Lowrance Ghost vs. Garmin Force vs. MotorGuide Tour Pro: Which Is Best? | Bass Fishing

Lowrance Ghost vs. Garmin Force vs. MotorGuide Tour Pro: Which Is Best? | Bass Fishing

January 14, 2020 48 By William Hollis


Hey folks, Glenn May here at BassResource.com. And I just came back from the 2019 ICAST show,
where all the rage was about the three new trolling motors that have debuted. The one from MotorGuide, the Tour Pro, the
Lowrance Ghost, and the Garmin Force trolling motors. And so today, you know, I want to talk to
you about what I experienced. I actually got on the water, got to try them
out, talk to some of the engineers and product managers, and some of the pros that have been
using them. And so I want to go through kind of the differences
between the three to help you understand kind of the, you know, help you figure out which
trolling motor is best for you. And also, I have kind of a startling discovery,
because some of the footage I shot, and I want to share that with you as well, which
I think is going to be kind of a…well, it’s gonna shock you. So let’s get right down to it. First of all, these three trolling motors,
what they all feature is a GPS feature that allows them to hold the boat in place even
when you’re out in deep water. Which is a great feature to have because sometimes
it’s hard to anchor or maybe your Power-Poles can’t reach that deep, so it’s a great function
to have. And because they have that, they all have
electronic steering on them. Electronic motors that steer the trolling
motor, they need that in order to position the boat. Now the MotorGuide also has cable steering. So it’s more like an electronic assist, if
you will, like power steering, but they still need that motor in there in order for that
GPS function to work. Also, what’s the same of them is they all
have that power assist, deploy and retrieve mechanism in them. So it makes it a lot easier to lift that trolling
motor out of water or to drop it back in the water, especially if you have back problems,
or your legs, or something like that, you have some issues, makes it easier to deploy
those and use the trolling motor, which is great. They also feature, or two of them have brushless
motors, which that’s new to the industry. There’s some discussion on what the benefits
are on them. Yes, it could potentially mean it’s going
to use less drain on your batteries, it could potentially be quieter. I think the big difference is that because
it’s brushless, it’s not going to wear out like a typical brush motor would have. So the Lowrance and the Garmin unit are brushless. The MotorGuide one still has the brush motor. After that, though, the differences start
to come out. So let’s start with the MotorGuide one. The MotorGuide Tour Pro. The MotorGuide, like I said, is cable-driven,
which makes it unique between the three. It also has a metal pedal, which to the MotorGuide
enthusiasts, yes, it’s back. They did away with it for a while, but now
it’s back. So a lot of the MotorGuide people will be
really happy that there’s actual metal pedal to it, which is awesome. What’s unique about it is if you look at it,
the head is really big on the top, which is an unusual design. And that’s because they put all the gearing,
the mechanical and the mechanisms, the electronic steering motor, in the head. Now, why they did that is because that motor
has a true breakaway feature in it. So if you hit something like a rock or a dock
or a stomp or something at a higher rate of speed, the trolling motor will actually break
away and it won’t bend the shaft or break the shaft, theoretically. So that’s a great feature to have. So let’s move on to the Lowrance Ghost. Some of the unique things about it I thought
really stood out to me was really twofold. One was the actual lower unit. You can take apart. There’s a screw you undo, open up and you
get to the inner workings of it. And you can replace some of the parts in it. Which at first seems like it would avoid the
warranty, but actually, they made it that way so if there’s a way to upgrade it later,
you can replace the parts in it without having to buy a whole new trolling motor. It’s a neat little feature. And it’s the same thing with the head. The head you can literally unscrew, pull it
off and put a new one on. So if a new one comes along, you again don’t
have to buy a whole new trolling motor. You can just replace the head, which is really
nice. Speaking of the head, the way the electric
motor controls the lower unit…it actually, the head doesn’t move. And same with the MotorGuide, the head doesn’t
move. The Garmin unit, the head does move, and I’ll
get to that in a second. So, a little bit different. I don’t know if it’s a distinction without
a difference. For some of you, if the head does move, and
you do a lot of side arming and cross, you know, back kind of cast across the bow of
the boat, if you have a trolling motor where the head is moving, it may get in the way
potentially, depending on how you fish, but I don’t think it’s a big game-changer. But the other big difference with the Lowrance
is the foot pedal. The foot pedal has programmable buttons on
it. So you can assign accessories to it such as
your livewell, or maybe a GPS. So you mark a GPS with your foot. You can turn on and off your navigation lights,
for example. You can attach your Power-Poles to it. Which at first it seems like a convenience
factor maybe for a lot of us, but for those of you who have back problems or leg problems,
the inherent problem with bass boats is that whenever you want to hit an accessory, you
either have to bend over to touch a button, or you have to climb to the back, you know,
where the console is and do something there. Which if you have bad legs or arthritis or
some kind of physical disability, that’s a big deal. So, to have those buttons on the trolling
motor actually is a great convenience for those folks. And for those of us who are able-bodied, it’s
just a fun little, you know, feature that you don’t have to go walking around the boat
to hit different buttons. The cool thing about that is the button also
on the trolling motor where you press down with your foot to make the trolling motor
go, you can flip it. You can position on either side of the trolling
motor. So if you’re coming from MotorGuide or you’re
coming from Minn Kota and you’re switching over to this trolling motor, you can position
the button where you’re accustomed to using it all the time without having to adapt to
the pedal. So that’s a neat little feature. Now, moving on to the Garmin unit, the Garmin
to me is the most robust one. It has the most amount of features. The thing that stood out the most to me was
the remote control. The remote control comes with it. It’s not an added accessory. The other ones, you buy it and then you add
on. This one comes with everything, so you don’t
have to buy anything new. So the hand control is really neat, the remote
control, you can steer it the way you always have before with other remote controls with
buttons to turn steer and turn on the power and reduce the power, but it also its hand
gesture where if you turn your hand one way or the other, the trolling motor will actually
go that direction just by turning your hand. Or if you want to go to a spot down the lake,
you can just point to it, click a button, and off the trolling motor will go. Which is great if you’re tying knots or you’re
working on the rods or whatever, it can just keep on going while you’re doing your thing. But it also goes back to that disability piece
too. If you’re somebody where working a trolling
motor is hard to do with your foot, your hips, your legs, or maybe you have a back issue,
all that kind of stuff, the remote control feature is really, really…that’s a godsend. That’s a game-changer for some people. I hate to use that word because it’s such
an overused word. But if you haven’t been able to go fishing
much because it’s hard to work that trolling motor, this could be the difference between
whether or not you go fishing or not. So I think it’s really important. But even if you’re just somebody who probably
wouldn’t use the remote so much, if you were…you have some friends, family, what have you,
you want them in the front of the boat, or if you just want to sit in the back of the
boat, you can still control that trolling motor with the remote, which is great. Speaking of which the foot control on that
is wireless, which means you can put it anywhere in the boat. So for those of you who are multi-species
anglers, sometimes you do fish out of the back of the boat, it’s great to have that
trolling motor foot pedal right with you, and you can control that as if you’re in the
front of the boat. If you don’t want to use that wireless feature
that much, you can actually plug it in and hardwire it in and use it just like a traditional
trolling motor. Also, what Garmin did is they did the best
in terms of integrating it with their electronics. So, you can control the trolling motor from
your Garmin fish finder. Speed control direction control, you can have
it follow a trail or waypoints, you can certain depth contour. You can do all that, right from a touchscreen. And also, if for whatever reason your trolling
motor runs out of batteries or maybe one of your batteries craps out, you can unplug it
and plug in the power source. The power cord that goes to your front end
unit, you can plug that in your trolling motor, run the batteries off that. Which is hopefully a feature you never have
to use, but it’s great to have it as a safety feature. All three trolling motors, they all manufacturers
claim better efficiency because of a combination of things. Yes, you got the brushless motors, but you
also have different designs and your props in engineering, so they…all of claim about
a 30% more efficiency from a battery standpoint, and also they all have more power. Most of them get about 130 pounds of thrust,
which has never been achieved before with trolling motors. So that’s a good thing. Now, those are the main differences. From that, you could probably say, “Hey, this
is…I know what I want to get,” but let me, I want to show you something. When I went out there and did all this stuff,
we were at three different lakes the same day. I was the only one who brought an underwater
camera. And two of the lakes, the water was so dingy
that the footage really didn’t come out. You really can’t see the trolling motor. With the Garmin unit, we were on a lake that
was really clear so it looks good. But what’s important is when I went and looked
at the footage, something really, really stood out to me, and I need to share this with you. It’s what they sound like underwater, it’s
was really surprising. So, what I want you to know is this underwater
camera, it’s a little underwater camera, I put it down on the water, a couple of feet
underwater, and the microphone on it will pick up the kind of sound. There’s actually a microphone on it. It picks up the sounds underwater. What I want you to listen to is these three
different trolling motors side by side. What I’m about to show you is the actual raw
footage. It’s unfiltered, I haven’t doctored it in
anyway, I haven’t even changed the volume on it. It’s completely raw. And for anybody who doesn’t believe me and
wants to challenge me, please put your money down on the table, I will show you the three
raw footage side by side. I’ll gladly take your money, I could use it
for a couple of extra bucks. So this is absolutely 100% raw, unfiltered. So that’s important because the sound is what
I want you to hear, and I want you to know I haven’t altered or doctored it or anything. So let’s start with the MotorGuide unit. I want you to hear this. So, again, pardon the video quality of it,
but I want you to listen to it. Okay so, you notice it’s pretty quiet. Yeah, it’s nice. It’s nice and quiet. That’s a good trolling motor. You’ll also notice you can’t see it very well,
but we’re turning the trolling motor back and forth a lot, and you really can’t hear
it turning, which is important. So it’s a pretty quiet trolling motor. If you’ve really get a good ear, you might
hear a little bit of a whooshing sound in the background. That’s actually the water going by the microphone. So there’s kind of an ambient white noise. It’s very quiet in the background, but I want
you to know that that wasn’t from the trolling motor. It’s just this quiet little whooshing sound,
this is water going by the camera, but you still can hear the trolling motor. That’s the predominant sound. So, keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at the Garmin unit now. All right. That’s actually quieter than the MotorGuide,
isn’t it? That’s actually a really quiet motor. Now someone can say that’s because it’s a
brushless motor. I think that’s a part of it, but it also has
to do with the engineering of it and how much sound insulation is on the motor itself and
some other things that maybe I don’t even understand. But it actually is quieter a little bit than
the MotorGuide. What you can hear though is you can hear that
electric motor as it turns the head, which, you know, some of you, well, let me put it
this way. I know this camera really well. I’ve had it for years. And one of the things I’ve noticed is when
I have it underwater, you can hear me talking or anybody in the boat, you can hear people
talking even though the camera is underwater. So the water is not soundproof insulation. It will pick up noise that’s above the water. It’s kind of muffled, it’s not all that loud,
but you can hear it. I want to bring that up because the Garmin
unit, when you’re above water, you’re on the deck, you can hear it, that motor, whirring
away as it turns the motor back and forth. Now, it’s not super loud, but if you’re used
to a cable-driven motor, you will notice the difference. The point is, is listening to that footage
underwater, I think what that sound is, is actually from above the water, because it’s
kind of muffled and it’s a lot quieter than what you hear above the water. So I think you’re just hearing that ambient
sound. I don’t think it’s being transmitted so much
through the trolling motor itself, just from what I know about this camera. So it’s probably not, you know, it’s louder
than it is when you’re standing above deck than it is underwater. That’s the point I’m trying to make. Is it enough to spook fish? It didn’t seem that loud to me. All right, so let’s get to the Lowrance unit. Again, pardon the video quality, but you need
to hear this. Listen to this. Wow, that’s loud. Compared to the other ones, that’s really
loud. And I was shocked by that because it’s such
a stark difference between the other ones. And it’s a brushless motor. So the claim that being brushless motor automatically
means that it’s quieter, is not so. Again, it kind of goes into the design and
the engineering of the trolling motor overall. Which brushless is a component of it, but
obviously, it’s louder. It may even be the design of the product. I don’t know what. And I thought at first, okay, maybe it’s because
these were demo models. Maybe it’s a prototype because it’s available. Well, I’m looking at it before it’s available
to the public. But the Lowrance unit, it’s available in the
next month. So this is it, this is done. They’re shipping it now. So, this is, you know, what the consumer is
going to get. The Garmin unit is going to be available a
little bit later on, September/October timeframe. And the MotorGuide they were telling me it’s
not available until next January. So the MotorGuide is the one that’s furthest
out as far as being ready for prime time to be sold. The Lowrance one is the one that’s ready to
go, and it’s loud. Now, I don’t know all the reasons why, maybe
someone from Lowrance will see this video and respond to it and maybe give it a little
insight, but that may be a game-changer for you. Again, I’m using that word, I’m sorry. But for those of you who thought Lowrance
was the bomb, it’s the loudest compared to the other two trolling motors, and that may
be the difference of whether you want to go with it or not. But I thought I’d share that with you, let
you know what that’s all about. And again, none of that footage is doctored
in any way whatsoever. I have to tell you this. And if you don’t believe me, I don’t know
what to say. I’m happy to sit down with you and show it
to you, to prove it to you. But that’s it. That’s the three different trolling motors. I hope that helps. If you want more information like this, hey,
we’ve got a forum discussion going on this right now. Please put your thoughts and stuff on that. I got a link right down here below the video. Join the discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts.