The Best Trolling Motor Reviews: Top Electric Models

Quiet, well-built, durable, and efficient. That’s what most fishers said when we asked what they were looking for in a trolling motor. Any serious angler today should consider having the best trolling motor when going fishing. This compact device has revolutionized fishing since it was first developed by O.G. Schmidt in 1934.

Fishing without a troller makes things that much harder. This convenient contraption is a must-have for the modern-day angler, especially if you’re looking for professional results or participate in tournament fishing.

In this trolling motor review, we’ll check out all the features that a trolling motor should have, the pros and cons of each model, what we like and don’t like about each pick, and the most important questions you should ask before buying one.

Our picks have gone through hours of research on their effectiveness and capabilities, and we have also considered user comments from verified purchases. This buying guide aims to help you choose a trolling motor with confidence. It will equip you with the knowledge needed to make the best choice for your individual needs.

In a hurry? Check out the highlights and top features of our best trolling motor pick below:

Aquos White Haswing Cayman Shaft Bow Mount Trolling Motor engine is a mid-range troller from a reliable manufacturer. It is designed to be corrosion-proof and has sturdy materials like steel, zinc, and magnesium. It has a decent thrust and will give you many years of useful service with minimal need for repairs or parts replacement.

 

The Best Trolling Motors Reviews:

1. Aquos White Haswing Cayman 12V 55 lbs. Shaft Bow Mount Trolling Motor — Overall Best Trolling Motor

AQUOS White Haswing Cayman 12V 55LBS 48inch Shaft Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor Portable,Variable Speed with Quick Release Bracket for Bass Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use

This trolling motor ranked as one of the best because of its remarkable features, including its functionality in both fresh and saltwater. It comes with a wireless remote, which puts steering and boat control entirely under your control. The remote has a button for quickly adjusting speeds, allowing for efficient hands-free fishing.

 

Key Features

  • 55 lbs. thrust power
  • 34 lbs. weight
  • 48” adjustable shaft
  • 3-blade propeller
  • Bow mount trolling motor
  • Battery: 12 volts (not included)
  • Variable speeds

 

What We Like

Its superior remote-control capabilities and flawless foot pedal controls stand out. This troller also has a depth collar that allows for quicker and simpler maneuverability in freshwater or salt. The 48-inch adjustable shaft is suitable for different types of boats and has a revolutionary quick-release bracket for swifter removal and installation of the trolling motor on the boat.

 

What We Don’t Like

The mount’s plastic rollers are quite brittle and can break very easily.

 

Pros

  • Allows the user to accurately dial in the preferred speed
  • Can function on both fresh and saltwater
  • Amazing cruise controls
  • Good thrust

 

Cons

  • Some mounting parts may come off quickly, making it hard to secure the trolling motor on bow of the boat.

 

If you’re looking for a multifunctional, sturdy, long-lasting, and smooth cruise-control bow-mounted motor that offers the freedom to select cruise speed and get your hands free, this is one of the best options for medium to large boats. You won’t need spare batteries because a single charge can last you all day.

 

Our Rating: 4.9/5.0

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

2. Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)

The Minn Kota Endura C2 is an affordable electric trolling motor that is lightweight, quiet, and fast with an easy-to-fix lever bracket. It has a 36-inch corrosion-proof shaft, ideal for small to medium fishing vessels. The total run-time is 4 hours on high speed with ample power charge leftover.

 

Key Features

  • 30 lbs. thrust power
  • 16 lbs. weight
  • 36″ shaft length, adjustable
  • 6” telescoping handle with 8 speeds
  • Lever lock bracket
  • Power prop
  • Uses 12V sealed battery (sold separately)

 

What We Like

The Minn Kota Endura C2 is a transom mount trolling motor that has incredibly easy controls. We liked how effortless it was to tilt the telescoping handle, click the speed controls, control the depth, tilt the shaft, and generally steer the boat.

The 6-inch telescoping tiller of this motor maneuvers so smoothly, it rotates on an impressive 180-degree angle with a tilt of only 45 degrees. This motor makes for an easy-to-use troller and is especially suited for small boats that require a transom mount.

 

What We Don’t Like

The Minn Kota Endura C2 trolling motor is not as efficient in reverse speed. It eats up a lot of battery juice when moving backward.

 

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Remarkably quiet
  • Easy to install
  • Decent thrust

 

Cons

  • Reverse action can be slow
  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing
  • No battery indicator

 

Minn Kota trolling motors are trusted products in the fishing world, and this Minn Kota Endura C2 30 troller does not disappoint. It is a great choice, certainly one of the best choices, especially for boats that require a transom mount. It comes complete with a superb build, eight-speed controls, and convenient steering. Although not recommended for saltwater fishing, the Minn Kota Endura C2 is affordable and does the job pretty well.

 

Our Rating: 4.7/5

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3. Minn Kota Edge Bow Mount Foot Control Trolling Motor

MinnKota Edge 55 Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor with Latch and Door Bracket (55lbs thrust, 45" Shaft) (Renewed)

This Minn Kota trolling motor is one of the best trolling motors out there with a notable 70 pounds of thrust power. Its five speeds are enough to knock you overboard if you’re not careful. With all that power, this beauty is sure to navigate the toughest waters seamlessly.

 

Key Features

  • 70 pounds thrust power
  • 5 speeds
  • 44 pounds weight
  • 36″ shaft length, adjustable
  • Adjustable bracket
  • Ergonomic foot pedal control
  • Bow mount trolling motor

 

What We Like

We really enjoy how easy it is to use. You can just mount this trolling motor on your boat without much stress, unmount it equally quickly, and enjoy trolling with its strong thrust yet smooth operation.

The motor is constructed with durable materials. It has a marine-grade aluminum spine encompassing a composite shaft and a sturdy, impact-resistant head. With all these characteristics, your trolling motor and boat will stand unscathed against massive water impacts and powerful winds. It comes inbuilt with an ergonomic foot pedal so you can use your hands for what matters — catching those fish. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best trolling motors around.

 

What We Don’t Like

The power chord to the battery is short. At only 4 feet, you may have to extend it with more primary wiring depending on the location of your power center and the layout of your deck in relation to your bow.

 

Pros

  • Best value for money
  • Powerful motor for smooth gliding even on choppy waters
  • Easy to install
  • Ergonomic foot pedal action for hands-free ease

 

Cons

  • Can’t be used for saltwater trolling
  • Short power cord, which can be inconvenient
  • Batteries not incluced

 

Minn Kota trolling motors are known for their reliability. You can glide through the toughest waters in the windiest conditions using this impressive 70-pound thrust power trolling motor. Enjoy hands-free navigation using the ergonomic foot controls. Though this option doesn’t feature a reverse action, it rotates seamlessly in the opposite direction, making your fishing that much easier. This one is definitely a contender for best trolling motor.

 

Our Rating: 4.9/5.0

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4. Newport Vessels 86 lb. Thrust Electric Trolling Motor 

Newport Vessels L-Series 86lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (40" Shaft)

 

The model by Newport Vessel is trusty and thrust-y. It is a high-quality and well-built electric trolling motor that positively screams high performance. It is a reliable saltwater or freshwater trolling motor because it has strong corrosion-proof properties, being made from materials like zinc and magnesium that can handle the harsh conditions of both freshwater and saltwater adventures. 

 

Key Features

  • 86 pounds thrust power
  • Weighs 5 pounds
  • 40″ shaft length, adjustable fiberglass composite
  • 8 speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse) with a 6″ telescoping handle
  • 3D propeller
  • 10-point LED battery meter
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel hardware
  • Transom mount trolling motor
  • Needs 2 x 12V batteries

 

What We Like

Its powerful motor drives performance while boasting cool and quiet operation. That much thrust makes you easily reach speeds of 4.5 mph in a heavy 14-foot fiberglass boat. If that’s not performance, then we don’t know what is.

It trolls silently through both freshwater and saltwater, efficiently masking your movement, and has an adjustable, sturdy, fiberglass shaft to navigate both deep and shallow water. Its powerful motor also allows it to navigate the toughest of environments.

The Newport electric trolling motor’s ergonomic handle gives you the speed options and levels of control you need. It’s a tremendous electric outboard for long periods on the water as it maintains its charge quite efficiently. The LED battery indicators are entirely accurate and give a reasonable estimation of the battery’s level, so you won’t ever find yourself inconvenienced mid-trip.

 

What We Don’t Like

The turndown screws that secure the electric trolling motor to the boat are not as heavy-duty as we’d like. This could pose a problem when cruising at top speeds.

 

Pros

  • Best build and durability
  • Extremely quiet and smooth
  • Freshwater and saltwater trolling capabilities
  • Superb thrust performance

 

Cons

  • Relatively costly
  • No removable stern mount bracket

 

It’s easy to see why this electric trolling motor is considered the best of the best in our trolling motor review. All in all, if its performance in thrust and durability are what you’re after, and you don’t mind shelling out a bit more for it, then this is the motor to see you through more than a couple of fishing seasons in all types of water.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5.0

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5. GoPlus Electric Trolling Motor

Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46/55/86 LBS Thrust Transom Mounted 8 Speed with Adjustable Handle for Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use (Two-Blade Propeller) (46 LBS)

This GoPlus electric trolling motor gives you some of the best value for money. It takes adjustability to a whole new level – the propeller depth, boat clamp, shaft angle, and shaft height can all be adjusted!

 

Key Features

  • 55 pounds thrust power
  • 25 lbs. weight
  • 30″ adjustable shaft length
  • 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds
  • 6” telescoping handle
  • Flexible boat clamp, shaft, and shaft angle
  • 3D propeller
  • 10-point LED lights indicator
  • Transom mount trolling motor
  • 24 volts needed (2 x 12V batteries sold separately)

 

What We Like

We love how amazingly adjustable it is, which is what makes it one of the best trolling motors around. Customize just about everything – the shaft angle, propeller depth, telescoping handle, boat clamp, and solid fixed ring. It glides smoothly over water and is very quiet in operation thanks to the unique three-blade propeller and the 6-inch extendable telescope tiller. With this, the fisher to comfortably steer and troll without strain.

 

What We Don’t Like

The detent for changing speeds levels is weak. It can be easy to overachieve or underachieve the switch position when this trolling motor is in use.

 

Pros

  • Excellent adjustability
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Powerful thrust
  • Excellent value for money

 

Cons

  • Can be slow to respond while trolling
  • Rapid battery charge loss due to powerful engine

 

The GoPlus is an overall excellent electric trolling motor for the money. It has a powerful motor that will guide you through the water quietly and with ease. If adjustability matters to you — say you mostly throw your line in tight areas — then, this is your trolling motor.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

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6. Newport NV Series 36lb. Saltwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The Newport NV-series saltwater trolling motor is made using tough alloys of stainless steel, fiberglass, and zinc anode. These reduce the risk of corrosion to its shaft, which is common in salty waters. The shaft is easily adjustable, making it easy to change the propeller depth and avoid damaging the motor.

 

Key Features

  • 36 pounds thrust power
  • Weighs 19 pounds
  • 30” adjustable, corrosion-proof fiberglass shaft
  • 5-point LED battery indicator
  • 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds
  • 6” telescoping handle
  • 2D propeller blade
  • Transom mount trolling motor
  • Require 1 x 12V battery

 

What We Like

This trolling motor is extremely quick and has lots of torque on all its settings, even when out in the ocean. It comes with a two-year warranty, which shows the confidence Newport has in its trolling motors. And Newport’s professional customer care service makes this troller a winner among many anglers for any follow-up questions or complaints.

This trolling motor comes with a 6-inch telescoping handle with eight speeds for smooth steering, allowing you to adjust your speed as you navigate. This feature, along with its corrosion-proof build, makes it one of the best trolling motors for freshwater and saltwater activities.

 

What We Don’t Like

It tends to be slightly louder even on low speed, so look out for that when trolling.

 

Pros

  • Smooth propeller depth and motor position adjustment
  • Friendly to both freshwater and saltwater trolling
  • Long-lasting battery on a single charge

 

Cons

  • Separately sold battery, which can be costly
  • Has been known to overheat
  • Middling thrust not as versatile as other motors

 

The overall performance of this Newport NV-series trolling motor is impressive. Fish in saltwater without worrying about corrosion with this trolling motor. It is made using some of the most robust and resistant materials, including zinc, magnesium, and stainless steel.

 

Our Rating: 4.7/5.0

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

7. Minn Kota Endura Max 45lb. Freshwater Trolling Motor

MInn Kota Endura Max 55 36 In Shaft 55 Lb Thrust Trans Mnt

The Minn Kota Endura Max is a favorite among anglers. It was one of the first trolling motors designed by O. G. Schmidt in 1934. The troller has solid energy efficiency and can give you 7 to 8 hours of some of the best fun.

 

Key Features

  • 45 pounds thrust power
  • Weighs 28 pounds
  • 36” adjustable shaft
  • 8 speeds (5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds)
  • 6” telescoping handle
  • Power prop to push through tough underwater vegetation
  • Digital maximize to extend battery life
  • 2D blade propeller
  • Can be a transom or bow mount trolling motor

 

What We Like

The Minn Kota Endura trolling motor has a good thrust and a smooth and continuous forward and reverse action that allows you to troll with ease even at full speeds. We also appreciate that you have the option to mount it on the bow or on the transom of your boat.

The comfortable and ergonomic tiller allows for a better steering response with not much effort from you. It runs smooth and quiet to help you catch those elusive fish—and there’s no chance of this motor overheating due to the extra-large windings and commutators, which effectively dissipate heat.

 

What We Don’t Like

The motor mount system is not as secure as we’d like it to be. Perhaps the addition of a bolt through the mount could improve its attachment to the boat.

 

Pros

  • Better control by dialing in your preferred speed
  • Energy efficient
  • Versatile — can be mounted on the bow or transom
  • Smooth and convenient steering
  • Easy to install
  • Long hours of fishing with battery power saved through digital maximize

 

Cons

  • Not the best option for saltwater trolling
  • Does not come with a battery, an extra expense

 

If you regularly fish on freshwater for long periods, a Minn Kota Endura Max could work for you. The digital maximizer is its best feature, giving you hours of fun without any worry of the battery power running out. It runs on one 12-volt marine battery, but make sure you have 2 batteries so you have backup.

 

Our Rating: 4.7/5.0

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8. Watersnake ASP Transom Mount Saltwater Trolling Motor

Watersnake ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor with 24-Pound Thrust, 24-Inch Shaft, 12-Volt

The Watersnake T24S is another favorite and is a close runner-up for best trolling motor. It provides a stellar trolling experience, especially if you have a small boat, kayak, or canoe. It comes with 24 pounds. of thrust and only weighs 6.7 pounds. That’s powerful enough to propel a lightweight boat smoothly. This allows you to cruise strong currents comfortably without spooking the fish.

 

Key Features

  • 24 lbs. thrust power
  • 7 lbs. weight
  • 24” adjustable shaft
  • 2 speeds (high and low)
  • Fixed tiller
  • Transom mount trolling motor
  • Use a deep cell battery with 12 volts

 

What We Like

We appreciate how lightweight this saltwater trolling motor is, making it easy to pull kayaks, canoes, and other small boats through the water with just the right amount of thrust.

In addition, the battery remains full for quite a while after a single charge. The motor also allows for the infusion of an extra battery to boost the power should you need it. This means more time catching more fish. The battery is perfect for small inflatables and dinghies.

You can use the tiller handle to easily control the motor’s speed, changing speed quickly from high to low and vice versa. This trolling motor is corrosion-proof and comes with a sturdy shaft made from stainless steel. With all of this, it is relatively affordable. Hence, you’re assured of a quality product without shelling out a fortune.

 

What We Don’t Like

Its slow speed is not as slow as it could be, and, on a small boat, things can get quite dicey on the water. You also have to buy the battery separately.

 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Just enough thrust for a small boat
  • High-quality build and components
  • Powerful motor
  • 2-blade weed-less design propeller
  • Anti-corrosive paint for greater durability

 

Cons

  • Does not come with the battery
  • Bolts on the mounting brackets may loosen while the troller motor is in operation

 

If you are serious about bagging that prize catch in salty waters, consider the Watersnake ASP trolling motor. It has excellent power and moves silently through the water. It’s also one of the best for light boats, and it is easy to control the motor with the tiller in restricted spaces.

See more Watersnake models here.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

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9. GoPlus Electric Trolling Motor 36 lbs. Thrust Transom Mount

Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46/55/86 LBS Thrust Transom Mounted 8 Speed with Adjustable Handle for Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use (55 LBS)

The GoPlus 36-pound troller motor takes things to a whole new level when it comes to its adjustability. This company is known for its easy-to-install and easy-to-use trolling motors. This electric trolling motor is affordable but high-quality and caters to every fisher’s need.

 

Key Features

  • 46 lbs. thrust power
  • 9 lbs. weight
  • 36” adjustable shaft
  • 8 speeds (5 forward speeds, 3 reverse) with 6” adjustable telescoping handle
  • 3-blade propeller
  • 10-point LED indicator
  • Reinforced nylon bracket
  • Transom mount trolling motor

 

What We Like

It has an excellent low amp draw on its battery, or batteries. You can use this troller motor for up to 4 hours and still retain 70 percent charge.

Gliding is smooth and very quiet thanks to the unique three-blade propeller, which cuts through stubborn underwater vegetation. Coupled with the six-inch extendable telescope tiller, the propeller allows the fisher to comfortably multi-task by steering and trolling without strain.

This unique trolling motor is made with high-quality and durable materials to increase its lifespan and enhance its performance.

 

What We Don’t Like

The first four forward speeds increase gradually in small increments, but the fifth speed kicks in quite abruptly and can jerk your boat.

 

Pros

  • Excellent thrust and adjustability
  • Durability assured
  • Great value for money
  • Battery saving

 

Cons

  • Can be slow to respond while trolling
  • No waterproof head, which makes the switch susceptible to leaks

 

The GoPlus is a great electric trolling motor for easy fishing, easily among the best. It does a great job of keeping the noise levels down, and with a battery of 24 volts, it provides excellent power to allow medium to large boats to glide through the water with confidence for long periods.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

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10. HASWING Anchor Control GPS 55 lbs. Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

HASWING Trolling Motor for Boat Fishing - Cayman W 12V 55LB 48" Shaft Extra Propeller Adjustable & Portable Electric Bow Mount. Remote for Speed Control. for Saltwater and Freshwater. Battery Powered

The Haswing Anchor GPS trolling motor has so many useful advanced features, it’s no wonder it appears in so many GPS trolling motor reviews. It can be used in both fresh and saltwater fishing because of its outstanding corrosion resistance.

 

Key Features

  • 55 lbs. thrust power
  • 39 lbs. weight
  • 48” adjustable shaft
  • 360-degree steering with remote wireless GPS control
  • 3-blade propeller
  • Bow mount trolling motor

 

What We Like

Apart from the more than adequate thrust, we especially like this troller’s LED Power Reader, which lets you check the accurate available battery power in your motor so that you don’t run out of power mid-trip.

Even better, if the boat drifts 6 feet or more from your desired position, it will trigger the trolling motor to turn the boat automatically. You can easily save and share anchor points. The motor’s functions can be controlled from anywhere on the boat from the bow to the stern. Even if your smartphone runs out of power, the remote will still change the boat’s direction or adjust the speed of the trolling motor.

Keep the boat along the shoreline or other landmarks and maintain constant speed easily. With the GPS remote wireless system, you can make precise adjustments for the current or wind conditions and run quieter to avoid spooking the fish.

 

What We Don’t Like

This trolling motor turns the boat fast, which can be a bit upsetting if you’re not expecting it.

 

Pros

  • GPS for quickly and precisely locating the current position of the boat
  • Option to save unlimited fishing spots and routes on your smartphone
  • Suitable for medium to large boats
  • Ideal for freshwater and saltwater activities
  • Lets you monitor battery life

 

Cons

  • Hard to operate in areas where data coverage is low

 

As far as GPS trolling motors go, the Haswing saltwater trolling motor has garnered quite a reputation among anglers. It is easy to use and integrates well with the app on your smart device. It is also less expensive than other GPS trollers, making it accessible for those interested in this type of fishing.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

 

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11. Minn Kota Powerdrive 68 lbs. Pontoon Trolling Motor

MKA-21 PowerDrive Composite Quick Release Bracket from Minn Kota

Yes, we already have the Minn Kota Endura C2 on our list but we have to add another one from this brand. The Minn Kota Powerdrive troller has a deploy-assist lever feature to ensure that your motor is securely stowed away in rough waters, thus enhancing its durability. And, should you need to fish, the feature deploys the motor quickly with minimal friction.

 

Key Features

  • 68 lbs. thrust power
  • 44 lbs. weight
  • 48″ shaft length
  • Quick-release lever for fast motor deployment
  • Weed-free propeller
  • Uses 2 x 12V batteries (not included)

 

What We Like

This Minn Kota troller’s superior performance when mounted on the pontoon was impressive. It could quickly turn and steer the boat in multiple directions with ease.

As a bonus, this trolling motor is compatible with innovative and advanced accessories such as autopilot and a Universal Sonar 2 System. Autopilot allows you to point the boat in the direction you want, and the Universal Sonar 2 System senses water temperature and contains dual-beam tech, providing underwater views. Designed for the pontoon, its digital maximize function helps you fish for long hours without worrying about running out of charge mid-trip.

View more of our top picks for pontoons here.

 

What We Don’t Like

The Minn Kota electric trolling motor does not come pontoon ready. You may have to install a 50A circuit breaker on your boat with additional battery cables and ⅜-inch terminal clasps more suited to 12V/24V batteries.

 

Pros

  • Variety of speeds controls
  • Super easy installation on most boats
  • Ergonomically designed foot pedals
  • A unique bearing system to reduce noise
  • Powerful thrust

 

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Quick-release mounting not as stable as it should be at full speeds

 

If you usually fish on choppy and rough waters, this trolling motor is one of the best choices as far as turbulence is concerned. It pulls you through the bumpiest water and easily attaches to your pontoon for the perfect fishing trip.

 

Our Rating: 4.8/5

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

 

What Is a Trolling Motor?

Trolling motors, also known as trollers, are self-contained devices fitted with an electric motor, propeller, and controls and affixed to a fisher’s boat, kayak, or canoe. These motors reduce drag when a boat’s primary engine is in operation, which results in smoother and quieter navigation and aids the angler in approaching and catching fish without spooking them.

 

Why Do Anglers Need Trolling Motors?

Fishing is a delicate sport. Success will depend on how silently you move through the water and not just on skill, lures, casting ability, and bait. One wrong move could mean the difference between getting that prize fish and missing out.

That’s where trolling motors come in. These motors enable fishers to be in full control of their boats and to move smoothly and quietly from one spot to another, which may be the difference between catching and losing their prize.

 

How Do Trolling Motors Work?

Trolling motors use electricity to power their in-built engines and propel the fishing boat. There are various speeds in both forward and reverse directions, and fishers can change the direction of the propeller, which steers the boat.

There are three mounting options for trollers: engine mount, bow mount, and transom mount.

Watch this video to see how engine-mounted trolling motors work.

 

 

Benefits of Using Trolling Motors

  • Trolling motors possess the power needed to mitigate windy conditions—especially out at sea–which could sabotage your fishing adventures.
  • Trolling motors allow for complete control over the boat at all times.
  • Trolling motors mask and quiet your movement across the water to avoid spooking fish.
  • Trolling motors enhance the maneuverability of the boat in tight spots, shallow waters, rough terrain, or densely vegetated waters.

 

 

Buying the Best Trolling Motor for Your Boat: Factors to Consider

Thrust

Thrust is the power required to propel your boat. Generally, every 100 pounds of loaded boat weight requires 2 pounds of thrust. Most trolling motors move boats that weigh 1,500 pounds or more. A more significant thrust generally performs better, but larger engines tend to cost more.

 

Mounting Systems for Trolling Motors

Engine Mount

This mounting system is the least preferred of the three options for two main reasons: cost and maneuverability. The only advantage is that it doesn’t use up as much space on a boat.

Bow Mount

Most trolling motors lend themselves to bow mounting. They feature a foot pedal control that allows for flexibility and a sliding hinge for quickly dipping and raising the motor in and out of the water. Bow mounting is best for medium to larger boats. It allows for better maneuverability, especially in rough water.

Transom Mount

Transom mounting is the most suitable mounting system for small boats, canoes, and dinghies. Transom trolling motors are much easier to operate for the angler in the limited space of a small boat; they can do it comfortably while seated. The motor sits at the stern with a clamp-on bracket. The fisher uses hand or even remote controls to maneuver, and there is a solid bar on which you can mount your trolling motor.

 

Control Systems

Troller motors have two basic control types: hand and foot pedal. When looking for a trolling motor, always go for one that is easy to control based on your boat type. As an angler, most of your attention should be on bagging that fish, not on figuring out how to move your boat around the waters.

 

Hand-controlled motors have levers, which can help you steer. With these, the boat immediately responds to directional changes. Hand-controlled trollers also take up less space on the boat and are perfect for small canoes and kayaks. However, you’ll need to concentrate on the hand controls, which takes attention away slightly from the main activity of fishing.

Foot-controlled motors are more practical for larger boats. All you need do as the fisher is to step on the motor to control its functions. This hands-free action means you can concentrate solely on your fishing.

Be careful, though. The boat does not respond well to directional changes with foot-pedal trollers, which can be frustrating. You also can’t use them on small boats, canoes, and kayaks.

A third option is to control your trolling motor remotely, so you don’t need to be glued to the bow end or stern end of your boat, but this will inevitably cost you. Remote-controlled troller motors are useful for regulating speed. Their sophisticated use of technology means the fisher can pay more attention to fishing. These also save space and allow boats to accommodate more weight.

 

Voltage and Battery Power

Trolling motors are electrical engines, and the bigger a motor is, the more power it will need. Power systems range from 12V to 12/24V, 24V, and 36V. Generally, boats with 55 pounds of thrust need just a single 12V battery while ones with 68 to 80 pounds of thrust will use 24V batteries.

Always go for a battery that lasts long after a single charge. Battery power is especially crucial for long-haul fishing; you’ll need a long-lasting battery, so you don’t wind up stranded. If the boat is short and you only use it occasionally, then a 24V battery will be ideal. However, if you’re into long-haul fishing, go for the 36V battery. You can also use more batteries to boost power if you prefer fishing for extended periods.

Make sure you make the effort to take care of whatever batteries you’ll be using on your troller. Discharge them fully before rechargine, and charge them fully.

 

Fish Fishing Rod Fishing Line

 

Shaft Length

The ideal shaft length is 1 foot, long enough to keep the propeller fully submerged and to avoid cavitation. The distance between the bow or stern and the water level varies depending on many factors including boat size and the mounting system used.

Make your own measurements to get the perfect fit for your boat, but keep in mind that the shaft should dip in 12 inches from the water level.

Try to go for adjustable shafts in your motors, which let you control the shaft length depending on the depth of the water. You don’t want a trolling motor that is too long and will hit the waterbed. You risk sustaining damage as you glide. You also don’t want to cavitate because the motor is too short, sucking in air and spooking the fish around you.

 

Freshwater or Saltwater Fishing

Most trolling motors on the market are made for freshwater trolling and do not function well in salty waters. If fishing on a saltwater lake or out in the sea, select a troller covered with less metal or one specially coated with alloys that mitigate the corrosion effects of saltwater. These motors aren’t cheap, so buying trollers with maximum protection against corrosion to ensure durability is a good idea.

 

Build and Durability

Your trolling motor should be built well for durability and long-term use. You will eventually save money and avoid the hassle of replacing your trolling motor every other year. Durable materials include corrosion-proof alloys like zinc and stainless steel, which will last you a long time. Plastic parts are generally not the best idea as they tend to crack easily.

Go for fiberglass shafts, which are close to indestructible, as well as 3D propellers that can help boats cut through tough vegetation. If your motor has a protective cover or housing, that will work to keep your trolling motor in mint condition. Most manufacturers of trolling motors offer generous warranties, so be sure to check exactly what the terms are to avoid disappointments in the future.

 

Ease of Maintenance

Trolling motors are an investment requiring maintenance. Taking care of your motor should be comfortable and not a chore. Choosing the right trolling motor goes a long way to ensuring that you will be able to maintain it and keep it working at its best for longer.

 

Some common maintenance tasks include:

  • Replace any worn-out electrical wires and reattach any loose connections in your motor.
  • Treat any scratches in your motor with sandpaper.
  • Tighten any loose screws.
  • Use a wire brush to clean out your motor’s battery regularly.
  • Treat or replace any corroded parts in your motor immediately.

 

Legal

Most states require that you register your boat and obtain a fishing license with your local wildlife and fisheries agency. You must check on these requirements to ensure your boat and your motor are in compliance. The US Fisheries and Wildlife Service has some helpful guidelines for if you’re going out fishing for the first time or are pretty new to the activity.

 

Final Thoughts

Trolling motors are an ideal accessory for fishing. They’re durable, serve a beneficial purpose, and make fishing fun and more relaxed. They’re not just suitable for fishing though. Trolling motors eliminate the need for oaring or paddling to the middle of the lake and back to shore when you are kayaking or canoeing.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best trolling motor. We hope that the information in this trolling motor review equips you with the knowledge to buy the right product for your boat. The best electric trolling motors should ensure that you don’t ever have to row again.

We’re confident the above motors cover all types of boats and fishing situations. So, don’t delay! Get out there and fish and let us know how you get on with your chosen trolling motor.

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