10 Best Electric Trolling Motors in 2021


A trolling motor is named after trolling fishing.  Fishers use lures at a steady rate across the water.  By having on in place any whatever type of vessel you are using, you can focus on your fishing instead of if you are moving at a consistent speed. 

With so many electric trolling motors on the market today, it can be hard to know which one is best for you.  This is exactly why we have created our 10 best electric trolling motors buying guide.  Here we will provide the 10 best electric trolling motors, complete with pros and cons.  We take a look at factors to consider when purchasing an electric trolling motor, as well as tips on how you can maintain it.   Keep reading as we  offer advice on everything you need to know about electric trolling motors. 

1. Goplus OP2020 86 Pound Freshwater Mounted Trolling Motor

The GoPlus OP2020 trolling motor takes our number one spot as it is a quiet motor so you do not chance spooking any fish!  Even with your ears very close to the motor, you can barely hear it.  With a shaft that is flexible and indestructible, we appreciate how the 3 propellers make it easier to maneuver.  

We were also pleased with the price tag.  While not everything in life that is on the cheaper side works great, this electric trolling motor is the opposite.  We find that it could be double in price for all the features and how well it works. 

The motor itself is very powerful.  If you have a smaller vessel, think twice before putting this into first gear. Small to medium sized boats will find this electric trolling motor perfect.  Tenders, Jon boats, canoes, kayaks with brackets, Gheenoes, and inflatables are all exceptional options for this trolling motor.  If the winds are not high, this motor is the way to go for a smooth day on the lake fishing.  

The assembly on this unit was pretty self explanatory.  

Features:

  • Three blade propeller
  • Weedless propeller
  • Five forward speeds
  • Three backwards speeds
  • 10 LED Battery indicator
  • An adjustable handle measuring 6 inches
  • minimal assembly is required
  • For freshwater bodies
  • Voltage: 24V
  • Maximum thrust: 86 pounds
  • Shaft Length: 36 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Certified from CE and ROHS
  • Comes with a manual

Pros:

  • A battery indicator is included on this trolling motor.
  • The motor is simple to control and very easy to use. 
  • The 6-inch handle is adjustable. 
  • It contains 8 speeds. 
  • This trolling motor is very durable and super sturdy. 
  • The value of this trolling motor is amazing.  
  • This motor has very smooth movement. 

Cons:

  • Many have found that the reverse speeds are on the weak side. 
  • Brackets could be sturdier. 
  • More than 30 minutes continuous working with every speed needs to be avoided.
  • 24V battery is not included with purchase
  • Some individuals have had a hard time reading the battery meter.

Full Review: Goplus OP2020 86 Pound Freshwater Mounted Trolling Motor

2. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor

If you are looking for a trolling motor that is budget friendly, look at the Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor.  Not only are these durable and innovative, but it is energy efficient. 

We appreciate the 5 forward and 3 backwards speeds.  If you plan on being out on the lake all day, you can easily conserve energy by rotating through the speeds. 

The powerful motor is able to get through heavily weeded grass areas.  This freshwater motor has XL windings which assist in  dissipating  heat for cooler operation, longer battery power and motor life.  The unique bearing system reduces friction and sound for an enjoyable experience. 

Steering on this is super comfortable.  With a six inch telescoping handle, the propeller will push through any heavy vegetation that is encountered. 

Minn Kota is a trusted brand.  With this model, there is less thrust than other models we have reviewed, but to us, that does not make a huge difference.  

Features:

  • The telescoping tiller makes it easy and comfortable to use.
  • The  trolling motor has a six-inch telescoping tiller.
  • Eight speeds
  • Composite shaft is indestructible
  • Included in purchase are the  prop pin, nut and washer.
  • For 3.25 inch motor diameters, this propeller delivers extra power to push through heavy vegetation.
  • The lever lock bracket allows for a  solid 10-position bracket which  features a quick-release lever lock and  a reinforced composite material that will resist flexing, warping, and UV damage.
  • Voltage:  12V

Pros:

  • The long lasting battery is fully rechargeable.
  • It has thrust levels of 30, 40, 45, 50, 55.
  • The motor has a lever locking bracket.
  • The composite shaft will not break, corrode, or kink.
  • Easy to steer. 
  • You are able to conserve the battery by using various speeds. 
  • Great for if you are on a strict budget.
  • Ergonomic speed control 
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty

Cons:

  • Some consumers found this trolling motor to have an electrical smell to it. 
  • The shaft was not sealed. 
  • This model is noisier than others. 

Full Review: Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor

3. Newport Vessels L-Series Transom Mount Electric Trolling Motor For Saltwater

The Newport Vessel L-series Transom Mount Electric Trolling motor was made for saltwater, but in reality, can be used in freshwater as well.  We are in favor of the fiberglass shaft, which we found to be very durable.  This 40 inch shaft is also adjustable. 

This trolling motor will fit all Newport Inflatables, but also works well for pontoons, jon boats, sailboats, dinghies, and personal watercrafts.  Just as with all Newport motors, it was manufactured to be  used with Lead-Acid style Deep Cycle or Marine batteries (Flooded, SLA, AGM or Gel).  Lithium batteries should not be used. 

This powerful motor allows for a perfect adventure in the sea or lake.  We liked the 10 point LED battery meter function, which will tell you exactly how much power is left.  This is nice so you do not wind up stranded out in the middle of the lake or ocean.  To power this motor, you can use either a 24 V or two 12 V. 

Features:

  • 10 point LED battery meter function
  • Horsepower Equivalent:. 93 HP
  • Circuit Breaker: 60A Included
  • Battery Cable Length: 4 feet 
  • Speeds: 5 Forward and 3 Reverse
  • Max Amp Draw: 58A
  • Maximum Vessel Size:  10.5 to 12 feet
  • Weight: 23 pounds 
  • Shaft Length: 40 inches 
  • Included Propeller: 3 Blade – Large
  • Shaft Diameter: 1.15 inches 
  • Tiller/Handle: 6 inches Telescoping
  • Total Height: 52 inches
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Lower Motor Diameter: 3 ⅜ inches 
  • Recommended Amp Hours: 50 AH or larger
  • Lower Motor Length:  15.4 inches
  • Owners manual

Pros:

  • Can be used in saltwater
  • Is very heavy duty
  • Comes with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Constructed from stainless steel and aluminum
  • Tough and durable
  • Very easy to use
  • Simple to install
  • Newport Vessels uses only the highest quality materials for construction

Cons:

  • Could have a lower speed
  • Can be quite hefty on the pocketbook
  • No battery is included with the purchase

4. Aquos Haswing Cayman Bow Mount 

If you are a serious fisherman, you will be able to count on the Aquos Haswing Cayman Bow Mount.  This robust trolling motor can be used on any body of water, regardless if it is fresh or saltwater.  The 48 inch shaft is constructed from aluminum alloy. 

We truly appreciate how well it works for both slow and moderate currents.  All rides using this trolling motor are smooth when propelling a small to mid sized vessel.  

This motor will make an excellent choice for those that do not want to have to worry about fishing and keeping a hand on the controller at all times.  Carry the remote control on your belt or use a lanyard in order to keep it safe.  

Features:

  • Three bladed power prop
  • Features a low noise level of 35 decibels (whisper)
  • Maximum current draw of 45 amps
  • Wireless power control with a 150 plus foot range
  • Maximum thrust of 55 pounds
  •  Battery perf. on low speed is 5x longer run time, mid speeds 2.5x longer run time, & high speeds use max draw
  • Five level battery status indicator
  • bow cradle mount and an easy to deploy pedal
  • suitable for boats weighing up to 2750 pounds
  • Display 3 levels of battery power (100%, 50%, 20%)
  • 360 degree electric control steering
  • Maximum boat length:  18 feet

Pros:

  • Has a hand remote and foot pedal
  • Very low noise level
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty
  • Super easy to mount, deploy, and retract
  • Very powerful 
  • Amazing cruise control
  • Works on freshwater and saltwater
  • Affordable price tag for all the features this motor has

Cons:

  • Remote control has been known to lose contact with motor
  • Should only be used for smaller to mid sized boats
  • Foot pedal is not included with original purchase
  • The plastic rollers on the mount arms are not very durable

Full Review: Aquos Haswing Cayman Bow Mount 

5. Motorguide X3 Bow Mount Hand Control

The Motorguide X3 Bow Mount Hand Control has variable ratio technology that allows  for improved  steering response while reducing the  torque steer feedback.  With a dual-cable system  that eliminates steering slope and noise, the precision bearings and locking collar eliminates shaft clicking.

We are in favor of the carbon shaft.  This provides greater extension and longer handles.  This enables boaters of any height to be able to control the steering from any position.

Features:

  • Rigid aircraft-grade aluminum mount
  • Precision Response Steering
  • stainless steel bushings and outer shaft
  • composite shaft with a lifetime guarantee
  • Composite Locking Pins
  • 7 speed control
  • 12 V
  • 45 pound thrust
  • Amperage:  44 A
  • 2 blade machete propeller

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Very quiet
  • 5 forward and 2 reverse speeds
  • Manufacturer’s limited 2 year warranty

Cons:

  • Some of the mounting parts have been known to come off easily

Full Review: Motorguide X3 Bow Mount Hand Control

6. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Trolling Motor  

Those who enjoy angler fishing will find this is an excellent choice for kayakers.  It is very reliable and provides amazing performance. This trolling motor can be used in either salt or freshwater. 

Proper depth placement can be made due to the 24 inch height adjustment shaft.  It has great power for any small raft.   The speed on this trolling motor is quite a bit faster than anticipated. 

You will need to connect to the circuit breaker that is included in your purchase.  This will help with electrical damage.  The motor is not waterproof, so make sure that in heavy rains, this unit is not used.  

Newport Vessels trolling motors are manufactured with the highest quality materials to ensure a long lifetime of use. They are constructed with saltwater corrosion resistant materials, such as stainless steel, a sacrificial zinc anode, fiberglass composite shaft and a fiberglass reinforced nylon propeller.  

Features:

  • Power:  36 pounds || 55 pounds 
  • Water Compatibility: Saltwater and  Freshwater
  • Horsepower Equivalent: 0.48 HP || 0.83 HP
  • Speeds: 5 Forward and  3 Reverse
  • Max Amp Draw: 29A || 52A
  • Weight: 18 pounds || 23 pounds 
  • Shaft Length: 24 inches
  • Included Propeller: 2 Blade (Small) || 3 Blade (Large)
  • Shaft Diameter: 1.15 inches
  • Tiller/Handle: 6 inches  Telescoping
  • Battery Meter: 5 Point LED
  • Total Height: 35 inches|| 36 inches
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Lower Motor Diameter: 3 inches  (36 pounds) || 3 ⅜ inches (55 pounds)
  • Compatible Battery Type: Lead-Acid 
  • Lower Motor Length: 13.7inches  (36 pounds) || 15.4 inches (55 pounds)
  • Recommended Amp Hours: 50AH or larger 
  • Included Circuit Breaker:40A || 50A
  • Battery Cable Length: 5 feet 6 inches

Pros:

  • Perfect for saltwater or freshwater
  • Sturdy mounting brackets
  • Easy to operate
  • Five forward and three reverse speeds
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty
  • Affordable price tag
  • Runs well
  • Looks great
  • Phenomenal run time

Cons:

  • Contains the Prop 65 Label

Full Review: Newport Vessels Kayak Series Trolling Motor  

7. Watersnake with Kayak Bracket Trolling Motor

If you are looking for a very portable trolling motor for yoru kayak, the Watersnake with Kayak Bracket Trolling Motor is a good choice for you.  This may be used on not only kayaks, but small dinghies, canoes, and inflatables.  

With an anti-impact clip system, the mountings fit on easily.  The hand tiller has an extendable handle.  We have found this works the best on kayaks with wider gunnels.  

We appreciate how light this trolling motor is.  You can easily carry it with one hand and use the other hand for your kayak.  

Features:

  • Universal design suitable for most kayaks and canoes
  • Adjustable transom mount fitting
  • Anti-impact clip system
  • High and low speed control, speeds: 2/2
  • Forward and reverse switch
  • Extendable hand tiller steering
  • Thrust: 24 pounds
  • Volts: 12 V
  • Amps: 9 to 20
  • Shaft: 24 inches  (61 centimeters) Transom
  • Prop: 2 Blade, weedless design
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable at under 5 pounds
  • Easy to steer
  • Low power consumption
  • Simple to install
  • DY mount is tidy looking
  • Lowering and raising the motor is easy to do
  • Decent construction
  • Priced well 

Cons:

  • The battery is not included with purchase
  • The fittings could stand to be stronger

Full Review: Watersnake with Kayak Bracket Trolling Motor

8. Minn Kota Traxxis Trolling Motor 

The Minn Kota Traxxis Trolling Motor comes from a trusted company. They have an indestructible composite shaft, which they guaranteed for life.  They will not compromise any of their products for poor quality.  

 The Traxxis Trolling Motor  has instant backtrolling, which allows for a lift and rotate Vantage’s directional indicator 180 degrees and start back trolling immediately.  

The shaft is made from premium materials that are stronger than steel.  While it can flex on impact, it will not corrode, break, or kink. 

We appreciate the Weedless Wedge 2 Prop.  This allows the motor  to power through anything without  draining the battery.  It does all the chopping and hacking so you can easily get through the water.   In fact, the Weedless Wedge 2 is one of the most trusted props for fishters.  

Features:

  • Pull up and forward to stow the motor with no buttons or release levers.  This can easily be done with one hand. 
  • Take control of your hand control trolling motor with this versatile tiller, which tilts to 45 degrees  and extends up to 6 inches. 
  • The Digital Maximizer offers up to 5 times more run time on only one single battery charge.
  • WIth  the Quick-Cam Depth Adjuster one can change the  trim depths quickly, simply and securely.
  • The Steering Tension Control lock is in the exact steering tension you want with the innovative collar above the Traxxis’ mount.
  • Press a button on the trolling motor head to get an instant status of battery life you have left.
  • Has a thrust of 45 pounds.

Pros:

  • Comes with a 2 year warranty
  • Versatile steering control
  • Easy and quick depth adjustment
  • Can push through heavy vegetation
  • Cool motor that is quiet

Cons:

  • No visible speed control

Full Review: Minn Kota Traxxis Trolling Motor 

9. MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Freshwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

If you are looking for a hands free option for fishing, look into the MotorGuide 940800211 Xi5.  This advanced option has many great features that fishers love.  If you have a small boat, this trolling motor will exceed your expectations. 

Many boaters love the convenience that this bow mount trolling motor has to offer.  We liked the battery indicator meter, which is nice to have no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced boater or fisher.  

Included with this purchase are  the Xi5 80 FW trolling motor, the foot pedal and/or GPS wireless remote, depending on model selected, as well as power leads, mounting hardware, and the owner’s manual.

We found this motor to be very smooth when in operation.  Based on the information provided below, this motor can have a very long run time.

  • 20 plus Hours: At slow, trolling speeds that draw 5 amps or less
  • 4.8 Hours: Approximate run time with throttle 50% open
  • 2.4 Hours: Approximate run time with the motor at full throttle

Features:

  • Contains a built-in 83/200 kHz sonar transducer  which delivers industry-leading clarity and detail to identify more fish and structures.
  • The pinpoint GPS  utilized is the industry’s most accurate GPS, providing  three times as much precision control and a tighter hold on the anchor point.
  • It can be operated from anywhere in the boat with standard Pinpoint GPS remote and wireless foot pedal.
  • The motor offers 55 pounds of peak thrust and has a 48-inch-long composite shaft with a 3-blade Machete III Glass-Filled propeller.
  • This versatile 12-volt motor has a maximum draw of 52 amps and is recommended for boats with lengths of 14 to 18 feet.
  • With an improved, low-profile mount featuring corrosion-resistant construction, and unique stow and deploy mechanism which aligns and guides the motor into stowed position and secures it in place.

Pros:

  • This motor has an auto-pilot feature.
  • It may be used in saltwater or freshwater. 
  • The 12 V motor is very versatile. 
  • It contains a universal sonar option. 
  • The shaft is constructed to withstand a beating. 

Cons:

  • This trolling unit is on the pricier side.
  • This product can only be shipped within the United States. 
  • It does not have a mounting bracket with it. 

10. Attwood MotorGuide X3 Bow Mount Hand Control

Made for freshwater use, the Attwood MotorGuide X3 Bow Mount Motor is a good purchase for those who like lifetime guarantees, as the shaft contains.  This very durable trolling motor works smoothly on water. 

We are fans of the Attwood brand.  They are of high-quality and very durable.  We truly appreciate the low noise level and the pure joy this trolling motor brought as we swiftly skipped across the water.  We find the brand is very compatible, innovative,  and reliable.  

Features:

  • The twist handle extends for improved control and ergonomic comfort.
  • The tough composite shaft is guaranteed for life.
  • With a quiet 3-blade Machete propeller, it will deliver both power and stealth.

Pros:

  • This motor has a fairly decent price. 
  • The composite shaft is guaranteed for life. 

Cons:

  • The reverse option could work better.
  • Some consumers reported not having the correct parts for assembly. 

Best Electric Trolling Motors Buying Guide

In order to understand what the best electric trolling motor is, you must first understand what a trolling motor is.  

A trolling motor is generally used on smaller boats.  These motors will assist anglers go through shallow waters or bodies that have thicker vegetation.  These motors tend to be quieter than an outboard motor.  

The following guide will assist you in making the correct decision about what electric trolling motor is the best for you.  

Factors to Consider When Shopping For an Electric Trolling Motor

There are various factors that one should take into consideration when shopping for an electric trolling motor.  When you think about it, these factors are some of the most important things to think about.

The Shaft Length

Depending upon how long the shaft is will depend on what capacity of motor you need.  If you have a longer shaft, you will be required to travel a larger distance between the waterline and the bow.  

The smaller the boat, the shorter the shaft length will be needed.  Refer to the following charts to determine what shaft length you need.

Bow to Waterline Distance / Shaft Length

  • 0-10 inches / 36 inches 
  • 10-16 inches / 42 inches 
  • 16-22 inches / 42-45 inches
  • 22-28 inches / 48-52 inches 
  • 28-34 inches / 54-62 inches 
  • 34-44 inches / 72 inches 

Transom to Waterline Distance / Shaft Length

  • 0-10 inches / 30 inches
  • 10-16 inches / 36 inches 
  • 16-20 inches / 42 inches 

Thrust Maximum

When dealing with the thrust maximum, you will need to determine if you are fishing in fresh or saltwater.  While you will want to know how to calculate for how large your vessel is, the water type will play a large part in this.  

In order to know what the thrust amount needed is, you will take the weight of your boat and divide it by 100.  Then double this number.  A good rule to go by is 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of boat that has been loaded with people and gear.  

If you will be fighting the flow of the water, you will want to have a more powerful motor.  Should you have a smaller boat, go for a smaller motor.  

When looking at thrust power for your vessel, you will have the choice between many different capacities.  The more common ones include 30 pounds, 35 pounds, 40 pounds, 50 pounds, 65 pounds, 70 pounds, 80 pounds, 160 pounds, 200 pounds, and 250 pounds. 

Speed Control

There are two different types of speed control:  fixed or digital variable.  Most people prefer digital variables as they are productive.  But these will also be harder on the pocketbook than a fixed control is. 

You will find that the fixed speed controls have eight speeds.  Generally, there are 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds.  

Voltage and Power

Voltage and power should be taken into consideration when shopping for an electric trolling motor.  There are three different voltages that a boater can pick from:  12V, 24V, and 36V.  If you do need more power, you can increase the voltage up to 48.  Again, depending upon your thrust, you may need a higher power. 

Any motor that has a thrust of about 100 pounds will need a 36V.  A person that is just starting out on a kayak can get by with a 12V. 

Propellers

Most propellers will come with 2 blades.  But there 3 bladed units that will generally have a larger motor that is more powerful. Should you want a motor that is able to produce 90 pounds of thrust, you will need to have a 3 bladed unit. 

Battery

If you prefer to have an increased run time, you need to have a digital maximizer.  The entire draining process is decelerated when this is utilized. 

Most trolling motor manufacturer’s do not supply the battery.  Therefore, it is wise to look at the accompanying manual to determine what battery size is needed.  Generally, you can use the following chart if you do not have a manual to look at. 

Motor Size / Battery

  • Up to 55 pounds of thrust / 12 V
  • 60-90 pounds of thrust / 24 V 
  • 100-112 pounds of thrust / 36 V

Safety Features

There are five safety features that should be included in the electric trolling motor that you purchase for your vessel.  By ensuring that your motor has each one of these, you can be positive that your boating experience will be safer. 

Start Protection

If the handle speed scale is not in the zero position, the motor will not be allowed to start. This will help protect the boater from having a sudden start. 

Low-Voltage Protection

The low voltage protection mode will be activated when the voltage used is below the required amount.  In order to avoid damage to the unit or have the operator harmed, the power output will be decreased by 50%.

Reverse Connection Protection

The motor will not start if the wire connection is reversed. 

Stall Protection

The stall protection mode will be started once the motor has stalled.  This will protect the motor by going to a power output of 6A. 

Overheat Protection

Should the temperature of the motor reach 110 degrees C, the motor will go into overheat protection.  The power output will be decreased by half in order to protect not only the motor, but also the battery and the operator of the motor. 

Other Features to Look For

Depending upon the model of the trolling motor will depend upon the extra features that come with it.  Here are some of the more popular features that you may like for your motor.

  • GPS tracking-  Hover in the same spot when fishing or draw a path for the tracker to follow. 
  • Built-in transducer-  See better what is in the water when you sync up with your fishfinder.  
  • Digital display-  Some motors come with this handy feature.  These will not only show how deep the water is, but also the speed that you are going.  These are generally brightly lit and will provide you with the information you need to see if you are in a good spot for fishing. 
  • Lift-assist-  This is the perfect feature for hoisting the motor up.
  • Battery indicator-  This feature shows how much charge is left in your battery.  Perfect for those that never want to be stranded without a battery that has a decent charge. 
  • Directional indicator-  A feature that allows you to have the motor self steer.  It is completely hands free so you can focus on just fishing. 

Bow or Transom Trolling Motor

There are two types of models for an electric trolling motor:  Bow or transom.  

  • A bow mount trolling motor is mounted on the front of the boat.  It will have better control and maneuver easier than a transom trolling motor.  However, generally in order to control it the best, you are required to sit in an awkward position.  This type of model is typically not compatible with hand tillers. 
  • A transom trolling motor is mounted on the rear of the boat.  Typically, they are compatible with hand tillers and are ergonomic.  They are also easier to handle than a bow mount.  Most individuals like transom trolling motors better.  

Types of Electric Trolling Motor Controls

There are various ways that an electric trolling motor can be controlled. 

Foot Control Motors

These motor controls use your feet to control not only the steering but the power level.  Many are electric, but these can also be mechanical.  The best advantage to using a foot control motor is that you can steer right from your seat. 

Wireless Models

The wireless model lets you steer the boat wherever you are within the boat.  However, you do need to use extreme caution so you do not accidentally drop this in the water.  The best way to avoid this is to wear a lanyard with the remote around your neck.  In fact, many of these models come with  lanyards.  Just know that they are not the easiest to run if you do not have any prior experience with them. 

Hand Controlled Motors

These motors are very easy to control with the hands.  You will need to be sitting right by the controls in order for them to work.  

There is not a right or wrong answer to what type of control you use.  It is a personal preference to say the least.  If you can not sit still, you will probably want to go with the wireless option, but if not, either the hand or foot control is an excellent choice. 

Advantages of Trolling Motors

There are many advantages to owning a trolling motor.  

  • Fish will not know that you are there.  They are quiet and smooth on the water.  
  • Trolling motors can be used by anyone from advanced fishers or those that are just starting out.  These self-contained units generally come with a manual that will assist you in operating it.  
  • The electric trolling motor does not have any scent associated with it as gas powered ones do. 
  • If you are worried about the ecosystem, you will be making an impact as there is less of a carbon footprint with these motors.  As they do not require gas, there is not that emission.  They run off rechargeable batteries, which is perfect for those that are looking to make a difference in the world. 

Differences Between Freshwater and Saltwater

Many people are under the misconception that freshwater has no salt in it.  However, they are surprised to know that in order to be true freshwater, it is a rare occurrence.  Many bodies of water have enough levels of salt to not be classified as freshwater bodies.  

There is also brackish water, which is a combination of both fresh and saltwater.  Both brackish and saltwater have different elements in them that will break down, causing the water to possess electrically charged ions.  This makes them better conductors for electricity.  Hence why it matters which type of water you are fishing in when using an electric trolling motor. 

You can use a saltwater trolling motor in freshwater.  However, you should never use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater.  

Tips on How to Maintain Your Electric Trolling Motor

No matter which of the models of trolling motors you decide to purchase, you have to take care of it in order for it to do its job properly. Generally, electric trolling motors are low maintenance.  By following these tips, you can be certain that your trolling motor will last for many years to come. 

  • Be sure to charge your battery often.  It will need to be charged before any usage of the trolling motor.  If the battery is not fully charged, it can have undesirable effects on the life of the battery.  In order to have the best running trolling motor for your fishing experience, always make sure that the battery is at 100% before firing it up.   If not, the ability to hold a full charge will be decreased over time. 
  • You will also want to keep an ear open for any unusual sounds.  If you do not believe the motor sounds right, it probably is not.  Use this as a signal that you need maintenance on your electric trolling motor. 
  • Make certain to clean your trolling motor.  This is obvious, but if you do not keep it clean, it will not last as long.  Before cleaning it, check to make sure it is properly secured to the boat, or remove it from the boat and place it on a workbench.  Wipe down the motor to keep it free of dirt.  This should be done after every use with an anti-abrasive substance, such as soapy water.  Check to make sure the motor does not have any tangled weeds in it.  Once the motor is completely dry, look at the shaft for any wear or tear and damage that may have been caused.  As most shafts are adjustable, check for any sticking.  If this is the case, you can use a rag to lightly rub on Armor All to avoid sticking.  
  • Be sure to look at the propeller on a regular basis. These are generally durable, but that does not mean that nothing can happen to them.  If there is anything wrong with it, such as a chip or crack, it will not run properly.  If you see minor damage, such as a nick, use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out.  If the prop is damaged too much, you will most likely have to replace it.  Take great care to avoid hitting anything under the water with the propeller.  You will also want to adjust the motor depth in order to avoid hitting the bottom of the water. 
  • All connections will need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure there is not any corrosion.  When checking your battery, clean it periodically with a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste.  If you allow corrosion to set on the battery, the output will be greatly effected. 
  • In order to conserve the life of your battery, always store it in a dark place.  Consider connecting it to a trickle charger. 
  • If you use more than one battery to power your vessel, be sure they are the same type.  If you use different types of batteries, this could play havoc on the lifespan of each battery.  

Charging Your Batteries

As we have stated, it is very important to charge your batteries after every use in order to ensure that they are ready for your next excursion on the water.

There are three different ways that you can charge your batteries. No method is better than the other, it is just a matter of personal preference and time.  

Charging Using Solar Power

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to charge your batteries is to use solar power.  Just place the solar panels on your boat so they can receive full sunlight.  If you are worried about unreliable sunlight, there are boosters that you can purchase to assist you with this. Many are fans of solar charging as since it takes longer to charge, you do not risk overcharging the battery.  

Charging Using Portable Charger

You can also charge your battery by using a portable battery charger.  This is a much faster method than using solar power, so if you do not have much time, this is the way to go.  This is a very portable method in charging you batteries as well and works great for deep cell batteries. 

Charging Using an Onboard Charger

Using an onboard charger is the third method for charging your batteries.  This is a permanent fixture with your battery.  You will need to connect to the charge source as needed.  This method is suitable for most kinds of batteries.  

No matter what charging method you are using, be sure that the battery is always clean and dry.  It is best to not charge your battery while you are on the water, so try to do your best at charging either before you reach your boating destination or before you board the boat.  

Safety Tips For Your Electric Trolling Motor

Safety is a huge concern for anyone that will be on the water.  Here are some of the best safety tips we have encountered for your electric trolling motor. 

  • Make sure before your boat hits the water, you have checked the battery.  It should be at 100% each and every time before you leave land. 
  • Be certain the engine is sealed.  You do not want water creeping into the engine.  This will not only damage the motor, but can cause extensive damage overall. 
  • Have a circuit breaker in order to not damage the motor.  Should you have a maximum speed of 40 amps, consider a circuit breaker of 50 amps.  
  • Always be positive that there are not any swimmers or other hazardous materials near the propeller. 
  • Wear a life jacket when you are on your boat out in the water to stay safe should an accident occur. 
  • Whatever electric trolling motor you purchase, make sure all five safety features are included.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the top speed that a trolling motor can go?

The top speed that a trolling motor can go is about five miles per hour.  If you were to go any faster, the waves created would scare away the fish. 

What does thrust mean?

When talking about trolling motors, the thrust is the power that your motor exudes. It is generally measured in pounds.  The higher the thrust, the more powerful your boat will be on the water.  Smaller boats can get by with smaller thrusts.  If you have a large boat, such as a pontoon, you will want to be certain you have substantial thrust.  

What battery size will I need for my electric trolling motor?

This will depend on the power of the motor you possess.  Generally speaking, a smaller boat can get by with 16 V.  For mid to large sized boats, consider a 24 to 32 V. 

What should the shaft be in length?

A good rule to follow ifor shafts is:

48  to  52 inches (122  to 132 centimeters) for small boats

52  to 62 inches (132 – 157 centimeters) for mid sized boats

62 inches  (157 centimeters) plus for larger boats

In Conclusion

We truly hoped our trolling motor buying guide has assisted you in making the proper decision on which one would be best for your needs.  Our goal was to save you time and money by reviewing the products.  By providing you with the top 10 electric trolling motors, along with factors to consider, we are certain you will be able to make an educated decision on purchasing the right trolling motor. 

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