Arizona Crappie Association

Fishing and Dock Talk => Crappie Gear => Topic started by: OneBlade on August 15, 2013, 05:17 PM

Title: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: OneBlade on August 15, 2013, 05:17 PM
Need to buy a couple trolling motor batteries.  I was wondering if anyone had opinion on brands and where to buy them.  I've done Wal-Mart brand before for deep cycle. Had some Deka before but not sure who sells them now.   Optima red top is what I have now and told that's pretty good - although getting it tested as I don't know how old it is.  Was thinking of just getting 2 deep cycle larger size (27 or 31) Bass Pro brand as I'm getting trolling motor there as well but realize might be overpriced there.  Suggestions?
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: cousinlll on August 15, 2013, 06:00 PM
First of all Matt, check your outboard motors owners manual as some motors (like my Optimax) have required minimum battery specs for your house/starting battery.  For this battery I'd suggest either a group size 29 or 31 but certainly not smaller than a group 27.  Depending on what group size is currently installed in your boat, you may or may not need to change out the battery tray(s).

As for your TM, make sure it's a marine deep cycle & designed for TM use.

Brands are like the Ford vs Chevy debate.  Go with the best battery your budget allows.  Some say the biggest bang for the buck are the Walmart EverStart Maxx group 29 size.  Interstate Batteries have been working good for me & is what came in my boat in a group size 27.  I have read that the Sears DieHard Platinum marine batteries are good but are $$.  I put an Autozone Duralast marine battery in my little tin boat & has been working good.

So my thoughts are, get the proper battery for the application in a larger group size with finding the brand that works for you.....

Oh, and whether it's Sears, Batteries Plus, Costco or your local Interstate dealer I'd buy close to the house as you'll be visiting the store again in +/- 3 years..... :greengrin:

LLL
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: sandman on August 15, 2013, 07:06 PM
I've had great luck with the WalMart Everstart Maxx line of batteries a couple have lasted 5 yrs and one lasted 7 yrs. Just make sure that they are fully charged after each trip.

I have also used the Optima Blue Tops for the trolling motor and they work well. Best bang for the buck has to be the WalMart though.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: timbo on August 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
I think you can go wrong with the Walmart batteries. I have a troll motor one that 5yrs old
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: IAMMAC on August 15, 2013, 09:56 PM
+1000 on the Wal-Mart Batteries. 

I have had the set that I have now for 4+ years and have not had a problem.  They are cheaper than most other batteries and hold a charge well.  Never had them go dead on me at the lake no matter how much I used them.  Put them ont he charger as soon as I get home and charger them back up.  Then the night before a trip I plug them in and they are GTG.  I have my son charging them once a week for me while I am here in Afghanistan.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: Fish Hawk on August 16, 2013, 08:43 AM
also check battery's plus. I have a group 31 from them and prices are pretty good.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: sparkchaser on August 16, 2013, 08:59 AM
Yea I have to agree with the Wally World brand batteries. If you keep them maintained with water and charge them regularly, they seem to be the best bang for the buck.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: ArZFisher on August 16, 2013, 09:14 AM
Blue tops are the way to go. I run two optima blues on my boat. I also hook them parallel so I don't have to ever change batteries on water. I run a red top in my truck has well. Blues are made for a abuse you take traveling on lake. A blue top is made for starting/trolling. I have also found that the optima's are usually 5-10 lbs lighter than other batteries. I have used batteries from Walmart and nothing has lasted has long has my blues. I am still running the same blues I bought from 4 years ago with no problems.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: OneBlade on August 16, 2013, 12:12 PM
My boat came with a red for the starter.  Reading online it says if you're going to let the red get drained at all then go the blue.  Red is just starting and minimal to no drain.  Blues also are advertised more for boat and rough use.  I'm going to get the red I got with the boat tested but I don't know how old it is.  Only way you know your starter battery is dead is it doesn't start while on the water.  Optimas are a lot more expensive and might be able to get two Wal-mart starters over 3-5 years vs one optima.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: cousinlll on August 16, 2013, 12:53 PM
Unless you get a seperate battery for this, dont forget that your start/house battery will be the power source for all current & future electronics, livewell & bilge  pumps, nav lights, aerator & any other future things you plan on installing.......
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: OneBlade on August 16, 2013, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the info.  Got the Marine Maxx DC29 and took two stores to find them. Wish Wal-Mart had someone in charge of stocking things properly.  Didn't get a starter as autozone says my starter Optima is o.k.   Would feel better with nice new one I know history of but will stick with this one until I hear it starting slow.  I need a real battery tester that puts a load on the battery to see if it can handle it.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: sparkchaser on August 17, 2013, 05:38 AM
Matt, I had a red top in my other boat for the 6 years I had it. Never failed me once, but I didn't have much drawing off of it like I will in the new boat. I had 2 simple fish finders, and never fished at night in it using nav lights, ect... I'm pretty sure when you took it in they put a load on it and checked the cranking amps. Usually you can get a printout of the results.
BTW, had the same problem with those same batteries about a month ago. Had to go to 3 stores to find them.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: Fishless on August 17, 2013, 07:49 AM
only thing about walmart batteries is they dropped their warranty down from 5 years to 2 years and pro rated after just the one year if I remember right. Those optimas are great batteries but boy they weigh a ton! good luck
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: ArZFisher on August 17, 2013, 09:15 AM
Those optimas are great batteries but boy they weigh a ton! good luck

If you go and check the specs between a optima and a ever start you will find that the optima's weigh less. The optima(bluetop) depending on which one you get weighs 46 lbs. Ever starts from walmart 61 lbs. those numbers I tripled checked. Also another great things about a optima is totally sealed. No filling no spilling no hassle kinda batteries.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: Fishless on August 18, 2013, 05:49 AM
Those optimas are great batteries but boy they weigh a ton! good luck

If you go and check the specs between a optima and a ever start you will find that the optima's weigh less. The optima(bluetop) depending on which one you get weighs 46 lbs. Ever starts from walmart 61 lbs. those numbers I tripled checked. Also another great things about a optima is totally sealed. No filling no spilling no hassle kinda batteries.

interesting didn't realize that :o, thanks

you been chasing the crappie at night at bartlett at all?
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: OneBlade on August 18, 2013, 06:53 AM
Matt, I had a red top in my other boat for the 6 years I had it. Never failed me once, but I didn't have much drawing off of it like I will in the new boat. I had 2 simple fish finders, and never fished at night in it using nav lights, ect... I'm pretty sure when you took it in they put a load on it and checked the cranking amps. Usually you can get a printout of the results.
BTW, had the same problem with those same batteries about a month ago. Had to go to 3 stores to find them.
Autozone said the red top Optima is fine under a load.... but he said it needed a charge.  Huh, I just charged it for a day and my charger (Battery Tender) said it was fully charged.  :icon_scratch:  I plan to get a group 29 or 31 starter once the Optima dies.  Just wish I didn't have to wait until I'm out on the lake to find out the Optima can't start my boat.  I'm guessing it'll start at the dock and then not when in the middle of the lake.  Could get backup battery just to run as electronics and graduate to be starter once Optima dies but seems excessive to have 4 batteries in the boat.  Looking at the Mercury website for my 125hp 2-stroke, it says I only need 525MCA or 450CCA.  Way lower than I expected - those Optimax's require double that:
http://www.mercurymarine.com/service-and-support/storage-and-maintenance/faqs/outboards/?category=electrical

It appears as though my trolling motor Marine Maxx 29DC can handle that if I need a jump on the lake.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: Piscolli on August 18, 2013, 08:11 AM
two words: blue top
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: ArZFisher on August 18, 2013, 08:47 AM
Those optimas are great batteries but boy they weigh a ton! good luck

If you go and check the specs between a optima and a ever start you will find that the optima's weigh less. The optima(bluetop) depending on which one you get weighs 46 lbs. Ever starts from walmart 61 lbs. those numbers I tripled checked. Also another great things about a optima is totally sealed. No filling no spilling no hassle kinda batteries.

interesting didn't realize that :o, thanks

you been chasing the crappie at night at bartlett at all?

No I have not been out in two weeks. With all the wind we have had lately makes it difficult to get out in my lil boat.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: Fishless on August 18, 2013, 05:27 PM
Matt, I had a red top in my other boat for the 6 years I had it. Never failed me once, but I didn't have much drawing off of it like I will in the new boat. I had 2 simple fish finders, and never fished at night in it using nav lights, ect... I'm pretty sure when you took it in they put a load on it and checked the cranking amps. Usually you can get a printout of the results.
BTW, had the same problem with those same batteries about a month ago. Had to go to 3 stores to find them.
Autozone said the red top Optima is fine under a load.... but he said it needed a charge.  Huh, I just charged it for a day and my charger (Battery Tender) said it was fully charged.  :icon_scratch:  I plan to get a group 29 or 31 starter once the Optima dies.  Just wish I didn't have to wait until I'm out on the lake to find out the Optima can't start my boat.  I'm guessing it'll start at the dock and then not when in the middle of the lake.  Could get backup battery just to run as electronics and graduate to be starter once Optima dies but seems excessive to have 4 batteries in the boat.  Looking at the Mercury website for my 125hp 2-stroke, it says I only need 525MCA or 450CCA.  Way lower than I expected - those Optimax's require double that:
http://www.mercurymarine.com/service-and-support/storage-and-maintenance/faqs/outboards/?category=electrical

It appears as though my trolling motor Marine Maxx 29DC can handle that if I need a jump on the lake.

yup jumper cables in a compartment come in handy, I carry a quick jump battery unit in my boat. Remember Matt on the starting battery more is better as your night lights, livewells, graph in some cases and cigarette lighter if you use a night submersible plugged into it and other items run off the starting battery I fished for stripers one night at pleasant for hours and connected to the starting battery with connectors and when we went to leave the boat engine turned over slowly but thankfully caught and started.

Billy maybe I will paint one of my batteries blue on the top will that help :laugh: ;D :bootyshake:
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: wadefisherman on August 18, 2013, 09:01 PM
Getting close to 4 yrs on my blue tops, still going strong. Had to change the starter optima, only got 3 yrs out of it. Changed out with the larger class blue top, it was $208 at SAMs club. They are a little higher now but they are about 15% higher capacity than the other blue top. Eventually they will all be swapped out with the higher capacity blue top.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: sparkchaser on August 19, 2013, 05:03 AM
Matt, another thing to consider in all of this is your on board charger. Make sure you get batteries that can be charged correctly by your charger. There are some good forums out there on crappie.com, and walleye central reguarding this.
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: IAMMAC on August 20, 2013, 04:20 AM
Like Bruce, I ALWAYS carry a quick jump battery box and cables on every trip!
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: OneBlade on August 20, 2013, 06:34 AM
Like Bruce, I ALWAYS carry a quick jump battery box and cables on every trip!
I have the cables and to Marine Maxx trolling motor batteries.  I would think with a barely dead Optima jumped to one of those Marine Maxx's I'd be fine.  Those battery boxes cost about as much as another battery.  I may end up just getting a 2nd battery in the back for electronics and stuff.  If I do that so my starter only is for starting, can I assume my 2003 Mercury 125 will have enough generator to always charge my starter?  I only have a 3 bank charger and with 4 batteries either the starter stays out or maybe I can run starter and electronics in parallel?
Title: Re: Batteries - Best Brands and Stores That Sell Them
Post by: ArZFisher on August 20, 2013, 08:26 AM
Like Bruce, I ALWAYS carry a quick jump battery box and cables on every trip!
I have the cables and to Marine Maxx trolling motor batteries.  I would think with a barely dead Optima jumped to one of those Marine Maxx's I'd be fine.  Those battery boxes cost about as much as another battery.  I may end up just getting a 2nd battery in the back for electronics and stuff.  If I do that so my starter only is for starting, can I assume my 2003 Mercury 125 will have enough generator to always charge my starter?  I only have a 3 bank charger and with 4 batteries either the starter stays out or maybe I can run starter and electronics in parallel?

I have not charged my starting battery since I put in boat. I am only running a 9.8 hp so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But I'm pretty sure you won't have any issues unless u gots a short some where drawing power.  I run/charge my trolling batteries paralleled up. I have gone out for 12 hrs night fishing running my trolling motor, nav lights, fish finder, live well, drop lights, KC off road  lights, led interior lights and can run all night on two fully charged blue tops. I do run a ever start for my stater battery. If you carry some simple tools and you are able to access your batteries fairly easy you can always swap a battery around so your able to get off water. I have had to do this before.

I did have some issues in the past with losing my charge in the middle of night but I changed some things to improve my battery life. Live well timers are a good thing to have. I have been trying to change all lights out to LEDs. I also turn my fish finder back light down has well. I just try to remember that the more I conserve the longer I can stay.