I've honestly lost count of the number of trolling motors I've had on my bass boat; I think I'm out of room to drill anymore holes for different mounting brackets. While the bow of the poor old boat may look like swiss cheese, this constant swapping and testing has given me a unique opportunity to try a bunch of different trolling motors over the years. I've seen some pretty cool advancements and some head scratchers through time.
For the past six months, I've been using the newest iteration of the MotorGuide Tour Trolling Motor. I'm a big shallow-water guy, so I've been beating the tar out of it. I've logged hundreds of hours and have banged it into stumps, grinded it into sandbars and accidentally hit some rocks with it. This trolling motor is built like a tank. I can't really say it any other way.
I'm going to go over my experiences and share some of the most noteworthy characteristics of this highly anticipated trolling motor.
You're not going to break it
Now, this isn't a challenge to drive it full-speed into a bridge piling or something. But under normal and reasonable usage, I can't possibly see how someone would break the MotorGuide Tour. I don't baby my trolling motors and admittedly, I've been a little rougher on this particular motor on purpose to make absolutely sure it can handle abuse. For the past half-year, it has totally exceeded my expectations.
Just a few weeks ago, I thought I actually broke it, but it turned out to be a really awesome safety feature MotorGuide designed. I had one of my favorite topwater lures snagged on a super-shallow laydown and I kicked that Tour to 10 and raced over to retrieve it. I grinded through pure sand for 15 feet and when the prop bogged all the way down, the motor shut off.
I thought I was going to have to get out and push.
Upon further research, however, I learned that this was supposed to happen to keep me from burning up the motor. To get everything running again, I had to cycle from 10-0 and 0-10 on the foot pedal and everything immediately worked like brand new. So if you're hard on your trolling motors, I think this intelligent feature will give you some major peace of mind.
360 breakaway system
I have bent shafts on other trolling motors, cracked mounts-you name it. But the 360 breakaway system on the MotorGuide Tour is specifically designed to absorb impacts from any shallow-water accidents.
A few months ago during the prespawn, I was cranking the edge of a stump flat in some really windy conditions. While I was unhooking a bass, the wind blew me onto the stump flat and my trolling motor hit a stump so hard I thought the shaft was going to break. All I could do was put my hands over my ears and grit my teeth.
Except it didn't break. It didn't bend. It didn't sustain any damage whatsoever. That breakaway system allowed my shaft to get, in my best estimation, practically parallel with the keel of my boat. It saved me from a major mess up.
No-flex metal foot pedal
The metal foot pedal is back! The original MotorGuide Tour was a huge hit with anglers and a large part of that was due to its metal foot pedal. Thankfully, MotorGuide decided to bring it back and I couldn't be happier with it.
It's simple and it's tough as nails; that's exactly what I want in a trolling motor pedal. It's all you need for shallow bass fishing. The button is nice and big so its easy to locate when you're not looking and the pronounced speed dial makes very small speed changes quick and easy.
On the heel of the pedal, you'll notice a small, raised ridge. I had to get used to putting my foot just an inch or two higher on the pedal than I normally do because if I didn't it would catch my flip flop and make me trip. But this adjustment only took me a few trips to get used to.
True cable steer system
With the explosion in technology over the years, a lot of companies have chosen to go the digital route with trolling motor steering systems. While I've used them and liked them, there's just something about a good ol' cable steer that's tough to beat in my opinion. I don't have to worry about things breaking, shorting out or anything like that. Everytime I get in my boat, I know my trolling motor is going to work like it should.
These stainless steel cables offer extraordinary responsiveness and smoothness, which I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout my testing. My 21-foot boat can snake between boat docks easier than ever before and it's the quietest trolling motor I've had by far.
I think a lot of anglers are going to fall in love with this trolling motor because of the cable steer. It's nothing fancy but again, you know it's going to work and work quietly every single time you get on the water.
It has saved my back in a big way
About 18 months ago I was diagnosed with three slipped discs in my back at just 30 years old. There were some mornings my wife would have to help me get out of bed and literally walk me to the bathroom. This was also causing my feet and legs to constantly tingle because something back there was pressing on my nerves. I was in physical therapy twice a week, flipping up and down on an inversion table and all sorts of fun stuff.
You know what the doctor said caused it? Lifting heavy trolling motors so much. I'm not kidding. I fish fast and I move a bunch throughout a day of fishing, so I'm always lifting and lowering my trolling motors.
I can't tell you how easy it is to lift and lower the new MotorGuide Tour and my back is thankful for it. My pain is very much under control these days and I'm hoping this new trolling motor helps it stay away.
They designed this motor with a Zero-G nitrogen gas spring lift assist system and it is the easiest-to-stow trolling motor I've personally used. My tiny wife even lifts it with no problems whatsoever. You don't have to step on the bracket to make it release, either. It has a Bulldog Locking Latch system that releases very easily on command.
Cable pull is much appreciated
It's a small feature, but one I've really liked throughout my testing. You used to have to buy aftermarket cable pulls for your trolling motor, but MotorGuide included one on the Tour. There have been many times when my old ropes have broken and I just about somersaulted out of the boat. But with this cable pull, I don't have to worry about that now.
To be quite honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to like the looks of this trolling motor on my boat. The new angular head design had me a little nervous going into the installation. As it turns out, however, this is the best looking trolling motor I've had on my boat; by a long shot, too.
The motor just looks tough. Everything on it seems to be overbuilt, from the oversized aluminum outer column to the rugged aircraft-grade extruded aluminum mount. And that bright red spring gives it a nice color pop.
When my buddies come to my shop to visit, they always ask me a bunch of questions about the MotorGuide Tour when they see it on my boat. It's a major attention grabber in the looks department, that's for sure.
I'd be shocked if MotorGuide didn't sell a ton of these trolling motors. They're reliable, they're simple, they're easy to lift and they're amazingly quiet. As an avid shallow-water angler, I sincerely think the MotorGuide Tour has everything I need in a trolling motor.