Here’s another for the Bass Fishing Darwin Awards – the Weedmaster Weedguard. You used to see them on just about every trolling motor in the 70s and even the 80s. The concept was pretty understandable. Keep the weeds away from the prop and you wouldn’t have to clean them off the motor.
But things weren’t that simple.
The problem with running a trolling motor in weeds is that although the weeds wrap around the blade and motor head – rendering it useless – they also accumulate on the trolling motor shaft. Add a big bucket to the head of the troller and you get – even more weeds get hung up on the basket.
Yes, not that many weeds got wrapped in the blade but the mass of them hung up on the Weedguard would, at times, make it nearly impossible for Hulk Hogan and a gang of goons to lift the troller to clean it. Also, with no water flowing to the head from the forward direction, you ability to move was nearly lost. It worked in areas not-so-littered with weeds but take it to a place like Guntersville or Okeechobee and you might as well use an paddle and anchor.
What helped the industry immensely and essentially took this dandy product off the market was Doug Hannon’s weedless prop. Hannon, as usual, looked into the science of propeller design. He looked at the way water moved around a prop and designed one that actually moved weeds away from the prop. Although it doesn’t work 100%, it was far and away a better design than the Weedguard.
The next step in trying to make a trolling motor weedless came from a gentleman I call a friend back in the late 90s or early 2000s. His name is Troy Jens and, as most country bumpkins in the south do, he came up with what was the most ingenious design for ridding trolling motors of weeds. His product, called the Jens-Su, was actually a knife blade that was attached to the head of the trolling motor – the blade positioned just in front of the leading edge of the prop. As weeds accumulated on the prop, they’d be cut by the rotating motion of the prop against the Jens-Su blade. I bought one of the things and installed it before a trip to the California Delta in 2001 and was surprised by its effectiveness. Too bad they aren’t made anymore – hint hint T-Roy.
Because there was a demand for the Jens-Su, on or around the 2009 time frame Mister Twister actually started making a reasonable copy of Troy’s product called “Shear Magic.” What Mister Twister did was make the device so it had two blades – made of plastic – instead of one. I never saw one of these devices in hand and believe that Mister Twister soon discontinued making the product. To me that’s more of a reason for Troy to get off his guitar-pickin’ butt and start making the only product that ever worked to help solve the weed issues on trolling motors.