5 Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks

I use trolling motors when I don't feel like paddling or when I require more control and speed in my kayak.

Though trolling motors are not much popular among anglers, they are used when a large coverage is required that can't be offered only by paddling. What do you think?

Not just that, if you are looking for a faster movement around water and you want to save energy to fight the catch, trolling motor is what you need to install in your kayak.

Installing an electric motor offers much more flexibility during fishing that you'd not get with paddling only.

However, you need to make sure that the electric motor you choose has the proper battery requirement and fits to the size and loading of your vessel. 

We've tested, analyzed and reviewed the five best trolling motors for kayaks and all you need to do is make a selection that fits to your needs.

Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks (Top 5)​

Why do you need a trolling motor?

Ever seen a kayak that moves on its own without needing to paddle? Well, that's when you install a trolling motor.

A trolling motor is a self-contained unit with a propeller, a controller and electric motor. It's generally present in small and large boats, however, can be mounted on a kayak too.

​It's basically used for game fish in kayaks as it provides auxiliary power for proper maneuvering which enables anglers to cast their bait easily.

​And, what if the weather changes and you need to go back to the shore quickly? Paddling won't help and you might not have enough strength to do it super fast. 

Trolling motors act as a primary source of propulsion and that is what they do best. They don't produce noise, they don't scare the fish and it'll give you flexibility in your movement.

Things to consider​

So​, you've finally decided to get a trolling motor. Great. Be prepared to cover that extra water surface without needing to waste your energy.

But, you need to be concerned about different aspects when selecting the electric motors for your kayaks. Not all of them come pre-installed and even if they do, they might be costly.

You don't need to worry.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind about the fishing accessories you are using including your kayak size, mounting location, and battery requirements. Here is what we've detailed it for you:

Mounting location​

​Trolling motors are classified into two types depending on their mounting position. It can either be placed on the bow or the transom of the boat. 

Generally, electric trolling motors in kayaks are transom mount because they are easy to fit and can be operated while seating. Steering can be a problem in the beginning but once you get adjusted to it, you are good to go. 

Bow mount trolling motors are generally designed for medium to large sized boats. They are more expensive and come with a lot of high-tech features including auto-pilot and wireless control. 

Kayak size​

The amount of thrust and battery power required to operate a trolling motor depends on the size of the kayak.

​That is why trolling motors come in three different ratings, 12V, 24V and 36V depending on the requirement. 

If you have a kayak smaller than 16-ft, you need to look for a power source that supplied 12V. For 19-foot kayak or boat, 36V is required. ​

The requirements don't end there. You also need to know the loading capacity of your boat. If it goes beyond 1500 pounds, you need at least 30 pounds of thrust to keep it moving. For large sized boats and kayaks weighing about 4000 pounds, a thrust of 80 pounds is required. 

All of these details regarding the thrust are included in the handbook when you select a trolling motor. But, you need to make sure you know details about your kayak, it's size, weight and loading capacity.

Water type​

Where are you planning to fish? Saltwater or freshwater?

Saltwater offers a rigorous fishing environment, and fishing accessories corrode quickly if it's not lubricated or made with the anti-rust material.

You need to make sure you select the right trolling motor depending on where exactly you are planning to go. Be specific as well. 

If you are fishing in saltwater, mount a trolling motor designed to operate in saltwater. This will make sure of maximum work efficiency while also making the gear durable and long lasting.​

​5 Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks

There are a lot of trolling motor models for kayaks available. Not all of them are good, durable, efficient and long lasting. 

We've prepared a detailed review of the five best electric trolling motors that provide you a great fishing experience at a price that surely is a bang for your buck. ​

1. Endura C2 Trolling Motor

Endura C2 Trolling Motor For freshwater

Minn Kota is one of the biggest brands when it comes to trolling motors and the Endura C2 is what makes a perfect electric motor for freshwater anglers.

​This particular electric motor is designed specifically for freshwater experience only but is surely a gear that lets anyone from beginners to professionals explore water in a unique way. 

It's a transom mount trolling motor with excellent performance and functionality which not only is good when it comes to performance but durable as well.

It's powered by a 12-volt motor and provides thrust level of 30 making it suitable for 12 to 16-foot kayaks. What I particularly love about the Endura C2 is its feature with 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds. This makes control much easier than any other motors with similar specifications out there.

On top of that, it's best known for being exceptionally sound nature and ability to cut down on fish-spooking noise.

The composite shaft it is designed with is guaranteed not to break or corrode for life and for your peace of mind, it comes with two years guarantee as well.​

This transom mount electric trolling motor has an ergonomic telescoping handle that is six-inch in length making steering easy and comfortable. Similarly, the lever lock brackets it comes with makes it easy to install and mount while it is also UV resistant.

Features I like​

  • Telescoping handle with good grip for easy and better steering. 
  • Rock-solid lever lock bracket for effective mounting. 
  • 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speed to provide better control.
  • Quiet, calm and smooth with ability to cut on fish-spooking noise.
  • Inexpensive and extremely durable.

2. NewPort Vessel Thrust Trolling Motor

FishHunter Pro Fish Finder for Kayaks.

​If you are looking for a trolling motor for saltwater use, the NewPort Vessel's model is what you need to pick right away for your kayak.

​With stainless steel hardware design, it is corrosion resistant and is perfect for both saltwater and freshwater applications.

With versatile design and construction, the NV series power 36 lb thrust making it suitable for kayaks and inflatable boats. 

It also features the 8-speed control system with 5 forward and 3 reserve speeds which make up for a smooth and controlled ride. It also includes a 5-point LED battery meter which works accurately.

This electric trolling motor by NewPort is extremely versatile and long lasting. ​The 2 blade propeller ensures optimal performance and can be powered by a 12-volt battery, either deep cycle or marine. 

The 30-in shaft is made of high-strength fiberglass and nylon mount making it super strong, light and easy to carry. 

I've been using this trolling motor with my 16-in kayak in saltwater and even in high power use, it takes only a dent in the battery life. It is also impervious to salt and corrosion, however, requires a full watch with fresh water after use. 

Adjustments are also easy to make during install/uninstall process ​making it one of the most popular electric trolling motors among anglers.

Features I like​

  • Good design and construction, power 36lb thrust.
  • Can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.
  • Super strong 30-in shaft.
  • Runs with 12V DC and in 8 speed (5 forward and 3 reverse speed).
  • Long lasting, durable and inexpensive.

3. Coleman 12V Electric Trolling Motor

Fish Hunter Military Grade Portable fish finder for kayaks.

The electric trolling motor by Coleman is designed especially for small boats and kayaks. It provides up to 18 lb. of thrust and can be mounted in boats or kayaks with bow eyelets. 

It features plastic brackets for transom mount and can also be installed with motor mount fittings.

Made with stainless steel tube, it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater which makes it extremely durable wherever it is used.

​It is powered by a Sevylor 12V battery and can also be used with other marine batteries that can be connected with battery connector clips.

It is a 2-blade propeller making it easy and flexible to run as it does not snag on underwater weeds. 

The 18.5-in aluminum shaft makes it easy for different height adjustments and the 2 forward and 2 reverse speed is what gives better control on kayak movement.​

It is also light-weight and incredibly comfortable to carry in two fingers along with the paddles. I used it on places with calm water as it can be difficult to operate in areas with a strong headwind. 

Features I like​

  • Light-weight and easy to carry.
  • 2-blade propeller with no snag on underwater weeds.
  • Proper shaft for height adjustments.
  • Built-in motor mount for easy installation.
  • Inexpensive and durable.

4. Saturn Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

Saturn Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

If you are looking for a trolling motor with high power thrust, the Saturn Short-Shaft is what you need to get. It provides 55 lbs thrust, runs of 12 V DC battery and draws 50 Amp maximum current.

With 5 forward speed and 3 reverse speed, it's extremely easy to maneuver the kayak with it installed on it.

If you kayak is of small size, you'll require a bracket to mount it and it's extremely easy to install or remove it.

​What I particularly love about the Saturn electric trolling motor is its 26-in short shaft and adjustable angle throttle handle which makes it really easy to control with 10 modifiable positions. 

It offers high flexibility in operation with adjustable handles that can be lifted almost 45-degree up making it easy to raise or tilt depending upon comfort.

On top of that, it's one of the most popular trolling motors among European and Australian anglers. It features a battery level reader that displays available battery power when being used or charging.

The composite shaft it has makes it durable to be used in saltwater and oceans compared to other accessories made with metal or aluminum shafts.

Features I like​

  • Easy adjustable angle throttle.
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.
  • Short composite shaft that is strong, flexible and extremely durable.
  • Adjustable depth collar and handle.
  • Provides 55 lb power thrust and suitable for kayaks of any size.

5. Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

The GoPlus Freshwater Trolling motor is designed especially for use in freshwater which is powered by a 12V battery to provide a maximum thrust of 55 lbs. 

It has a 36-in shaft with telescoping adjustable handles making it easy for anglers to control even in places with strong headwind.

With 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, you can command your kayak wherever you want to move and the 3 propeller blades it has does not cause any kind of distortion even in places with underwater weeds.​

The 10 points LED light battery indicator displays battery ratings accurately​.

It is relatively a new trolling motor for kayaks that can be mounted easily with brackets.​

What I particularly love about GoPlus is its swift movement without noise. It's extremely calm and quiet making it easy to move in locations with fish without spooking them.​

Features I like​

  • Provides good thrust of 55 lbs.
  • 36-in adjustable shaft with good height adjustments.
  • Easy mounting and designed to operate in freshwater only.
  • Calm and sound operation with better control.
  • 3 propeller blades for good movement even in places with marsh or grass.

The Verdict

Among different electric trolling motors available, I particularly love the ​NewPort Vessel trolling motor as it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater. 

For strong headwind locations, I particularly pick the ​electric motor by Saturn as it powers 55 lbs of thrust and has short-shaft making it easy to control in rigorous conditions.

When you are to make your selection, make sure to know what type of kayak you have and what additional equipment you might require to mount the trolling motor. 

James Moore

Hey, I’m the founder of Fishing Kayaks Guide. As a professional angler for over 10 years now, I love to hear and share experience and knowledge about kayak fishing and get connected to all of you people who are enthusiastic to hit the water.

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