What is a trolling motor? If you are a kayaker that regularly takes part in angling, then you’ll most likely know what a trolling motor is. However, for those non-anglers, actually motor is simply a small yet power-dense boat motor that mounts onto the bottom of your kayak. One of the key fantastic points about trolling motors when fishing is that they operate extremely quietly.
A good trolling motor offers a wealth of advantages to an angler that has to cover any amount of distance in one day. Even though you may enjoy paddling, you have probably found but it can be very time consuming if you have to go any fair distance. Whilst for some this might not be a problem, if you’re looking to get as match fishing time as possible, then it can really eat into the time that you have available.
In this guide, we hope to fill you in on trolling in motors as much as possible. Throughout, we’ll take a look at various points including what you should look for in a trolling motor, as well as the various advantages, and disadvantages that they can offer. We’ll also provide a comprehensive review section, covering the best kayak trolling motors on the market.
Trolling Motors – Some Background Information
What Exactly Is A Trolling Motor?
A trolling motor is a small yet powerful electric motor that is fitted to the rear of your kayak. Pretty to the bottom of the boat, the direction of the engine can easily be adjusted with your feet. Why are trolling motors electric? The primary reason for trolling motors running from an electric engine is volume. Being electric, trolling motors offer the angler near-silence when they are moving around the surface of the water. On the other hand, regular petrol-powered outboard motors are extremely loud and could scare the fish below.
What Are The Advantages of Having A Trolling Motor?
Speed is the most obvious advantage to having a trolling motor. As an angler, you know that many fishing spots be quite a distance from where you’re able to start off for the day, and it some situations can even be miles away. Even if you really enjoy paddling over long distances, it still eats massively into your fishing time and this isn’t what you want at all. A trolling motor will you to get there quickly and effortlessly, meaning that you can start fishing first thing in the day, as opposed to halfway through the morning being tired after a long paddle.
Even if your first fishing spot isn’t all that far away, a trolling motor can also be extremely advantageous in helping you get between fishing spots. If your first fishing spot isn’t proving to be successful, having a trolling motor attached to your boat means that you can peacefully cruise off to a different spot, and at a good pace too.
Zero Water Disturbance
Thanks to trolling motors being so quiet, the barely disturb the surface of the water and make hardly any noise at all. This is a far superior option to paddling or using a standard petrol powered outboard motor, since both of these disturbed the surface of the water considerably, as well as make a fair amount of unwanted noise. Thanks to their electric power, trolling motors operate at a fraction of the volume of an outboard motor. A trolling motor really is the ultimate option if you want to move into the same place that the fish are without scaring them out.
They’re Easy To Power
Trolling motors are powered electrically, and as we’ve previously said, can easily draw their power from an appropriately sized battery. Dependant on the size of the electric motor itself, more or less power will, of course, be required to run it properly. However, it’s a good idea to look for a trolling motor that is as efficient as possible, meaning that you’ll be able to draw more hours of power from a smaller sized battery.
The Best Kayak Trolling Motors
Newport Vessels NV-Series – Saltwater Trolling Motor With 55 lbs Thrust
Although a lot of trolling motors can be tricky to fit onto a kayak as they are often designed for bass boats, the Newport Vessels NV is specifically designed for use with a kayak.
With an extremely respectable 55 lbs of thrust power, the NV is no weak machine. It’s got more than enough power to move your kayak through the water without any trouble whatsoever, as well as far larger boats.
One of the great features about this motor and one of the reasons that it’s so great for use on kayaks, is the adjustable shaft. This means that you can choose the depth of the propeller in the water. If the water conditions are particularly rough, you can easily push the propeller further down into the water, allowing you to ensure that no water surface disruption is caused.
The 8 speed motor is smooth and extremely easy to use. With a notchy gearshift, it’s very easy to know what speed you’re running the engine at. The shaft of the NV-Series is constructed from fiberglass, making it lightweight, durable, and as suitable for use in saltwater as the rest of the design.
- Very efficient with reviews of excellent battery run time
- Adjustable and lightweight shaft
- Can be used in both salt water and fresh water
- Excellent brand with customer support to match
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Minn Kota Endura C2 – Freshwater trolling Motor
The Minn Kota Endura C2 is one of the finest trolling motors available for use in fresh water. This is the only noticeable downside to this motor – if you’re a saltwater kayaker, it won’t be suitable for your uses.
Via a lightweight yet strong fiberglass shaft, the Minn Kota C2 achieves an impressive 30 lbs of power to push the boat forward. Considering that the motor itself weighs in at a tiny 17 lbs, this is a very impressive amount of power being produced.
Just like the Newport Vessels NV-Series, the Minn Kota Endura C2 has an eight speed gearbox, with three reverse and five forward options.
- Short, lightweight and strong fiberglass shaft
- Users have reported very good levels of battery efficiency
- Well-made and from a respected brand
- Extremely lightweight at a tiny 17 lbs
- Freshwater only – the Endura C2 is not suitable for use in saltwater
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Goplus Trolling Motor – Freshwater and Saltwater Trolling Motor (46/55/86 lbs thrust)
The Goplus Trolling Motor is available in a range of different powers – these being 46 lbs, 55 lbs, and 86 lbs (of thrust power). In this review, we’re going to take a look at what will be the most powerful trolling motor option on our list by a fair amount – the 86 lbs option.
The large 36” shaft on this Goplus motor is able to deliver a massive 86 lbs of thrust power, which is more than enough to move some boats considerably larger than a kayak through the water with ease.
Despite it’s large size and power, the Goplus is still an easy motor to use. It’s got a telescopic handle that you can set in whichever position you find most comfortable, as well as handy features such as lighting that displays the battery level of the motor – particularly useful for knowing when you need to conserve that remaining power.
- Long 36” shaft
- 3 blades on the propeller
- Enormous thrust power of 86 lbs
- Telescopic and adjustable handle
- LED lights that display battery level
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Watersnake Venom 34lb – Lightweight 12V Trolling Motor
If you’re looking for the ultimate trolling motor in the lightweight category, the Watersnake Venom really is the very definition. At just 15 lbs, it’s easy to see why this is the case. Even though it’s so light in weight, the Venom can still push out a fantastic 34 lbs of thrust power.
In terms of versatility, the Venom can be mounted on a boat to be used in your choice of salt or freshwater. The motor and finish are designed to be extremely durable, as well as resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
The 30” shaft on the Venom allows the propeller of the motor to get down to a good depth in the water – even when conditions are choppy, you can be sure that your propeller is well under the surface of the water and operating without disturbance.
- Extremely lightweight at only 15 lbs
- Powerful, with 34 pounds of thrust to push your boat through the water
- Versatile – can be used in both salt and fresh water as the motor and propeller are resistant to corrosion
- 5 speed, smooth gearbox
- Comes with a warranty period of one year
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Trolling Motors – Some Extra Information Before Kitting Your Kayak Out With A Trolling Motor
Registration Of Your Boat
An important point to remember is that you will most likely be required to register your kayak after you have added a trolling motor to it. This is the case when adding a motor to the vast majority of boat types in the US.
Check Your Kayak Before Buying
Checking out all of the best kayak trolling motors is great fun, as long as your boat can accommodate one! All kayaks on the market should be able to accommodate a trolling motor – just make sure that there’s either a mount in place, or that you have a mount and a place to position it, ready for the motor.
We hope that you’ve got a good idea of what trolling motors are all about after reading our guide to the best kayak trolling motors, in terms of what they have to offer, and the best points/features to look for in different models, dependant on your needs.
It’s important to remember to select a motor that’s appropriate for your size of boat, and that you remember to register your boat and always use your motor only when it is safe to do so. Happy motoring!