Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks 💨 [TOP 5 TROLLING MOTORS FOR KAYAK - BUYERS GUIDE 2020]
Trolling in a kayak can really exhaust your arms! If you’ve ever spent a lot of time paddling, you probably already know how exhausting it is.
Of course, paddling is a great workout. However, if you are trying to navigate upstream or maneuver your fishing gear, this is going to be a major problem the whole time you are on the water.
No matter your shape or ambition, a good trolling motor for your kayak can really save your life.
It will allow you to rest your arms, cover more distance – and most importantly, catch more fish.
These are the best trolling motors for Kayaks:
A dynamic trolling motor, the MotorGuide X3 is one of the latest offerings from this manufacturer. It offers exceptional durability and performance at a good price-performance ratio.
With a dual cable steering system, you won’t have to worry about slack. There is also variable-ratio technology to provide more responsive steering.
Minn Kota Endura C2 55
If you plan to do most of your fishing in freshwater, the Minn Kota Endura C2 55 is the best trolling motor for you.
It is specially designed for kayaks but can also be used on other types of boats.
Although it is designed for freshwater, it can also be used in saltwater with several advanced features.
It’s also offered at a reasonable price, which makes it a good value considering its phenomenal performance.
This trolling motor is remarkably quiet, moving through the water almost silently. It also generates minimal heat, running cool at all times.
The Minn Kota has a long battery life and moves easily through weeds. It comes with a durable composite shaft backed by a lifetime warranty.
According to the manufacturer, this tree is stronger than steel! It will not corrode, bend or break on impact.
The propeller is part of a two-propeller system and can handle all kinds of tough underwater terrain without draining your battery.
It features flared blades that are swept. There are several push models, including 45, 40 and 35. All come with a manual override system with an ergonomic six-inch telescopic handle.
Even mounting this trolling motor is easy. You just need to use the lever lock bracket which is durable and reliable.
The motor also comes with special materials to improve flexural strength and reduce UV damage.
Newport Vessels L-Series 86
This transom mounted electric trolling motor may be light, but don’t be fooled into thinking it lacks power.
This motor is one of the most powerful on the market and one of the best trolling motors for kayaks.
With a balanced power-to-weight ratio, this engine has a remarkable 86 lb thrust capacity.
It is universal so you can attach it to any type of watercraft including small and medium as well as large.
It has a corrosion resistant design and is one of the best for use in inclement weather conditions.
It has a three foot long composite fiberglass rod, providing exceptional strength and good depth adjustment.
The Newport Vessels 86 lb L-Series Trolling Motor has telescoping handles and eight separate speeds. It is energy efficient and has an ergonomic handle that extends fully.
With corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware, the motor of this unit can handle both freshwater and saltwater conditions.
SATURN 55 Lbs Short-Shaft
The Saturn 55lb Short Shaft Electric Trolling Motor is a good compact option for people who want efficient transportation but don’t want to spend all their time messing around with a heavy, bulky motor.
This short shaft motor is ideal for small kayaks. It is top notch and can even be used on inflatable boats!
With an adjustable handle and adjustable shaft, it delivers 55 lbs of power thrust with just 17 lbs of weight. It also has 12 volts of power.
Easily set the desired angle with the adjustable handle or change the motor depth with the adjustable collar.
It comes with five forward and three reverse gears. It also has a battery indicator that clearly shows the battery level.
It is flexible, strong and features a compact design perfect for lighter boats.
Goplus Trolling Motor
Without a doubt, the Goplus Trolling Motor is one of the best trolling motors for kayaking situations where you will be moving through congested and clogged waters.
A world class trolling motor, it is perfect for a small to medium size boat. It is designed for use in fresh water and has an ergonomic handle.
This handle is telescopic and adjustable, allowing you to easily control the motor.
What’s even better is that the Goplus comes with a three-blade propeller in a weed-free design. You will enjoy smooth and efficient operation even in murky waters.
The engine has an autonomy of eight to ten hours. If you charge it overnight the night before you go out on the water, you’ll be able to cruise at speeds of up to four miles per hour without worrying about dying.
When you buy this trolling motor, you get eight gears, including five forward gears and three reverse gears.
You’ll enjoy a three-foot shaft length on a three-foot propeller and a 24-volt motor that weighs just 22 pounds.
Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks - Buyers Guide
Why you need a trolling motor
A trolling motor will have several benefits when you attach it to your kayak.
Not only will the best trolling motor for kayaks increase the distance you can cover, but it will also eliminate back and arm fatigue.
It can save you time on the water. You won’t need to take frequent breaks to rest, and you can set the engine to a specific speed so you can drive more efficiently.
A good trolling motor is also easy to set up and use. All you have to do is maintain your trolling speed, set up your rod and reel, drop a line into the water, and start fishing.
Another benefit of using a trolling motor is that you won’t need to have one hand – or both hands – engaged to paddle at all times.
Instead, you can maintain a constant speed while you catch fish.
It is not only more convenient but also safer. No more turning over rocks or dangerous currents while trying to catch a fish!
A trolling motor can also help you keep your lure at the correct depth while trolling, while maintaining consistent speed and movement.
Despite what you may have heard from naysayers, most trolling motors are quiet and stealthy, allowing you to approach fish without scaring them.
They also tend to be lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to use.
A trolling motor will help keep your boat in place in a strong current, and it’s great for small craft like a kayak. In many cases, a trolling motor can also be used as a backup motor on a larger boat.
Even if you love the fun of paddling while you fish, having a trolling motor on your kayak is a smart choice.
This is a great backup if you accidentally lose or drop your paddle!
What to look for in a trolling motor for your kayak
A trolling motor is essentially a motor designed for the specific fishing technique of fishing.
In this technique, you will pull your line through the water by a moving boat, moving at a specific speed determined by the preferences of the fish.
These motors are very efficient and can run all day, providing unique controls that allow you to change the direction and speed of your boat.
Many are also designed to be lightweight and secure as well.
Here are some of the most important features that you should look for on your next shopping trip.
There are three main types of controls you can buy for your engine.
The first type is a manually operated motor. Easy to use and the cheapest of all engines, it can be mounted directly on the boat.
The biggest disadvantage of a manually operated motor is that, of course, you will need a free hand to operate it.
Another slightly more expensive option is a pedal motor. With this type of motor, you will operate all the speed and power controls with your feet.
They require special mounting brackets.
The last option is a wireless remote control motor. The most expensive type of motor, it can be controlled with a foot pedal or remote control.
Whatever type of controls you select, be sure to choose a unit with an ergonomic design. Many come with telescoping handles that are adjustable to suit your height and position.
Most trolling motors have eight speeds – five forward and three reverse. However, this can vary.
A propeller is a key feature of a trolling motor. It will be attached directly to the propeller shaft, improving your control, noise levels and efficiency.
You can find motors with all kinds of propellers. Most have three blades, but some have fewer or more, depending on the brand and design.
Salt water vs fresh water
Before you can make any big decisions about what type of trolling motor you want for your kayak, you need to decide where you are going to use it.
A freshwater engine is not designed for use in saltwater.
It does not have protection against corrosion from salt water and, in fact, using a freshwater motor in salt water often voids the warranty.
If you plan to do most of your fishing in saltwater, invest in an engine designed with stainless steel hardware, corrosion-resistant paint, and sealed electrical connections.
This is one of the most important features to consider when shopping for the best trolling motor for your kayak. What is the size of your boat?
Most kayaks only need a 55 lb thrust motor. This will give you enough power to carry you, your boat, and all of your gear across a lake.
In some cases, you can get by with a smaller engine as well. Don’t feel like you have to buy the biggest motor you can find and afford.
Keep in mind that this will not only be tedious and unnecessary, but will also require more frequent recharging of the battery.
The length of the shaft tells you how far underwater the propeller will roll.
The best shaft length will allow about a foot of underwater clearance, providing sufficient propulsion without risking you to hit bottom.
Most trolling motors are designed to be mounted on the back or front of a kayak.
In a small kayak, you’ll want to find a trolling motor that is mounted at the rear so you have better control over the boat.
It will also allow you to steer while facing forward, a major advantage if you are trying to fish at the same time.
While mounting a trolling motor is relatively straightforward – you will usually get everything you need for the assembly included when you purchase the motor – some motors require a bit more work.
In the worst case, if your dream motor doesn’t come with good or easy-to-use mounting equipment, you can always purchase specialized mounting brackets for your kayak.
These are easy to pack and take, and allow you to assemble and disassemble the motor at any time.
Thrust and tension
When looking at an electric trolling motor for your kayak, keep in mind that it will be rated not in horsepower, but in pounds of thrust.
Knowing how much horsepower you will need will depend on the size of your boat as well as the wind conditions.
In most cases, you will need at least one pound of thrust for every 50 lbs of boat weight.
Trolling motors for kayaks also come in several voltages, the most common being 36, 24, and 12 volts.
On a smaller boat, you can get by with lower voltage – you’ll have plenty of power without zipping your battery instantly.
While every trolling motor requires some level of maintenance, your goal should be to find an motor that requires as little maintenance as possible – unless you like spending hours working on your motor.
There are other simple steps you can take to extend the life of your engine.
For example, make sure it’s rinsed off after each use (especially if you’re using it in salt water!) And that any lines, weeds, or other debris are cleared from the propeller.
You can also apply marine lubricant spray to resist corrosion and recharge your battery after using it, which will extend the life of your trolling motor.
Choosing the best trolling motor for kayaks
Choosing the best motor for your kayak is just like buying a boat is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, nor is selecting the best trolling motor. First you need to think about what you want to get out of your engine!
First, think about where you are going to fish. Will the motor be used in salt water or fresh water? What is the size of your kayak? All of these will play a huge role in the type of engine you select.
Once you know which items are non-negotiable (after all, you can’t exactly change the size or shape of your kayak!), You’ll be able to narrow down your list.
Then you can look for other features you want instead of the ones you need – like speed, power, and ease of use.
Owning the best trolling motor for your kayak can make a huge difference to your success on the water.