Excerpts from recent PDB Forum exchanges at www.pdbmagazine.com

Published in the September 2008 Issue September 2008

Very little in life compares to fishing. Where else can you relax on a boat, listening to birds, snacking on junk food, smelling the great outdoors and feeling for a tug on your line, and call it a sport? (Okay, golf comes pretty close.) That's what makes fishing in general, and trolling specifically, alluring. You're cruising along at an easy speed with a gentle breeze blowing against you, complemented with a warm sun. All you have to do is give the pedal a little nudge, turn the boat a bit and patiently wait for that convincing tug that screams, "I GOT A BITE!!"

Recently, a Forum member was in the market for a trolling motor on his Bentley. Not only did Forum members help out with a make, but they also discussed wired versus wireless.

mlovelace asked: I have a Bentley 240 Fish and would like to purchase a trolling motor for the bow. I would like the foot pedal, maybe even with remote. What size should I get, and do you have any suggestions on a make or model? Thank you and be blessed.

rickdb1 answered, including a helpful link: If I was getting another one and had the cash, I would get the MinnKota PowerDrive V2 Pontoon model in 68-pound thrust.


Backlash backed up {rickdb1}: I've got the older version of what Rick linked to. Once you use the remote, you'll never want the foot control again. I love mine.

robt continued the praise: I have a 24V MinnKota Riptide 80-pound and could not be happier. This thing pulls my 22 G3 LX 22F/C around like a bass boat. We were out yesterday in 25 mph winds. Coming right down the river, we had the bimini open and I only had the controls on 15 percent, perfect for chunking lures. I took it up to 100 percent, and you can turn on a dime. Sometimes I think I'm in a bass boat, but with lots of room. Whatever you get, go with more than you need-you won't regret it. I hope this helps.

Wkndbum piped up: I have the Bentley 243 Modified Fish/Dive with a 24V MinnKota 74APPD 60-inch shaft with sliding removable mount. It handles the `toon pretty well. I don't think a 12V motor would have enough thrust for a 24-foot pontoon.

mlovelace had another question: I am worried that a 48-inch shaft will not be long enough. Does anyone else have this problem? My boat squats a bit. It has the 90hp. How deep should the trolling motor be? Thank you in advance.

Backlash replied: I agree-it's better to have it too deep than not deep enough. Mine is 60 inches, and I've never had a problem.

Brigatoon noticed a pattern: Hey Mike, it seems like MinnKotas are the favorite around here.

I bought and mounted the MotorGuide W55 Wireless in January. It's the 12V, 55-pound, 54-inch shaft model. I have not had extensive experience with it on the pontoon yet, but during my first runs with it, it did a fine job on my 22-foot Princecraft. Got just over three miles per hour with the stock two-blade prop. I just changed to a three and I'm hoping that may bump the speed up just a tad. I'm totally happy with mine for what I intend it to do. IMHO 48-inch would not be long enough, and the 60-inch would have been too long for my boat, but the 54 was just right.

It all depends of course on two things: 1) How much money you have to spend, and 2) How much use is it going to see? If I were going to be doing some serious trolling and fishing a 24V, 80-pound would have been my choice too.

Oh and by the way, they're right-the remote FOBs are fantastic.

1NavyCDRRet pointed out: MinnKota Riptide 60-inch with 55 pounds thrust on a 20-foot: Does well, but any kind of wind and you're toast.

SportFisher let everyone know that MinnKotas weren't just for pontoons: I am having the MinnKota Riptide Pro 24V 80-pound thrust installed on my Hurricane 22-foot deck boat. This should get me where I need to go.

cyncwby advised: Before you buy, go to www.trollingmotordoctor.com. He's in Long Beach, Calif., and sells both MinnKota and MotorGuide. I'm buying the MotorGuide FW 71hp, which is pontoon specific-24V, 71-pound thrust for $475, and as with a lot of other models, he has free shipping! This is a tiller model, and since I fish off the front, it will be perfect for my application-and less to go wrong. I have no experience with the wireless models, but I heard they are very noisy. Ask for Rick: he's been in business for a long time and is a factory-authorized dealer and repair station. Might save you some money.

Brigatoon responded: I've also heard that, but that has not been my experience. I have zero-as in zip, zilch, nada-noise with mine. It's as quiet as any I've had.

ReelNauti said: My 21-foot Tracker Fishing Barge came with the old foot pedal MotorGuide long shaft, which was a real pain having at the front gate of the pontoon because of the thick cable running to the pedal control. I did a little research and decided on the W55 12V MotorGuide Wireless trolling motor. I do have 24V available for the trolling motor, but I just put a battery switch between the batteries, and if I need the second battery, I just flip the switch and keep going. It has an adjustable shaft up to 54 inches, so it fits perfectly on the high profile of the front of the Tracker. The mounting bracket is pretty low profile and lets you remove the motor in seconds, so it's out of the way when you are using the pontoon for family and friends not into fishing. It pulls the `toon along pretty well. I've got no complaints there, and I don't notice any real noise, but it makes a heck of a lot less noise than the old motor. The part I like most for this motor is the key FOB wireless control that I can use from anywhere in the boat so I can fish from anywhere I want and still have complete control.

I see they are still running about $600, and at the time I got mine, the key FOB controller was a freebie, which saved me $55 and let me buy the mounting bracket cover plate, which saves bare feet and the chance of it getting bent when the motor is off. Overall I'm real happy with it and got no complaints at all.

ReelNauti added with a caveat: The better half just reminded me I did have a complaint about this motor...the profile with the wireless base is higher than the old motor the front gate was designed for, so when I'm out fishing with the wireless on, I must strap back the front gate because the gate won't close with the motor installed. No big deal for me now, but it might be to someone else. I keep a couple strips of Velcro in the cup holder up front and just strap the gate (it opens out) to the fence when I'm out fishing or moving the pontoon with the motor installed in the bracket.

To read this thread in its entirety, please visit the forum page at www.pdbmagazine.com and search for the "Trolling Motor for Pontoon?" thread.

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