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OperationEagle

How useful is iPilot LINK for bass fishing?

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Want to pull the trigger on a new trolling motor and am targeting the Ulterra w iPilot.  Ulterra will help eliminate the back strain of pulling the TM, etc.  iPilot will be useful for the spot lock feature as I like to pick apart a deep spot with a jig.

I am trying to figure out whether I just go all in and get the LINK feature which is $300-500 more.  I also will need to get into a Helix 9 for $200 more over the Helix 7 as the 7 is not LINK capable.  So the total cost of LINK is an additional $500+.

QUESTION: Does LINK provide that much more fishing value for $500+?

LINK enables the GPS to follow a contour line of a lake.  Perspectives welcome.

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Follow-the-contour only works with iPilot Link Lakemaster map software. If the waters you fish are not covered by Lakemaster in HD, it will not work.

Additionally where it does work, there is a setting to choose how far from the chosen contour line to position the boat so you can fish that depth from a distance. That gives you the choice to be directly above the contour or offset for trolling or casting.

You should check the coverage in your area that Lakemaster has to see if that function will work on your waters.

You can download the .pdf list of waters covered for each region on the Humminbird Lakemaster site.

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Thanks Wayne.  Great tip.  And yes after checking, a majority of the lakes I will be fishing do have the maps in Lakemaster HD.  So I would be able to do what you explained in your note above.

I guess the question is how often would I want to fish this way....which helps me to understand the true value of this additional feature.

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I've got a terrova with link. Had it 2 years. Really just started using it this past season. If you are a bank beater, save your money. If you fish a lot of offshore structure it's worth taking a look at. Follow the contour is only one of the technology's link provides. 

 

 

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After a lengthy discussion with a salesperson at a trusted outdoor sportsman's retailer who has LINK on his boat, I will be forgoing the LINK feature and staying with the iPilot only version.

In my situation, given the choice of spending more for a larger screen at the bow or getting the LINK, a larger screen seems more useful.

Are the "go to" and "follow the contour" features nice?  Yes but the standard iPilot satisfies 80%+ of my needs if not more.

Thanks for the perspectives.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, OperationEagle said:

After a lengthy discussion with a salesperson at a trusted outdoor sportsman's retailer who has LINK on his boat, I will be forgoing the LINK feature and staying with the iPilot only version.

In my situation, given the choice of spending more for a larger screen at the bow or getting the LINK, a larger screen seems more useful.

Are the "go to" and "follow the contour" features nice?  Yes but the standard iPilot satisfies 80%+ of my needs if not more.

Thanks for the perspectives.

 

 

 

 

Yes but....

Why i like it for offshore is i can idle over a spot i want to fish, mark a waypoint, deploy the terrova and it will take me where i need to go. That feature alone makes it worth it to me. You can do that with ipilot but the trolling motor needs to be deployed. 

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15 hours ago, slonezp said:

Yes but....

Why i like it for offshore is i can idle over a spot i want to fish, mark a waypoint, deploy the terrova and it will take me where i need to go. That feature alone makes it worth it to me. You can do that with ipilot but the trolling motor needs to be deployed. 

Thanks slonezp...I am a bit confused.  Without link I don't think I will be able to mark a waypoint and direct the TM to get me there even if my TM is deployed....as this requires the FF to be connected to the TM.  I will, however, be able to set a direction for the TM and it will follow that direction until I guide it differently, I think.

This feature is the "go to" feature ...again I think.   I assume this feature allows you to fish along the way without worry of directing the TM.  Whereas I will have to hit the button a couple of times to steer?

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The waypoint is marked in the ipilot remote, not the graph. If you are idling WITH  the trolling motor deployed you can either hit the spot lock, kill the big motor and the TM will take you back to the point you hit spotlock OR you can use the record a track feature where you would start recording,  stop recording,  and go to your spot. Its not ideal like with link, but its doable. 

 

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I am reading through the manuals of the iPilot and comparing it to the iPilot Link.  Some things are becoming apparent to me after my initial investigation.

Firstly, I had forgotten that LINK is NOT available on the Helix 7.  So a HBird 800 series and above or Helix 9 or larger should be in your consideration set as you think about LINK.

Secondly, a lot of the communicating to the LINK is done through not only its dedicated remote but also on-screen commands via the Humminbird unit.

So...keeping both of these in mind...

It appears that there is quite a bit of direct access needed of the FF to take full advantage of the iPilots capabilities.  Since FF's at the bow are located at your feet, the only logical FF you would connect to would be the one at your console.

If this is correct, one must consider where/how to mount a 9inch plus FF at the console.  Most aluminum bass boat consoles will not have room on the console, so a side mount would be req'd. 

If you wanted to look up a waypoint and use the LINK to get you there, you would need to go back to the console and send your commands from there.

I just imagined having these controls at your fingertips while at the bow...telling the iPliot link where to go and what to do.  This still can happen if (I assune) you are willing to get on your knee each time or bend over to click the menus on the FF at your feet.

Those with iPilot LINK experience...am I missing something?  Maybe you would want control at the console anyway?  Thanks for the insights.

 

 

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So, when I am idling over spot(s) I want to come back to, I can mark waypoints along the way at the helm unit. I go up to the bow and deploy the trolling motor. why would I want to go back to the helm to engage navigation if I have the controls at my feet, or better yet, the hand controller which performs most, if not all, the functions that the graph does. The graph is going to allow you to save and name waypoints for future reference.. I realize you are trying to justify the additional cost. I used ipilot since it's *** and as I stated earlier have been using Link for 2 years but mostly this past year. If you fish off shore a lot, I think it's worth the extra dollars If not, save your money.  

There are a lot more walleye fishermen using Ipilot Link than bass fishermen. Most of those guys are controlling Link from the helm. These guys are pulling cranks and either using the trolling motor exclusively OR a lot of them use the kicker motor for propulsion and the trolling motor to steer.

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Why did I-n-c-e-p-t-I-o-n get caught by the censor?

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10 hours ago, slonezp said:

 OR a lot of them use the kicker motor for propulsion and the trolling motor to steer.

 

I started using this concept with my first boat using a T8 kicker & terrova auto pilot over 10 years ago. Its a great way to cover water and allows you to steer without a dedicated auto pilot or foot pedal from either the front of the boat or the stern. Makes life so much simplier. 

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17 hours ago, slonezp said:

 the hand controller which performs most, if not all, the functions that the graph does.

Thanks slonezp yes looks like you do use the remote as an input mechanism. 

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