Best kayak trolling motors-header

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Paddles are essential kayaking equipment as they are what you will use to power your way through the water. But there are situations when you may need some help paddling. It could be that you are bored with paddling or that your arms have turned to jelly after paddling for some time. This is where kayak trolling motors come in as they allow you to sit back and take a break from paddling.

While a trolling motor allows you to cover long distances with ease, what people actually like about them is that it keeps kayakers hands-free. If you are a photographer, you’ll have your hands free to take beautiful pictures of the scenery around you.

Fishing enthusiasts will also love trolling motors as they can help maintain your kayak in one spot as you set out your fishing gear to catch fish. Also, you’ll have a higher chance of catching fish since you are not paddling. Paddling tends to spook fish and chase them away in contrast to trolling motors that are quiet and disturb the water or scare fish away.

Choosing a trolling motor can turn out to be a difficult task as there are many options in the market and they all seem to be the same. But all kayak trolling motors are not made equal. It is because of this I compiled a list of the very best kayak trolling motors available on the market today. Take a look at them below.

The 7 Best Kayak Trolling Motors of 2021

Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling MotorOur Top Pick

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

$191.84  in stock
2 used from $181.51
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

With a potential thrust of 55 pounds, this Newport Vessels kayak trolling motor is very powerful and equipped to propel your vessels through the water at great speeds. The major material used to manufacture this trolling motor is aluminum because of its lightweight, durability as well as compatibility with saltwater as it does not corrode. Other durable materials like magnesium, zinc, and stainless steel are also used for some components of this trolling motor.

The adjustable 30-inch fiberglass shaft is designed to fit a wide range of kayak and fishing boats. The fiberglass is also fitted with a 3-blade propeller that runs deep. This makes this trolling motor quiet and also prevents it from excessively disturbing the water, a feature that fishing enthusiasts will love.

This trolling motor comes with a total of 8 speeds. of which five are selective forward speeds while three are for reverse, which brings about a smooth and highly adjustable ride. You’ll have to get a 12-volt deep cycle battery or marine battery to power this motor as batteries are not included in the package. Be sure to get a quality battery as the strength of the battery will determine how long you can use this kayak trolling motor.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length:  30 in / 76 cm
  • Weight: 23 lbs / 10.4 kg
  • Thrust: 36 to 86 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • High thrust power.
  • Resistant to corrosion.
  • Strong and adjustable shaft.
  • 8 different levels of speed.
  • Compatible with a wide range of kayaks.
  • Operates quietly.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • This is not actually a con but 8 speed levels seems a bit overkill for a kayak.

Watersnake Trolling Motor

Watersnake T24 ASP - 24 Pound Thrust 12v Electric Saltwater Trolling Motor with Transom Mount, 24" Shaft, White

$152.24  in stock
2 new from $152.24
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

I think the manufacturers got the naming of this trolling motor spot as it makes your kayak glide effortlessly and quietly on the water except you’ll be traveling faster than a water snake, haha. This Watersnake motor is an ideal kayak trolling motor for small kayaks.

It is ultra-lightweight as it comes with a weight of just 4.85 lbs (2.2kg). This makes it easy to transport with your kayak as this motor will not turn out to be a burden. It is also versatile as you can use it to power different types of kayaks and canoes.

Capable of 24 pounds of thrust, this isn’t the most powerful trolling motor but it delivers just the right amount of speed and power kayaks and other small vessels need. There is both a high and low speed control on this motor as well as a forward and reverse switch.

I like the extendable handle as it makes steering easy and the 24-inch shaft is fitted with a 2-blade propeller that has a weedless design making it possible for you to use this propeller in areas with vegetation.

You can also use this motor in both fresh water and saltwater conditions as it has coatings that protect it from the corrosive effects of salt.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 24 in / 61 cm
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs / 2.2 kg
  • Thrust: 18 – 24 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight.
  • Versatile as it can be used with different kayaks.
  • Strong and powerful propeller.
  • Two different levels of speed.
  • Quiet operation means fish won’t be spooked.
  • Can be used in both fresh water and saltwater conditions.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • 2-speed settings.

Minn Kota Riptide Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor, 45-Pound

$449.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

This trolling motor has different levels of thrust power – 45, 55, 80, 112 lbs – making it capable of propelling your kayak with ease. It is also grit-blasted and coated with a layer of aluminum, a material popular for its strength, lightweight, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Being resistant to corrosion, you can use this motor in saltwater conditions without fear of it being damaged.

It’s easy to attach this trolling motor to your kayak thanks to lever-lock bracket which has nine positions and a quick-release lever lock. It’s easy to know the battery status of the trolling motor. All you have to do is to press a button on the head of this trolling motor and you’ll get an instant status of the battery life remaining.

The reinforced composite materials used to manufacture this trolling motor can resist flexing, warping, and UV damage. Durability isn’t going to be an issue with this trolling motor. I must also mention that this trolling boat is very quiet, a feature fishing enthusiasts always look for in a trolling motor. And who knows, that might be all you need to catch more fish.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 36 – 52 in / 91 – 132 cm
  • Weight: 18 lbs / 8 kg
  • Thrust: 45 to 112 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Powerful and quiet.
  • No issues using it on saltwater.
  • Powerful propeller capable of cutting through seaweed and other obstacles.
  • Easy to mount.
  • Durable.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • N/A.

Pexmor Trolling Motor

PEXMOR 46LBS Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator 8 Variable Speed for Inflatable Boats, Jon Boat, Pontoon Fishing Boat (30" Shaft)

$159.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

This is a high power trolling motor with a maximum thrust of 86 lbs which is more than capable for your boating and fishing needs. This trolling power is hand-steered and has variable levels of thrust (36, 46, 55, and 86 lb thrust) according to the specifications and size of your kayak or boat.

I like that this trolling motor does not generate heat and also operates noiselessly allowing you to fish in peace. The Pexmor electric trolling motor is well designed and sturdy. It can also function in both freshwater and saltwater. The shaft is made of fiberglass which makes it look good and also sturdy. You can adjust the depth perception of the shaft – based on the condition of the water you are on – with the help of a button.

The three-blade propellers are of high-quality and durable. Also, they are very sharp and can be used in areas with seaweed and other barriers as they can easily cut through them. The battery capacity is impressive and there is a LED light indicator that displays the power remaining in the battery.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 34 in / 86 cm
  • Weight: 24 lbs / 10 kg
  • Thrust: 34 to 86 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Good thrust capacity.
  • Quiet and does not generate heat.
  • Can be used in saltwater.
  • Adjustable shaft.
  • Powerful propeller.
  • Sturdy and durable.

Cons

  • The throttle can be extremely sensitive which is dangerous if you are not aware.

Newport Vessels Kayak Series Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24" Shaft)

$184.75  in stock
1 used from $175.51
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

There is no way you can talk about kayak trolling motors without Newport Vessels trolling motors coming up. This is the second Newport Vessels product on this list and that should tell you a thing or two about the quality of their trolling motors.

It has 36 pounds of thrust which is sufficient for the floating needs of most kayaks. Like the earlier Newport Vessels model on this list, this trolling motor has 5 forward and 3 reverse speed selection. You can easily adjust the speed up and down as needed.

The 24-inch shaft is made of fiberglass, a material that makes it look great while also being very sturdy. You can easily adjust the shaft to create shallow stretches of water as well as avoiding getting tangled up in waterweed and other water-based obstacles.

I like the 3-blade propeller which is very strong and sturdy and ever ready to guide you in the water. You’ll need a marine or deep cycle battery (12v) to run this motor. While a battery is not included in the package, you’ll certainly find quality and good length cables. The battery monitor notifies you of the charge remaining in the battery to ensure being caught with a dead battery on water.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 24 in / 60 cm
  • Weight: 23 lbs / 10 kg
  • Thrust: 36 and 55 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.
  • The extra long cables allow you to place the battery anywhere in your kayak.
  • Sturdy and adjustable shaft.
  • Easy to install and maneuver.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • The handle head is not waterproof and shouldn’t be exposed to heavy rainfall.

Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor

Cloud Mountain Finefind 55LBS Thrust Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use

$213.21  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

The Cloud Mountain trolling motor is a powerful and durable motor that will totally change your kayaking experience in a good way. Made of a high-quality reinforced nylon bracket, this trolling motor has impressive strength, ablation, resistance, and stability. The aluminum head also contributes to the durability and longevity of this motor.

There are 8 different levels of speed (5-sp forward & 3-sp reverse) and the 6-inch telescoping adjustable handle, which is extendable and adjustable, gives you total control over the motor. The 28-inch shaft is made of fiberglass, a material that is corrosion resistant while also possessing high-tensile strength. Being adjustable, you can easily adjust the shaft for proper depth placement in any waterbody you are on.

The battery indicator shows how much charge is left on the battery ensuring you don’t suddenly end up with a dead battery in the middle of a waterbody. And the aluminum and stainless materials used to manufacture different parts of this trolling motor make it suitable for saltwater use.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 28 in / 71 cm
  • Weight: 24 lbs / 10 kg
  • Thrust: 36 – 86 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  yes
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Can be used for both freshwater and saltwater,
  • The handle is extendable.
  • Multiple thrust settings options to choose from.
  • Easy installation and operation.
  • Operates quietly.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • Some of the plastic parts could use a bit sturdier. Nevertheless, the entire motor is tough and sturdy.

Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 50 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)

$229.89  in stock
9 new from $229.89
Amazon.com
as of April 16, 2021 11:14 am

I think the Minn Kota Endura kayak trolling motor is one of the easiest trolling motors on the market to install and remove. Installation typically requires a couple of seconds and the trolling motor can be easily mounted on most kayak transoms. With a 30-pound thrust level, this motor isn’t the most powerful out there but it is ideal for recreational kayaking and kayak fishing. It will also run quietly and not disturb the fish.

The Kota Endura motor operates very quietly hat it isn’t going to spook the fish. Also, any battery you attach to it won’t drain too quickly as this motor has a low power output. The motor is also very lightweight and easy to transport along with your kayak to the shoreline.

This kayak is ideal for use in freshwater. Using it in saltwater will reduce the longevity of the motor as it’s not designed to deal with the corrosive effect of saltwater. The 6-inch ergonomically designed handle can tilt and twist giving you total control over the steering and speed.

Featuring 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, this high quality 12 volt trolling motor for kayak boats is designed to be transom mounted. This is ideal for using only in and it runs quietly so you can smoothly cross the water without disturbing fish.

 Quick Specifications

  • Shaft length: 30 in / 76 cm
  • Weight: 15 or 42 lbs / 6.8 or 19 kg
  • Thrust: 36 or 55 lbs
  • Saltwater-resistant:  no
  • Compatible battery: 12-Volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Well designed handle.
  • Very quiet on water.
  • Easy installation.
  • Quality composite shaft.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Cannot be used on saltwater.

Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks – The Guide 

Now that you know the best trolling motors for kayaks available, the next thing is to know all there is to know about kayaks trolling motors in order to be able to make an informed decision when buying one. As a result, I’ll be taking you an extensive buying guide to help you simplify the decision-making process.

What Battery to Use With a Trolling Motor?

This is an important decision you have to make for your trolling motor as it needs a battery to function. Kayak trolling motors do not come with batteries. However, they are designed to use marine batteries or deep cycle batteries. Your budget, the amount of space on your vessel, and your personal preferences are major determinants of the type of battery you’ll buy.

You will have to consider the weight of the battery and any other gear you’ll be carrying to make sure that you are not exceeding the maximum weight capacity of your kayak. Some kayak models may have dedicated space for trolling motor batteries. If your yak doesn’t have a battery dedicated storage area, you need to look in other places in the vessel where you can store the battery safely.

The battery’s voltage is another factor to consider. Ideally, it is the voltage of the kayak trolling motor that will determine the voltage of the battery you’ll buy. For example, you should buy a 12v battery for a 12v motor.

How to Mount a Trolling Motor on a Kayak?

The mounting system of a trolling motor is another thing you have to consider. There are two types of mounting systems for yak trolling motors namely transom mounting system and bow mounting system.

Transom mounting systems are the most popular and are installed at the rear of your yak. They are also adjustable making them compatible with a wide range of kayaks. Bow mounts on the other hand are installed at the front of your kayak.

They may at times adversely affect your kayak’s handling so always try to go for a transom mounting system. And that’s why I selected kayaks with transom mounting systems when compiling this list.

What Thrust Power do You Need?

How much thrust power your kayak needs will depend on the size of your kayak. And since kayaks are usually lighter than other types of boats, you won’t be needing a lot of thrust power. You should note that a bigger motor doesn’t necessarily equal to faster speed but the motor will be able to maintain top speed especially when you are traveling against the currents.

A motor with thrust power between 30-60 pounds is enough to propel your kayak. In fact, 30 pounds is enough and anything after that is just a bonus. Again, higher thrust power doesn’t mean faster speed. But the higher the thrust power of a motor, the better it will be able to handle heavier boats, such as tandem kayaks. Also, a motor with a high thrust power will be able to handle moving water better.

So you have to consider the size of your kayak and the conditions where you’ll be kayaking when buying a trolling motor.

How to Choose Your Trolling Motor

Power Consumption

This varies from kayak to kayak. Kayak trolling motors usually come in 12, 24, and 34 volts and you have to buy the proper battery for each model.

Power consumption varies from boat to boat. Trolling motors can be purchased in 12, 24, and 36 volts, with their respective batteries. How quickly your battery drains will depend on the speed you are traveling.

Trolling motors have varying levels of speed which not only let you control how fast you move on the water but also how fast your battery drains. There are some energy efficient batteries that help reduce the rate of power consumption when batteries are in use or idle.

Shaft Length

This is yet another feature you should look out for in trolling motors as the shaft length affects how quietly motors can operate. If the shaft length of your motor is too short, then it’ll create noises that may scare fish away.

Also, the propeller will not be fully submerged in water which will prevent the motor from reaching top speed as the propeller will be moving more against air than water. Ideally, you should go for a trolling motor that will keep your propeller 12 inches below the surface of the water.

The shaft length of the motors on this list ranges from 24-30 inches while also being adjustable. That combined with the fact that they are made of durable and sturdy materials means you have nothing to worry about them.

Corrosion / Saltwater Resistance

A trolling motor designed for saltwater can be used for both saltwater and freshwater. However, a motor designed for freshwater must be used exclusively on freshwater bodies. If you’ll be kayaking only on freshwater, then you can go for models designed for that purpose.

Saltwater is corrosive and will wear off the body of motors that are not resistant to corrosion. That’s why corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum, stainless steel, and magnesium are used to manufacture saltwater motors. Sometimes a layer of corrosion-resistant material is coated on the part of the motor exposed to saltwater.

Many manufacturers now manufacture their trolling motors to be corrosion resistant thereby offering you more versatility as you can use them on both saltwater and freshwater conditions.

Speed Control & Settings, Remote Control

It’s becoming common to see trolling motors having different speed control. This allows you to control the rate at which you travel on water and also reduces the rate at which your battery drains by traveling at lower speeds.

Some trolling motors are also remote-controlled, allowing you to be completely hands free as you don’t have to do any steering, not in the traditional sense at least. But these motors also turn out to be more expensive.

Final Thoughts

With my list of best kayak trolling motors and an extensive motor buying guide, I hope you now have a better idea of what to look out for in a kayak motor. This should make your decision-making process a lot easier as you choose a trolling motor that is compatible with your vessel and the type of water you’ll kayaking on.

A trolling motor will provide you with a brand new experience and perspective on kayaking. Get one now to see this new perspective for yourself.

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