Best Trolling Motors

Best Trolling Motors

Trolling motors have made fishing a lot easier and more fun.

Many of them come with advanced features that make it easy to navigate and control the speed of the boat.

But you cannot install any type of trolling motor on your boat.

There are a lot of factors like the size and weight capacity of your boat that determine what trolling motor to install.

In this guide, we have reviewed the best trolling motors to buy for different types of boats. So without further due, let’s get to it.

Best Trolling Motors in October, 2020

PhotoProductAwardsFeaturesPrice

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

Minn Kota 1082341 UlterraBest Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat

Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor
Thrust: 80 lbs
Shaft Length: 45 inches
Voltage: 24v
GPS System: Yes
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Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2

Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon BoatsThrust: 68 lbs
Shaft Length: 48 inches
Voltage: 24v
GPS System: No
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Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55Best Trolling Motor for Jon Boat

Best Trolling Motor for Canoe
Thrust: 55 lbs
Shaft Length: 36 inches
Propeller: 2-blade
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Minn Kota 1023103 Riptide Fortrex

Minn Kota 1023103 Riptide FortrexBest Saltwater Trolling MotorThrust: 80 lbs
Shaft Length: 62 inches
Voltage: 24v
GPS System: No
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Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra – Best Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat & Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Ulterra for a Bass Boat

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

Bass boats are popular because they glide through the water, and they are easy to handle.

They are not large in size, but they are bigger than kayaks or canoes.

You can propel them using water paddles or a trolling motor.

Most people who own bass boats use trolling motors for efficiency and speed. And one of the best trolling motors for a bass boat is the Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra.

The motor can stow and deploy easily and quickly at the push of a button. It comes with a 45- inch shaft that has a sturdy two-blade propeller than cut through weeds and other vegetation with ease.

Minn Kota Ulterra has a foot pedal and i-Pilot remote control

It is propelled using a foot pedal or remote control. So when you don’t feel like using the foot pedal, you can use the i-remote control that comes with all the features you need to control your boat.

The motor comes equipped with a GPS system that allows you to lock onto a fishing sport, and record and save routes.

There is also a battery meter that shows how much of your battery power is left. And to locate a good fishing spot, the motor is equipped with a sonar system that is quite and displays clear images.

As for the build, this motor is made of corrosion-resistant materials. So you can use it on both saltwater and freshwater.

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra
Via: @biol_fishing_conseils

It is designed to propel bass boats that require 80 pounds of thrust to start and move a bass boat with ease. And it uses two 12volt batteries. All in all, this is a great motor if you own a bass boat that weighs 3500-4000 pounds when fully loaded.

Minn Kota Ulterra Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

Bow mounts trolling motors are designed for medium and large-sized boats.

And many of them come with advanced features that make boating and fishing fun and trouble-free. 

Choosing the best one for your boat depends on one how big your boat is and how much it weighs when fully loaded.

Another factor is the water conditions you intend to fish or boat.

It’s always ideal to go with a bow mount trolling motor that is designed for saltwater because you can also use it on freshwater. However, the choice depends on whether you are fishing in saltwater or freshwater.

If you are looking for a quality freshwater bow mount trolling motor, consider the Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra freshwater trolling motor.

Minn Kota is known for creating supreme trolling motors, some of which are quite affordable. The Ulterra trolling motor; however, is quite expensive. But the trade-off is you get amazing features that can make your fishing experience all the more enjoyable.

These features include a GPS system to help you locate good fishing spots, and record and save routes. And this feature is great because it allows you to revisit fishing spots.

The motor is propelled using a foot pedal and i-Pilot remote control. And the remote control is a great addition as sometimes you can get tired of using a foot pedal.

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra with i-Pilot remote control
Via: @solbbq

Equipped with a sonar system, the motor can help you locate fish and it is quiet so that you don’t scare the fish away.

It comes with a strong 45-inch shaft with a sturdy two-blade propeller to help you run through almost any type of vegetation without draining the batteries.

It runs on two 12volt batteries and it is designed for boats that weight 4000 pounds when fully loaded.

Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2 – Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boats

Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2

Pontoon boats are commonly used for recreational activities.

And the amazing thing about a pontoon boat is that it’s customizable.

You can equip it with luxurious features for your comfort; therefore, you don’t need to buy a luxurious pontoon boat, which is usually quite expensive.

You can get a regular pontoon boat and furnish it with whatever luxuries you want and can afford.

Like canoes and kayaks, a pontoon boat can be propelled using water paddles, but you can also install a trolling motor if speed is of priority. And one of the best motors for a pontoon boat is the Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2.

The 68-pound thrust motor features a 45-inch shaft with a strong two-blade propeller. If your pontoon boat weighs 3000 pounds when loaded to the maximum, this would be the most ideal motor to use.

It is expensive and that’s because it comes with special features that make your recreational activities easy and fun.

The foot pedal is one of these features and it comes with an 18-inch cord that allows you to place the pedal anywhere on your boat you are comfortable. The pedal comes with a variable speed feature that allows you to adjust the speed of the boat.

The other amazing feature is the deploy feature, which is designed to make it easy for you to deploy and stow the motor. So when you need to pursue fish, you can easily and quickly deploy the motor.

The Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 employs a digital maximizer technology, which works to extend the life of your battery. And there is a battery meter to show you how much of your battery life is left.

It also comes with a sonar system to help you locate fish. So if you use your pontoon boat for fishing, this motor would be of great helping you find good fishing spots.

Minn Kota 1358722 Powerdrive V2
Via: @fishingguidemarckrull

The autopilot navigation system allows you to stay on course without having to operate the boat manually.

And it comes with large commuters and windings that expel heat keeping the motor always cool and extending the life of your batteries and motor.

It uses two 12volt batteries and it’s not hard to install. It does not come with batteries, you would need to purchase them separately.

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55 – Best Trolling Motor for Jon Boat & Best Trolling Motor for Canoe

Minn Kota Endura for Jon Boat

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

Jon boats are small and lightweight boats that need relatively little power to run.

They are not as big as bass or pontoon boats, but they are bigger than kayaks and canoes.

And most people use them for fishing.

They are propelled using water paddles and trolling motor. And if you are looking for a quality trolling motor for your Jon boat, consider getting the Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55 trolling motor.

The transom motor is designed for small boats that weigh 2500 pounds when fully loaded. It features a ten-positing lever lock bracket that comes with a quick-release lever lock. And it is designed to prevent UV damage, warping, and flexing.

The motor is equipped with a 6-inch telescoping tiller to help you control and steer your boat. And on the handle, there is a variable speed feature that allows you to control the speed of your Jon boat.

And there is a digital readout that shows you how much battery power is left. And this allows you to estimate how many hours you can fish.

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55
Via: @chrisfishdawg

Like many quality transom motors, this unit is particularly quiet. So you don’t risk scaring the fish away.

Minn Kota Endura for Canoe

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

The Minn Kota Endura is one of the best transom motors you can buy for your canoe.

It is a 55-pound thrust trolling motor that comes with a sturdy composite shaft that makes it easy to navigate waters filled with weeds.

The shaft is designed using corrosion-resistant materials. So you can use it for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

It comes with a telescoping handle that’s 6-inches in length, which is easy to access and comfortable to use. The handle allows you to run and steer the boat in whatever direction you want.

And there is a variable speed feature that allows you to adjust the speed of your boat to your liking.

It is small and lightweight. And it’s also easy to install. One of the most common problems you get with some motors is noise. But this motor is extremely quiet, which makes your fishing expedition easy.

Minn Kota 1023103 Riptide Fortrex – Best Saltwater Trolling Motor

Minn Kota 1023103 Riptide Fortrex

Not all trolling motors are designed for saltwater.

So it is essential that when choosing a trolling motor, you consider the water conditions.

The advantage of saltwater motors is that you can use them on freshwater as well.

But you cannot use a freshwater motor on saltwater as it’s not built with materials that are corrosion or rust-resistant.

Saltwater motors come in varying sizes and styles. And knowing which one to buy depends on the type, size, and weight of your boat.

But having said that, one of the best saltwater trolling motors to buy if you own a medium or large-sized boat is the Minn Kota 1023103 Riptide Fortrex saltwater trolling motor.

This motor is a bow mount motor that features a telescoping aluminum handle to help you control and steer your boat. The handle also helps the motor to run more quietly.

It’s a 112-pound thrust motor, so it can start and run a 5000-pound boat when fully loaded with ease. It requires three 12v batteries, which you need to buy separately as they don’t come with the motor.

Don’t worry about getting stuck in the water due to weeds, this unit comes with a sturdy 62-inch shaft with a strong two-blade propeller to help you cut through any vegetation with ease.

Another great feature is the Lift Assist that allows you to stow and deploy the motor quickly and easily.

Aside from that, it comes with a variable speed feature that allows you to control how fast or slow you want your boat to move. And there is a maximizer feature to help you get the exact speed you want.

The only problem with the motor is that it’s large and heavy. So some users may find it difficult to install.

Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for a trolling motor, whether you are buying it online or not, you need to first find out what type of motor is suitable for your boat.

Trolling motors vary in style and size and knowing which one to purchase depends on a number of factors. Let’s look at some of these factors.

Type of water

The first consideration when deciding on a trolling motor is whether you want a freshwater or saltwater trolling motor. If you are fishing in freshwater, you can choose to buy a freshwater or saltwater motor.

Trolling Motors for saltwater and freshwater
Via: @p.b.broeckx

But if you are fishing in saltwater, you need a saltwater motor. This is because freshwater motors are not designed using corrosion-resistant materials like their saltwater counterparts.

If you don’t mind spending an extra couple of bucks, get a saltwater motor because you can use it on both saltwater and freshwater.   

Weight of the Boat

The weight of the boat is an important consideration when selecting a trolling motor. Since trolling motors vary in size and style, based on how much your boat weight when fully loaded is going to determine what trolling motor to purchase.

So if you have a small boat like canoe or kayak, the most ideal trolling motor would be a transom motor. But if you have a bass boat or flatboat, the most ideal choice would be a bow mount.

Thrust

Thrust is the amount of power your boat needs to start and run and it’s measured in pounds.

The general rule of thumb for knowing how much thrust you need is by taking the total weight of your boat when fully loaded, multiple it by 100, then divide the result by 2.

This should give you how much thrust in pounds your boat needs to move through the water easily. 

Advanced Features

Some motors come with special features like a GPS system, quick release lever, sonar system to make your fishing adventures easier and more enjoyable. But these types of motor are also quite expensive.

So choosing a trolling motor that comes with advanced features is a personal choice. If you can afford one, then go for it.

The autonomy of Work and Voltage

Trolling motors come in three configurations: 12volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. A 12-volt motor uses one 12v battery to run, while a 24v motor uses two 12v batteries and 36v motor uses three 12v batteries.

The amount of voltage you need depends on the size of your boat. If you have a large boat, it means you need more thrust which means more voltage. So if you are not sure what voltage you need, contact an expert

Type of Mount

There are two types of trolling motor mounts: transom mounts and bow mounts.

Transom mounts are installed at the back of a boat, while bow mounts are installed at the front of a boat.

Bow mounts are generally large and more expensive than transom mounts. And they are designed for medium and large-sized boats like bass boats and bay boats.

Transom mounts and bow mounts trollin

Transom mounts are designed for small boats like Jon boats, pontoons, canoes, and kayaks. They are usually easier to install than bow mounts are less expensive.

So depending on the size of your boat, you can determine which mount is most suitable.

Type of Control

Trolling motors are controlled using a foot pedal or a telescoping handle. Others have a remote control option.

The advantage of handle-controlled motors is that they are cheaper, and they don’t have many moving parts. That means there are fewer components to deal with.

Also, the telescoping handle is extremely responsive. You can quickly turn a boat to avoid hitting obstacles or when you need to change direction.

The problem with a telescoping handle is that you cannot control the motor and fish at the same time. And for some users, that is a huge disadvantage.

A foot-pedal controlled trolling motor offers more convenience and flexibility than and a hand-controlled motor.

Because you can control the motor using the foot pedal as you fish and you can place it anywhere on your boat’s deck that you feel most comfortable.

And most foot pedal controlled trolling motors come with a remote control to help you steer and run your boat when you are tired of using the foot-pedal.

Minn Kota Ultrex with foot pedal
Via: @precisionboats

The issue with foot-controlled motors is that they are expensive, and they are also hard to install because they are large.

Fishing style

Another determining factor is your fishing style. If you fish in calm waters, you don’t need much thrust. That means you don’t need much power to run your boat.

But if you fish in turbulent waters, you need plenty of thrust to power through such waters. This means more voltage.

Shaft Length

Shaft length is another important factor when choosing a trolling motor. And how you determine what shaft length you need, measure the distance between the waterline and where you intend on mounting the motor.

If you are mounting the motor at the bow of your boat, measure the distance between the bow and the waterline. Then add 20 inches to the result. If you need to navigate choppy waters, you need to add an extra 5 inches on top of the 20.

Budget

Some trolling motors are less expensive than others. And depending on the type of motor you are going to buy, this is going to determine how much you are going to spend.

It also depends on the size of your boat. If you have a small boat, you need a transom motor that is small and produces just enough power to drive a small boat. And usually, transom motors are inexpensive.

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra
Via: @fishinwithfatt_llc

But if you have a big boat, you need a bow mount, which is capable of delivering the amount of power you need to run a boat.

But they are also expensive not only because they are larger, but because they also come with extra features and parts for easier navigation.

So your budget is going to depend on the type of trolling motor to buy. Of course, if you find a really cheap motor, you might want to avoid it as it may be poorly constructed or it is constructed with poor quality materials.

What is the difference between freshwater and saltwater trolling motors?

The difference between freshwater and saltwater trolling motors is that the latter is made of corrosion-resistant materials like steel. Every part of a saltwater trolling motor is made using materials that are resistant to rusting and corrosion.

Minn Kota 1082341 Terrova
Via: @nwn_angler

Another difference between the two is the price. Freshwater trolling motors are less expensive than saltwater motors because they are designed with materials that are resistant to corrosion. And some of these materials include steel and fiberglass.

And it is because of these materials that make it possible to use a saltwater motor in both freshwater and saltwater. Something you cannot do with a freshwater motor.

Conclusion

Trolling motors are great because they can make your fishing adventures more enjoyable. But finding one that is suitable for your boat can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what to look for.

Some prioritize price over other factors when choosing a trolling motor. But while the price tag is important when choosing a motor particularly if you are a budget-conscious buyer, it should not be a priority. 

Prioritize factors like the type of trolling motor, thrust, power, and voltage and other factors that contribute to the quality and functionality of the motor

Best Trolling Motors