Over the past three decades, lithium battery prices have fallen by 98 percent. At the same time, anglers are looking for more power and longer lasting battery capacity to reliably power more advanced technology – from fish finders to motors. However, the battery market has become increasingly saturated, with batteries from overseas making a wide range of claims. In order to break through the noise on battery technology, we spoke with pro anglers, Andrew Upshaw from Let’s Fish TV and Matt Becker. Upshaw and Becker are experts in their field and know precisely what a battery system needs to help them succeed. They have provided their insights below on how to select the best battery for fishing without breaking the bank.
What would you say are the top features to look for when it comes to a fishing battery?
Upshaw: “A few things I look for when searching for the right battery are whether the battery will maintain a charge throughout the entire day. When I’m trolling around looking for bass, the reliability of a good battery is crucial to my success. A bad battery means a bad day.”
Becker: “Number one – durability. We really put our equipment to the test, and I need a battery that can withstand it all. Number two – power. You need a battery with enough power to last all day long, no matter how much you need to use it.”
Do you generally recommend lithium or lead acid batteries?
Upshaw: “Throughout my career I have used a combination of lead acid and AGM batteries. Every single one of those years I had to replace at least one or two batteries, no questions asked. I made the switch last season to RELiON batteries and honestly it’s been one of the biggest career moves I’ve ever made. I absolutely never doubt if my battery can withhold the test. I am beyond confident in them now. Since making the switch to RELiON lithium batteries, I always tell people that lithium is totally worth the upfront investment, particularly as you will save money long-term with lithium by replacing the batteries 5 to 10 times less often compared to lead acid.”
Becker: “There are many benefits to lithium, including much faster charging, lighter weight and more cycles, but the biggest reason I made the switch is having 100% power for the entire life of the cycle. For instance, I can leave my trolling motor on speed 4, and get the same performance when the battery is at 99% or 1% life remaining. It’s truly incredible. For all of these reasons, I always recommend lithium over any type of lead acid battery.”
How important is a battery manufacturer’s reputation for reliability & company history to you when choosing a fishing battery?
Upshaw: “To me, reputation is everything. I have a lot of the same sponsors I started my fishing career with. The reason for this is that they are honorable companies that have great reputations and always put the customer first.”
Becker: “Extremely important. There are plenty of horror stories about batteries, so I only ever want to use a manufacturer with a solid reputation. If I chose a manufacturer with a poor reputation, I’d be putting my own reputation at stake; I’ve seen many anglers take risks on battery companies only to end up completely regretting it in the end.”
How did you first hear about RELiON batteries & why did you decide to choose RELiON?
Upshaw: “I heard about RELiON from some friends at Lowrance. They told me about how great they were. I can honestly say that everything they told me about the batteries were 100% true, and I am so thankful I did take the leap.”
Becker: “I saw a fellow pro angler using them and after some research on the product and the company, I knew I wanted to run, not walk, to RELiON. I haven’t looked back since.”
Why did you choose the RB36V40 battery?
Upshaw: “I wanted to cut down on space and weight and the RB36V40 allows me to do that and more. I was skeptical at first, not going to lie. I mean, one battery? I didn’t think it was possible to have just one battery operate so much! But all that worry is out the window. I’ve used it all day long, day after day, and it is beyond reliable. It’s really impressive to me that RELiON designed and engineered the RB36V40 to offer 20% greater capacity than its tried and true RB100 battery, which I had already had a stellar experience with. One time I even realized while out on the water that I hadn’t charged the battery in two days, but still had no issues.”
Becker: “I wanted to have a separate, reliable and long-lasting 36V system to run my trolling motor. I had also read about the 36V40 being very simple to install because it offers parallel wiring and improved connectors. For example, if you want more power from your 12 volt battery by increasing the voltage, but you do not have a battery that can be wired in parallel, you would need to wire in series, which makes for a much more complicated installation process. You don’t have to deal with these headaches with the 36V40 due to the parallel wiring capabilities.”
If you have any questions about how to select the optimal battery fishing, get in touch with an expert at RELiON.