Best Kayak Trolling Motors of 2021 | Expert Reviews & Guideline

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: May 25, 2021
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The best kayak trolling motors are those that offer the best performance in terms of speed, battery life, and water pressure. The most expensive motor is not necessarily the best for your needs, so it is important to consider your priorities before investing in an expensive product.

Here is a list of the top 5 trolling motors for kayaks based on their quality, durability, and price:

1) Minn Kota Endura C2-L-HG-R (Best Quality Trolling Motor)

2) Watersnake – ASP 18 and 24 Pound Thrust 12V for Kayaks (Best Value)

3) PEXMOR Electric Trolling Motor (Best Durability)

4) Intex Trolling Motor (Best for Inflatable Kayaks)

5) Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust (Best for Consistency)

Picking out the right trolling motor isn’t an easy task. Since it’s an electrical machine, there are many things you need to factor in, i.e. voltages, different sizes, and different features.

To aid you on your journey to buying a trolling motor, I am going to introduce you to five of the best trolling motors available on the market in the USA.

Let’s get started!

Comparison of Top Rated Kayak Trolling Motors

We have analyzed the top 6 kayak trolling motors based on their dimensions, weight, and other features like prices, power, and everything. Here you go and pick the right one.

Best Kayak Trolling Motors

My Recommended Top 5 Trolling Motors for 2021

1. ​Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor

  • Overview: Featuring 55 pounds of thrust, the Newport Trolling Motor is designed to be used in either freshwater or saltwater. This is a hand-operated trolling motor that comes with an array of convenient features and speeds.
  • Background: Any angler knows that the cost of using cheap trolling motors. You can’t gamble with trolling motors that work as the soul of your kayak. You can’t afford to have a botched-up fishing trip after all the effort it requires. So, it’s important that you choose a quality trolling motor. Newport Vessels has been a prominent name among anglers because the brand is synonymous with quality products that stand the test of time. And, the 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor from Newport features the latest design and great performance!
  • Versatility: While most trolling motors are freshwater based, the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust suits both freshwater and saltwater. Therefore, if you want a versatile kayak trolling motor, this is paramount.
  • Construction: The Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust comes on a transom mount. You may be familiar with bow-mounted motors, but transom motors are becoming popular once again because of cost-effectiveness. Therefore, this trolling motor will be less expensive than most other motors.
  • Durability: The motor head is made of aluminum. The aluminum-based construction makes the trolling motor perfectly capable of withstanding constant use. The shaft has fiberglass composite that ensures durability as well.
  • Speed: You will have 8 speeds to choose from with this trolling motor. 5 speeds will move you forward, while 3 speeds will go in reverse.

Wins & Fails

  • Strong and intelligent construction
  • No significant cons

2. Minn Kota Terrova 80 Bow-Mount Trolling Motor

  • Overview Minn Kota is the most popular brand name in the world of trolling motors. The Terrova 80 is built with enthusiasts in mind. It features everything you need to get started with trolling. The high-quality build, loads of features, and a few great gadgets make this product an attractive one.
  • iPilot The Terrova 80 uses GPS technology to find your best fishing spots. iPilot is probably the biggest influential factor for the purchase of this trolling motor.
  • Control You can gain up to 80 lbs of thrust with this trolling motor. The power will allow you to get by most inclement conditions effortlessly. The Terrova 80 has Cruise Control, which ensures extra safety.

Wins & Fails

  • Highest quality construction
  • iPilot & Cruise Control
  • Incredibly easy to use foot paddle & No hassle
  • A bit expensive

3. Intex Trolling Motor for Inflatable Boats

  • Overview: The trolling motor is suitable for inflatable boats under 16 feet. The trolling motor is powerful enough to transport four people on the kayak. Acceleration, battery power, and durable construction make the Intex Trolling Motor supreme.
  • Thrust: The Intex Trolling Motor generates 40 lbs of thrust. The thrust results in great acceleration. Acceleration makes it easy for you to survey and move around the river with ease.
  • speed: Intex Trolling Motor can gain a maximum speed of 7 knots. When you are on your kayak, adjust the speed at a favorable setting. A comfortable speed will ensure that you fish effortlessly.
  • Battery Power: The battery power of the Intex will surely awe you. It’s quite extraordinary. The Intex Trolling Motor can propel your kayak for extended periods. When I first put the motor to use, it only lost 20% of the power after 2 hours of use.

Wins & Fails

  • Very powerful
  • Strong battery life
  • Great acceleration
  • No significant cons

4. ​Haswing and Aquos 12V 20lbs Electric Trolling Motor

  • OverviewThe Haswing and Aquos is one of the least expensive motors available. Although it is cheap in price, its quality is no cheap in anyways. The trolling motor produces thrust up to 20 pounds. It is very effective for smaller boats.
  • Amenities The Haswing and Aquos work perfectly for many anglers. It has an integrated LED display to deliver information on battery usage. This feature is only available on expensive models. Adjustable depth collar and a shaft length of 23.6 inches are some of the features.
  • Adjustable HandleThe Haswing and Aquos come with an adjustable handle. The handle can be changed to achieve desired preferences.

Wins & Fails

  • Works perfectly for smaller inflatable boats
  • Integrated LED display
  • Adjustable depth collar with Four different speeds
  • Not suitable for large vessels

​5.  ​Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor

The details of Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mount

  • Length: 46″
  • Thrust: 46lbs
  • Maximum Horsepower: 75hp
  • Maximum Throttle Setting: Full Throttle

The Newport Vessels NV series has a completely sealed drive system for reliability and clean saltwater propulsion. The thrust is specifically designed to be stronger and more consistent than similar units on the market. For the anglers who are looking for a high-performance transom mount, look no further because this unit is the perfect option for you. It provides excellent handling, acceleration, and speed in both shallow and deep water conditions. The entire unit is made from durable materials that will withstand any environment that you put it in.

Pros and Cons of Newport Vessels NV-Series

Pro: Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Motor is perfect for fishermen looking for a powerful boat. The engine is able to handle large watercraft and has an excellent acceleration rate.

Con: The fuel economy of the motor is not great, and may require you to refuel more than once per fishing trip.

Pro: This transom has a long list of features that make it an excellent choice for fishermen of all skill levels, including a starter button and trolling speed control knob with indicator lights.

Con: The price of this product is averagely high like $100+.

What’s a Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor fuels your vessel and maximizes your fishing prowess. You attach a trolling motor to either the stern or bow of your kayak or canoe. However, usually, a trolling motor is installed on the stern.

A trolling motor is a sophisticated piece of apparatus that is built with a motor, propeller, and controls in a self-contained unit.

Trolling motors are electric machines. And, they are powered by batteries. However, it is not uncommon to see trolling motors powered by gasoline. A trolling motor is named after the form of fishing, known as trolling.  The fishing method of trolling involves the fishing line moving slowly through the water to attract fish to the bait.

Very few hobbies are as enjoyable and thrilling as fishing out there. Fishing opens up new possibilities and gives you the opportunity to enjoy nature in its purest form. The best outcome from fishing could be bringing back fish for dinner.

Trolling

For many experienced anglers, trolling is what defines fishing the best. Trolling tests your angling skill. How skilled you are at angling will be put to test when you are trolling. It is because trolling requires ingenuity and fishing skill that is not easy to master.

Trolling on Kayaks

When you are using your kayak to troll, a few usual items won’t cut it. You may need a few items that you may have never used in the past, or you didn’t think they would come in handy. The items you will need when trolling are:

  • Spreader boards
  • Planer boards
  • Paravanes
  • Downriggers
  • Outriggers

All these items will be in vain if you don’t have the most important piece of equipment. Yes, the most important piece of equipment you are going to need for trolling is the trolling motor.

What Do You Need a Trolling Motor For?

Paddling your way while trolling is likely to disturb the fish you are trying to attract. A trolling motor allows you to move through the water without being noticed. When you are paddling and trying to catch fish, you may end up disturbing the fish.

However, with a trolling motor, you can relax and sit without paddling. The biggest advantage of owning a trolling motor is that it doesn’t generate a loud sound. A vessel with a large propeller engine is likely to generate earth-shattering noise. However, a trolling motor wouldn’t.

A trolling motor is quiet, offers just the type of tranquility you require when fishing. A trolling motor allows you to move silently and gradually through the water. While moving, the motor heaves your baited fishing line along behind your kayak as well.

One of the other advantages of a trolling motor is that they allow you to focus on your fishing, while still moving along the water. Sure, you don’t want to juggle handling your vessel and catching fish. Juggling can be dangerous as well while moving along the water.

Therefore, no matter how you look at a trolling motor, it is a significant piece of equipment to carry when kayak fishing.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Trolling Motor (The Features)

Trolling motors come in a variety of models and types. There is a type of trolling motor that is bow-mounted. While there is another type of trolling motor that allows you to use foot paddles to move.

What could be a bit surprising to you is that there are also trolling motors available that can be controlled remotely. Sure, they are more expensive.

So, what the above discussion reveals is that you have certain factors to consider when shopping for a trolling motor.

The discussion below is dedicated to the prerequisites you need to consider before buying a trolling motor. Let’s get started:

  1. Installation: Before going out to shop for a trolling motor, you need to make sure your kayak is suitable for a trolling motor installation. Factor in the length and weight of your kayak as they will play an important role in the thrust generated from the motor. Usually, the thrust is around 2 pounds for every 100 pounds of vessel weight.
  2. Installation Equipment: In order to install a trolling motor, you need the right tools to do so. Actually, the installation of a trolling motor is built upon the installation of several other tools. Here are the tools you are going to install:- You will need to install a mount on your kayak- It’s recommended that you use steel bolts to install the mount on your kayak- Then, you can proceed to attach the trolling motor to the mount.
  3. Taxation​: Once you have upgraded your kayak to a trolling motor, it may be subject to taxation. You may also require to register your kayak with local authorities. Henceforth, your kayak will be defined as a motor vessel.
  4. Length of the Shaft: A trolling motor has a certain length of the shaft. And, it is determined by the type of kayak you have. The top section of the motor should be submerged at least 12 inches under the water.
  5. Saltwater or Freshwater: Trolling motors are manufactured based on the water type they will favor. There are trolling motors that are designed for use in the sea. And, there are motors that are designed for freshwater. There is also a type of trolling motor that favors both saltwater and freshwater. This type of trolling motor can be a great option if you are looking for versatility and a cost-effective option. What mainly makes the difference between the saltwater motor and freshwater motor is the anode at the bottom. On a saltwater motor, there is an anode at the bottom, while the freshwater motor doesn’t have one.
  6. Blades: Trolling motors come with blades on their propellers. Some tend to have more blades than others do. More blades on the propellers give the trolling motor sturdy construction, thereby allowing you to move your vessel through the seaweed or glass. Moreover, more blades result in better thrust than others.
  7. Kayak size

The size of your kayak determines the battery power and the amount of push needed in the chosen trolling motor. Due to the different sizes of kayaks, the trolling motors come in three ratings; 12V, 24V, and 36V. If your kayak is 16 feet or less, then go for a trolling engine rated 12V. The 36V works for 19 feet kayaks and more. However, anything in-between the two lengths got for one rated 24V.
  • Mounting location

    The trolling motors can be mounted on the bow or transom of the boat. Transom mount is the best for kayaks since it fits comfortably and can be operated in a sitting position. Beginners might find it a little challenging at first, but with practice, everything will be all set.

    However, if your boat is medium or large, then a bow mount is the ideal option. Though expensive, they have additional features such as auto-pilot and wireless control. You, therefore, need to choose the trolling motor depending on where you want to mount it.
  • Water type Are you going to fish in freshwater or saltwater? If the fishing place is in seawater, then you will need a trolling motor designed to work well without corroding. The engine should be made of anti-rusting materials even without lubrication. The proper equipment will serve you for a long with increased efficiency. However, if fishing in freshwater, any trolling motor putting other factors into considerations will work just fine.
  • Loading capacity

    The amount of thrush you need depends on the loading capacity of your kayak. A kayak with a capacity of over 1500 pounds requires a trolling motor with a minimum of 30 pounds thrust. Anything larger than this, or if you are going in groups, a push of 80 pounds above is needed.

    Details of thrush are indicated in the instruction guide that comes with trolling motor; you only need to know your kayak size, weight, and loading capacity.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Trolling Motor Battery Life: How Long Does It Last?

    The average battery life of a Trolling Motor Battery is 3-5 years. One drawback of old-time cars is that they require more battery power to function. While a new, fully charged battery will last up to 8 hours, an older 12-volt trolling motor battery may only last between 6 and 8 hours on one charge.

    There are many different ways to measure battery life. The two most common measurements are lifespan and depth of discharge. Lifespan is the number of cycles that a battery can be recharged before it fails. Depth of discharge is a measurement of how deeply the battery was discharged during each cycle so that a higher percentage means more cycles before failure. The lifespan and depth of discharge vary by battery type, so it’s important to know what kind you have in order to determine how long you can use your device without replacing the battery.

    Can my kayak trolling motor be used in saltwater?

    No. Usually, a kayak trolling motor is used in saltwater when the aluminum shaft is isolated and is not in contact with the water.

    When you use your kayak trolling motor, you need to be sure that the shaft is not exposed to saltwater. If it does come into contact with saltwater, you will need to replace it as soon as possible because it will corrode and ruin your motor.

    Do you need a small and lightweight electric kayak motor?

    Oftentimes when someone wants a kayak, they might not be interested in a heavy, bulky one. For those people, an electric kayak motor may be the perfect solution. An electric kayak motor is designed for small and lightweight boats. They can provide power to move these boats through the water without human input. These motors are specifically designed for kayaks so that they can fit into space on the boat, and they’re small enough so that you’ll hardly notice them while paddling. They are also eco-friendly because they don’t require fuel to operate (as long as your battery has juice!) and they produce no emissions at all!

    What type of battery is needed for my trolling motor?

    Trolling motors use different types of batteries. Nickel-cadmium: Lighter with a lower voltage, but also has a longer life span. Lead-acid: Heavier with higher voltage, but has a shorter life span.

    Saltwater Or Freshwater Motor? Which is Better?

    A saltwater motor is better because it is less expensive to install and maintain, and it doesn’t need to be winterized. The only downside to a saltwater system is that the water needs to be changed every other week and cleaning the water filter every other week. Freshwater motors are more expensive, but they require almost no maintenance. The only downside is the expense of buying or renting a lift for installation.

    Can I run a 24-volt motor off of a 12-volt battery?

    A 12-volt battery is typically used to operate a 12-volt motor, but it can be done with a 24-volt battery, but it’s not recommended. A 24-volt battery would provide twice the voltage of the needed 12-volts, which could damage the motor. This can be done with a 24-volt battery, but it is not recommended. A 24-volt battery would provide twice the voltage of the needed 12 volts, which could damage the motor.

    What are the best trolling motors in kind for fishing?

    Larger trolling motors are often better at moving boats, but they also require more fuel. Smaller trolling motors may not be powerful enough to move larger vessels. When you’re fishing, it is important that your motor can get the boat in and out of difficult places. Larger motors usually have a higher power output, which is great when you’re trying to move from one spot to another. Smaller motors are less powerful and do not go as far on a single charge as larger ones do. For this reason, many fishermen prefer smaller trolling motors because they can cover more ground without running out of power.

    What kind of propellers are available for kayaks and trolling motors?

    A number of different propellers are available for kayaks and trolling motors due to the variation in size, shape, pitch, and construction. Typically, 3-blade fixed pitch propellers for kayaks and trolling motors have a stainless steel hub. If you’re looking for more efficiency and power with your paddling or trolling motor, then a 4-blade variable pitch propeller may be the best option. For kayaks, the most common type of propeller is an aluminum hub with a curved blade design. Kayak propellers will usually have either two or three blades depending on what you’re looking for in terms of size and speed. Trolling motors also come in various shapes and sizes including 2-, 3- or 4-blade designs. The diameter of the shaft hole will vary depending on the design.

    How Much Thrust Do You Have?

    The most important thing to know about how much thrust you have is the weight of your rocket, which determines the ratio of mass (m) and weight (W). The higher the ratio, the more thrust. We can do this by either adding more fuel to our tank or getting a better engine. To determine how much thrust you have: Mass ÷ Weight = Thrust.

    In order to make sure your kayak trolling motor is as efficient and powerful as possible, you should always check the voltage of your trolling battery.

    How To DIY Kayak Trolling Motor Set-up?

    You might be asking yourself whether it is legal to put a trolling motor on your kayak. Rest assured that it is indeed legal as long as you follow the safety laws governing kayaking. Of course, you need to buy the best trolling motor before attaching it to the kayak. Here are the simple steps to follow for DIY kayak trolling motor setup:

    1. Get the necessary tools needed

    There are tools and gear that you will need to attach the trolling motor to the kayak successfully. These include:

    • A kayak
    • Plastic battery box
    • Marine battery
    • Transom-mount motor
    • Waterproof circuit breaker
    • 24 wood
    • Toggle bolts

    Once you get all the required gear, go to step two.

    2. Assemble the trolling motor

    First, setup the kayak on something about the height of your waist.  This prevents the trolling engine from hitting the ground during the trial process.

    Put the battery in the battery box and place it in the storage area at the back of your kayak. Use a strap to hold the battery box firmly in place.

    Take the 2×4 piece of wood and set it between the battery box and the seat with the longer side against the box. To mount the trolling motor well, let someone hold for you the wood. Mark the edges of the piece of wood to help when fixing the trolling engine in place after the trial process.Now remove the battery box to start setting up everything.

    To set up the 2×4 piece of wood, drill the holes on the marked line. Now attach it to the kayak using the toggle bolts. If the bolts are sticking out, you can trim using hand hacksaws or Dremel. Trim it smoothly to avoid sharp edges that can damage the battery.

    Put the battery back into the box and lift it back to storage space and secure it using the straps. Now attach the trolling motor to the 2×4 piece of wood using the toggle bolts. It will not move once attached well to the kayak.

    Mount the circuit breaker on top of the battery using double-sided 3M tape to secure it in place. Do the wiring by running the black wire from the trolling motor to the negative terminal and red to the AUX pole of the circuit breaker. Direct the jumper from the circuit breaker to the positive battery terminal.

    Once through with the process, you can take it to water and see how easy it is cruising with trolling motor on. Do not leave your paddle just in case you need to use it.

    Final Notes

    This article will provide you with clear insight on everything, from how to choose a trolling motor to the best ones available on the market.

    You will never go wrong if you follow the discussion of this article.

    Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API