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Best Trolling Motors Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Feb 28, 2019

There are many factors to consider when buying a trolling motor. How big is your boat? What distance to you plan on traveling? How fast do you want to go? Are you going to be freshwater or saltwater fishing? Are you interested in gadgets and high-tech gear, or do you prefer something more basic? What is your budget? This article breaks down 10 of the best trolling motors available on the market to help you make your decision before you cast off.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Minn Kota Endura C2 30
96.6/100 our score
Advanced Features
90
Ease of Use
98
Effectiveness
97
Brand
99
Durability
99
Minn Kota Endura C2 30
Why is it better?

Great price; exceptional value

Ergonomic, comfortable handle

Quiet, efficient battery

3 reverse speeds, 5 forward speeds

Shaft comes with lifetime warranty; motor comes with two-year warranty

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Minn Kota Endura C2 30
Test Winner: Minn Kota Endura C2 30
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Total Readers
11k
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
22k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
13
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Advanced Features Ease of Use Effectiveness Brand Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Advanced Features
90 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Effectiveness
97 %
Brand
99 %
Durability
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$94.99
Cabelas
$109.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Advanced Features
99 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Effectiveness
97 %
Brand
98 %
Durability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Advanced Features
92 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Effectiveness
93 %
Brand
98 %
Durability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$229.99
Cabelas
$234.99
See Deal
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Advanced Features
92 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Effectiveness
93 %
Brand
96 %
Durability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$209.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Advanced Features
92 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Effectiveness
93 %
Brand
96 %
Durability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$199.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Advanced Features
98 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Effectiveness
92 %
Brand
98 %
Durability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Cabelas
$1,529.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Advanced Features
94 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Effectiveness
92 %
Brand
96 %
Durability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$275.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Advanced Features
93 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Effectiveness
91 %
Brand
97 %
Durability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$145.00
Cabelas
$224.99
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Advanced Features
92 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Effectiveness
90 %
Brand
97 %
Durability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
Amazon Link
$159.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Advanced Features
94 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Effectiveness
90 %
Brand
97 %
Durability
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.07.19)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Minn Kota Endura C2 30
  • Minn Kota Riptide 55 SP Minn Kota Riptide 55 SP
  • Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Minn Kota Endura C2 55
  • Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb
  • Newport Vessels 55Ib Newport Vessels 55Ib
  • Minn Kota Terrova 55 Minn Kota Terrova 55
  • SEAMAX 65 Pound Thrust SEAMAX 65 Pound Thrust
  • Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Minn Kota Endura C2 40
  • Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb
  • Minn Kota Powerdrive 45 V2 Minn Kota Powerdrive 45 V2
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Trolling Motors

1. Minn Kota Endura C2 30

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Minn Kota Endura C2 30
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
90
Ease of Use
98
Effectiveness
97
Brand
99
Durability
99
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$94.99
Cabelas
$109.99
See Deal
Pros:

Great price; exceptional value

Ergonomic, comfortable handle

Quiet, efficient battery

3 reverse speeds, 5 forward speeds

Shaft comes with lifetime warranty; motor comes with two-year warranty

Cons:

Not as powerful as other motors

Reportedly gets tangled easily in weeds

The Endura C2 30 with 30” shaft by Minn Kota is a basic, reliable, well-received, inexpensive trolling motor that gets the job done. Sure, this particular motor lacks the bells and whistles that accompany some of the other models reviewed here, but for someone who enjoys fishing as a hobby, is not overly concerned with cutting edge technology and simply wants a reliable motor at a fair price, look no further than Minn Kota’s tried and true, most popular motor.

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Ergonomic Control of Speed
The motor features a telescoping handle measuring 6” along with a tilt twist tiller for extra comfort. This allows for ergonomic steering and control. It also features a solid mount, offering superb steadiness. The telescoping handle makes it easy to control and will not strain your hands or wrists, even when used for extended periods of time.

Quiet and Efficient
The motor runs cooly and quietly, maximizing battery life and power. Better yet, the motor runs quietly. This is an added bonus because a loud battery is likely to scare fish away. The virtually silent motor you to move quietly through the water, enjoying the ride, solitude and scenery as much as the fishing itself.

Cost and Value
In terms of price, this motor is the least expensive model reviewed in this article. Extremely affordable, yet made of the highest-quality and with a superb reputation, the Endura is a rare find. With high marks in every category from safety to battery life, do not let the price tag fool you. Minn Kota has manufactured an excellent motor that will serve you well.

2. Minn Kota Riptide 55 SP

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Minn Kota Riptide 55 SP
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
99
Ease of Use
93
Effectiveness
97
Brand
98
Durability
96
best offer for today
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Pros:

Deploy-Assist lever; 48” shaft, 55-lb. thrust

Co-Pilot or I-Pilot with wireless remote and GPS

Push-to-test battery meter with digital maximizer

Weed-resistant propeller

Saltwater corrosion protection

Cons:

Very expensive

Some difficulty with deploying reported

The Riptide could not be more different than the Minn Kota motor previously reviewed, the Endura. Unlike the previously mentioned basic, stripped down motor that essentially gets the job done, this motor is fully loaded with cutting-edge technology, advanced features and superior performance. It is also the most expensive model reviewed here; another reason why it is the polar opposite of the Minn Kota’s earlier, less sophisticated models. Overall, to say that this motor is impressive is a gross understatement. According to serious fishermen and experts who have reviewed this particular motor, it is an absolute sensation in a league of its own.

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Co-Pilot
The motor comes with either the Co-Pilot or i-Pilot options, depending on the specific model you purchase. This allows the motor to virtually control the boat by itself. It is a wireless system that can be turned off and on using a waterproof, mountable and wearable remote. Co-Pilot and i-Pilot both operate using the most advanced GPS satellite technology. The remote also turns the motor on and off, increases or decreases the speed, controls the propellers and even the steering, all at the push of a button.

Push to Test Battery Meter
The motor features a push to test battery meter, instantly alerting you to the battery power level. It also alerts you to the amount of time you have left on the water. The battery meter is an advanced safety feature, keeping you from getting stranded on the water with a powerless motor. Paired with the motor’s Digital Maximizer, your battery will stay charged for an extended period of time due to the efficiency of the Riptide thanks to its team of brilliant engineers.

Cost and Value
The motor may command a high cost, but it is an incredible piece of machinery. It features state-of-the-art technology, superior performance, excellent safety and virtually revolutionizes the experience of fishing. This motor is a serious investment that certainly pays off. If properly maintained, it will last for years, withstanding serious use. It is designed to be enjoyed. It is even reinforced to avoid saltwater corrosion, standing up to some of the most daunting challenges presented at sea. Ultimately, whether it’s worth it is a determination you have to make. According to critics, the answer is a resounding yes.

3. Minn Kota Endura C2 55

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Minn Kota Endura C2 55
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
92
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
93
Brand
98
Durability
96
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$229.99
Cabelas
$234.99
See Deal
Pros:

5 speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse)

Power propellers

Strong, lever-lock brackets

Indestructible shaft

55 lbs. of thrust

Cons:

Reportedly not as quiet as other Minn Kota motors

Throttle handle is reportedly difficult to maneuver

The Endura C2 55 is a durable, tough, reliable workhorse made by Minn Kota. Like the Endura C2 30, the Endura C2 55 is free of frills and does not have a lot of extra features. That said, it is affordable, reputable, and gets the job done. It might not pack as much power as some of the other motors reviewed here, but it is not a motor that is made for showboating (pardon the pun). It is a motor intended to offer an enjoyable, safe, reliable ride, leisurely casting off into the water.

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Telescoping Handle
The motor features a telescopic, ergonomic handle. This makes it easy to control and steer the boat, while doing so comfortably. You will not put any unnecessary strain on your hands. The handle is easily adjusted so you can find your optimal comfort level.

Indestructible Composite Shaft
The shaft of the motor is virtually indestructible. It is built to take a beating and withstand heavy abuse. As a result, the shaft comes with a lifetime warranty. The shaft will not break, crack or corrode. Minn Kota stands by this remarkable warranty with confidence, based on years of solid performance.

Cost and Value
This motor falls right in the middle of the price spectrum. It is an excellent value; the motor is guaranteed for two years and the shaft for life. The handle is ergonomic and comfortable, making your boat a pleasure to steer and control. The motor head is designed to avoid corrosion and other pitfalls, offering sturdiness that is hard to find among trolling motors.

4. Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
92
Ease of Use
96
Effectiveness
93
Brand
96
Durability
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$209.00
Pros:

Fiberglass kayak shaft

Corrosion-resistant motor head

8 variable speeds

Made in the USA

2-year warranty

Cons:

Extended warranty not available

Some issues with propeller reported (however, the customer who wrote this particular review noted that the propeller was immediately replaced by the seller with a detailed instruction guide)

The Kayak Series 55 lb.Thrust Saltwater Motor by Newport Vessels is a moderately-priced, well-received motor that performs well and does have some advanced features which make it an all-around cool gadget. Perfect for fishermen who like to get a lot of use out of their motors, this particular model does not disappoint. Newport Vessels has proven once again that it is one of the best manufacturers of trolling motors out there; and this model is a perfect example of why.

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Kayak Shaft
The motor’s fiberglass shaft allows for placement at variable depths. Newport Vessels is so confident in the fiberglass shaft that it offers a lifetime warranty. In the event there are any issues with the shaft, Newport Vessels is known for responding to issues reported by customers promptly.

Saltwater Rated
The motor head is made of aluminum with zinc, magnesium and stainless-steel hardware, all of which are corrosion resistant. Even when exposed to saltwater for extended periods of time on a regular basis, the motor will not corrode, decay or rust.

Cost and Value
This model is an excellent motor offered at a fair price. Most notably, the motor comes with a vast array of warranties from the manufacturer that guarantee the motor will perform well for years, if not for life. The cost falls in the mid-range, making it competitively priced and an overall great value.

5. Newport Vessels 55Ib

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Newport Vessels 55Ib
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
92
Ease of Use
95
Effectiveness
93
Brand
96
Durability
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.00
Pros:

2-year warranty

Versatile; operates in saltwater and freshwater; 55 lb. thrust

Lightweight and portable; 8 speeds

Saltwater-rated motor

LED battery monitor

Cons:

Required battery not included with purchase

Reports of the wing nut housing becoming stripped after first use

This motor is a moderately priced, reliable workhorse that performs well in fresh or saltwater, making it one of the more versatile motors reviewed here. It is a lightweight, extremely portable motor that is easy to transport. It also comes with an LED battery meter, which is quite useful in terms of monitoring the amount of time you have left on the water.

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Lightweight
The motor weighs a mere 22 lbs., making it easy to transport as it is extremely lightweight. However, the motor delivers an impressive 55 lbs. of thrust. Small but mighty, the motor is deceptive in its design. The small size of the motor also allows it to fit in most kayaks and small boats.

2-Year Warranty
Newport Vessels sells this motor with a full two-year warranty. That means if any parts need repairing or replacing, the manufacturer will take care of it promptly, no questions asked. Newport Vessels, based in California, is known for its attentive customer service. If there is a problem with one of its motors, Newport Vessels will fix it.

Cost and Value
In terms of cost, this motor is priced right in the middle of the spectrum. Considering the stellar customer reviews, the 2-year warranty, the excellent reputation of the seller, the high-quality materials, portability and versatility, this motor is a fantastic value and a smart buy.

6. Minn Kota Terrova 55

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Minn Kota Terrova 55
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
98
Ease of Use
91
Effectiveness
92
Brand
98
Durability
92
best offer for today
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Pros:

i-Pilot

Universal Sonar 2 Transducer

Redesigned Foot Pedal

Weedless wedge propeller

Bluetooth compatible, syncs with smartphone

Cons:

Considerable cost

Some difficulty reported with mounting of motor (unclear instructions)

The Terrova 55 Bow-Mount Motor by Minn Kota is the ideal motor for the serious fisherman who loves gadgets and has a flexible budget. This particular motor is the second most expensive model reviewed here. However, it more than makes up for its considerable pricetag. The motor is easy to use, highly advanced, features the newest high-tech gadgets and does not just meet, but exceeds, even the highest critical standards. Simply put, the motor is a mind-blowing machine.

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Universal Sonar 2 Transducer
The US2 Transducer detects water temperatures and makes it much easier to find and detect fish. The US2 is built into the motor and all of the wiring is internal, located within the motor’s powerful shaft. The US2 takes away the frustration of fishing, and makes it much easier to find the right areas of the water to cast your reel.

i-Pilot
i-Pilot is a GPS trolling system. It offers steering, speed, anchoring, and can even retrace and record your path on the water. i-Pilot is viewed on a large, clear, LCD screen with many options and is easy to control. Minn Kota has truly outdone itself with its i-Pilot technology, making fishing virtually effortless and yet still challenging and enjoyable. i-Pilot is Bluetooth compatible and can be synced with your smartphone via a simple app.

Cost and Value
Yes, this particular motor will cost you a pretty penny. However, it has been described in multiple reviews as “incredible” and “outstanding.” With its considerable cost, this particular motor would not be recommended for the casual fisherman who occasionally ventures out to sea. It simply is not practical to spend so much money on a motor that is not going to be used. That said, for hardcore fishermen who love being on the water on a regular basis and cannot resist the latest technology, the motor is absolutely worth it. Frankly, it will change the way you fish.

7. SEAMAX 65 Pound Thrust

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
SEAMAX 65 Pound Thrust
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
94
Ease of Use
91
Effectiveness
92
Brand
96
Durability
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$275.00
Pros:

Unique appearance with bright orange propeller

2-year warranty

Runs quietly and efficiently

Fairly priced

Ergonomic and comfortable

Cons:

Some complaints about the length of battery life

Required battery must be purchased separately

The SEAMAX 12V Electric Trolling Motor, Salt Water Version is a competitively priced motor that works well, is quiet, efficient and ergonomic. It offers an extremely smooth, comfortable ride. It includes a battery voltage meter to monitor the time you have left on the water in real time. SEAMAX consistently earns high praise from customers, with an average of five out of five stars. Even the critics with the highest standards agree that this is one fantastic motor.

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Stealthy
The motor operates quietly and smoothly. This allows you to get close to the fish without scaring them away. The quiet operation of the motor also adds to the overall relaxation and enjoyment of the fishing experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the solitude and tranquility of nature, without the vibrating or clunking sounds of a heavy motor.

65 lb. Thrust
The motor offers an impressive 65 lbs. of thrust. The motor is deceptively powerful, and features a unique bright orange propeller. It has some serious pep to it. And yet, it remains silent and smooth, an indication of careful engineering and design. It is designed to operate like a marine animal; quietly, powerfully and smoothly.

Cost and Value
The motor is mid-ranged in price. Considering how well it performs, how great it looks (especially with the unique orange propeller), how durable it is and how efficiently it runs, it is an excellent investment available at a fair price. This motor will exceed your expectations without breaking the bank.

8. Minn Kota Endura C2 40

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Minn Kota Endura C2 40
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
93
Ease of Use
91
Effectiveness
91
Brand
97
Durability
92
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$145.00
Cabelas
$224.99
See Deal
Pros:

Affordable

5 speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse)

Telescopic, ergonomic handle

Superior battery life

Reputable manufacturer

Cons:

Several reports of the motor arriving with damaged components

Multiple complaints about unresponsive customer service

The Endura C2 40 Freshwater Motor by Minn Kota is affordable, reliable, and a well-made motor. It is one of the least expensive motors reviewed here, yet it has some of the best reviews. Sure, it does not come with some of the advanced features that other Minn Kota motors do, such as i-Pilot and the Universal 2 Transducer, but that does not make it a lesser motor. Rather, it is the perfect motor for the casual fisherman who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that other models offer. What this motor does offer is dependability, performance and comfort, all at an affordable price.

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Adjustable Handle
The motor features an adjustable, 6” telescoping handle, ergonomically designed for optimal comfort and ease of use. This makes steering, guiding, maneuvering your boat a pleasure, without causing you to experience any stiffness or discomfort.

40 lb. Thrust
The motor achieves an impressive 40 lbs. of thrust. The motor is small but strong, quiet yet powerful. It is efficient and impressive, fitting perfectly into your small boat or kayak. It is also important to note that since it operates so efficiently, the motor offers superior battery performance, allowing you to stay on the water for longer periods of time.

Cost and Value
Compared to similar models, this motor is relatively inexpensive. Affordable, impressive, reliable, well-built and manufactured by one of the most reputable brands in the world, the motor is a great value that will offer a lot of stress-free enjoyment on the water. .

9. Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
92
Ease of Use
91
Effectiveness
90
Brand
97
Durability
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$159.00
Pros:

Suitable for saltwater or freshwater use

Efficient; long-lasting battery life

2-year warranty

8 speeds

LED battery meter

Cons:

Required battery not included with purchase

Several complaints about reliability and accuracy of LED battery meter

The Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Motor with 30" Shaft is one of the least expensive motors reviewed here. Despite its low pricetag, it has an overall high rating, with rave customer reviews and great scores from safety to longevity. The motor is well-made, carefully designed, and highly enjoyable. Best of all, it is so efficient that you can plan on spending an entire day on the water without the battery running out.

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Composite Fiberglass Shaft
The motor’s composite fiberglass shaft allows for placement at variable depths. Additionally, the shaft performs well regardless of weather conditions. Don’t be fooled by its lightweight fiberglass construction. This is one tough motor that takes a beating and has been carefully engineered to do so using high-quality materials. Newport Vessels is not a company that cuts corners.

Saltwater or Freshwater Use
The motor head is made of aluminum with zinc, magnesium and stainless-steel hardware, all of which are corrosion resistant. The motor is therefore suitable for saltwater or freshwater use, making it impressively versatile. Even when exposed to saltwater for extended periods of time on a regular basis, the motor will not corrode, decay or rust.

Cost and Value
The motor is very affordable; priced on the lower end of the spectrum. The reviews are fantastic, the seller is reputable, the manufacturer is highly rated and the price is right. It’s a versatile motor that can be safely used in either salt or freshwater. It is therefore well worth the cost, and will undoubtedly delight the fisherman who uses it.

10. Minn Kota Powerdrive 45 V2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Minn Kota Powerdrive 45 V2
Amazon Link
Advanced Features
94
Ease of Use
90
Effectiveness
90
Brand
97
Durability
91
best offer for today
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Pros:

PowerDrive

Digital Maximizer

Deploy Assist Lever

2-year warranty

Includes 18-ft cord

Cons:

High cost

Several complaints about steering difficulty

The Minn Kota Powerdrive 45 V2 Trolling Motor is a loaded, comfortable, ergonomic motor that makes fishing an exciting experience. Yes, this is an expensive motor, but for fishing and boating enthusiasts, the motor’s advanced features and exceptional performance make it well worth the cost.

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PowerDrive V2
The PowerDrive V2 is an advanced, ergonomic foot pedal that allows you to control the motor. It allows you to control the speed and side-to-side steering, all with a tap of your foot. The PowerDrive function is easy to turn off and on, allowing you to have constant control of the motor.

Digital Maximizer
The motor’s Digital Maximizer precisely measures the exact amount of power needed to be exerted by the motor at any given moment. As such, no power is wasted, and the motor operates at optimal efficiency. By detecting the correct amount of energy needed, the motor’s battery life is not wasted; it is extended.

Cost and Value
The motor will certainly set you back a few dollars. That said, it has received almost exclusively five star reviews from serious fishermen. If fishing is an integral part of your life and you are interested in making a serious investment in upping your fishing game, Minn Kota’s Powerdrive is a great choice that will not let you down.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Advanced Features

While the advanced features of a trolling motor do not determine the quality of the motor itself, extra features are nonetheless important for serious fishermen. From GPS technology to thermal detection that helps to spot fish, for tech enthusiasts, the more advanced the gadgets, the better. With many motors now featuring Bluetooth capability, ergonomic design and even foot pedals that can be used for steering, advanced features can take a trolling motor to the next level.

Ease of Use

The overall purpose of a trolling motor is to make fishing easier and more enjoyable. If a trolling motor is difficult to install, deploy or manage, it defeats the entire purpose. Rather, a trolling motor that comes with easy to follow instructions, is easily maneuvered and controlled, and runs reliably is what you are looking for.

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a trolling motor is paramount. Trolling motors are intended to make the overall experience of fishing more enjoyable. They are meant to power your boat or kayak safely and reliably. They are meant to run efficiently and not drain the battery power. Additionally, a trolling motor is meant to make it easier for you to catch fish. If this basic purpose is not served, the trolling motor is pretty much rendered useless.

Brand

Before purchasing a trolling motor, do your due diligence on both the manufacturer and the seller. Manufacturers are responsible for the goods that are sold, the quality of the materials used, design and engineering that result in a trolling motor that should meet a consumer’s expectations, if not exceed them. The majority of reputable sellers offer 2-year warranties at a minimum. Since the cost of a trolling motor is considerable in many cases, read all the fine print. Check out the customer reviews, both positive and negative. Sometimes the critical reviews provide the most useful information.

Durability

The materials used to manufacture a trolling motor are of the utmost importance. Proper motors are made with stainless steel and heavy metals to resist corrosion. Trolling motors need to be strong enough to withstand the occasional dent and ding, or run-in with a rock. The propellers need to be durable enough to withstand being entangled with weeds. The shaft, perhaps one of the most important elements of the motor, must be virtually indestructible. A motor is made to withstand heavy abuse and harsh weather conditions, not to be treated delicately.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Benefits of Trolling Motors

Thoreau once wrote that “many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Of course, this quote can be interpreted in many different ways, with the general idea being that life is a journey and not a destination. So, when it comes to fishing, of course, the main goal is to reel in a great catch. However, the experience of fishing itself is also meant to be enjoyed. Investing in a good trolling motor can mean the difference between an average fishing trip and an amazing one. A high-quality trolling motor can take the frustration out of fishing. Going fishing should be comfortable and easy. It should not be a struggle to maneuver your boat. With the right propeller, you won’t get stuck in the weeds. With GPS technology, you will never become disoriented or stranded. With sonar and thermal technology, you can determine where to cast your rod. With a quiet motor, you can glide along silently without fear of frightening the fish away. With some models, you can steer the boat with a foot pedal for hands-free operation. You can instantly check the motor’s battery life and find out, in real time, how much time you have left on the water. Other motors are designed to maximize battery efficiency by determining the exact amount of power that needs to be exerted at any given time. This extends the battery life immensely, thanks to the ultra-efficient technology that so many motors are equipped with.

Why Thrust is Important

Thrust is the amount of power and endurance needed to maneuver your boat. Thrust is calculated based on the weight of your boat. Why is it important to understand the thrust needed to power your boat? If a motor with inadequate thrust is used, you can expect a slow, sluggish performance. Imagine a tiny car attempting to transport something extremely heavy. Not only will it struggle to perform, but it will put a huge amount of strain on your battery life, and it will be drained in virtually no time.

Other Factors to Consider

Comfort

Many motors feature ergonomic components, such as telescopic handles, that make them more comfortable. Minn Kota is known for devoting serious attention to detail in designing its motors for optimal comfort. From easy maneuvering to side-to-side steering achieved with a foot pedal, ergonomics and comfort can make using a trolling motor a true pleasure.

Weight

Many trolling motors are lightweight. This is, generally speaking, a plus. Lightweight motors are portable and easily transported. That said, it is important to bear in mind that oftentimes, lightweight motors are less powerful.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are transom motors and bow motors?

a:

Bow motors are intended for larger boats. They are placed at the front of the boat (hence the term bow motor) as opposed to transom motors, which push the vessel through the water. It is important to note that typically, transom motors are less expensive than bow motors; a good transom motor can be purchased for less than $200 if you do a little digging.

q: Which is better - a hand or foot-controlled motor?

a:

Surprisingly, foot-controlled motors are considered easier for beginners to learn on. That said, foot-controlled motors often command a higher price.

q: What size battery should I buy for my trolling motor?

a:

It depends on the size of your boat. Check out the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, the rule of thumb is the larger the boat, the higher the voltage required. The lowest voltage you should consider buying is 12V, and that is only if you own a relatively small motor and small boat or kayak.

q: Which trolling motor is the safest?

a:

There are several factors that help to determine a motor’s safety. However, it is highly recommended that you invest in a motor with GPS technology. In the event something goes wrong and you are in distress, it will be much easier for rescuers to locate you with the aid of GPS. Additionally, for a trolling motor to be safe, it needs to not fail. If, for example, the battery meter stops working, then you are put in a perilous situation, not knowing how long it is safe for you to be on the water. A motor needs to be solidly, carefully built in order for you to be truly safe while on the water. So, do your research, read the reviews, and make sure you are buying a motor from a seller you can trust.

q: Why is shaft length important?

a:

If a shaft is too short, it won’t be properly submerged. The result will be inadequate thrust and power. If the shaft is too long, it may hit bottom and wind up getting stuck in shallow water. Thus, it is important to determine the appropriate shaft length before making a purchase.

q: How much does a trolling motor cost?

a:

Transom motors are less expensive than bow mounted motors. A decent transom motor can be purchased for approximately $200. A high-end, fully loaded motor with cutting edge technology can cost up to $1500. It all depends on you. Fortunately, there are enough trolling motors on the market that one thing is for sure; there’s something out there for everyone.

q: Can I install a trolling motor myself?

a:

This is a judgment call. Trolling motors are considerably heavy, require some serious manual dexterity and a working knowledge of electronics. It is a safer decision to have a professional do the job for you. In the event that you do decide to install the motor yourself, double and triple check the installation guide and instructions. You may also find it helpful to view a view tutorial videos online. Be sure to take careful measurements and take your time.

q: What is a quick release bracket and should I get one?

a:

A quick release bracket is a mechanism that allows you to rapidly detach or attach your motor. It’s a convenient, nice feature to have, but not a necessity. If you plan on transporting your motor from vessel to vessel, the bracket makes it easy to transport. Quick release brackets are common among high-end motors that are more advanced as far as extra features go.

q: Is it safe to use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater?

a:

In a word, no. Saltwater motors are treated and constructed with materials that are rust and corrosion-resistant, unlike freshwater motors. Moreover, if you use a freshwater motor in saltwater, you will without a doubt void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Sources