5 Best Trolling Motors for the Money

Trolling motors allow you to mauver into some pretty tight spots. Trolling motors also offer you the ability to motorize your fishing kayak or fishing canoe.

Top Trolling Motors

Larger boats that have outboard motors can really benefit from trolling motors. When needing to access more tight, narrow areas or trying to approach a fishing spot as quietly as possible, a trolling motor can be worth its weight in gold.

Best Trolling Motors Line Up of Boats
Trolling motors are great for getting to hard to reach fishing areas.

The electric trolling motor was invented by O.G.Schmidt in 1934 in Fargo, North Dakota. He took a starter motor from a Ford Model A, added a flexible shaft, and a propeller.

Since that time trolling motors have become a recurring site on boats of all sizes. Several companies have their own take on the trolling motor. Minn Kota is one of the biggest manufacturers.

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These lightweight trolling motors come in a variety of thrust weights. Depending on the size boat you are using, you have several options.

In this article, I am going to cover several of the best trolling motors. As well as different thrust weight, how to properly maintain your trolling motor, and much more.

5 Best Trolling Motors for 2021 Reviewed

1. Best Trolling Motors

Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36″ Shaft)

Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)
  • Lever Lock Bracket: This solid 10-position bracket features...
  • Telescoping Tiller: Get easy, comfortable, intuitive...
  • 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings: Five speed settings for forward...

Built to discover the best fishing holes the freshwater has to offer.

The Endura C2 transom-mounted trolling motor is a legendary performer that will deliver years of use on the water. This small but mighty 12-volt motor offers 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, providing anglers with maximum control.

Thanks to MinnKota’s signature cool, quiet power, the motor offers maximized battery life. It prolongs the motor’s life and cuts down on fish-spooking noise.

The Endura’s 6-inch telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller make the motor comfortable and easy to operate within the boat. And the lever lock bracket offers a rock-solid mount. Finally, the Endura’s composite shaft is literally indestructible and is guaranteed not to break, kink, or corrode for life. With the entire motor backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty, you cannot go wrong with the Endura C2 motor for fresh water applications.


  • Works well with inflatables.
  • Get up to speed quickly.
  • Maintains speed and thrust in a heavily loaded boat.
  • Prob is very sturdy.

2. Best Electric Trolling Motors

Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft
  • Efficient Power: 55Lb Thrust - This 12V Electric Trolling...
  • Features: This Motor Features A 30 Inch Shaft, A 5 Led...
  • Speed: This Motor Has 8 Speeds, 5 Forward And 3 Reverse. The...

This versatile all-around use trolling motor is constructed with the highest quality materials and design concepts.

With an adjustable 30-inch shaft length, the Newport Vessels trolling motor is built to fit all Newport Vessels inflatable boats. As well as all other inflatable boats, kayaks, dinghies, tenders, fishing boats, aluminum fishing boats. And almost all fixed transom small boats.

This motor runs smoothly with any 12-volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery.

Other features include:

  • 55lb Thrust
  • Adjustable 30-inch shaft length
  • Saltwater Resistant
  • 8 speeds (5 forward & 3 reverse)
  • 5 Point LED battery meter
  • DC 12V
  • Lightweight & portable
  • Fits almost all small boats & kayaks


  • Holds up well to saltwater conditions.
  • Works well on larger boats.
  • Great customer service.
  • Operates very quietly.

3. Best Kayak Trolling Motors

Bualo Freshwater Saltwater Electric Mounted Trolling

bualo Freshwater Saltwater Electric Mounted Trolling - 55 Pound Trust 8 Speed 36-Inch Shaft Transom Trolling Motor with Battery Indicator by HK
  • 6-INCH TELESCOPING HANDLE - Extending the telescopic handle...
  • 8 ADJUSTABLE SPEED - Roll the handle with fingertips to get...
  • LED BATTERY INDICATOR - Let you know how much electricity is...

This multi-purpose trolling motor has the advantages of high quality and high performance. As well as compact, lightweight and convenient installation.

You can use it by personal preferences to adjust the angle and length. Besides, it has good corrosion resistance to allow you to applied in the saltwater.

It is widely used in fishing boats, aquaculture, river cleaning, and other fields. It is your ideal choice.

The handle has telescopic and folding two functions, the folding angle can reach 75 degrees, the extensible length is 6 inches.

The eight-speed control system (5 forward & 3 reverse). Because there are eight adjustable speeds, it can ensure the safety of the ship. The navigation time of the ship is easier to control so that the ship can operate more smoothly and efficiently.

The motor, designed by stainless steel, is more resistant to crashworthiness than others.


  • Very smooth operation.
  • High impact design of the prop.
  • Saltwater resistant.
  • Three-speed reverse.
  • Multi-adjustable handle for easy use.

4. Best Trolling Motor for Kayak

SEAMAX 65 Pound Thrust 32 Inches Shaft 12V Electric Trolling Motor

Patented speed controller provides a bigger capacity and longer lifetime. 8 smooth speeds operation (5 forward + 3 reverse). Voltage meter to show the battery condition immediately.

Aluminum made telescopic tiller handle with 45-degree adjustment.

Newly redesigned orange glass fiber reinforced composite material propeller. As well as updated pitch, camber, and thickness for high thrust application. Better performance with a new propeller and minimizes efficiency lost through cavitation.

Adjustable 32” stainless steel motor shaft, fits almost all small to medium size watercraft. Keep the propeller deep enough in the water to maximize power efficiency, and still have long enough motor shaft operates.

Quickly released taper-lock transom mount, effortless one-hand operation. 7 adjustable points to switch the motor from running position, shallow water position and tilt-up position. Industry top quality to build and resists flexing, warping, corrosion and UV damage.

Seamax Speed-Max trolling motors come with updated technology and over industrial standards. The ultimate goal of this new version is to greatly improve motor performance. Also to extend the product lifetime, and increase your boating experience.


  • Carries a fully loaded boat easily.
  • It does not consume a lot of voltage.
  • Speed grip is comfortable and easy to use.
  • Operates very quietly.
  • Built-in battery meter.

5. Best Saltwater Trolling Motors

MotoGuide Xi5 54″ Bow Mount 55 lb Saltwater 12V Trolling Motor with GPS

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...

The Xi5 includes wireless capability “right out of the box”. Anglers can command precise motor and steering control from anywhere on the boat.

The wireless foot pedal is standard with freshwater models. Plus, we’ve made it stealthy quiet and Silky smooth.

The Xi5 uses LED lights in the controller so anglers can quickly check the status of four key functions in any light conditions.

The battery power indicator uses different colored lights to show three levels of Battery life in real-time.

The composite shaft can take on any and all obstructions that get in its way. It will Bend, but will not break. That’s why it is backed with a Lifetime Warranty.


  • Propels larger boats with no problems.
  • The shaft is very durable.
  • Built-in battery power indicator.
  • Led lights built into the controller.
  • The foot pedal is wireless.
  • It has a lifetime warranty.

What Is A Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor is a self-contained unit that includes an electric motor, propeller, and controls. It is attached to an angler’s boat, either at the bow or stern.

The electric trolling motor typically uses a 12-volt trolling motor battery as its power source.

These motors are very efficient.

Under normal operating conditions, a trolling motor can operate all day without needing to recharge the battery.

Today’s trolling motors offer variable speeds as well as reverse. They can also have an optionally extended hand control or foot control.

This allows the angler to operate the motor from just about anywhere in the boat. Power and thrust have also seen a boost since the inception of the trolling motor.

Best Trolling Motors Boats Lined Up at Dock

Like their larger outboard motor counterparts, trolling motors allow you to easily raise the motor up out of the water. This is a plus for loading and unloading. This also allows you to clear obstacles in the water that the motor may hang upon.

The more common trolling motor is the short shaft trolling motor. This design allows you to have all the thrust you need while not being cumbersome.

Trolling for Fish

Some of the best fishing is done by trolling. All you need to do is rig up your fishing rod and reel and hang it off the end of your kayak or boat. The trolling motor will make sure the line is tight.

Then just wait for the drag of the reel to pull when the fish bites. Stop the motor and fight the fish into the boat.

These short shaft motors perform very well and are the recommended motors for kayaks, canoes, and inflatable boats.

Newer model trolling motors actually offer a remote control system. This allows you to operate the motor from anywhere in the boat.

How To Care For Your Trolling Motor

It is important that you do not leave your trolling motor hooked to its power source when not in use.

Best Trolling Motors Alternatives
Some people like to use small motors in place of trolling motors. It all depends on your needs.

This can not only be a safety concern for children that may turn it on, but it will also cause your cable ends to corrode.

It is good to give the prop and shaft a good rinse after use. This can prevent saltwater build up and build up from creeks and rivers.

Make sure to check your prop for any weeds that may have become tangled. These can cause the motor to have to work harder than it should result in damage.

Spray lubricants can be used in all moveable parts to keep them free of rust and build up. This will keep everything operating smoothly.

Check wires for signs of wear or broken insulation. It is important to address any issues you find here ASAP.

Make sure your trolling motor is wiped dry before storing it. This is a good time to give the prop a few sprays of lubricants. It will be absorbed by the time you are ready to put it in the water.

Note: There are lubricating products available that are marine friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How fast will a 55 lb thrust trolling motor go?

A: The maximum speed of a trolling motor is 5 mph regardless of how many pounds of thrust.

Q: How to use a trolling motor?

A: The trolling motor usually mounts on the stern or bow. Then hooks to a battery power supply. You can adjust your thrust and direction from a foot control or hand control.

Q: How much is a trolling motor?

A: They can range from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand, depending on the model and manufacturer.

Q: How to choose a trolling motor?

A: This really depends on where you will be using your trolling motor. Also the type vessel you will be using your trolling motor on.

Q: How to measure trolling motor shaft length?

A: Measure the distance from where the shaft is mounted on the deck or the transom to the water. Then add 16″ (for MotorGuide) or 20″ (for Minn Kota) and select the next closest measurement.

Q: How to put a trolling motor on a canoe?

A: Add stabilizers, then it can be mounted on the side.

Q: How much thrust for trolling motor?

A: This will depend on the area you will be using it and the type of vessel. 55 lb thrust is about average.

Q: What size trolling motor for a kayak?

A: 55 lb of thrust is enough to propel a 2 person kayak.

Q: Can you use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater?

A; Only if they are corrosion resistant. Most trolling motors that specify “freshwater” are not immune to the effects of saltwater. This is even after a good cleaning.

Insider Advice

Whether you are needing to cruise quietly down a creek or move your larger boat out from the dock, a trolling motor can get the job done.

With the advanced technology and faster speeds of today’s trolling motors, more anglers are opting to use them almost exclusively.

Trolling motors are far lighter and less expensive than the standard outboard motors. While they can not reach the speeds of outboard motors, they make up for that by allowing you to get in and out of places a standard motor just cannot go

With a remote-controlled trolling motor, you can fish from anywhere in your boat without having to change your position.

This is just one of the many advantages to having one of the best trolling motors.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johnny Harvill

Johanes Godoy

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