Garmin Force Vs Ultrex: 6 Crucial factors to Make the Difference

When you’re ready to invest more than a thousand dollars to replace your trolling motor, you ought to ensure the purchase isn’t going wrong. In regard to trolling motors, people often get puzzled about which one to go for. Because there are a number of high-quality trolling motors that can make you confused anyway. So, here we are!

The two top-ranked trolling motors, in the present vintage, are Garmin Force and Minn Kota Ultrex. So, we’re going to assist you to explore the differences between the Garmin Force vs Ultrex

Both these motors come up in quite a few factors that differentiate them from each other, for example, their size. The Minn Kota Ultrex is much bigger in size than the Garmin Force trolling motor.  

However, you’ll get a specific explanation of both of these motors considering their specification, features, duration, costs, and performance in this article. And, it will help you take the right one. So, stick to the end with us!

Quick Comparison Table

FeatureGarmin ForceMinn Kota Ultrex
Thrust80 – 100 lbs80 – 112 lbs
Voltage24V or 36V24V or 36V
Shaft Length50″ and 57″45″, 52″, 60″
ControlWireless remote and foot pedali-Pilot remote and foot pedal
AutoPilot Route following, Heading hold, Anchor lock, Cruise control, Gesture features.Available
SonarBuilt-inUniversal Sonar 2
GPSBuilt-ini-Pilot Link compatible
Who Should BuyWho prioritize built-in sonar and GPS features and want a wireless foot pedal and remote controlWho prioritize i-Pilot Link compatibility and want a higher maximum thrust
PriceCheck Latest PriceCheck Latest Price

Overview of Garmin Force Trolling Motor

The Garmin Force trolling motor is called the Force in short. It has a very easy mechanism for everyone to get a quick and effortless operation. And, the best thing about this amazing creation is its trouble-free cable management system. 

Surprisingly, the majority of its functions are wireless which frees up the space for a bundle of cables. You’ll be amazed at its sleek design. It looks fantastic with the Star Wars TIE Fighter appearance motor. And, the borderline intimidates with eye catchy matte black paint to impress you in the first phase.

Its autoPilot and anchor lock technology enabled it for high performance. If you consider the high-quality of this trolling motor, the prices will seem more to you, we can guess. 


  • 2 Shaft lengths 50 and 57 inches 
  • Maximum thrust 100Ibs


  • Never interfere with the motor sonar
  • Futuristic Gesture Steering
  • Well responsive for different cable-steering motors
  • The noiseless brushless motor that everybody desires
  • Floating and waterproof remote control


  • Compatible with only Garmin brand sonar
  • It is a bit costly 

Overview of Minn Kota Ultrex

With a durable design, the Minn Kota Ultrex will offer bow-mounted, easy-to-deploy technology, an electric steer, and many more outstanding features that will value your investment. Its accurate GPS anchor, integrated battery meter, indestructible composite shaft, and versatile speed level will help you run this motor for a long time.

The Minn Kota Ultrex is an unstoppable trolling motor to make sure your confidence in self-driving. You’ll enjoy having control over everything on your entire boat and surely have a nice time with this trolling motor. Like the Garmin trolling motor, the Minn Kota Ultrex will also have high performance. 


  • 3 Shaft length is available with 45 and 52, and 60 inches
  • 112 Lbs is its maximum thrust


  • It has multiple power options
  • Lift Assist technology
  • Built-in universal sonar 
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Spot-Lock 


  • Noisy Motor
  • It has power limitation

Garmin Force Vs Ultrex: 6 Fundamental Factors to Find the Differences

NameVoltage  UseFishfinder Connectivity Motor StyleLift AssistTransducer
Germin Force36v/24vFreshwater, Brackish, SaltwaterChart PlotterElectric SteeringDual Gas SpringsGT54UHD-TM
Minn Kota Ultrex36v/24vFreshwater i-Pilot LinkBoth Electric & Cable SteeringNitrogen Gas SpringMEGA Down Imaging

1. AirPilot & Control Settings

Both the Garmin Force and the Ultrex have the AirPilot and advanced level of control settings features. But, you should go for the Garmin Force. 

The Ultrex AutoPilot requires your command to travel in your desired direction considering the wind and waves factors. You don’t need to change the boat’s movement while necessitating changing the engine settings.

It has a wireless remote control to change the engine setting without moving the boat which won’t scare the fish pole to leave the spot.  

But, Garmin is a step ahead with its GPS AirPilot, point-and-go steering remote, and wireless padel control unit. The great thing is that the GPS AirPilot works following your set track, anchor lock, and your provided control.

Another significant advantage is the wireless padel control unit that you can set anywhere on the boat. And, this remote control system directly taps to the point where you want to go. It’s pretty amazing to use the Garmin than the Ultrex.

2. Fish Finder Technology

Garmin has a ChartPlotter and Ultrex has an i-Pilot link, both of which are wireless. At this point, Garmin has developed its own fish-finding technology with an in-house feature that made it compatible with the fishing job. 

But, the Minn Kota Ultrex has no fish-finding device on its own. Therefore, it works with the Hummingbird as a partner and works with their device. In this case, you’ll get the Garmin trolling motor is more flexible with their own operated device.

3. Transducer & Sonar Imaging

The Ultra high definition transducer sonar system of Garmin provides a highly detailed fish image underwater. It can go up to 200 Ft under and 500Ft around your boat. 

Ultrex, however, will also offer as sharp as the image of Garmin and can cover 200 Ft underwater. But, it cannot cover that 500Ft area around your boat as the same as the Garmin. And, you should think about that fact.

4. Shaft and Thrust

If you compare the Ultrex with Garmin, the Ultrex offers flexibility here. The Minn Kota Ultrex has a longer shaft that ensures more power than the Garmin. In this case, the comparison of shafts between these two brands is interesting.

Because, Garmin offers a 50, or 57 inches shaft with 36 volts at the thrust of 100 Ibs which offers less power than the Ultrex. Even while the Ultrex with 45 inches shaft at the same volts with 112 Lbs power.

5. Brushless Motor

When it’s about the motor type, Garmin has come up with a brushless motor. As a result, it never creates underwater noise. Also, Garmin is more powerful and efficient in its operation compared to Ultrex.

The Ultrex hasn’t got designed with a brushless motor which causes a big noise during fishing time. So, it’s simple to miss out on the fish.

6. Spot-Lock

Both the Garmin and the Ultrx have this wonderful spot-lock feature. The Minn Kota Ultrex will allow you to enable the spot lock with any of the devices like fishfinder, remote, Ultrex app, etc. 

Therefore, you can easily enable the spot lock from anywhere on the boat. And, the Garmin will offer the same spot-lock flexibility as the Minn Kota Ultrex does.

Unique Features of Garmin Force

One more way to find out the differences between the Garmin Force and Minn Kota Ultrex is their unique features. Here in this section, you’ll get a clear idea about some of the unique features of Garmin Force that the Ultrex has not.

  • Gesture Steering 

The gesture steering feature made the Garmin Force remote system much more flexible. You can simply tap on the remote button and point your remote in the direction of the way you wish to move forward. And, it will take your boat in that direction. And, you’ll get these amazing features with only the Garmin Force, not on Ultrex.

  • Waterproof Remote

Since the remote is waterproof, you’ve no worries even while in the strong currents. The remote system of the Garmin Force won’t get damaged so easily.

  • Freshwater/ Saltwater Compatible

This motor is primarily compatible with freshwater but it works fine with saltwater and brackish as well. So, you’ve no limitation on whether to use it for freshwater or saltwater.

Unique Features of Minn Kota Ultrex

The Minn Kota Ultrex will also offer three unique features that can attract you. Let’s see what they are-

  • Power Steering

Like the Garmin Force trolling motor, the Ultrex cannot offer the Gesture steering feature. But, it has a power steering trait since it is a cable-steered trolling motor. Therefore, the Ultrex power steering will lead you in the right direction to navigate your trolling motor.

  • Freshwater Compatible

The Ultrex is compatible only with fresh water. So, you’ve no option to operate it in saltwater.  In the means of water compatibility, the Garmin Force comes in handy over the Ultrex.

Which One is Best For Whom?

Considering all the features and specifications of both, Garmin is the best solution for professional anglers. The features, flexibility, and service you’ll get from Garmin Force are incomparable with Minn Kota Ultrex. But, if your budget is low, the Minn Kota trolling motor will be a good decision. 

In fact, the Minn Kota Ultrex is a good one for hobbyists or newcomers to fishing. Remember, if you want your trolling motor to fight against the strong current and provide the utmost precision of engine power and maneuvering, the Garmin should be your priority. Also, it should be on your top list as long as you’re a professional no matter whether it costs a bit high. 


Does Garmin force have a spot lock?

Yes, the Garman Force trolling motor has a spot lock with GPS and you can operate it with a remote, Force app, or any other device. It’s pretty flexible!

How much thrust does the Garmin force have?

The maximum thrust of the Garmin Force is 100Ibs per ISO with 13342. And, it determines the high efficiency of the motor.

Does the Minn Kota Ultrex have a brushless motor?

No, sadly the Minn Kota Ultrex didn’t get a brushless motor which caused it to make loose noise underwater. 

Is the Garmin Force OK for saltwater?

Yes, it is! The Garmin Force is well-compatible with both freshwater and saltwater. So, you can purchase this trolling motor tension-free.

Can the Garmin Force follow contour?

The contour line enables anglers to get the exact image/ shape of the ground surface. However, the Garmin Force didn’t get that feature to follow the contour line. As a result, this motor cannot go to ground elevation. 

Does Garmin Force have cruise control?

Of course, it has. Cruise control is essential while you go for long distances. And, this Garmin Force is integrated with an anchor lock which leads it to get cruise control. All you need to do is to set the track.

Does Garmin Force have panoptix?

The Garmin Force is not only panoptix but LiveScope compatible in terms of its cable management system. Therefore you’ll get the facilities of both the LiveScope and panoptix. You can see the scanning sonar image while fish swims nearby your boat. Also, it’s easy to evaluate the lure since you retrieve it. And, to see the sonar image, you need not move your boat. 

Does Garmin work with Minn Kota?

Yes, it does. The Minn Kota offers some of its models with a built-in transducer that performs at 83kHz & 200kHz. In this regard, few of the Garmin models can work with Minn Kota frequencies through a Minn Kota adapter cable.

What fish finder works with Minn Kota Ultrex?

Well, the Minn Kota Ultrex is i-Pilot Link fish finder compatible and it works well.

What transducer is in the Minn Kota Ultrex?

The Minn Kota Ultrex works through MDI or Mega Down Imaging transducers. 


The performance comes pretty satisfactory among both the Garmin Force Vs Ultrex trolling motor. But, the real fact is their usage area. The Garmin Force has come with some of the outstanding features that the Minn Kota Ultrex doesn’t have, for example, the steering gesture. Again, the Minn Kota Ultrex has some wonderful features that the Garmin Force doesn’t have, for instance, power steering.

In this regard, you’ve to determine your usage area and the perspective of your fishing job. If you need a trolling motor to cover all sorts of average functions for fishing, we recommend you go for the Ultrex trolling motor. But, when you need to cover the largest functionality, the Garmin Force trolling motor will be the best choice.

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *