The Least Expensive Spot Lock Trolling Motors Reviewed (2023 Buyer’s Guide)
UPDATED 13 FEBRUARY 2023
by Eric Bartlett
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While spot lock trolling motors are extremely useful for recreational anglers, they are also among the most expensive boat electronics, with high end models retailing at over $3,000.
But in case you’re wondering if it’s possible to get a good spot lock motor at a more affordable price, the answer is yes – absolutely.
In this article we’ll walk you through the cheapest spot lock trolling motors available on the market, and will cover their strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide which one is best for you.
What is the least expensive trolling motor with spot lock in 2023?
The table above compares the most important specifications of the cheapest trolling motors with spot lock.
Now let’s dive into the details, and take a closer look at each of these models.
Minn Kota PowerDrive with i-Pilot
Our verdict: The Minn Kota PowerDrive with i-Pilot is the best cheapest spot lock trolling motor overall
Since Minn Kota is famous for making some of the best spot lock trolling motors on the market, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that they also produce some of the cheapest models.
But the PowerDrive with i-Pilot is currently one of the least expensive spot lock trolling motor on the market.
The great thing about this is that when you get the PowerDrive, you’re getting access to the high end quality of Minn Kota, which is the industry leader in this space.
But you do need to keep in mind that this is a very bare bones spot lock trolling motor that has reliable spot lock functionality, but not much else.
The PowerDrive does not come with a foot pedal (though it has a hand held remote control), it has no built-in transducer, and is not compatible with the Minn Kota heading sensor, which means you can’t use spot lock jog functionality on the PowerDrive.
It also can’t be used with i-Pilot Link, which means you can’t network it with other Humminbird electronics.
However, if you don’t care about all these extra features, and just want a highly reliable spot lock trolling motor that can hold your boat in position accurately, then the PowerDrive is the right choice for you, and provides high value for money at an affordable price.
- i-Pilot GPS with remote control
- Deploy assist lever
- Weedless prop
MotorGuide Xi5 with GPS
Our verdict: The Xi5 with Pinpoint GPS is the cheapest MotorGuide spot lock trolling motor
Retailing at a price that’s a few hundred dollars more expensive than the PowerDrive, the MotorGuide Xi5 with Pinpoint GPS is the least expensive MotorGuide trolling motor with GPS anchor lock, and comes with many similar features and specs as the PowerDrive.
The Xi5 is a great choice for anyone who prefers MotorGuide to Minn Kota, and with its Pinpoint GPS system, it will give you access to a similar level of spot lock accuracy as the PowerDrive.
Also, similar to the PowerDrive it doesn’t have a foot pedal, but comes with a hand-held remote control.
The great thing about the remote is that you can activate spot lock simply by pressing the anchor button, and the trolling motor does the rest.
One difference to the Minn Kota is that the Xi5 comes with a 3 blade prop, which is more weedless than a 2 blade prop.
Finally, the composite shaft is highly durable, and comes with a lifetime warranty, which again is similar to what you get with Minn Kota trolling motors.
All in all, this is an excellent entry level spot lock trolling motor that can compete head to head with the Minn Kota PowerDrive.
- Pinpoint GPS with remote control
- 3 blade propeller
- Highly durable composite shaft
Minn Kota Riptide PowerDrive
Our verdict: The Minn Kota Riptide PowerDrive is the cheapest saltwater trolling motor with spot lock
If you’re looking for a saltwater trolling motor with spot lock, then the Riptide PowerDrive is currently the least expensive option on the market specifically designed for a saltwater environment.
A combination of sealed electrical components, surface protection with anti-corrosion paint, and stainless steel parts make the Riptide version of the PowerDrive much more resistant to the corrosive environment of the ocean or brackish waters.
And while you can use a regular Minn Kota in saltwater, it’s unlikely to last as long as it should, and Minn Kota expressly states that doing so voids their warranty protection.
So if you plan to use your trolling motor regularly in saltwater, it’s definitely worth getting a Riptide model that’s up to the task.
Apart from the features that make the Riptide PowerDrive more resistant to saltwater corrosion, it comes with all the same features as the regular PowerDrive, including a deploy assist lever (for manual deployment), the i-Pilot GPS system that enables highly accurate spot lock functionality, and basic autopilot functionality that will keep the trolling motor on a specific course.
But similar to the regular version of the PowerDrive, you should know that when you get this model, you won’t get a foot pedal or a built-in transducer, and that it also isn’t compatible with a heading sensor (which means you can’t use jog functionality on it) or with i-Pilot Link (which means you can’t network it with Humminbird electronics).
However, the Riptide PowerDrive compensates for its lack of advanced features by providing a highly reliable saltwater spot lock trolling motor at an affordable cost.
- i-Pilot GPS with remote control
- Sealed electrical circuits
- Stainless steel hardware
Haswing Cayman GPS
Our verdict: The Haswing Cayman GPS is the runner up best spot lock trolling motor for a small budget
Together with the Minn Kota PowerDrive, the Haswing Cayman GPS is currently one of the least expensive spot lock trolling motor on the market.
However, unlike Minn Kota and MotorGuide trolling motors, which are handcrafted in the USA, Haswing models are made in China, which is something you should be aware of before you buy.
The biggest advantage of the Haswing Cayman GPS over the other models on this list is that it comes with a wireless foot pedal that you can use to control the trolling motor with your foot while you’re fishing.
For many anglers this is an essential feature, and the Cayman GPS is currently the least expensive model that provides this option.
In addition to having a foot pedal, the Cayman GPS also comes with a navigation app that enables you to save waypoints and direct the trolling motor back to saved waypoints, or to navigate along saved routes.
These more advanced kinds of GPS autopilot functionality aren’t available on the other models discussed in this article.
The only problem with the Cayman GPS is that some people have reported issues with durability that suggest it isn’t quite as durable as either Minn Kota or MotorGuide models.
On the upside however, it provides the best GPS navigation plus a foot pedal at a very affordable price.
- Helmsman mapping app for Android or iOS
- Wireless foot pedal plus handheld remote control
- 3 blade prop
What is the cheapest Minn Kota trolling motor with spot lock?
The PowerDrive with i-Pilot is the cheapest Minn Kota with spot lock. It provides accurate spot lock functionality that can keep a spot lock accurately within 3 to 6 feet, and that at a highly competitive price beating all of the competition.
But it’s important to note that it doesn’t come with many of the advanced features of other Minn Kota models, such as electronic deployment, a built-in transducer, heading sensor, or the ability to network with other Humminbird electronics.
What is the cheapest 24v trolling motor with spot lock?
The cheapest 24 volt trolling motor with spot lock is the 70 lb thrust Minn Kota PowerDrive with i-Pilot, which beats all of competing 24v models in terms of pricing.
Once again, keep in mind that this is a bare bones spot lock trolling motor that doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of more high end models, but nevertheless it gets the job done.
What to look for in a good budget spot lock trolling motor
When buying a low cost spot lock trolling motor, there are several key factors to consider before you buy, to make sure you end up with a model that can do what you expect it to do.
Spot lock functionality
While this may seem obvious, the first thing to check for is that most entry level trolling motors can be purchased either with or without spot lock functionality.
This means that if you don’t pay attention to what version you’re buying, you may end up with a model that doesn’t actually have spot lock functionality.
This is true of most of the models reviewed here, which means you need to double check that you’re buying the right version.
As a general rule of thumb, if the price is clearly below $1,000, that trolling motor probably doesn’t have spot lock functionality.
While it’s tempting to buy the absolute cheapest version of the spot lock trolling motor that you want to get, keep in mind that this is always the model with the lowest thrust.
If you refer to the table above, you’ll notice that all models are available either as 55 lb or 70 lb thrust models, and the price difference between the two is usually around 100 to 200 dollars.
Check out our article on trolling motor sizes to determine what size is best for your boat, and always keep in mind that it’s better to get a motor with a little too much thrust, rather than too little.
Ease of deployment
One trolling motor feature that you should consider when shopping on a small budget is ease of deployment.
All the models reviewed in this article require manual deployment, though some of them have mechanical features designed to make that easier.
However, if you have a disability, you may want to think about getting a more high end model that comes with an auto deploy mechanism.