Saltwater Vs Freshwater Trolling Motor

Saltwater vs freshwater trolling motor
Saltwater vs freshwater trolling motor

Before we go into the different types of trolling motors and how they differ, let’s first understand what a trolling motor is for the sake of those who don’t know. 

A trolling motor is a motor that includes a propeller and controls used for controlling and maneuvering a boat through the water. Trolling motors are affixed to a boat’s stern or bow, and they can be powered by gas or electricity. 

Electric powered trolling motors come in three different power configurations, that is, 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. Trolling motors with 36 volts are more powerful and larger than those that use 24v or 12v motors. 

Both gas-powered and electric-powered trolling motors can be affixed to almost any boat. They are both easy to install and use. However, electric-powered trolling motors are more popular because they are quieter than gas-powered ones.  

Types of Trolling Motors

There are two main types of trolling motors: Freshwater trolling motors and saltwater trolling motors. These motors can either be electric-powered or gas-powered. They can be affixed to any type of boat, and they are easy to use. 


Saltwater trolling motor
via @flydork

Saltwater trolling motors are made of materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Mainly because saltwater contains a ton of ions, which is why it corrodes metal. 

Besides that, the electronic components of a saltwater trolling motor are also enclosed to prevent rust and corrosion. 


Freshwater trolling motors are not designed the same way as saltwater trolling motors. That is, they don’t have a special coating and other protections to prevent rust and corrosion.

This is because freshwater is not as corrosive as saltwater. But, this is not to say that it cannot corrode metal, but it will take some time before any rusting or corrosion occurs.  

Freshwater trolling motor
Source: YouTube


Both saltwater and freshwater trolling motors come in varying thrust powers for different boat sizes. A small boat needs 30 pounds of thrust to move it, while a big boat needs about 112 pounds of thrust. This also means that a small boat only needs a 12-volts motor to move it, while a big boat, depending on how big it is, needs a 24volt motor or 36-volt motor to move it. 


Saltwater trolling motors are engineered differently from freshwater motors because saltwater is quite corrosive. They are designed using high-grade materials like stainless steel that are resistant to rust and corrosion. On top of that, the motors are sprayed with a special type of paint that prevents rusting and corrosion.

trolling motor
Source: YouTube

The electric components of a saltwater motor are sealed to guard them against rust and corrosion. But probably the biggest difference between these two trolling motors is a small metal component located underneath the motor called a sacrificial anode. 

In saltwater motors, the sacrificial anode is covered and coated with a special coating that prevents rust and corrosion. Since saltwater corrodes metal faster than freshwater, if the sacrificial anode does not have a protective coating, the performance of the motor will reduce drastically. 

The other difference is that most freshwater motors are operated manually. That is, they are controlled either by hand or foot. These controls are somewhat tricky to master if you are new to trolling motors. But with some practice, you’ll find them to be useful when it comes to controlling and steering a boat.

Another difference is price. Saltwater trolling motors are more expensive than freshwater trolling motors. This is because the saltwater versions have protective features that prevent rust and corrosion. 

And because of these protective features, saltwater trolling motors can be used in freshwater.

However, freshwater trolling motors cannot be used in saltwater because they don’t have protective features that help prevent rust and corrosion.

Which is Better?

It all depends on whether you are fishing in saltwater or freshwater. Both motors perform well; however, freshwater motors cannot be used in saltwater. So when it comes to fishing in saltwater, a saltwater trolling motor is the best option. But for freshwater fishing, either of the two can do.  

fishing freshwater
via @flydork

When it comes to price, a freshwater motor is more ideal if you are on a budget. Freshwater motors generally cost less than saltwater motors because they don’t have corrosion-resistant protections. However, if you are looking to buy a freshwater motor that comes with all the bells and whistles like Sonar systems, GPS systems, and wireless controls, that will cost a lot more. 

If you are comparing the motors in regards to boat size, both motors come in varying thrust powers for different boat sizes. 

Final Remarks

Saltwater motors and freshwater motors perform equally well, and they come in varying thrust pounds for different boat sizes. The only difference between these two motors is that saltwater trolling motors have protective features because saltwater is more corrosive to metal than freshwater.

Saltwater vs freshwater trolling motor

Motorguide Xi5 Review

Motorguide Xi5 review
Motorguide Xi5 review-300

The Motorguide Xi5 series includes both freshwater and saltwater motors. All the models in the series vary in size but have similar features. That said, let us take a closer look at some of the features. 




The Motorguide Xi5 uses an electronic trolling motor, which has wireless capabilities. The electronic components of the motor are sealed with a high-tech coating to protect them from moisture.

The series includes both freshwater and saltwater models, which come in three configurations: 55 pounds, 80 pounds, and 105 pounds


The motor uses 12v deep cycle marine batteries. The number of batteries depends on the model. Typically, if it’s a 36v motor, it uses three 12v batteries. If it’s a 24v motor, it uses two 12v batteries. 

There is an LCD display that displays the battery life, and this is to help you keep track of your battery charge. So if it is low, you’ll see a warning sign on the display to indicate that you need to recharge the batteries.

This is a useful feature because it eliminates the need to guess how much battery power is left. It also reduces the risk of getting stuck somewhere out in the water because of battery power issues. 

Composite Shaft

Composite Shaft
via @gtmaxd

The Xi5 motors utilize a composite shaft, which bends when it encounters an obstruction underwater without breaking. It is also resistant to rust and corrosion.  

The shaft lengths range from 42 inches to 72 inches. The varying sizes allow you to select a shaft length appropriate for your boat’s size

Wireless Steering Foot Pedal 

The motor comes with a wireless steering foot pedal that uses ball bearings to prevent friction and wear. The pedal is large for ease of use. It will turn right when you push your toes down, and it will turn left when you push your heel down. 

 It has a speed control feature, which has variable speed settings of between 0 and 10. It also has a power button, anchor button, and motor on/off switch button.

Wireless Steering Foot Pedal

The pedal uses two Double-A batteries, which come with the unit. Besides that, the wireless pedal comes with a wireless handheld remote control with all the controls you need to steer the boat.  

Pinpoint GPS System

Some Xi5 models come with a pinpoint GPS system for easy navigation. The system features cruise control, route record, heading lock, job, and anchor. It also has two digital compasses to help with navigation.  

Sonar System

Sonar System

Some Xi5 models come with a sonar system with a built-in transducer, which allows you to have a clear view of what is going on underwater. The system detects objects that are underwater, like obstructions, which enables you to act quickly to avoid them. It can also detect fish, which is a huge advantage when you are out fishing. 


  • Встроенный гидроакустический преобразователь и система GPS
  • Прочная конструкция с устойчивостью к ржавчине и коррозии
  • Простота установки
  • Беспроводная ножная педаль
  • Гибкий составной вал
  • Мощный пропеллер
  • Точная и бесшумная работа
  • По разумной цене


  • Not all Xi5 models come with a builtin sonar transducer or GPS system
  • They don’t come with adapter cables

Where to Buy and Price Range

You can get a Motorguide Xi5 model from the company’s official website, MotorGuide. Or from these reputable online stores: Bass Pro, West Marine,, and Cabela’s

If you are looking to buy a used Motorguide Xi5 model, you can get one on eBay or Craigslist.  

The Motorguide Xi5 series includes both saltwater and freshwater motors. The price will depend on what type of motor you want to buy. Saltwater motors generally cost more than freshwater motors because they are made of materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Furthermore, their electronics are enclosed to protect them from corrosion. 

For a Motorguide Xi5 model, depending on the type of motor and the pounds per thrust, it may cost anywhere between $1500 – $2000. If you plan on buying one, buy from a reputable company or online store.  

comes with a handheld remote control

Alternative Products

  • Newport Vessels L-Series
  • Minn Kota Edge Series
  • Watersnake – ASP Series


The Motorguide Xi5 motor comes with all the features you need for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Some models also come with a built-in GPS system or Sonar system, or both. 

All models utilize a composite shaft that is flexible and does not break easily. They also come with wireless foot pedals, and some include a handheld wireless remote control.

Generally speaking, the motor is ideal for anglers who are looking for an affordable trolling motor that is sturdy, durable, and easy to install.  

Motorguide Xi5 review-1

Motorguide Xi5 Reviews: Excellent Solution for Your Fishing Boat

How Many Amps Does a Trolling Motor Use-1
 Motorguide Xi5 Reviews

With trolling motors, fishing has never been so pleasant and quiet before. Nowadays the spectrum of available models is amazing. Samples differ from each other in the way they are controlled and mounted. Such motors provide the fishers with precise location and smooth maneuverability. They do not involve any harmful spills. If you still doubt whether a trolling motor is exactly what you need, consider the following information:

  • Complete control over your boat.

It’s possible to minimize variables such as wind or current;

  • It’s good for fishing in shallow, weedy areas.

Motor propellers are not likely to become fouled;

  • They are eco-friendly.

The engine does not distract the local flora and fauna.

Although there are lots of diverse trolling motors on the market, Motorguide Xi5 is a winning solution for anglers who appreciate comfort, quality, and flexibility. 

The product possesses a number of significant traits that differentiate it from other variations.

Read moreMotorguide Xi5 Reviews: Excellent Solution for Your Fishing Boat