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Hand Control vs Foot Control Trolling Motor...Which Do you Prefer?

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by mcmd8700, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Just wanted to get opinions on the benefits / drawbacks of both. I currently have a foot control, but am shopping a new trolling motor. I generally like the foot control, but I also like to stand while fishing, so it wears on your foot after a while. Just wondered if a hand control has advantages?
  2. ncraft150

    ncraft150 Buckeye-Basser

    Bow mount hand controlled are more popular down south. I use a footcontrolled because it keeps the rest of me focused on fishing. The only disaddvantages I've had is the petal takes to much room on a small deck (so I bought a bigger boat) and the fatigue your back gets through the day. I am thinking about recessing the petal into the deck to eliminate that.

    Hand controlled you would probably still want a foot on/off switch. You get more room on your deck, but it seems to me it takes more attention to steer it. Guys I've seen are kicking the handle (not very safe) or have a long handle extension. If you put a hand on the motor your not paying attention to the other end of the line. These are also cheeper.

    It also depends on what your using the motor for or the style of your boat. I'd say personal preferance iis the key. If your happy with the foot control I'd stay with it and buy a kit to recess the petal into the deck.

  3. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

    Don't forget about option C! I have a Minnekota Autopilot footcontrol. It is an electric steering gear type. The foot control requires you press left or right to steer and the shaft rotates with the help of electric motors. Now, the foot control is a little cumbersome, I admit. That is why I have the Co-pilot add on. It is a small remote control that is operated with your fingers. You can operate all the controls with that. I have a velcro strap attached to it and have it mounted on my rod handle. I can steer without taking my hands off the pole!

    And don't forget about the neatest feature... it steers itself too! Turn the AP feature ON, pick a heading and speed, and the motor will steer itself and keep that heading, even when there are crosswinds! It has an internal compass and it steers for you. Very cool stuff!

    If you have the money, this is the way to go.
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Catch Photo And Release

    It always seems windy in the spring and fall, I could not imagine trying to fish into the wind and have to worry about reaching up and moving the handle. Cause you know thats when he will bite. I some guys who have hand controlled trolling motors and it is nice on calm flat days you just step on a button and move ahead and they have 3 buttons on the front deck. But the problem is if it is windy they are the first to head to a canal or cove to get out of the wind. There is a lot of good fishing on windy banks. But on the other hand I get tired of standing on one foot all day. Recessed t motor petals sound good but I would have to fish with one to see if I like it. At the boat show it seemed like I was leaning too far forward when the pedal was pushed all the way down. I would like to know if anyone has a recessed pedal and how do ya like it.
  5. I prefer the hand control with the on/off switch on the floor. I have a long flexable handle attached to the shaft so that I can steer with my knee. Wind does not matter, within reason. I never touch the trolling motor except to pull it back into the boat or adjust the speed.
  6. I have the hand control with the long handle and foot controlled on/off button. I think their are advantages to both. The biggest advantages with the hand control is space on the deck and constantly moving the boat @ a controlled speed. All you have to do is steer with your knee. If you know of anyone with the hand control I would recommend that you try it for a day before you buy it.
  7. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

    You could always try the Minnekota Menta-Pilot too. My buddy just bought one this past year.

    All you have to do is wear this special helmet/head gear, and THINK of where you want to go, it goes. You can tell it to speed up, swing around, and slow down by just brain power. No messy hand or foot controls. Just a UHF-band broadcast helmet. :rolleyes: ;) :p :p
  8. Hey AndroDoug,
    Are you referring to the wireless remote or the "corded" remote? How do you like it? I have a 4 yr old minnkota AP and I was just getting ready to order one of those co-pilot add-on's but it looks like my only option is the remote w/cord.
  9. Great tips. I think ultimately I would like to try a hand controlled unit for a day and see if I like it better. I like the idea of the co-pilot, but I was curious if it is hard to concentrate on the remote while fishing, and if it is a pain to keep switching the remote when you grab a new rod. Great advice all around. Thanks again.
  10. johnboy111711

    johnboy111711 SOLID MEAT

    i have a hand unit on the transom and have no problem fishing, i usually just move back wards slowly. it it's windy i anchor, which is positive for me because it allows me to fish an area more thoroughly. I don't want to look like one of those bass guys that just buzzs down a shoreline.
  11. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

    Net... I have the cordless one. I have never tried a corded one. Before you order, I would make absolutley SURE that you CANNOT use a cordless one on your model. Call MinnKota's service dept and ask them if they make one for your model, or if you can "convert" somehow a cordless one to work on your AP. I have found Minnkotas service dept to be amongst the finest I have ever dealt with. When I bought my AP second hand, it did not come with a manual. I called them and told them that, and they still sent me out a new manual free of charge!

    mcmd... It is very easy to control the remote while on your rod. It does take a little getting used to, but it is not overly hard. The biggest problem will be your hooksets at first. Sometimes you get caught off guard playing around with it when a fish bites, and you set the hook without a firm hold on the rod. You will find a middle ground quickly. And one other important thing to note, when the AP is steering, you only have to make occasional adjustments for the direction. The AP does 90% of the work once you pick a heading. Since shorelines are never straight, you have to adjust now and then. Simply press L or R and the AP takes over with that new heading. You really don't have to play around with it much at all.

    As far as switching rods... the velcro strap I have put on makes it easy, but it IS one more thing you have to do when you switch!