Fishing is a hobby for some and a profession for others. It requires great skill and is worthwhile only if you’re patient. You need to spend a long time out there on the waterbody to get a good catch. Sometimes, things don’t turn out lucky.
But, instead of giving it up, one must persist. With the right equipment and gear, fishing can be a lot of fun. It’s not only the rod, reel, and bait you need to attend to. The best trolling motor that you have mounted on your boat has a great impact on your catch.
This is where a powerful electric trolling motor comes in. It can make a world of difference in your performance on the water. This is especially true if you love kayaking or canoe fishing. You need absolute control over your position and speed, without scaring away your intended catch.
With a trolling motor on your vessel, gliding on the water makes no sound as opposed to an outboard trolling motor. Also, you can maintain a steady position on the water, even during currents.
For the obvious reasons, you can have a more fulfilling fishing trip if you have the top quality trolling motor mounted on your vessel. Without more ado, let’s get into our detailed guide.
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Things To Consider Before Buying A Trolling Motor
In order to get the most from your fishing endeavors, it’s essential to have the right equipment. And we’re not talking about fishing rods here. A fishing boat that’s fitted with the right trolling motor will make or break your performance in the waters.
Read on to find out which factors should be considered before you invest in a good trolling motor.
First of all, you must decide where you want to place your trolling motor. There are three different parts of the boat where this can be mounted.
Bow motors are placed at the front of the boat using a bolt-on bracket. These are best for boats that cross 14 feet because of the increased speed and control. Such motors pull the boat through the water, resulting in greater maneuverability.
On the other hand, transom motors are placed at the back of the boat with the help of a clamp-on bracket. It’s suitable for any type of a vessel, although it’s the recommended trolling motor for kayaks, canoes and smaller boats.
If you’re fishing in rough climates and need a good positioning of your boat, then a transom motor is the appropriate trolling motor for small boats.
Alternately, you can place your trolling engine in the cavity for your outboard or inboard motor. Such an engine motor creates more space on the deck and needs no stowing away.
Thrust refers to how powerful the trolling machine is. The amount of thrust you need is directly proportional to the weight of your boat. You may remember the thumb rule when in search of the best trolling motors – you need 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of the boat weight, including gear and people.
General rules regarding thrust power are that you need 30 pounds to operate a boat under 12 feet and 101 pounds if the boat is 22 feet or more.
With a higher thrust power, you’ll be better able to steer your vessel. Plus, an extra thrust goes a long way. Especially if you plan to fish in a tough environment where the winds run high and currents tend to be strong.
Length Of The Shaft
The amount of control you have over your boat depends on the length or size of the shaft. You must strike a middle path by choosing one that’s neither too short nor too long.
A long shaft will trouble you if you’re fishing in shallow waters. A short one will not be submerged if the fishing conditions are not favorable. For a safe fishing trip, choose a size that’s the right one for your boat.
How to choose the correct size of the shaft? Well, measure the height of the bow or the stern of your vessel. Boats that have a deep V need a longer shaft. Canoes and kayaks need shafts of a shorter length.
As a thumb rule, the top of the motor should be submerged by 12 inches. For bow-mount motors, you need to calculate the length of the shaft. Measure the horizontal distance from the mounting point on the bow to the waterline. Now add 20 inches to this measurement.
The shaft length should be at least equal to the sum, if not greater. Don’t go for a shaft length that measures less than the sum.
Shafts for transom motors are standardized.
Batteries And Voltage
Electric trolling motors use one, two, or three batteries respectively to produce 12-, 24- and 36 voltage.
With a 12-voltage battery, you won’t be able to fish for a long time. Although it’s the easiest to operate, it won’t give you enough thrust for a smoother experience.
12-volt batteries are good for boats measuring 16 feet or less. This will ensure your boat runs smoothly even though you may face some inclement conditions. For larger vessels, choose the other options of batteries.
Hand Or Foot Control Motor
Depending on the size of your boat and the way you want to cruise, pick either a hand or a foot-controlled motor.
Foot control motors are great for novices as these are simpler to operate. Your hands are free to do other tasks. However, if the vessel is carrying many people, foot control motors can create clutter. Moreover, it takes a while to get response from such motors.
If you are using a hand control motor, you’ll get a better real-time response. Also, it allows better control over your movements. These motors are recommended for use when there are multiple people on board. You will find your vessel clutter-free with a hand control motor.
A hand control motor should be used by advanced users. That’s because it is controlled from the bow. Controlling like that poses to be a little difficult because your hand is not always on the rod for steering.
The battery indicator on your trolling motor shows you how much power is left in the batteries. These indicators are usually found at the head of the motor. Make sure your trolling motor has a power indicator so that you know if it needs to be charged before heading out.
Saltwater Or Freshwater Fishing
If you’re planning to fish in saltwater, you must get a trolling motor that is made of corrosion-resistant materials. That’s because salt can “eat away” at metals that are not protected. Hence, saltwater trolling motors use steel to keep away corrosion.
Moreover, marine-grade plastic is used as seals to cover and protect small electronic parts. Something called a “sacrificial anode” made from zinc is used to protect the metal parts within the motor.
However, the top quality electric trolling motors can be used both in freshwater and saltwater.
Our Top 15 Best Trolling Motor Reviews For 2021
1. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor
Hailing from the house of Minn Kota, Endura offers transom mount trolling motors with features to die for. It’s the perfect motor for a boat of size 14 feet or less.
The 180-degree rotation feature on its directional indicator allows you to lift and rotate it. You get the awesome advantage of back trolling in an instant. The shaft is stronger than steel and is anti-corrosion and unbreakable.
If you want to put less effort to get a great steering response, just rotate the bottom unit by 180 degrees. You can do this by moving the tiller by 45 degrees. You will feel the response from your steering. Plus, you get easier control as the trolling motor is not in the way of your kicker or outboard motor.
To get you to stay out on the waterbody for longer, a single battery charge results in 5 times longer run time. You can vary the speed on this trolling machine by keying in the exact speed you want. Get only the amount of power you want. The outcome: your battery conserves the power to run for a full day.
This product has the silent and cool power that’s desired by all anglers. The commutators and extra-large windings help to give out heat, thereby keeping the motor cool. This also extends the life of the battery and ultimately results in durability.
With a unique bearing system, there’s minimal friction, resulting in an environment where the fish won’t suspect anything and run away.
2. Newport Vessels Electric Trolling Motor With LED Battery Indicator
Built for saltwater fishing with stainless steel materials, this trolling engine comes with a thrust power of 55 pounds. Its ultra-quiet and cool features will make your fishing trips memorable.
There’s no fear of overheating or any danger of losing your catch with this super-efficient trolling motor.
The shaft is made from fiberglass for durability and strength. It’s 30 inches long and adjustable. So, you can gauge the water depth and place it properly.
If you are looking for full control, then this drifting engine has it. With 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, you’ll be totally in control of your fishing fate. You’ll be amazed at the smoothness it affords.
The handle has been designed ergonomically to give you a comfortable but firm grip. You can even extend it to suit your needs. Get to know the charge of your battery at any moment with the bright LED battery indicator. This motor needs a 12-Voltage marine or deep-cycle battery.
If you’re in the mood for either freshwater or saltwater fishing, you can choose without any concern. This motor is made from stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium so you can focus more on fishing and less on any chances of corrosion.
The 3-blade propeller is made from reinforced fiberglass nylon to sustain tough fishing conditions. As a multi-purpose trolling motor, it is suitable for fishing boats, kayaks, inflatable boats, and dinghies.
Thanks to the versatile features and uses mentioned above, this is one of the best electric trolling motors you'll find nowadays.
3. Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT
A freshwater drifting motor from Minn Kota, this is specially fitted with a digital maximizer. The function of this digital maximizer is to maximize the power consumption, ensuring the battery works five times longer on a single charge. It also helps to keep the motor cool.
The variable speed control allows you to set the exact speed you want, so you have more control over the boat. As you drift from one part of the waterbody to another, controlling the boat becomes quite important.
The battery indicator can be seen on the top of the engine to let you know how much battery life is left. This is to prevent the motor from stopping midway into your fishing adventure.
The telescopic handle is 6 inches in length and designed ergonomically to provide the maximum ease when steering.
If you’re fishing in marshy areas with some vegetation, the power prop of the engine will help push the boat with extra power.
Unlike other conventional brackets, this one comes with a lever lock so that you’re sure your device rests on a concrete bracket. It’s strong too, ensuring it can hold the weight.
The special materials used to make this engine ensures it resists UV damage and bending.
To help you stay out fishing for as long as you like, the trolling motor is equipped with extra-large windings and commutators to keep it cool. On top, it’s so quiet that you’re sure to get a bigger catch on your trips.
4. Aquos Haswing CaymanB 12v 55lbs Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor
This is a bow-mount luring engine that has been designed and engineered specially to make it silent when it’s operating.
Get more control and smoother operations with its variable speed control. Just dial in your desired speed. You can adjust it easily while you’re steering the boat. Also, it helps to keep power consumption low, making your battery last longer.
The thrust power is 55 pounds and it can work well for boats weighing up to 2,750 pounds.
These electric boat motors come with a wired foot control measuring 14.7 feet, to keep your hands free. Besides, it also provides easy control and precise operation. Using the quick-release bracket, mount or unmount the motor comfortably.
For convenience, you can hang the remote control from a lanyard. It also fits in your palm and you can control the motor from a maximum of 164 feet. It can be recharged through a USB cable or power bank. That is one of the features to make it the best bow mount trolling motor.
Don’t lose focus on fishing as the cruise control helps maintain a steady speed. You just have to push the up or down button on the remote control to adjust speeds. However, due to changes in the current or wind, you may need to change the speed and direction manually.
For moving to the reverse direction, you can turn the motor 180 degrees. The 48-inch stainless steel shaft is anti-corrosion and suitable for fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.
5. MinnKota Traxxis 45 Transom Mount Trolling Motor
This is another on the best trolling motor for the money. This is a very powerful motor and it's have top useful features, this drifting machine allows instant backtrolling, thanks to its directional indicator. You just need to lift and rotate it 180 degrees to get it backtrolling.
For more coordinated steering and control, you can move the tiller by 45 degrees to turn the lower part of the engine by 180 degrees. Not only does this result in the outboard or kicker engine out of the way, but it also gives you more steering response with much less effort.
Who wouldn’t love a motor that has the battery running five times longer on a single charge! You have this feature in this product to make life more rewarding for you. Its digital maximizer takes care of extending the battery life.
Moreover, set your desired speed on the speed controller, thereby saving power to get you through a whole day of fishing!
The sturdy shaft is made from materials stronger than steel. Under rough conditions, it will flex but never break or corrode.
This one also has extra-large windings and commutators to ensure the motor doesn’t get overheated. Couple with this, it also remains very quiet in the operating mode, helping you get a bigger catch at the end of the day.
The prop has swept-back and flared blades to go through anything without impacting the battery charge.
The hand control is in the form of a tiller that epitomizes versatility. It can tilt up to 45 degrees and extends up to 6 inches for better command.
6. MinnKota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor
This compact trolling machine is built to face rugged conditions with strength and durability. The anodized aluminum body ensures that your small boat can comfortably spend longs hours on the water.
With its latch and door bracket, you can be sure of strong and solid hold. It also makes it easy to remove the engine when you’re done using it.
The foot pedal has a heel-toe control to give you a smooth steering experience. Its ultra-responsive feature is guaranteed to give you a great time. The pedal controls the speed, and you can adjust is with constant or momentary on-off switches.
The durability of the foot pedal is made sure by the sturdy and high-impact composite materials.
With five different speed settings, choose the one that’s right for you when you’re trolling. To guide you properly, the directional indicator sits atop the engine.
For a trolling motor that’s 3-and-a-quarter of an inch in diameter, the power prop exerts extra power to help you enter smoothly through areas with vegetation.
The composite shaft is unbreakable and promises to last more than a lifetime.
For a cool and quiet performance, the lower unit of the engine is there to give you satisfaction and long battery life.
The power cord length of 4 feet might be too short to connect it to the battery. An extension power cord is recommended.
Although meant for freshwater fishing, Minnkota trolling motor reviews have revealed that users have used it for saltwater fishing.
7. Newport Vessels L-Series Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor
The L-series trolling engines have been designed to fit inflatable boats, sailboats, and transom mount vessels. It requires a 12-Volt marine battery to run it.
The adjustable 40-inch shaft is made to last, built with composite materials. You can place it easily as per the water depth and related conditions.
Packed with a 62-pound thrust, this drifting motor gives a cool and quiet performance under all types of conditions. Its cooling mechanism results in tranquility, the right environment for your catch to fall into your net or line without suspicion.
For more control, you can choose from the eight-speed variations. It depends on the ergonomic and extendable 6-inch telescopic handle for a smooth ride that commands good control.
The 3-blade propeller measures 10 inches in diameter and guarantees the best performance in all waterbody types. With the LED meter with ten points, you can see the battery life left and put it on recharge before it’s fully exhausted.
Made for both saltwater and freshwater angling, this product has been made with stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium to lock in its anti-corrosion properties.
Hardcore anglers who regularly participate in contests have all praises for this product. Despite a heavy hull, it can still go up to speeds of 4.5 miles per hour at a full thrust. In a tournament covering 5 to 7 miles, this trolling engine can cover it all with the power of two batteries.
Without a doubt, it makes it to the list of the most powerful trolling motors.
8. GOPLUS Electric Trolling Motor With Adjustable Handle
A great energy-saver, this transom device is a suitable trolling motor for inflatable boat, fishing boats, and other types too.
The shaft is adjustable at angles, giving you the freedom to suit your depth needs. Just press or plug the knob to make the adjustments.
Just like your depth needs, you might need different moving needs. The adjustable propeller is just the answer. Move the position of the clamp to position the propeller to either speed up or decelerate.
The telescopic handle is 6 inches long and adjustable. By adjusting the knob, make it long or short according to your personal preference. You’ll be sailing more smoothly!
Another feature to make gliding as per your needs is the adjustable boat clamp. Just loose the two screws and position or re-position it. The clamp is durable and steady, and you won’t have any trouble with the thread screws while adjusting.
The two-blade propeller helps to cut through vegetation and take your boat to swampy areas.
As with all electric products, keeping an eye on battery life is vital. The LED light indicator on this product has ten points to clearly show how far your battery life is left. Thus, you get more life from your batteries.
The ring on the motor is adjustable to match the position of the clamps. This prevents the clamps from moving up and hold them firmly in place.
From the various electric trolling motor reviews, this seems to be one that’s highly recommended for its overall function and features.
9. MotorGuide X3 Bow Mount Hand-Control Motor
Suitable for more advanced users, this precision-designed trolling machine is a bow-mount type that’s controlled by the hand. Thus, you have more space on the deck for storing your catch. It’s been designed for use in freshwater.
The 50-inch shaft is made from stainless steel on the outer and premium composite in the inner parts, guaranteeing durability. So is the mount, made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
Its patented variable ratio steering system makes you a better angler by allowing you to have more accurate steering. Also, its higher-response steering contributes to your performance. Along with the twist handle that’s ergonomic and adjustable, you can bet on the most comfortable experience.
The 3-blade Machete propeller is both stealthy and powerful, pushing you to overcome boundaries and explore less chartered waters.
For easy height adjustment and removal, this types of trolling motors comes with a hinged door-like system. Therefore, you can mount and unmount it with minimum hassle.
Its 5-speed operating feature gives you further control over movements on the water. You can thereby adjust the speed to suit the different conditions.
This product delivers perfectly on the quiet operation feature. All credit goes to the fewer metal-to-metal connected parts, components that have been fitted tightly, composite locking pins, and a bearing collar that locks tightly.
The thrust power is approximately 55 pounds and is sufficient for a 15-foot boat, run on a single battery.
Lightweight yet powerful to give you the maximum performance, this is one of the latest trolling motor models.
10. Watersnake Trolling Motor | T18 ASP | Electric Motor
One of the smallest drifting motors from the company, this is a custom made trolling motor for kayak, inflatable boats, and dinghies. For ease of attachment, the mount is a transom type. A clip system on the mount ensures it’s guarded well against impact.
Suitable for saltwater fishing as the device is made from anti-corrosion materials. Hence, it will last longer and will give you many pleasurable fishing trips.
For easy and adjustable cruising, it has a high and low-speed control along with a forward and reverse switch. These are enough for any small-sized boat.
No need to avoid marshy and swampy areas anymore! With this trolling motor fitted with a 2-blade, weedless propeller, go boldly with your kayak where no one has gone before! The propeller can cut through vegetation easily.
For a small boat, the 18-pound thrust power is enough to serve your needs with a 12-Voltage battery. The 24-inch shaft is just the right size to maintain the right depth from your kayak or canoe.
Lightweight and made from high-quality materials, this product is going to last for a long time and give you complete satisfaction with its silent operating mode. The light weight makes it easy to set up and move.
Given the right conditions, it can speed up to 5.5 miles per hour without draining the battery. Allow yourself to reach a wider range with this product and you won’t be sorry. It will save you the trouble of paddling back home against the changing tides.
11. Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor i-Pilot
This trolling motor is a dream combination of stealth, power, and control. Its cutting-edge features result in a mind-blowing performance. Packed with 55 pounds of thrust and fitted with i-Pilot integrated GPS, you’re sure in for the ride of your lifetime!
Let’s talk a bit more about the i-Pilot GPS. Simply explained, it uses GPS navigation to control the engine and ensure you’re close to your catch. Connectivity is done through Bluetooth.
The i-Pilot wireless remote has a new layout to give you full control. With expandable menus, a 33% larger LCD screen, and intelligent navigation, being in control has never been easier!
The Spot-Lock feature has been updated so you get more precision than ever before. The iTrack Record/Playback feature helps you to find the best hotspots.
For the ultimate control, the Cruise Control helps to maintain a steady speed and position so you can focus fully on fishing.
Do you want to control from your smartphone? Guess what – there’s an i-Pilot app for both iOS and Android. So, now you can operate the motor with your smartphone! Remember to regularly update the software on your phone!
The battery meter has a smart push-to-test system to keep you informed of the power level at all times. It has the simplest deploying system with its one-step stow with deploy lever.
To keep the motor cool and give a longer operating time through optimum power consumption, the digital maximizer does wonders.
Three words describe it best: powerful, reliable, and quiet!
12. Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor With Latch
This is a 12-Voltage bow-mount trolling motor designed for saltwater fishing. To this end, it has a powder-coat paint to protect against corrosion, liquid-tight sealed electrical connections, heat-shrink tubes to keep saltwater at bay, and upper arms made from premium-grade marine alloy and aluminum.
The commutators and large size windings keep the engine cool, thereby making it durable and giving extra life to the battery. Thanks to the digital maximizer, the power consumption is optimal and the motor has 12.3 Voltage even after 5 hours of operation.
The 52-inch shaft is made from composite materials and is anti-breakage and anti-corrosion. This product is suitable for boats measuring up to 21 feet.
For easy installation and removal, the latch and door mount are there for smooth operation. The hand steering control is extendable to give the maximum comfort and control.
With 5 forward and 3 reverse speed variations, reach a whole new level of control and steady speed. For completely silent operation, the specially designed bearing system reduces friction.
The Weedless Wedge 2 prop with swept-back blades is great at cutting through vegetation to reach marshy areas. With the push to test battery meter, get to know the battery life left at any point in time by pressing the button on the motor head.
For changing depths and then securing it, use the quick-lock cam depth adjuster feature on the motor. This product has been praised by users for its ability to withstand strong wind and tides.
13. MinnKota Traxxis 45 Transom Mount Trolling Motor
With this transom mount trolling engine packed with features, you’ll never find an excuse to give up and turn back.
It’s easy to set the direction with the one-hand stow feature. To stow the motor, simply pull up and forward. There are no levers or buttons that complicate the operation. When you’re ready to go, use the easily accessible thumb-press to deploy the motor. Choose from any of the ten positions.
Command more control with the hand-control tiller that tilts for up to 45 degrees. Also, it extends up to 6 inches and is fitted with a battery indicator on its head.
The variable speed options allow you to choose the right speed to suit the conditions and so, you have further control. Making the battery last five times longer is easy with the digital maximizer that makes sure only the minimum power is consumed.
To keep your motor right in the exact depth that you want it to be in, use the quick cam depth adjuster. This changes the depth quickly and also securely, to help it to stay in place.
The innovative collar above the motor helps to secure the exact steering tension you are comfortable with. You may keep the collar lose for steering without putting much effort. Alternately, tighten it to allow for firm positioning.
To instantly know how much life is left in the battery, simply press the push to test button on the motor. The unbreakable shaft and the powerful prop complete the functionality of this product.
14. Haswing Cayman Variable Speed Motor Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor
A bow mount trolling motor, this has a thrust power of 55 pounds, runs on 12-Voltage battery, and is fitted with a 48-inch shaft. It has been designed to ensure total silence when operating and is suitable for boats measuring up to 2,750 pounds.
Get speeding variations by dialing in the speed you want to cruise in. This will make things smoother and conserve your battery power.
Use the hand-held remote control to have a hold on the motor from up to 164 feet. When needed, recharge the remote control using a USB port or power bank.
Push the up or down button on the remote control to get on the cruise control mode to maintain a stable speed. If there is a change in the direction of the wind or current, then manually adjust. The motor turns 180 degrees to allow you to move into the reverse direction.
All the metal components of this product are protected by anti-corrosion sacrificial anode. Therefore, it’s suitable for fishing in both saltwater and freshwater.
The 48-inch shaft is made from stainless steel, promising durability. It’s adaptable for all types of fishing vessels.
With an ergonomic handle, you can easily lift and carry the engine effortlessly. Using your hand or foot, trigger the stow and deploy pedal easily.
The adjustable depth collar is easy to use, and you can change the depths quickly. The locks help to secure the motor in the exact position where you want it to be.
15. Motorguide 940200060 12V Foot-Operated Motora
The foot-operated trolling motor is built with durable materials to ensure it lasts a long time. The heel-toe designed control and the LED steering indicator let you focus on fishing and get top performance.
The patented technology for variable ratio steering gives you more accuracy to position your boat right, even in unfavorable conditions like high winds and strong currents. Hence, you won’t face any torque steering issues. This gives you an upper hand over your struggling catch.
With five-speed settings, choose the one that’s most comfortable for you and suit your boat position. This 12-Voltage engine provides enough power to boats of size 17 feet or less. Use it on any Jon boat or aluminum bass boats.
What makes this product reliable is its stainless-steel bushings and aircraft-grade aluminum mount. These anti-corrosion elements make saltwater fishing worry-free. You can also take it out for freshwater fishing.
The precision locking pin fits tightly with the mount. Together with the composite bushings placed in the right parts, this gives the motor its super-quiet feature. There’s no fear of loose parts knocking against each other. Stowing and deploying are noise-free activities.
With the outer part of the shaft made of stainless steel and its inner parts of composite material, you have the sturdiest shaft possible. By adding another 12-Voltage battery, you will have the best 24 Volt trolling motor.
Users have vouched for the safety of using this trolling motor by kids too. It’s easy to install and provides overall great value for money.
Benefits Of Using The Top Rated Trolling Motors For Fishing Kayaks And Small Boats
If you are a regular angler on a kayak, you’ll know how tiring things can become during the day. Paddling for an entire day can take a toll on your arms, no matter how fit you are. To relieve such aching arms and tired backs, it’s best to use a trolling motor.
More Distance Covered
With a trolling motor for fishing kayaks, you can reach a greater distance. That’s because it will rest your arms and back so that you don’t have to stop and sit idle.
It will be a more rewarding experience for you if you cover more distance and have more chances of making a good catch.
Control Over Trolling Speed
If your boat is fitted with an electric trolling motor, fishing becomes much easier. You just need to set the motor at the speed you desire. After you set up your rod and reel, just throw in the bait with the line. All you have to do is wait for the feel of fish bites.
It’s no mean feat to juggle both the fishing rod and the kayak or canoe paddle. That too while maintaining a steady speed of your vessel. However, you can have it all if you use a trolling motor. Either one or both hands will be free, and you can comfortably hold on to your fishing rod.
Stealthy And Quiet
You are at the hunter’s seat so obviously, if you create a hullaballoo, no fish will come anywhere near you. The best thing is to use a stealth strategy. What’s a better weapon than a trolling motor that’s both quiet and stealthy! Using one, there won’t be any noise to drive the fish away.
The top rated trolling motors trolling engines, especially the electric ones, are lightweight and therefore, easy to use. They are sure to save the day when you go to your desired spot and find that gas engines are not allowed.
In addition, they are great to keep your canoe or kayak steady in a current. They double up as a secondary engine if you have a large boat and hence, precise control is key.
If by any chance, you lose your paddle while in a canoe or kayak, the trolling motor will take you back to the shore safely.
Types Of The Best Trolling Motor
There are two categories of trolling engines in terms of the way they operate– electric-powered and gas-powered. A third category of such motors is based on the materials used to build them for freshwater or saltwater fishing.
Electric Trolling Motor
An electric trolling motor uses DC motors of 12, 24 or 36 Volt, designed especially for use in the waters. More voltage indicates a larger motor that gives more power to the propeller. A small trolling motor serves the purpose of a kayak or canoe just fine.
A watertight container covers the electric trolling motor. During operation, the entire motor goes underwater. A major advantage of this is that the motor will not get overheated.
Gas-Powered Trolling Motor
A gas-powered trolling motor is operated by a pull-start mechanism with a gear and a throttle that is mounted on the engine itself. A tiller is used to steer the boat but when trolling. Usually, the tiller is attached to the boat helm.
A gas-powered trolling boat is used on larger boats. The downside is that it won’t be as silent or efficient as its electric counterpart.
Freshwater Vs Saltwater Trolling Motors
Another key differentiator between trolling motor types is their freshwater versus saltwater adaptability. Saltwater trolling motors have certain features that are apt for fishing in high salt density waters. For example, corrosion-protective paint coatings, hardware made from stainless steel, and electric connections that are sealed.
Top-Rated Trolling Motor Brands In The Market
Now that you know why you need trolling motors for boats, how these work, and the different types, you are closer to your purchase. There’s no dearth of brands for boat motors, but if you go for a cheap trolling motor, you might not get the perfects results.
It’s nice to know which ones are the top-rated trolling motors.
Minn Kota started its journey in 1934 in the Minnesota-North Dakota border. These regions are famous for fishing. The founder, O.G. Schmidt, was the pioneer in manufacturing the electric trolling motor.
The company focuses on innovation for the entire gamut of fishing. Their mission is to enhance the fishing experience through powerful innovations.
Established in 2008, Newport Vessels seeks to inspire anglers to make the most of their fishing experience. The company focuses on the customers and pride themselves on providing 100% satisfaction through their experienced staff.
The company establishes direct contacts with their clients and even make deliveries directly to them from their California warehouse.
An American company, Haswing Outdoor specializes in bow-mount trolling motors. The company targets serious anglers who need control and steady speeds when fishing. Hence, they have made motors that can be operated with a wireless hand remote or wired foot pedal.
Their Cayman Series includes a GPS system, smartphone operating system, power display, and remote control.
A few Australian men dreamed of having motors that could give fishermen greater access and allow tough handling in harsh environments. Their dream came true and Watersnake sold its first trolling motor in 2006.
Available in more than 30 countries, this brand of trolling engines has been successfully ensconced among amateurs and professionals. The company believes in making better trolling products.
Established in 1947, MotorGuide is in tune with the angler’s resilient approach to fishing. The company focuses on intentional features, designs that serve a purpose, and user reliability.
The company aims to keep the fishermen on the water for longer. They are one of the forerunners of revolutionary trolling motors that have taken the industry by storm.
Trolling Motor Take Care And Maintenance Tips
You have invested some money in a trolling motor to improve your fishing skills. Now, it’s time to maintain the engine to ensure it will give you the level of performance you desire for a long time. Read on to find out the best way to take care of your trolling motor.
Rinse The Motor
After each use, rinse your trolling motor with freshwater. This will ensure all debris has been washed away. Even if you have used one for saltwater fishing that comes with protective coatings, it’s still recommended to rinse it thoroughly. This will ensure your trolling engine retains its mint condition.
An important part of the trolling motor is the propellers. When you’re out there fishing, weeds and fishing line can get entangled in the prop. This will lead to the weakening of the seals and potential water seeping inside the motor. Hence, check and clean the propellers after every use.
Another part of the trolling motor is the prop. Always check the prop nut to make sure it’s been tightened properly. While you’re at it, also check the anode if you own a saltwater trolling engine. If you see any abrasions on the prop blades, use a sandpaper to smoothen them out.
If you notice any cracks or bends on the prop, have these replaced. Otherwise, it will affect the operation of the trolling engine.
Lubricate The Shaft
The composite shaft needs regular cleaning and lubrication. Use a silicone spray that’s aqueous-based to leave a coating of lubrication. This will make the deployment and retraction movements very smooth. If you notice any metal parts that have been exposed, use the same spray for lubrication.
Disconnect The Power
When the trolling motor is not in use, always disconnect the power. The same condition applies when you’re storing it away or you’re transporting it to some other place. Now’s the chance to check the battery terminals and clean them with sandpaper or emery cloth to get rid of any dirt and corrosion.
The ideal state for the batteries is to be always fully charged. Hence, make sure you’re charging them after each use. When not in use, it’s a good idea to trickle charge them. Your batteries will thank you for it!
Safety Issues To Consider When Operating a Trolling Motor
Like any other device that runs on electric or gas power, a trolling motor also needs to be handled properly to ensure safety and security. Following there are some of the safety issues to be ensured when using a trolling engine.
When connecting to the power, check if the handle speed scale is at the zero marks. If so, then the system will start correctly, and you will hear a familiar sound. Otherwise, the motor is not supposed to start as it would surprise the user and may cause damage.
So, make sure you turn on the motor only when the handle speed scale is at zero position.
Reverse Connect Protection
When you’re not using the trolling engine, reverse connect the wire. This will protect your motor and will prevent it from starting.
Always check the propellers for entangled lines and weeds. These could cause the trolling motor to overheat. Under such circumstances, if the temperature rises to 110 degrees Celsius, the controller will automatically go into a protection mode.
You’ll notice that power consumption gets reduced by 50% to protect the battery, operator, and the motor.
So, it’s better to get rid of lines and other debris before you rev up your trolling motor.
If you’re using a 24-voltage motor and the display shows a number below that, the controller will automatically enter into a low-voltage protection system. The power output will be reduced by 50% to prevent any damage to the unit. Hence, always check the voltage being shown on the display.
If somehow the trolling motor stops working, the controller will enter a stall protection mode to avoid any damage to the motor.
Always make sure you’re wearing life jackets and following general water safety guidelines. The propellers may cause harm to other swimmers in the area where you’re fishing. So, pay attention and ensure you’re keeping yourself and others safe from any hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About The Best Budget Trolling Motor
Q. What is a Trolling Motor?
Trolling motor is an independent unit, consisting of a propeller, the engine, and a gearbox. It’s basically a small, electric motor that is mounted on the stern or bow of a fishing boat.
It’s not the main source of moving the boat, but it rises off the water when the main engine is in action. Thus, the trolling motor helps the boat to glide, so that the fish don’t get scared and move away.
Q. Why Do i Need a Trolling Motor?
Answer: If you’re a fishing enthusiast and take your hobby seriously, a trolling motor will give you far more benefits than an outer one. With its developed technology, a trolling motor lifts the boat when it moves through the water.
Because it can make the boat glide through the water silently, you have more chances of getting close to your catch and having them in your net or line.
Q. Is An Electric Or a Gas-Powered Trolling Motor Better?
Answer: An electric trolling motor is charged with batteries whereas the gas-powered one uses throttle and gear to pull-start the motor. Obviously, the latter creates much sound and fury, scaring away the fish. Hence, the best electric trolling motors are superior choice if you’re into serious fishing.
Another plus point of an electric trolling motor is that it doesn’t become overheated.
Q. Can i Use The Same Trolling Motor for Both Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing?
Answer: Yes, a good quality trolling motor brand will offer you the option of fishing in both saltwater and freshwater. However, saltwater motors come with some special features like stainless steel hardware, protective paint coating to prevent corrosion, and wires that are sealed.
Hence, if you want to use your freshwater trolling motor for saltwater fishing, make sure the unit has an anti-corrosion coating.
Q. Which is The Best Mount for a Trolling Motor?
Answer: It depends on the size of your boat and your style. A bow-mount is placed on the front of the boat. It’s good for large size boats as it facilitates guiding and control.
Transom motors are good for kayaks and smaller boats as they are mounted at the stern. These help to keep the kayak in position, even in harsh conditions.
Q. What’s The Ideal Shaft Length?
Answer: Ideally, the shaft length should be neither too short nor too long. Obviously, you need a shorter one for kayaks and canoes. A longer shaft will create some hassles if you’re fishing in shallow waters.
To know the right length of the shaft, make sure the top part of the motor remains submerged by 12 inches. While shafts for transom motors are of a standard length, choosing one for a bow motor requires some calculation.
You need to measure horizontally the line from the top of your mount to the waterline and add 20 inches. Choose a shaft length that’s equal to or greater than the sum.
Q. Is a Hand or Foot Control Better?
Answer: Depending on whether you’re new to fishing or not, a hand or foot control would work better for you. Choose a foot control if you’re a beginner and need to keep your hands free. However, you won’t get a real-time response with this and it will create some clutter in the boat.
With a hand controller, you’ll get a real-time response. However, it needs great limb coordination, so pick this only if you’re an advanced angler. Another benefit is that it creates less clutter on board.
Q. What’s The Right Trolling Motor Size for a Kayak?
Answer: If you have a kayak that can seat two persons, then a 55-pound thrust trolling motor is good enough. With this size of the motor, you can easily reach speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. If you need more power and speed, then you should opt for a larger size trolling motor.
Q. What is Thrust Power?
Answer: Thrust power measures the strength of your trolling motor and depends on the size and weight of your boat. The general rule is that you need 30 pounds to operate a boat under 12 feet and 101 pounds if the boat is 22 feet or more.
Trolling motors need to be selected carefully depending on whether you’re a seasoned angler or have recently taken it up as a hobby. This will determine how much control you can command over the motor operation.
Along with your years of fishing experience, the weight and size of your boat, as well as the type of waterbodies where you fish, will determine the fastest trolling motor that’s perfect for you.
So, there are quite a few weighty decisions to be made before you place an order for the motor. It’s good to go through customer reviews and get an idea about the top-rated trolling motors.
With this article, we hoped to give you the key pointers to guide you in making the best trolling motor purchase decision. Extensive research was undertaken, and information nuggets were extracted to make the path to purchase an easy one.
Wishing you all the best for your fishing adventures!