I opted to go with Rhodan and installed it over the past week.
I met with Kyle and Lindsey at the Tampa boat show, spent some time asking questions and getting some input from a local guide (Capt Rob Gorts) they had in attendance at their booth.
All my questions were answered to my satisfaction. Capt Rob showed me some screen shots of his track while in anchor mode and his boat didn’t move more than 3′. Read more
For my boat, I had Machine Works in Plant City fabricate an aluminum mounting plate that provided a structurally sound base that allowed me to stow the motor with minimal invasion into my bow area. Since I have an anchor bow roller on the Triton, I could not angle the Rhodan across the point of the bow.
Kyle showed me a nifty trolling motor plug made by Battery Tender that impressed me so much I bought it.
Heavy duty, quick secure lock.
I bought two group 29 batteries. I was going with group 27s as Kyle said they should be fine, but the price difference was minimal and too much battery is better than too little IMO.
A 60″ shaft is the longest that Rhodan makes currently, but they are considering a longer shaft in the future. After spending a morning at their shop in Sarasota, I had a better understanding of the dynamic forces applied to these shafts and why a longer shaft is not feasible at this time. Kyle said they are in the process of investigating a manufacturer of a longer shaft that will hold up to all the force that will be applied to in when in use.
So, even though I knew I would not get full advantage of the Rhodan in rougher water, I felt it would work (fingers crossed) with the height of my bow above water and the size of the seas I normally fish in. Which in my case is “not too rough”. I was hoping for efficient use in 1-1.5′ chop.
After finally getting all components installed I made my first trip to Tampa Bay yesterday.
Winds 6-12, wave height 1-1.5, but mostly 1′.
I used the manual mode of the motor first to see how it would pull the Sea Hunt. I was not disappointed at all. More than adequate speed even against the wind or current.
Next it was time to try the Anchor Mode. Picked a favorite snapper hole and locked the motor into anchor mode. Sat there for 2 hours and the boat moved only about 3′ off the spot, but went back and forth over that spot. Eventually the wind and tide changed and the boat stayed set up with the bow in the same spot. Of course that means the stern (where we fish) moved about 30 feet off where we wanted to be.
One point to remember, the motor will move off the spot very little, but your gps might show a larger track movement. This is because the difference in gps receiver placement. The motor with it’s own gps is locked on your spot, the boat with it’s gps display is using an antenna that is in a different location. In my case it is a 10′ difference. As the boat swings around the anchor spot, the boat gps shows a much larger track movement than the bow of the boat is actually doing. So, my track record might show as much as 20′ swings, the bow is actually staying where it was told to be.
Now comes the great feature of the Rhodan. You can move the bow 5′ in any direction based on which way the boat is pointed. Click it forward once and it moves 5′ forward. click it right or left or aft once and it moves 5′ in that direction (relative to the boats heading). So, a few clicks on the control had our stern right where we wanted it.
I was most concerned about how my battery life was going to be. The trolling motor runs almost constantly. We were at anchor for over 5 hours yesterday and when we finished the day, I checked the battery level (able to do this level check through the Rhodan) and was still at 60%. That was a great relief to me.
Over all for the day, we anchored at 6 different locations and it held location perfectly. Slight changes in current and wind were easily corrected by using the 5′ “bumps” to put us exactly where we wanted to be.
Yes, there were wave conditions where the motor did cavitate some. But, the motor still kept us on location. If they ever have a longer shaft, I want it.
The final test for us was a particular spot we have a terrible time anchoring on. We have fished (or tried to fish) that spot for a couple of years. Since the tides are never constant, and the winds in upper Tampa Bay seem to vary direction with regularity, it was a most difficult spot for us to anchor on. And on those occasions where we actually hit the spot with an anchor, we knew that within 10-15 minutes the wind or tide change would move us off of it by 20-30 feet. It’s one of those spots that if you are not fishing straight up and down, you are going to get broken off by the rocks and ledges. Having lost about 50 rigs there and getting tired of pulling the anchor and re-setting eventually made it one of our least favorite spots.
Yesterday, we locked onto the spot with the Rhodan. Wind and tide changes were adjusted with bumps in the proper direction. We spent the best two hours sitting right where we wanted to be putting fish into the boat.
I only briefly used the “route mode” in a small lake sea trial and it followed the recorded track flawlessly. Likewise with the “track” mode, set it for a direction and it stayed fairly straight. One other advantage for those who want to record a track. Since Rhodan has two gps receivers, one in the head, one in the base, you can record a track with the trolling motor stowed and use your gas motor to run the track you want to record. Faster this way, and no drain on your batteries.
Rhodan has my recommendation. A longer shaft for bows that are the height of mine will make it more useful in higher chop. Kyle and Lindsey are knowledgeable and patient with pesky potential customers (like me). The company seems sound. They are into a lot more than trolling motors. The battery usage is more than adequate for a casual fisherman like me.
Most of all my fishing partner is thrilled to not have to deploy and raise the anchor all day long. He considers this the best money “I” have spent.
This was one of four good size (30+”) Snook from last night’s trip on Lemon Bay. The bite was red hot – maybe because the cold front was moving in today. We also got several keeper trout, a black drum, and a bunch of snook shorts. It was beautiful on the water last night and the motor performed flawlessly. We were out a good eight+ hours, logged several miles on the trolling motor (at least 3 miles at 100% thrust) and still came back with the batteries at 80%. I continue to be really impressed with this motor. I particularly like to hit the route that takes me from the inter-coastal channel up Forked creek right to my dock. It’s a 15 minute autopilot trip that is the “cherry-on-top” to an awesome trip on the water. I usually sit in the seat in front of the console and enjoy the view.
After owning my GPS Anchor+® for just about a year, I feel I must let you know how great your product is. When I purchased my GPS Anchor+®, I, like probably many of your customers who have no experience with the product, was somewhat skeptical. If you remember, I was originally looking to add a windlass to my 22 foot NauticStar Offshore 2200XS. The configuration of the anchor locker and the bow of the boat made this difficult without major modification. Somewhere in my research I found mention of the GPS Anchor+® on a boating forum. After talking to both you and Lindsay I was convinced that you were totally confident it would work on my boat. Well, you were both right. From someone who has owned boats and fished for most of his life, I really believe that anyone who fishes over structure and has a boat that isn’t too big is at a distinct disadvantage without your product.Read more
How many times do you drop a conventional anchor and miss your spot by a few (or more) feet? Or, hit your spot only to swing off and on as the wind changes? This just doesn’t happen to me any more. Once “anchored”, the boat just does not move. When I drop my bait into the same hole every time, I know we are not moving. Or when the fish finder shows the exact same depth and colors even though I know we’re on the top of a wreck, I know we are not moving. The bow of the boat is locked onto a position and does not move. And if the tide or wind changes so the stern swings a little, I just use the jog feature to put us right back over our spot.
I’ve had a number of friends on our boat since we installed our anchor and every one was amazed at what it does. The expression “game changer” was used more than once. Other boaters who see us locked into a position a few feet from a tower when we sabiki bait have the same reaction. It really is that good.
The only problem with our anchor is that it’s stopped us from looking at larger boats. We’ve toyed with the idea of something a little larger so we could go further offshore. But every time we do, we think about going back to a windlass. And so, until you offer a model with a longer shaft and a little more thrust, we’ll probably stick with the NauticStar (which we really do love).
Thanks again for making a great product. And thanks for the great customer support you gave while we were learning how to get the most from it. I can honestly say that I would strongly recommend the GPS Anchor+® to anyone who had the right boat.
Ryan Peebles (Palmetto, FL)
I cannot believe how well this thing keeps you on the fish. I have never been able to fish so efficiently. I never use a real anchor anymore. I fish this thing in calm and rough conditions and it always behaves perfectly. I never have to worry about where the boat is and scaring away the fish. This is the quietest trolling motor I have ever used. Good job, Rhodan!
Captain Jason Kotchey (Sarasota, FL)
Just wanted to drop a quick note to thank Rhodan for coming out with a great product (the GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor). I am amazed by its simplicity and ease of use. Its accuracy is extremely precise and is a true pleasure to use. I used the GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor in several different conditions including high wind and fast current situations. It was able to hold us right where we wanted to be and that allowed us to have a great fishing experience.
Read Samples (Ft. Myers, FL)
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! The Rhodan HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor is better than I expected, smooth, easy to use, powerful and accurate. This product will change fishing, it is a no-brainer for the avid fisherman. The ability to quickly anchor more accurately than with a traditional anchor, line and chain, and then being able to move spots without having to stop fishing. The ability to toggle from a track to anchor and move in 5′ increments is a dream. I will also be adding many windy day trips that normally are no fun based on always chasing the wind and current using a hand controlled trolling motor. The fact that I can focus on fishing and not have to worry about crashing into the oyster bar after the next cast is peace of mind. Thank you for creating a product that immensely improves the enjoyment of fishing.
Captain Scott K. Green (Rodbender Fishing Charters in Sarasota, FL)
My name is Capt. Scott K. Green and I run Rodbender Fishing Charters in Sarasota. I was very intrigued with Rhodan’s new product, so I had to try it out first hand. The accuracy at which the HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor held my boat steady without drift was unbelievable. We were actually in some of my favorite fishing spots in the most extreme conditions (heavy waves, wind, etc.) and the boat stayed dead still! Read moreThe jog feature was very helpful; if I felt as though I was out of position by 5 or 10 feet I just pushed one of the direction arrows a couple of times and it put me right where I needed to be. Truly remarkable! The trolling motor’s tracking feature was very useful for casting along the mangroves. The boat just drives itself and you’re completely hands free. If you catch a fish and want to stop and fight it you just hit the anchor button and the boat will hold its position while you fight the fish. Then you hit the track button and you’re on your way again. This is a great revolutionary product that I would recommend to all recreational boaters and fishing captains.
Bill Liebelt (West Richland, WA)
“WOW” to the Rhodan GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor. Installation was very simple and I was off to my favorite place on the Columbia River. I have the system mounted on a 20 foot, high sided, with a top, aluminum boat. Even with light wind and a small current the system held me on fish. It is easy to operate and made of good material. I would say that it allows me to fish at least three times more than normal and move around my boat. Don’t think I would have had the chance to return that 5 pound small mouth bass the other day if it were not for the system allowing me to fish more. Thank you team Rhodan!
William L. (Florida)
My father and I recently purchased the Rhodan Marine Anchor®. Although skeptical, we bought it. It was the greatest investment ever. I recently broke my hand, however that didn’t keep me off the water. I was fishing near the inlet in relatively rough conditions. I landed several fish and was able to leave the trolling motor alone without worry. I merely hit the anchor button and there I stayed while I dealt with the fish. Customer service has been great and the system works itself almost. Highly recommended product for serious anglers. I really can’t say enough. Rhodan and staff have truly made an awesome product. Another thing I want to point out is that as we left the dock a guy said to me, “Why don’t you have a power pole?” I responded with, ” I fish the inlet as well as shallow water and the power pole, while a good product, will not serve my needs.” He told me, “Well, I never thought of that.” Every product has specific uses and the Rhodan Marine Anchor® honestly covers all of them. One very pleased customer.