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There is nothing better than a Spot-Lock trolling motor that is decently priced.
Given that spot lock trolling motors have been with us for a while, you’d have thought they might be a little cheaper by now.
In some respects, they are, but their price tags can still take your breath away.
If you go high-end, expect to part with well over $3,000. We all love the features of high-end gear. But many of us simply can’t afford it.
The great news is that you needn’t spend the kid’s inheritance to get your boat or yak Spot-Lock equipped.
Even the most basic Spot-Lock delivers the core function – automatically holding the boat on your chosen strike zone.
And with a basic model, you get all the convenience and time savings without breaking the bank.
Let’s check out 5 of the more affordable Spot-Lock motors. Firstly, we’ll check out the least amount of money you must spend to get Spot-Lock equipped.
What Is the Cheapest Minn Kota Trolling Motor with Spot Lock?
While prices vary depending on suppliers, specials, runout sales, and package deals, Minn Kota has the most affordable access to Spot-Lock.
Minn Kota PowerDrive V2 70 i-Pilot – Cheapest Freshwater Spot-Lock
Minn Kota PowerDrive V2 70 i-Pilot Freshwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor starts at around $1200. This is a great price for Spot-Lock.
But if you include all the possible accessories, you will pay twice that amount.
However, paying for all of these extras isn’t necessary.
The cheapest version is a 12V bow mount with a standard 48” shaft and 55 pounds of thrust.
The price includes i-pilot GPS, which is an outstanding feature at this price point. Holding your spot is fantastic, but auto navigation takes it to another level.
You’ll have to pay more for the foot pedal, as it’s an optional inclusion. But it isn’t necessary for getting the job done.
Many anglers will include the foot pedal – and this is understandable. It’s perfect for enhancing the ergonomics of popular boat layouts and fishing styles.
However, if you want to save cash, the phone app, available on both Apple and Android, works a treat.
My criticism is that Minn Kota tends to sting you with the extra pricing. The Bluetooth hand-held remote is a great unit but retails just short of $300.
The weedless prop might be a bit of a surprise for some at around 100 dollars. In my opinion, it should be included.
Why use another prop on such a motor? The foot pedal is a popular inclusion, especially in bass boats. You’ll pay around $250.
The quick-release bracket is another feature that should be standard. But that’s another optional extra retailing just short of $200 dollars.
The Minn Kota PowerDrive is an excellent Spot-Lock Motor, no doubt. And if you refrain from stocking up on accessories, you’ll come away with your mortgage intact.
My only criticism is that for a small freshwater motor, the weed-free prop and the quick-release bracket should be included in the base price.
What Is the Least Expensive 24v Trolling Motor with Spot-Lock?
Unsurprisingly, the Minn Kota PowerDrive V2, 24-volt, offers the cheapest access to 24-volt power.
Minn Kota PowerDrive i-Pilot GPS, 24V – Cheapest 24V for Freshwater
This Kota PowerDrive is an excellent package. It includes Universal Sonar 2, Digital Maximizer, and i-Pilot GPS.
But if you’re seeking 24 volts, thrust, and power are likely driving your decision over features and inclusions.
The Kota PowerDrive listed above has 70 lb of thrust and a 60” shaft. Does this suit your fishing style, your vessel?
The shaft length can be critical for those hitting weeds and shallows. A shorter shaft may be a better bet. Conversely, the size of your vessel may be the determining factor.
Whatever boat you are in, you can equip yourself with a beautiful Minn Kota setup at a relatively affordable price.
Remember, you’ll likely want to tailor a setup based on where and how you fish.
Although you will pay more for the 24V over the 12 Volt, I’m always inclined to have more power over just enough.
Keep in mind, I can’t say this is the guaranteed cheapest as prices fluctuate.
But the Minn Kota PowerDrive i-Pilot GPS, 24V, represents excellent value and an entry-level price.
My primary consideration in choosing the package listed here would be shaft length. If 60” is a good fit for you, this package is outstanding.
Other Affordable Spot-Lock Motors
The two Minn Kota’s listed above have the fresh covered. They’re great models, getting you Spot-Lock equipped affordably. But what about the salties? What about different brands?
Let’s check out 3 more cost-effective Spot-Lock motors budget-conscious anglers should consider.
Motor Guide Xi5 with Gps – Cheapest for Large Saltwater Boats
Deep V hulls and center consoles are popular saltwater boats. But they are far more needy in terms of power than your average yak.
You’ll need a lot of power and thrust. But is this expensive?
Believe it or not, you can Spot-Lock your big boat with a powerful motor and still get plenty of change out of $3000.
MotorGuide offers Pinpoint GPS, which delivers navigation options like Jog, Route Playback, and GPS Anchor.
36 volts gets you 105 pounds of thrust. You can choose a 60” or 72” shaft, with both being composite construction with lifetime warranties.
The unit has a proprietary corrosion formula to handle the harsh saltwater environment.
Motor Guide claims a 50% faster steering rotation and 5 x longer battery life over competitors, but we couldn’t verify this.
The Xi5 is a bow mount that’s a joy to operate. The remote control is reasonably ergonomic and intuitive.
The wireless foot pedal is available at an extra cost, if your setup would benefit from hands-free.
I was surprised at the low noise level. I couldn’t hear it amidst the noise of birds, wind, and waves. Without a visual reference, I wasn’t sure it was going.
Link it to your Lowrance, Simrad, or Mercury sounder, and the fish have nowhere to hide, and you have total automation.
This is a lot of power and connectivity for under $2600. It’s a little heavy, and you’ll also want to add accessories, so keep an eye on your budget.
The Xi5 is available in 12, 24, and 36 volts, with 55, 80, and 105 lb of thrust. It’s a bow mount only. However, you have the option of shaft lengths starting at 48, then 54, 60, and 72”.
Haswing Cayman GPS 1.5 12V – Cheapest Allrounder For Saltwater & Freshwater
This is a fantastic unit for the average weekend angler who loves to mix it up in the saltwater and fresh.
It comes with a 54” shaft and holds you in position with 55 pounds of thrust. The handheld wireless remote comes standard.
Usually, the foot pedal and the quick mount system are optional extras. However, in this package, they’re both included.
Specifications suggest the Cayman is suitable for boats up to 5.5 meters. This covers countless weekend anglers.
While I agree that this is enough power in principle, once you’re clipped to a vessel 15 to 18 feet, weight might become an issue, as could wind catchment.
The shaft is cast aluminum, so retains excellent corrosion resistance. Composite would be ideal, but that would add to the price.
A 100Ah AGM battery will deliver enough for the average session, but I’d prefer to spend the extra money opting for a top-shelf 110Ah lithium battery.
Now you have as many as 4 days before needing to recharge. The Cayman promotes its low draw, and after testing over a four-hour session in heavier conditions, we agree.
Connectivity is excellent and compatible with the Helmsman APP on Android and IOS devices and Apple Smart Watch.
Weighing around 25 pounds, it’s no load to carry. However, I would always strongly recommend the quick-release system if not supplied in your package.
This is an incredibly versatile unit with the core features you need. Even with a few extras, you’re inside 2 grand. Happy days.
Lowrance Ghost – Freshwater Trolling Motor – Cheapest High-End Spot-Lock Motor
Many of us have enough budget to get the best entry-level trolling motors and accessories.
The Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor is incredibly powerful and whisper quiet with its brushless motor.
And it will suit the budget-conscious angler prepared to spend just a bit more to get the durability, stealth, and power features.
Quiet running is Ghost’s signature. Plenty of us want top-shelf stealth to get in tight to a strike zone without spooking fish.
Thrust is excellent, with 120 Lbs at 36v or 97 Lbs at 24v. Choose from shaft sizes 47″, 52″, or 60.” A 360° Breakaway mount is included and is very easy to install.
The autopilot features include custom routes and Ghosts, Anchor Lock, Heading Lock, Constant On, and Turn Patterns.
Each function is easy to use, and the package includes a programmable foot pedal with an IPX7 rating.
Ghost includes an HDI nose cone transducer. This provides high-end Lowrance CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging. There’s plenty of scope to add to this as well.
Fly-by-wire steering does away with cable, delivering smooth, accurate soundless movement. And you won’t have to worry about interference interrupting signals.
Brush motors are known for emitting electromagnetic interference, disrupting sonar, and other such signals. Ghost’s brushless design ensures zero electromagnetic emissions.
If you have extra money, fish regularly, and you’re serious about hunting, this is a brilliant unit with high-end features – and it won’t cost the Earth.
What Features Should You Look For in a Good Budget Spot-Lock Trolling Motor?
The main thing to look for is a reliable signal to avoid dropouts. My approach to this is simple. Once I’ve shortlisted my preferred trolling motors, I ask around and research.
The key question is: How stable is the link, and in what locations do you fish? You can establish the unit’s ability to hold a signal with these questions.
If you hear of a model that drops out frequently in areas of high connectivity, then this model could be a problem.
Ease of Use
Ergonomics can be a personal affair. What works for you may not work for another.
However, sound ergonomics in the form of intuitively placed buttons, controls, and menus are, by and large, universal.
The only proper way to test for ease of use is to try before you buy. I recommend checking things like remotes and foot pedals at a dealer.
Get the most thrust and power you can afford. Near enough isn’t good enough.
Being underpowered can cause more frustrations than the motor solves.
More power is better. Hands down.
A silent motor is essential to many anglers. Nobody likes to break the silence of a dawn morning while getting close to a big bass strike zone.
Usually, quietness will cost you more. I added the Ghost to this list to give you an idea of what price point premium units cost.
Different GPS systems have different levels of accuracy.
Research the unit you’re interested in and ask a professional about actual and nominal accuracy in terms of distance.
Accuracy is, by and large, network-driven. Follow this link to a great article that will help understand more.
How Well Does It Hold the Spot?
The ability of a motor to hold the spot rests on signal strength, appropriate levels of power and thrust, battery endurance, and GPS accuracy.
You will need to research these features to ascertain if your selection will keep you in place, just like an anchor.