Scott Bonnema Answers Your Questions About the New Minn Kota Ultrex
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Scott Bonnema Answers Your Questions About the New Minn Kota Ultrex

September 11, 2019

Hi, Minn Kota pro Scott Bonnema here. Wanna talk to you today a little bit about
the brand new Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor – recently released in the marketplace. A few of the Bassmaster Elites have had the
opportunity to use them lately. I’ve had the opportunity now to use it for
a few weeks, in tournaments as well. I found that, doing a lot of the on the water demonstrations
and discussions with anglers, there’s a lot of questions and I want to just try to point
out a few things real quick for you. First off, the Ultrex is an independent unit. It is operational regardless of which ultra
sonic SONAR unit you’re using. The GPS technology is built into the head
of the trolling motor and it has accuracy to within a 3-foot circle. So when we hit Spot-Lock, we have the ability
to stay in that exact position. The other thing that you’ll find is that you
operate it exactly the same was as you utilize your standard units today – the Fortrex for
example. The difference is it has a cable steer as
well as electronic control in the head of the unit which allows us to have power steering,
so it’s really easy to use. There’s no fighting the trolling motor and
it’s exceptionally fast. We’re gonna dump it in the water in a few
minutes and show you how that works. But having said that, the other function or
feature that we have, is a handheld remote. So all the operations of the trolling motor
from the foot can also be done now remotely from anywhere within the boat. So if you have your family with you, or if
it’s really rough and you just wanna stand in the back and fish, you can Spot-Lock it,
you can adjust the speed, move forward, reverse, etc. from the handheld remote. It also tells you the GPS signal strength
you have, it tells you how much power you have within your batteries, as well as the
speed and position. So that’s just a handheld remote that you’ll
start to see bass anglers start to use in the future. The unit’s available with a 45-inch shaft,
a 52-inch shaft, or a 60-inch shaft. As a bass angler, I’ve always liked to stay
with the shorter shaft, but as an example I’m planning to go with a 52-inch model now
with a 112-lb. system for next year, because when you are in the big waves, and you really
want to use that S pot-Lock technology if it’s real windy as an example, that allows you
to stay in the water. A thing I want to point out though that’s
a huge benefit of this – because we have an electric motor, and cable steering, when we’re
in real rough water now, we can hit Spot-Lock we don’t have to stand in the front we can
kind of step back a little bit if we want and have a little more comfort in our fishing
but because that cable motor is there, when we set its location, it stays locked in that
position. So if it comes up and down out of the water,
the trolling motor does not fight back and forth – it just stays in one locked position
and goes up and down. It automatically will move left or right to
keep us on that position. A huge feature when you’re actually in the
water fishing with it. So again – handheld technology, high speed
movements, precision locking, GPS technology, built into the unit, available in 80- or 112-lb
thrust technology – I think you’re gonna find it to be an awesome tool. One of the other quesitons I get is guys saying,
“hey – I’ve got a Fortrex. You know, what do I do? Do I keep that Fortrex, do I buy a new Ultrex?” My recommendation to guys – because this is
such a game changer, and truly will change the way we fish, I’d recommend, guys, keep
your Fortrex…keep it as a back up unit – just in case something were to happen on the water
and you break something. We have the ability to take the allen wrench
out, and with this new bracket design we can slide the Ultrex out and/or we can put the
Fortrex onto it, and lock it in place. So we can utilize the same bracket for the
Fortrex if we needed to have it. So again – keep it as a spare unit. Put it on only in the case of an emergency,
and you’re good to go. So let’s dump in the water and we’ll go show
you how simple it is to use. Ok so we’re on the water. I wanted to show you quickly some of the simple
features of this new Ultrex. It comes standard with stainless steel, plastic-coated
cables for control. It has the same heavy-duty bracket that Minn
Kota’s had for a long time with lift-assist, one-handed operation, locking feature, for
stowing, and deploying the trolling motor. The transducer is built into each and every
unit – it’s got a built-in Universal Sonar into the unit. The difference you’re gonna see right away
is that the whole head will move. Because it’s an electric, power-steering style
unit – we have a power switch here to turn the power on or off – simply turn the power
on, and now we have sensor controls in the head and so we can simply, with one finger,
operation, the harder you push, the quicker it responds. Very very fast. And very quiet. Operate it exactly the same way you would
operate your standard Fortrex units – you got the power control built into the foot
pedal, directional controls – very simple. In addition, we have the speed setting on
the side. So you operate it just as you always would
have. The difference is Spot-Lock technology. Now that I have found a spot – let’s say I’m
fishing – all I do, literally, is tap this button. You notice on the control that the Spot-Lock
function is now enabled. This trolling motor will now stay within a
3-foot circle as to its location, and will automatically make that adjustment. You see it operating on its own right now. So depending upon the wind – whether it’s
wind or current – if you find that location, it will automatically stay at that spot. It automatically ramps up or decreases the
speed for the trolling motor to stay at that location. One of the questions we’ve been getting is,
“well does that really chew up the battery?” The reality is no – it uses less battery because
it’s slowly ramping up and slowly backing off instead of high speed movements – so it’s
very, very smooth in its operation. It’ll use less battery in the long run. To get out of Spot-Lock – so now I’m fishing,
I can literally walk around in the boat, I can go retie, maybe, as an example, I just
fished a tournament, caught a fish, it was very windy, I hit Spot-Lock, literally walked
away, went back, did the fish management in the live wells, walked right back up, made
another cast, caught another fish – I did that three consecutive times. No other technology would allow me to do that. So it’s that simple. Now let’s say I wanna move over. All I do to get out of Spot-Lock is just touch
the pedal. Once I’ve done that, Spot-Lock is now disengaged,
and I’m moving. I can go anywhere I want to go. Once I get to another spot, all I do is tap
the button. Now those are the simple ways of operation
that we would do as a normal bass angler. The same functions can be done from this handheld
remote. So if I wanna stand in the back of the boat,
let my buddies up front, or my kids, or if I just want to operate the boat from the back,
I can do all of those same functions from the handheld remote. I’ve got high speed bypass, I’ve got jogging
capabilities – and that’s what the handheld will allow you to do. It shows you the speed, the trolling motor,
if it’s running, it’s location, it’ll show you within a foot-and-a-half of where you’re
at from the spot that you put into it. The other thing that the remote allows you
to do, is you can put in sixteen separate spots. So if you have sixteen different areas, you
can hit GoTo spot number 1, as long as you’re within a quarter mile of that spot, this trolling
motor will automatically go to that spot and stay within a three-foot circle of where you
had entered it. It also has the ability within the remote
to put in sixteen tracks – and you can put sixteen tracks, each up to two-miles long,
in here. So you would record it, and then end it, and
then you can recall those standard in the control. One of the additional features that we have
on these models is called i-Pilot Link. And that’s the function where you would need
the Humminbird electronics. The trolling motor will link directly to the
Humminbird units, and in that case, what’s cool about it is that if you have hundreds
of waypoints, you can simply say “I wanna go to waypoint 422,” and you can point it
out and it’ll just go to it. And so you’ll be able to operate the same
functions from your Humminbird unit and link all of your data points to the trolling motor. And that’s a separate feature of the i-Pilot
Link system that is available in these Ultrex units. So, again, they’re available in 80-pound thrust,
112-pound thrust technologies, various shaft lengths are available. They also have the ability to upgrade from
i-Pilot to i-Pilot Link, which will tie you into Humminbird units. Short of that, the trolling motor is completely
independent and can be operated accordingly. That’s really all there is to it. Simple operation, extremely fast and quiet. It is truly a game changer for the bass fisherman.


  • Reply zimks November 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Do you need hummingbirds to use the spot lock technology

  • Reply Rick McDaniel December 11, 2016 at 4:20 am

    How difficult is it to swap out a Minn Kota Fortex for the Ultrex?

  • Reply Brandon Skwira December 14, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    My dad currently has I-Pilot Link on his pontoon with the original Terrova.  Sometimes when there are very sharp turns like a U turn on the contour line or when I tell it to reverse navigation, I have to watch out for the cord wrapping around the shaft too many times.  I see when you manually drive the Ultrex it only does 380 degrees.  My question is, when the Ultrex is on follow the contour, does it have the same 380 degree restriction as it does when it is manually driven via the cable steer foot pedal?

  • Reply Jake Blaha January 4, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I had the motor guide PTS tour edition trolling motor years ago that was very similar to the i-pilot link system. I had similar experiences where it was unable to follow the sharp contour lines we have on most our lakes here in the Finger Lakes region. It also struggled to hold a position or follow a clean path when it was choppy, it was like it got lost and would start over reacting going faster and more erratic till it got back on course or just started doing circles. It didn't use gps though only an internal transducer if I remember correctly. I wonder how the the Minn Kota would do…

  • Reply Billy McIntosh January 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I fish big open water a lot. I have a 45" shaft. I have had longer shafts before because of high winds, but the longer shafts get in the way in shallow water. I'm trying to decide which shaft length to get. My boat is a Z520c Ranger. I'm thinking the spot-lok might not work as good with the 45" shaft in high winds. What do you think?

  • Reply Dennis Williams January 26, 2017 at 2:27 am

    I have a fortrex can you mount the ultrex on the same bracket?

  • Reply Rick Goheen February 8, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Does the link to Humminbird  allow the Ultrex to auto follow depth contour lines?

  • Reply Frank Rogers February 22, 2017 at 2:23 am

    I wonder if there will be any type of firmware update in the future for any Lowrance units for the navigation or the linking with the Lowrance graphs

  • Reply Buldgr April 9, 2017 at 3:15 am

    112v system? You're gonna need another boat to carry all those batteries. 🙂

  • Reply lee fauntleroy April 24, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    With the 52 inch shaft fully extended, will the head rest on the slide or stick out when retracted? In other words do you have to pull the shaft up in the bracket before retracting? Thanks Lee

  • Reply lee fauntleroy April 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the feed- back. The 360 for the ultrex has a longer shaft than for the fortrex. Do I need to go to the 52 inch ultrex shaft to accomidate it? I would rather not.  Thanks  Lee

  • Reply lee fauntleroy April 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Also have you heard if Hummingbird will go to Mega in the 360?  Thanks  Lee

  • Reply Lee Fauntleroy April 27, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Yup have to buy the 360 ultrex. The original 360 will not work.

  • Reply Lee Fauntleroy April 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Talked to hummingbird today and they are making a kit to adapt the original 360 to the ultrex. Available in June

  • Reply jbreezy April 30, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Just got a new 2017 Ulterra 112 and it won't deploy! It will stow after I manually deploy it. I have read that alot of people have had problems with there magnets falling out but I checked and the magnet is there. I also cleaned off all battery connections and it is reading at 38.5 volts. I don't know what else to do. Please help

  • Reply ABRONXTALE9 May 23, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Is there a 80 pound 24v and 54" one available,and can I adjust the height for shallow waters?

  • Reply chance Damron June 5, 2017 at 2:42 am

    i really wish they could work with lorance

  • Reply Ian Cameron July 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Scott can a minn cota trolling motor that wont turn with foot pedal be repaird.its not the foot pedal may be a motor that turns right and left ????

  • Reply Tony T. September 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Hello Scott. Can the cable steer foot pedal be removed on the Ultrex if you want to exclusively use the remote? Thanks

  • Reply Danny Mayorga November 20, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I'm thinking about upgrading the trolling motor on my boat. What's the main difference between the ultrex, ulterra, and the terrova? I really like the spotlock idea and all three of them have that capability and so I was wondering what's the main differences between them?

  • Reply R.J. December 21, 2017 at 2:37 am

    When will Link work with Lowrance?

  • Reply SCVM January 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    The most important question. Can I finish my days fishing? Will the Motor and Steering still function as a manual cable steer motor if the Power steering/power assist electronics fail?

  • Reply Mike Scott March 18, 2018 at 8:10 am

    its noisy as hell

  • Reply Mike Scott March 18, 2018 at 8:12 am

    its not quiet at all

  • Reply Richard Warmack March 19, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    I want to purchase an Ultrex 45 inch 24 volt with I-pilot to replace my Fortrex unit. The boat dealer I use told me I can get one with I-link, but the I-pilot only is on backorder. I hate to spend an additional $400 for the Ilink model, seeing my current Humminbird will not work with it. Will the Ultrex Ipilot be available soon, is it something I could get them to backorder, or it is something that just will no longer be available?

  • Reply Marshall Law April 27, 2018 at 4:41 am

    I have the terrova but the transducer in the terrova isn't compatible with the HD Hummingbird depthfinders,is this also the case with the ultrex?
    I also went to buy the 360 but left BPS without it because it also wasn't compatible with the terrova.
    love my terrova except for the above mentioned which really aggrevated me to no end because you'd think it should have those two capabilities.

  • Reply John Seitz June 10, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Will it work with Lowrance Carbon units?

  • Reply Dick Cheney June 30, 2018 at 5:37 am

    do you neex a boating license to operate these?

  • Reply Morris Welsh July 23, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    How do you delete a way point and put in a new one in the ultrex

  • Reply Dave Smith August 1, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Scott and Mark Fisher are great fishermen and genuine nice guys.

  • Reply Saudh Rasheed October 31, 2018 at 7:08 am

    whats the purpose of it?

  • Reply Jeremy Newhouse November 14, 2018 at 3:31 am

    At least 10k worth of equipment with in 3ft. I can't afford to fish anymore.

  • Reply the carbonhoytguy January 26, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Caught three fish in a row and never moved using spotlock, no other technology in the world could do that except 1.Poperpole 2.Talon 3.Blade 4.ANCHOR!!!🤣

  • Reply dave wahlig February 11, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    I run Garmin units in my boat! Is there enough room on the motor to install the transducer?

  • Reply Scott Fowler February 18, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I just installed mine today and the book said to mount the gps in the middle of the boat around the driver seat but every one on YouTube has put it at the front of the boat did I do it wrong?

  • Reply Jacob Anderson February 18, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Any recommendation for cutting electric interference on 2d sonar?. Never got this on my older minn kotas but getting it bad with ultrex and internal transducer

  • Reply Fischize March 9, 2019 at 5:02 am

    My spot lock will not calibrate. I followed the directions for initial set up. Pointing the TM parallel or straight forward isn’t working. All electronics are unplugged so there isn’t interference. Anyone have an idea to fix this?

  • Reply OLD Beer Buzzard March 23, 2019 at 1:41 am

    My only Fish finder even still today, around all these Stealth Fighters, Is My LURE. No Cell phones allowed in my boats either. Only The Beer Buzz. Salute

  • Reply Wesley Jackson April 26, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    How do you pull up the arm????!!!!!

  • Reply Savvy Savage August 9, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Had me until you said “Game changer”. Is anything marketed these days Not a Gamechanger? Most overused phrase of 2019!

  • Reply Jonny W. August 9, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    How much does it cost

  • Reply Dave Tackett August 24, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    No one likes a head sticking out the side of the boat. Imagine locking through with a head sticking out 12". Should have thought of that.

  • Reply Kiltzer Johannes September 7, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Damn. You need a loan just to fish now.

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