Kayak fishing is becoming more and more popular, it was only a matter of time before a mad genius installed a kayak trolling motor onto their fishing and the world became a better place.
If you want to spend more time fishing and less time paddling, taking a close look at some of the best kayak trolling motors can transform your kayak into a mean fishing machine.
Kayak trolling motors are the real deal, and manufacturers are responding to that demand with trolling motors designed specifically for use on kayaks.
Grabbing any old trolling motor and trying to get it running in your kayak won’t necessarily work in your favor. If you are lucky, maybe. But most of the popular models that are used in bass boats and sport fishing boats are not advantageous for use in your kayak.
Comparison chart of the best kayak trolling motors
Best Kayak Trolling Motor Main Features to Consider
Since fishing is such a widespread and popular hobby, trolling motors quickly gain a reputation. Nothing speaks to the quality of a product like a group of anglers who have years of personal experience and offer a first-hand review of the trolling motor. You will also get an excellent sense of long-term durability if you are interested in a particular model.
In addition to considering some of those important details, you will also need a reliable trolling motor mount. Brocraft makes one of our favorite kayak trolling motor mounts that you can buy on Amazon here.
Trolling motors come with blades on their propellers. Some tend to have more leaves than others. More blades on the propellers give the trolling motor a robust construction, allowing you to move your boat through algae or glass. Also, more blades result in better thrust than others.
The number of thrushes you need depends on the loading capacity of your kayak. A kayak with a capacity of more than 1500 pounds requires a trolling motor with a minimum thrust of 30 pounds. Anything bigger than this, or if you go in groups, you need an 80-pound push overhead.
Unlike other boats, kayaks float close to the surface and do not settle very deeply in the water. Most conventional trolling motors will have fairly long shafts that place the propeller 30 to 40 inches below the motor. You can get one of these models to work, but they do have some major drawbacks. If the shaft sticks out too far below the boat, the propeller will hit rocks and debris on the bottom, leaving you alone with a paddle in shallow water. In our tests, the best kayak trolling motors have short shafts that are around 2 to 2 1/2 feet long.
Where a larger boat designed for fishing will only be moved very slowly by a trolling motor, kayaks are pushed through the water much faster. For calm waters like lakes and ponds, most trolling motors offering 35-45 lbs of thrust will generally move smaller kayaks in the 7-foot range at just under 4 mph. Most fishing kayaks are not that small. Many popular models are over 10 feet long, so the stride is 50 to 60 lbs. thrust is very common.
The tradeoff with more pound-feet of thrust is higher electricity consumption. It’s easy to forget that these trolling motors are powered by 12V batteries, and if you want their power to last, it’s important to strike a balance between thrust and power usage.
You must purchase a saltwater model if you plan to use your kayak trolling motor while fishing in saltwater. Otherwise, your engine will be destroyed. Saltwater trolling motors are designed to withstand the rigors of corrosive salts that conventional trolling motors waste. In our testing, saltwater-rated motors are simply built to a higher standard overall compared to freshwater-only designs.
Before you go out to buy a trolling motor, you need to make sure that your kayak is suitable for a trolling motor installation. Consider the length and weight of your kayak as they will play a role in the thrust generated by the engine. Typically the thrust is around 2 pounds for every 100 pounds of boat weight.
To install a kayak trolling motor, you need the right tools to do it. In reality, the installation of a trolling motor relies on the installation of several other tools. These are the tools you are going to install: – You will need to install a bracket on your kayak – It is recommended that you use steel bolts to install the bracket on your kayak – You can then proceed to connect the trolling motor to the bracket.
Once you have upgraded your kayak to a trolling motor, it may be taxable. You may also need to register your kayak with the local authorities. From now on, your kayak will be defined as a motorboat.
Saltwater or freshwater
Trolling motors are manufactured based on the type of water they will favor. There are trolling motors that are designed for use at sea. And there are motors designed for freshwater. There is also a type of trolling motor that favors both saltwater and freshwater. This type of trolling motor can be an excellent option if you are looking for versatility and a cost-effective option. What mainly makes the difference between the saltwater motor and the freshwater motor is the anode at the bottom. In a saltwater engine, there is an anode at the bottom, while the freshwater engine does not.
7 The Best Kayak Trolling Motors
01. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor
Overview: With 55 pounds of thrust, the Newport trolling motor is designed for use in fresh or saltwater. This is a manually operated trolling motor that comes with a variety of convenient functions and speeds.
Background: Any angler knows the cost of using cheap trolling motors. You can’t fiddle with the trolling motors that function as the lifeblood of your kayak. You can’t afford to have a botched fishing trip after all the effort it takes. Therefore, you must choose a quality trolling motor. Newport Vessels has been a prominent name among fishermen because the brand is synonymous with quality products that will stand the test of time. And Newport’s 55-pound push-pull trolling motor features the latest design and great performance!
Versatility: While most trolling motors are freshwater, the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust is suited to both freshwater and saltwater. So if you want a versatile kayak trolling motor, this is paramount.
Construction: The Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust comes in a transom mount. You may be familiar with bow-mounted engines, but transom engines are becoming popular once again due to their cost-effectiveness. Therefore, this trolling motor will be less expensive than most other motors.
Durability: the motorhead is made of aluminum. The aluminum-based construction makes the trolling motor perfectly capable of withstanding constant use. The shaft has a fiberglass composite which also ensures durability.
Speed: You will have 8 speeds to choose from with this trolling motor. 5 speeds will move it forward, while 3 speeds will go in reverse.
- Black Finished Solid Body
- Reputed Brand
- Indestructible Shaft And Motor Head
- 5 Forward And 3 Reverse Speeds
- Battery Indicator
- Telescoping Handle
- Extremely Durable
- No Major Drawbacks have been reported.
02. Bow-mount trolling motor Minn Kota Terrova 80
Review: Minn Kota is the world’s most popular brand of trolling motors. The Terrova 80 is built with enthusiasts in mind. It has everything you need to start fishing. High-quality build, tons of features, and some great devices make this product attractive.
iPilot: The Terrova 80 uses GPS technology to find its best fishing spots. iPilot is probably the most influential factor in purchasing this trolling motor.
Control: You can gain up to 80 pounds of thrust with this trolling motor. The power will allow you to overcome most inclement conditions effortlessly. The Terrova 80 has cruise control, which ensures additional safety.
- i-Pilot in its entirety
- Lift-Assist Design
- Terrific foot pedal and control
- It’s a rugged motor
- Thrust options are compatible with a range of boat sizes
- Option for integrated sonar
- Quite running, stowing, and deploying
- Directional indicator and battery meter
- The motor is a little bulky and heavy
03. Intex trolling motor for inflatable boats
Review: The trolling motor is suitable for inflatable boats under 16 feet. The trolling motor is powerful enough to carry four people in the kayak. Acceleration, battery power, and durable construction make the Intex trolling motor supreme.
Thrust: Intex trolling motor generates 40 pounds of thrust. Thrust results in great acceleration. Acceleration makes it easy for you to lift and navigate the river with ease.
Speed: The Intex trolling motor can reach a maximum speed of 7 knots. When in your kayak, adjust your speed in a favorable environment. A comfortable speed will ensure your fish is effortless.
Battery Power: Intex’s battery power is sure to amaze you. It is quite extraordinary. The Intex trolling motor can propel your kayak for extended periods. When I first started the engine, it only lost 20% of power after 2 hours of use.
- Compatible with both saltwater and freshwater
- Automatic weed control escape in its control panel
- Very little noise
- The Control handle is extremely smooth and can be operated at several angles.
- Extremely competitive price point.
- Only for Intex inflatable boats
- unsuitable for another normal boat.
04. Haswing and Aquos 12V 20lbs electric trolling motor
Review: The Haswing and Aquos are one of the least expensive engines available. Although it is cheap, its quality is not cheap anyway. The trolling motor produces a thrust of up to 20 pounds. It is very effective for smaller boats.
Services: The Haswing and Aquos work perfectly for many anglers. It has a built-in LED display to provide information on battery usage. This feature is only available on expensive models.
An adjustable depth collar and a 23.6-inch shaft length are some of the features.
Adjustable handle: The Haswing and Aquos come with an adjustable handle. The handle can be changed to achieve the desired preferences.
- Works perfectly for smaller inflatable boats
- Integrated LED display
- Adjustable depth collar with four different speeds
- Good battery life
- Short shaft
- Not suitable for large boats
05. Watersnake ASP T18 Saltwater Trolling Motor
Review: This is a great trolling motor for a canoe, kayak, or maybe a small boat, I took it out today for the first time and it glided. It only has 18 thrusts now but is super light to haul and great on a small pond or lake, not sure if there is enough power on a large lake again only 18 thrust but they have bigger trolling motors. Looks good quality for the price.
Compitable: It is the ideal trolling motor for use in kayaks, canoes, small boats, and inflatable boats. Note: battery not included.
Design: 24 ”shaft, adjustable mounting accessory for easy attachment, and anti-impact clip system. This easy-to-steer motor uses a manual tiller with an extendable handle, high and low-speed control, forward / reverse switch, and a two-bladed weedless propeller design.
Style: 18-pound thrust electric motor, kayak mount included.
- Low power consumption
- Easy installation
- Extendable handle
- 2-speed settings
- Low price
- Design flaw with mounting bracket
06. Watersnake Tracer Transom Mount Trolling Freshwater Motor
Review: The new compact and sleek design of the Venom motorhead incorporates a new thicker ergonomic grip for the tiller handle. The new head design also includes a digital voltage meter display, so you can keep track of battery status. The alloy transom bracket grips have also been improved, making it even easier to attach and hold the engine before using the multi-tilt quick-positioning bracket.
Speed Variety: Includes five speeds forward and two speeds reverse
Weed-Free Design: Weed-free two-blade propeller designed to allow your boat to move easily through water and weeds.
Compatibility: Fits various styles of small boats, including kayaks, canoes, inflatables, Jon boats, and more.
Features: 30-inch chrome steel telescoping axle, 30-pound thrust, extendable rudder operation
- Compatible with much different watercraft with minimal adjustments
- Telescopic tiller control allows for easy maneuvering
- Propeller is well designed and allows for smooth traversing through freshwater
- The motor has a very solid construction and can last for a long time
- The plastic used in some parts of the motor is quite cheap
07. Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mounted 46 lb Thrust Saltwater Electric Trailer Motor
The Newport Vessels NV series has a fully sealed drive system for clean saltwater propulsion and reliability. Thrust is specifically designed to be stronger and more consistent than similar units on the market. For anglers looking for a high-performance mirror mount, look no further because this unit is the perfect choice for you. Provides excellent handling, acceleration, and speed in shallow and deep water conditions.
Newport Vessels NV Series PROS and CONS
Advantage: Newport Vessels NV Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Stern Motor is perfect for anglers looking for a powerful boat. The engine can handle large boats and has an excellent acceleration rate.
Disadvantage: Engine fuel economy is not very good and you may need to refuel more than once per fishing trip.
Advantage: This transom has a long list of features that make it a great choice for anglers of all skill levels, including a start button and trolling speed control knob with indicator lights.
Disadvantage: The price of this product is on average high, like $ 100 +.
Some Comparisons for Choosing the Kayak Trolling Motor
Saltwater or Freshwater Applications
Another thing to consider is whether the trolling motor was designed for strictly freshwater environments or is coated for saltwater environments. Saltwater is highly corrosive, so your engine must be specially coated or made of anti-corrosive metals such as stainless steel or zinc.
Transom or Bow Mounted
This is a fairly straightforward category. Most kayaks need a transom-mounted motor to operate while the angler is in it. Bow-mounted motors are generally designed for medium-sized boats and not kayaks.
12, 24 or 36-Volt
Again, kayak trolling motors are usually 12 volts, even for very large ones. However, you do see a 24 volt trolling motor in a kayak so the angler can have more time on the water. However, I would not recommend using a 36 volt one. That is too big for a boat of this size.
Hand or Foot Operated
This depends on what your personal preferences are. Some people prefer foot-operated controls and others hate them. Choose one that suits your style of fishing.
Read More: 16 The Best Fishing Reels 2021 Reviews
How fast is a kayak trolling motor?
Two 55-pound thrust motors won’t move you faster than a 30-pound thrust motor. Higher-thrust 12V trolling motors are designed for larger, heavier boats with larger payloads. The maximum speed of a trolling motor is 5 mph no matter how many pounds of thrust.
What type of kayak is the fastest?
The Pace18 is a stable and seaworthy kayak designed for adventurers with a “mountaineering” approach to the expedition, drag racing, and downhill kayaking.
How can I make my trolling motor faster?
The best way I have always found to increase the speed of an engine is to increase engine power by removing the current engine and installing one that has more power with a larger size and larger pitch propeller. Bottom line: an engine only has so much power and turns a propeller only so fast.
Will a 3 blade prop make my trolling motor faster?
As a general rule of thumb, the double-bladed propeller = more power but less weeding. Three and four blades = less power but fewer weeds.
What is the fastest kayak trolling motor?
The fastest trolling motor is one with 55 pounds of thrust like the Newport Vessel. It will move a small boat at about 4-5 mph.
Will two trolling motors go faster?
Two trolling motors don’t increase the speed much. You will be soaring if you get 4 to 6 mph with two trolling motors. Even on a lake where you can only use electric motors, using one trolling motor is still the superior choice.
What is the most powerful trolling motor?
Minn Kota has introduced the most powerful trolling motor on the market featuring 112 pounds of thrust.
Can a trolling motor shaft be too long?
If the shaft ends up being a bit too long, you can always adjust the shaft depth upward with the depth collar adjustment found on nearly all trolling motors. But if you pick a shaft that’s too short, you’re simply out of luck.
Once you’ve read the tips above on how to buy a motor for your boat and have looked at the top 10 models available, you will be able to buy the model that suits your needs and fishing style. This is how you can be sure that you are getting the best kayak motor available that will serve you well.
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