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Wireless Trolling Motor

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Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby TrackerPro16 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:23 am

I am going to get a new bow mount trolling motor (probably Monday) and would like one of the new units with wireless, spot lock, jog and heading control using a built in GPS. I have Garmin sonar so do not need the sonar that comes with some of the units. I also understand that none of the trolling motors can be controlled from my Garmin. [cursing]
I have settled on 60" 24V 80 ft lbs of thrust or close to that for my 16' boat.
The question is, which unit? I have watched the video's, hit all of the forums I can find with info on the newer Minn Kota and Motor Guide units and am tossed. [blink] I have had good luck with the Minn Kota, but these are a different animal than my old cable bow mount. I like that I can get the Motor Guide without the sonar and still get all the features I want.
What say you, NWFishing Reports? :)
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:59 am

Ive been shopping around too. I have a 2 year old Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 now with the remote ans spot lock. Its our third Minn Kota and all have worked fine with no serious issues. As we moved up in boat size, we got more expensive models with more features.

The remote and spot lock were the two main things we wanted for how we fish. We have a 21 ft deep V windshield boat, so a foot pedal wasnt needed, but the remote was. We like everything about it except the spot lock. On a calm day it keeps you within maybe a 20-25 ft circle. On a windy day it can get to a 40 ft circle. Thats not really all that great. Even on a calm day, its annoying as heck having the boat wander around that much. It beats the heck out of any other options, but its still far from perfect. The remote on the other hand is fabulous.

Earlier this year I started hearing about Minn Kota's new Improved Spot Lock. They claim it will hold within a 3 or 4 ft circle and from all the reports Ive read, it really does work that well even in windy conditions.

So, even though our Powerdrive is working just fine, we want a new model with the Improved Spot lock. We dont need any other fancy stuff like auto deploy or retrieve or a foot pedal or anything else. Just the super Spot Lock and the remote with all its functions.

Turns out the cheapest model that fits the bill for us is the Terrova. BUT - it also turns out you cant get the Improved Spot Lock unless you also get that stupid builtin transducer on the motor. That really ticks me off, but there doesnt seem to be any other option. I have less than no use for their crappy transducer.

The Terrova also seems to have very few reports of interference with sonar screens, so thats a big plus.

Ive never used any other brands, so cant speak directly to them. I have seen more reports of guys having issues with Motor Guide setups causing interference, but that may just be a fluke. There is no consistent pattern with that sort of stuff.

As far as prices, I got the best quote so far from Brian at BBG Marine. The next best is SportCo in Fife. They were actually pretty close - I think - maybe - but the sportco guys have a hard time pricing special orders and they quoted me the wrong item twice, so Im probably just going to stick with Brian. He knows his stuff.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby TrackerPro16 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:43 am

I have already been in contact with Brian about this but have not gotten specific enough for pricing. The spot lock seems to be about the same between the two now that Minn Kota tightened theirs up and made it quieter. I am not sure I like the big remote on the Minn Kota but it is not a deal breaker.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Sideburns » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:19 pm

The spot lock on my MinnKota, riptide model (saltwater) must be the newer version? It seems to keep with in 6ft once it gets control of the boat. Good call on the 80 # thrust, I'm a little disappointed with our 55# riptide, on a 16ft aluminum boat. No experience with the motorguide here, but many friends swear by motorguide.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby G-Man » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:43 pm

I'll be pulling the trigger on a bow mounted unit soon and will most likely opt for a Rhodan unit. Initially they appear more expensive, but they come with the additions which most angles want, at no extra cost so the expense is not too different from comparable Motorguide or Minn Kota units. The Rhodan units were intially built with a better GPS anchor feature in mind and hold within a 1 yard radius. Much better that the competition when they were first introduced, the Minn Kotas and Motorguides supposedly have caught up, but I'd rather stick with a product that was designed to hold in the wind and currents found fishing coastal waters.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:59 am

TrackerPro16 wrote:I have already been in contact with Brian about this but have not gotten specific enough for pricing. The spot lock seems to be about the same between the two now that Minn Kota tightened theirs up and made it quieter. I am not sure I like the big remote on the Minn Kota but it is not a deal breaker.


There are two different remotes. The smaller one is the I-Pilot and the larger one is the I-Pilot Link.

Its my understanding that you dont need the link unless you want a larger touch screen.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:04 am

G-Man wrote:I'll be pulling the trigger on a bow mounted unit soon and will most likely opt for a Rhodan unit. Initially they appear more expensive, but they come with the additions which most angles want, at no extra cost so the expense is not too different from comparable Motorguide or Minn Kota units. The Rhodan units were intially built with a better GPS anchor feature in mind and hold within a 1 yard radius. Much better that the competition when they were first introduced, the Minn Kotas and Motorguides supposedly have caught up, but I'd rather stick with a product that was designed to hold in the wind and currents found fishing coastal waters.


I cant find anything that says if they are saltwater certified. Are they all freshwater only or are they all usable in salt?
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby G-Man » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:02 am

As they were designed for use in costal waters I figured they'd have no problems with salt water. Looking at their website you'll find the following statement: "Both Black and White models are designed for saltwater use and are equipped with sacrificial zinc anodes and the trolling motor lower unit and shafts all include Line-X® finish."
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:57 am

Thanks, I missed that quote. In that case, that works out to roughly $150 more for the same features and power level on the Minn Kota. Plus Minn Kota has a $50 rebate on all the Terrova's.

Am I missing something else? Seriously looking at the Rhodan now.....
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby cobrar543 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:26 am

Ipilot and Terranova are two different motors. Lots of Minnkota comes with Ipilot but Terranova is a self deploy and recover. It also can raise and lower with the remote. Ipilot does not. Just used GPS and that with the lock Cruise control is outstanding in its own right
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:17 am

cobrar543 wrote:Ipilot and Terranova are two different motors. Lots of Minnkota comes with Ipilot but Terranova is a self deploy and recover. It also can raise and lower with the remote. Ipilot does not. Just used GPS and that with the lock Cruise control is outstanding in its own right


I think you have something confused. Pretty much every Minn Kota except the cheapest versions have the two I-Pilot remote options. The I-pilot is the remote control.

Also, the Terrova versions do not self deploy or retrieve with the remote or any other way

They do have a lift assist, but that just makes it easier to lift it by hand - you still have to do it yourself.

You must be thinking of the more expensive models.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:27 am

Ive spent the last couple of hours researching the Rhodan. There is not a lot of info out there and its widely scattered, but the vast majority of reviews and reports are excellent. About the only complaint of any kind is they are noisy in the mid speed ranges. By all reports they have the best GPS anchor function of any of the brands.

If I compare apple to apples and look at the Riptide Terrova with improved spot lock, I can get the Riptide Terrova for $1309, including shipping and the rebate.

The Rhodan is going to be $1599 + shipping, so more than $300 extra including shipping.

Thats a somewhat unfair comparison because Im getting an on-line discount on the Minn Kota and comparing that to retail on the Rhodan. I havent found anyone who is discounting the Rhodan so far. Still waiting on quotes from a couple of places.

Aside from the price difference, I am leaning towards the Minn Kota for the local repair center and parts availability....... but the Rhodan sure sounds nice......
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby TrackerPro16 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:28 pm

I read and read and read and read all the info and user reports I could find on all three brands in the models I am looking at. I skipped anything older than 2015 to avoid as much info on the older units as I could. I am certain some people were still talking about the older units even with that.
What I got was all of their newest models do the same things and do it equally well. Build quality on the Minn Kota and Rhodan are 'slightly' better than the Motorguide but they all have an issue once in a while. Everything does. You can order a 'micro' remote ($100) for the IPilot which looks like the other smallish remotes but the Terrova (regular) comes with the bigger one with a screen plus a foot pedal. Just make sure you are getting the latest Minn Kota and not an 'older' model or the 'anchor mode' will not be as good.
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Larry3215 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:26 pm

I just confirmed that the only Minn Kota models that have the Improved spot lock are the ones with Blue tooth built in.

For the freshwater Terrova, that means you get stuck with the built in transducer and possibly the foot pedal. I dont want either.

Turns out you CAN get improved spot lock on the Riptide Terrova - salt water version - with no transducer and no foot pedal - for less money. Thats the way Im going I think. Being able to use it in salt will be a big plus for us.

The local service is starting to tip me in that direction anyway, plus the extra $300 is a strong push too.......
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby Sideburns » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:33 pm

You've mentioned BBG marine a few times, and I just realized that that is who I bought most of my stuff from last year. Ordering / reading about this electronic stuff is overly confusing, and there is a ton of misinformation and slanted opinions about trolling motors and fishfinders etc... You need adapters to network stuff together, there's many different versions and subversions of trolling motors from several companies, and I would have ordered everything wrong if I would have ordered from amazon or ebay... even after months of research.

BBG marine (dont remember the person I talked to) cleared everything up. They were very knowledgeable, about many brands, and got me everything I needed correctly the first time at a very competitive price. Highly recommended!
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Re: Wireless Trolling Motor

Postby TrackerPro16 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:13 pm

That is where I got all my stuff from for my 'update' after Larry turned me on to Brian (owner) at BBG. We discussed pro's and con's and what I was looking for against different models and brands before I bought. Sucks that you can't mix and match more between brands, but it is what it is. He does know his stuff!
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