Trolling Motor Review: Minn Kota vs. MotorGuide (Pros & Cons)

Which trolling motor do you use: a Minn Kota or a MotorGuide?

A trolling motor is a strategic addition to any boat so you can remain stealthy and quietly drift along flats or a shoreline.

What are some things you should look for in a trolling motor?

The best trolling motors are the ones that work best for you and match your boat to enhance your fishing experience while not scaring the fish off!

So listen in as we share our thoughts on the differences between the Minn Kota and the MotorGuide trolling motors.

Check it out below!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I highly recommend), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

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Minn Kota vs. MotorGuide [VIDEO]

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Minn Kota vs. MotorGuide [PODCAST]

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Here is a timestamped version:

  • 1:14 – MotorGuide troubles
  • 2:04 – Switch to Minn Kota
  • 2:47 – MotorGuide frustrations
  • 6:46 – What trolling motor would you choose for a boat today?
  • 7:06 – MotorGuide on a skiff
  • 7:22 – MotorGuide benefits in shallow water
  • 10:29 – Things to think about when selecting a trolling motor
  • 11:09 – Mounting trolling motors
  • 12:29 – Minn Kota shaft length
  • 13:07 – Trolling motor choice for nearshore reef fishing
  • 14:28 – Shaft recommendations based on bow level
  • 16:40 – Knowing what you know now, what shaft length would you choose?
  • 19:29 – Cons with Minn Kota motor


how to use spot lock on trolling motor

The bottom line with trolling motors is they are useful but have many pros and cons!

Find the best trolling motor that works for you and suits your boat the best!

What trolling motor do you use?

Let us know down in the comments!!

And if you know an angler who wants to know more about trolling motors, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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jim hohler
26 days ago

Review of my 2yr old 36v Rhodan Trolling motor. Skip to the end if you would like to purchase one. Purchased and installed by a AFA Marine of St Pete On 1-15-20. “Authorized installer”
First trip 40 miles offshore I was excited to finally leave my anchor at home. Deployed unit, hit spot lock, and prop would barely spin 6 revolutions a minute at any speed. Came back home. Out a fishing trip and $300 in fuel and bait.
Next day took time away from work and took it to AFA Marine. Once there they referenced me to Rhodan in Sarasota for service. After much complaining they decided to call Rhodan and see if they could figure it out for me. Turns out the Rhino paint was applied to thick and was causing friction on the prop.
Next attempt was 30 miles offshore the following week. Had not learned my lesson yet and left the anchor at home again. Get to my spot and FOB will not communicate with trolling motor. Head back again and yes out a fishing trip and money.
Call Rhodan this time and they give me a long list of stow deploy commands to erase FOB and a long list of stow deploy commands to Learn new FOB. Then a series of calibrations that have to be done to recalibrate it again. Seem to have it working locally.
The next trip is 50 miles offshore. Yes I admit it I am an idiot for not bringing an anchor. Flat calm night. Holds lock for 10 minutes then the multiple rapid beeps of death. Turn off back on, holds lock 15 minutes then rapid beep of death. This goes on all night until I called it quits at 4am.
Called Rhodan again. Rep tells me it is possible I was in a dead area for a gps signal. Told me to try again in a different area. Also to record what was happening if it did it again. That Didn’t sound right to me but ok I try again.
Head offshore “with an anchor this time” Does the same thing. Loses lock after 10-20 minutes of running.
Call Rhodan again and they agreed to pick it up. Four days later they tell me they ran it on their trolling motor raft in a simulated environment and it never acted up. They updated software and it seems to be working.
Took it out again 20 miles offshore. Would not hold lock longer than 15 minutes, but I did notice it was flat calm again.
Called Rhodan again. Told them it seems to loose lock when it is flat calm. They agreed to pick it up again. This time they did duplicate the problem. They called to let me know they could not figure it out but decided to replace it with a “NEW” unit. Remember this phrase as it becomes important to the story.
Next four trips offshore finally I have a unit that is holding lock and working.
Next trip turn it on and it just spins in circles and wraps the cord around itself.
Called Rhodan again. Needed calibrated again despite being calibrated.
Next trip offshore back to no anchor “It is big and clumsy in the boat, and part of why I bought the trolling motor” 40 miles offshore deploy trolling motor and FOB does not work. Come back in out a fishing trip and money.
Call Rhodan again. They tell me the battery is probably dead. New battery does nothing. They then tell me it must be the black control box in the head unit. They send on to me for free. When I take the first screw out of the head unit, salt water pours out of the head. I replace the black box and let Rhodan know that the head unit had water in it. They tell me that is normal not to worry.
The new black box now allows the fob to communicate with the trolling motor. It is working fine locally in my lake. I now spend the next 6 months diving without using the trolling motor. Here is where it gets good. My next trip in the bay locally I deploy the trolling motor and the fob does not work.
I call Rhodan again. They agree to pick it up since all they suggested are things I tried. Two days later a tech tells me the circuit board went bad and they did get it fixed. The problem he tells me however is this unit is Over FIVE YEARS OLD and is no longer under warranty! I have my paperwork in front of me and know it was purchased under 2 yrs ago and it in fact is under warranty! He would have no part of it. Telling me they go by the serial number on the foot not the serial number on my paperwork. I then realize that the “NEW” unit they told me they replaced it with 6 month previous, was actually very old stock! Of course I have a conniption fit, and threatened to sue if they would not stand behind the warranty. They ended up sending it to me for free and it now sits in my garage with 2 months of warranty left. It is also for sale to anyone that can make a reasonable offer. 72” shaft 36 volt. Can come with mounting bracket, charger and three batteries.

frank marinucci
1 month ago

Salt Strong brothers, early in the video you talk about customer service. I just wanted to say your sales team REALLY understands customer service. I had one problem with a defective jig pack and they IMMEDIATELY took care of it. Kudos to you guys and I’ll always be an insider member.

PS I’m also catching more fish!

Scott Ebling
1 month ago

Hey guys I just want to ask a question about the shaft length. I am 6 ft 4 in tall and I have 18 ft hews I have to bend over a lot to turn the handle on my troll motor so what would you recommend for a tall person for a troll motor with a handle. Thanks and I love you program

Jerry Dexter
1 month ago

On MK trolling motors, If you stop your travel, before you hit spot lock it won’t dance around, because it was not moving when you hit spot lock, so less chance of spooking fish.

Jerry Dexter
1 month ago

I like the MK ulterra, I have a riptide, was bought in 2014, finally broke this summer, but I think that’s pretty good, I had it repaired, broke again, last week, so I bought a new one, Yes I have a bad back, But they have come out with a assist motor , check it out, I think it’s the best of both worlds, But for me I’ll stick with the ulterra.

Troy Hill
1 month ago

I bought a Ranger RB190 that already had a MK riptide on it and took awhile to get adjusted to using handheld remote. Watching Luke since 2017 you always used hand control and was wondering how much you liked that on skiff style boat. I live and fish ICW near Topsail NC and hate when I hit anchor and hear motor rotate to find spot on. Would you suggest maybe hand steer with power pole instead? Really would like to hear your pros and cons on just hand steer trolling motors. Thanks.

Kevin Farrell
1 month ago

Rhodan, solid trolling motor with the best customer service on the planet. I have their biggest model on my Pursuit 280C. It rocks.

Paul Baran
1 month ago

I have had a 84” 36 Volt RHODAN for the past 5 years for my 239 Key West and will never go to another brand (I waited 13 weeks for it and it was worth the wait). This motor will hold my boat in the strongest currents in inlets and will stay on the spot.  I use it inshore but when in creeks, I avoid using the spot lock feature (so I don’t spook fish, motor can be loud). The simplicity of the remote and the manual feature of the deploy leaves less to break. People may say the remote is very simple, I agree it is, but it does what I need. The bump feature 5’ in any direction is great and simple to use. You can store tracks easily as well.  I have way too many friends that have had their Auto-deploy minn-kota’s fail or get stuck. I don’t care what trolling motor brand you buy, they eventually will fail somewhere (Saltwater is brutal). So to my surprise the RHODAN customer service is fantastic and stands out as the BEST. So like Luke Simonds would say “I am not sponsored by Rhodan so I will give you my honest opinion”. Good and bad I have had 3 issues with my Rhodan.  
-Issue 1: The GPS did fail under warranty, I could have sent the unit to them at no cost to me but I decided to have them send me the parts to fix it myself. Parts were overnighted to me with instructions on how to replace the unit. Technician even gave me his personal phone number if I had any questions.
-Issue 2: The unit (attached to deck) was disengaging on occasion from the hooks to keep the trolling motor vertical when I was off shore in rough weather (Design flaw). Again called tech support. Updated design Parts were overnighted to me with instructions on how to replace the base unit. Unit was still under warranty.
-Issue 3: The motor started making a grinding noise (Out of Waranty). Called tech support they sent me a new shaft/motor assy at a greatly reduced price. Parts were overnighted to me with instructions on how to replace the base unit.
Yes I have had issues with my Rhodan, but the customer service was awesome. Thanks to them I know everything about my trolling motor inside and out. 

Mark Schabes
1 month ago

Finally got around to watching this. Had a Minn Kota Riptide on my Hewes Redfisher. For the skiff, that was a durable motor. Spot lock sucked and motor ramped up and down with speed to rapidly, but I never had trouble. Smaller prop/submerged motor made it well suited for skinny water.
Now I have a much larger 26’ Crevalle HCO and after consulting several bay guides and going on their boats, I was sold on the Rhodan. They are the PowerPole of the trolling motor market. Built like a tank. Easy to use. Very simple, very accurate, and really small remote. Outstanding customer service. By far the best anchor technology in a troll motor. I’ve sat in a ripping tide under the skyway bridge, six feet from the pilings in a sloppy sea and it sticks you dead on the spot. It’s ideal for the larger bay boats and offshore boats because it has bigger 3 blade props and ample power to pull or hold you in strong currents, wind and waves. They dominate for reef fishing situations based on sizes, power and accuracy of anchor. You owe it to yourself to give them a shot. On smaller lighter boats those others can be fine. Rhodan makes the others look like toys though. I’ve heard many complaints about the i5 from dealers. Marina I bought my Crevalle through said they stopped carrying them because they break often and get no support from Motor Guide. I’ve had my boat since May, use it nearly every weekend and haven’t had a lick of trouble with the Rhodan.

Ron Whetstone
1 month ago

Interesting video. Sorry to hear about your problems with your MG. I have only used MK and only the hand controlled style. One correction. MK also makes a style that is a smooth throttle. I agree that style is way better than the notch for each increase speed style. I did not know about MG having a three blade prop that is smaller in diameter than MK. You are right about that making a big difference in skinny water. I just purchased a new to me 189 Egret flats skiff. Really wanted an ipilot on it. I also am having a problem getting what I want. A buddy has a like new hand controlled 80# thrust MK that he took off his boat to put on an ipilot. He is going to loan it to me with the option to buy for only $200. After listing to Lukes thoughts on the pros and cons between hand and ipilot controlled I think I will purchase it and run it for awhile. Thanks for another help full video. Made me think.


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