Since 1972, Manson have been making anchors in New Zealand, a country that boasts some of the harshest boating conditions in the world.
In their current range they have the Supreme, Plough, Kedge and Ray. They are all suited to one specific style of anchoring chores, with the top of range Supreme probably best suited to dual roles given its very special design. In fact the Manson Supreme range are very special anchors indeed, being reviewed by Lloyds Registry of London to be registered as having Super High Holding Power, which makes it the first and only production anchor to do so.
There are quite a few anchors within the Supreme range, from 5-400lb weights, and all share the same heavy-duty and unique features.
I saw the Supreme, thanks to its unique features, as being the anchor most suited to a range of Australian fishing activities. It can handle a boat anchored in a swiftly flowing estuary channel during one fishing expedition and then in action within a rock strewn or rubble bottom situation, or maybe even an impoundment.
Manson's Supreme is claimed to have extra strong holding capability plus the ability to correctly and quickly set into strata once in contact with the bottom. This is due to the specially designed half circle section that turns the anchor upon contact so that the concave fluke can quickly dig into the bottom and make fast. The idea is to use sufficient chain drop to facilitate the process if one intends to consistently anchor in areas where current is expected to be swift flowing.
I've recently had the opportunity to water test a Supreme 15lb model. This is quite a compact anchor when compared to the old style of pick with its large side bars and twin flukes we have become accustomed to over the years.
Manson rate the anchor as suited to craft from 4.8-5.8m in length. I used it to anchor my new TABS P420 Bullshark in a couple of situations with absolute ease and success.
In the current at the local estuary the pick went into 'hold' mode within seconds despite me deliberately throwing it over the side with the fluke section uppermost to see how long it might take to right itself and dig in. Manson's claim that the Supreme correctly aligns itself for operation appears to be accurate.
In the rock, reef, freshwater, situation there needs to be a small change to the anchor set up, as follows. In the shank of the Supreme there are two ways that the usual large shackle can be attached: for use in a sandy or muddy bottom attach the shackle to the extremity of the shank for maximum leverage; for use in rocky or reef areas attach the shackle to the slot in the shank, which allows the anchor to become free as the boat moves forward and the leverage from the shackle changes from the furthest point away from the fluke to directly over it. This is a very smart set up and does indeed give the Manson Supreme true dual-use capability.
I tried it out in a few reef situations. Although somewhat dubious about the thought of the anchor really fouling (the use of goggles and flippers), I was very pleased to see the pick come up soon as the boat took up the strain in a forward motion.
I have given the Manson Supreme full marks in every sense of the term dual-use capability. It also has durability and strength, and one look at the very rugged construction of the Supreme confirms that it will indeed last a very long time.
I use my boat in a lot of freshwater situations and to be honest I would be reluctant to drop this or any extra strong anchor down into fallen trees or submerged timber as the likelihood of the anchor becoming well and truly fouled in a fork of a big chunk of downed timber, is just too much of a chance.
I would never hesitate to anchor over a school of bass, but to drop it into places where the sounder clearly indicated there was fallen timber – and big timber at that – is just asking for a lot of luck when it's time to leave. A skinny little traditional reef anchor with its flexible tines is the way to go in that situation.Reads: 3966