Top Rated Trolling Motors Reviewed
There’s nothing better than heading out in your boat and spending the hours fishing. It’s an incredibly enjoyable and relaxing hobby that is sure to deliver maximum entertainment, and it’s a scream to go fishing with friends.
However, you don’t want your fishing experience ruined when all the fish swim away as your noisy boat motor rumbles within casting range. Thankfully, you can prevent this with the terrific silence of a trolling motor.
The best trolling motors can mount on the back, front, or even the side of your boat, and can quietly move a variety of watercraft around without spooking the fish.
There are loads of options to choose from, and this guide will help you make your decision.
Check out the six reviews below to find the best trolling motor for you!
Top Trolling Motor Features To Consider
- Thrust Power- Thrust power is measured in lbs of thrust. The higher the force of thrust indicates that the trolling motor will produce more power, making it more capable of moving larger watercraft. A trolling motor with higher thrust is also going to use more electrical power than one with lower thrust.
- Shaft Length- The length of the shaft will dictate how deep the propeller sits in the water. Some trolling motors have adjustable collars so you can raise and lower the depth of the prop, which provides some obvious advantages, while others have a fixed depth.
- Hand vs Foot Control- Hands-free operation is really nice when you’re working a shoreline with fishing rod in hand. A foot controlled trolling motor allows you to focus on placing your casts exactly when and where you want them without having to think about steering and throttle control with your hands.
- Trolling Motor Batteries- Getting the right battery for your trolling motor is really important. Trolling motors require specific voltage that varies slightly depending on the trolling motor. But the really important factor is going to be how long you want your battery to last, and this will be dictated by the amperage. Take a look at our trolling motor battery review for all the info on trolling motor batteries.
Top Trolling Motor Comparison Chart
Best Trolling Motor
This transom mount trolling motor from Minn Kota is one of the more reasonably priced offerings out there right now. It packs 55lbs of torque, giving you all the power you need to quietly move around the water in your bass boat, kayak, or raft.
One of the best features of this trolling motor is easily the digital maximizer. Essentially, this drastically increases power consumption by a factor of five times. This also reduces wear on internal mechanisms, which makes this trolling motor less vulnerable to general wear and tear – which is an issue for many trolling motors. Plus, it eases the strain on the battery, so your battery life-span will be extended as well.
Another thing that’s helpful about this motor is that it has an ‘energy meter’ on top of it. Basically, this informs you about the amount of power you’ve got left on your battery before it runs out. So, you’re never left in a painful situation of being stuck in the middle of a lake!
The shaft on this trolling motor comes in two different lengths, 36 and 42 inches, so you can get the best ride for your boat.
Minn Kota Endura Max 55 Trolling Motor Features:
- Extremely durable
- Nice 55lbs of thrust
- Sturdy and comfortable handle
- Long battery life
- High-quality materials
- Very easy to mount
You also get five-speed options going forward, and five in reverse too – so plenty of movement options there. The only real downside is that it is made only for freshwater use, so saltwater use won’t be an option. Keep reading for a good saltwater option.
Here is good video on the Minn Kota Endura Max 55:
2. Best Saltwater Trolling Motor – Newport Vessels NV-Series
Another transom mount trolling motor that packs 55 pounds of thrust, this is widely regarded as one of the top picks in the saltwater rated category. It comes with an impressive 30-inch fiberglass shaft, which can be adjusted to let you achieve the perfect depth in numerous water conditions.
With 5 forward speeds and 3 in reverse, you do get a couple fewer gearing options than the Minn Kota trolling motor, but keep in mind that this is motor is a saltwater trolling motor, unlike the Minn Kota.
The trolling motor itself is powered by a 12V marine battery, which means it can give small fishing boats up to 7 knots worth of speed – which is ideal if you’re looking to get around quickly in a kayak or an inflatable pontoon boat. Compared to other transom mount trolling motors, the telescoping handle makes this motor real comfortable and it has an ergonomic extendable grip as well.
Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Key Features:
- Excellent thrust (55 pounds)
- Saltwater compatible
- Very quiet and cool
- Easy to use
- Adjustable for different water depths
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
This Newport Vessels Trolling Motor also happens to be one of the quietest trolling motors out there, so you can really sneak up on those fish feeding in the shallows.
It’s made from a lot of really high-quality stainless steel and coated materials to ensure that there is no corrosion and the trolling motor stays working for years to come. If you’re looking for a saltwater rated transom mount trolling motor, then this is one of the most reliable options. It boasts lots of saltwater compatible hardware, so there’s no fear of wear and tear here!
- 55lb Thrust - The ultra-quiet, cool and efficient NV 55lb allows you to fish all day long without overheating, or spooking fish and Motor Material -Stainless Steel Hardware for Saltwater
- 30-inch Composite Fiberglass Shaft - High-strength and fully adjustable shaft allows for proper depth placement in all water conditions
- 8 Speeds and 6-inch Telescoping Handle (5 forward, 3 reverse) - Ergonomic extendable handle, 5 forward speeds, and 3 reverse speeds puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and easily controlled ride
- 5-Point LED Battery Meter - Super bright battery indicator provides immediate charge level. Note: The NV 55lb motor requires one (1) 12V deep cycle or marine battery (battery not included)
- Maximum amp draw: 52. Saltwater Compatible Hardware - Stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium hardware ensures the motor is ready for fresh or saltwater
Goplus offers this transom mount trolling motor with three different pounds of thrust to choose from. At the lowest end of the scale, there’s a motor with 46lbs of thrust, then a mid-range 55lbs, and an 86lbs option as well.
The one you choose depends on how you’re using it, and it will provide as much thrust as your boat needs! But, they all come with the same impressive features, including a 6-inch adjustable handle that makes it so easy to maneuver your boat in the water.
Speaking of which, the three-blade propeller means you’ll be moving very smoothly even when there’s a lot of grass or marsh under the water. It just adds to the capability and overall experience with this trolling motor.
The motor comes with an extremely useful 10-point LED battery indicator built into it. Mainly, this lets you see exactly how much charge you have left, so it negates the risk of running out while in the middle of a fishing session.
Goplus Trolling Motor Key Features:
- Fantastic thrust options
- Easy-to-use handle
- Helpful battery-life indicator
- Made with high-quality materials to reduce corrosion
- Very smooth ride
- Great price
This Goplus Trolling Motor comes with 8 different speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse) but a tiny contingent of owners said they experienced premature wear in some of the gears. But, the general consensus is that everything is very reliable so it might be down to the boat they’re using or hard use.
4. Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor – MotorGuide x3
This bow mount, foot controlled trolling motor gives you 45lbs of thrust, which is a bit less than the first two options in our review so far. However, it certainly makes up for this with some awe-inspiring features that make it a joy to use.
Where this motor comes into its own is the steering mechanics. There are two key features here; Variable Ratio Technology and a dual cable pull-pull steering system. Both these things mean there isn’t any slack while steering, and you get reduced torque steer feedback, making it more responsive and easy to navigate.
One other critical thing that stands out is the quality of materials. It uses aircraft-grade materials for some parts, making it an impeccably durable trolling motor. I’d go as far as to say it’s arguably the most durable and corrosion-resistant model out there.
MotorGuide x3 Trolling Motor Key Features:
- The best steering mechanics around
- Very durable
- Aircraft-grade materials
- Multiple speeds
- Affordable foot controlled trolling motor
There are 5 forward speeds to choose from, but one negative point is that there’s no true reverse gear. However, such is the quality of the steering that this isn’t too much of an issue. You can make some really tight circles with this trolling motor, and you never really find yourself begging for reverse.
The newly designed and reinforced foot pedal in the Motorguide X3 also provides excellent feel and control compared to other foot controlled trolling motors. That ability to foot control your trolling motor is a huge
If you want variety, then Cloud Mountain offers you six different transom mount trolling motor models, with six different pounds of thrust to choose from. Starting at 36lbs and going all the way to 86lbs, no matter if you have a big or small fishing boat, this trolling motor could be ideal for you.
The materials used in the construction of this trolling motor means it’s very durable and powerful. What we particularly like is that it’s one of the few saltwater trolling motors around. The hardware used can efficiently operate in saltwater without corrosion fears, but it works just as well out in freshwater.
Plus, it used a Nylon bracket that provides effective resistance, and an aluminum head that protects the motor and drastically extends the overall lifespan.
Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor Key Features:
- Suitable for saltwater
- Very strong and durable
- Multiple speeds to choose from
- Ergonomic handle
- Excellent battery indicator
You get the pretty standard 8 speeds with this motor, 5 in forward and 3 in reverse. There’s also one of the most ergonomic handles around, making it so easy to grip and steer your boat.
Along with this, you have a 10-point LED battery indicator that shows you exactly how much charge is left in the battery. This is so useful when you’re out fishing, but it’s also handy when you’re charging the battery and want to see how things are going.
- 【Powerful and Durable】: Reinforced Nylon Bracket ensures high strength, good ablation resistance and good dimension stability. Durable all aluminum head increase the service life of the motor.
- 【Ergonomic extendable handle】: 8 Speeds and 6-inch Telescoping adjustable Handle (5-sp forward & 3-sp reverse) puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and easily controlled ride.
- 【28-inch Fiberglass Composite Shaft】: High tensile strength and corrosion resistance adjustable shaft allows for proper depth placement in all water conditions. 28" shaft is more suitable for sitting.
- 【10-Point LED Battery indicator】: Battery indicator protects the batteries, and it is convenient to observe how much electricity is left.(battery not included)
- 【Stainless steel Hardware】: Saltwater compatible hardware make the motor can run perfectly in saltwater or freshwater.
We began with a Minn Kota trolling motor, and we’ll conclude with one as well. First of all, this option is ideal for those needing long battery life and don’t need a motor that offers a ton of thrust.
At a mere 30lbs, it isn’t the most powerful trolling motor around. But, there’s a reason for this; it’s not designed to be powerful, it’s designed to be efficient and affordable.
Yes, the Minn Kota Endura C2 Trolling Motor is easily the most cost-effective option on this list, making it the perfect choice for lighter watercraft and low power consumption.
You still get plenty of impressive features as well, including a 6-inch telescoping handle that offers very responsive speed control and steering.
Another huge advantage of less thrust and a smaller trolling motor is that it’s much quieter than most, so you never spook any fish below the surface.
Minn Kota Endura c2 Trolling Motor Key Features:
- Amazing price
- Very cool battery
- Extremely quiet
- Easy to handle
- Indestructible composite shaft
This trolling motor also boasts a composite shaft that’s near enough indestructible. So much so that the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee on this part! The battery life is seriously impressive, largely thanks to the minimal power needs while still providing 30lbs of thrust.
- 12-volt freshwater transom-mounted trolling motor with a thrust level of 30 and a 30-inch shaft
- 6-inch telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller for ergonomic speed control and steering; lever lock bracket offers a rock solid mount
- Cool quiet power maximizes battery life and doesn't spook fish
- 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds for maximum control
- Power Prop For 3-1/4" motor diameters delivers extra power to push throw heavy vegetation
In the end, each option serves a purpose for different buyers. If you strictly fish in saltwater, then you instantly rule out most products bar a couple. For beginners, there are some very easy-to-use options, and the last product is incredibly cheap.
Our advice is to consider the size of your boat, the water you tend to fish in, and your own ability level. This will help you decide which product is the best trolling motor for you!
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