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Thursday, 23 August 2018 08:30


Fall means a lot of different things for the people here in Michigan, but for Michigan anglers it really only means one thing. They finally get to fish the annual Salmon and Steelhead push as they make their way up our many streams and rivers. To be successful landing these powerful fish not only takes skill but a special set of tools. One of the most important pieces of equipment needed by river anglers would be a flat bottom stacked with a two or four stroke jet drive outboard.  Vans Sport Center is a certified dealer for all of the top brand names in the marine industry, we know our jets and what river fisherman demand in a shallow water outboard.

If your looking to repower your sled this fall there are plenty of options out there. Almost all of the top brand name manufacturers offer a factory jet drive outboard in multiple horsepower sizes. In the event that a factory jett is not offered, you can still have one made by Outboard Jets over on the west coast. Outboard Jets build every jet pump that is used on a factory jet drive outboard.  If you wanted to convert an outboard to a jet, you could purchase a pump directly from Outboard Jets.  Choosing to go this route, don't expect to see it the next week. They built them as they are ordered and with their backlog it can take months to finally see it shipped to your door. So if you do it this way, I would suggest doing it in the spring or early summer so that you will have it before fall hits.

Mercury is well know for their full line of propeller driven outboard motors, but they also have a strong jet drive game as well. Within their jet drive line-up, they have a manual (25MLHGA) and electric start (25ELHGA) tiller steer 25hp, a remote 35hp (35ELPT), a 60/40hp remote (40ELPT), 90/65hp remote (65ELPT), and a 115/80hp remote steer (80ELPT). If you want one of the larger horsepower models to have a tiller, you can install Mercury's Big Tiller Handle which is a larger, beefier handle that features a shifter right behind the throttle grip, a RPM control switch, and a tilt and trim button conveniently positioned at the end of the handle by your thumb.

40hp JetYamaha is one of the leading names in the marine industry so it should be no surprise that they offer a full line of jet drive outboard motors. Their line of jets range from the tiller steer (F40JEHA) and remote steer (F40JEA) 40/30hp to the big daddy 150/105hp (F40JEHA). In between the 40/30 and 150/105 horsepower models they also offer a 60/40hp remote steer (F60JB), a 90/65hp (F90JB), and a 115/80hp (F115JB), all of which are remote steer motors. The only factory tiller that Yamaha offers is the electric start, gas assist tilt F40JEHA. If your rig is set up for a tiller but you need one in a larger horsepower, you will have to buy the handle separate and either have a dealer install it or do it yourself.

Although we have been jetting out Evinrude ETEC's for years, they just started making a factory jet drive only a few years ago. Evinrudes lineup doesn't have as many options as Mercury or Yamaha, but they do have the horsepowers that count such as a 60/40hp remote steer (E40DPJL), 90/60hp remote steer (E60DPJL), and a 150/105hp remote steer (E105DJL). Like the other manufacturers, Evinrude does not offer a tiller handle model straight from the factory so if your looking to go this route you will have to buy one separate.

Suzuki is the only manufacture right now that is not making a factory jet but I have a feeling that it wont be long before the start making them. Even though they don't have a factory jet we still covert a ton of these into a jet drive. One of the popular horsepowers that jet out for customers would have to be their 140hp (DF140ATL2) due to its power to weight ratio compared to their 150hp. Like I said earlier you have to buy a jet pump straight from Outboard Jets and they usually take a minute to build one for you. If you are thinking about going with a Suzuki make sure give yourself plenty of time before you receive the pump and get it installed before fishing season.

Being that we are located on the west side of Michigan, we sell a lot of jet drives and have years of experience working with river fishermen and their needs. We know the products and we know what our anglers demand. So if your fixing to upgrade your sled this year, stop in and pick our brains a little. We will layout your options but chances are after talking to you, we already know what motor is the right one for your application.

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