Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

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hydrophonix
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:15 am

Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby hydrophonix » Thu May 11, 2017 6:22 pm

Hello fellow anglers. I am in the market for a new TM and I am considering the Ulterra or Fortrex. Is the auto stow and deploy a feature that is must have once you've experienced it or is it more of a bell/whistle? THANKS.

Whoopbass
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Whoopbass » Thu May 11, 2017 7:07 pm

The Ultrex is the real deal for bassboats and that's why they're sold out everywhere. I had auto stow and deploy on a MK Genesis years back and that was a sweet feature. My next TM will be a Ultrex. With that said the Ulterra is a great trolling motor but probably better suited for in more open water then tight situations. I think the biggest issue would be having to look down more often to see where the arrow is pointed instead of just knowing where its headed when using a cable steered foot controlled motor.

Mark-C
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Mark-C » Fri May 12, 2017 7:54 am

I love MinnKota products and have two talons, a 4-bank charger and a maxxum 101 on my bass boat right now. But I would be a bit cautious and wait a while if you are considering the ultrex and let a little time go by. MinnKota sends products out that are not always fully battle tested. I had the Genesis with auto deploy on my saltwater boat and it was awesome but finicky- it can get stuck half way through the deployment. Lots of guys had problems with them and MinnKota eventually had to do something about it. Same thing with the first generation of Talon brackets, they were too flexible and tended to bend and creak in the wind and eventually develop stress fractures. I had to throw one away and replace it with the new re-designed bracket that works great and is rock solid. Let's not even talk about US1/US2 sonar interference...... Having said all that, I am looking hard at the Ultrex too.

Mark-C
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Mark-C » Fri May 12, 2017 8:14 am

Forgot to add that I agree with Whoopbass, and for bassboats I would be looking between Fortrex and Ultrex

toddmc
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby toddmc » Fri May 12, 2017 8:22 am

Mark-C wrote:I love MinnKota products and have two talons, a 4-bank charger and a maxxum 101 on my bass boat right now. But I would be a bit cautious and wait a while if you are considering the ultrex and let a little time go by. MinnKota sends products out that are not always fully battle tested. I had the Genesis with auto deploy on my saltwater boat and it was awesome but finicky- it can get stuck half way through the deployment. Lots of guys had problems with them and MinnKota eventually had to do something about it. Same thing with the first generation of Talon brackets, they were too flexible and tended to bend and creak in the wind and eventually develop stress fractures. I had to throw one away and replace it with the new re-designed bracket that works great and is rock solid. Let's not even talk about US1/US2 sonar interference...... Having said all that, I am looking hard at the Ultrex too.

The new Motor Guide X5 has had nothing but problems during its launch also, according to the bassboatcentral.com boards. It's hard to take as a previously loyal Motor Guide customer.
I'm in the market for a new top of the line trolling motor to replace my MG Tour Digital 109 and I'm impatiently waiting. The spot lock feature of the Ulterra is basically a $1000 front end deep water anchor. The video on Tackle Warehouse of Brent Ehler using it at San Vicente is impressive. It's no wonder that they are on a lot of the Elite tour boats. I don't want to spend $2500 to be a guinea pig, but I'm about to if they can get more to market.

Fast 492
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Fast 492 » Fri May 12, 2017 8:43 am

I have the Ulterra on our Z520. It has SOME features that are nice, Auto Stow/Deploy, remote steering (for Grandpa while I'm retying) etc.. but Whoopbass is dead on about having to look down all the time (when you are hung up, fighting fish, or fishing shallow rocks/shoreline) it gets old having to always stare at the trolling motor and the response time is too slow for me with the electric steering. I am glad I kept the Fortrex for when grandpa does not need to run the trolling motor anymore!!! The Auto Stow/Deploy and anchor features are great though...
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hydrophonix
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby hydrophonix » Fri May 12, 2017 8:54 am

So the Fortrex with the ipilot and spot lock sounds like it would work well.

lj_bass
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby lj_bass » Fri May 12, 2017 10:12 am

I have the Ulterra on my boat right now and I have to say it has more cons than pros. The anchor feature is amazing for re-tying open water situations but that's about the only thing I enjoy about it. The turning on the motor is extremely slow which makes it difficult when windy or if the tide is really strong. Also not being able to tell which way the motor is pointed without looking is a real problem for me. All together I would recommend a fortrex or the ultrex. Hope this helps!

toddmc
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby toddmc » Fri May 12, 2017 10:53 am

Wow. I thought the electronic steering had gotten better. It's too bad to hear that it is still slow. Do any of the users find the electronic steering to be acceptable? I guess that I need to try it before I buy it.

Rod Martin
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Rod Martin » Fri May 12, 2017 1:22 pm

I just bought a fortrex 80 for my boat and am hoping Minn Kota will come out with a new Ultrex with auto stow and deploy. There has been a TM , I think auto gator mount before.
I see no reason a Ultrex cannot be made with auto deploy and a way to adjust depth of the motor. Maybe they will after they have sold enough of the ones out now. would guess they have to keep something to improve next year. After all if they made the perfect TM there would be no need to upgrade in a year or two
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

Fast 492
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Fast 492 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:52 pm

Todd, it is way better than it was before, but for a fishermen that is used to automatic response it just takes to long to rotate 180°. The anchor feature is good for open water situations or when current keeps it pointed correctly, but it is different than spot lock which uses a heading sensor to adjust location. My grandpa loves it, I prefer instant response that is all.
The only sport besides golf that you can only blame yourself !!!

Jason Bubier-Director
NorCal90 Fishing Events
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530-589-2601

Jeff C.
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Jeff C. » Sat May 13, 2017 6:58 am

I have the Ulterra and love the I-pilot features. Automatic stow and deploy and the ability to adjust the height of the motor remotely is really cool as well. The electric steering isn't great for close in fishing, i.e. flipping a bank. I've not tried the Ultrex yet, but if it combines cable steering with the I-pilot features I would consider trading in my Ulterra for one.

Rod Martin
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Rod Martin » Sat May 13, 2017 11:31 am

Jeff C. wrote:I have the Ulterra and love the I-pilot features. Automatic stow and deploy and the ability to adjust the height of the motor remotely is really cool as well. The electric steering isn't great for close in fishing, i.e. flipping a bank. I've not tried the Ultrex yet, but if it combines cable steering with the I-pilot features I would consider trading in my Ulterra for one.





Too bad they don't put reverse on it then instead of waiting for it to go all the way around while you yell OH CRAP you could just hit hi reverse :D
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

bustout
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby bustout » Fri May 19, 2017 10:16 am

Go with an ultrex. Doesnt have auto deploy but does have gas shock assist. Best of all worlds....cable steer and ipilot all in one

toddmc
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby toddmc » Sat May 20, 2017 3:59 pm

bustout wrote:Go with an ultrex. Doesnt have auto deploy but does have gas shock assist. Best of all worlds....cable steer and ipilot all in one

I didn't realize that the Ultrex has cable steer. This does look like the deal. I'd like to try one. I have a Helix 10 on the bow, but I don't know if the I-link would be better than the I-pilot.

toddmc
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Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby toddmc » Sat May 20, 2017 4:03 pm

Rod Martin wrote:I just bought a fortrex 80 for my boat and am hoping Minn Kota will come out with a new Ultrex with auto stow and deploy. There has been a TM , I think auto gator mount before.
I see no reason a Ultrex cannot be made with auto deploy and a way to adjust depth of the motor. Maybe they will after they have sold enough of the ones out now. would guess they have to keep something to improve next year. After all if they made the perfect TM there would be no need to upgrade in a year or two

I had the automatic Motorguide mount on my last boat. The gears didn't last very long and the replacement parts were no longer available. I had to take the gears out and use it as a manual mount with a Velcro strap to keep it in place. It's hard to believe that they didn't find a way to make it better and keep it on the market.

Jeff C.
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 12:03 pm

Re: Is the Ulterra a gimmick?

Postby Jeff C. » Sat May 20, 2017 10:23 pm

toddmc wrote:
bustout wrote:Go with an ultrex. Doesnt have auto deploy but does have gas shock assist. Best of all worlds....cable steer and ipilot all in one

I didn't realize that the Ultrex has cable steer. This does look like the deal. I'd like to try one. I have a Helix 10 on the bow, but I don't know if the I-link would be better than the I-pilot.



If you have Humminbird on the bow I would go with the Link system since it can link up to the humminbird. If you get a Lakemaster card it will allow you to follow a selected depth contour on the map. Pretty sweet feature! You can also plot a route on the gps and the link will follow it. I'm not sure if you have to have a Lakemaster map for that feature, but I'm pretty sure you need a Humminbird GPS.


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