Looking to upgrade my trolling motor. Curious what people recommend or have experience with. I want spot lock for sure and auto deploy would be nice also. Can I get spot lock without having ipilot?
Brand choice will be determined if you intend to link it up with your electronics. If you have Lowrance then go with a Motorguide. If you have humminbirds then go with a Minn Kota. Garmin is obviously Garmin. If in the future you want the option to link a motor with your electronics then look into what offerings those three electronic companies offer and work off of that.
You didn't specify what thrust your looking for but I have a 5 year old minnkota terrova 55 with i pilot. It's perfect for all types of fishing and spot lock is a game changer if you never used spot lock you'll love it i only use the remote and haven't even plugged the foot pedal in. For auto deploy move up to the ulterra but it costs a lot more the terrova is easy to deploy so I didn't get the ulterra. I use to have a transom mount trolling motor and once I got the terrova with I pilot my fishing catch rate went way up due to the spot lock features for jigging and casting and trolling spinner rigs with a remote is way easier.
I have an xi5 and I like it. It has anchor lock as well as other features.
You’re gonna pay a lot of money for a self deploying trolling motor.
Garmin is the way to go.
Another thing that you might want to consider, is connecting your locator to your trolling motor. It's really nice having the two connected by Ethernet.