Avid Fisherman, Cole Blythe, Explains Switching to Lithium and How His Tournament Game Has Changed Ever Since

Posted June 04, 2020

Angler Cole Blythe upgraded from lead-acid to RELiON lithium batteries two years ago for bass fishing tournaments and he hasn’t looked back since. He has competed in the Bassmaster Open Series in 2017 and 2018 and has fished the FLW BFLs and local team events in his area. We virtually caught up with Cole to discuss his experience with lithium batteries over the last few years.

Tell me a little about yourself and your fishing background?

CB: “I've always had an extreme passion for the outdoors, whether it’s hunting or fishing. We live out in the country and are surrounded by a bunch of ponds. And as a kid, you know, you always assumed if you got a bite in the middle of the pond, it was gonna be a bigger fish and close to the bank. And then I got a little metal boat and we were 10, 11, 12 years old, driving that little metal boat around the pond and playing baseball and football growing up... that consumed a lot of my time. And then that's when college fishing really absorbed me and more serious tournament fishing started for me.”

Which RELiON battery do you use and for what?

CB: “I use a total of four lithium batteries, three RB100s and one RB100-HP. And all four of these are in my tournament rig bass boat in a Falcon F205. One of them is for my cranking battery, the RB100-HP, and the other three are for a 36V trolling motor.”

RELiON Batteries

Why did you decide to switch to lithium batteries? Did you have any negative experiences with lead-acid batteries that prompted the switch?

CB: “Oh, yes. For a tournament, we can't make it anywhere without good batteries or what runs the trolling motor. And without a motor, we're stuck dead in water. Before lithium, it was lead-acid so I just went through many batteries over a long period of time and didn't know where my power problem was coming from. And that has been the most amazing experience when I switched over to RELiON. I've been running them for, I guess about two years now, and there's literally no doubt in my mind that I am not getting enough power from the battery. This is one thing that I can completely write off the list and not have to worry about while I'm out there fishing. I'm going to have enough power for the day. There's plenty enough stuff to worry about when you're traveling long distance down the road or fishing with lot of money is on the line. And not having to worry about those batteries is amazing.”

Why did you decide to choose RELiON lithium batteries specifically?

CB: “One reason was a good friend of mine, Patrick Walters. But the main reason I really liked RELiON is that with lithium batteries being fairly new, a lot of your competitors, where I'm using four batteries would only be using two batteries. Well, that battery is two or three times the price of a single battery because it's taken place of all three. But what I liked about RELiON is if I were to have an emergency situation where I had a problem with one, I can go to Wal-Mart or wherever is close by when I'm out of town and get a regular lead-acid battery and run that battery in line with my other. Unless you're a full-time pro, an Angler normally can't afford to have two 36V batteries where they had one foot back. So, if you're out there in the water and worse comes to worse and you have a problem with that one, 36V battery, you're done.”

Cole Blythe Fishing

How has your experience with lithium batteries been different since installation? What benefits have you noticed?

CB: “When I fish all day, I get back to the hotel or the place we're staying, or my shop and my batteries are fully charged within usually an hour or two at the most. If you stay at a hotel when there's a big tournament going on there's 20 or 30 boats in a parking lot. They overload the breakers. All of a sudden, the breakers cut off in the middle of the night and you wake up and you have a half a charge or three quarter charge on your lead-acid because they didn't get a chance to charge right out.”

Since using our batteries, has there ever been a time specifically when you were grateful you had switched to lithium?

CB: “There's two parts to Lithium's - the worst day of your life and the best day of your life. The worst day of your life is when you write the check to pay for it. The best day of your life is every other day after that. I don't push a lot of products and I don't push stuff that I don't like but these batteries have been something that had really changed fishing for me and something that I extremely believe in. It's just been all around an amazing experience. And one more important benefit to lithium is I have a lot of guys that get in my boat and we all know 70, 80 percent of us run the same trolling motor. So, a motor speed is one through 10. And when guys get in my boat the average speed that you run is five or six and they say mine runs equivalent to theirs on like level eight or nine because of how much power I'm getting. It's a lot faster.”

In your opinion, what’s the most important advantage with lithium?

CB: “I guess if I really wanted to pick one, it's just the amount of power and how quickly it’s back at full charge. The reason I'm back at the full charge is because the batteries have so much power that I'm not drawing them down that much in a 10-hour day.”

Cole Blythe RELiON batteries

What would you tell a fellow angler thinking about switching to lithium batteries?

CB: “It's worth the money.”

Your hometown is Charlotte, NC and RELiON is based in Charlotte. What’s your favorite part of living in the “Queen City”?

CB: “Probably the access to all the good food. Also, you literally have access to a little bit everything, whether it be lakes, you know, the beach mountains, everything's within a reasonable distance.”

Interested in switching to lithium in your bass boat? Check out our line of lithium batteries and make the change today. Unsure what batteries are right for you? Contact us and we'll help determine the perfect set-up for your needs. Keep up with Cole's fishing journey on Instagram at @coleblythefishing.