Best Trolling Motors 2019 – A Comprehensive Review with Important Details for You

You don’t always have to paddle your watercraft. With a trolling motor, you can focus on spotting the richest fishing spots and preparing the bait.

But with so many motors available on the markets, your best bet is to find one that’s well-made. For instance, if planning to engage in saltwater fishing, you want to make sure that your motor is up to the task.

Likewise, you want to consider factors such as battery power. Because ultimately, you don’t want to end up with a motor that drains your battery long before the fishing trip comes to an end.

So, indeed, there are quite a few factors to keep in mind when scouting for a trolling motor. Ultimately, only an informative buying guide can help you make an informed choice.

Top 10 Trolling Motors on the Market - Compare Table

It’s important to invest in a quality trolling motor. That’s because it allows you to move smoothly and get as close as possible to the fish. If you’re looking for this kind of motor, the comparison table below is meant just for you.

Best trolling motors for fr​eshwater and saltwater

1. Minn Kota-Edge Bowmount Foot Controlled Trolling Motor

Minn Kota-Edge is a smooth motor that boasts reliability, power, and durability. The device is equipped with a powerful motor that runs smoothly.

It makes it easier to control the boat, and this gives anglers the speed and stability needed to maneuver choppy waters. The device has five-speed options for your convenience. What’s more? The manufacturer's two-year warranty backs the product ensuring you get good value for money.

The MKP-2 Power Propeller complements the powerful motor to move through difficult terrains and thick vegetation with ease without ever slowing down or using up the battery power.

It is a foot controlled trolling motor with a Cable-steer foot pedal that is ergonomically designed and steers the boat efficiently with enough room for pedaling.

The latch and door mount are built to be strong and durable.  Installing the motor on a watercraft simply takes screwing the latch and door on the mount.

Likewise, the latch and door mounts are unscrewed to remove it from the boat. The trolling motor occupies little space and is easy to store it.

The Composite Shaft is virtually indestructible. Clearly, the manufacturer has done a good job of ensuring that it’s break- and corrosion-resistant.

And the icing on the cake, the BowMount comes with a built-in directional indicator. This indicator is well illuminated, easy-to-read, and, therefore, highly effective in providing directions.

Pros

  • It is powerful and fast
  • It is easy to install it and also pack when not in use.
  • It is a low-risk purchase, thanks to the two-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Various models on offer to suit different needs
  • The motor has a directional indicator
  • The components are solid and durable

Cons

  • It is pricey

2. Newport Vessels-NV-Series 36LB Thrust Saltwater Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels-NV-Series 36 lb thrust is a budget-friendly well-engineered device that trolls small and medium-sized vessels. The motor comes with an eight-speed number system, five forward speeds and three reverse speeds which gives you control of the vessel.

The product is quite a low-risk purchase because of the manufacturer's two-year warranty.

The trolling motor is small in size, making it easy to maneuver. The motor doesn’t overheat or make too much noise to scare away fish.

It is a transom mounted unit. It is quite easy to install it, operate and remove it from your vessel.

The components of this device are made from corrosion resistant materials making the unit compatible with saltwater environments. The head is made from heavy-duty aluminum, the motor is manufactured using zinc and stainless steel. It also has a fiberglass shaft and a heavy-duty nylon mount.

The 30 inches fiberglass shaft is strong and fully adjustable for easy depth placement.

Further, the device has a five-point LED Battery Meter to indicate the battery level.

The telescoping handle is ergonomic for a smooth and comfortable ride.

Pros

  • It is reasonably priced
  • The hardware of the trolling motor is compatible with salty waters
  • It is easy to assemble the unit and also install it on a watercraft
  • The device has eight-speed options
  • It has battery indicator to help riders monitor the power usage

Cons

  • It is not suitable for trolling large vessels

3. Minn Kota-Endura C2 55 Freshwater Trolling Motor Transom Mounted

Minn Kota-Endura C2 55 is a reliable and sturdy unit with a powerful motor. The unit delivers 55lbs of thrust.

The motor stays cool and runs efficiently without consuming too much power, it is also quiet, and therefore it doesn't frighten fish. The unit is stable and manageable even in windy conditions.

The unit is mounted on the transom of the vessel using a lever lock bracket. It is quite easy to assemble the trolling motor, also mounting it is easy and takes a short time. The 12-volt motor should be paired with a matching battery.

The black and yellow trolling motor is 51.5 x 17.5 x 7.2 inches and weighs 20 pounds. The unit has a height adjustment to suit various depths of water. The trolling motor is constructed with durable components and comes with the manufacturer's two-year warranty.

It comes with eight-speed options, five forward speeds, and three reverse speeds. The 36 inches composite shaft is indestructible, resisting breakages and corrosion. The device has a six-inch long telescoping handle and a tilt twist tiller for comfortable and easy steering of the vessel.

Pros

  • It has a two-year warranty
  • The device is easy to assemble and mount
  • It has eight-speed options
  • It is fitted with an indestructible shaft
  • The components are durably constructed
  • The motor runs cool and quiet

Cons

  • It is not saltwater compatible
  • Although it is moderately priced, there are cheaper brands in the market

4. Newport Vessels-55lbs Thrust Eight-Speed Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels-55lbs is a small and portable unit suitable for trolling small and medium-sized vessels. The device has 55lbs of thrust. The motor runs quietly and stays cool and therefore doesn’t scare away fish.

The item is reasonably priced and has the manufacturer's two-year warranty.

The hardware of the trolling motor is constructed from stainless steel magnesium and zinc materials for a strong, durable and saltwater compatible unit. The unit is fitted with a 30 inches composite fiberglass shaft which is adjustable for trolling waters with varying depths.

The battery has a long run time, with the running time dependent on the average speed of the boat. The good thing is that the trolling motor is designed with a battery meter which helps in monitoring the battery power levels.

The unit weighs 22lbs and is designed with a nylon mount that is durable. The motor is designed to run with a 12-volt marine or deep cycle battery. The unit has eight controlling speeds, five are forward speeds, and three are reverse speeds.

The handle is adjustable and ergonomic, keeping the rider comfortable steering for extended hours.

Pros

  • The product has a two-year warranty
  • The unit is quite inexpensive
  • It is small and portable
  • The trolling motor can be used in both fresh and saltwater environments
  • The motor stays cool and runs quietly

Cons

  • The unit is not suitable for large vessels

5. Minn Kota-Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor

Minn Kota-Endura C2 30 is a reliable and competitively priced trolling motor. The motor doesn’t heat up and also runs quietly.

It has a thrust of 30lbs. The product weighs 7.71 pounds, and its dimensions are 42.4 x 5.4 x 16.2 inches, it is therefore lightweight, small and very portable.

 It is a transom mounted trolling motor. Assembling the device is easy, also mounting it on the vessel is quite easy with the device’s lever lock bracket.

 The device is constructed with high-quality materials. It is fitted with a 30 inches long indestructible composite shaft that will last for a lifetime.

The motor is power efficient, with the battery running for many hours. The device fits recommended batteries that have a 12-volt power. Top of FormIt has five forward speeds and three reverse speed to make a total of eight speeds which make switching speeds convenient. Further, the 6 inches telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller make operating the device comfortable.

In addition, it is a low-risk product, thanks to the two-year manufacturer's warranty.

Pros

  • It is backed by the manufacturer's two-year warranty
  • It is very inexpensive
  • The indestructible shaft has a lifetime warranty
  • The motor is quiet when running
  • The unit has eight speeds

Cons

  • It is not recommended for fishing in saltwater environments
  • It has a low thrust power of 30lbs

6. SeaMax-65lbs Electric Trolling Motor Thrust Salt Water Heavy Duty Version

The Seamax-65lbs Thrust is a remarkable trolling motor that is powerful, strong, durable and moderately priced. More so, it comes with the manufacturer's two-year warranty, making it a low-risk purchase.

The motor's thrust is impressive at 65lbs. The motor runs smoothly and quietly without disturbing fish. The power is sufficient for pushing small and medium-sized watercrafts.

The trolling motor is black and fitted with an orange propeller. It is transom clamped securely with taper-lock mounts. The unit requires to be paired with the recommended 12-volt battery.

The motor has eight speeds, five forwards and three reverse speeds which make controlling the watercraft easy. The unit has a propeller for additional powering of the craft.

Besides that, the unit is corrosion resistant and designed to operate in salty waters. The lower unit of the trolling motor is made from solid aluminum with a powder coat finish.

The device has a voltage meter for easy monitoring of the battery charge. The shaft is 32 inches long and adjustable for use in different water depths. Additionally, the telescopic tiller handle is comfortable and fitting for all day use.

Pros

  • The motor has a two-year warranty
  • It is fitted with high-quality components
  • It is saltwater compatible
  • The unit has eight speeds
  • It has a high thrust of 65lbs

Cons

  • The thrust is not sufficient to troll big vessels

7. Goplus-Electric Freshwater Trolling Motor 46/55/86 

Goplus –Electric is designed to power small and medium-sized watercraft in freshwaters. The Goplus-Electric series has three models with different thrusts to suit different needs, namely 46lbs, 55lbs, and 86lbs. The three models weigh between 19.4 and 22lbs.

The 46lbs thrust has a two blade propeller while the 55lbs and 86lbs thrusts have three blades, weedless propellers which powers the vessel to maneuver through rough terrains and thick vegetation.

The components are durably constructed. The head is constructed from aluminum for durability.  It is fitted with a 36 inches, flexible and indestructible composite shaft manufactured from fiberglass for a sturdy and corrosion resistant part.

In addition, the bracket is manufactured from reinforced nylon.

It is fitted with a 6 inches adjustable telescoping handle.

The device is engineered with eight controlling speeds, five of which are forwarding speeds and three are reverse speeds, which makes it easy to change speeds.

It comes with a LED light 10 points battery indicator, which makes it possible to monitor the battery usage.

Pros

  • There are three models available
  • It has a battery indicator
  • The components are durably constructed
  • The shaft is indestructible
  • There are three models to choose from

Cons

  • All the three models are not saltwater compatible

8. Motorguide-X3 Trolling Motor - Freshwater - Foot 

If you are looking for a foot controlled trolling motor, then you will want to consider the Motorguide-X3. It is suitable for trolling medium-sized to large watercraft and for use in freshwater environments only. The motor runs quietly without scaring fishes away.

The trolling motor has five control speeds. It is constructed with the Variable Ratio Technology for more efficiency and a dual cable-pull steering system for increased power.

 The unit is quite pricey and only recommended if you are willing to cough out more bucks.

Motorguide-X3 series has three models which are 45lb, 55lb and 70lb thrusts.

The unit is mounted to the bow of the boat using the mounting hardware provided. The process of installing the trolling motor on a vessel is simple. 

The 70lb thrust requires a 24-volt battery (two 12 volts batteries), while the other two use 12-volt batteries.

The device is designed with a large diameter indestructible composite shaft. Additionally, the mounting bracket is manufactured from aluminum.

Pros

  • The motor is controlled by a foot pedal setting your hands free
  • The motor runs quietly
  • The components have a durable construction
  • The shaft is constructed to last for a lifetime
  • It is quite easy to mount it on a vessel

Cons

  • It is quite expensive
  • It is not salt water compatible

9. Newport Vessels-NV-Series 46 lb. Thrust Electric Trolling Motor

Just like other Newport Vessels trolling motors, the NV-Series 46 lb unit is also quite inexpensive and has the manufacturer’s two-year warranty.

The motor weights 20 pounds with 18 x 5 x 34 inches dimensions. The device has a 46pounds thrust, which makes the unit powerful. The motor is engineered to operate quietly and run without heating up.

The components are manufactured with stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc for quality, corrosion resistant and durable parts, making the unit compatible with salty waters. The shaft is made from fiberglass and has a length of 30 inches, it is therefore strong and able to maneuver through dense vegetation, reeds, and other water conditions.

The rider has eight-speed options, five forward speeds and three reverse speeds for easy controlling of the watercraft. The telescopic handle is six inches long.

The motor works with a 12-volt marine battery. In addition, the trolling motor has a five-point LED display battery indicator to help the rider in monitoring the battery usage.

Pros

  • It has a two-year warranty
  • It is designed for both saltwater use as well
  • It is competitively priced
  • Variable speed options
  • The unit has a battery indicator

Cons

  • The thrust is medium at 46lbs and not sufficient to push large vessels

10. Cloud Mountain-Electric Trolling Motor Eight Saltwater Transom Mounted

Cloud Mountain-Electric Trolling Motor is a good option if you are on a budget. It is a moderately priced device that offer various models to select from to suit your vessel size ranging from 36 thrusts to 86 thrusts.

The trolling motor is transom mounted.

The components are constructed from corrosion resistant materials to work in both fresh and salt waters. The head is an all aluminum construction, while the reinforced bracket is nylon for strength and durability. The unit has a 28 inches composite shaft made from fiberglass which is strong and corrosion resistant.

The battery is very energy efficient, and powers for several powers. What’s more, the unit comes with a 10-level battery indicator to keep you updated on how much battery charge is left. It also has a propeller for further powering of the watercraft.

The motor has five forward speeds and three reverse speeds, to make eight control speeds, with the six inches telescoping handle, operating the motor becomes easy.

Pros

  • It is competitively priced
  • There are various levels of thrusts to choose from
  • The components are durably constructed
  • It is saltwater compatible
  • It has eight speeds
  • It has a battery indicator to help in monitoring battery levels

Cons

  • The bolts are not corrosion resistant
  • The shaft is short compared to other brands

Buying guide

So, you have finally decided to purchase a trolling motor for your kayak? Well, you’ve made a great decision. However, with so many trolling motor brands and models, it won’t be easy for you to find the best for your needs. But don’t worry because we have provided this buyer’s guide to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. So, here are a few features to look out for.

Water Type

Water type refers to either freshwater or saltwater. Some motors are specifically designed for use in saltwater only while others can be used in both fresh and saltwater conditions. Therefore, you need to choose the right motor depending on where exactly you plan to use your kayak. For motors designed for use in saltwater conditions, they should be covered with anti-corrosion material.

Shaft Length

The length of the shaft is yet another crucial feature to consider before choosing the right trolling motor. If you purchase a motor with a very short shaft, the propellers could make so much noise because of hitting the water surface.

Basically, kayaks of long sizes work well with long shafts while short-size kayaks require shorter shafts. Nonetheless, it is advisable to aim to have the top of the motor section at least 12 inches under the water. For this reason, it is important that you know the shaft length prior to selecting the best motor. You can measure the length of the shaft either from the waterline to the bow top or the transom top.

Mount Location

Trolling motors are categorized into two different types based on their mount position. You can either choose to mount the motor on the transom or bow of the kayak. Generally, bow mounts provide kayakers with more maneuverability and are best suited for medium- to large-sized kayaks. Small kayaks, on the other hand, work best with transom mounts. As a matter of fact, transom mounts are better than bow mounts as they can be used in all types of kayaks.

Thrust Power

Thrust power determines how well the boat will propel through the water. Therefore, for best performance, you should consider a trolling motor with the maximum thrust power. You should also keep in mind the size of your kayak and the conditions you will be using it in. The bigger the size of your kayak, the more thrust power your motor should have.

Hand vs Foot Control

Trolling motors can be controlled via hand or foot pedals. Basically, motors that can be controlled via foot pedals are the best because they leave your hands free. This allows you to do other tasks. Unfortunately, they are a bit pricey. Hand-controlled motors, on the other hand, are quite easy to operate but tend to take up a lot of space on the deck. The best thing is that they are very affordable.

Speed

Most trolling motors come with various speed settings including forward and reverse. Generally, some of the best motors have up to eight speeds. However, you should look for one that operates efficiently on all speeds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why do you need a trolling motor?

A: It offers power for proper maneuvering which allows anglers to cast their bait with so much ease. It also enables you to get back to the shore fast when the weather changes and you don’t have enough strength to paddle.

Q: How do you use a trolling motor?

A: You will need to fast mount on the bow or stern and then connect to a battery power supply. In addition, you can change the thrust and direction using a hand or foot control.

Q: What is the best thrust for a trolling motor?

A: This entirely depends on the area you’ll be using it and the type of boat. However, 55 lb thrust power is about average.

Q: Is it possible to use a freshwater motor in saltwater?

A: Yes but only if the motor is corrosion resistant. Unfortunately, most motors that are specifically designed for freshwater are not resistant to the effects of saltwater.

Q: What type of battery do you need for your trolling motor?

A: Most motors are powered by 12V Deep Cycle battery.

Q: How much does a trolling motor go for?

A: Depending on the model and brand, they mostly range from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand.

Q: How fast can a boat go with a trolling motor?

A: It mostly depends on how many pounds of thrust power it has. However, higher pounds of thrust does not automatically mean the boat will move faster.

Which One Is The Best?

Having considered a long list of factors (refer to the buying guide above) we think the Newport Vessels-NV-Series Trolling Motor is one of the finest units money can buy. That’s why we generally recommend it, particularly to folks shopping on a tight budget.

The first runners-up position would belong to the Minn Kota-Edge Bowmount which is renowned for its user-friendly design. We also like the fact that it’s quite powerful. In fact, the only major issue we could pick with it is the fact that it really struggles to power large watercraft.

The second runners-up position of the leading trolling motors would belong to the SeaMax-65lbs Electric Trolling Motor which has a pretty decent thrust. And although it can’t pull large vessels, it does a pretty decent job when used for most personal use kayaks and boats.

But ultimately, we’d like to leave the final decision on your hands. Preferences vary and that’s why we’d encourage you to make a personal choice by considering your unique needs.

Final Thoughts

A smooth boating or kayaking experience calls for a well-made kayak. So, you want to consider factors that range from placement to voltage, and technology. Of course, it’s also important to think about the size of your watercraft.

Usually, the larger the watercraft, the bigger you want the motor to be. And for convenience, you want to consider the possibility of getting a hand vs. foot-controlled unit. Ultimately, your convenience should always dictate your choices.

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