As a child, I loved going out fishing with my father. It is the best childhood memory so far, and I continue to cherish it even till date. My father taught me a lot about the fishing techniques, and how we shouldn't be spooking the catch. The fishes are smart enough to know that you are out for catching dinner! At that time, he bought a cheap trolling motor which could help the boat move quietly.
Now that I have grown older and have my own children, I did the kindest thing a father could do and bought them the best trolling motor!
Since you are a novice and I have gathered a lot of knowledge about trolling motors over the past 15 years, it is about time that I created a buying guide for all the keen fishing enthusiasts. The trolling motor review will help you choose the best product in the market. Let us start the journey by knowing what a trolling motor does and why it is needed!
How Did We Pick these Products?
Firstly, I have gathered a lot of knowledge about trolling motors for more than a decade. I have personally purchased seven different trolling motors and know the difference between a cheap motor and an excellent one.
Secondly, a lot of research has gone into it. I spent a considerable amount of time to search the internet and jot down the pros and cons of each product. I even got the chance to speak to several angling professionals, who use the trolling motors.
Before you buy trolling motor, it is always wise to research some and then invest in the best. I and my team spent several weeks to create the best product list for you. Additionally, we jotted down all the features and things to consider while buying the best trolling motor.
In fact, I got a chance to speak to the existing users of each product. After comparing the ratings, genuine reviews and speaking to existing buyers, I was able to choose the perfect trolling motors to come up with a concrete list of 10 products.
In a nutshell, I have spent precious time in reviewing each product and have interacted with a lot of people. As we move further, it is important for you to know the things to consider while buying the best value trolling motor.
Keep a pen and paper with you or brace up with your sharp memory!
Our Top 10 Best Trolling Motor
After a lot of research, I could jot down 10 such products which fit in the Top best trolling motor category. Different products in the list have some common features, but you will find that there are products which are best in overall features or you could even choose the one which fits your budget.
Now that you have a list of features that you must look for in a good trolling motor, you can compare the products and their features before choosing the best as per your budget and requirements.
Why Buy a Trolling Motor
What is the best trolling motor? Before I answer this question, it is important to know as to why you need a trolling motor. There are a number of advantages that come with a trolling motor. Some of them we have listed below:
- It operates smoothly and quietly - The fishes do not know of your arrival.
- Even beginners can easily use the best trolling motor. It does not require technical expertise. The manufacturers usually place a manual inside the product.
- Say no to gasoline because most of the trolling motors have rechargeable batteries. Well, looks like you are contributing towards a greener society.
- When you buy a motor powered by gasoline, it can cause a peculiar smell. The trolling motor does not have any stink.
- The trolling motors are super easy to use!
These are the major benefits of investing in a trolling motor. Another question playing on your mind could be - How do we trust their choice? Let us understand more about 'how we picked the best' products for you in the next section.
Things to Consider when Buying best Trolling motor
How much power does your trolling motor possess? By thrust, we mean to say the power that your motor possesses. The thrust is usually measured in lbs/pounds. The more the thrust, the more powerful it will be on the water. If you are mounting it on a kayak or a smaller boat, go for a small motor. Large motors are expensive but they are certainly better than the smaller ones. The thrust has the ability to pull your boat at a steady speed.
The length of the shaft can affect the performance on the water. If the transom or bow is farther from the body of water, you may require a longer shaft. A kayak will need a short shaft and the bigger boats need a lengthy shaft. However, do not go for such a long shaft that it hits in shallow waters. Most trolling motors will come with an adjustable shaft which makes it easier for you to adjust it according to the boat you are using.
The trolling motors come with fixed eight speeds. You will usually find 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. This basically gives you the versatility to move in water efficiently. It really depends on the type of fish you are chasing. If the fish is fast enough, you would require a speedy motor. Firstly, put the bait inside the water and then gradually speed up.
Bow mount vs Transom mount
The Bow mount is the popular pick in today's world. When you mount it in the forward position, there is better control. The trolling motor pulls the boat rather than pushing it. These are mounted on the floor of the boat or the kayak. This can be wireless, foot and hand controlled.
As for the transom mount, there are some boats which do not have a lot of space on the floor. The biggest advantage of this motor is that it is versatile. You can mount it in different positions. There is no drilling required for this type of mount.
Foot pedal or hand tiller
The hand tiller is usually extendable up to 6 inches. The speed can be adjusted with the hand tiller. All you need to do is twist it. The hand-controlled version is ideal because you have more control over changing the direction when something is blocking your path.
As for the foot pedal, it is popular in medium to larger boats. These are hands-free which makes it a popular pick for those who do not wish to use their hands. If you want to do fishing peacefully, this hands-free foot pedal will be ideal for you.
Saltwater or Freshwater Motor
The materials used for creating a trolling motor for saltwater conditions will be different. Hardware such as stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc will be used for saltwater motors. The only difference in the motors are the anodes. In the saltwater motor, the anodes will be covered with corrosion-resistant materials. The saltwater is more expensive than the latter because of the maintenance and hardware cost. The freshwater motors are usually manually handled. In these, hand or foot control is used.
Design & material
The trolling motors material depends on the type of motor you wish to invest in. If it is a salt-water friendly motor, then you need something which has a cover made of corrosion-resistant material.
How many hours does the battery last? This could be a key factor in choosing the right product.
Power and voltage
There are three voltage options to choose from. 12, 24 and 36 Voltage are the common ones you will find. If a motor has more thrust, it will require more power. If a motor has a thrust of about 100 lbs, it will require 36 V voltage. A smaller boat such a kayak would require a 12 V voltage. The 24 and 36V have a multi-battery system, which is much more economical.
- Directional Indicator - Some motors are self-directed. This basically means they can steer on its own in the right direction. This allows you to concentrate on fishing and nothing else. It will be hands-free as the motor is self-directed.
- Digital display - Some products come with a bright digital display which shows you the speed at which you are going and the depth of water underneath your boat. This will give you a clear picture of whether you are at the right place to catch the fish.
- Lift-Assist - Raising the motor without any effort is a blessing for keen fishing enthusiasts.
- Battery Indicator - The battery indicator shows you as to how much battery charge is left. Some motors will save energy by using as much battery that is required for operations. Most of the good trolling motors come with a bright LED battery indicator.
Value for the money
When a buyer invests in a product, they look for the price tag. It is more or less important while choosing the product of your choice. At the end of the day, the quality will matter. The best budget trolling motor might have all the features that a trolling motor needs to have. However, you must buy a quality product and not think too much about the price.
Consider it as an investment, a good quality trolling motor would be needed for durability and efficiency. Now that you are aware of all the factors, let us take a look at the products that I have gathered just for you.
List of other Product We Tested
- Minn Kota Vantage 80 Freshwater Transom
- Brocraft Fishing Kayak Trolling Motor Mount
- Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive 55 Trolling Motor
Trolling Motor Care, Maintenance and Safety Tips
You may have purchased the best trolling motor which has a high price tag or it may be a cheap one, but both require proper care and maintenance. Maintenace will seem easier if you know how trolling motor works. Some safety, maintenance and care tips are given below which you must follow.
Let us first take a look at the maintenance tips:
- Always recharge the battery before using. The battery should be fully recharged at least 100% before you can start using it.
- Cleaning the motor on a regular basis is ideal. Keep it dirt-free by using an anti-abrasive material.
- Check the product for any peculiar sounds. If you hear any cranking sound, it is possible that the motor is not working properly. The product may require servicing or replacement.
- Is there any damage to the propeller? A damaged propeller could affect the overall performance.
- Look for the five safety features of your product - overheat protection, start protection, low-voltage protection, stall, and reverse-connection protection.
- Buying a circuit breaker may be a wise idea. If the max speed is 40 amps, then investing in a circuit breaker of 50 amps will be a good idea. This is needed for avoiding any kind of damage to the motor.
- The engine should be sealed properly so that water cannot go inside it. This could damage the motor and it is possible your product may get ruined completely.
- Always check how much battery/juice is left in your motor. Do ensure that the product is 100% recharged before you set out on an expedition.
We hope that the trolling motor buying guide helped you to make a decision. The reviews are structured in such a way so that it gets easier for you to decide. It starts with the best overall product and we move on to the best budget-friendly trolling motor.
In case your intention is to take the boat in saltwater, the third option will be ideal for you. It all boils down to your requirement and budget. However, my thinking is that you must invest in the best-rated trolling motor.
If you are up for the best trolling motor for the money, then the second pick should be ideal for you. A trolling motor does not help you to troll but only makes your fishing experience much more fruitful. Don't let the fishes know that you are around else you will return to your home without a catch for dinner!
The question is - Who makes the best trolling motor? You have ten options in front of you. Choosing one will not be a hard decision because all the pros and cons are mentioned.
Consider going through the buying guide yet again. This will help in choosing the best trolling motor as per your needs. Buy the best one as per your requirements!