Best Trolling Motors for the Money: Top 5 Picks in 2023

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Trolling motors are game-changers for anglers seeking precision, stealth, and versatility on the water. Whether you’re maneuvering a fishing kayak, canoe, or a larger boat with an outboard motor, a trolling motor can unlock new possibilities and elevate your fishing experience.

They allow you to access tight spots and narrow areas, while their quiet operation ensures you won’t spook fish. With the vast array of trolling motors on the market, choosing the perfect fit for your vessel can be overwhelming.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best trolling motors available, breaking down their features, performance, and reliability. We’ll help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs, so you can confidently enhance your fishing adventures and get the most out of your time on the water.

Best Trolling Motors Line Up of Boats
Great for getting to hard-to-reach fishing areas.

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

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

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These lightweight 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 and different thrust weights, how to maintain your trolling motor, and much more. I hope this will help you find the best trolling motors for sale for you.

5 Best Trolling Motors Reviewed

1. Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mount

Best Trolling Motor

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

The Minn Kota Endura C2 transom mounted trolling motors are 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 Minn Kota’s signature cool, quiet power, the Minn Kota trolling 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 trolling 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 trolling motor backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty, you cannot go wrong with the Endura C2 motor for freshwater applications. This trolling motor is a must-have, especially if you’re a fan of the Minn Kota trolling motors.


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

2. Newport Vessels Thrust 8-Speed

Best Electric Option

The Newport Vessels Thrust is a versatile all-around use trolling motor 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, and aluminum fishing boats, and almost all fixed transom small boats.

This 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. Bualo Electric Mounted

Best Trolling Motor for Kayaking

Kayak anglers love this multi-purpose trolling motor. It has the advantages of high quality and high performance. As well as compact, lightweight and convenient installation.

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

This is designed with stainless steel, and 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. SEAMAX Thrust Shaft 12V Electric Brushless Motor

Best Trolling Motor for Performance

Unlike others, the SEAMAX Brushless Motor has a patented speed controller that provides a bigger capacity and longer lifetime. Eight smooth speeds operation (5 forward + 3 reverse). Voltage meter to show the battery condition immediately.

It has an aluminum-made telescopic tiller handle with a 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 a long enough motor shaft operates.

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

Seamax Speed-Max comes with updated technology and over-industrial standards. The ultimate goal of this new version is to improve the trolling motor performance greatly. Also, to extend the product’s 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.
  • Brushless motor

5. MotoGuide Xi5 54″ Bow Mount Trolling Motor with GPS

Best Trolling Motor for Saltwater

The Xi5 Bow Mount trolling motor includes wireless remote control 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, they’ve made the foot pedal 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 condition.

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.
  • Bow-mounted trolling motor.
  • Built-in battery power indicator.
  • Led lights are built into the controller.
  • The foot pedal is wireless.
  • It has a lifetime warranty.
  • The foot pedal is stealthy quiet, and silky smooth
  • It’s the best saltwater trolling motor option

What Is A Trolling Motor?

It 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 one typically uses a 12-volt motor battery as its power source.

These motors are very efficient.

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

Today’s trolling motor offers 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 trolling 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 raise the motor up out of the water easily. 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 trolling 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.

A newer model trolling motor actually offers 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, resulting in damage.

Spray lubricants can be used in all moveable parts to keep them free of rust and buildup. 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 lubricant. 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

How fast will a 55 lb thrust trolling motor go?

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

How to use a trolling motor?

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.

How much is a trolling motor?

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

How to choose a trolling motor?

This really depends on where you will be using your trolling motor. Also, the type vessel you will be using your trolling motor on. But powerful trolling motors are a great option.

How to measure trolling motor shaft lengths?

To measure trolling motor shaft lengths, 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.

How to put a trolling motor on a canoe?

Add stabilizers. Then it can be mounted on the side.

How much thrust for trolling motor?

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

What size trolling motor for a kayak?

55 lb of thrust is enough to propel a 2 person’s kayak.

Can you use freshwater trolling motors in saltwater?

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

What is the most powerful trolling motor?

Several trolling motors are worth being called the most powerful trolling motor. These most powerful trolling motors are Garmin Force, Minn Kota Fortrex, Minn Kota Ultrex, and Minn Kota Terrova.

How long will a trolling motor battery last?

There are several factors that affect the longevity of trolling motor batteries. Expect a 2-year battery life if you run your trolling motor hard and often.

Insider Advice

Whether you are needing to cruise quietly down a creek or move your larger boat out from the dock, the best 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 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 trolling motor that has a remote control, you can fish from anywhere in your boat without having to change your position.

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

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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