Trolling Motor Stabilizer Q&A: Selecting the Right Troll-Tamer

Trolling Motor Stabilizer Q&A: Selecting the Right Troll-Tamer

February 06, 2023

Trolling motors aren’t getting any cheaper and no one wants banged up gear to cause problems on the precious days they have to fish. That’s why so many anglers protect their investment with Troll-Tamer and why it’s important to get the right trolling motor stabilizer for your boat. In our newest Customer Q&A, we’re answering the top questions about what you need to consider to get the right one.

1. How Does My Trolling Motor Brand and Model Factor in When Selecting a Troll-Tamer?

Troll-Tamers are designed to keep a secure hold on your trolling motor; this helps prevent damage to your trolling motor and your boat, while also providing a quieter ride. To account for the way each trolling motor is different, there are slight differences in our Troll-Tamer models, so your best starting place is to have your trolling motor make and model handy and get the right fit.

For a quick reference guide, click the image here for finding the right fit.

Click to see the full image.

2. What Components Should I be Familiar With?

The Troll-Tamer only has two main components, but you’ll want to be familiar with them and where they install so you can choose the correct style and size for your boat. Familiarity with these will also help you select the perfect mounting place for your Troll-Tamer.

Here are the pieces you need to know.

The Lock Down Rod: This is the cylindrical piece that attaches to your trolling motor. Depending on the Troll-Tamer Model, it can range in length from 2 ¾” to 12”.

Though some Troll-Tamers have a clamp at the top of the Lock Down Rod, most models simply have a hex head bolt and washer at the top. The bolt and washer are designed to be unscrewed so it can pass through the bracket of your trolling motor, secured to the rest of the Lock Down Rod, and pointed down to your bow. For Clamp-On models, the top of the Lock Down Rod clamps onto the top part of the trolling motor shaft.

In the middle, you have a section of the rod with female threading at the top and bottom. As mentioned above, the top portion allows you to attach the rod to the trolling motor bracket, and the bottom allows for some variable length adjustment.

At the very bottom, you’ll see a cone that points downward so the rod can lock into place within the Lock Down Plate.

The Lock Down Plate: This is the disc-shaped piece that receives the Lock Down Rod to secure your trolling motor to your boat. It has a locking lever that rotates into place to lock. That lever then unlocks when you nudge it with your foot.

3. Before Buying, Should I Identify Where a Troll-Tamer Installs on My Trolling Motor?

Definitely. This step helps you pinpoint what size Troll-Tamer to get.

For some trolling motors (namely MotorGuide trolling motors, the Minn Kota Terrova, and the Minn Kota AutoPilot), you’ll need the Clamp-On version of the Troll-Tamer. If this is what you have, you’ll want to identify where the clamp will install on the upper part of the trolling motor shaft and mark it with a pencil, sharpie, or tape. This is typically 1” to 2” below the control box at top of the trolling motor shaft, but it may end up varying a bit depending on what's directly below this mark. With this, you’ll be on your way to choosing between the two sizes of Clamp-On Troll-Tamers.

Other trolling motors require you to eyeball the back edge of where the trolling motor bracket sits when the trolling motor is pulled up on the bow and not deployed. This may be atop the gunwale in some cases (example: many saltwater boats), but for most other boats, this spot is usually on the deck of your boat, a couple inches inward and away from the gunwale

To do this effectively, grab a piece of tape or a writing utensil and do the following:

  • Pull your trolling motor up onto the bow of your boat so it’s not in the deployed position
  • With the bracket now over the deck or gunwale of your boat, find the back edge of the bracket that is closest toward your transom
  • Now look in from that edge to the part of the trolling motor bracket that is now facing down toward the deck or gunwale
  • This back edge facing down toward your deck or gunwale is where you’ll want to get ready to mark your bracket with your writing utensil or tape
  • At about 1 ½” forward from that edge, find a flat spot on your bracket that will be directly above a suitable place to mount your Lock Down Plate (if this is unclear, read over the next section and return to this step)
  • This part of your trolling motor bracket is where to make your mark (later, when you’ve purchased your Troll-Tamer, this will be the spot to make your 7/16” drilling hole for the Lock Down Rod)

4. Should I Consider Where a Troll-Tamer Lock Down Plate Would Install on My Boat?

Yes. Right after you mark the location of where you would install the Lock Down Rod on your trolling motor (using either the Clamp-On option for the shaft or securing the rod to the bracket), you’ll want to mark where you should install the Lock Down Plate on your deck (or gunwale).

  • As mentioned above, this spot is usually on the deck of your boat, a couple inches away from the gunwale
  • If you have a boat that requires mounting on top of the gunwale, be sure to give yourself a flat spot with proper clearance from edges, hardware, lights, and fixtures that are in the area
  • If you have a trolling motor that will require a Clamp-On Troll-Tamer, mark a spot for the Lock Down Plate that is directly below the mark you put on the shaft of your trolling motor
  • If you have a trolling motor with a bracket, mark a spot for the Lock Down Plate that is directly below the mark you put on the trolling motor bracket

5. What Do I Need to Measure to Make Sure I Order the Right Size Troll-Tamer?

The distance between the mounting spot for the Lock Down Rod and the mounting spot for the Lock Down Plate is exactly what you need to make sure you get the right size Troll-Tamer.

Looking at the mark you placed for the Lock Down Rod location and the mark you placed for the Lock Down Plate, you only need to:

  • Measure the shortest, direct distance between those marks
  • Make note of this distance for ordering the correct Troll-Tamer length

When you get the right distance here, it will usually provide confirmation of the standard measurements that we've noted for a variety of boats we supply with OEM parts, but if your boat varies to some degree, this measurement will save you the trouble of ordering the wrong part or installation challenges.

Protect Your Trolling Motor with Troll-Tamer

That’s it — you’ve narrowed down the correct Troll-Tamer by trolling motor make and model, you’ve done some quick initial work to know where it will install on your boat, and you’ve measured to zero in on the right size. All that’s left to do is get one and get it on your boat!

When you do, come rough roads or rough water, your trolling motor will have protection like never before.