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ZAGS

Tiller to Console

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Thinking of getting a new boat... had a tiller for 22 years, wondering if anyone made the change to a console, and what they thought... I troll a lot, still fish a lot, I do not use a bow mount much, I also have a younger family. Thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

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Thinking of getting a new boat... had a tiller for 22 years, wondering if anyone made the change to a console, and what they thought... I troll a lot, still fish a lot, I do not use a bow mount much, I also have a younger family. Thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

If you troll a lot then I would recommend a tiller. I made the switch about seven years ago. I'm glad I did because it fits my style better. Trolling is not as nice but I don't troll much. It would be better if I had a kicker on the boat too. With that said, if you do decide to make the switch, considering your trolling style, I would recommend installing a kicker with tiller steering.

That's my 2c

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Do not know the size of boat or HP you are thinking of upgrading to. There is one thing to keep in mind if, as you stated, have a younger family. It's a lot easier to do tubing/skiing out of a console boat. Yeah, yeah, yeah it can be done from a tiller but not as well. Again, not knowing your upgrade plans, tubing can be done from just about any size motor (within reason, before someone gets on here and says they can't do 25mph with their 5-8, 175 lb. kid behind their 9.9 Johnson) while skiing does take a little bit more oomph to do. Also, while trolling may be more precise with a tiller, it's not necessarily easier (turn a wheel vs. push/pull a handle. Either concept is fairly easy for your average hominid to grasp). Just a thought.

P.S. I did a tiller for 20 years and went to a console. Wished I made the switch A LOT sooner. But then, I do zero trolling (WWWAAAYYY too A.D.D. for that). 2c

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Thanks guys.... I am looking at alumacraft and Lund... I am in the 18.5 category, so either the impact in the Lund with a 150, or dominator/trophy with a 150... but if I go without the console, then I am in the competitor or pro guide models but would only need a 90...

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My first two boats were tiller. The boat I had before this one and the one I have now is console. I troll a lot. Either with the outboard or the bow mount. If you like to backtroll, then go tiller. Otherwise, console. My preference is console

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With a younger family get a windshield and you will be able to stay on the water longer and will get their company more often.

If you fish with 3 adults in the boat or back-troll then the tiller is the only way to fly. Can't tell you how many times I cussed at the console when it snagged a hook mid-cast but I like the windbreak it offers when on plane the week before Thanksgiving.

Market a convertible SC to tiller to get the best of both worlds.

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I went from tillers to console about 5 years ago when I got a 16.5 Navigator with a 90hp. I troll a lot and like that you can make small adjustments with your leg/knee versus needing an arm on the tiller. It would be nice to have a small kicker to troll down slower, but I just go straight to my trolling motor. It works fine and saves me the cost of another motor/headache/weight on the boat.

I still like fishing my 12' with a tiller, but it's probably more just so that I can sniff some 2-stroke every once in a while. It kinda keeps you alive

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I had tillers for years and swore by them. I switch to a console about 15 years to go due to a smoking deal on a near new Pro V. Since then I've been sold on console models. My recommendation get a walkthrough dash and windshield. These make the ride in cooler seasons and summer mornings and evenings much more pleasant. For trolling get a high thrust kicker or a good bow mount. The technology for remote steering of kickers and in electric trolling motors makes for an effective trolling solution.

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Quote:
Also, while trolling may be more precise with a tiller, it's not necessarily easier (turn a wheel vs. push/pull a handle. Either concept is fairly easy for your average hominid to grasp). Just a thought.

I agree with this until I try back-trolling. You can make adjustments a lot faster with a tiller than with a steering wheel and back-trolling sucks (in my opinion) from the console. I don't troll enough to justify putting a kicker on my boat so I put up with it on occasion. With that said, yes, it is doable but not the most efficient way to do it. If I trolled a lot, my personal preference would be a tiller, hands down.

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I've had both, I do troll alot and I run a console and have for years now. For forward trolling a console to me is the way to go for lots of reasons, however for backtrolling, a tiller is probably more precise. Still, I like backtrolling with my console boat at times also. There are times when there is no better way to present a bait on tight structure than backtrolling, even when I have an electric trolling motor as well. Get the waves big enough, the wind from the right direction, the structure just right and depending upon presentation, I may through a bag out and backtroll with my main motor. To me it's the best boat control option in some situations.

It really boils down to personal preference as far as boats, but I enjoy the comfort of being able to hide behind a windshield on long, cold runs, or being able to put the top and side curtains on in cold rain or waves.

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Well ZAGS, what do you think? Have we made up your mind for you yet? laugh

There's good and bad reviews but the bottom line will be what you are most comfortable with. Hope we aren't muddying the water too much fer ya.

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I am leaning toward a console, with as much trolling and downrigging I do, along with being able to pull a skier, I think I need a windshield.... I just like the open feel of a tiller, people can easily move around.. I am a family of 6 with four girls between 1 and 8 years of age. I still wonder if I will be able to set the hook when steering as well as I do with a tiller... usually I am able to quickly go to neutral when I get one when using my tiller. I also like the idea of the wide gunnels to be able to mount the downriggers to. If I knew my family could comfortably move around in the boat when still fishing (that is mostly what I do with the whole family), and I could adapt my hook set to trolling from a console, I think it would be a done deal.

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I switched to a tiller this past year and don't think I'll ever have another console boat. It all comes down to how you are going to use it. I do like trolling in my dads dual console with tiller kicker. The tiller boat takes the cake when it comes to live bait rigging. If I ever did go back to a console, I know I would get it at least 2' longer than I would want in a tiller to make up for lost floor space. Good luck with your decision.

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Been a tiller guy for 15 years Matt said it best, if you are fishing..tiller

if you are playing get the wheel.

I can tell you this in a 20 mph blow I can hold my Pro Guide on the same rock, throw a windshield on it, forget it...

Like the saying goes---- a guy needs 5 boats!

Have fun.

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Wensel, it sounds like your trying to tell us that real fisherman have tiller boats. I beg to differ.

If so, why don't you see the professionals all fishing tillers, after all, the point of fishing a professional tournament is to get the heaviest bunch of fish, correct? If a tiller gave them an overwhelming advantage, they'd all be fishing tiller boats.

Yes, one boat doesn't fit every situation, but nothing else in this world does either.

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I am leaning toward a console, with as much trolling and downrigging I do, along with being able to pull a skier, I think I need a windshield.... I just like the open feel of a tiller, people can easily move around.. I am a family of 6 with four girls between 1 and 8 years of age. I still wonder if I will be able to set the hook when steering as well as I do with a tiller... usually I am able to quickly go to neutral when I get one when using my tiller. I also like the idea of the wide gunnels to be able to mount the downriggers to. If I knew my family could comfortably move around in the boat when still fishing (that is mostly what I do with the whole family), and I could adapt my hook set to trolling from a console, I think it would be a done deal.

Based on this description I think you would be making a smart choice. Good luck and enjoy that new rig.

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KFK

I just gave him my opinion based on his question, with out a thread drift I did not see him asking about running a rig in the NWT saying that, I've placed way better than alot of "professionals" in the big boats in my lil tiller.

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I made the switch to console and love it, but I'm also a huge fan of electric trolling motor with I-pilot. I find when I'm fishing with family in the boat its so much easier to let the gps do the driving. You stay over the fish while being able to help out the youngsters. As far as your hook set I see no problem doing a nice job setting the hook from behind the console. I guess you never know till you give it a try and you can always switch back to a tiller on your next boat.

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Good points about the windshield. It's definitely a tradeoff for space and warmth. You lose space with a console and definitely lose space with a windshield, but if you do a lot of cold weather runs...a windshield is the cats meow.

The boat I wanted had a 70hp and a full windshield but it wasn't available for a while. They had a single console with a 90hp for about the same price. Mrs. SkunkedAgain voted for bigger motor (bless her heart) but I do feel bad when she's taking the cold winds on long lake runs.

Your kids will be warmer with the full windshield and that's worth a lot more than fishing space, if you want your kids to enjoy being out on the boat.

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I went to a wheel boat after having 2 tillers and will not go back. Dryer, warmer and easier to see where you are going when ya get 3 or 4 in the boat. I can troll all day just as well with my wheel boat with bowmount and kicker as I could with my tillers.

On biggger waters that get choppy its a much nicer ride.

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The thing that made me go back to tiller from console was trolling plugs tight to irregular weedlines. It is hard enough to do right with a tiller and with a console/with kicker I was either in the weeds too much or too far off. Having a console probably resulted in 50 to 80 percent less fish in this situation. If this is a core tatic for you don't go console. If not, all the other pros and cons are well explained. Miss the windshield, but that is what Cabelas guide gear is for.

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Good points about the windshield. It's definitely a tradeoff for space and warmth. You lose space with a console and definitely lose space with a windshield, but if you do a lot of cold weather runs...a windshield is the cats meow.

Skunked-- I'm not besmirching your statement, but want to comment on the loss of space. IMO what you may lose in open space you gain in storage and convenience space. My console serves as a mounting space for a forward facing electronics. Cram space for gloves, hats and whatever gets pitched on top of it. The glove box is a handy area to store tools, line, reels, cell phones, wallets, keys, glasses cases, and lots m The floor space under the console serves as a place to store rain suites, jackets, thermos and water bottles, etc, etc. So what I may lose in walk around space the console's use for storage exceeds the benefits for open space.

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I switched from a Lund Explorer tiller to a Lund Tyee,,,, the windshield, bimini top, and higher sides have me convinced I wont got back to a tiller but I fish Lake Superior a lot

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I've had both. I now run a big tiller. Dress for the weather and it's not bad! If it's that cold and bad out WHY would you want to take kids out? I love to fish and love the room. EVERYTHING I need is in arms reach. Also can fish 4 people easier than 3 in the console boat!

ps. Bought it for fishing, but it will pull skiers just as well as any other boat with out a ski bar!

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Another thing that can influence this is the size of boat you are looking for.

My opinion, 17.5' and up I prefer a console, shorter I prefer a tiller.

I faced this decision last fall, after decades of running mostly tiller boats I decided to go to a console.

My previous console boat was a 16' that was also not very wide, I hated the storage and lack of space, so I moved to tiller boats for the last 15 years.

Now this year moving to a 17.5' boat that is also 8' wide, a console was a much easier decision to make. Also in the last 15 years they have made alot of improvements to layout, storage and functionality.

For me the bonuses of a console outweighed the negatives.

Drier ride and warmer as I can get out of the wind more.

Safer when up on plane with multiple people as I am not trying to look through them anymore.

Alot more storage options.

My wife is more comfortable (this is a big one!)

Much nicer ride when covering larger runs across the lake or down the river.

I don't backtroll much, and even forward trolling is gong to take a little to get used to.

But at the same time I have to say rigging your boat properly will help immensely. Running a 140HP main motor and then a 9.9HP high thrust kicker on the port side. Add a terrova up front with i-pilot and a drift control bag when needed. You should be able to handle any situation as long as you have the proper tools.

I highly doubt that I will go back to a tiller anytime soon now that I have this rig.

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