Minn Kota Ultrex Review: Is it Still a Relevant Trolling Motor for Today?

Wesley Littlefield

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Minn Kota has manufactured trolling motors for more than 85 years. They’ve been the leader in the trolling motor market for many of those years, but have they become complacent while at the head of the pack?

In our Minn Kota Ultrex review, we will discover if the Ultrex trolling motor is still worth $3,000 MSRP or if you should look into another option.

Minn Kota Ultrex
7/10Our Score
  • Spot-Lock
  • 24 or 36 Volts
  • Power Steering
  • Built-in Humminbird Sonar
  • Lift-Assist
  • Indestructible shaft with a lifetime warranty
  • Freshwater only
  • Less thrust than competitors
  • Noisy Motor
  • It doesn't have an automatic stow position
  • Expensive

When the Ultrex came to market several years ago, it undoubtedly offered top-of-line standard features.

However, as you can see from our Lowrance Ghost review and Garmin Force review, both companies have pushed the standard further and offer features at a similar price like a quiet brushless motor; the Ultrex does not.

The features such as Spot-lock, power steering, Auto-Pilot, and built-in sonar are what keep the Ultrex a solid competitor in the trolling motor market.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Trolling Motor

After using several different trolling motors while fishing, I have found that several factors must be considered when purchasing a new trolling motor.

Ease of Use

A trolling motor should not only be simple to use, but it also shouldn’t cause an angler to get fatigued. I’ve spent several fishing trips battling the trolling motor instead of fishing. While I love being on the water, I don’t love fighting my trolling motor the entire time.

Battery Life

Running out of juice in your trolling motor batteries can quickly ruin a great day of fishing. I’ve run my batteries dry and had to paddle. I don’t recommend doing so. Purchase a trolling motor that will only draw the power it needs and prolong the life of your batteries.


Spooking fish with your trolling motor means you will catch fewer fish. The point of owning a trolling motor is, so you don’t use the gasoline motor and scare off all the fish from your honey hole. If you want to increase your chances of landing more fish, buy a quiet trolling motor.

Standard Features

This is where the best trolling motors leave the rest behind. Premium trolling motors come standard with spot-lock, auto-pilot, built-in sonar, and many others. While mid-range motors only offer one or two of these features. Let’s look at what benefits the Ultrex has to offer an angler.

Minn Kota Ultrex Features and Benefits

Minn Kota Ultrex and tis remote control

Don’t disregard the Ultrex because I only gave it a rating of 7/10. Not only did Minn Kota pioneer some of the features we have deemed indispensable, but they have also made a trolling motor that has stayed relevant for several years in an ever-changing landscape of fishing technology.


Ask any angler, and the invention of the spot-lock feature was a game-changer. Since the Ultrex offers you the ability to click the spot lock button and lock into the position with the GPS anchor, you don’t have to worry about spooking more fish while you’re landing one in the back of the boat.

Minn Kota offers many options to set spot-lock from anywhere in your bass boat using the foot pedal, app, remote, or Humminbird fish finder.

Multiple Power Options

Like other premium trolling motors, the Ultrex can be wired into a 24-volt or 36-volt system. The amount of thrust you get out of your Ultrex will depend on how many volts you prefer to run.


If you use a 36-volt system, you should get 112lbs of thrust out of your Ultrex. The 24-volt system will give you 80lbs of thrust.

While it’s not as much as the Lowrance Ghost or the Garmin Force, it’s still plenty to quickly propel you in strong currents and winds.

Prolonged Battery Life

The Digital Maximizer feature of the Ultrex means you can get five times longer run time out of your batteries because it only delivers the amount of power you need.

So you don’t have to worry about running out of energy as I have previously done.

The i-Pilot link remote will tell you how much battery you have left so that you won’t be surprised by a battery dying.

One-Boat Network

Humminbird fish finder

If you want the ability to control your Minn Kota Ultrex, Humminbird sonar, and Minn Kota Talons, then the One-Boat Network is your answer. You can operate any compatible products from anywhere in the boat using the app, remote control, or Humminbird fish finder.

The i-Pilot Link Integrated GPS Trolling System allows you to operate your trolling motor from Humminbird electronics, follow depth contours, set spot-lock, record your path, and automatically take you to your prime fishing locations.

Universal Sonar

The Ultrex offers the option to use the sonar transducer brand of your choice. However, you will not have the full capability of the One-Boat Network when you use a brand other than Humminbird for your sonar needs.

Be sure that you purchase the universal sonar option and not the MEGA Down Imaging/ Side Imaging option.


If you like to run-n-gun while fishing, you will love the lift-assist function. It causes the Ultrex to lift with less force easily, so you won’t be fatigued from picking it up all day.

Steering Lock

Minn Kota Ultrex Foot Pedal

The steering lock function means you don’t have to worry about taking your foot off of the pedal and the motor changing directions on you.

Once you remove your foot from the pedal, the motor will stay facing in the direction. I’ve nearly been thrown out of the boat by other trolling motors while I’m battling a fish because a wave changed the direction of the motor.

Power Steering

If you want a responsive cable-steer trolling motor, check out the Ultrex. Not only is it responsive, but it offers you precise boat control and is comfortable for all-day use.

What Others are Saying about the Minn Kota Ultrex

It seems that boaters either love the Ultrex or hate it. There are very few people in the middle. I mentioned earlier that I scoured the internet for what other bass anglers said about the Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor. The following are several snapshots of what I found.

People who love the Ultrex-

People who were in the middle-

Finally, people who had Minn Kota Ultrex problems-

As you can see, like most products, some people have nothing good to say about it, and some can’t say enough good things about the Ultrex.

Alternatives to the Minn Kota Ultrex

A few years ago, the Ultrex was the best and only option for a high-quality trolling motor. However, times have changed, and the Ultrex has several competitors worth considering when buying a trolling motor.

Garmin Force

Garmin Force

The Garmin Force is slightly more expensive, starting at $3,099.99 MSRP. However, it offers a few features that the Ultrex does not provide, such as a quiet brushless motor, gesture steering, use in saltwater and freshwater, and easy stow and deploy.

The Ultrex has the universal sonar option, which the Force does not. The Force only comes in two shaft lengths, whereas the Ultrex has three shaft lengths available.

If you own Garmin Electronics, then the Garmin Force will be the best option for you and if you’d like to learn more about it then take a look at my Garmin Force review.

Lowrance Ghost

Lowrance Ghost

The most expensive competitor is the Lowrance Ghost starting at $3,249 MSRP. It offers all the features we expect out of a high-end trolling motor like Lowrance integrated sonar, GPS capabilities, anchor-lock, breakaway mount and automatic realignment, and many more.

Lowrance also thought of the small details like a high-quality pull cable, and they meticulously thought out how to run the cords to stay out of the way.

The Ultrex not only comes in at a lower price but also can connect to other sonar brands, which the Ghost cannot.

That doesn’t matter much if you own Lowrance sonar and if that’s the case, then buying the Lowrance Ghost is the better option for you.

To learn more about it, take a look at my Lowrance Ghost review.

MotorGuide Tour Pro

MotorGuide Tour Pro

The least expensive option is the MotorGuide Tour Pro starting at $2,699.99 MSRP. While it offers many of the same features as other premium trolling motors, such as spot-lock, the reviews are less favorable. It has the 360 breakaway mount, universal sonar, and a cable-steer trolling motor.

The MotorGuide Tour Pro is best for the individual who’s on a budget but still wants the features of high-end trolling motors.

Motorguide trolling motors have been a fan favorite for many years, the reason why I suggest you to go ahead and check out my Motorguide x5 Review.


Yes, the Minn Kota Ultrex is still relevant despite my 7/10 rating because it offers many of the same features that its competitors offer.

However, there is plenty of room for improvements and upgrades from Minn Kota.

When we compared Garmin Force vs. Minn Kota Ultrex, it was easy to see why one should use the Force instead of the Ultrex. The Force trolling motor has several unique features like gesture steering that the Ultrex doesn’t have at a similar price.

Fishing with an Ultrex is much better than fishing without a trolling motor. If you already own Humminbird electronics or Minn Kota Talons shallow water anchors, then purchasing the Ultrex is a no-brainer for the One-Boat Network feature alone.

While the Ultrex might not currently be at the head of the pack, I have no doubt Minn Kota is developing a way to get back on top where they have been for so many years.

If you’re looking for a way to complete your one-boat network and the Minn Kota Ultrex will do just that, then I would encourage you to purchase and test it out for yourself.

Dive deeper by reading our Lowrance Ghost vs. Minn Kota Ultrex review.

If you’re still unsure which trolling motor is best for you after reading this Minn Kota Ultrex review then read our Lowrance Ghost vs. Garmin Force review.

Already own an Ultrex? Let us know your opinion of it in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Minn Kota Ultrex Review: Is it Still a Relevant Trolling Motor for Today?”

  1. Avatar

    I own both hummingbird and Ultrex 36 volt system. I think Hummingbird is a poor choice and if this hadn’t came pre-installed on my boat I would change out to Gost and Lowarence. Thankfully I have Carbon unit on the console

  2. Avatar
    Brad abernethy

    I bought the Minkota Enduramax last summer to propell a small tin boat. It was $451. With tax. I had ordered a propane 5hp mercury but it was back ordered a year. The Minkota unit worked admirably. It got no where fast, but did propell the boat across the lake and for hour long tours. I finally took possession of my mercury so I just sold the Minkota to an avid fisherman .

  3. Avatar
    William Collins

    I actually have two ultrex and they both are great. I’ve seen reviews on brushless vs brushed motors and not a great deal of noise difference. Ultrex on spotlock is some noiser than others but not a deal breaker. They have been out there a good while but that’s good. They have most of the “bugs” worked out. They all are amazing trolling motors.

  4. Avatar

    I have friends that own different brands than the Ultrex, they all love the one the have spent big bucks on. Like the old Ford, Chevy guys.
    I sold my boat and now building out a new one the trolling motor is not a decision for me, it’s Ultrex all the way.

    1. Wesley Littlefield
      Wesley Littlefield

      I agree, James; everyone has their brand preferences for whatever reasons they can justify. Thanks for the input, and I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with the Ultrex.

  5. Avatar

    the lowrance ghost is the worst trolling motor i’ve ever had. 3 weeks out the box using it the motor fell off the shaft and water got up the head shorted out everything. three times in one week it had to be repaired. lowrance would not let mr replaced it for a new one. it was a battle getting my money back. no more.

    1. Wesley Littlefield
      Wesley Littlefield

      Dang it that is frustrating! Thanks for your input, Keith. I hope you can start to do more fishing than dealing with your trolling motor.

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