9 Best Trolling Motors Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: 02.07.20

 

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.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

9 Best Trolling Motors (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

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 

 

This Newport Vessels trolling motor combines power and efficiency for balanced and superior performance. Thanks to its design, it’s a versatile option that can be used for both small and medium-sized boats. Furthermore, the 3-blade propeller it includes operates silently, so that you won’t scare fish away as you use it.

This motor has a thrust capacity of 55 lbs., while the 5-point LED battery meter included in its construction allows easier operation. You can safely stay on the water for the entire day without worrying that something might go wrong. The unit’s versatility is rendered by a 30-inch shaft that is adjustable, as well as by the sturdy nylon transom mount it includes.

You have nothing to worry about in terms of its durability either, given that high-quality materials are used for its construction. These are also corrosion-resistant, which means that the device can be used in both freshwater and saltwater.

Pros

Besides the high-quality construction and shaft made of fiberglass composite, this electric trolling motor is also very easy to operate, so even someone with less experience can use it.

The ultra-quiet operation allows the user to fish for an entire day without scaring fish away or running the risk of overheating the unit.

The stainless steel components used for the motor make it a durable and reliable choice for anyone who plans to spend a lot of time on the water.

The fiberglass composite shaft is adjustable which means that the motor can be properly used in a wide range of water conditions.

Cons

The mounting bracket is made of plastic, so you might choose to look for an alternative as a backup, in case you plan on using the motor often.

The prop might start when touching the handle, so make sure that the power is shut off when the boat is beached.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

2. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor 

 

If an affordable trolling motor is what you are looking for, then you should definitely check out this Minn Kota model that comes with plenty of features for the price. The manufacturer took the matter of operating the motor very seriously, designing this model that offers easy control, instant responsiveness, as well as reliability and toughness.

Furthermore, this model can slip into backtrolling mode right away, for quick and responsive steering at the push of a button. Any passionate fisherman knows that less waiting around for the gear to respond means more fishing, and this is exactly what Minn Kota’s unit offers as well.

You might also like the fact that the entire system is easy to reset, thus protecting the motor and boat from potential hazards. If the fishing conditions or the water’s depth change, the user needs to simply push a button in order to lower or raise the motor.

Pros

The unit’s directional indicator can be lifted and rotate 180 degrees, while backtrolling can be activated pretty much instantly.

The 180° rotation is done by moving the tiller only 45°, which means that you’ll get the necessary steering response with reduced effort on your part.

Given that this is a variable-speed trolling motor, it delivers only the necessary power for your needs and it saves the rest in order for you to be able to use it for the entire day.

The composite shaft is extremely strong, it flexes if exposed to an impact, and it’s also corrosion-resistant for enhanced durability.

Cons

Depending on the speed you want your boat to attain, check out the details provided by the manufacturer to make sure that this unit delivers the desired performance.

There is some vibration when the motor is running, but it’s not more than expected from such a unit.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($239.99)

 

 

 

3. Newport Vessels L-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor 

 

In case you’ve been looking for a high-quality saltwater trolling motor, this Newport Vessels model is probably the right answer for you. Given its adjustable fiberglass composite shaft that is also adjustable, this unit can easily fit almost any personal watercraft, from inflatable boats to sailboats.

This boat trolling motor features 8 different speeds, 5 going forward and 3 in reverse, so you will have full control over the system for a smooth ride no matter the water conditions. The motor has a 62 lbs. thrust capacity, and features a 3-blade propeller construction that ensures optimal performance.

Another thing that is important to mention is the high-quality construction this unit features. The manufacturer uses premium materials to ensure that you won’t have to buy another trolling motor anytime soon. The fact that this model is specially made for saltwater use means that the components are corrosion-resistant.

Pros

This is a trolling motor you will be able to rely on for a long time, given that materials such as stainless steel, fiberglass composite, and sacrificial zinc anode are included in its construction.

Thanks to the 62 lbs. thrust capacity, the motor is powerful, quiet, and very easy to operate, so it can be used for the entire day without overheating.

The fish won’t get scared away, given that the unit is very silent, while the fully adjustable shaft ensures that you can use the motor in all water conditions at various depth placement.

The extendable handle features an ergonomic construction, while the 8 different operating speeds allow you to smoothly handle the boat.

Cons

This unit runs on 12-volt batteries specially made for marine use, and this is not included in the package, so it needs to be purchased separately.

The manufacturer doesn’t recommend using Lithium-powered batteries, so if you already have one of these, it’s not a suitable solution.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

4. Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor 

 

If you are going through trolling motor reviews looking for a model that features an intuitive steering system as well as GPS-powered automatic control, then you should definitely take a closer look at this Minn Kota unit. One of the many things that make this a very good choice is the power steering foot pedal that ensures precise control for all-day comfort.

Moreover, the pedal also comes with a Spot-Lock feature that allows it to remain activated on a fishing spot without the user touching the trolling motor, for enhanced usability and comfort.

In terms of construction, this unit is specially made for freshwater boats and it can be easily attached to the boat’s front part for improved control and maneuverability. Thanks to the heading sensor included in this unit, the Jog can be used to move the Spot-Lock location for five feet in any direction.

Pros

Given that the i-Pilot feature includes a battery meter, you can instantly see how much power you have left in the motor.

This unit comes with a built-in Universal Sonar 2 that keeps the wiring and the transducer completely sealed, while helping you find fish easier.

Within the same unit, you’ll get a thrust capacity of 80 lbs., as well as a heading sensor, a multi-function foot pedal, cabling, mounting hardware, and the i-Pilot GPS system.

You can connect the i-Pilot via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android system, which then allows you to quickly control the unit’s speed, as well as the Autopilot, steering, and Spot-Lock functionalities.

Cons

This is not necessarily a cheap trolling motor, but it does include a lot of high-end features that are going to make your entire experience better.

The i-Pilot remote control is rather bulky and heavy, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the other benefits of this superb trolling motor.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($2199.99)

 

 

 

5. Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor 

 

Offered by a well-known and trusted brand, the Edge trolling motor is a very good choice for those who want to use a reliable yet affordable unit. Thanks to the long 50” shaft, you don’t need to worry that the prop might not stay in the water, even if some waves are there to make things more challenging.

Thanks to its effective design and superior construction, the steering takes place instantly, which means more control and enhanced comfort on your part. In terms of power, you can be sure that you are going to have all the necessary resources for regular fishing, even in windy conditions.

Installing and operating the trolling motor is not a very difficult task, and you get everything you need within the package. The instructions might seem a bit complicated at first, but once you lay everything out and you get started, it’s actually easy to do.

Pros

The battery lasts for a long time, so you won’t have any problems enjoying a full fishing day with this unit.

The propeller is specially designed to easily push through vegetation, while the unit itself is silent so you won’t disturb wildlife and you can sneak up on fish if you want to.

The foot pedal is easy to operate and features generous foot room, so you will be able to comfortably control the boat’s speed.

The powerful motor renders this unit highly effective in pushing the boat through various water conditions, as long as you choose the suitable alternative for your boat.

Cons

The power cord might be a bit short for some boats, so you may have to extend it by buying some primary wires.

The pedal and cord might be a bit hard to adjust since they can seem a bit stiff.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($419.71)

 

 

 

6. Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor 

 

In case what you are looking for is a trolling motor for kayak, then you will surely appreciate all the features this Lowrance model offers, given that it’s a versatile choice. One of the main things for which this unit is an excellent alternative is the ultra-quiet motor that enables the user to silently move through the water without scaring the fish away.

Furthermore, thanks to extensive testing done by the manufacturer that amounts up to 10,000 hours, you can rest assured that this trolling motor is a highly reliable one. It also delivers the necessary power to effectively move the boat on the water wherever you need to go.

There’s also an upgrade option that you can get and that includes a Lowrance CHIRP, as well as DownScan and SideScan imaging. The Ghost model is also very easy to use, given that you can set your preferences on shortcut buttons and a Flip Switch, making the pedal configurable.

Pros

The Ghost’s motor is not only very silent, but it also emits no electromagnetic interference, which means that the user can enjoy interference-free views with the sonar’s help.

The unit’s precise anchoring means that you can set either your current location or different waypoints on the map so you have more freedom and time for fishing.

Thanks to the fly-by-wire steering system, you have full control over the unit but without using the traditional cables that can sometimes wear out.

Given that this Bass Pro trolling motor comes with touchscreen control capabilities, you’ll have everything you need in the same spot, namely information on steering, speed, route, or anchor.

Cons

There are other more affordable units on the market, but this one does include multiple features that are going to make your life easier.

This is a versatile option, but you should make sure that it’s compatible with your boat.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($2999)

 

 

 

7. Aquos Haswing CaymanB Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor 

 

This Aquos trolling motor is specially designed to ensure a quiet ride through the water. Thanks to its engineering, fish won’t even know you are there, while the variable speed allows you to adjust everything according to your specific needs for precise results. You will get smooth adjustments as well as improved control over the motor and the boat with this system.

Furthermore, thanks to the variable speed, the motor also uses less power, which means that resources are preserved so that you can spend an entire day out fishing without worrying about this aspect. You should keep in mind that this model is better suited for boats that weigh up to 2,750 lbs.

The manufacturer also took usability into account, since the user’s primary focus should be on fishing, thus the remote control can easily fit into the palm of a hand, and it can also be worn around the neck using a lanyard.

Pros

The remote control features an intuitive design and it can also be recharged using a USB cable, so as long as you have a power bank with you, everything will work just as it should.

Thanks to the quick-release bracket that the motor features, it can be easily installed or removed from the boat, saving time in the process that you can spend fishing instead.

The foot control comes with a 14.7 ft cable wire that ensures easy and precise operation, keeping your hands free so that you remain comfortable and focused on fishing.

The Haswing Cayman model is specially made for both saltwater and freshwater use, and you can rely on its construction for superior corrosion resistance.

Cons

The motor does need to be adjusted in terms of direction to small changes such as wind or currents.

Make sure that the battery is charged before heading out on the water.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($639)

 

 

 

8. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46/55/86 

 

If you are reading this trolling motor review because you need to find a reliable yet affordable alternative to silently move your boat around the lake, this Goplus unit is most probably the right option for you. First of all, the motor features a 6” adjustable handle that makes it a lot easier to control, while also ensuring the user’s comfort.

Furthermore, you will probably be glad to know that there are 8 different speeds out of which you can choose while operating this trolling motor. 5 of them are for going forward, while the other 3 are reverse speeds. The result is an easily controlled and precise ride across the lake.

The two-blade propeller features a unique design that ensures the boat is moving smoothly on the water, even in tough conditions such as underwater grass. If you decide to buy this trolling motor, there’s a very high chance that you won’t be disappointed by its performance.

Pros

The unit features a 10-point battery indicator that uses LED lights to let you know how much power is left while you are spending the day fishing.

Thanks to its construction, this motor also saves power so you won’t need to worry that you might run out of it before the route across the water is over.

The shaft features a fiberglass composite construction that renders it highly durable and resistant to corrosion, so these are not matters that you need to worry about.

Also in terms of durability, you should know that the aluminum head included in this motor works to increase its service life.

Cons

This is a freshwater unit, so it’s not recommended to use it in saltwater conditions.

The motor comes without the necessary 12V battery, so this will need to be separately bought in order to start using the unit right away.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

9. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor 

 

Newport Vessels’ product is a kayak trolling motor specially developed for these particular watercrafts, which makes it especially effective for various uses. The motor comes with a 24-inch shaft made of durable fiberglass, that can be placed at various depths, depending on what water conditions you encounter.

You can be sure that you’ll be able to use this motor for a long time, given the high-quality materials used for its construction. Furthermore, the user can choose between 8 different speeds, 5 of them for going forward and 3 reverse ones.

The telescoping handle does a great job of ensuring full control over the ride, given that it can be adjusted according to the user’s needs. If you want to use this motor in saltwater conditions, you won’t have any problem doing this, given that the manufacturer included a durable all-aluminum head in the construction, as well as corrosion-resistant magnesium zinc.

Pros

If you are looking for a reliable kayak trolling motor mount, then you certainly need to get a motor that can get the job done, and this Newport Vessels unit checks all the boxes.

Thanks to the LED battery indicator, you will never have to guess how much power the motor has left, thus making your water trips a lot safer.

The 3-blade propeller is specially designed to reduce drag, as well as balance the system to ensure optimal performance.

Experienced users will surely be glad to know that this trolling motor comes with extra long 5’6” cables, as these allow versatile battery placement, as well as optimal weight distribution.

Cons

The motor’s head is not waterproof, so if you face light rain conditions this is not going to be an issue, but in heavy rain conditions, some issues might appear.

The manufacturer doesn’t recommend using Lithium batteries with this unit.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($330.99)

 

 

 

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.

Thrust power

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.

 

 

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