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10 Best Trolling Motor 2021 (Ultimate Buyer’s Guide)

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What is a trolling motor?

A trolling motor is a self-contained motor that primarily used for fishing. It can be powered by electricity or gas and located on bow or stern sometimes both. It is not the main source of propulsion. When the main engine of a boat is working trolling motor is lifted from the water to reduce drag and make floating more comfortable. It is used to move fishing boats in the water without making much noise to avoid scare fishes.

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Some boats use small gas outboard motors to power the boat. But these outboard motors make such noise that will scare fishes. And fishes will run away from your boat. That may result in less or zero caught fishes. To overcome this situation you need a trolling motor.

Trolling motors will deliver similar speed but it will have a very less sound. It will be quite silent while driving and fishes will not scared of the loud sound of boat motor. It can also move from spot to spot smoothly. These factors can bring more fishes to your boat.

Trolling motors are highly controllable. It will give you better steering control. You can go to almost every fishing spot even the hard ones that are normally unreachable. And the best part is it will more silent than your primary outboard motors.

Types of Trolling Motor:

There are usually three types of trolling motors, which are widely used:

Bow Mount Trolling Motor:

It is the traditional and standard type of trolling motor and is fixed at the boat’s front. This trolling motor allows you to have precise control over the boat and has several other features.

To install a bow mount trolling motor, one requires to possess ample room on the upfront. These motors generally give versatility and control to the boat, although they are fairly expensive.

Transom Mount Trolling Motor:

This trolling motor is one that mounts to the transom of a boat. They are mostly used for kayaks. The transom mount trolling motor is usually easy to install, simple to manage, and notably affordable. The only downside of this is that it is not extremely functional and can be somewhat difficult to control.

Engine Mount Trolling Motor:

This trolling motor is a modern and popular choice among people and mounts to the fishing boat’s outboard engine, allowing one to save space on the deck.

Although the installation of this type of engine mounts trolling is usually more complicated than the traditional trolling bow or transom mount motors. The downside of this is that it lacks additional features, unlike the bow mount trolling motor, and given the fewer features and thrust, it costs more than both transom and bow mount motors.


Benefits of using a trolling motor

Here are some of the benefits of using a trolling motor:

  • The usage of trolling motors becomes essential as it allows the boat to maneuver around at a steady speed and to have precise control without startling fishes.
  • This excellent tool helps fishers fish quietly without making loud noises from the engine. The fish come out easily from their hiding places.
  • In a rowboat, one has to do a lot of manual labor by paddling but using the trolling motor makes work easy without a lot of noise.
  • The weather and the lake’s current or river also matter; hence the trolling motor board with functional qualities will make work easier.
  • They are lightweight and easy to install or remove. The most easily available trolling motor is the Transom mount, which is great for kayaks or smaller boats. If the boat’s size is bigger and needs simple maneuverability, then the bow mount motor is required.
  • The trolling motor is not just beneficial for fishers in shallow water but also for marine sports as well
  • The usage of electric trolling motors avoids the need to carry oil and fuel.

Our 10 Best Trolling Motors

Here are our top 10 trolling motors that you can choose from for your fishing and boating experiences listed below:

Let’s compare them based on their features and specifications in this comparison table.

ProductMotor weightThrustAdditional FeaturesPropeller
Newport Vessels Nv-Series Trolling Motor19lbs36lbs8Speed Control System and Adjustable Transom.2 blade propeller.
Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount18lbs55lbsLever Lock Bracket and 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings.2blade power propeller.
Watersnake – ASP 18 Transom Mount Trolling Motor4.85lbs18lbs/ 24lbsAnti-impact clip system2blade weedless design propeller.
Motorguide Xi3 Wireless41 lbs55 lbsWireless Remote Control Secure Step system Pinpoint GPS
3-blade Machete propeller
Newport Vessels Kayak Series23 lbs55 lbs8 Speed settings 5 Led Battery indicator3 Blade stock propeller.
AQUOS Haswing Cayman White 12V34 lbs55 lbsQuick Release Bracket LED battery indicator3 Blade Propeller
Watersnake Tracer Transom Mount Trolling Freshwater Motor27.15 lbs44 lbsWeedless Design Telescopic steel shaftWeedless three-blade propeller
PEXMOR Electric Trolling Motor16 lbs36 lbsLED Battery Indicator 8 Variable SpeedThree-blade propeller (Additional two-blade propeller)
Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor83.79 lbs100 lbs (24-Volt)LED light indicator DownScan imagingTwo bladed propeller
Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor71 lbs80 lbs ( 24- Volt)i-Pilot GPS Spot lock system Bluetooth for iOs and AndroidTwo bladed propeller

Best Freshwater And Saltwater Trolling Motor: Newport Vessels Nv-Series Trolling Motor

What We Liked
  • Longer running time.
  • Adjustable shaft.
  • Adjustable speed increments.
  • 2 blade propeller.
  • Protection from electric damage..
What We Didn’t Like
  • Not waterproof.
  • Small in size.
  • Defective seals.

This is one of the best trolling motors for freshwater, which comes with the power of 36lb Thrust, which is equivalent to 0.48HP. Its dimensions are about 43 x 18 x 4 inches and have an extremely simple and lightweight design weighing 19 lbs. This transom motor is powered by a 12-volt Deep Cycle battery or a Marine battery (Lead-Acid, AGM).

To ensure durability, the highest quality materials like stainless steel and fiberglass are used to make it. The materials are saltwater resistant and also comes with a two-bladed propeller.

Some of its fantastic features are adjustable transom mount fitting and the 8-speed control system. Along with the motor, you will be provided with a 40 AMP circuit breaker that will aid in protecting your motor from any electrical damage.

Verdict: This will be the best suited trolling motor for saltwater and an ideal option for powering kayaks, fit boats, dinghies. It also works well in both freshwater and saltwater, with high and low-speed control, easy to handle

Best Minn Kota Trolling Motor: Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount

What We Liked
  • Longer run on a single battery.
  • Easy control.
  • Quick and responsive steer.
  • Quick-release lever.
  • Indestructible shaft.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Conserves battery.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Shaft top is not sealed.
  • Insufficient trust in reverse.
  • Noisy.

Minn Kota Endura is pretty economical and comes with tiller handles, making it easier to fish. Apart from that, some of its essential features include the lever lock bracket and 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings.

The lever lock bracket allows it to rotate and lift the vantage’s indicator to about 180º. It also allows a quick-release lever lock, and the material protects from UV damage.

The Endura model facilitates more steering responses with minimum effort. This makes it easier to control the motor. Lastly, it lets you ride the boat at a variable speed due to the speed settings and conserve battery.

This trolling motor’s approximate weight is 18 pounds, and its dimensions are 42.38 x 5.38 x 16.25 inches. The style for this product is known as the Endura C2 55. It comes with an Indestructible Composite Shaft, which is stronger than steel and flexes well on impact.

Verdict: This is one of the ideal options and the best ones under Minn Kota trolling motors. It is light-weighted, has many functions, and the shaft is pretty reliable as well.

Best Trolling Motor For Inflatable Boat: Watersnake – ASP 18 Transom Mount Trolling Motor

What We Liked
  • Versatile design and features.
  • Great for kayaks.
  • Adjustable transom.
  • Good control features.
  • Lightweight.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Battery not included.
  • Faulty Forward/Reverse switch.
  • No tilt bracket added.
  • Not very powerful.

If you are looking for a trolling motor for inflatable boats, this will serve the purpose well. The Watersnake- ASP 18 has an extremely simple and lightweight design. The thrust is about 18 pounds, and the motor weighs about 4.85 lbs. Not only does it work great for inflatable boats, but kayaks, canoes, and small dinghies too.

One of its important features is its control specialties, high and low-speed control, and an extendable handle that provides easy steering. It also comes with an adjustable transom.

Along with all these exquisite control features, the shaft plus has an anti-impact clip system in the mount. The measurement of the shaft is about 24 includes.

It has a 2-blade propeller, which comes with a weedless design. The electric power available with this is 18 lb (7-15 amps) and 24 lb (9-20 amps) thrust. Due to its lightweight, you don’t need a large battery.

Verdict: This is one of the most versatile options, which has excellent control features, is lightweight, and apart from being fit for inflatable boats, it works well for kayaks, canoes, dinghies, etc.

Best Trolling Motor For Pontoon Boat: Motorguide Xi3 Wireless

What We Liked
  • Wireless on-screen control display.
  • GPS ability.
  • Makes less sound.
  • Long-lasting battery.
  • Easy maneuverability.
  • Functional.
  • LED dashboard.
  • Easy to install.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Manufacturing issues.
  • Control might be complicated.

If you are looking for the most suitable trolling motor for a pontoon boat, this Bow Mount Trolling Motor by MotorGuide is an excellent option.

The special quality of this is its wireless remote control with GPS power, which lets you operate the motor from anywhere on the boat precisely.

It has a Secure step system that allows the motor to deploy and stow easily and safely when the release lever is stepped on from a comfortable position.

This is also considered a great trolling motor for freshwater. It has a good battery backup and provides an efficient operative arrangement.

The peak thrust delivered by this is 55 pounds and holds a 48-inch-long composite shaft. Its dimensions are 64.25 x 20 x 10.5 inches and weigh 41 lbs. The propeller has a 3-blade Machete and a 12-volt motor with the highest draw of 52 amps.

Some of its innovative features include the sound of this trolling motor, which is known to be 40% quieter than other brands. The LED dashboard is also pretty impressive, easy to read, and lets you instantly check key functions’ status even in low-light conditions.

Verdict: This is a great option for fishing. Other than that, it is easy to install. The remote control is effective, and there is an LED dashboard that allows you to check the battery meter. It is also an ideal choice for pontoon boats.

Best Trolling Motor For Kayak & Canoe: Newport Vessels Kayak Series

What We Liked
  • Saltwater corrosion resistant.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Efficient balance.
  • Various speed settings.
  • Adjustable shaft.
  • Effortless rides for kayaks.
  • Modern design & look.
  • Durable motorhead.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Awkward handles.
  • Vibrating propeller.

The trolling motor has a powerful thrust of 55lb drawing 52 Amps max, making it one of the best trolling motors for kayaks.

Since this trolling motor has been specifically made for kayaks and canoes, its shaft is 24-inch and is easily adjustable. It is constructed of fiberglass, which allows for shifting depth placement and offers trustworthy performance.

This kayak series trolling motor has 8-speed settings, including 5-speed settings for forward and 3 for reverse. The 5 LED battery indicator comes in handy as it notifies about the battery charge.

It has a 6-inch telescoping handle, which helps to control the kayak or canoe. It has a standard 3 Blade stock propeller.

Apart from being functional for kayaks, its deep-volt battery is fit for saltwater use. The material is corrosion-resistant. (Lead-Acid DC 12V).

Its dimensions are 40.4 x 19.6 x 6.3 inches, and the total weight is 23lbs. It also comes with a 2 Year Warranty.

Verdict: This Kayak Series trolling motor is extremely functional, has a good look and design. It has various speed settings, and the shaft is adjustable as well. The only downside is the handles, which may be positioned in an awkward position.

Best Trolling Motor For Bass Boat: AQUOS Haswing Cayman White 12V

What We Liked
  • Wireless thrust motor.
  • USB charging cable.
  • Fast foot pedal.
  • Easy to remove/install.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Makes less sound.
  • Smooth functions.
  • LED battery indicator.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Not durable.
  • Inadequate customer service.

If you are looking for a trolling motor that suits your bass boat, then Haswing Cayman is your best pick. It has a powerful thrust of 55 lbs. The dimensions of this trolling motor are 58.31 x 16.89 x 12.2 inches and weigh 34 lbs.

It has been designed with variable speed controls that let you move the boat at the desired speed.

Apart from that, keeping the trolling motor at low power will increase battery life; it is also engineered to make less sound.

Some of its great features include wireless remote control, compact size so that it’s convenient and easily fits your hand.

It comes with a quick-release bracket that makes installation or removal of the motor easy.

This trolling motor also comes with wired foot control, making operation easy and precise.

An important quality is the cruise control, which allows you to keep the boat at the desired speed.

It has a 48 ” stainless steel shaft. The trolling motor is corrosion-resistant, which can be set up for both saltwater and freshwater.

The motor comes with an ergonomic lifting handle that makes you comfortably move the motor after every usage. It also has an LED battery indicator.

Verdict: This bass boat trolling motor has a smooth wireless control and acceleration. The hand-held remote control works impressively as well. It is easy to install and remove, but many have faced issues regarding their poor customer service.

Best Trolling Motor For Jon Boat: Watersnake Tracer Transom Mount Trolling Freshwater Motor

What We Liked
  • Good battery life.
  • Smooth functions.
  • Functional.
  • Handle is extendable.
  • Weedless design.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to handle.
  • Makes less sound.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Speed concerns.
  • Defective Propeller.

This is a great option for your Jon Boat, the Watersnake Tracer Transom Mount Trolling Motor. It is ideal for various boats like canoes, kayaks, inflatables, etc.

The power thrust of this trolling motor is 44 lbs, and its dimensions are 49 x 21.5 x 7.4 inches and weigh 27.15 lbs.

This is also considered well suited for the freshwater as the motor has been fitted with a 36-inch telescopic shaft built of chrome-plated steel.

It has a two-blade propeller with a weedless design that allows the boat to move easily within the water and weeds.

This is also considered the best transom mount trolling motor because of its extendable tiller, which operates smoothly. Various speed options include five forward speeds and two reverse speeds.

Verdict: This trolling motor works smoothly and can be used for various options of boats. Other than its versatility, the thrust is quite powerful, and all in all, it is quite easy to handle.


Best Electric Trolling Motor: PEXMOR Electric Trolling Motor

What We Liked
  • Powerful motor.
  • Quiet.
  • Clears weed easily.
  • Great for a small boat.
  • Has 8 variable speeds.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Saltwater fit.
  • Adjustable height & depth.
  • Additional accessories.
  • Light-weight.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Battery not included.
  • Difficult to reach controls.
  • Sensitive throttle.

Are you a fan of electric trolling motors? Then PEXMOR electric trolling motor with a 36lbs Thrust will surely amaze you. Its dimensions are 40.5 x 17.7 x 6 inches, and the product weight is 16 lbs.

It is built with the highest quality corrosion-resistant materials, which are durable in the long run. It has been reinforced with a Nylon Bracket and a composite shaft made with fiberglass.

This electric motor works well for inflatable boats, kayaks, Jon boats, Fishing boats, etc. It comes with a 6″ telescoping adjustable handle, which is comfortable and has 8-speed settings: 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, for smooth and easy control.

It comes with a 10 LED light indicator, which helps to keep track of the battery life.

To adapt to the different sailing conditions, one can adjust the shaft angle by pressing a button and working according to the surfing requirements. Additionally, one can also adjust the machine’s depth with the help of a knob when in the water.

This electric trolling motor has been equipped with three-bladed propellers, efficient and enhancing the boat’s movement. The propeller’s sharp blades have been engineered to get rid of seaweed or any other substances in the water.

Verdict: This electric trolling motor works quite well for the price and is suitable for a range of marine boats. Additionally, it doesn’t take up much battery and works smoothly; it can even eliminate any weeds or stones that get tangled on the propeller’s blades.

Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor: Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor

What We Liked
  • Ultra-low sound.
  • Powerful thrust.
  • LED light indicator.
  • Efficient movement.
  • Easy integration.
  • Saves battery life.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Heavy.
  • Expensive.
  • No remote control.

Here’s a premium bow mount motor for your boat by Lowrance called Ghost.

The name Ghost has been acquired due to its ability to have ultra-quiet sound with the maximum thrust of 100 lbs on a 24-volt setting, which is the highest compared to other brands.

Its motor is efficient and delivers a great run-time. One can enjoy exquisite acceleration and speed without having to drain the battery life.

Its dimensions are 35 x 22.84 x 8.78 inches, and the machine weighs about 83.79 pounds.

Apart from this, some of its great features include an HDI transducer and Lowrance CHIRP sonar, which allows you a good duration of time while boating without having to drain the battery.

It has DownScan imaging, and the brushless motor allows seamless navigation. It consists of a foot pedal and has an LED light indicator for batteries. This also has a 47″ long shaft, which allows easy and smooth movement.

This is specifically a freshwater fit trolling motor, and I advised not to use this for brackish or saltwater purposes.

Verdict: This bow mount trolling motor is one of the most popular and premium options available in the market. The price may be on the higher side, but the quality offered by Ghost is commendable and does a great job.

Best GPS & Spot-Lock Trolling Motor: Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor

What We Liked
  • GPS.
  • Spot lock for fishing.
  • High power.
  • Durable material.
  • Wireless remote.
  • Comfortable foot pedal.
  • Bluetooth enabled.
  • Saves battery.
  • Battery meter.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive.
  • Heavy.

Here’s an ideal trolling motor with GPS and spot lock features by none other than Minn Kota, which is one of the most popular and reliable brands in the market

Its made up of composite aluminum and plastic, the dimensions are 45 x 18.78 x 8.5 inches, and it weighs 71 Pounds. The power of this trolling motor is 80 lbs with a 24-Volt setting.

The main features of this product are its i-Pilot Gps and the Spot-lock system. The GPS is intuitive and allows great steering and control of the boat. Apart from that, it is Bluetooth enabled, and you can connect it to your iOS or Android easily.

Lastly, the foot pedal consists of a spot lock system that allows you to remain on a fishing spot without having to pedal all the way and scare the fish away.

It also has an integrated battery, which indicates battery consumption and life. It has an indestructible shaft, which is 45 inches.

This trolling motor has been designed for all kinds of freshwater boats and can pull through the water smoothly.

Verdict: The price of this product is on the higher end, but it is extremely popular. It’s an ideal option if you are into fishing regularly. The Spot-Lock System is a desirable option and will help you catch as many fish as possible. Other than that, it also has a powerful motor compared to many other brands.

What size trolling motor do you need?

While purchasing a right trolling motor, there are a few things that you need to consider and the size is an essential part of it, and how much thrust is required by the boat.

The standard measure of how powerful a motor is by its thrust. It is measured in pounds (lbs).

So, for a large and heavy boat, you will need more thrust on the water. For the smooth movement of the boat, avoid purchasing a trolling motor with little thrust.

To find the correct size trolling motor, you need to keep in mind your boat’s weight and the boat’s weight with all the equipment and gears on it.

If you have a smaller boat, then you need not worry much as trolling motors with lesser thrust can work just fine.

Secondly, what type of trolling motor does the boat require. Lastly, the amount of thrust required by it. The usual rule is 2lbs of thrust for every 100lbs of the boat’s overall weight, including gear, equipment, people, and so on.

Here is a chart that shows the correct trolling motor size required according to your boat’s measurements.

Boat lengthMaximum Boat WeightMaximum Thrust
< 14 ft< 1500 lbs> 35 lbs
16 ft< 2000 lbs> 40 lbs
17 ft< 2500 lbs> 50 lbs
18 ft< 3000 lbs> 60 lbs
19 ft< 3500 lbs> 65 lbs
20 ft< 4000 lbs> 70 lbs
< (less than or equal to)> ( greater than or equal to)

What things to consider before buying trolling motor?

Water type

First of all, you need to decide where you want to drive your boat, is it on saltwater or freshwater? Freshwater trolling motors are designed for use in lakes, rivers, ponds. If you want to fish in saltwater you need a saltwater trolling motor. Freshwater trolling motors are not designed for use in saltwater.

The main difference between saltwater and freshwater trolling motor is saltwater trolling motor is corrosion resistant. In saltwater trolling motor there’s an anode that covers the bottom of the motor this will prevent corrosion in saltwater. If you use freshwater trolling motor n saltwater it can be damaged and manufacturer guarantee can be invalid.

Saltwater trolling motors can be used on both kinds of water. Saltwater trolling motors are more likely extra expensive than freshwater trolling motors. But they come with an advantage that you can use them on both types of water.

Boat Type

When buying a trolling motor you need to think about your boat. You need to consider the size and weight of your boat. There’s a beginner rule of thumb, that you need a minimum of 2 lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs of weight.

That means if your boat is fully loaded and it’s weight 2000 lbs then you need 40 lbs of thrust. When you are calculating your boat’s weight it’s better to calculate the heaviest possible weight which may include boat fully loaded with equipment, fuel, and highest number of passengers on the boat.

Thrust

Thrust is one of the most important factors that you need to consider when buying a trolling motor. Thrust is the amount of power that is needed to move a boat in the water. Thrust is measured in pounds (lbs) and it indicates how powerful a trolling motor is.

The higher thrust power will give you better maneuverability on the water. If you want satisfactory result it’s good to buy a trolling motor with more thrust. Larger and heavier boats need higher thrust power.

If you carry more items or more people on your boat that will heavy up your boat and your trolling motor need more thrust to move your boat on the water. While purchasing a trolling motor one mistake that should avoid is buying a trolling motor with less thrust.

There’s a common misconception about thrust, some may think that higher thrust will provide higher speed. More thrust doesn’t necessarily mean higher speed. It means how strong and capable your trolling motor is to pull or push your bigger and heavier boat.

There are many factors that you should consider when choosing the right thurst trolling motor for your boat. These are the weight and length of your boat, carrying extra equipment, weather condition, and water condition.

If you carry extra weight and fish in though weather then you should go for more thrust. If your motor has insufficient power working in high waves or windy conditions can be very difficult. A good rule of thumb is you should buy a higher thrust trolling motor that you can afford, reasonable of course.

What is the Minimum thrust requirement depending on the length & weight of the boat?

Thrust is the force required to overcome the water resistance to move the boat. You will need a 2lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs. For instance, if your boat is fully loaded and equivalent to 2000lbs, then the thrust required will be 40 lbs ((2000/100)*2)

Here is a table to help you out with the minimum thrust requirement depending on the boat’s length & weight.

Boat LengthMaximum Weight of BoatMinimum Thrust Required
< 14 ft< 1500 lbs> 35 lbs
< 16 ft< 2000 lbs> 40 lbs
< 17 ft< 2500 lbs> 50 lbs
< 18 ft< 3000 lbs> 60 lbs
< 19 ft< 3500 lbs> 65 lbs

Mounting System

There are mainly two kinds of trolling motor to choose from. And they are:

  1. Bow mount trolling motor
  2. Transom mount trolling motor

But which one do you need for your boat? Let’s find it out.

Bow mount trolling motors is installed on the bow or you can also say at the front of a boat and transom mount trolling motor is set up on the back of a boat.

Bow mount trolling motors are for big boates like bass boates. Many designs of bow mount trolling motor uses a sliding hinge for quick raising and lowering down in the water. These motors are not perfect for small boats, they need more room on a boat. You also need a mounting bracket or plate to join the construction and flat bottom platform to fish from to make the set-up worthwhile.

But bow mount trolling motors have better control and maneuverability. Bow mount trolling increases maneuvering ability because they pull a boat through the water and on the other side transom mount trolling motor pushes a boat on the water.

Their position allows them to pull your boat in any direction. It is much easier to pull a boat than pushing it. With these motors, you can spin your boat and reach any spot you want. Bow mount trolling motors also give quick response than transom mount trolling motors.

Transom mount trolling motors are the best choice for small boats like dinghies, canoes, kayaks. These motors are mounted to the back of a boat. These motors are cost-effective, these motors are cheaper than bow mount trolling motor. They need less deck space and they are also less in weight.

These motors are usually controlled by hand and push a boat through the water. These motors are excellent for general positioning and trolling purposes. These motors can keep a boat well-positioned when fishing in bad weather.

Shaft length

Shaft length is a very important factor when choosing a trolling motor. The right shaft length will give you the best control of your boat. If you choose a trolling motor with too short shaft your boat may not have sufficient submergence during rough conditions.

If you choose too long one it can cause you difficulty in shallow water operation. A too short shaft can make noise from tapping the water surface. This can also impact your trolling motor’s performance and thrust level. So you need to choose a balance shaft length for optimal performance.

Choosing the right shaft length will give you a hassle-free and safe boating experience. The shaft length depends on the hight of the bow or stern. For small boats like kayaks and canoes, shorter shaft can be a perfect solution. And for large boats like V boats longer shaft is required. While choosing the right shaft trolling motor you should consider these things: 

  • The propeller of your trolling motor requires to be under the water. The rule of the thumb is the top the motor part should be submerged 12″. So you should keep the propeller 12″ under the water. It will stop from sucking air and make noise.  
  • You need to rightfully measure the length from the boat’s horizontal bar to the surface of the water. Then you need to add 12″ and 3″-6″ more for harsh weather and water conditions.

It can be beneficial if you measure the length from the water to the transom mount. Here are some measurement tips that you can use:

  • If the length is 10″ or less you can get a shaft length of 30″.
  • It the length is between 16″-20″ it will better to go with 42″ shaft.
  • And without these a 36″ shaft might work.

Battery

Electric trolling motors need battery to generate electricity and power the motor. These trolling motors have three different power systems. These power systems come is 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. A 12-volt trolling motor needs one 12 volts deep cycle battery to run the motor.

On the other hand, a 24-volt motor needs two 12 volt batteries and a 36-volt motor needs three 12 volt separate batteries to run the motor. The 12-volt battery is cheaper than others and it is easier to operate.

But a 12-volt trolling motor has less power and you will not able to fish for a longer time. If you use 24-volt or 36-volt trolling motor battery you will have more power and longer time on the water. 

So, what battery to choose for your boat? If you have a boat that is 16 If your boat is 16 foot or smaller then you should choose a high thrust 12-volt battery will be sufficient for your vessel. If you have a larger boat, it will best if you move to a 24-volt or 36-volt battery to have relaxed boating.

It will be better for you not to save more on batteries. You need to make sure that you have quality batteries on your boat. You should buy high-quality deep-cycle marine batteries that will give you maximum power and longer time boating on the water.

This will prevent your motor from overheating issues and you don’t stand out on the water. This will not only give you better performance but also give you peace and relaxed mind. 

Control

There are many control types of trolling motor these are hand control, foot control, remort control, co-pilot, autopilot. The main two types of trolling motors mostly used are hand control and foot control. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages. The size of your vessel and your personal preference will determine what control type of trolling motor do you need.

Foot control trolling motor has many benefits like it will allow you hand-free usage. With these types of motors, you can free hands while holding the fishing rod. And you don’t need to holding the fishing rod in one hand and controlling the motor on another.

These types of trolling motors are easy to use and it can be ideal for beginners. Foot control trolling motors can be used anywhere in the vessel. Make sure you have enough cable on the deck depending on the size of your boat. Having many advantages foot-control trolling motors have some disadvantages too.

Foot control trolling motors have more clutter on the deck. If you have many people on your boat it can be harder to operate the foot control trolling motor. These types of motors can have more parts to break or have failure. Another important thing is these motors have slower response time on some models. This can affect real-time boat controlling.

Hand control trolling motors have real-time response. This will help you to control your boat efficiently. These motors have no clutter on the deck provide you more space on your boat. If you are planning to carry multiple people on your boat it can be the best choice for you.

Hand controlled motors will give you better control on your boat. But it has some drawbacks too. You need to control these types of motors with your hands and it can be a problem if you are holding fishing rod. Your hands can not be always on your fishing rod and it may bother you sometimes while fishing.

It can be a better option for advanced fishermen. Another problem with these types of trolling motors is these motors can only be used from the bow.

The more important thing besides choosing the control type of trolling motor is that you need to practice to get used to it. Both types of motors need practice to get comfortable with them and do better controlling. After you set up opportunities are limitless.

Features

Now trolling motors are enriched with lots of new features that were not used in before. These features will improve your fishing experience so you should not overlook the whole buying a trolling motor. Here are some features that you should consider:

  • Battery indicator: Battery indicators are a very important feature to consider. It will show you how much power is left in the battery. New models of trolling motor have this valuable feature. Most of the trolling motors have battery gauges placed in the head of the motor. This will also tell you when to connect the battery with the charger.
  • Self-directed motors: These types of motors can control your boat pretty much. This feature will allow your boat to follow shorelines or depth counters by itself. The automation feature of these types of trolling motor can give you complete hand and foot-free performance. This feature can even steer your boat straight line in windy situation also.
  • Digital display: The top level of trolling motors have this digital screen. It can show many essential factors like speed and depth. This feature may cost you more bucks but it can put more fish on your boat.

Material

You should consider choosing the best materials when buying a trolling motor. This will make your trolling motor last long. The key points to look at:

  • Make sure the shaft of your trolling motor is built with stainless steel. It can survive shocks and stand up from weaker materials. It will able to withstand harsh situations.
  • Your prop needs to be weedless.
  • You need to ensure the mount of your boat is heavy duty and strong. Try to avoid plastic parts. The less it has, the better.

Speed

There’s a common misconception about trolling motor speed that is high thrust will give more speed. But that’s not the case. To calculate speed to need to know RMPs(Revolutions per minute) of your trolling motor.

If you know the maximum RMP of your motor you can calculate the max speed of your motor. Different amounts of thrust motors with similar RMP can reach alike top speed. Because RMP is limited by the number of volts that is employed to the speed coil and electric trolling motors are not able to perform like outboard gas motors.

Another thing is propellers play a big role in the trolling motor speed. One of the key measurement on propellers is the pitch. Pitch in measured by the distance in inches the propeller would rotate through after a complete revolution.

More pitch will result in higher speed. But it will reduce the maximum RPM. Lower pitch will give faster acceleration. Your prop can cut through the water efficiently but you will get lower top speed. For example, you can relate this to a paddle.

Imagine you are pulling the paddle with the edge of the blade forward you will feel little drag and your boat can easily go through the water. This is similar to low pitch angle and you using this method you can’t get very far. If you try to angle at 90 degrees it will result in high pitch.

And if you try 45 degrees your paddle will push some water but your boat may travel diagonally through the water. This is medium pitch angle and it tries to combine similar parts acceleration also top speed.

What are the top trolling motor brands?

Here are some of the best trolling motor brands based on different features, technologies they offer… such as:

Minn Kota

Minn Kota has been prominent for decades now. It is one of the leading trolling motor brands due to its high-quality products and robust features like GPS technology, a wireless GPS system for better navigation, i-Pilot that delivers efficient speed.

The Minn Kota trolling motors also come with the Spot-Lock system, which comes in handy while fishing. It has a large LCD screen and controls system that allows the boat position to be steady.

Newport Vessels

Newport Vessels is another great brand with versatile features and have adjustable motors; hence they are also known as the next generation trolling motor.

The best part about this brand is that all its motors are crafted with stainless steel making it fit for saltwater use. These trolling motors also come with good customer service.

Motor Guide

Motor Guide trolling motors at a fairly reasonable price offer great features. It has a simple and lightweight design that is extremely appealing and works great for fishermen or other marine activities.

The trolling motors under this brand offer reliable performance and quality. It includes a series of trolling motors under freshwater and saltwater.

GoPlus

GoPlus trolling motors make less sound and are fit for small to medium boats.

Its best features are the comfortable adjustable telescoping handle and LED Battery indicator. These come with three-bladed propellers that improve maneuverability.

Haswig Outdoor

One of the leading trolling motor brands is Haswig Outdoor. It offers various distinct features like Power Display, SmartPhone operating System, GPS, and Remote Controller.

These smart features allow responsive control and versatility. The trolling motors under this brand are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.

How does a trolling motor work?

A trolling motor comes with controls and propellers, which work in both saltwater and freshwater angling on the law of electromagnetic. A fuel motor works comparatively faster than trolling motors, but they are convenient and work well at a low budget too.

Trolling motors are usually offered as they are powerful and due to the increasing demand for shaft sizes. Trolling motors also include a grip or foot control, and one has the option of choosing the amount of capacity they want to carry forward the propeller. A strong trolling motor’s reaction will be quick, which is why the propeller becomes fast; the boat also moves quickly.

Elements like the climate conditions like breeze or wind, length and amount of the edges on the propeller, bodyweight, and water circumstances impact these motors’ momentum and size.

How to use a trolling motor?

The very first step is to deploy the trolling motor into the water. There is a directional arrow on the head of the trolling motor, which indicates the motor’s direction and moves the boat.

Trolling motors are usually easy to control. Some have handles that require steering, like a bow mount, which is quite easy to use even for a beginner. Ensure to apply adequate pressure on the pedal to move the boat in a steady direction. The best way to control them is by increasing the motor’s speed but not too much as it might drain the battery, depending on the product. 

There are three ways to control a trolling motor:

  • Hand control: You have to control a trolling motor with your hands by twirling the motor from the right or left, then forward or in reverse. 
  • Foot control: Some trolling motors have foot controls rather than hand control. These controls are connected to the motor. It has a steering pedal; you can simply use your foot to move it on either side: pushing forward with toe turns it right, with the heel to turn the other side. While you control the motor, the water is twisted by what we call a propeller, which is at the glide base.
  • Digital control: Some have an auto-pilot function, using which you can easily maintain your current position, direction, and speed – with just a click of the button on the remote.

How to make my trolling motor faster?

Most of the trolling motors come with a combination of paces. They can be operated in a switch and forward motion. A good motor will be all-inclusive of eight paces, which are 5 forward and 3 inverts.

According to experts, to increase a trolling motor’s speed, one needs to increase the power, which is measured in thrust. This is possible either by installing a bigger motor which has high thrust along with a larger propellor.

Despite this, you will find that the motors are adjustable at a higher rate. There are ways to tune the blades of the trolling motor to make it run faster. You can even use a three-bladed or four-bladed motor to make the propeller run fast.

Maintaining your trolling motor

There are many ways to maintain your trolling motor, but it depends on the trolling motor you are using.

  • To begin with, the battery of a trolling motor must be fully charged before use. If the battery is not charged properly, it will not perform efficiently. According to experts, it is preferred that the battery is disconnected from the motor when not in use; this helps to maintain and prolong the motor’s lifespan.
  • Perform monthly inspections, clean the battery with a wire brush. These brushes are easily available at local hardware stores or online.

Like any other machine, a boat’s propeller may encounter issues like friction and requires simple maintenance. Although a propeller is extremely hardy and durable, it also requires checks and inspection not to be liable to damage, and the performance is not affected.

  • Check if there is any debris, weeds, or fishing net stuck to the motor. The motor should be kept free from debris and weeds as it will help the motor run smoothly.
  • For a bow-mount motor, make sure that the loose screws and bolts are tightened well.
  • To clean the exterior of the motor using a water solution and mild soap. If there is any dirt trapped in any of the parts of the motor, remove it steadily.

Conclusion

Picking the perfect trolling motor can be a task, especially when there are many market options.

According to my recommendation, an overall-best pick for freshwater and saltwater is Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor. It will work great for you as it has an 8 Speed Control System and Adjustable Transom. The motor power is 36 lbs, which is quite good and at a fair cost.

But, if you’re looking for an economical option, this option will work great. The AQUOS Haswing Cayman 12V has a powerful motor power of 55 lbs. It has great features like the Quick Release Bracket or the LED battery indicator, less motor sound. It also has a feature known as cruise control, which allows you to keep the boat at the desired speed, making it fit for fishing. Hence, it is considered the best bass boat trolling motor.

If you want to go for a premium option with great features, a modern look, and has good maneuverability of control, The Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor should be your pick! It has great features like the GPS and Spot-Lock System, enabling you to navigate your boat effortlessly and seamlessly. Other than that, it has a powerful motor power of 80 lbs.

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