OK, so you've seen our photo gallery of the products that won the awards at ICAST — from best hard bait to best terminal tackle to best freshwater reel, we've covered 'em all.
But what about the best of the best — the single product that most dazzled the outdoors media and snagged the coveted Best of Show award at ICAST 2013? What do you know about the Power-Pole Micro Anchor?
Well, I just happened to run into Chris Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion and a longtime pro staffer for Power-Pole while I was walking the show floor. Chris knows the Power-Pole product line as well as anyone with the company, and he briefly lost his voice making some celebratory cheers when the award was announced — a modest whoop when it won Best Fishing Accessory and an eardrum-splitting shout when it claimed Best of Show.
"We knew we had a chance," Chris said, "but you never know. I wasn't surprised that we won, but I was definitely excited."
Winning Best of Show is no guarantee that a product will be successful in the marketplace, but the Micro Anchor seems like the proverbial lead pipe cinch. It follows the well-known Power-Pole and expands the concept to small boats … even canoes and kayaks. While Power-Poles are now ubiquitous on full-size bass boats, it seems they'll soon be commonplace on smaller craft, too.
The Micro Anchor is all-electric, extremely lightweight (just 7.5 pounds, not including the clamp — with the clamp it weighs about 10 pounds) and will hold a boat weighing up to 1,500 pounds in position in water up to 8 1/2-feet deep.
"One of the great things about small boats is that they can get into extremely shallow water," Lane says. "When you're in just inches or a couple of feet of water, being quiet is important. The Micro Anchor is extremely quiet."
That's because of the built-in 60-watt, low RPM/high torque electric motor that runs it.
And since there are so many different types of small boats out there, the Micro Anchor needs a variety of mounting options … and it has them. Whether you need a clamp mount, a deck mount, a bracket mount or even a special adapter for some other configuration, Power-Pole offers it. They're all lightweight, all easy to install and all feature a very small footprint, so they won't take up precious room in your small rig.
"You can easily take the Micro Anchor out of the Micro Driver Unit for when you're trailering your boat or for when you want to use it as a push pole," Lane says.
So, the same device that can anchor you in place can be used to propel you, too. Now that's versatility!
Like other shallow water anchors in the Power-Pole family, the Micro Anchor works with the C-Monster system. That means you can use controllers mounted on your console, on the deck of your boat (foot-control) or in your hand (remote fob) to raise and lower the anchor.
Chris Lane may have gotten his voice back after the Micro Anchor's Best of Show win, but it's a safe bet that anglers will be singing its praises in the coming year.
Power-Pole is accepting pre-orders for the Micro Anchor now, but it won't be available until 2014. The retail price is expected to be about $595.