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trolling motor
electric trolling motor
nose pliers
weight shift
sand paper
fishing line
sharp knife
8 Tips To Keep Your Trolling Motor At Its Peak - Consistent Top Performance
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8 Tips To Keep Your Trolling Motor At Its Peak  -  Consistent Top Performance

The modern electric trolling motor is designed so that it will require very little maintenance but there are some precautions you should take to make sure that it won't let you down just when the fish are biting. This is not a time to end up in the proverbial creek without a paddle due to slack maintenance.

If you can do this quick but thorough 8 point check, your trolling motor will not let you down.

1) The Propeller

The most common place to look for damage is probably your propeller. Props will get badly worn if you are constantly ploughing a furrow along the sandy or muddy lake bottom making contact with rocks and other solid objects. A worn out prop will decrease the motors effiency quite dramatically and I have heard boaters blame everything else under the sun for their boats/fishing poor performance, except the prop. This is because wearing out your prop on a sand bar can be a little embarrassing so make sure that the prop is always well clear of any obstacles, especially if there has been a weight shift in the boat.

2) The Propeller - Again

Talking about propellers, possibly the most important check is to make sure that there is no weed or fishing line trapped around the shaft between the motor and prop. If you have been out fishing and working the motor in heavy weeded areas you should do this check after each trip. Quickly and according to the manufacturers instructions, remove the prop and make sure there is no fishing line wrapped around the shaft. Fishing line is very thin and can easily work its way under and damage the seal resulting in water damage to the motor. This is like removing the heart of a person which then results in a complete shutdown. If you do find some line remove it very carefully taking utmost care not to damage the seal. Do not use a sharp knife but rather something like blunt pair of nose pliers.

3 The Propeller - Last Time

Still at the propeller, check the blades for any nicks, cuts or burrs that can be evened out with some fine sand paper or smooth file. If a propellor blade is bent or badly damaged replace it with a spare and send the damaged one to a prop repair specialist. Unless you know what you are doing don't try to bend the blades back into shape yourself because an unbalanced prop can easily damage the seals and shaft of the motor. It’s just not worth it.

4) Mounting Brackets

Look out for any missing nuts, screws etc. wear on pins and spacers on the mounting brackets that when left unattended can become very expensive to repair or worse, replace.

If opened under pressure, mounts with doors that hold the outer shaft and enable depth adjustment also get damaged. To take the pressure off when the motor is in its storage position, lift the motor shaft about 45 degrees prior to opening the door.

5) Shaft

Because of constant vibration the shaft set collar that holds fast the lower bearing and cone do sometimes loosen, so check to make sure the setscrew is tight and there is a minimum of play.

6) Electrical Stuff

Regularly inspect the electrical wiring for any damaged or worn areas and repair or replace immediately. Make sure all the connections are free from corrosion and properly fastened. Poor loose corroded connections can cause all kinds of problems resulting in disappointing performance or permanent motor damage.

7) Battery

Remember to try and keep your deep cycle battery fully charged at all times or you will reduce its lifespan. Always be cautious when handling unsealed deep cycle batteries and keep their terminals clean. Make sure that the wires to the circuit breaker connections are also tight and corrosion free.

A good safety tip is that all electrical wire connection should be disconnected when charging the battery.

8) Keep It Clean

Your motor is an expensive sophisticated piece of equipment so show it off to fellow boaters by washing it down with a mild soapy solution to remove dirt trapped around the units moving parts which will keep it looking like new.

Now that wasn't hard to do, was it?


Street Talk

I have seen a trolling motor walk accoss the water before sinking due to missing mounting bolts, lol. Spot on article!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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