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Foot control or remote trolling motor


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Im looking to get a bow mount trolling motor for my 1436 flat bottom Jon boat and am curious as to what the opinions are on the foot controlled vs remote. I know the differences between the two just not sure if it’s worth the extra money for remote with spot lock and all the extras vs a basic foot control. I will be using a 12v battery and will be sticking with the shorter shaft models of the two. Any input or recommendation is appreciated. 

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Really kind of depends on what kind of fishing you mostly do. I would not get much use out of a remote because I use both hands to fish most of the time. I think spot lock is definitely worth considering though.

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I don’t think you can get spotlock on a 12V model. I was looking last summer when my dad was replacing his and he wanted 12v and I wanted him to have spotlock. 
 

running his boat, I’ve never gotten used to a foot control. On my autopilot I love the remote. I won’t be without one or spotlock. 

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1 hour ago, casts_by_fly said:

I don’t think you can get spotlock on a 12V model. I was looking last summer when my dad was replacing his and he wanted 12v and I wanted him to have spotlock. 

 

I have spot lock on my 12V Minn Kota. I also have a remote and a pedal. I use both and I think they compliment each other. IF I had to give up one it would be the petal because the remote has more options. 

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If you have a pedestal seat and stand while fishing a foot control works good. In a 1436 Jon boat your are better off sitting and using a tiller style TM and reversing the the handle to steer with by hand with on/off switch.

Tom

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Motorguide also has 'spotlock' but they call in 'pinpoint', at least on the Xi3 and Xi5 series trolling motors.  My Xi3 saltwater is sitting in the garage, waiting to be installed on my kayak.  In my research I've come across several reports specifically for the Motorguide wireless foot pedal, that it is difficult to make minor directional adjustments with the wireless foot pedal.  I'll end up with one to test and see because sometimes I have to learn for myself and maybe I can figure it out or tweak it better ;)  Or maybe not, so I'll pick it up from Amazon for an easy return if I don't like it.

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I would never want to go back to fumbling around with a tiller handle. A remote is nice I have one but, I can’t tell You the last time I used it. Probably over a year ago. I don’t even get it out of my storage most the time. If I fished out of the back of my boat I would a little more. My opinion is a pedal with a spot lock is golden. A remote is nice to have but, I’d pick the spot lock over remote any day.  You having a 14’ boat may find the remote more useful. I just prefer my hands on the rod. Once I’m up on my front casting deck I am there till I boogie to the next spot.  

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I've got a (12 volt) Terrova with both a pedal and remote.  I mostly used the pedal.  I like having both, but it I could only choose 1 I'd want the pedal.   If I needed another trolling motor spot lock would be a requirement.   Depending on how you sit/stand in a jon boat the remote might be better.   

 

Like I said, I like having both.  

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I think its personal preference. Which do you think you'll get more use out of?

I own fortrex (pedal only) and am quite happy with it. 

Utilizing a remote in my fishing doesn't seem like something i'll ever want.

Seemingly, the only time I'm not standing near, or directly over my TM pedal is when I'm at the console using the outboard motor to get to the next spot. 

Spotlock however, is a different story.

My next TM will most likely be an ultrex with spot lock.

 

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

If you have a pedestal seat and stand while fishing a foot control works good. In a 1436 Jon boat your are better off sitting and using a tiller style TM and reversing the the handle to steer with by hand with on/off switch.

Tom

Tom is spot on here with this suggestion IMHO. 

Depending on your balance and if you stand in your jon boat, a 1436 can be 'tippy' to some people.

Mounting a tiller handle TM to the bow (or casting deck area) of your jon boat, can also be very convenient to use.

Something like this...https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/minn-kota-edge-freshwater-hand-control-bow-mount-trolling-motor?hvarAID=shopping_googleproductextensions&ds_e=GOOGLE&ds_c=BPS|Shopping|Smart|Boating|General|NAud|TopPerf|NMT&gclid=CjwKCAiA2rOeBhAsEiwA2Pl7Q9NgPXeBT0mIlJiw7hjIeyeMxvsSWPAI6FbdeG0JhBvfqFSP7DGEzxoCGz4QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Consider checking out Richard Gene the fishing machines videos on YouTube. He utilizes the bow mount tiller style TM's on both of his boats and has quite a bit of boat control.

 

Lastly, if you do go with a pedal style trolling motor, and you plan on using it while standing from an elevated position in your jon boat, I would HIGHLY recommend recessing the foot pedal if you're able to.

This is what i use in my 1648 Grizzly...

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/panther-marinetech-trolling-motor-foot-control-tray?hvarAID=shopping_googleproductextensions&ds_e=GOOGLE&ds_c=BPS|Shopping|Smart|Boating|General|NAud|TopPerf|NMT&gclid=CjwKCAiA2rOeBhAsEiwA2Pl7Q7qnO55gEYlLAZ33OzoaVLvxXIBjufc8EZhqEU_GF9aOdiLMOzp8GhoC3yQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

 

Trying to do the 'captain morgan' stance to use your foot pedal in a small jon boat isn't fun nor safe. A lot of balance is required.

 

 

Some newer foot pedals on trolling motors are far shorter than mine though. Even at only 3 to 4 inches tall, it can hinder your balance quite a bit.

 

Good luck in your search!

 

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1 hour ago, Kyle S said:

Seemingly, the only time I'm not standing near, or directly over my TM pedal is when I'm at the console using the outboard motor to get to the next spot. 

I love when I’m fishing alone or need to fish out of the back of the boat to the wind and can control the boat from there. It rarely happens with where I fish but, it’s a great option to have. Keep the bow into the wind while fishing the bank the wind is blowing is a great convince. 

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A few years ago I ruptured a lung and broke 3 ribs.  The ribs didn’t heal properly so I couldn’t stand the pain of pulling the trolling motor up.  I had to have the Ulterra.  At first I used the foot pedal.  Then I bought a micro remote and hung it around my neck.  I have gotten used to using it to control the trolling motor and rarely use the foot control any longer.  The Ulterra can also be controlled from any of my Humminbird units.  I believe that I would quit fishing before I would go back to foot control.

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9 hours ago, Dogface said:

 

I have spot lock on my 12V Minn Kota. I also have a remote and a pedal. I use both and I think they compliment each other. IF I had to give up one it would be the petal because the remote has more options. 


Which one do you have?  I couldn’t find a current model that was still offered new for him.

 

I agree they probably complement.  There are times when managing the remote and fishing get tough.  When you first hook one close to cover and want to lock position or move away from the cover is one. I have to just hold the fish on the rod and let go of the reel handle for a second. A spotlock foot button or a foot pedal would fix that. But like you say, the options on the remote are awesome. Spotlock is great but navigation with cruise control is perfect for moving down a bank slowly while throwing moving baits. 

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I have the Terrova. It is probably over 10 years old now. 

 

Terrova1.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Kyle S said:

I own fortrex (pedal only) and am quite happy with it. 

Utilizing a remote in my fishing doesn't seem like something i'll ever want.

Seemingly, the only time I'm not standing near, or directly over my TM pedal is when I'm at the console using the outboard motor to get to the next spot. 

Spotlock however, is a different story.

My next TM will most likely be an ultrex with spot lock.

Exactly my line of thinking too.  Only I have a Maxxum instead of a Fortrex.  Next time I upgrade, it will be to a bow mount with spot lock.  For now, I am ok using my Maxxum and a talon.

 

Something else to keep in mind here is the style of pedal.  The cable drive pedals have a much quicker response than an electric steer model, but they are limited to use at the bow.  I prefer the control of a cable drive, but if you don't have a cut out for it in the floor, they can stick up kind of high.  My boat came with the cut out when I bought it.

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I have a Ultrex which is kind of a hybrid.  You can use the cable steer or remote and I do a lot of both.  It’s fantastic for off shore fishing.  On my first boat I replaced my cable steer with a hand controlled TM and it was great for pitching and flipping cover close to the bank.  My current set up is terrible for that because it has a slower response and it has to be deeper in the water to make room above it for the 360 imaging and mega live transducers.  I often wish I had two boat just so I could have two trolling motors.  Like others have said it depends on how you fish.

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Thanks. I have a low front deck in the boat which is where I would be fishing from. I mostly fish canals and shallow areas if that help. Not interested in fighting a slight breeze with the hand control transom type mounted motors. Been there and done that. i would love one of the terrovas or power drives with the pedal and remote but they seem to be fairly heavy in weight for that light of a boat? If I were to get the foot control I would definitely at the pedal cut out to the deck

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I have owned both and they both have advantages.  When bass fishing out of a small boat, I prefer cable foot control.  One of the advantages foot control gives you is it frees your hands to fish.  Cable foot control is more precise. Boat control is important when fishing down a weed line.  I didn't have the same control with the Terrova remote.  My son fishes back country salt water.  He tells me the Terrova is priceless to him as the spot lock holds the boat against even the strongest tide. I think a tiller trolling motor is more trouble than it's worth. 

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21 hours ago, gimruis said:

The cable drive pedals have a much quicker response than an electric steer model, but they are limited to use at the bow. 

I used to think this was true and then I bought a Ghost. Not only is it just as quick as a cable steer I think it might actually be a tad quicker in response. 

 

In regards to the OP, personally I feel in most cases the foot pedal is better as it leaves hands free for fishing more. I got the remote with my trolling motor and I've only used it a few times. One of the times it was actually nice to use was when I was guiding some guys and they were fishing docks. Instead of standing on the front running the trolling motor and making it harder for the guy up front to cast I could sit at the console and run the boat. The foot pedal covers pretty much anything I need: anchor lock, heading lock, and course lock. If I want to go to a waypoint, I can do that from my locator screen.

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19 minutes ago, WIGuide said:

I used to think this was true and then I bought a Ghost. Not only is it just as quick as a cable steer I think it might actually be a tad quicker in response. 

I wasn't really considering the Ghost with my response since its a bit of a newcomer.  Doesn't Garmin make one of their own bow mounts too?

 

I was specifically referring to the Minn kota models in my previous post.  I don't personally know anyone that has a Ghost.  Good to hear its working out for ya.

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8 minutes ago, gimruis said:

I wasn't really considering the Ghost with my response since its a bit of a newcomer.  Doesn't Garmin make one of their own bow mounts too?

 

I was specifically referring to the Minn kota models in my previous post.  I don't personally know anyone that has a Ghost.  Good to hear its working out for ya.

Yep Garmin has one as well. I've only seen one in the wild once (there was a guy in our bass club that had one) but he only had it on his new boat for about a month before he went back to an Ultrex. I wouldn't take that as a rip on the Garmin though as he's a bit of an "interesting" guy haha. The Ultrex's response rate is pretty dang close to as fast of a response as a normal cable steer as well. 

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For my fishing partner and me, remote control as fishing guides is perfect.  Sit or stand in the back as customers fish...

For fishing,  I like to let my foot do the steering.

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Years ago I had an electric steer and got used to the slow response then I got a cable steered motor and still use it.  Difference between night and day for bass fishing.  My other boat has a tiller controlled motor which I tried on the stern, terrible until I put it on the bow.  Much better but the cable control allows me to fish all the time with both hands.

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I've used a garmin Force for over a year now and there is zero lag between the peddle and the TM. I've used both cable and electronic foot peddles in older MK TMs and the Force beats both hands down. The Force peddle is adjustable for tension so you can make it as light or heavy as you want to match your preference. The peddle isnt tethered by any cables either and can be moved around on the boat. I dont know its range but it comes with a really fancy remote I've yet to use. 

 

If I was letting someone fish out of the front I'd steer with the remote (or foot peddle if it reached) from the back. Otherwise I prefer the foot control to remote control 100%. 

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On 1/22/2023 at 3:10 PM, BranFL said:

Thanks. I have a low front deck in the boat which is where I would be fishing from. I mostly fish canals and shallow areas if that help. Not interested in fighting a slight breeze with the hand control transom type mounted motors. Been there and done that. i would love one of the terrovas or power drives with the pedal and remote but they seem to be fairly heavy in weight for that light of a boat? If I were to get the foot control I would definitely at the pedal cut out to the deck

Stay seated in the bow of a 1436 Jon boat.

I used a tiller controlled TM in the bow of my 14’ Lund for decades in white capped local lakes. The 45 trust with tiller handle TM was mounted to a bracket I fabricated. Just lifted the TM and stowed it cross ways on the bow. It just takes a slight adjust to change direction and foot operated on/off switch to control the boat. 

A remote with spot lock would be preferred over a foot control do to the heavy stirring cable and TM mount taking up the entire front deck area.

It’s you boat and choice at the end of the day.

Tom

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