New Trolling Motor Technologies for 2017

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By Craig Meier | SCHEELS Fishing Expert

“A few years back, when i-Pilot debuted it was the biggest game changer in trolling motors in a long time, if not all time. The idea of an electronic anchor at the push of a button was something that most anglers never dreamed of, and now, it has been made even better.”
– Craig Meier

To start, a new heading sensor that comes with the i-Pilot motors will keep you on the spot even closer than before. The sensor communicates to the motor when the back of the boat is swaying so it can correct itself and keep your orientation on the spot accurate. Previous, only the Ulterra model foot pedal featured a Spot-Lock button, allowing fishermen to engage the electronic anchor without having to take a hand off their rod and reel to push the button on the remote. This feature has now been added to the new Terrova models as well. So now when you are working a piece of structure and you see some fish or get a bite, you can simply step on the spot lock button and you will immediately be anchored in that spot. Once the heading sensor is installed, you open up the option of the jog feature. This moves you five feet forwards, backwards, left or right and anchors you again, allowing you to move slowly and accurately on structure and pick it apart slowly. Also new on the Terrova and Powerdrive models is a lift assist that makes it 50% easier to lift and stow your motor, as well as let it down much softer when you deploy it to fish.

New remotes and software for the i-Pilot and Link motors make it easier than ever to operate the motors and navigate the menus. The new Link remote is a color touch screen that allows you to customize the menus and easily move through the options to get the motor doing what you want as quickly as possible. The Bluetooth sensor in the motor also lets you control the motor from your smartphone with the i-Pilot app. Now if you prefer the profile of your phone or the battery runs out in your i-Pilot remote, you have a backup option.

For years, there have been different trolling motor preferences by different anglers, all depending on their specific fishing needs. The bass and musky fishermen loved the reactive steering and consistency of foot positioning offered by cable driven motors, like the Maxxum and Fortrex series. The advantage to this was that you developed a 6th sense regarding the pitch of your foot and the angle of the motor, so after a while you didn’t have to look at the motor head to know what way the motor was pointing. Along with much faster reacting steering, this was a must for those anglers. The downside was that you could not get the electronic steering features, such as Spot-Lock or any i-Pilot functionality, and when you took your foot off the pedal it had a tendency to move on its own. On the other hand, electronic steering models such as Powerdrive and Terrova, offered the benefits of accurate and automatic steering, but you didn’t have the quick reaction steering of a cable drive motor or the consistency of the pedal to motor heading that many of these anglers were looking for. With all of that feedback, Minn Kota came out with the Ultrex. It takes the best of both worlds and combines all the best features into one motor. It has the cable steer and foot pedal of a Fortrex type motor, but the electronic steering assist and hardware that allows for both i-Pilot and Link features. Now, whether you had a cable drive motor and wanted spot lock, or you had an electric steer motor and wanted something with a little faster reaction time, you can have it all. All of the best and most popular features from Minn Kota’s bow mount motor lineup are rolled into one. Each motor model contains multiple shaft lengths and thrust options for any boat size. Whether it is Bass, Muskies or Walleyes, there is a motor in this family for you.

It’s an exciting year for new motors and electronics from Minn Kota! No matter the type of fishing you are doing or where you are doing it, there is a motor in the line-up that will suit your needs perfectly.  Stop in to speak to a local SCHEELS Expert about the new motors and let us help you fit one specifically to your boat.


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