Best Kayak Trolling Motor Picks in 2019
I use a kayak trolling motor when I don’t feel like paddling or when I require more control and speed in my kayak. Though using a kayak trolling motor are not much popular among anglers, they are used when 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 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 your needs.
Best Kayak Trolling Motor Picks
|Saturn Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor|
|Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor|
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.
The best kayak trolling motor will 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 When Your Purchase the Best Kayak Trolling Motor
So, you’ve finally decided to get a kayak 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:
Kayak trolling motor models 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, the kayak trolling motor models 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.
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.
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.
Best Kayak Trolling Motor Picks
There is 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 best kayak trolling motor models to provide you a great fishing experience at a price that surely is a bang for your buck.
1. Endura C2 Trolling Motor
Minn Kota is one of the biggest brands when it comes to the best kayak trolling motor 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 mounts 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 the ability to cut on fish-spooking noise.
- Inexpensive and extremely durable.
2. NewPort Vessel Thrust Trolling Motor
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 kayak trolling motor models 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
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
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 kayak trolling motor models 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
- Easily adjustable angle throttle.
- Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.
- The 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
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 a 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.
How to Attach a Trolling Motor to Your Kayak
Have you ever gotten tired of paddling? You’re not alone. It’s exhausting using all of your upper body strength to carry yourself and your boat across the water. By the time you reach your prime fishing spot, your arms are too tired to cast the line, let alone reel a fish in. What is the solution? We recommend investing in a pedal kayak or attaching a trolling motor to your boat. In this section, we describe how to do the latter.
First things first. In order to install a trolling motor on your kayak, you need a mount. There are two types of trolling mounts – off the shelf kits and home mounting kits. In this post, we will go over both types and help you to find the right fit for your needs.
Off the Shelf Mounting Kit
With a trolling mount, you can attach a motor to your kayak without much time and effort. Off the shelf mounting kits are more expensive than their home mounting kit counterparts. However, they look great on a kayak and offer a good deal in both durability and maneuverability. Make sure the trolling motor is attached correctly. If it is, steering the boat is very easy. Before you invest in the best kayak trolling motor, take the following into consideration:
- Shock absorption
- Easy installation
- Kayak compatibility
Does your mount have difficulty absorbing the motor’s vibration? If so, your kayak is likely having problems running smoothly. If you are installing a powerful trolling motor, pay close attention to its shock absorption.
What is the kayak constructed from? The best trolling motor is made from rust and corrosion-proof materials. If you pick a sturdy model, you can rest assured that your boat will last for many years with the proper maintenance.
Mounted kits don’t necessarily have complimentary installation services. We highly recommend getting a professional to install the trolling motor on your kayak (if you pick this style kit). If you are not confident in your DIY skills, do not attempt this project. It is much better to pay for installation than to damage your motor or kayak.
One of the most vital features of the best kayak trolling motor is its compatibility. In fact, it does not matter how good the motor is if it does not work with your kayak. Trying to attach a mounting kit that is incompatible with your boat could cause lots of problems. One of them is the performance of the trolling motor. How do you ensure perfect compatibility with your kayak? Consult with the seller directly and make sure to read plenty of online reviews before you make your purchase.
Homemade Mounting Kits
- Shock absorption
- Kayak compatibility
Are you feeling brave? If you’re up for the DIY task of a homemade mounting kit, we salute you. Some of the best kayak trolling motor picks come from these kits. However, we also recommend you go about this process with a great deal of caution. Building the right kit comes down to the components of your kayak. Rod holders work well for mounting poles. A rear storage compartment is often large enough to accommodate an onboard power source.
The same requirements for an off the shelf mounting kit apply here. Make sure that your DIY mounting kit offers shock absorption. Similarly, you need durable construction materials and kayak compatibility. Installation is not easy. If you have difficulty during your DIY process, don’t be afraid to stop and ask for a little bit of help. It’s often worthwhile to pay a visit to your local mechanic. Make sure you have the right tools to complete the job before you begin your project. Kayaks are not designed for propulsion by an electric motor. Therefore, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. Read on below to complete your DIY project safely.
On the off chance that you have a mechanized kayak, never enable kids or unskilled individuals to work the electric detachable engine. You should find a way to guarantee that the watercraft is difficult to reach them when you are not around.
Try not to change the engine itself or include extras that are inconsistent with the engine, as this can result in harm or damage. Don’t submerge the unit either. In the off chance that the kayak overturns, detach the battery and forget it to dry.
To avert harm to the fiberglass shaft of the engine, never over tighten the mounting section. To drag out the life expectancy of the engine, just use it in temperatures between – 4°F and 113°F.
Any individual that works the mechanized kayak should wear an individual floatation gadget (PFD) to keep their head over the water on the off chance that they tumble off. Some life coats can even keep them warm on the off chance that they are in virus water for extensive stretches of time.
Figuring out how to mount a trolling engine takes some time and exertion, yet you may think that it’s justified, despite all the trouble for the more prominent separations your kayak can travel.
The Verdict on the Best Kayak Trolling Motor
Among different kayak trolling motor models 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.