Have you seen the new trolling motor by Power-Pole? The Power-Pole Move?

I got a chance to dive into this thing recently at a big consumer show, thanks to a chance meeting with the right guy. I admit, I was skeptical. Five thousand dollars? Are you serious?

When I first started bass fishing, a good trolling motor was 800 bucks. Really. As my place in the industry grew, I became a regular R&D partner with a number of companies, thanks to my big-water reputation and unique fishing style. One of those, not surprisingly, was Minn Kota. In fact, with additional input from other hardcore anglers, Minn Kota used much of my insight in the development of the Ultrex trolling motor, now an industry leader.

So, like I said, I was skeptical of the new unit. With little knowledge of the Power-Pole brand, and a feeling of getting taken advantage of, I assumed that this thing – this Move – was an overpriced wannabe. And then I met Dan Benson.

Benson is an engineer for Power-Pole, but there’s more to it than that. He fits in a group that, unknown to me until my meeting, represents a lineage of hardcore anglers and designers at Power-Pole that truly live and breathe the sport.

“All of our products are saltwater products,” was Benson’s icebreaker. I was trying to navigate the two new trolling motor models. One being white, the other black, I assumed each was intended for different environments. Benson wasn’t having it, quickly turning the conversation back to me. Why wouldn’t a company simply make everything corrosion-resistant and capable of handling any environment?

Now we were getting somewhere.

I immediately reflected on my own circumstance, and how many times I wished I had freshwater features in the salt. Drawn to the foot pedals, Benson keyed me in to another feature I wished I’d known about long ago: Power-Pole’s magnetic pairing. Buttons, remotes, pedals – everything is quickly pairable and wireless. And the foot pedal is easily tunable to match the preference of the user. I was getting more interested.

Climbing on top of the show display, I was able to operate each of the two new trolling motors. The only difference, really, was their mounts; one a more conventional scissor-style common to bass boats, the other a telescopic mount seen more on bay boats and skiffs. To each their own, but the motors themselves remained the same.

Power-Pole hypes brushless technology as the real breakthrough, resulting in a lighter and faster motor that lasts longer. I can tell you from my brief use, the trolling motor is also extremely quiet, including when the foot pedal turns the shaft.

I’m no engineer; in fact, I had to look up the definition of a brushless motor to gain more insight on the subject. But from what I can tell, this certainly looks like the right direction to take trolling-motor technology. The engineering basics result in a motor using far less energy with faster, more efficient results.

Another interesting and particularly useful outcome is the ability to utilize the motors through multiple power supplies – meaning one motor can run at 24 or 36 volts. This can be extremely helpful to anglers with multiple boats, or a guy and his buddy who may need to swap a motor for a tournament. I had wanted that feature, repeatedly, in the past.

Midway through my tutorial, Benson kept pouring it on. And that’s where I started noticing a pattern, and my real Eureka moment happened.

Everything Benson covered about the new Move was either a major technological advancement, or a solution to a problem facing anglers today. Many of these solutions I had wished for myself. Of course there was the technology, the brushes and lack of, the titanium shaft and power and efficiency and all of that. But what really caught my eye were the answers.

Trolling motor stuck down? No problem, there’s a large manual-release pin within easy grasp. Stop jumping up and down on your mount.

Want to add or subtract a transducer? Pull the skeg out and slide it in. Stop using hose clamps and cable ties.

Tired of wrestling with your telescopic mount? Push a button, and this motor jumps into your hand and practically deploys itself.

Ever losing steering? I did recently, forcing me to fish with a makeshift hand-controlled unit. The Move has six planetary gears and is able to steer on just one.

Everywhere I turned, there was a solution to an issue I had had as a consumer.

I’ve seen this before, but it’s getting more rare these days. As a hardcore angler, when you come across a company that seems to be like-minded, there can be but one reason: just like you, they also obsess over fishing.

It would seem an obvious requirement, but many of today’s manufacturers seem to be getting further away from life in the outdoors. All the time, we see junk equipment that fails on Day 1, leaving guys like us wondering what these companies were thinking. Who tests this stuff? Quit making unproven junk for the sole purpose of increasing sales!

Power-Pole appears to be a manufacturer on the other end of the spectrum. Led by John Oliverio, a man his cohorts labeled as a reclusive engineering genius, Power-Pole doesn’t screw around. Benson assured me the customer service on all of their gear tops the industry. Besides, most repairs are intended to be fixable by the user, rather than waiting weeks for a service shop. You might want to read that last statement again.

So where does this leave me? Looking for five grand, I guess. Like most of you, I’ve had my fill of the preposterous pricing so common now in the bass world. I just saw a $22 buzzbait online. But, even with the outrageous price tag, I have to wonder about this one.

Tomorrow, I’m going bass fishing. There are two things I desperately need to work correctly: my outboard and my trolling motor. The rest, really, I can get by without. If my outboard fails, which it won’t, I’ll still fish close to the ramp. So that leaves just one, really. The most important piece of equipment in my entire arsenal.

Maybe I’m just talking myself into it.

(Joe Balog is the often-outspoken owner of Millennium Promotions, Inc., an agency operating in the fishing and hunting industries. A former Bassmaster Open and EverStart Championship winner, he's best known for his big-water innovations and hardcore fishing style. He's a popular seminar speaker, product designer and author, and is considered one of the most influential smallmouth fishermen of modern times.)