#3852, "Installing the Rigid bow mount spotlight for Fortrex"
After fishing some of these Texas tournaments where you are allowed to go to your starting spot in the dark, then start fishing at the appointed time, it suddenly seemed like a good idea to get a really bright spotlight. Did I mention these lakes are filled with trees?
Tried a handheld one first, which was so-so. Then saw this led model from Rigid that replaces the front-most piece of the trolling motor with a spotlight. Hmmmm, had to have it.
I was amused when it came in the mail to find no instructions other than to have a "professional" install it.
So here is how I unprofessionally installed it:
1. The easiest part is replacing the front piece of the trolling motor with the spotlight. Some people online said you might have to move your whole tolling motor, which would make the entire install take twice as long, but in my case it fit just fine.
2. Next question was where to run the wire. Wires out on the deck are always bad, so I ran it inside the plastic side plate on the side of the trolling motor. To do this I used snips and cut a little notch in each of the little structural ridge pieces on the inside of the plastic piece
3. This is the back edge of the plastic side piece, showing where the wire can exit
4. And here is where I drilled a small hole in the edge of the plastic cover closest to the back edge of the trolling motor. This is on a Champion 198 Elite boat for reference. Other boats will of course be different.
5. Here's how it came out, with just a few inches of the wire exposed
6. Next question was how to rig the switch. They include a switch, but of course if you wire it to the battery directly then you don't take advantage of the power button on the boat, and you risk forgetting and leaving it on. So here is the back of my rocker panel. The wires circled are for the 'Acc' switch which was unused. Perfect!
7. I didn't have the exact right sized end pieces for the wiring so I re-used the existing ones with a little plier bending action and some electrical tape. But first a little test was needed to make sure the electric was good
8. Here's how it looked going back on. Bottom blue wire is from the spotlight positive. Extra black wire that wasn't there before is from the spotlight negative.
9. No job on the boat can be done without getting out 4x more tools and junk than you thought it would take. The spinning rod was used to fish the wire from the console to the bow.
10. And 2 hours later here we were. With one seriously bright spotlight mounted on the bow. This thing is pretty awesome. It throws a huge beam, and you can adjust it within the housing to get it just right. TW has them for $180. Expensive for a light, but cheaper than hitting a stump