Talon, an Anchor Made for Skinny Water Fishing
Now, before getting into deep into the details of the Minn Kota Talon shallow water anchor, let me say that there are other fine alternatives and types of boat anchors on the market. There are several manual push pole anchors for kayaks, small boats and other watercraft that are relatively inexpensive and suitable for most anglers.
There are also other shallow water power anchors such as the Power Pole anchor, though this review is not going to do a Power Pole vs Talon comparison. They are both excellent products – each with their own pros and cons. Perhaps we’ll do a side by side comparison of the two anchors at some point in the future and weigh in on each’s claim of being the best shallow water anchor system on the market.
However, this post focusses solely on the Talon, a shallow water anchoring system that offers fast and convenient operation, with quiet/stealth automatic deployment and retraction, and a host of other features that skinny water anglers will love.
Whether you plan to fish freshwater or saltwater, the Minn Kota Talon is the perfect hi-tech solution to mount on the rear of your boat for those planned stealth fishing trips.
The Talon is an electric anchor for boats that are powered by the boat’s battery to quietly and quickly hold the position of your boat in shallow water of varying depths from 8ft, 10ft, 12ft and up to 15ft, depending on your model.
As a power anchor for boats, the Talon is designed to let you spend more time fishing and less time messing around with manual clumsy anchors. Not only will you have more time for fishing but you can also say goodbye to the back-breaking work normally involved with standard boat anchors. No more tossing heavy anchors in the water (spooking the fish!), messing around with anchor rope — or getting your deck dirty with a muddied anchor.
Not only is this anchor easy, fast and quiet to deploy, but just as importantly it will hold your boat in place so you can fish your favorite spot on those windy days, in rough water or even in fast-moving tides.
Moving beyond the practical, you will not be disappointed either on the aesthetics front as the Talon anchor comes in several attractive color schemes from which to choose.
What Makes the Talon Different?
The innovative Minn Kota Talon is a practical, fast and convenient alternative to using a traditional anchor or unwieldy rope.
Beyond being extremely convenient and durable for easy shallow water navigation, the Talon is electrically powered and designed to deploy its anchoring spike 100% vertically and telescopically in three stages.
It can be operated automatically from anywhere on your boat using several control options which I will cover in the next section. The Talon is powerful (2x more force than the competition) enough to easily push its rugged anchor spike into the bottom surface. Secure anchoring is guaranteed by striking the bottom surface like a jack-hammer with three successive thrusts, with each using more force.
The deployment of the anchor is quick – approximately 5 seconds for the Minn Kota 8-Foot Talon Shallow Water Anchor – and virtually free of the fish-spooking turbulence and noise that usually follow dropping a conventional anchor overboard into the water. The unit’s above the waterline motor and hydraulics-free design greatly reduce noise below the surface, allowing you to stealthily fish any spot.
Speaking of hydraulics, a couple more benefits of the Talon’s use of an electric motor instead of hydraulics are the elimination of messy hydraulic fluid all over your boat’s deck and more space inside the boat.
When not in use, the Talon is easily lifted and removed from its quick-release bracket to place in storage. In addition to the standard bracket, there is also the option to upgrade to an optional tilt bracket for greater flexibility in use.
Its cable-driven, electro-mechanical design is relatively easy to install and relies on only basic rigging and wiring. In most setups, the mounting brackets and anchor can be installed in about 30-60 minutes on average.
The Talon is a great power anchor for bass boats but it is also a practical choice for owners of skiffs, bay boats, pontoons and other similar watercraft operated in skinny water.
Using the Talon Anchor
Once mounted to the rear of the boat, the Talon is super easy to deploy using the console on the anchor unit, the key-fob style wireless remote control (2 included as standard), the optional foot pedal/switch (sold separately), a Minn Kota i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link remote, your smartphone via Bluetooth or your Humminbird fishfinder.
After arriving at a favorite shallow water fishing spot, the Talon is simply activated and its anchoring spike is lowered until it is embedded into the surface below. This will make sure the boat is kept in position to avoid drifting and ready for making the next cast.
Two quick presses of the remote “down” button deploys the anchor while pressing the “up” button once retracts it. A built-in sensor automatically shuts off the Talon once it has anchored on the bottom and also when it has completely retracted. The Talon can also be retracted manually in the case of a power loss/dead battery with a basic 7/16″ (11 mm) socket wrench.
The Minn Kota Talon is built with multiple user-select modes (auto-drive, soft bottom and rough water) to increase the ability to maintain reliable stability in most conditions and fishing sites.
For instance, by activating the rough water mode, the anchor is designed to perform multiple auto-drive sequences to achieve the most stable hold possible. Also, the soft bottom mode restricts the force used to deploy the spike which means the retraction phrase at the end of the day is a lot easier.
Talon’s Other Innovative Features
- “Wave Absorption” — a type of integrated floating suspension system that increases the anchor’s ability to hold in place in rough water.
- LED depth indicator lets you know at a glance the depth of the anchor as it drops in 2 ft increments.
- Debris protection — 3 shields clean telescoping sections and spike to stop mud, sand and other debris from being sucked into the unit and damaging it.
- Deployment safety alarm — In case the boat is put in gear while the anchor is still deployed (in the down position), an audible alarm will remind you to retract the unit.
A further point to mention is that a single Talon is designed to give enough hold to keep a boat of up to 28 ft in place. However, for anglers fishing in very windy environments or turbulent waters, there is the option to install two units – one at each end of the boat – to provide maximum secure anchoring.
Good Looks and Durable Anchor Construction
In addition to 4 sizes/lengths, starting with the Minn Kota Talon 8′, it is packaged in several colors including silver, black, white, blue to easily match with your boat and/or motor.
The actual spike housing is constructed of marine-grade anodized aluminum to give it the strength and durability to last in the harsh saltwater environment. Its aluminum body is fiberglass-reinforced and saltwater-rated to guarantee its long-term performance.
However, it is still always best to wash the salt water off the unit after each use to prolong its usability. This wash-off process is much the same as cleaning the outboard motor or other boating supplies after use in saltwater.
Minn Kota’s warranty, as usual, is top-notch. The Talon is backed by a 5-year comprehensive mechanical parts and labor warranty and a 2-year electronic components/labor warranty. The anchor spike comes with a limited lifetime guarantee – however, that is for the spike only. The consumer is responsible for the installation cost.
Does the Talon Have Any Drawbacks?
- Well, yes – few products have zero areas that could not be improved upon. Out of the box, the Talon is well-made, lightweight and easy to install, but it could benefit from having a better security system in place. It can be difficult to completely secure the unit to prevent unwanted removal.
Luckily, Minn Kota does sell an optional security lock kit to protect the Talon from unwanted tampering/theft. It would have been nice, however, if this were included standard as part of the anchor system.
- While the built-in rough water mode is a very useful feature, the up/down noise it makes can be a minor annoyance after a little time.
- Also, with repeated use on a single fishing trip, there is the risk of depleting the boat’s battery, though should not be a problem for most.
- A further point of consideration is the height that may be added to your boat. For example, the extremely popular Minn Kota Talon 12′ model stands at a height of 57 inches when fully retracted. The extra height added to the boat will depend on the type of vessel and trailer, but it could be an issue if you trying to back your boat into the garage/storage with the unit attached.
One way to address this problem is to purchase the optional Talon tilt bracket mentioned earlier. The bracket is sturdy and made of durable marine-grade aluminum. But more importantly, it will let you adjust the angle/height of the unit for those low clearance situations. This is one accessory I would advise on getting along with the Talon.
Minn Kota Talon Review Conclusions
In summary, the Minn Kota Talon is a high quality, unique, cutting-edge anchoring system that will give you maximum convenience on the water while providing greater control over your boat’s positioning and holding power without the drawbacks of conventional anchors.
What you get in the Talon is an easy-to-use, fast and secure shallow water anchor in a modern and compact design that is powerful, lightweight, a breeze to remove when not in use and saves on precious deck space. In the end, the Minn Kota Talon is a product that lets you spend more time fishing and less time wasted on anchoring. It is, in my opinion, the best shallow water power anchor on the market today.