10 Best Trolling Motors – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Trolling Motor

If you own a boat, whether it is an inflatable boat or hard hull, it is important to retrofit it with a trolling motor. Especially if you use your boat for recreational activities or fishing.

The trolling motor is an affordable way of powering your boat and allowing it to move effortlessly over the water. If you use it for fishing, it does not produce turbulence in water or noise that will scare away your catch.

When used for recreational purposes, the silent operation of the trolling motor will not disturb you.

If you are looking for the best trolling motor for the money, then we have you covered below. Without any delay, let’s see which trolling motor you need to buy right now for your boat!

10 Best Trolling Motors – Reviews

Product Name

Thrust

Shaft Length

Rating

Current Price

1. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor

30 lbs

30 in

4.5

2. Newport Vessels 55lbs Thrust Electric Trolling Motor

55 lbs

30 in

4.4

3. Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lbs Thrust Trolling Motor

46 lbs

30 in

4.3

4. Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor

55 lbs

36 in

4.5

5. Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lbs Thrust Trolling Motor

36 lbs

30 in

4.2

6. Minn Kota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor

55 lbs

36 - 42 in

4.0

7. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor with Adjustable Handle

46 lbs - 86 lbs

36 in

4.0

8. Cloud Mountain Electric Trolling Motor

36 lbs - 86 lbs

28 in

4.0

9. Motorguide 45FW FB X3 Foot Control Trolling Motor

45 lbs

50 in

4.6

10. Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Trolling Motor

45 lbs

36 - 52 in

3.9

1. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor 

Extremely affordable trolling motor

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 30 lbs
  • Shaft length: 30 inches

The Minn Kota Endura is a compact and power efficient trolling motor that deliver 30 lbs of thrust. This is definitely not the most powerful motor that you will encounter in trolling motor review.

However, for casual use and especially when used on a small dinghy or boat like an inflatable boat, the Minn Kota Endura is a true performer at an affordable price. Talking about the price, this model is one of the most affordable that you will find in this review as well.

It has 5 forward speeds that you can quickly and easily adjust by twisting the handle and 3 reverse speeds for maximum versatility and control. Moreover, the shaft measures 30 inches which is pretty much the industry standard size and made from a composite fiberglass material that is extremely durable.

Best, the shaft of this model is covered with a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer, and you also get a two-year warranty on the motor itself. Neat!

Pros:

  • Very affordable. Value for money
  • 8 different speeds, 5 forward and 3 backward for maximum control
  • Lifetime warranty on the shaft
  • The shaft is made from a composite material that is very durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • Delivers only 30 lbs of thrust. Not a lot of performance
  • Handle requires frequent lubrication for it to function properly

2. Newport Vessels 55 lbs Thrust Electric Trolling Motor

High performance and silent

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Newport Vessels 55lbs Thrust Electric Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 55 lbs
  • Shaft length: 30 inches

This model by Newport Vessels delivers a lot of performance with the thrust of 55 lbs. Indeed, it will have no problem powering up any type of boat, whether it is a big boat or small dinghy with ease.

In addition, the motor is also very power efficient and introduces very little noise which will allow you to fish while not scaring away skittish fish like bass. Moreover, for better durability, the motor is made from stainless steel with a composite fiberglass shaft. All this combination ensure that you get a very durable and long-lasting trolling motor.

Moreover, there is a lot of control in this motor as it has 8 speeds, 5 forward and 3 in reverse. And when it comes to comfort, no problem there. The handle is ergonomic and coated with a rubber material so it will not slip even when used with wet hands. Additionally, it will not cause any discomfort when used for an extended period of time.

But what we like the most about this model is that it has an LED battery meter that will show you the status of the battery at all times. All in all, this model by Newport Vessels is one of the best electric trolling motors on the market when it comes to durability, ease-of-use, and performance.

Pros:

  • High-performance motor with the thrust of 55 lbs
  • Very quiet despite its power
  • 5-point LED meter shows you the battery status at all times
  • Compatible with both saltwater and freshwater

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit better
  • Seals require frequent changes when used in saltwater

3. Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lbs Thrust Trolling Motor

Competitively priced and powerful motor

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lbs Thrust Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 46 lbs
  • Shaft length: 30 inches

Here we have another Newport Vessels trolling motor, but this time it is more affordably priced. It comes with the same set of features that are associated with the Newport Vessels model we have just reviewed above.

It has the 5-point LED battery meter that will indicate you the battery status; it is power efficient and cool in operation. It is also power efficient and will not consume electricity excessively, thus prolonging the autonomy of your 12 V battery.

Moreover, this current model delivers 46 lbs of thrust which is less than the previous model but still more than sufficient to propel the most boats whether it is a small or medium-size boat.

The build construction is again superb as it is made from a mixture of stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium for the propeller and composite fiberglass for the shaft.

Therefore, this trolling motor is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater as it will not corrode at all which certainly makes it one of the best trolling motors when it comes to versatility.

Pros:

  • More competitively priced
  • Decent performance with the thrust of 46 lbs
  • Can be used in both saltwater and freshwater

Cons:

  • A bit louder than other Newport Vessels models

4. Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor

High performance and comes with a 2-year warranty

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 55 lbs
  • Shaft length: 36 inches

The Minn Kota Endura is one of the most top-rated trolling motors on the market. This current version looks the same as the previous Minn Kota Endura model we have reviewed above. However, it is significantly more powerful as it is able to deliver a thrust of 55 lbs.

With such kind of power, it will have no difficulty properly even a big boat with ease. Furthermore, the telescopic handle is quite long and ergonomic as it is coated with a rubber anti-slip material that makes it quite comfortable to hold for an extended period of time.

Another noteworthy change with this model is that it has a longer shaft measuring 36 inches which allows it to sit deeper in water which will not cause turbulence at the surface of the water. This is an excellent model especially for those fishing prey that normally feeds at the surface.

As with all Minn Kota Endura motors, this model is very quiet, cool in operation and power efficient. Also, the shaft is made from composite fiberglass; it is quite durable and long-lasting.

Pros:

  • Powerful performance with the thrust of 55 lbs
  • Long and ergonomic handle for controlling the motor
  • The long shaft of 36 inches does not cause turbulence on the water surface
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty by the manufacturer

Cons:

  • A little expensive

5. Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lbs Thrust Trolling Motor

Affordable and value for money

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lbs Thrust Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 36 lbs
  • Shaft length: 30 inches

This is a smaller version of the Newport Vessels motor with a thrust of only 36 lbs. It is not much but what this trolling motor losers in performance, gains in power efficiency and quietness. Indeed, this model is one of the best trolling motors that you can buy when it comes to power efficiency.

If you rely a lot on your 12 V battery then going with this model will ensure that you get a long-lasting battery autonomy. Additionally, this model has the typical LED battery meter that you find in almost all Newport Vessels trolling motors. It will tell you the battery status quickly and easily.

When it comes to controlling, no problem as there are 8 speeds in this motor. 5 forward speeds and 3 backward speeds. Switching between the different speeds is very easy with the handle which is quite comfortable and ergonomic.

Also, this is a versatile trolling motor as you can use it both in saltwater as well as freshwater. It uses a mixture of materials that will not corrode when it comes in contact with either saltwater or freshwater.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Power efficient and a very quiet
  • Versatile. Can be used in both freshwater and saltwater

Cons:

  • Lacks performance with its thrust of 36 lbs

6. Minn Kota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor

Powerful and yet very power efficient

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Minn Kota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 55 lbs
  • Shaft length: 36 inches to 42 inches

The Minn Kota trolling motor is a popular and reputable motor throughout the fishing industry. This is because this brand makes motors that are very power efficient, quiet and deliver a lot of performance in a small package.

But what differentiates the Traxxis from the rest of other Minn Kota motors is its digital maximizer technology. This technology makes the motor significantly more power efficient and ensures that your battery runs 5 times longer on a single charge. If battery autonomy is important to you, then this is an excellent model to consider.

Furthermore, you are able to tilt this trolling motor up to 45 degrees so as to provide you with better maneuverability when navigating. The handle is also tilted at an angle so as to provide maximum comfort when handling, especially when handled at an awkward position.

But above all, this trolling motor is very powerful as it is able to deliver a thrust of 55 lbs. It will have no problem propelling any type of boat, whether it is big or small.

Pros:

  • Powerful with the thrust of 55 lbs
  • Can easily be tilted to an angle of 45 degrees
  • Consumes 5 times less battery power than a conventional model

Cons:

  • The price. It is expensive
  • The handle may start squeaking over time

7. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor with Adjustable Handle 

Saltwater motor with 10-point LED indicator

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Goplus Electric Trolling Motor with Adjustable Handle
  • Thrust: 46 lbs to 86 lbs
  • Shaft length: 36 inches

Rarely do you get a decent trolling motor that can cope with both freshwater and saltwater? Sure, there are many manufacturers that claim that their motors work in both mediums, but over time, the performance usually suffers. This is not a problem with the Goplus as it is certified to work with saltwater and freshwater.

The design, as well as the build construction of this model, is unique. The popular is quite long and very power efficient. Moreover, it produces little turbulence in water which will not scare away skittish fish.

But what really makes this trolling motor unique is its 10-point LED light indicator. With this feature, you will be able to tell at a glance the status of your battery. The shaft is made from a composite material that is extremely durable and long-lasting. When it comes to controlling, this model has 8 different speeds, 5 forward and 3 backward.

All those factors make the Goplus one of the best saltwater trolling motor that you can buy. If you need a versatile and performing trolling motor for both freshwater and saltwater that comes with a long staff of 36 inches, then get this model right now!

Pros:

  • Versatile. Can be used in both freshwater and saltwater
  • Flexible. Comes in a wide range of thrust power to suit your need
  • 10-point LED indicator to show the battery status

Cons:

  • Not the most power efficient electric trolling motor

8. Cloud Mountain Electric Trolling Motor

Flexible and highly maneuverable motor

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Cloud Mountain Electric Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 36 lbs to 86 lbs
  • Shaft length: 28 inches

The cloud mountain is a flexible trolling motor that is available in a wide range of thrust power. You can purchase this model with a thrust power of 36 lbs up to a very powerful 86 lbs to suit your need. In addition, the shaft of this unit measures only 28 inches which is quite a bit shorter than the industry standard of 30 inches.

This shorter shaft length provides this motor with even more power for propelling your boat forward. But above all, it gives it superior maneuverability and control.

The only caveat is that it may produce some water turbulence while doing so. Furthermore, the shaft is made from a durable and long-lasting composite material that has a high tensile strength.

The blade is made from a heavy-duty and durable stainless steel, so this trolling motor can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.

But best, this unit comes equipped with a 10-point LED battery indicator so that you can check on your battery status quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Highly maneuverable
  • Flexible. Available in a wide range of thrust power
  • 10-point LED indicator
  • Compatible with both freshwater and saltwater

Cons:

  • Ideal only for shallow water due to its short shaft

9. Motorguide 45FW FB X3 Foot Control Trolling Motor

Foot trolling motor with VRS system

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Motorguide 45FW FB X3 Foot Control Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 45 lbs
  • Shaft length: 50 inches

Not everybody appreciates a trolling motor that is controlled by hand. After all, some activities like big game fishing require that you have your hands readily available. This is where models like the Motorguide comes into action.

It allows you to easily control the motor using your foot only. But best, it uses a patented VRS system that automatically makes speed adjustments on the fly depending on the speed of the wind, water current, etc. Very practical!

Furthermore, this trolling motor has a handy LED steering indicator that will show you the different speed settings the motor is using. Also, this motor comes with a locking pin that will allow you to securely install it on almost any boat that has a transom mount.

The only caveat is that this model is compatible only with freshwater. Other than this, the Motorguide remains one of the best trolling motors for the money.

Pros:

  • VRS system. Automatically adjusts the speed for you
  • Foot pedal liberates your hands for other activities
  • The decent thrust of 45 lbs
  • The long shaft of 50 inches. Can be used in deep waters

Cons:

  • The price
  • Freshwater use only

10. Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Trolling Motor

Flexible foot-controlled trolling motor

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Trolling Motor
  • Thrust: 45 lbs
  • Shaft length: 36 inches to 52 inches

This product is one of the most versatile Minn Kota trolling motors that you will find on the market. It comes in different styles and shaft sizes ranging from 36 inches up to 52 inches to suit your need.

In addition, all those models have a decent trust value of 45 lbs which is more than enough to power a small boat with ease. Since this motor is foot control, it liberates your hand to perform other activities like fishing which makes it very practical to use.

The foot pedal itself is very soft and ergonomic. Moreover, it contains 5 different speeds for more control.

Installation is extremely easy by even absolute beginners, and as long as you have a transom mount on your boat, you will have no problem installing this unit. Furthermore, all those products come with a solid 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Does not require hands to control
  • Flexible. Shaft length available in different sizes to suit your need
  • The thrust of 45 lbs. is enough to propel a small boot with ease
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Contains only 5 speeds
  • Expensive when compared to others

How to Buy the Best Trolling Motors

How to Buy the Best Trolling Motor

#1. Saltwater or Freshwater

Basically, a saltwater trolling motor works the same way as a freshwater model. However, there is one very important difference between them.

The saltwater trolling motor is made from a corrosion resistant material that fully encapsulates the electronics as well as the mechanical components of the motor.

This will prevent saltwater from entering the motor and causing damage inside because the salt in saltwater will cause damage to any electronic or electric component.

Therefore, make sure to choose a trolling motor based on the type of water that you will be navigating on.

If you will be using your trolling motor for both saltwater and freshwater, then it is best to go with a saltwater trolling motor because this type of motor is better equipped to handle both saltwater and freshwater at the same time.

The contrary is not true, as a freshwater trolling motor will not perform well in seawater.

#2. Bow or Transom Motor

The bow is located at the front of your boat, and the transom is located at the back. Most boat manufacturers will tell you where you can retrofit your trolling motor, whether it is at the front or at the back.

Trolling motors that mount on the bow is usually equipped with a bolt-on bracket and offers you superior maneuverability than a transom motor.

On the other hand, boats that accommodate transom trolling motors have a trolling motor mounting clamp at the back and comes with a hand control bar.

The transom motor is generally an excellent type of motor for small boats, canoes, and dinghies. It does not have the maneuverability of a bow trolling motor but it is faster and normally deliver more performance.

This is because the transom motor can generally be bigger and the size will not get in the way of the boat.

#3. Hand Control or Foot Control

You can control the speed of the trolling motor either by hand or by foot.

If you choose a foot-controlled trolling motor, then it will have a pedal that will accelerate the motor every time you press on it and locks the motor when you remove your foot.

The foot control trolling motor is generally regarded as the best trolling motor for big game fishermen who need both of their hands ready when fishing.

For superior maneuverability, you cannot beat the hand control trolling motor because you simply have more precision in your hand than on your foot.

When choosing between the hand control or foot control trolling motor, you will need to take into account your need as well as preference. Some people prefer a hand control motor while others a foot controlled one.

#4. Thrust

Thrust is one of the metrics used to refer to how powerful the trolling motor is.

When choosing the thrust of your trolling motor, you need to take into account the weight of your boat.

As a general rule, you need around 2 lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs of boat weight.

However, you also need to consider the speed of the Wen and the current of the water that you will be navigating on. Normally, you need a thrust that exceeds the calculation provided above.

For most people using a small boat like an inflatable boat, navigating on shallow and calm waters, a trolling motor that is equipped with a thrust of 45 lbs is more than sufficient.

#5. Shaft length

The shaft length determines how deep the motor is underwater. You do not want your shaft length to be too long because then your trolling motor will have difficulty providing the necessary thrust for moving the boat forward.

You can say the same thing for a shaft length that is too short.

Ideally, you need a shaft length that puts the center of your motor at least 12 inches below the surface of the water.

This will provide the optimal thrust necessary to move your boat forward and provide you with excellent maneuverability.

#6. Power Consumption

Since most trolling motors are small and compact, they do not require a lot of power to function.

Most models are generally electric and only requires a small 12 V battery to power them.

Therefore, ensure that the manufacturer uses a power efficient motor that will allow you to use your trolling motor for longer periods of time while producing less heat.

In addition, it is generally best to go with a model that comes with an inbuilt LED indicator that will show you the status of your battery at all times.

#7. Price

Prices can quickly get out of hand when purchasing a trolling motor online.

Therefore, we recommend that you set a specific budget and stick to it.

You should be able to get a decent trolling motor in the $100 price point if you are on a budget.

If you can afford a bit more, expect to spend around $250 or more for a top-rated model.

Read More: 7 Best Trolling Motors for Kayak

Conclusion

The trolling motor is the best way for your boat to move effortlessly. Most boats have a motor mount at the back or at the front that will allow you to quickly and easily fix the trolling motor to it.

Moreover, since the trolling motor is silent and does not cause a lot of turbulence in the water, it will not scare away skittish fish. Clearly, if you own a boat, then you absolutely must have a trolling motor as well.

Our trolling motor review above provides you with a comprehensive list of quality trolling motors for you to choose from.

Pick a motor that suits your need and budget, and it will serve you well for years to come.