The Best Saltwater Trolling Motors Review and Buying Guide

Fishing in brackish water is a challenge, partly due to the limited fish species and harsh water conditions. Given the high sense of sound detection that fish have, it is a big challenge for fishers who use motorboats and other fishing vessels to fish in these waters successfully.

These trolling motors are made uniquely to ensure that they last long without corroding in addition to reducing the sound made by the boat’s engine. Before buying a trolling motor, it is highly advisable that you first research whether they can perform optimally in saltwater.

 

 

Top Pick – Newport NV Series 36lb. Saltwater Transom Mount

Our top pick for saltwater trolling motors is the Newport NV Series. Although people give independent opinions based on several features, this trolling motor topped the list due to various unique elements.

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Easy installation
  • Quiet and smooth operation
  • Excellent corrosion-proof build and materials for saltwater capability

 

 

The Best Saltwater Trolling Motors Reviewed

1. Newport NV Series 36 lb. Saltwater Transom Mount

The NV-series saltwater trolling motor is made using stainless steel, fiberglass, and zinc anode, which help to reduce corrosion to the shafts and motorhead, common in salty waters. The shaft is easily adjustable, allowing you to troll both deep and shallow waters smoothly.

 

Key Features

  • 36 lbs. thrust power
  • 19 lbs. weight
  • 30-inch, corrosion-proof shaft
  • 5-point LED battery indicator
  • 6-inch telescopic handle
  • 30-inch, corrosion-proof shaft

 

What We Like

It comes with a generous two-year warranty, which shows the confidence that Newport has regarding its products. Unlike other manufacturers who have non-responsive customer care, Newport is renowned for responding quickly to customer complaints.

The motor comes with an ergonomic, extendable 6-inch telescopic handle that allows you to adjust its speed effortlessly. This feature makes it one of the most favored trolling motors for saltwater fishing.

 

What We Don’t Like

The head and handle are not waterproof. The motor can operate fine in light rain but not so much in heavy rain or spray.

 

 

Pros

  • Short shaft for easy adjustment
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • The battery lasts for a long time with a single charge

 

Cons

  • You have to purchase the battery separately, which makes it costly
  • It does not click to indicate speed change clearly

 

The overall performance of the NV-series is impressive. It is made using materials resistant to corrosion such as zinc and stainless steel, giving it both freshwater and saltwater capabilities. On the flip side, you have to buy the battery separately, which inconveniently adds to the cost.

 

Our Rating: 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

2. Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor i-Pilot

The Minn Kota Riptide Terrova comes with sophisticated GPS technology—rare in saltwater trolling motors. GPS helps in locating fish and other underwater features to avoid such as rocks, coral, and stubborn under-sea vegetation.

 

Key Features

  • 80 lbs. thrust power
  • 60-inch corrosion-proof shaft
  • i-Pilot GPS technology
  • 2-prop weedless propeller

 

What We Like

The decent 55-pound thrust means it can overcome strong tides, and the motor comes with an automatic control system, which you can adjust based on the information on its LCD screen. After activating the autopilot, you just use the head of the trolling motor to go in your preferred direction while it automatically senses changes in wind conditions and turbulence.

The Minn Kota Riptide Terrova comes with a long-lasting battery. After a full charge, the battery can last several hours thanks to the digital minimizer. This feature allows you to venture deep into the waters where there are plenty of fish.

 

What We Don’t Like

The instructions manual contains a lot of jargon, which can be hard for the angler to follow.

 

Pros

  • Digital maximizer prolongs battery life
  • Remote-control system allows for smooth operation via your smartphone
  • Powerful motor

 

Cons

  • Bulky, making it unsuitable for light fishing vessels.

 

If you are a tech-savvy fisher, the Riptide Terrova is the ideal trolling motor for you. i-Pilot helps you control the troller with ease, and the digital minimizer gives you long battery life and more fishing time.

 

Our Rating: 4.4/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

3. SEAMAX 65 lbs. Thrust Trolling Motor, Heavy Duty Version

The Seamax 65-pound trolling motor has a smooth glide and is as silent as they come. It allows you to listen for any underwater disturbances, enabling you to spot where the fishing is sweetest.

 

Key Features

  • 55–65 lbs. thrust power
  • 40-inch adjustable shaft
  • Telescopic tiller handle with full angle adjustment
  • New patented 8-speed controller
  • Solid aluminum and steel lower unit with a corrosion-proof powder coat finish

 

What We Like

The two-year warranty is generous, making replacement in case of a malfunction easy. Seamax customer care is very responsive and has received excellent reviews from anglers.

The telescopic tiller handle enhances the control of the trolling motor, and you can use it to adjust the direction of the propeller as well as its speed. This feature gives the Seamax an advantage over other trolling motors, which only support one activity at a time.

If the current or tides change, the speed controller will act accordingly, and, if the waters become choppy, the speed controller allows the propeller to rotate at full speed. This capability prevents the fishing vessel from capsizing under rough water. The stainless-steel shaft gives this troller durability and corrosion protection, eliminating the cost of eventually replacing or fixing the shaft.

 

What We Don’t Like

You might need an extra battery on board to avoid running out of power while fishing.

 

Pros

  • It can set at the bow or stern, which makes it versatile
  • Variable speed controls automatically adjust the speed
  • Easy to install
  • You can easily control the propeller and speed simultaneously

 

Cons

  • It is relatively heavy, which limits its usage to larger vessels

 

The Seamax is a very accommodative troller. It can sit on either the bow or the stern, and the variable speed controller reduces the work required to steer, allowing you to concentrate on what’s essential – reeling in the fish! If you are looking for a convenient and versatile trolling engine, this is your go-to motor.

 

Our Rating: 4.7/5.0

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

4. Watersnake ASP Saltwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor

The Watersnake ASP comes with 24 pounds of thrust, powerful enough for a medium-sized vessel. Additionally, the battery remains full for quite some time after a single charge.

 

Key Features

  • 24 lbs. thrust
  • 7 lbs. weight
  • 24-inch adjustable shaft
  • Fixed hand tiller
  • 24-amp current
  • High- and low-speed system

 

What We Like

You don’t need to worry after staying out on the water during a long-haul fishing trip or intensive tournament as the battery will still be operational with plenty of power left over. The motor also allows for the inclusion of a second battery to boost power should you need it. It is perfect for small fishing vessels such as inflatables, kayaks, canoes, and dinghies due to its incredibly lightweight.

The adjustable 24-inch shaft means that the propeller performs optimally in deep waters without spooking fish. The shaft is made using stainless steel, making it corrosion-proof and allowing you to cruise the saltiest of waters.

The tiller handle controls the motors speed effectively. This means that you can easily change the speed from high to low or vice versa. The tiller handle is also made using the latest technology, which allows you to use minimal effort when operating it.

The Watersnake troller comes with a heavy and sturdy shaft made from stainless steel. In addition to the strong propeller and shaft, it is relatively affordable for small-scale fishers or those on a tight budget. You can expect quality service without necessarily breaking the bank.

Want to see more from this brand? Here are more models from Watersnake.

 

What We Don’t Like

Its “slow” is not as slow as it should be and can be unsettling for the inexperienced troller.

 

 

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • high-quality components and build
  • Powerful motor
  • Versatile electric foot and hand tiller control
  • Two-blade weedless design propeller is effective
  • Anti-corrosive paint

 

Cons

  • It does not come with the battery, which must be purchased separately

 

If you are looking for a fun-filled fishing experience, go for the Watersnake ASP model with ergonomic foot controls. It is not only affordable but also very effective.

 

Our rating: 4.4/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

5. MotorGuide Xi5 55 lbs. 48-inch Saltwater Wireless

This motor is the ultimate modern and tech-savvy fisher’s troller. The wireless technology contains ergonomic foot controls that allow for hands-free fishing from anywhere on deck. It comes with a durable 48-inch shaft made of corrosion-proof stainless steel and a decent 55 pounds of thrust, enough to propel most boats.

 

Key Features

  • Wireless capability with precise motor and steering control
  • 55 lbs. thrust power
  • 55 lbs. weight
  • 48-inch shaft
  • Unique stow and deploy mechanism

 

What We Like

Technology shines with this troller, and, if this is your fishing style, you’re in for a treat. It uses digital technology efficiently to make the work easier for you. Save up to eight routes to lock in anchor and fishing positions previously fished and get over 50 percent more efficiency and battery time over other similar trollers.

With a durable yet light aluminum base and stainless-steel shaft, this motor will give you years of service with minimal repairs and part replacement.

 

What We Don’t Like

The instructions manual is very detailed and not recommended for beginner anglers.

 

Pros

  • It’s extremely quiet and has silky smooth gliding
  • Steering is sophisticated
  • Long battery life with great efficiency
  • Aluminum hardware prevents corrosion

 

Cons

  • Relatively costly
  • Not suitable for tech-savvy fishers

 

Overall, the digital features on this saltwater motor make it stand out. It has a sleek and modern design with wireless and GPS technology to enable high-tech fishing that’s easy and convenient.

 

Our Rating: 4.9/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

6. Minn Kota Riptide Ulterra

This premium, high-thrust troller is perfect for bigger vessels built for deep-sea fishing. The i-Pilot system takes you to your favorite fishing spots accurately and manages directional changes effortlessly. Set spot locks, record fishing routes, follow underwater depth contours, and automatically troll to your favorite fishing spots while effortlessly controlling speed and steering.

 

Key Features

  • 112 lbs. thrust power
  • 60-inch shaft
  • Digital minimizer for up to five times longer fish time on a single charge
  • Bluetooth technology
  • 18-foot power cord

 

What We Like

We like how you can stow, deploy, operate, and trim your motor from anywhere on deck. Put the troller on automatic mode and concentrate on fishing rather than steering the boat. The 36V battery will give you up to five times better battery power than similar trolling motors, and it also has an energy-saving feature that preserves the battery life.

The high-powered blade plows through underwater vegetation and obstacles without draining the battery, and its 18-foot power cord allows you to use foot controls easily and without much strain.

 

What We Don’t Like

The high cost makes it inaccessible for most anglers.

 

Pros

  • Premium-grade alloys are well-suited to saltwater performance
  • 36V battery allows you to fish for five times longer
  • Steering is effortless with its i-Pilot system

 

Cons

  • Expensive

 

This premium troller is a high-tech fisher’s dream. All you need is Bluetooth and the smartphone app, and you’re good to go. Its high thrust also makes it suitable to power larger fishing vessels.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

7. Haswing 12V 55 lbs. Variable Speed Electric Trolling Motor

This troller uses a bow mount and has a longer aluminum shaft compared to other motors. It is designed to run with ultimate stealth to keep the fish unaware of your movements on the water.

 

Key Features

  • 55 lbs. thrust power
  • 48-inch shaft
  • Wireless remote system for cruise controls as well as directional and speed controls
  • 3-blade propeller
  • Easy foot pedal controls
  • Stow and deploy pedal

 

What We Like

This troller’s stow and deploy lever can be controlled with smooth heel-foot movements, which makes transitioning in and out of the water quick and easy, saving your energy for fishing.

It has variable speed controls that allow you to dial in your precise speed requirements, making for smoother adjustments and improved boat control. This trolling motor can pull an incredible 2,750 pounds, definitely on the higher side, making it suitable for larger vessels.

Use the wireless remote control in your hand or attached to a lanyard hanging from your neck—it’s that convenient! And, it can control the boat within a 164-foot radius, which is quite impressive.

 

What We Don’t Like

The battery lights stay on; you’ll either use a kill switch or disconnect the motor from the battery after every use.

 

Pros

  • The thrust is suitable for larger boats weighing up to 2,750 lbs
  • Automatic shut off if the blades are stick in vegetation, an excellent safety feature
  • Saltwater and freshwater capabilities
  • Easy-to-use depth collar allows quick and effortless depth changes

 

Cons

  • It can’t be used without a remote

 

This troller has excellent cruise control with a rechargeable remote that enables you to control the boat while enjoying effortless hands-free fishing. With its ability to pull large crafts, this is the best troller for deep-sea fishing.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

8. Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Transom Mount

Minn Kota is a trusted name in the world of fishing with varied models, each with its advantages. The Endura Max Transom Mount motor does not disappoint in this regard.

 

Key Features

  • 55 lbs. thrust power
  • 17 lbs. weight
  • 36-inch shaft
  • Power prop
  • Lever-lock bracket
  • 8 speed variations (5-forward, 3-reverse)

 

What We Like

We like the powerful motor and efficient operation with a low amp draw. It has a decent 55 lbs. of thrust, adequate for most small to medium vessels and not so heavy as to create a drag. It also has a lever bracket, which allows for smooth rotation and instant back trolling.

Its 36-inch aluminum shaft is considered indestructible, perfect for harsh brackish waters and ocean fishing. It has a patented power propeller that cuts through stubborn underwater foliage without draining battery power.

For smooth, silent trolling, especially on smaller vessels like kayaks and canoes, without making a dent in your budget, this is the troller to choose.

 

What We Don’t Like

The power cords connecting the troller to the battery could be longer.

 

 

Pros

  • Sturdy, indestructible aluminum shaft
  • Offers cool and quiet trolling
  • Weedless propeller cuts through underwater foliage without draining the battery

 

Cons

  • Not suitable for boats longer than 14 feet

 

This is an excellent troller for the money. It has incredible energy efficiency that allows for long fishing trips. Even on a 4-hour run, the battery still had 70 percent of its power thanks to the digital minimizer. It has an aluminum shaft that is practically indestructible, and the power prop cuts through stubborn vegetation without draining the battery.

 

Our Rating: 4.9/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

9. Caroute N200 120 lbs.Trolling Motor

The Caroute N200 is a powerhouse of a motor. Its 120-pound thrust can pull vessels up to 2,000 pounds, and its high efficiency, which can reach levels of 65 percent, is much higher than similar brushed motors. It has specialized saltwater operation engineering, including its galvanic design, sacrificial zinc anode, and sealed water to protect against the harsh conditions of sea and brackish water.

 

Key Features

  • 120 lbs. thrust power
  • 42-inch shaft
  • 56 lbs. weight
  • High and low speeds

 

What We Like

The Caroute N200 is a transom mount motor with a long aluminum shaft that gives it impact resistance in the water. Along with this, it has a unique brushless technology that won’t wear out quickly in operation, generate heat, or drain your battery.

It has a motor controller that acts as an excellent safety feature. It has overheating, low voltage, sudden start, stall, and reverse polarity protection.

 

What We Don’t Like

This trolling motor has a massive, powerful thrust and weight, so it is restricted to larger vessels.

 

Pros

  • Excellent thrust power is suitable for boats of up to 2,000 pounds
  • Outstanding efficiency—up to 65 percent
  • Little maintenance is necessary due to its durable build
  • Operation is cool and quiet

 

Cons

  • It is restricted for use with larger vessels only

 

This is a very efficient trolling motor for large fishing vessels. It exhibits exceptionally high efficiency, up to 65 percent, compared to other trolling motors thanks to its brushless technology. Its saltwater engineering is also extremely well done, guaranteeing durability, low maintenance, and efficiency.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Buying Guide: 5 Essential Factors to Consider When Buying a Saltwater Trolling Motor

Now that you have a sampling of the best saltwater trolling motors on the market. Let’s explore what makes a trolling motor good for saltwater. If you’re sure you’re limiting your trolling to rivers and lakes, there are other trolling motor options that would suit you perfectly well.

 

Thrust

Thrust is the amount of power that the motor uses to propel a fishing vessel through the water. You will need 5 pounds of thrust for every 200 pounds of weight on the boat. To calculate this, take the boat’s total weight and full load, divide that figure by 200 and multiply the result by 5.

 

 

As an Illustration:

If a boat weighs 1,000 pounds, and its full load is 800, you will require (1,000 + 800) / 200 × 5 = 45 pounds thrust power to propel the boat. In most cases, smaller boats require less thrust and vice versa.

Additionally, chaotic waters tend to lower the speed and power of your boat. You’ll need to use a trolling motor with higher thrust and load the boat with less weight.

 

Mounting Systems

Saltwater trolling motors mostly come in two categories: bow-mounted and transom-mounted.

Most fishers prefer bow-mounted trollers since they provide higher maneuverability. They are mostly suitable for larger vessels, which provide the space on deck needed to use foot controls while fishing hands-free.

Transom mounting is mostly suited to smaller vessels and fixes the troller on the stern of the vessel. The fisher trolls the motor utilizing hand controls, and the motor has a solid bar, which is used to mount it onto the boat.

Engine mounting is a favorite method of many anglers as it occupies a smaller space on deck, but it is rarely used due to its high cost and installation complexity. It is also quite rigid, which makes maneuvering a challenge.

 

Battery Power

Always go for a battery that lasts long on a single charge. If the trolling motor is large, it will consume more power. Batteries come in 12V, 24V, 12/24V, and 36V.

If the boat is short and you only use it occasionally for a few hours, a 12V battery for your trolling motor will be sufficient. If you fish for long hours, go for a 24V or a 36V battery. You could also use an array of cells to boost power if you want to fish for long periods.

 

Corrosion-Resistant Materials

Saltwater motors work in harsh environments and need indestructible shafts and motorheads. The material must consist of marine-grade, corrosion-proof stainless steel, aluminum, or zinc made under high industrial standards. Most reputable businesses offer a lifetime warranty on the impeller and motor shaft, but most trolling motors have closer to two or three-year warranties.

 

Shaft Length

Longboats require motors with long shafts for easy propelling. Experts recommend that the shaft should be long enough to keep the propeller submerged in water by at least 12 inches. Measure the distance between the top of the bow and the waterline. After getting that distance, as a rule, you should add 18 inches.

This action will keep the propeller fully submerged and reduce the risk of cavitation. If the propeller is not fully immersed, it disturbs the water, which, in turn, chases fish away. If the propeller is in too deep, it risks damage from the waterbed.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Fishing in saltwater can be a challenge due to the limited fish species present in brackish water. It becomes even more challenging if you don’t have the right equipment.

The ideal saltwater motor should be resistant to corrosion and easy to operate. The Newport NV Series saltwater transom mount motor has all these qualities. It is not only useful in salty waters with its corrosion-proof shaft and hardware but also easy to operate. It has a long-lasting battery that allows you to fish longer and is extremely easy to install. You can expect quiet and smooth operation from this motor that will make your fishing experience much more relaxed, and, should anything go wrong on your trip, their tech support is responsive and helpful.

 

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