August 23, 2016
By John Geiger
Minn Kota is offering two motors that really dig down into what multi-species anglers and what bass anglers want in a trolling motor.
For the hardcore bass guys who like the responsiveness of a cable-steering trolling motor, like a Fortrex, they can now get that feel but with serious GPS technology in the new Ultrex.
For the multi-species angler who fish from the helm or stern, Minn Kota offers the Ulterra, a powerful motor that has a super-cool remote auto stow-and-deploy function.
We recently checked out the Ulterra with all its technology to see if it was solid and easy to use. Often companies can make a product look great on the internet, but it doesn't perform as advertised. The Ulterra impressed.
Touch a button on your iPilot remote and the motor stops the prop, pulls itself out of the water and onto the boat No rope to pull, no trip up to the bow. And when you cut the outboard and want to start fishing, hit the button again and auto stow-and-deploy drops the motor in, ready for the next instructions. Or, if you prefer, you can use the foot pedal to activate all these features.
Another awesome feature of the Ulterra is power trim. Now you can trim your motor up or down with the remote or foot pedal. That beats the heck out of adjusting it at the base.
And one more thing€¦Ulterra offers Spot Lock, which holds you in one position whatever the conditions.
We installed the Ulterra on a G3 Angler V 192SF. It was powered by two 12-volt batteries. In total, it took about one hour to install. The boat originally had a Terrova, and the Ulterra fit on the quick-release plate and same DC plug. We used a Quick DC Plug made by Marin Electronic Products.
With four adult passengers, it pushed us 2.2 to 2.5 mph into a head wind and again the mild lake current.
Ulterra starts at $2,179 and goes up to $2, 949 depending if you choose iPilot or iPilot Link and 80-pounds of thrust or 112. You also have the choice of 45-, 60- or 72-inch shafts.
ULTREX NICHE OR NECESSARY?
Do you like fishing from the bow with a foot pedal and cable-steering? Then you like that wildly popular standard, the Fortrex.
But you might dig the new Ultrex as well. It gives you the feel of the cables, but the brave new world of Spot Lock, auto pilot and follow-the-contours, just like the digital Ulterra.
Brad Henry of Minn Kota put it best. "We combined the 'wired-to-the-water' feel of our tournament-proven Fortrex with the GPS technologies of iPilot, iPilot Link and Spot Lock electronic anchoring. It's the best of both worlds."
We think the bass world will love the Ultrex. Anglers won't have to give up their cable-drives if they want to use GPS anchoring to target suspended fish. You'll be able to use the motor without constantly looking at it because of the cable-feel.
And bass anglers will also like the tracking feature, called Steering Lock, that keeps the motor and the boat pointed in the same direction even when they take their foot from the pedal. It doesn't just turn randomly like traditional cable drives can do.
The Ultrex starts at $2,199 and goes to $2,799. Options include 80 or 112 pounds of thrust, and 45-, 52- or 60-inch shafts.
Minn Kota deserves major props for their innovations that truly makes fishing easier and more enjoyable.