Let’s compare two of the market’s most popular and advanced trolling motors: the Lowrance Ghost and the Minn Kota Ultrex.
I’ll spare you the fluff and get straight into the similarities and differences regarding technical specifications and product features. Then, you decide which is best for your boating needs.
✅ Common Features
|Specification||Lowrance Ghost||Minn Kota Ultrex|
|Shaft Length||47″, 52″, or 60″||45″, 52″, or 60″|
|Power Steering Systems||✅||✅|
|GPS Autopilot Systems||✅||✅|
|Spot-Lock A.K.A Anchor Lock||✅||✅|
|Integrated Sonar Systems||✅||✅|
|Three Year Warranty||✅||✅|
|A Lifetime Shaft Warranty.||✅||✅|
|Usage||Freshwater Use Only||Freshwater Use Only|
|Easy to Stow/Deploy with Lift Assist||✅||✅|
They Mount On The Boat At The Same Place
The Lowrance Model Ghost and the Ultrex are bow-mounted trolling motors designed for freshwater use. Not much to say here really. I’ve scored this as a draw in this category.
Both motors offer three shaft lengths. These are the same apart from the shortest shaft, where Lowrance’s shortest offering is 47” against Minn Kota’s 45”.
Depending on your boat’s displacement and free board measurements, this difference may become a deciding factor. This is a draw.
GPS Autopilot Systems
Both products provide GPS systems; however, my long-standing favorite – the iPilot Link, is included with the Ultrex.
The Minn Kota integrates the Spot-Lock system into the iPilot Link system. You can also use it with a Humminbird fishfinder.
Both systems come equipped with an autopilot feature. However, the Ultrex integrates it with the iPilot link, providing exceptional features by default.
I use it to navigate my boat in any direction and use the iPilot GPS to:
- Record the path I took to get there.
- It will follow depth contours.
- Remember GPS coordinates to get to my best fishing spots.
- Control the boat’s speed and steering.
Even though both motors have autopilot, I’m calling the Minn Kota Ultrex the winner in this category.
Spot-Lock/ Anchor Lock
The Lowrance Model Ghost and Minn Kota Model Ultrex (with iPilot Link) incorporate Spot-Lock/ Anchor Lock features.
These allow you to set the motor to lock your position with GPS accuracy.
The Anchor Lock feature allows you to hold your position over a specific depth of water or over a structure.
Both systems have this capability, and so they draw into this category.
Integrated Sonar Systems
Both products incorporate Integrated Sonar Systems. But I’ll go into more detail about each.
Minn Kota Ultrex Sonar
The Ultrex has an integrated MEGA Down Imaging transducer that produces very clear, detailed images of fish and structures below your boat. It also works seamlessly with other Humminbird fishfinders and displays.
The MEGA Down Imaging sonar system is a substantial upgrade in the HDI Sonar Nosecone of the Ghost and provides crisper and more detailed images of the underwater environment.
The Ultrex Sonar is available with three different sonar options:
- MEGA Down Imaging
- MEGA Down/Side Imaging
- Universal Sonar.
These increase the systems’ versatility and provide an unparalleled visualization of what is happening around the boat.
Lowrance Ghost Sonar
The Ghost has an integrated HDI Sonar Nosecone that provides CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) Sonar and DownScan Imaging. It offers high-definition imaging of fish and structures below your boat.
It also works seamlessly with other Lowrance fishfinders and displays.
The Lowrance’s sonar can be stepped up to a higher resolution by adding an optional Active Imaging 3-in-1 nosecone.
The Ghost’s system is very functional and workable but does not provide the clarity of the MEGA Down Imaging sonar system incorporated into the Minn Kota Model Ultrex.
In standard form, the winner in this category is the Ultrex.
The foot pedals on the two products have been designed and produced with different philosophies and, as a result, are very different.
The final call must be yours, as their useability will depend on your preferences and which style you are most comfortable with.
The Minn Kota uses a cable steering system assisted by an electric motor. It’s similar to a car’s power steering system; the foot pedal is responsive and intuitive to me.
The Lowrance Model Ghost’s “Fly-By-Wire” Steering uses feedback forces to give you a feel of a traditional cable-steer motor. This makes it difficult to tell that no cables manipulate the steering controls.
The Ghost foot pedal buttons are programmable and enable you to drop waypoints or even to raise or lower a Power Pole.
As the final decider will be a personal preference, I’m not going to call this one and instead will say it is a draw.
Easy To Stow/Deploy With Lift Assist
Both motors have a lift-assist feature that reduces the weight of the trolling motor when stowing or deploying it. The lift assist mechanism makes stowing and deploying your trolling motor easy with minimal effort.
With age, I find my back is getting inexorably weaker. This type of technology has become a welcome addition to the combination of features on my motors.
I would never use a boat without hydraulic or electric tilt trim controls, but I find the Lift-Assist indispensable. They draw with each other in this category.
Both offer three-year warranties on all items apart from the shaft, with unlimited warranties.
The Ultrex has been on the market for longer, so there is a lot of expertise out there that is willing and able to assist you.
The Lowrance Model Ghost doesn’t have the same long track record and history; therefore, an extended warranty is essential.
Although the score is a draw in this category, it is reassuring that the manufacturers offer long-term support.
They draw with each other in this category.
⚖️ Notable Differences
While they have several similarities, they also have some specific differences in their technical specifications, such as:
|Specification||Lowrance Model Ghost||Minn Kota Model Ultrex|
|Motor Thrust||97 Lbs @24v/120 Lbs @36v||80 Lbs @24v/112 Lbs @36v|
|Steering Technology||Fly By Wire||Cable Steering|
|Sonar/Transducer||HDI Sonar Nosecone||MEGA Down Imaging|
|Break away System||Yes – 360o||No|
Motor Thrust & Power Options
The Lowrance Ghost provides more thrust than the Minn Kota Ultrex.
The additional power is useful when there are currents that the motor has to fight against or the boat is larger with a bigger displacement.
Anecdotally, I have found that trolling motors never quite live up to their thrust ratings in the real world. So, something to bear in mind. Nonetheless, the Lowrance Ghost wins here.
Multiple Power Options: Both motors will generate two power levels that can be powered by either 24 or 36 volts, delivering.
|Voltage||Lowrance Ghost Thrust||Minn Kota Ultrex Thrust|
|24 Volts||97 Lbs||80 Lbs|
|36 Volts||120 Lbs||112 Lbs|
If you want to dive deeper into how much power you need from a trolling motor, I’ve written this extensive guide to trolling motor thrust.
Motor Technology Lowrance Model Ghost
A brushless motor is generally the preferred technology for a trolling motor. It results in a quieter, more efficient, and more powerful system than one with a traditional brushed motor.
The Ghost uses a silent brushless motor that reduces noise and vibration in the water, making it less likely to scare away fish.
For the angler, there are several advantages to owning a system that uses brushless motors:
- They are quieter by an order of magnitude.
- Brushless motors are generally the most efficient.
- They require less power to operate, so using equivalent batteries, the Ghost will have greater range than the Ultrex.
- Although neither requires substantial maintenance, the brushless technology needs even less.
Second, because there are no brushes to wear out, brushless motors require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan than brushed motors. The winner in the category is the Lowrance.
The Lowrance uses more advanced steering technology than the Minn Kota.
The Ghost is a “fly by wire” system that eliminates cables and any linkage and wear issues that may arise. On the other hand, the Minn Kota Model Ultrex uses a more traditional cable steering system.
Minn Kota Model Ultrex cable system that is assisted by an electric motor. I’m calling the Lowrance Model Ghost the winner in this category.
But! This is a win based on pure technical specifications. I mentioned earlier that I actually prefer the Minn Kota’s foot pedal because it’s via cable steering. Something to remember in your buying decision.
For a deep dive into the ins and outs of the Ghosts steering, check out this video below:
The Minn Kota Ultrex is fully compatible with the One-Boat Network. This overarching compatibility allows you to integrate and control your trolling motor with other Minn Kota and Humminbird products.
360o Breakaway Mount
The Ghost has a 360o breakaway mount that protects your trolling motor from impact damage.
It also has an automatic realignment feature that returns your trolling motor to its original position after a breakaway.
The Ultrex has an automatic realignment system that resets the trolling motor to its original position after an upset.
The winner in the category is the Lowrance Model Ghost.
🎯 Final Verdict
The Final Score: Using two points for each winning score and one point for each when there is a draw, the results of this evaluation are.
Minn Kota Ultrex: 10
Lowrance Ghost: 13
Even though the Ultrex has a lower score, its standard sonar capabilities and the inclusion of iPilot Link make it a very compelling offer to me.
Here are my takeaways to consider when choosing between the Ghost and the Ultrex:
|Model||Reasons To Choose|
|Lowrance Ghost||Quieter, more efficient, and powerful due to its brushless motor.|
|Smoother and more responsive due to its fly-by-wire steering system.|
|One of the most powerful trolling motors on the market|
|Minn Kota Ultrex||Provides clearer and more detailed sonar images with its MEGA Down Imaging sonar system.|
|Compatible with the One-Boat Network, allowing integration and control with other Minn Kota and Humminbird products.|
|The addition of the iPilot Link offers game-changing features.|
|Has a steering lock feature that keeps the trolling motor pointed in a specific direction without using the foot pedal.|
🔀 Alternatives To The Ghost And Ultrex
There is another trolling motor made by Garmin called the Force that could be worth looking into.