a few extra casts. I use them every day whether I run across an unexpected stump row, grass line, wolf pack of bass or a bedding bass.
I catch most of my biggest bass by making repeated casts to key pieces of shallow cover. Instead of blowing water all over the place with my trolling motor, I can quickly double-tap the "down" switch on my right side and stay completely still and stealthy while making identical casts to trigger these inactive fish.
Easy operation regardless of footwear
I have really liked how big these switches are. They're small enough to stay out of the way, but they're big enough to allow for easy operation in the heat of the moment. Whether you're wearing sneakers, boots or even no shoes, you'll be able to quickly deploy your Power-Poles without looking like you're doing a River Dance.
They're tougher than I expected
Admittedly, I was a little worried about the durability and battery life of these switches. I wasn't quite sure how they'd hold up while fishing in wet conditions.
I've actually been pleasantly surprised.
I've left these switches uncovered in torrential rainstorms and stepped on them thousands of times without any issues to speak of. They seem to be watertight and I've been unable to break them after lots of daily use. As you can tell by the photos, they've been through a lot but they still work like new.
It's also worth mentioning that I still haven't needed to change the batteries, either.
A set of new 8-foot Blades will run you about $3,800. If you have the money to drop on a set of Blades, I'd absolutely recommend spending an extra $99.99 so you can unleash their full potential. If you're a shallow-water angler, I absolutely think these switches are worth their weight in gold.