From a fresh water guy in California:
My 1992 boat came equipped with bow-mount trolling motor with a foot/cable control. It had a metal shaft that bent when it hit a rock. The motor direction was unstable, requiring constant "foot attention." Pure junk.
Unsatisfied, I purchased trolling motor #2, still a foot/cable system. Pure junk
Then I purchased #3, a MinnKota with an electronic foot control connected by wire to the trolling motor. I didn't trust the radio remote, and chose the wire connection--mistake. The foot control was unreliable, the wire connections intermittent. The unit had a magnetic compass/autopilot that had great promise, if only the foot control worked. The unit has a graphite-epoxy composite shaft that is indestructible.
Wandering through Scheel's Sporting Goods store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, three years ago, I spotted a radio remote for my MinnKota. It replaced the foot/wire system with a unit that straps to your wrist like a watch. It is superb, reliable, the first bow mount trolling motor worthy of being installed on my boat.