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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to purchase a new trolling motor in the next couple of months. From everything I have heard and read, having a trolling motor with spot lock is a game changer. The problem is I know nothing about them. I’m not too worried about having one that “talks” with my fish finder but didn’t know if that is just a feature they all have if it has I pilot. My main feature I’m looking for is the spot lock. My current one is a 24volt foot control. I want one with remote. I only fish lakes and boat is a 17 foot deep v. I’m looking for the “cheapest” way to get spot lock and have read some of them you can add something to them for this feature. Do you guys have any suggestions on which to get or where to learn a little more about them?
 

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I just checked on mine as well. You can go to minnkotas site and see if your trolling motor is compatible to upgrade the head. I'm gonna do it with my riptide. The upgraded head and remote is $500 shipped
 

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I am not educated enough about the NEW trolling motor options to be able to help much. But I will tell you that a trolling motor is a bundle of personal preferences and what I think about the specific features. I have had spot lock with my Motor Guide Xi5 for several years now and can say for me spot lock is an important feature. I have a remote and a cordless foot petal. Love the remote but have no use for a foot pedal now. I think the main reason for is I do not continually cast like when I was bass fishing in the past. If my hands were busy with casting and retrieving all the time a foot petal would be handy. But now, my rods are setting in rod holders and I am either trolling forward or back drifting with current and using the trolling motor to control my speed.

With the remote on the Xi5,
I can turn either way,
I can tell the motor to keep the nose of the boat pointed in one direction
or I can spot lock if I need to quickly stop in one location.
NOTE I do not use the spot lock in place of an anchor. Some folks do.

What mine will not do.
It will not put itself in or out of the water.
It will not follow a preset route on it's own.

Although I am very close to the dinosaur age, I can still do these things on my own.

If following a ledge, I can just go by the Navionics maps I use and make adjustments as I go. May not be totally accurate.
OR
I can troll back and forth some crossing over a ledge and add waypoints each time I cross the ledge. Then go to the end and just guide the boat from one waypoint to the next.

An important point is shaft length. There is really no such thing as too long but there is definitely a too short. Since we are often getting up and going to the back of the boat to grab a rod, this can lift the nose up just enough for it to bring the prop out of the water. SO, like with cutting wood, measure twice and buy once.

tight lines
 

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I just upgraded to a Minn Kota Powerdrive. Still learning how to use it. My main regret is that this model does not have the fish finder transducer built into the trolling motor like some of the more expensive model.

I love being able to drive using the hand remote. I am clumsy enough to trip and fall out of the boat using the foot petal (which I no longer have).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike, do all the power drives have the spot lock feature? Does yours and if so does it work well?
 

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I went with the M.K. Ulterra when I outfitted my new boat. If I had it to do over again I would have opted for the link option. I'm kind of a frugal type and will admit I struggled with paying more for a TM than I did for the first three boat motor and trailers I bought but I have no regrets and love the auto deploy and stow feature. There is a learning curve on operation.
 

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Eric from Indianapolis
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My opinion on iPilot on a trolling motor is that if you can afford it, it is a wonderful addition. To me, it's like having another person on the boat who's job is to make sure the trolling motor is doing it's job. If you drag baits, it's a game changer. If you like to suspend baits over a structure without having to throw out two or three anchors, it's a game changer. If you're in really deep water or in a place where you'll likely lose an anchor... well I think you can guess my answer lol!
Really, the only thing I have found that doesn't work for an iPilot equipped trolling motor is fishing where you have lines cast out far from the boat and want to keep all the lines tight, i.e. log jams or shallow bay.
 

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I have the MinnKota Terrova with the Ipilot Link. It communicates with my Helix. I actually use that a good bit as I will set some waypoints when dragging and then have it follow. Sometimes I will use the AutoPilot North feature on the remote too. There are 2 options for this. One that works on GPS where it will stay on the exact path. The other just keeps you heading in that general compass direction. The one that follows the exact path will drive you nuts on a windy day if trolling slow as you will get pushed off course by the wind and then it tries to take you back to where you left off. This will lead to crossed lines if you are dragging a bunch of them. One thing I have found is that when it is really windy it seems to work better to set waypoints and have them follow that route. With anything I am finding that these advanced electronics all have a little quirks and learning curve to learn how to use them effectively. Also using drift socks can help out with the wind.
 
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