As you cruise around the lake this weekend under 101 pounds of electrically-generated thrust, pity the poor anglers living in the early 1980s who had to tool around on no more than 30 pounds. Actually, don’t pity them too much – they probably thought their 23 pounds of thrust (from a single battery!) was the cat’s meow.

Does anyone even run a trolling motor of 23 pounds or less on a jon boat these days? I doubt that Shakespeare’s 12 and 15 pound thrust models could pull most of my tournament partners’ tackle bags across the street, let alone pull a whole boat into oncoming current. The arms race in electrics may be the most unsung hero in the quest for better angling over the past 30 years.

And when did Shakespeare stop making electric motors?



Past Reader Comments:

  1. Ralph Manns:  I’d like to claim that great minds fish alike, but that would falsely elevate me to Rich Z’s level. But, I too replaced my first electric, stern mounted and operated Silvertrol with the same foot control, 23#-thrust, bow mounted Shakespeare unit. It was more than adequate for my 12 foot boat.. For further comment on this, see Trolling motors- Part 3
  2. Bill J:  I have that motor in the ad, bought it brand new, mine is the transom mount version, that is the bow mount model, I use it 150+ days a year since bought, no repairs, no problems, still running strong. I found this article doing a search for this motor, I’d like to get a new prop for it, the original one has a couple little dings in it. I painted it flat brown and disconnected the original light that is in the center for tying lures on in the dark. runs like a champ. I have guided professionally since 1982, year round. The game is taken with knowledge, not toys or ‘stuff’.
  3. RichZ:  My first trolling motor was a foot controlled Shakespeare I put on the front of my 12 foot aluminum. It was 28# of thrust. When I got my first 14 foot, stick steering Terry, I put the same motor on it, but realized I needed more power. Got a REBEL trolling motor for it. I think they were actually made by RAM. Still 12 V. Still around 35# of thrust. Had a hand controlled Silvertrol on my pond boat. Note that all of these companies are no longer in the trolling motor business.
    1. Terry:  Yeah Rich. Looking back on the old literature it’s amazing at the number of companies that made them. I stopped counting at 20. And only a couple exist now.
  4. Paul Wallace:  Trap muskrats all winter so we could buy one of those green headed Shakespeare 28 pond thrust trolling motors. Maybe it was a game fisher?? Either way I’m sooo glad trolling motors have evolved. Got to where I could change the foot pedal cables on the 1980’s Minn-Kotas in about 20 minutes in a 20 mile an hour wind. Those were the days, not!
  5. Chad Keogh:  From that Sigma to my Fortrex… talk about evolution! Wow…
    1. Terry:  Yeah Chad. Trolling motor evolution has been pretty amazing over the years. Boggles my mind. The first stroller we owned was a lot like this. Maybe twenty pounds of thrust. Lol