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7 Best Saltwater Trolling Motor (2021 Reviews)

Trolling motors are expensive and complicated, but you need one if you’re going to go fishing for saltwater fish.

The best saltwater trolling motor is a huge investment and it’s hard to know which model is the right fit for your needs. There are so many choices that buying a new trolling motor can be overwhelming.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best saltwater trolling motors on the market.

Our reviews will help you find the perfect boat motor at an affordable price without having to spend hours reading through hundreds of options online or visiting every store in town!

Our Top Picks

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Best Overall
MotorGuide 941700080 Xi5 Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor — 54-inch Shaft, 55-Pound Peak Thrust — GPS
Best for Hand-Steering 
Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with 52-Inch Shaft and Hand Control (24-Volt, 80-Pound)
Best with CoPilot Control 
Minn Kota 1363762 Riptide Terrova Saltwater Electric-Steer Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Digital Maximizer & Copilot, 80 lbs Thrust, 54" Shaft
Feature 1
Wireless handheld control operation
Hand-controlled trolling motor with extruded mono-arm design
Equipped with digital maximizer for longer battery runtime
Feature 2
With LED dashboard for status monitoring
With a Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer Feature
With Weedless Wedge 2 Prop for a better angling experience x
Best Overall
Thumbnail
MotorGuide 941700080 Xi5 Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor — 54-inch Shaft, 55-Pound Peak Thrust — GPS
Feature 1
Wireless handheld control operation
Feature 2
With LED dashboard for status monitoring
Best for Hand-Steering 
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Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with 52-Inch Shaft and Hand Control (24-Volt, 80-Pound)
Feature 1
Hand-controlled trolling motor with extruded mono-arm design
Feature 2
With a Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer Feature
Best with CoPilot Control 
Thumbnail
Minn Kota 1363762 Riptide Terrova Saltwater Electric-Steer Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Digital Maximizer & Copilot, 80 lbs Thrust, 54" Shaft
Feature 1
Equipped with digital maximizer for longer battery runtime
Feature 2
With Weedless Wedge 2 Prop for a better angling experience x

7 Best Saltwater Trolling Motor

1. MotorGuide Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Best Wireless Trolling Motor with LED Display 

MotorGuide 941700080 Xi5 Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor — 54-inch Shaft, 55-Pound Peak Thrust — GPS
  • Wireless handheld control lets you precisely operate the...
  • Innovative mount features easy-to-read LED dashboard that...
  • Pinpoint GPS is the industry’s most accurate GPS, provides...

Key Features

  • Wireless handheld control operation
  • With LED dashboard for status monitoring
  • Compatible with Pinpoint GPS with bow mounts
  • Advanced features fully protected in a high-tech coating
  • Delivers  55 pounds of peak thrust with composite shaft and glass-filled propeller

The MotorGuide Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Motor is a high-tech trolling motor that features wireless handheld control for easy motor operation. It also has an easy-to-read LED dashboard to allow anglers to check the motor status in any light conditions easily.

More so, this wireless saltwater motor is compatible with the industry’s most accurate GPS, the Pinpoint GPS, which provides better precision control and a more secure anchor point hold. 

The electronics of this trolling motor are fully encased in a high-tech coating to protect them from water and dust. 


2. Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor

Best Motor for Hand-Steering 

Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with 52-Inch Shaft and Hand Control (24-Volt, 80-Pound)
  • The durable, saltwater-ready Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex...
  • The patented Lift-Assist design with a stainless steel,...
  • This variable-speed trolling motor includes Minn Kota's...

Key Features

  • Hand-controlled trolling motor with extruded mono-arm design
  • Has patented Lift-Assist with stainless steel and nitrogen gas-charged spring 
  • With a removable Bowguard 360 bracket
  • With a Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer Feature
  • Electronics are encapsulated in a corrosion-protected casing

The Minn Kota Riptide Fortrex has a hand-controlled trolling motor that lets anglers maneuver the motor quietly with less wear for longer motor health.

Its Lift-Assist design is patented with stainless steel and nitrogen-charged springs to cut the weight of stow-and-deploy. 

More so, the removable Bowguard 360 bracket allows interrupted angling. With the Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer feature, the trolling motor enables anglers to dial the exact speed and utilizes only the speed the motor needs. 

The electronics of this trolling motor are encapsulated in anti-corrosive casings to ensure saltwater defense.


3. Minn Kota 1363762 Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor

Best Motor with CoPilot Control 

Minn Kota 1363762 Riptide Terrova Saltwater Electric-Steer Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Digital Maximizer & Copilot, 80 lbs Thrust, 54" Shaft
  • 54" Shaft, 24v, 80 lbs Thrust
  • CoPilot: The original wireless remote gives you push-button...
  • Advanced Corrosion Protection: Riptide motor lower unit...

Key Features

  • With CoPilot remote control 
  • Grit-blasted unit housings coated with aluminum and powder coat paint
  • Equipped with digital maximizer for longer battery runtime
  • With Weedless Wedge 2 Prop for a better angling experience 

The Minn Kota 1363762 Riptide Terrova is an advanced bow-mount motor with a CoPilot control, push-commands motor speed, and steering.

It also has grit-blasted riptide motor unit housings coated with aluminum to prevent rust and oxidation. 

More so, it’s equipped with the Digital Maximizer to protect battery health on a single charge. With the Weedless Wedge 2 Prop feature, this motor lets you enjoy angling all day.


4. Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive Saltwater Trolling Motor

Best Motor with Deploy Assist Lever 

Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive with Copilot Saltwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor, 55/CP/54-Inch Shaft
  • DEPLOY ASSIST LEVER Get in and out of the water easily
  • CoPilot The original wireless remote gives you push-button...
  • WEEDLESS WEDGE 2 PROP With swept-back flared blades to power...

Key Features

  • Designed with a deploy assist lever
  • Equipped with an original CoPilot control
  • Made with Weedless Wedge 2 Prop with swept-back flared blessed
  • Motor lower unit housings are grit-blasted coated in aluminum
  • With the Minn Kota Digital Maximizer

The Minn Kota Powerdrive is a next-level saltwater motor designed with an assist lever that lets anglers go easily in and out of water.

Its compact and waterproof CoPilot remote control has push-button commands for speed and steering control. 

More so, its motor lower unit is fully encapsulated in grit-blasted casings coated in aluminum and an added protective layer of paint. It is also equipped with a digital minimizer to allow maximum function while maintaining battery health. 


5. AQUOS Haswing Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Best Wireless Motor for Inflatable Kayak and Bass Fishing 

AQUOS Haswing White 12V 55LBS 48inch Bow Mount Trolling Motor with Wireless Remote Control, Wired Foot Control for Inflatable Boat Kayak Bass Boat Aluminum Boat Fishing, Freshwater and Saltwater Use
  • AQUOS Haswing Cayman B (NOT GPS) 12V 55LBS 48inch Bow Mount...
  • The wireless remote control fits into the palm of your hand...
  • Cruise control (NOT SPOT LOCK) keeps your boat at the...

Key Features

  • Equipped with a lightweight wireless remote control that fits perfectly in the palm 
  • Features cruise control to keep boats at the desired speed
  • Its shaft is compatible with freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Portable with its ergonomic lifting handle with foot control

The AQUOS Haswing Bow Mount Motor works best with inflatable kayaks, freshwater, and saltwater bass fishing.

Its lightweight and compact wireless remote control can be easily attached with a lanyard. More so, Its Cruise Control can help keep boats at desired speed with the help of push-button commands on the remote.

Turning the motor 180 degrees will enable the boat to turn in a reverse direction. The shaft of this motor is made with aluminum alloy that’s comfortable to lift and carry.

Additionally, the motor’s stow and deploy foot pedal can easily be depressed using a single hand or foot, making smooth transitions between the boat and water. 


6. Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Best Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor 

Newport Vessels X-Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator (36" Shaft)
  • 55lb thrust
  • 36 inch composite fiberglass high-strength shaft with heavy...
  • 8 speeds (5 forward & 3 reverse) - DC 12V

Key Features

  • With a 55lb thrust and adjustable composite fiberglass shaft with heavy-duty nylon mount
  • Designed with a 10-point LED battery power indicator
  • For inflatable boats, kayaks, tenders, and aluminum angling boats 
  • Equipped with a variable speed motor control system 

The Newport Vessels X-Series electric reliable motor features a 55lb thrust making it perfect for all-around use. This transom mount trolling motor has a bright LED battery meter display of a Lead-Acid deep cycle or marine battery.

More so, the 8-speed control system of this electric motor has a 3-blade propeller for improved performance. 


7. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Best Transom Mount Electric Trolling Motor for Kayaking

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24" Shaft), 23M1000402
  • KAYAK SHAFT: 24-inch fiberglass shaft allows for variable...
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 8 speeds (5 forward & 3 Reverse) with 6-inch...
  • SALTWATER RATED: Durable all aluminum motor head w/...

Key Features

  • With a 24-inch fiberglass kayak shaft
  • Designed with 8 speeds and a 6-inch telescopic handle for total foot control
  • Made of an all-aluminum motorhead with advanced corrosion protection
  • With 5’6” long battery cables and transom mounts

The Newport Vessels NV Series Kayak Trolling Motor is designed for all types of canoes and kayaks. Its 24-inch fiberglass shaft is adjustable to allow for proper depth placement.

More so, this kayak motor has very long battery cables for versatile battery placements. It also has 8 different speeds for maximum motor control and a smooth ride.

This powerful trolling motor is designed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, zinc anode, and a fiberglass-reinforced nylon propeller. 


best saltwater trolling motor
Source: Canva Pro

Things to Consider When Buying Saltwater Trolling Motor

Boat Size 

The boat size is an important factor when choosing trolling motors. You have to make sure that your saltwater motor is in line with the size of your boat.

The shaft length of your motors will also depend on the size of your boat. 

Hand or Foot-Controlled 

The decision of whether to purchase a motor that’s hand or foot-controlled also depends on your preference.

Hand-controlled motors allow you full control of the speed and positioning of your vehicle, as well as its rotation direction.

On the other hand, foot-controlled trolling motors allow hands-free motion, which is ideal when you need your hands to hold the angling pole.

They are easy to operate but may take more space than hand-controlled motors. 

Power 

Motors with longer battery life are better than those which require you to charge more often. If you plan to stay on the water for a long period, choose motors offering maximum power with the battery not draining immediately. 

A good trolling motor is also one that can draw power from different sources such as gas, electricity, solar, and battery. 

Salt Resistance 

A motor optimized for brackish water lets you go fishing in a salty ocean without changing out the motor every time you go out.

Choose the trolling motor offering corrosion resistance and stainless steel hardware not to wear down and get damaged easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What does a saltwater trolling motor do?

A saltwater trolling motor works just like how most trolling motors for freshwater do but with added features.

One of the main features of a saltwater motor which a freshwater trolling motor does not have is the ability to survive salty and brackish waters.

Saltwater motors are equipped with heavy-duty materials like stainless steel that are corrosion resistant to prevent rusting and oxidizing when submerged in saltwater, unlike freshwater motors. 

Where do I mount the trolling motor on my boat?

Motor mounts should be placed as close as possible to the center of the stern. This prevents the trolling motor from interfering with the main motor operation and enhances the angler’s safety.

How much thrust do I need for my boat? 

Determining how much thrust you need for your boat depends mainly on the boat weight.

Generally, you need at least two pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of a fully-loaded boat, including your angling gear and yourself. You will also need extra thrust if your angling location involves strong winds and currents. 

Are You Ready For Your Saltwater Trolling Trip?

Saltwater trolling motors are just what you need when you plan your next angling trip on saltwater. These motors will help you get the best angling experience you need.

After reading this trolling motor review article, we hope you have found the best saltwater trolling motor for your boat. Let us know!


The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johanes Godoy
Editor

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