Updated: Apr 30, 2020
**Discount code at the end**
Lithium batteries are gaining momentum in the bass fishing world and as the price of these batteries continue to drop, I believe they will become the industry standard over time. Lithium batteries have some serious advantages for bass boats like; no drop in power from fading batteries, they deliver full power until they shut off (I know some of you just cringed, but we’ll get to this in a bit). Quick charge; I haven’t timed the charge time of my Ionic Litihum Deep Cycle 12V50-EP yet, but it can’t be more than a few hours with my Minn Kota Precision MK 460 PC which is a 4 bank 15 amp/bank charger. In addition to other advantages like an app to see your battery life, the smaller profile of the battery itself, 3000-5000 cycles, the biggest advantage is the weight savings compared to an AGM or Lead-Acid batteries. Weight translates into more fuel consumption so taking weight out of your boat not only means a faster time to get on pad, faster top end, but you’ll burn less fuel, and ultimately save money.
I’ve always been one to just buy deep cycle marine batteries at Costco for about $100 each out the door, run then for 2 years, and then replace them. So what changed my mind to drop a lot of money on lithium trolling motor batteries? For me, it was weight savings…I know, I know, my boat (Allison XB21 2+2) is already light! I wanted to run a bigger prop and was having difficulties getting on pad when I went higher that a 26 pitch prop and I felt losing 100lbs in the rear would do the trick.
I started my research, which went on for about a year and half before I ultimately pulled the trigger. I read everything I could find on which batteries were “the best”, to speaking with a few manufactures. Everything I read on social media said you needed 100Ah batteries so I kept going back and forth from 3 12v’s to one or two 36v batteries, but every time I added them to the cart it was over $3,000 so I closed the browser. $3000 is a really big investment and you have to weigh the pro's and con's to see if that's right for your situation. Then I started to see a few of my friends posting about their new Ionic lithium batteries which I hadn’t heard of before. I went on their website Lithiumhub.com and the 1st battery that popped up was the 12v 50Ah and it was on sale in November with a discount code for $435 each…….that really caught my eye. I went back to see who posted about these batteries and spoke with 3 different people who are all running three 12v 50Ah Ionic Lithuim Batteries. They were all happy with them AND have not yet ran them down on the water yet! At the $435 price point I paid, that puts them a little more than high end AGM batteries like the Optima Bluetop D31M at $330 each. The next logical question is, are these batteries worth the extra $105 each? The Ionic Litihum Deep Cycle 12V50-EP are about half the size of a some group 31 batteries and only weighs 14.3lbs, compared to the Optima Bluetop D31M that weighs 59.8lbs. That’s a 45.5lbs difference per battery or 136.6lbs total weight saving for three batteries, that’s a big savings! For the Costco batteries I was running it was just over 100lbs savings for me. I pulled the trigger and bought 3 in November 2019!
How have they performed?
I couldn’t be happier with my purchase! I had to move some weight around in my boat because I had my boat dialed in with an extra 100lbs on the passenger side and the boat would lean on the driver’s side. Quick fix and my new hole shot was drastically better! I was able to run a 27P Promax prop, but haven’t had a chance to test it with 2 people and a full livewell to see if I can run it in a tournament. These batteries are so small that I saved a lot of room in the compartment I have them in, so that’s awesome too.
I’m sure the biggest question you have right now is are the 50Ah batteries enough? We’ll the answer is emphatically YES and it get’s better! I’ve fished 3 tournaments with the 3 12v 50Ah batteries and haven’t even come close to running them down!
As I mentioned in my last article about the Lowrance Ghost trolling motor, I had an issue that turned out to be my charger. Being that the batteries were new my 1st thought was that it was the battery, so I called Lithium Hub and spoke with Martin and he said it's highly unlikely it's the battery and more likely it's the charger, but without questioning it further they sent me a new battery and a return slip. You can’t beat customer service like that! Once I received my new battery I called back to see what the results of the test on the battery I sent back and he said; “you’re not going to like this; but the battery is fine, it was just run down.” Then they had me hook my new battery up and test the volts/amp coming out of my charger and sure enough it was, as they thought, the charger. One bank died and therefore I ran that one battery all they down. When you run a lithium battery all the way down it goes into sleep mode and you have to "wake it up".
It’s important to buy a good battery, but it’s just as important to buy one with great customer service. Things happen and you want to know whatever company you buy from will stand behind their product and take care of you! I give Lithium Hub an A+ on product and customer service so far!
Since the bank went out on my charger I switched my Lowrance Ghost TM to 24v and to my surprise, I still can't run these batteries down!
Most lithium batteries come with warranties up to 10 years! The Ionics batteries come with a 5 year warranty and 30 day return policy.
Lithium batteries won’t be for everyone solely based on the price. For a lot of boats the $100/ea battery option like I was doing was perfectly fine. For serious tournament anglers, I think it’s more a matter of when vs. if you’re going to upgrade. The quick charge, ability to see your battery life on the app, full power throughout, longer lifespan, and lighter weight makes the investment worth it in my opinion. If you're running the Lowrance Ghost or the Garmin Force TM you could test the 24v system first and see if you need the 3rd battery, that's a great way to reap the benefits at less than the cost of one 100Ah lithium battery.
I informed Lithium Hub that I was writing an article and will be including their batteries and asked if they would like to include a discount for my readers and they said yes!