The Ultimate Buying Guide To The Best Trolling Motor (2018)

Whether you’re a fisherman, a hunter or merely an enthusiast of outdoor leisure activities, it’s imperative to own the best trolling motor. You can imagine how fun it is to catch more fish, participate in a shooting game and just to enjoy the beautiful nature, by getting an additional boost for your boating experience. 

If you’re looking for an ideal trolling motor but you aren’t sure of what and how to purchase, worry not. This article is here to help you make the best choice for your boating needs.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


So what exactly is a trolling motor?

Essentially, trolling simply means fishing. So a trolling motor is basically an electric equipment that is used primarily by people who like getting out on water and fish, race or even explore nature. It is a small motor that is usually attached to a variety of small boats including canoes and kayaks and also larger vessels.

Most of these devices are powered electrically. However, there are some that use petroleum but are very rare in the market. They are often preferred by anglers since they help in covering comparatively longer distances with relative ease. No one would like to paddle even half-length of a lake or a more extensive water body.

It can be hectic, tedious and a total waste of time. Trolling motors are also ideal for many anglers since most of them are affordable, easy to use and provide efficiency.

What to look into when purchasing a trolling motor

Apparently, this is the most fundamental aspect of this article. It is always important to what to look for before deciding on any particular type of motor to buy.

Getting the best trolling motor in the market is imperative, however, the task can prove to be quite a challenge especially if you are shopping for one the first time. The challenge is even worsened by the variety of brands, models and sizes available in the market currently.

Making right choice when it comes to choosing a trolling motor implies that you’ve got to be knowledgeable, which in most cases many buyers often lack due to absence or unavailability of credible sources of information. Clearly, there are several elements to consider when looking for a trolling motor. Understand that all of these factors are equal vital and as such none should be overlooked.

But then again, you need to understand that the kind of boating experience you get also depends significantly on the type of motor you’re using. If you choose to compromise it with a cheap motor, it would somewhat be difficult for you to achieve efficiency. On the same note, even if you go for an expensive one without comparing and assessing the essential details, you might end up regretting your choice.

Here are some of the fundamental factors that you have to consider;

Things to Consider


The size of the boat where you are going to mount the trolling motor on is a substantial factor to consider.

In most instances, these motors are usually rated on the basis of the amount of thrust they can provide. A standard rule is that you require 5 pounds of thrust to push about 200 pounds.

 To get the best for your boat regarding thrust ensure that you know the weight of your boat and its total capacity when loaded.

Mode of control

It is also another critical aspect that you must consider when buying a trolling motor. You can either chose a hand-controlled or foot-controlled motor depending on your preference and the type of motor you buy.

 A bow mount motor gives you the flexibility of selecting between hand or foot control motor. Going for a foot controlled motor is beneficial because it gives your hands flexibility to perform other tasks.

Motor size

It is always preferable to go for a relatively bigger motor. However, it’s also important to understand that the bigger the motor, the more power it consumes.

 An essential idea, in this case, is always to assess the thrust you need then go for a motor that shall provide relatively more thrust than you think you may require.

Power consumption

This is an essential element especially when you’re going for an electric trolling motor. A powerful motor is quintessential, but you also need to be cognizant of the energy it consumes. It is apparent that your usage level will even play a critical role when choosing a trolling motor based on power consumption.

For instance, if you are someone who plans to fish from dawn to dusk then it merely means you’ll have to obtain a somewhat high voltage motor. Also, ensure that you go for a batter that is ideally for the specific electric motor.

Bow or Transom mounted trolling motor

Bow mount is designed to be mounted at the front end of the boat whereas transom mount trolling motor is designed to be fixed at the rear side of the boat. 

A bow mount trolling motor is often effective because it gives you the ability to manoeuvre and control the boat with ease. However, they are best suitable for comparatively large boats. Transom mounted trolling motors, on the other hand, are ideal for small boats such as canoes and dinghy among others


Of course, you can’t disregard the pricing issue. Different kinds of trolling motors are available at various rates. You need to carry out your research well to find out the best deals in the market.

If searching online, you can also rely on where you can find best motors with the highest quality materials and design concepts.

 It will help you to save a considerable amount of money but still obtain the best trolling motor in the market.

Top 5 trolling motors to go for in the market.

This is arguably one of the Newport Vessels’ most versatile trolling motor. The power and efficiency balance is nothing short of perfect hence suitable for small and medium-sized watercraft. 

You hardly scare fish away when using this motor since the three blade propeller provides close to the silent operation. Built using strong materials making it durable and resistant to unfavourable conditions.


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    Made of stainless steel hence resistant to salty water adverse effects
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    8-speeds for fastidiousness trolling
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    LED display for easy and fast indication when battery is running low
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    Strong shafts for appropriate water placement


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    Comparatively expensive
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    Possibility of water leaking into and damaging the motor head is high

You can’t get any versatile, high performing and efficient trolling motor like the NV 55 at a price it’s sold on. If these are some of the elements you’re searching for in a motor, then this should be your ultimate choice.

With a 30” shaft and 30 pounds of thrust, this 12-volt unit is seemingly the best trolling motor for relatively small sized watercrafts.

 The motor runs silently making it a preferable unit for fishing. A 12-voltage battery is enough for powering this machine. 5-speed forward and 3-speed backward gears make it easy for you to control and manoeuvre the boat using this motor.


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    Affordable price
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    You get a manufacturer’s warranty on both the motor and the hardware
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    Excellent control and speed precision from 5-forward and 3-reverse speeds
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    Runs silent hence does not spook fish
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    Lever lock bracket guaranteeing tighter mount


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    Somewhat complicated to mount it especially on canoes or kayaks
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    The thrust isn’t enough to run bigger vessels.

If you’re someone who looks for a trolling motor suitable for you small-sized watercraft at an affordable price, then you need to go for this particular Minn Kota unit absolutely.

This is another Minn Kota series of trolling motors. It is also more or less similar to the C2 30 series the only difference is the shaft is 36 inches and does a thrust of 40 pounds.

The C2 40 series runs silently hence enhancing battery’s life and also comes with a 2-year company warranty for the motor and lifetime warranty for the hardware.

The speed handles are ergonomically designed, and a 12 voltage battery is sufficient to power it.


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    5 forward and 3 reverse speeds for maximum and precision control
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    Lever lock bracket for stable mounting
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    Fantastic lifetime hardware warranty and 2-years motor warranty
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    Relatively quiet hence ideal for fishing


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    Somewhat expensive
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    Can take time to mount if you’re not an expert

The Minn Kota C2 40 series offers flexibility and efficiency when using on watercrafts. It would be ideal for someone who needs more pounds of thrust at a little additional cost.

This is a 36-pound motor that is powered using a 12 voltage batter. The components are made of stainless steel making the unit ideal for both fresh and salty waters.

The extra battery cable also makes this NV series suitable for any reasonably sizeable sized watercraft.

 Similar to other New Vessels units, this one also comes with a LED display for battery level indication and the motor also runs in absolute silence.


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    Silent motor hence easy to get to favourite fishing spots
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    Made of corrosive resistant steel material
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    8-speed, 5-forward and 3-reverse for easy and efficient speed and control
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    LED battery meter display
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    Extra-long battery cables
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    Gives 36-pound thrust


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    Can be reasonably complicated to mount

This Newport Vessel unit is suitable for a person looking for a trolling motor that offers efficiency at additional thrust. The fact that is super-silent when running makes it an ideal addition for anyone in serious fishing adventures.

This trolling boat is specifically designed for relatively small and medium watercrafts.

The 6-inch telescoping adjustable handle allows you to control the motor with relative ease. 

You get a smooth movement even in swampy areas since this unit comes with the three-blade super-efficient weedless propeller.

 This unit also comes with 8-speed gear, 5-forward and 3-reverse and LED battery meter display.


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    Gives up to a maximum thrust of 86 pounds
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    LED light battery display for indicating battery level
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    8-speeds hence convenient and easy speed control
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    Efficient 3-blade propeller for smooth movement in grassy and waterlogged areas
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    Very powerful motor powered by a 24 voltage battery


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    Relatively expensive

This unit gives the best results for any enthusiastic person who likes trolling. It's quite incredible for its price.

 You get absolute best results when using it without any compromise in regards to performance. It is an ideal choice to have for your fishing ventures.

Maintenance needs

Trolling motors are ordinarily incredible piece of machinery owing to the fact that they’re made using robust materials. Nevertheless, they still require necessary regular maintenance for optimum performance and longer lifespan. 

You need to check the exterior parts of the machine. In this case, make sure that all the bolts and nuts are tightly attached. In the process, remove the weeds and debris that might have stuck in the previous session. 

All the external maintenance helps the motor to run better and also to giving it a clean and appealing look. On the same note, you may even want to look at the shaft and make sure it is not sticky.

Mend all the prop areas that could be damaged and treat any scratches if possible. Ensure that you replace any wire that is worn out or frayed. Also, check to reattach all loose connections and secure the cables accordingly. During this phase, you may even want to clean the battery, but you have to be extremely careful when doing so.


Buying the best trolling motor can be strenuous, but when you understand how to do it, then you’ll always find it easy, mainly out of the experience. The motors we’ve reviewed above are some of the best in the market at the moment.

 Considering their flexibility and range of the cost, the products reviewed above will give you the potency to make the right selection based on your budget. 

In a nutshell, always make sure that you read and consult widely before purchasing an ideal trolling motor for your needs. 

Please let us know if this article has helped you.

Ted Thomas

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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