You’ll want the best kayak trolling motors when you opt to forego paddling and choose a more convenient and efficient way to get to your favorite fishing spot. With the perfect model, you can transform an ordinary fishing boat into something impressive. To help reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare to fish, you can spend the majority of your time casting.
Best Kayak Trolling Motors Reviews
1. Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor
This transom mount trolling motor is one of the most popular models for freshwater anglers. With the help of this product, you’ll have a more comfortable and more natural fishing experience by taking control of your boat. It has plenty to offer, including better responsiveness and control while boasting unmatched reliability and toughness.
The Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor has plenty to offer, including five forward and three reverse speed settings. On average, you’ll have five times more battery charge to put to good use, allowing you to select variable speed controls. Users can dial in an exact speed and have the motor produce the necessary amount of power for a full day’s worth of fishing.
Another exciting feature of the Endura is that it has a 180-degree directional indicator known as Vantage. When it is lifted and rotated, you can slip into back-trolling mode immediately with impressive steering that is incredibly responsible. You’ll also love how the mounting system breaks away upon impact, which protects the transom from underwater hazards.
If you’ve never used a trolling motor before, this particular design is an excellent option for beginners. With a single push of a button, you can raise or lower your device if you’ve found the perfect spot or want to continue traveling. The composite shaft is also phenomenal, as it’s stronger than steel and yet maintains its flexibility, reducing the likelihood of breaking, kinking, and corrosion.
What to Like About It
The battery power of the Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor is quite impressive, even while navigating through relatively rough waters. You can easily use it for a day of fishing and only use half of the battery power. Even if you’re a first-time user, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to install and begin using the motor.
What Not to Like About It
The Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor isn’t a powerhouse as its design is for relatively small boats. If you’re looking for a motor that will shoot you through the water, this isn’t the one to choose, as it’s rated for its energy efficiency more than speed. Another thing to consider is that it’s not as efficient in the reversal modes, so you can expect to consume more battery power.
- Extensive battery life
- Very energy efficient
- Easy to install and use
- Not high-powered
- Less efficient in reverse
2. Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor
If you’re searching for a motor that is relatively powerful but won’t scare away fish, this is one of the better ones. The Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor features an ample amount of thrust without the worry of overheating. It also has a relatively impressive energy efficiency rating for all-day use.
There are multiple thrusts to choose from with this motor, ranging from 36 pounds to 86 pounds. With the 36-pound model, you’ll love how easy it is to fish all day without worrying about the motor overheating. It is also quite silent when in the water, reducing your chances of scaring away any fish.
The shaft on the motor is made from composite fiberglass and is 30 inches in length. Luckily, the rod is fully adjustable so you can ensure the unit has a perfect place in the water depending on conditions and the type of boat you own. The high-strength materials are incredibly reliable over many years of use.
With eight different speeds to choose from, five forward and three reverse, there are plenty of variable speeds for you to put to good use. The motor also features a six-inch telescopic handle that is ergonomic and fully extendable. Having a smooth and controlled ride has never been more comfortable with straightforward navigating and steering.
An extra advantage of the Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor is that it has a five-point LED meter to keep you apprised of its battery life. You’ll have a clear idea of the current charge level so you can ensure your motor is always ready for your next fishing trip. Also, the device features saltwater-compatible hardware, including magnesium, zinc, and stainless steel components.
What to Like About It
The Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor is ideal for both fresh and saltwater use, primarily as it features saltwater-safe components. With a small boat, you should be able to travel at speeds up to five miles per hour, depending on load. You’ll also appreciate how quiet it is, especially when compared to more heavy-duty motors so that you can have more peaceful and stealthy fishing experiences.
What Not to Like About It
The electronics in this motor aren’t as robust as others on the market, which doesn’t make it ideal for heavy-duty boats or large loads. Several plastic components are likely to age in the sun and break from UV damage. Another issue with plastic parts is the bracket that holds the motor to your boat is plastic, which is cause for concern.
- Relatively powerful motor
- Suitable for salt and freshwater fishing
- Gets up to five miles per hour
- Quite quiet
- Not recommended for heavy boats
- Plenty of plastic parts
- Likely to get damaged with an impact
3. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor
Available in 46, 55, and 86 pounds, the Goplus Electric Trolling Motor is a convenient model to have at your disposal. It has many of the same features as the other models on this list, making it a convenient and affordable tool to add to your fishing gear. This design is fantastic for beginners who want to transform their ordinary boat into a more efficient model.
Controlling a motor on your fishing boat has never been simpler than with the six-inch adjustable handle added to this model. You can easily control the device with its telescoping handle that is also fully adjustable to your specifications. You’ll also find this unit is best for freshwater than saltwater.
There are five forward and three reverse speeds in this motor that give you plenty of control for long and short-distance fishing trips. You’ll have optimal control over the speed of your boat, also allowing you to reserve battery power for your return trip. With the help of the two-blade propeller, you’ll have smooth movements in the water, which can help to reduce battery consumption.
Always knowing the charge of your battery is essential. The Goplus Electric Trolling Motor features a 10-point LED battery indicator, designed to protect the longevity of the cells from overcharging. You’ll easily be able to tell how much charge is left so that your motor is always ready to be used.
There are several durable features added to the design of this model, including a reinforced nylon bracket. You’ll love the ablation resistance as well as stability. In terms of the shaft, it is made from a fiberglass composite, similar to most other trolling models, which helps to fight against corrosion.
What to Like About It
Even though the Goplus Electric Trolling Motor is advertised as a freshwater motor, it is possible to be used in saltwater, which makes it more convenient. You’ll also appreciate the quality and longevity of its battery consumption, which gives you more than enough power for return trips. With a single battery, you can fish all day with more than one person and gear for two anglers.
What Not to Like About It
Similar to other trolling motors, you aren’t likely to achieve speeds higher than five miles per hour, especially with a heavy boat. This particular model has also shown issues with loose bearings, which can cause a loud rattling sound when in use.
- Great for salt and freshwater
- Easy to use
- Limited battery consumption
- Efficient for two to three anglers
- Limited speed
- Questionable quality
- Could be loud when in use
4. Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor
As another trolling motor available from Minn Kota, the Riptide Terrova has a few additional features that make it an even more convenient model. If you’re looking for a trolling motor that is as close to automated, this is a fantastic option. With saltwater advantage, you can quickly put this unit to good use in all of your favorite fishing spots.
If innovation is what you’re looking for, this trolling motor is sure to impress you. With a specialized lift-assist design, you will be able to raise or lower the unit with ease. It’s a nearly automated feature, so you’ll barely have to lift a finger.
Another exciting aspect of its design is that it has a push-to-test feature for the battery meter. You’ll easily be able to check the efficiency of your battery as well as see how much charge it has available. Users will appreciate how simple it is to stow the motor during the off-season, helping to make the task far more effortless.
With the help of the saltwater advantage, you’ll easily be able to use the motor in both fresh and salty bodies of water. The premium-grade alloy metals are ideal for ensuring the unit can prevent corrosion, even with daily use. Fortified by their multi-step cleaning process, you can guarantee the most sensitive parts of the Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor are built to last.
What to Like About It
With your trolling motor, you will receive a remote that enables you to start and stop the device among a few other tasks. You’ll easily be able to keep an eye on your speed, change the speed of the motor, as well as quickly disconnect the mount, if necessary. Instead of having to adjust all the settings manually, you can easily take advantage of its automated processes.
What Not to Like About It
The main issue with the product is the length of its power cord. You may find it difficult to reach the power cord from one end of your boat to the other. Also, this motor isn’t as easy to install as others and will require the instructions for proper assembly.
- Innovative automated features
- Comes with remote
- Allows for easy operation
- Effortless to use
- Requires instructions for installation
- The power cord is too short
5. Watersnake T18 ASP Trolling Motor
This trolling motor has the basic features you’d need for smooth operation. From a unique design for smaller sized boats and a one-year warranty, there’s plenty that you’ll love to take advantage of. With a simple and stylish appearance, the Watersnake T18 ASP Trolling Motor is an excellent option for any angler.
The shaft of this motor is made entirely from alloy and is 24 inches, which is more than deep enough for optimal control in all water conditions. You’ll find its overall design is for inflatable boats, dinghies, and kayaks, making it highly adaptable. Also, you’ll have a comprehensive one-year warranty to cover manufacturer’s defects.
With the help of the corrosion-resistant coating on the motor, you can easily use this model in both fresh and saltwater areas. It also features high and low-speed controls, as well as a reverse and forward switch depending on your needs. You’ll be able to easily navigate through different types of underwater conditions with the weedless design.
Thanks to the two-blade propeller, the motor will chew through underwater grasses and marsh for the most seamless experience.
What to Like About It
With the Watersnake T18 ASP Trolling Motor, you can achieve moderate speeds between three and five miles per hour in low-wind conditions. When it comes time to attach it to your boat, its seamless step-by-step process can be done in a matter of minutes, which is quite convenient. You’ll find it works best on ponds and small lakes, especially with one to two anglers and gear in your boat.
What Not to Like About It
If you’re stuck in a current, you’ll find this motor is far too weak to propel you forward, causing you to need your paddles still. Also, this model doesn’t come with a tilt bracket, so removing the motor when the boat is not in use can be slightly tricky.
- Reaches moderate speeds
- Ideal for use in low-wind
- Best for ponds
- Easy to assemble
- Reliable battery life
- Not useful in currents
- The motor is lacking substantial power
- Doesn’t come with a tilt bracket
Trolling motors are incredibly convenient to add to your kayak or pontoon, especially if you want to improve their efficiency. It’s important to note that not every unit is the same. Others are affordable, while others have high-end technological features. With the help of this buyer’s guide, you’ll know what features to look for when you start shopping.
1. Mounting Type
The first thing to think about is where you intend to mount your motor, as this will affect the models you’re able to choose from. Typically, there are three different mounting locations, which include the bow, transom, and engine. When you opt to mount your motor on the bow, it will be on the front of the boat, which is useful for when you need to pull your boat through the water.
Transom mounting is by far the most popular, as it is located on the back of your boat and can be done with a simple bracket.
Most people who own smaller kayaks will prefer a transom-mounted motor, as it offers standard trolling with significant control. Also, you may find these models are slightly less expensive.
The third option is engine mounted, which helps to maintain a cleared space on the surface of your kayak. Engine mounting is another excellent option for small boats, but you will require one with a built-in engine. Some engine mounted motors need to be mounted to the cavitation plate of your inboard or outboard motor.
You’ll find that thrust is one of the most frequently discussed aspects of trolling motors as it has to do with its power. To determine how much thrust you should be looking for, there’s a rule to follow. On average, your motor should have two pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of boat weight.
For example, if your boat weighs 800 pounds in total with you and your gear, you’re going to want a motor with a thrust rating of 16 pounds at the minimum. There are plenty of other factors that can affect thrust as well, such as wind, currents, and the vegetation in the area where you fish. To help negate the effects of weather and water conditions, opt for a little more thrust to help you power through any obstacles.
When you’re using a trolling motor, you’re not going to need to rely on your paddles anymore. Instead, you’ll have access to different types of steering, which typically include cable steering, hand control, and electric steering. For people in the more expensive models, electric steering is the most common.
With electric, you have access to an ample amount of control options without having to touch the motor physically.
Most often, these designs come with a remote that you can use to navigate, allowing you to spend less time boating and more time fishing. Alternatively, some prefer cable steering as it’s slightly more affordable.
Cable steering is still highly responsive, thanks to a cable linked between a foot pedal and the motor. One of the most considerable advantages of cable steering is that it works best in shallow water while protecting your unit from underwater vegetation and debris. This point leads us to the last and most common option, hand control.
Hand control motors are by far the most affordable and give you the best hands-on experience when navigating your boat. Most of these motors will have a retractable handle that allows you to direct where you want your boat to go manually.
4. Shaft Length
Another essential feature to regard is the shaft length of your motor, as it will determine whether the propellers touch the water or not. Too short of a shaft length, and your trolling motor won’t be adequately submerged. Typically, these devices will come with varying lengths for you to choose from.
5. Electronic Features
Depending on your budget, you may or may not be interested in a trolling motor with automatic features. The more expensive models will have conveniences such as autopilot, energy efficiency, as well as down imaging transducers to give you a clear idea of what’s under your boat.
Best Kayak Trolling Motors FAQs
1. Can You Put a Trolling Motor on a Fishing Kayak?
Most trolling motors are specifically designed for kayaks and pontoons, as they are a quick and cost-effective way to boost the productivity of your transportation. With an easy-to-use design and simple installation instructions, you can spend more time fishing and less time navigating.
2. How Much Thrust Do I Need for a Trolling Motor Kayak?
As mentioned, the thrust for your trolling motor kayak will depend on the weight of your boat, yourself, and your gear. To accurately determine the amount of thrust you need, you’ll want to have two pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of boat weight. Using this calculation, you can determine the perfect amount of power for your needs.
3. How Long Will a Trolling Motor Run on a Battery?
Trolling motors have become increasingly energy-efficient, especially as more anglers are spending increased hours on the water. Some of the most efficient devices can last several hours and consume only half of the unit’s battery life. Ensure that you select a motor with a battery power indicator to know when it’s time to charge the device so that it’s always ready to be used.
4. How Deep Should a Trolling Motor Be in the Water?
Ideally, your trolling motor should be submerged up to at least 12 inches once it is mounted on your boat. With 12 inches, you’ll have more than enough power to propel the vessel through the water without struggle or reducing the effectiveness of the motor. The smoother your boat tracks, the less battery power it will consume.
5. What Size of Trolling Motor Do I Need?
When it comes to choosing a trolling motor size, the main trait you’ll look at is the thrust. The thrust is by far the most important, as it will determine how much power the motor has to push or pull you and your gear. If you’re concerned about space, you may also want to consider where you intend on mounting the motor.
Smaller boats will require smaller trolling motors and vice versa. You won’t want to take away too much space, as you’ll want to be able to move around on the platform, if necessary.
Our Final Recommendation
Our choice for the best trolling motor is the Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor because it is highly reliable and extremely versatile. Although it is one of the more expensive models, it features plenty of automated features, including a remote that allows you to control the motor from anywhere on your boat. With the use of its modern technology, you’ll have a far more efficient and convenient time on the water.