Best Trolling Motor Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you are looking for the best trolling motor, then you probably already know that figuring out which model you should choose can be a very time-consuming endeavor. That’s why we’ve decided to help you by bringing you directly the answer you need in the next lines. Our team has carefully assessed the benefits that each of the top-rated products in this line has to offer and concluded that the model you should be looking at as the first option is Newport Vessels’ NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor. This unit combines efficiency and power, ensuring superior performance even in difficult conditions. The motor comes with a thrust capacity of 55 lbs., while the materials used for its construction are corrosion-resistant. Furthermore, the LED battery indicator is very useful, as you won’t have to guess how much power is left anymore. In case you cannot get your hands on this unit, the next alternative we recommend keeping in mind is Minn Kota’s Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor.
9 Best Trolling Motors (Updated Reviews) in 2021
We know that finding the right trolling motor for your boat is not always an easy task, as the multitude of products in this line can make the choice a bit difficult. However, we are here to help, so the selection below features the top picks out of the most sought-after motors available on the market.
1. Newport Vessels NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor
With its combination of power and efficiency, this Newport Vessels trolling motor delivers a balanced and exceptional performance. A versatile alternative, due to the shape of the boat, it may be utilized for both small and medium-sized vessels. Furthermore, the 3-blade propeller that comes with it operates quietly, so you won’t scare away any fish when you’re fishing with it.
This motor has a thrust capacity of 55 lbs., and the 5-point LED battery meter that is built into it makes operating much more convenient and straightforward. You may securely stay on the lake for the entire day without being concerned about something going wrong with your boat. The unit’s adaptability is enhanced with an adjustable 30-inch shaft as well as a durable nylon transom mount, all of which are included.
You also have nothing to be concerned about in terms of its long-term durability, thanks to the fact that it is constructed from high-quality materials. These are also corrosion-resistant, which implies that the gadget can be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments with no problems.
Aside from its high-quality design and shaft constructed of fiberglass composite, this electric trolling motor is also extremely simple to operate, making it suitable for even those with limited fishing expertise.
As a result of the unit’s ultra-quiet functioning, the user may fish for an entire day without scaring away fish or risking overheating the device.
The use of stainless steel components in the engine ensures that it is a long-lasting and dependable option for anyone who intends to spend a significant amount of time on water.
Because the fiberglass composite shaft can be adjusted, the engine can be utilized in a variety of water conditions without compromising performance.
If you intend to use the motor on a regular basis and the mounting bracket is made of plastic, you may want to consider purchasing an alternative as a backup in case the plastic fails.
In order to avoid the prop from turning on while you are holding the handle, make sure that the power is turned off before you beach the boat.
2. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor
It is highly recommended that you check out this Minn Kota trolling motor if you are searching for an economical trolling motor that comes with a lot of features for the price. In constructing this model, the manufacturer took into consideration the ease with which it could be controlled, its instant reactivity, as well as its reliability and toughness, among other characteristics.
Furthermore, this model may be switched into backtrolling mode immediately, allowing for quick and responsive steering at the touch of a button. Any dedicated angler understands that less time spent waiting for their gear to respond equals more time spent fishing, and this is exactly what Minn Kota’s unit provides as well as more fishing time.
In addition, you may appreciate the fact that the complete system is simple to reset, so safeguarding both the motor and the boat from potential threats. To adjust the motor’s height and depth in response to changes in fishing circumstances or water depth, the user simply presses a button.
It is possible to lift and rotate the unit’s directional indicator 180 degrees, and the unit’s backtrolling feature can be triggered almost instantaneously.
Due to the fact that the 180° rotation is accomplished by rotating the tiller only 45°, you will receive the appropriate steering response with less effort on your part.
It’s important to note that because this is a variable-speed trolling motor, it only supplies the power that is required for your needs and reserves the remainder, allowing you to use it continuously throughout the day.
The composite shaft is highly robust, and it flexes when subjected to impact. It is also corrosion-resistant, which increases the shaft’s overall durability.
If you have a specific speed in mind for your boat, make sure to review the specifications provided by the manufacturer to ensure that this unit offers the desired performance.
When the motor is running, there is some vibration, but it is not more than would be expected from a unit of this type.
3. Newport Vessels L-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor
If you’ve been on the lookout for a high-quality saltwater trolling motor, this Newport Vessels model is most likely the best option available. Its adjustable fiberglass composite shaft and its ability to be adjusted means that this unit will fit practically any personal watercraft, from inflatable boats to yachts, with relative ease.
This boat trolling motor has eight different speeds, five of which are forward and three of which are reverse, allowing you to have complete control over the system for a smooth ride no matter what the water conditions are. The engine has a thrust capacity of 62 lbs. and is constructed with a three-blade propeller to ensure optimal performance.
Another significant point to notice is the high-quality build that this machine is built with. In order to ensure that you will not have to purchase another trolling motor very soon, the manufacturer uses high-quality materials. As a result of the fact that this model has been specifically designed for usage in saltwater, the components are corrosion-resistant.
Due to the use of components such as stainless steel, fiberglass composite, and a sacrificial zinc anode in its construction, this is a trolling motor you can rely on for a long time to perform well.
Because of its 62 lbs. thrust capability, the motor is powerful, quiet, and extremely simple to operate, allowing it to be used continuously throughout the day without overheating.
Because the unit is extremely quiet, the fish will not be scared away, and the completely adjustable shaft allows you to operate the motor in a variety of water conditions and at a variety of depths.
The ergonomically designed extensible handle makes it easy to maneuver the boat, and the eight various operating speeds make it possible to do it with ease.
This machine operates on 12-volt batteries designed specifically for marine use; however, these batteries are not included in the kit and must be purchased separately.
Lithium-powered batteries are not recommended by the manufacturer; therefore, if you already have one of them, this is not a good solution.
4. Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor
If you are looking through trolling motor reviews for a model that has an intuitive steering mechanism as well as GPS-powered automated control, then this Minn Kota machine is one that you should definitely take a closer look at. One of the numerous features that distinguishes this vehicle as a top pick is the power steering foot pedal, which provides accurate control and all-day comfort while driving.
Furthermore, the pedal is equipped with a Place-Lock feature, which allows it to remain activated on a fishing spot even when the trolling motor is not in use, resulting in increased utility and comfort for the fisherman.
In terms of construction, this device is designed specifically for freshwater boats, and it can be quickly and easily added to the boat’s front section to improve control and maneuverability in the water. Because of the heading sensor included into this unit, the Jog feature can be used to move the Spot-Lock location up to five feet in any direction without having to move the entire unit.
Because the i-Pilot feature incorporates a battery meter, you will be able to monitor exactly how much power is remaining in the motor at any given time.
With a built-in Universal Sonar 2 that keeps the wiring and transducer totally sealed while also assisting you in finding fish more easily, this unit is an excellent choice.
It includes a thrust capability of 80 lb., along with a heading sensor, a foot pedal with multiple functions, cable and brackets to install it on the wall, and the i-Pilot GPS system.
With the i-Pilot, you can instantly control the unit’s speed as well as its Autopilot, steering, and Spot-Lock features by connecting it via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android device.
This is not necessarily a low-cost trolling motor, but it does come with a slew of high-end features that will make your overall fishing experience that much more enjoyable.
The i-Pilot remote control is large and hefty, but this does not preclude you from taking advantage of the other features of this excellent trolling motor, which are numerous.
The Edge trolling motor, which is manufactured by a well-known and renowned manufacturer, is an excellent alternative for individuals who wish to use a dependable yet reasonably priced machine. Because of the lengthy 50″ shaft, you won’t have to be concerned about the prop slipping out of the water, even if there are some waves to make things more difficult.
A result of its clever design and quality construction, the steering takes place promptly, giving you greater control and increased comfort on the road. When it comes to power, you can rest assured that you will have all of the resources you need to conduct normal fishing operations, even in windy conditions.
Getting the trolling motor up and running is not a difficult operation, and the package includes everything you need to get started. Although the directions appear to be complicated at first glance, once you’ve laid everything out and gotten started, you’ll find that they’re actually rather simple.
Because the battery lasts for an extended period of time, you will have no trouble enjoying a complete fishing day with this unit.
In addition, the propeller is carefully built to effortlessly push through foliage, and the machine itself is silent, allowing you to avoid disturbing wildlife and sneak up on fish if you like.
The foot pedal is simple to use and provides enough of space for your feet, so you will be able to comfortably adjust the boat’s speed while on board.
Because of the powerful motor, this unit is extremely effective at propelling the boat across a variety of water conditions, provided that you select the most appropriate choice for your boat.
It is possible that the power cord will be too short for some boats, in which case you will need to purchase some primary wires to expand it.
Because they can appear to be a little rigid, it may be difficult to adjust the pedal and cable.
6. Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor
Because it is such a versatile choice, if you are looking for a trolling motor for kayak, you will undoubtedly love all of the features that this Lowrance model has to offer. One of the primary reasons that this unit is a superior choice is the ultra-quiet motor, which allows the user to glide through the water without scaring away the fish while remaining silent.
Furthermore, because of the comprehensive testing performed by the manufacturer, which totals up to 10,000 hours, you can be confident that this trolling motor will provide years of trouble-free service. Aside from that, it provides the essential power to carry your boat effectively over the sea wherever you need to go.
In addition, there is an upgrade option that you may choose from, which includes a Lowrance CHIRP system as well as DownScan and SideScan imaging. The Ghost model is also incredibly simple to operate, thanks to the fact that you can customize the shortcut buttons and the Flip Switch, which allows you to customize the pedal’s configuration.
This means that with the help of the Ghost’s sonar, the user may enjoy completely interference-free views because the Ghost’s motor is not only extremely quiet, but it also emits no electromagnetic interference.
You can specify your present location or other waypoints on the map using the unit’s exact anchoring, which gives you more freedom and time to fish because of its precise anchoring.
You have complete control over the machine thanks to the fly-by-wire steering technology, which eliminates the need for the usual cords, which can become frayed over time.
Because this Bass Pro trolling motor is equipped with touchscreen control capabilities, you’ll have access to all of the information you require in one convenient location, including steering information, speed information, route information, and anchor information.
The fact that this unit includes several functions that will make your life easier makes it more expensive than some of the other units on the market at a lower price.
This is a flexible choice, but you should make sure that it is compatible with your boat before proceeding.
7. Aquos Haswing CaymanB Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor
Because of the unique design of this Aquos trolling motor, it provides a smooth and silent trip over the water. Because of its engineering, the fish will not even be aware that you are present, and the variable speed allows you to tailor everything to your unique requirements for accurate results. With this method, you will be able to make seamless adjustments while also having better control over the motor and the boat.
The engine also consumes less power as a result of the variable speed, allowing you to spend an entire day out fishing without having to be concerned about running out of power or running out of resources. It’s important to remember that this model is best suited for boats that weigh up to 2,750 pounds.
Due to the fact that the user’s primary focus should be on fishing, the manufacturer considered usability as well. As a result, the remote control is small enough to sit comfortably in the palm of the hand and is also small enough to be worn around the neck with a lanyard.
If you have a power bank with you, everything will work perfectly because the remote control has an intuitive design and can also be recharged via a USB cable.
Because of the quick-release bracket that the motor is equipped with, it can be quickly installed or removed from the boat, allowing you to spend more time fishing instead of wasting time installing or removing the motor.
The foot control is equipped with a 14.7-foot cable wire, which allows for simple and precise operation while keeping your hands free, allowing you to remain comfortable and focused on fishing while fishing.
The Haswing Cayman model is specifically designed for use in both saltwater and freshwater environments, and you can rely on its construction to provide outstanding corrosion resistance in both environments, as well.
It is necessary to modify the motor’s direction in response to slight changes in the environment, such as wind or currents.
Before you set out on the water, check to see that the battery is fully charged.
8. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46/55/86
If you’re reading this trolling motor review because you’re looking for a dependable, yet reasonably priced, alternative to propel your boat about the lake, this Goplus unit is most likely the best choice for you. It’s a great value for the money. In the first place, the motor is equipped with a 6″ adjustable grip, which makes it much easier to manage while also providing greater comfort for the user.
Furthermore, you will most likely appreciate the fact that this trolling motor has eight various speeds from which you can choose when using it. Five of them are for forward motion, while the other three are for reverse motion. As a result, the trip across the lake is extremely easy to handle and precise.
Because of its innovative design, the two-blade propeller guarantees that the boat travels smoothly on the water, even in challenging conditions such as underwater grass and sandbars. You will almost certainly not be dissatisfied with the performance of this trolling motor if you decide to get one.
The unit is equipped with a 10-point battery indication that employs LED lights to inform you of how much power is left in the battery while you are out fishing for the day.
Because of the way it is constructed, this motor conserves energy, so you won’t have to be concerned about running out of power before the journey across the sea is complete, either.
The shaft is constructed of a fiberglass composite material, which makes it extremely sturdy and corrosion resistant, so you won’t have to be concerned about these issues.
Also, in terms of durability, you should be aware that the aluminum head that is provided with this motor contributes to the motor’s longer operational life.
Because this is a freshwater device, it is not suggested that it be used in saltwater environments.
The motor does not come with the required 12V battery, which will need to be purchased separately in order to begin using the unit immediately after purchase.
9. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor
The product offered by Newport Vessels is a kayak trolling motor that was specifically designed for use with these particular watercrafts, making it particularly effective for a variety of applications. The motor is supplied with a 24-inch shaft made of robust fiberglass, which may be installed at a variety of depths depending on the water conditions encountered.
Because of the high-quality materials that were used in its manufacture, you can be confident that you will be able to utilize this motor for a long period of time. Furthermore, the user has the option of selecting from eight various speeds, five of which are for forward travel and three for reverse travel.
Because it can be adjusted to the user’s requirements, the telescoping handle does an excellent job of ensuring complete control over the ride. If you want to use this motor in saltwater, you won’t have any problems doing so because the manufacturer incorporated a durable all-aluminum head in the construction as well as corrosion-resistant magnesium zinc to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
A dependable kayak trolling motor mount necessitates the purchase of a motor that is capable of performing its functions, and this Newport Vessels unit meets all of these requirements.
Because of the LED battery indication, you will never have to guess how much power the motor has left, which will make your water journeys much more secure.
The three-blade propeller has been specifically engineered to reduce drag while also balancing the system to provide optimal performance and maneuverability.
Expert users will appreciate the fact that this trolling motor comes with extra-long 5’6″ cords, which allow for more flexible battery positioning as well as better weight distribution on the water surface.
Because the motor’s head is not waterproof, it will not be an issue if you are exposed to mild rain; but, if you are exposed to heavy rain, certain issues may arise.
Lithium batteries are not recommended for use with this product, according to the manufacturer.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Fishing is an activity that has developed a lot throughout time, and today there are many items and accessories specially made to make our lives easier when we are out on the water. However, it’s exactly this abundance of products and alternatives that might become overwhelming, as many times we might not be sure what to choose.
No matter if you are simply gathering more information on this topic or you are looking for something specific, such as the best trolling motor for pontoon boat, in this guide you are going to find the main characteristics that you should keep in mind so that the device you choose is the right one for your needs.
Trolling motors are handy units that use battery power in order to help you propel a boat. Of course, there are multiple options out of which you can choose, so the indicator you want to look at is the “pounds of thrust” one. This indicates the amount of strength or power that is needed in order to move the watercraft.
Furthermore, it’s actually one of the most important aspects that you need to consider as you are selecting your next trolling motor to add to your fishing gear. Of course, if the unit you choose doesn’t have enough power, then things such as waves or weedy water conditions are going to make the task of propelling the boat pretty much impossible.
Of course, before determining how much power is necessary to have great and trouble-free experiences out on the water, you need to ask yourself some questions: how heavy is the boat? Are you bringing a lot of gear along? Are the fishing conditions difficult, such as rough water or high winds? Will you go alone or do you have any fishing buddies joining you on the boat?
The general rule says that you can get the most powerful motor, but if you don’t want to “dwarf” the size of the boat, then you can find a lot of useful charts that show you how many pounds of thrust are required depending on the boat’s length. For instance, for a 12 ft. long watercraft, you should go for a motor that ensures 30 lbs. of thrust power, and for a 15 ft. one, 36 lbs. is the corresponding indicator.
However, if you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above on water conditions or the number of people who are in the boat, then you can safely go for a motor with more thrust power to make sure that you get the desired performance.
Batteries & voltage
Generally, electric trolling motors are available with a 12-volt power system, a 24-volt or a 36-volt one. It’s good to know that the 12-volt motor works with a single 12-volt battery, while the other two alternatives need 2 or 3 separate batteries to run.
Of course, the 12-volt alternative is the most affordable and easy to run one, but it might lack some staying power, depending on the size of the boat as well. The 24 and 36-volt versions allow the user to fish for longer periods.
If the boat you are using is 16 ft. long or smaller, then you can safely use a 12-volt motor in all sorts of conditions. If, however, the boat is longer, then you should consider moving up to one of the other two options, as these can ensure long and hassle-free fishing trips.
When you choose the battery, you shouldn’t go for the cheapest alternative trying to save some money, as this item is crucial for the entire outdoor trip. Instead, buy a high-quality deep-cycle marine battery, as this will ensure the necessary longevity and power for your needs.
After all, you don’t want to end up stranded on a lake with nothing but rowing as a solution to get home. Some units are specially made for electric motors, so keep this in mind as well.
Bow or transom trolling motor?
In the world of trolling motors there are two main categories out of which you can choose, namely bow or transom mount models. The bow mount trolling motor needs to be installed at the front of the watercraft, while the transom mount one is made for the vehicle’s back.
You should know that in order to install the bow mount one, you need to have enough available space, as well as a plate or mounting bracket for the housing. The transom mount alternative is more versatile, as it can be simply clamped onto the boat’s stern and it works with a wide range of crafts.
The installation details are not the only ones that you should think about. Bow trolling motors are usually easier to control and they ensure enhanced maneuverability and, given that they pull the boat rather than push it, they make fish finding easier and more efficient. If your boat can work well with a bow mount model, then you should definitely give this option a try.
Transom trolling motors are very well suited for small watercrafts, such as dinghies or canoes, so this is something to consider as well. No matter what you choose, keep in mind that having any type of trolling motor is better than having none.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is a trolling motor and what is it used for?
A trolling motor is a self-standing unit that features an electric motor, as well as controls and a propeller to move the boat in all types of water conditions. It’s located on the boat’s bow or stern (it can even be located on both, in some cases), and it ensures quiet operation to avoid scaring the fish away.
A trolling motor is a great option for those who want to spend full days out on the lake fishing, but who don’t want to row their way there. If the boat comes with a primary gasoline-powered engine, then when this is in use, the trolling motor is usually lifted from the water.
This ensures that there’s no additional drag that might lower efficiency in terms of moving the boat through the water. The main benefit that trolling motors ensure is the quiet operation that keeps the fish calm but also enhances the user’s comfort, as the physical effort on his or her part is significantly reduced.
Q: How big of a trolling motor do I need?
The answer, in this case, depends on various factors. The first thing you need to consider is the boat’s length. There are multiple charts that you can find online and that show you how much power the trolling motor should ensure for smooth operation.
If you want to use a rule of thumb to determine this, then for every 100 lbs. of the boat’s weight, you will want 2 lbs. of thrust. This means that for a watercraft that weighs 3000 lbs. you need to have 60 lbs. of thrust. However, this is a minimum power that we are talking about, so you can go higher when you choose your trolling motor.
Plus, don’t forget to calculate the heaviest weight that the boat might have, including fuel, gear, and the maximum number of passengers, in order to get this right. Otherwise, you might end up having unpleasant surprises when you go out on the lake and end up stranded there.
Q: How long can you run a trolling motor on a battery?
Trolling motors work with deep-cycle marine batteries, these actually being crucial items that need to be high-quality products to avoid being stranded in the middle of the lake. With this being said, you should also keep in mind that the indicator for battery life is ampere-hours.
Now, a battery that has a 1 Ah capacity means that it can deliver a 1-amp current for 1 hour. Smaller batteries range between 25 Ah and 50 Ah, while large ones can go as high as 100 Ah. of course, going for a battery that has a high Ah rating means that you can spend a longer time on the water.
There is no ideal number here, so the choice you are going to make depends on how much time you intend to spend fishing throughout the day, but you can take into account that an 80 Ah battery can last up to 20 hours.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.