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Find the perfect trolling motor for your boat

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Top notch trolling

Trolling motors offer fishermen a great way to control the subtle movements of their boat when in shallow waters or at shorelines. Having the correct trolling motor will definitely enhance your fi shing and will ultimately allow you to catch more fish. A trolling motor is typically much quieter than a normal motor but there are certain aspects that need consideration in order to achieve the best results. Leisure Boating finds out more about the ins and outs of compact trolling motors.

THRUST

The single most important thing to consider when looking for a trolling motor is its thrust. Thrust is measured in pounds and determines how powerful the trolling motor is and the accompanying boat weight it is designed for. On the following page is a general thrust to boat weight guide for trolling motors.

TRANSOM OR BOW MOUNT?

It is really down to personal preference where you choose to mount your trolling motor. Transom-mounted trolling motors are ideal for smaller boats and are usually the most cost effective. They are generally hand operated and have less precise steering capabilities than their bow-mounted counterparts because they have to push the boat through the water. Bow motors need a flat bow to fit correctly and can be controlled using a hands-free pedal. Bow-mounted motors offer precise steering and have added features such as autopilot.

TROLLING MOTOR SHAFT LENGTH

An important consideration when purchasing a trolling motor is to ensure that the shaft length is appropriate to the size of the boat. This is especially the case for bow mounted motors. The distance between the waterline and the transom is similar in most boats, but bow distances often differ greatly. As a rough guide for bow mounted motors, measure the distance between the top of the bow to the waterline and then add about 45 centimetres. For transom mounted motors, the shaft length is usually between 35 to 105 centimetres, although it varies according to the length of the boat.

FISHING CONDITIONS

A further consideration when purchasing a trolling motor is determining where you usually fish and which motor is best for those conditions. Do you do most of your fishing in salt water or fresh water? Is it a large body of water or a smaller dam with slow or fast moving currents? If you fish in areas that typically have fast moving currents, you might need a trolling motor that exceeds the minimum level of thrust recommended for your particular boat weight.

DEALER ADVICE

Even if you know the exact specifications of the trolling motor you require, it is always advisable to contact your local marine dealer to get their expert advice and input. You might overlook something critical that will affect how well your trolling motor performs in the conditions that prevail at your particular fishing spots. You won’t need to divulge exactly where you caught your competition winning fish, such as just off the south bank next to the large fallen tree, but you will need to impart the prevailing conditions of your favourite fishing haunts to be assured of the best trolling motor choice.

THRUST RECOMMENDATION CHART

Boat Weight (lbs) 1 500 2 000 2 500 3 000 3 500 4 000 4 500 5 000
• Boat Length Sub 14′ 15-16′ 17′ 18′ 19′ 20′ 21′ 21’+
• Minimum Thrust 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
• Performance Thrust 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 100+
• Motor Voltage 12v 12v 12v 24v 24v 24v 36v 36v
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