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KansasBassin

New trolling motor or Power Pole

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I own a 2018 Bass Tracker Pro TXW 17.5, 60HP. Love the boat as it is perfect for my needs, budget and garage space. 

 

After using it for the summer I noticed the only thing that is really bothering me is the constant trolling motor adjustment to stay in place during wind or just plainly moving away from the troller pedal to help one of the kids. 

 

I am contemplating either a new trolling motor with spot-lock or a Power Pole/Talon. I wold like to hear some opinions one way or another as to which would be the better investment as they are both relatively the same by the time Upgrade to 24V. (have plenty of room to upgrade to 24V and it is already wired for it) 

 

I fish mainly NE/SE Kansas lakes. Places like Douglas, Blue Springs, Crytzer, LaCygne, Bone Creek, Clinton and so on...almost strictly a bass fisherman and my strength lies in more shallow water cover fishing. 

 

I am leaning towards the new trolling motor to solve my positioning problems but I also really like the idea of planting down with a Talon / Power Pole. I don't necessarily like the added weight of a pole as the boat is only a 60HP and not a speed demon by any means.  

 

Thoughts? Anyone else made a decision between the two?  

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In my opinion with your boat, if you go with a shallow water anchor(s) you are going to want an upgraded trolling motor in the future anyway. If you have a 24v set up now in that boat the storage room back there is very tight. The trackers are known to sit stern heavy so with that extra weight back there you will probably loose performance and fishability.   I would go with upgrading the TM over anchors because of the reasons I mentioned. Choice is ultimately yours, price out the cost of those anchors with brackets and options, it's not cheap.  

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4 minutes ago, JoeyT said:

In my opinion with your boat, if you go with a shallow water anchor(s) you are going to want an upgraded trolling motor in the future anyway. If you have a 24v set up now in that boat the storage room back there is very tight. The trackers are known to sit stern heavy so with that extra weight back there you will probably loose performance and fishability.   I would go with upgrading the TM over anchors because of the reasons I mentioned. Choice is ultimately yours, price out the cost of those anchors with brackets and options, it's not cheap.  

Thanks for the reply. The boat is stern heavy the way it sits now so adding another battery and the poles and brackets was going to be a lot as you said. The rear battery compartment is tight but before I bought it I made sure it was ready for a 3rd battery and there is just enough room to drop another battery back there and replace the current bank charger. 

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Spot lock and shallow water anchors do not replace each other. I have both. The boat will still move around with spot lock. The motor just corrects the action without help from the operator. 

And with spot lock,  you always have to have the bow pointed into the current or wind. If you dont, the boat will correct itself and the hull will spin until it settles itself bow forward. 

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11 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Spot lock and shallow water anchors do not replace each other. I have both. The boat will still move around with spot lock. The motor just corrects the action without help from the operator. 

And with spot lock,  you always have to have the bow pointed into the current or wind. If you dont, the boat will correct itself and the hull will spin until it settles itself bow forward. 

All good points. Thanks for your input. 

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I have both.  If I could only have 1 it would be the trolling motor.  I am mostly too deep for my Power Poles to do me any good.

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Would depend on how you like to fish. If most of your time is fishing shallow enough water where you can plant the pole and work an area thoroughly, it would be the better option. On the other hand, if most of your fishing is done offshore where you are holding the boat in deeper water (>8'-10'), or on rivers, then the bigger troll motor with spotlock would get the nod in my book.

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I love Spot Lock and use it all the time.   I've always said that a good trolling motor is the best investment you can make in a boat.  I don't know what TM you currently have but an upgrade will give you other benefits beyond Spot Lock like stronger thrust, AutoPilot and other things depending on what model you get and if you integrate it with your electronics.

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It depends on how often you are in shallow water.  Around here on the Potomac and Bay I might go an entire day without fishing in water deeper than 4'.  I do fish deep water frequently on the lakes, but between the tidal rivers and springtime on the lakes...Poles made more sense for me.  I wish I had an Ultrex in addition to poles, but I'm happy with my decision given my style.

 

The other aspect of poles/talons that often gets joked about is launching, docking, or beaching...I find them to be super useful in those situations.  I often launch alone and with my remote I can launch, let it slide off trailer, pole down next to the dock, and park.  Never have to get out of the truck or tie up and go step right into the boat.  I only do this when the ramp is uncrowded and weather is warmer - Just in case things go awry ;)...But it's mega-convenient when alone.

 

I'd look at your fishing style objectively and determine where you spend the most time.  Unless you come up with a fairly even split between shallow and deep, the choice should be sort of obvious.  

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23 minutes ago, Logan S said:

It depends on how often you are in shallow water.  Around here on the Potomac and Bay I might go an entire day without fishing in water deeper than 4'.  I do fish deep water frequently on the lakes, but between the tidal rivers and springtime on the lakes...Poles made more sense for me.  I wish I had an Ultrex in addition to poles, but I'm happy with my decision given my style.

 

The other aspect of poles/talons that often gets joked about is launching, docking, or beaching...I find them to be super useful in those situations.  I often launch alone and with my remote I can launch, let it slide off trailer, pole down next to the dock, and park.  Never have to get out of the truck or tie up and go step right into the boat.  I only do this when the ramp is uncrowded and weather is warmer - Just in case things go awry ;)...But it's mega-convenient when alone.

 

I'd look at your fishing style objectively and determine where you spend the most time.  Unless you come up with a fairly even split between shallow and deep, the choice should be sort of obvious.  

I do this 99% of the time ~ 

 Could not possibly be any easy launching & recovering Solo.

large.5904b847d3e06_ScenicLund1a.jpg.a3967738f65466c3b6632d0af5a110df.jpg

I don't know if it's a joke or not but it sure makes me smile just the same.

 :smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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So do you then walk through the water to get your boat after parking the truck, or am I missing something?

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25 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I don't know if it's a joke or not but it sure makes me smile just the same.

The 'joke' is that a lot of guys with poles sort of complain that they only use them for docking or taking a break and not so much actually fishing..."Picnic Poles".  I use them way more than that, but I do find the docking/beaching/lunch benefits to be a big selling point too :).

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Just now, Logan S said:

The 'joke' is that a lot of guys with poles sort of complain that they only use them for docking or taking a break and not so much actually fishing..."Picnic Poles".  I use them way more than that, but I do find the docking/beaching/lunch benefits to be a big selling point too :).

Got it ~ 

 While I'm certain I could make big time use out of a new Ultrex, I'm not quite ready to dump the Fortrex plus shell out the $$$ for the new motor plus the new 360 mount I'd no doubt be needing as well. 

 Either way, the Talons have helped me immeasurably.

So to the OP @KansasBassin   

My vote goes to shallow water anchoring system - 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Ultrex 100%.

 

My dad has the same boat and fishes a lot of the same waters. He upgraded to a motorguide Xi3 with pinpoint (the motorguide corollary of spotlock) and he absolutely loves it (even though he really hates the wireless footpedal on the motorguide because its not pressure sensitive and it’s not super responsive). He’s really a spot fisherman, he likes to pull up on a lay down and fish it for a half hour to an hour and he thinks it works great for that even in the rivers and creeks he fishes.

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1 hour ago, Logan S said:

The 'joke' is that a lot of guys with poles sort of complain that they only use them for docking or taking a break and not so much actually fishing..."Picnic Poles".  I use them way more than that, but I do find the docking/beaching/lunch benefits to be a big selling point too :).

Picnic poles? That's funny.

 

I use the Talon more for panfishing than I do bass, but that's neither here nor there. I can fish effectively without a shallow water anchor. I choose not to. I can fish effectively with a trolling motor that does not have GPS options. I choose not to. B)

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5 hours ago, Team9nine said:

Would depend on how you like to fish. If most of your time is fishing shallow enough water where you can plant the pole and work an area thoroughly, it would be the better option. On the other hand, if most of your fishing is done offshore where you are holding the boat in deeper water (>8'-10'), or on rivers, then the bigger troll motor with spotlock would get the nod in my book.

I think this describes my fishing most of the time. 8-15 out casting towards the shore or lay downs. I am leaning towards TM for this reason, cost and weight. 

1 hour ago, Dirtyeggroll said:

Ultrex 100%.

 

My dad has the same boat and fishes a lot of the same waters. He upgraded to a motorguide Xi3 with pinpoint (the motorguide corollary of spotlock) and he absolutely loves it (even though he really hates the wireless footpedal on the motorguide because its not pressure sensitive and it’s not super responsive). He’s really a spot fisherman, he likes to pull up on a lay down and fish it for a half hour to an hour and he thinks it works great for that even in the rivers and creeks he fishes.

I am going to have to check out that Xi3 for sure. I have really only looked at the Minn-Kota options. 

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5 hours ago, KansasBassin said:

I am going to have to check out that Xi3 for sure. I have really only looked at the Minn-Kota options. 

The control system on the Xi3 is lacking and I would personally NEVER buy one.

 

It does have some attractive features such as being a 12 volt motor and being budget friendly way to get an anchoring trolling motor BUT the wireless foot pedal (sold separately) is NOT good for bass fishing. It is not pressure sensitive and often over steers or doesn’t steer at all making it difficult to navigate in close quarters. It is very difficult to use it to run down a bank or through a stretch of timber or docks and cover water.

 

If you are budget limited and are really opposed to adding another battery and really think the Xi3 is the only way you can get an anchoring system, I 100% suggest that you use the Xi3 on someone else’s boat for a day first. I have a suspicion you would not be satisfied. While my dad loves the pinpoint feature on it, anytime he tries to navigate in close quarters he is cursing it. I think the only reason he didn’t take it back is because it suits his style of fishing which is pull up on a single spot and fish it for a long time. He is not one to try to cover water.

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I think your options have been explained really well.  I have poles and I use them a lot.  I have a 112 fortrex on the front, I use it a lot as well.  I would like to have a Ultrex but for me the priority was poles since I fish in shallow water a lot.  I am very financially conscious and bought my poles used.  I bought my fortrex to replace a motorguide when my buddy upgraded his 2016 boat with a fortrx to an Ultrex.  When finances allow, I will buy a new TM used as well.  Waiting to see what Lowrance comes out with TM wise, they are supposed to introduce one of their own design. 

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1 hour ago, TOXIC said:

I think your options have been explained really well.  I have poles and I use them a lot.  I have a 112 fortrex on the front, I use it a lot as well.  I would like to have a Ultrex but for me the priority was poles since I fish in shallow water a lot.  I am very financially conscious and bought my poles used.  I bought my fortrex to replace a motorguide when my buddy upgraded his 2016 boat with a fortrx to an Ultrex.  When finances allow, I will buy a new TM used as well.  Waiting to see what Lowrance comes out with TM wise, they are supposed to introduce one of their own design. 

Lowrance? Interesting. 

2 hours ago, Dirtyeggroll said:

The control system on the Xi3 is lacking and I would personally NEVER buy one.

 

It does have some attractive features such as being a 12 volt motor and being budget friendly way to get an anchoring trolling motor BUT the wireless foot pedal (sold separately) is NOT good for bass fishing. It is not pressure sensitive and often over steers or doesn’t steer at all making it difficult to navigate in close quarters. It is very difficult to use it to run down a bank or through a stretch of timber or docks and cover water.

 

If you are budget limited and are really opposed to adding another battery and really think the Xi3 is the only way you can get an anchoring system, I 100% suggest that you use the Xi3 on someone else’s boat for a day first. I have a suspicion you would not be satisfied. While my dad loves the pinpoint feature on it, anytime he tries to navigate in close quarters he is cursing it. I think the only reason he didn’t take it back is because it suits his style of fishing which is pull up on a single spot and fish it for a long time. He is not one to try to cover water.

I researched the Xi3 a little last night after reading your post and I wasnt super impressed. 

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If you consistently fish in water 8' or less, anchors, if its deeper id go ultrex.  

After fishing in a boat in both, they are not a replacement for the other. Anchors wont work in deeper water, and ultrex works best in current or wind. One thing to consider too, is blowback from tm when fishing shallow into where you are fishing. 

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Would you elaborate on the wireless foot pedal on the x13?  I would love to have spot lock but want to keep the 12 volt system on my 16 ft jon boat.  I do a lot of shallow water fishing, including flipping, so maneuverability is important.  What do you mean that it is not "pressure sensitive?"  Thank you for your input!

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Kansasbassin', bear in mind that one power pole does not hold you in an exact spot as you might think it does.  One shallow water anchor is sometimes more of a "pivot point" if there's current and/or wind.  Really, to get a good hold and stay there, you need two of them.  I have one talon on my stern and I've experienced this problem before.  If the Ultrex had been introduced a year earlier, I would have bought that instead of the combination of a Maxxum and Talon I bought.

 

I do believe that Minnkota introduced a new talon last year that goes to 15 feet now.  So the shallow water anchors are increasingly going deeper and deeper over time.  I'm not sure what the deepest power pole is at the moment.

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4 hours ago, Lottabass said:

Would you elaborate on the wireless foot pedal on the x13?  I would love to have spot lock but want to keep the 12 volt system on my 16 ft jon boat.  I do a lot of shallow water fishing, including flipping, so maneuverability is important.  What do you mean that it is not "pressure sensitive?"  Thank you for your input!

Check out the Minn Kota Terrova in 12v/55lb

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11 hours ago, Lottabass said:

Would you elaborate on the wireless foot pedal on the x13?  I would love to have spot lock but want to keep the 12 volt system on my 16 ft jon boat.  I do a lot of shallow water fishing, including flipping, so maneuverability is important.  What do you mean that it is not "pressure sensitive?"  Thank you for your input!

Basically the "foot pedal" is a button. You touch it and it turns. Its not like a cable driven motor where how much you move the pedal correlates to how much of a turn you get. Instead, its how much time you hold the pedal down determines how much of a turn you get. If you are not looking at the trolling motor its hard to determine which direction it is pointed, unlike a cable-driven motor in which you can feel where its pointed. Also, sometimes there is a little delay in the pedal causing to hold the pedal for too long and resulting in WAAYYY oversteer. Super frustrating. I would personally rather have a normal cable-driven trolling motor with an anchor attached to a rope than the Xi3. Some people may feel differently, but I suspect that don't fish close to cover or banks covering a lot of water.

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Thank you!  Changing from cable steer to elec steer is gonna take some practice.  Minn Kota Terrova looks promising.

 

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