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jjoojj Profile Photo
Waterfowl Hunting in Southeast Louisiana


For as long as i can remember, i've been using a mudboat for my waterfowl hunting (16 ft fiberglass with a subaru), but im now on the brink of purchasing a surface drive. They are more comfortable and can haul more ppl and equipment. I had my mind set on a gatortail with a center console and was pretty much sold on buying it. Recently, however, one of my friends purchased a prodrive with a center console and i really like it. Was wondering what everyone on here's take is on the difference - pros and cons. Seems the prices are very comparable. Just trying to find what's everyones preference.

November 29, 2013 at 6:43pm
fowlfish Profile Photo
Posted November 29, 2013 at 6:51pm

Gator Tail has instant reverse, Pro Drive takes a little while to turn prop around. Pro Drive has more power in reverse. Gator Tail rigs are typically a little faster rig. I prefer GT. Test run both and decide which suites u best. Its really a matter of preference. U shouldn't be disappointed with either.

• View Reports by fowlfish
diamond18 Profile Photo
Posted November 29, 2013 at 8:57pm
Owner of both

I have owned both a Gatortail and presently a prodrive. To me, I feel like you can't beat a Prodrive. I loved my Gatortail but my Prodrive outperforms big time. A lot of people say Prodrives are slower than gatortails but I don't believe that. If you have it on the right boat they are very quick. I am running 31mph with me and another guy weighing 150lb and this is a completely stock motor on an 18x48 hull. I know a few people with prodrives on the prodrive hull and they top out at 25-26mph so it just all depends on the hull. A lot of people also complain the reverse isn't instant. 10 extra seconds to ratchet the motor around isn't gonna hurt anything. I have the comfort of knowing if I need to put the motor in reverse that FPR is gonna get me out of whatever situation I'm in. Just to tell you how powerful that reverse is, on a frogging trip I pulled five buddies in a 16' boat off a float with no problem that were high and dry and hadn't moved an inch after trying to work their way out for 30 minutes.

• View Reports by diamond18
fowlfish Profile Photo
Posted November 29, 2013 at 9:05pm

Test drive both, and make your own decision. It like the Chevy, Ford argument.

• View Reports by fowlfish
JIMMY W Profile Photo
Posted November 30, 2013 at 6:38am

Owned both and GatorTail will out perform prodrive!GatorTail is faster,Better in mud,Instant reverse,and better in Vegetation!Prodrive will pull a little harder in reverse.Good Luck

• View Reports by JIMMY W
Secret Formula Profile Photo
Posted November 30, 2013 at 8:18am
Surface drives

You'd better take the full power reverse of the ProDrive. That reverse power is what's going to save your arse eventually. Coming from a subaru mud boat I'd expect you to know that

• View Reports by Secret Formula
bluemoons Profile Photo
Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:47pm

Get a Copperhead. Faster than both. Better customer service than both. Their shop is in Covington and they do great work. I've been on the fence for a couple years now and have ran many motors in my decision-making process. I went with Copperhead.

Full power reverse is really not that big of a deal at all, so I wouldn't let that factor into your decision too much.

They're all good motors, but IMO Copperhead performed better than GT, PD, and MB.

• View Reports by bluemoons
JIMMY W Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 7:16am

That's a good one Moon!lol

• View Reports by JIMMY W
bluemoons Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 10:57am
was it a joke?

Didn't realize it was a joke. If you talk to anybody who's serious about surface drives that actually knew they existed before Duck Dynasty came on TV, then they'll tell you the same thing.

MB/GTR/PD are good motors too, but there are better motors out there for cheaper. Just like anything else, you're paying for the brand.

To the OP - Another thing to consider with your boat is how much the motor weighs. When you start adding things like electric trim, FPR, etc., you're adding weight. Something to consider based on what kind of hull you have. You're probably not going to get a lot of good responses here because of all the fanboys. I'd suggest going over to mudmotortalk.com and doing some reading there.

• View Reports by bluemoons
fowlfish Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 11:39am

Copperhead is a decent motor, but it is nowhere near the performance of a GT or PD. Forget about MB, their business is going down the tubes due to the SportV fiasco.

• View Reports by fowlfish
jjoojj Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 12:34pm
Responces Appreciated

I've taken a lot in to consideration and I've narrowed my choices to PD and GT. Which ever i choose, i will be going with the center console model with reverse. I'm leaning towards PD because they sale them right here in houma and also service them there. Also seem to have a little better prices. I have friends who have both and both love each one. Seems that the GT gets a little more speed, but the reverse isn't as good. I have a subaru mudboat and am used to a lot of power in reverse. I will keep my mudboat for frogging and other situations, but will purchase this for hunting and fishing saltwater.

• View Reports by jjoojj
bluemoons Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 2:15pm

If choosing between PD and GT, I would go with ProDrive too. I looked at them before I ordered Copperhead. Just a little bit too much weigh/motor for my needs.

• View Reports by bluemoons
lovetohuntnfish Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 5:23pm
copperhead motor

anyone else have opinions or experience with the copperhead motors?

• View Reports by lovetohuntnfish
bluemoons Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 7:29pm

Their website is www.copperheadmfg.com but hasn't been updated in awhile. They make a 23hp now too. Go check out www.mudmotortalk.com and do a search over there and you can read some about them. Dixie is another good manufacturer. You can email me if you have some questions and I'll answer to the best of my ability. I'm not affiliated with the company in any way though. Just decided that was the motor I wanted after a lot of testing ha.

• View Reports by bluemoons
lovetohuntnfish Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 7:57pm

Thanks I will check them out.

• View Reports by lovetohuntnfish
fowlfish Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 8:14pm

Copperhead is a reliable, proven mud motor for a small light boat and light loads. Dixie has had a lot of product and customer service issues, I would do research before considering them.

• View Reports by fowlfish
bluemoons Profile Photo
Posted December 01, 2013 at 8:57pm

I wasn't going to say so just because I've never had any personal bad experience with Dixie, but like fowl said, I have heard of people having some problems with customer service from Dixie. It's the opposite from Copperhead, and from my limited experience with them I can vouch for how good their customer service is. They really care about their customers and really stand behind their product.

It's like fowl said though - it comes down to your needs. Copperhead's biggest motor right now is a 23hp. That 23hp will outrun PD, GT, or MB on certain boats because the motors are very light and very fast, but when you start talking about bigger and heavier duck boats and larger loads, then your best bet is to go with a bigger motor.

• View Reports by bluemoons
NOLA DUCK Profile Photo
Posted December 02, 2013 at 3:25am
Gator tail

I have a 18x56 gator tail hull for sale. Just down sizing. Boat is in great shape and is a great running boat

• View Reports by NOLA DUCK
lovetohuntnfish Profile Photo
Posted December 02, 2013 at 6:49am
mud motor

i am really wanting to go the light weight and less expensive route.
for boat i'm looking at a 1436 rivited jon with a 12hp copperhead. the boat weights about 130lbs.
would this set up be ok?

• View Reports by lovetohuntnfish
maisweh Profile Photo
Posted December 02, 2013 at 7:09am

i wouldnt ever get a riveted boat. ever. also, for a 23 copperhead or a 25 GT, its about the same price, but the GT is fuel injected. i think for an extra thousand you can get the GT with the reverse. unless copperhead gets reverse and fuel injection, i would get the GT.

• View Reports by maisweh
That guy in the white boots Profile Photo
Posted December 02, 2013 at 7:35am

For a 12 hp a riveted boat won't be a problem. I've got a 1442 and it holds up good. Might wanna go a little wider than 36. Look for a 42. It will fit in the back of my pickup truck, and the motor is so light I can take it off and put it in the boat to keep it weighted down. With out a trailer I can go through some pretty rough terrain very fast. I wouldn't want to unload it at a busy launch because it is a little slower to load it that way. I have a launch at my camp, so it isn't an issue. I have a trailor for the times that I need to go to an improved type public launch and be faster launching it. As far as the OP's question, I like pro-drive. I like the powerful reverse. For the way that I use a boat it is a better option. I need to park on the bank to deer hunt. Ususally through 20 feet of lillies to. The GT won't back up off the bank through that stuff. When I duck hunt, I lke to push the front end of the boat on to the marsh to stabilize it. A GT doesn't back off of that very well either. If you don't encounter issues like that, then buy a GT, cause it's faster.

LGmouthtrout Profile Photo
Posted December 02, 2013 at 12:19pm
Mud Buddy

Mud Buddy by far trim the deepest, when you really need it stuck in mud.

• View Reports by LGmouthtrout
speckle_searcher Profile Photo
Posted December 03, 2013 at 12:39am
Mud Motor

If you like to play in the mud, get a Mud Buddy. But if you just like to hunt and fish like I do,
G.T. is the best.

• View Reports by speckle_searcher
fowlfish Profile Photo
Posted December 03, 2013 at 6:51am

Mud Buddy is garbage and customer service sucks.

• View Reports by fowlfish
maisweh Profile Photo
Posted December 03, 2013 at 6:55am

i can vouch for mud buddy being junk with junk customer service also. problems with ours every year. learn from my mistakes, dont get a mud buddy.

• View Reports by maisweh
Wet-N-nAStY Profile Photo
Posted December 03, 2013 at 7:31am
Mud motor

After hours of research looking for my first surface drive I bought the 25 gator tail with full reverse. And I must say I love it. I have yet to get actually stuck in it. The con to the copper head is the offer no clutch, so the motor is in forward or dead, which could make it tricky if u pick up deeks with your boat, I have out 20 hours on my gator tail no issues at all, the mud buddy has a gimble bearing in it just like the inboard outboard on the ski boats, so if you wanna mess with replacing it or having it break while you trying to enjoy your out door time go with it. I just hit the key and in 20 degree weather my gator tail fires right up. I think Ludwig marine has a few in stock. It's worth the drive!

• View Reports by Wet-N-nAStY
turkeyhunter Profile Photo
Posted December 03, 2013 at 7:32am
Fast ? or Workhorse?

If you want a real work horse , get a Go Devil long shaft and a couple of push poles for reverse. THEY ARE TOUGH. I have had 3 and one surface drive. The longtail will get you there and back and has little maintenance-no gear box to leak and gears to grind up . Get a galvanized frame .
Leave 15 minutes early because they are not as fast.

• View Reports by turkeyhunter
toledo60 Profile Photo
Posted December 04, 2013 at 2:56am
Mud Motors

I have a 2005 model Mud Buddy Hyper with 35 hp vanguard engine, I believe this is the 2nd year model Mud Buddy put out the short shaft. I've been jumping logs and stumps with mine since it was new and have never turned a wrench on it to date, now with 170 +- hours on it. Only adjusted the belt after initial 20 hour break in period. I have it on a 17'10'' gator trax, I Pass most rigs in the area I hunt in. We have mostly hard bottoms so I haven't really seen what it can do in the soft stuff but its pretty tough.....No reverse though.

• View Reports by toledo60
Posted December 04, 2013 at 10:40am
Center Consol on a SD motor

I have been having a PD 36 since 09 and have nothing bad to say about it at all. I have put a stage one mod on it just to get a little bit more load carrying out of it. There customer survice at PD is awsome never had a issue at all. But if it would be me I would for sure get a SD motor with a tiller handle instead of the center consol. If you get stuck in the mud a center consol is a bitch to work the motor to get out. Just my .02

• View Reports by QUACKIN-N-STACKIN
Ridge Rat Profile Photo
Posted December 04, 2013 at 12:26pm

My son recently rigged a 17' skiff with a new 36hp prodrive and it's a beast! I was concerned because a big double bottom skiff is heavier than your typical flat, but it runs at about 35 mph and can 'jump' in little to no water. As for the ratcheting reverse, it's not that much trouble except when you're picking up decoys after the hunt in which case we've learned how to line up and make several straight passes and pick up in no time.

• View Reports by Ridge Rat
lovetohuntnfish Profile Photo
Posted December 05, 2013 at 10:12am
mud motors

thanks for all the tips. safe hunting everyone

• View Reports by lovetohuntnfish
jjoojj Profile Photo
Posted December 08, 2013 at 9:37pm
Tiller Handle

I'm more or less looking for something that is confortable that can haul a lot of people and equipment. My mudboat is great, but i can only ride 2-3 ppl counting myself comfortably. On my lease, there is no concern for me getting stuck in mud - as most of my ponds are very big with lots of open water. The mud is soft and the water doesn't get lower than a foot or so on low tide. My biggest concern is re-building blinds. I have a big lease with lots of blinds and all of them are fitted for 16 foot mudboats - this will be a hastle. After consulting and riding with friends who have both gator tail and pd - i'm pretty sure i'll go with the pd. They have a service center right here in Houma and the reverse has full power. Not real concerned with speed. just looking for comfort.

Thanks for the responces

• View Reports by jjoojj

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