10 Best trolling motor for kayak – Reviews and Buying Guide

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The holiday season is almost around the corner. Many people will be out around lakes or rivers to fulfill their fishing endeavors in kayaks. If you are one of these people, then you must be looking out for the best trolling motor for a kayak.

My father has always been a fishing enthusiast. He would try to involve me in his hobby. But we used to drive his kayak in the old-fashioned way, which was pedaling. 

The vibration pedaling created on water would turn away so many fishes. That is when one of my friends helped me with the idea of installing a trolling motor in our kayak.

Ever since the installment, my father is having the smoothest experience in both kayaking and fishing. So, here goes some detailed insights about the best motors we have come across so far.

A trolling motor is an electric device that mostly runs on a battery. This motor is specialized to troll fish into catching as the name suggests. 

It comes with an electric motor, propeller, and controls. A trolling motor can be affixed either on the stern or bow of a boat or kayak.

Fishing is a great hobby. Anyone who has it wants to enjoy a smooth experience while at it. A trolling motor is an absolute necessity to fulfill this endeavor.

Quick Answers - Best trolling motor for kayak

Top 10 best trolling motors for kayak review:

best trolling motors for kayak

If you are counting on a trolling motor for kayak saltwater that contains every single feature favorable for an angler, then this one is it. This 40lb thrust trolling motor is suitable for any kind of inflatable boats, including kayaks.

I chose this product because it comes with an extra advantage of head-tilting from all the other Newport Vessels trolling motor series. It gives off some extra leverage for the steerers. You do not have to overextend their arms.

As the name says, it has been explicitly constructed for saltwater expeditions. The shaft contains a three-bladed propeller. It is made of stainless steel, which will protect against rust.

The product arrives with eight-speed limits (five forward options and three reverse choices), which let me have extra control while steering. It contains an LED battery box on top of its head. So, you can keep track of how much charge you have lost after hours of use.

Although it has a transom trolling motor mount, it can be rotated to be used on the bow as well.

Pros
  • Corrosion-resistant shaft
  • The height of the shaft is adjustable
  • Extra controlled steering experience
  • High battery durability
  • Suitable for lightweight water vehicles
  • Comes with a circuit breaker
  • Head tiller present
Cons
  • A bit noisier than the ones from Minn Kota
  • Head is not waterproof enough for heavy rainfall

If you are an angler, but more of an impatient one, living in a place surrounded only by freshwater lands, then this trolling motor has to be the right choice for you. 

One of the many unique features Minn Kota provides is the vantage mount. This lever lock bracket will help you to lift and rotate the motor for back trolling instantly.

This instant responsiveness that I love. When fishing in a windy area with fishes going in various directions, it is very much needed. It also has a lightweight trolling motor battery for kayak.

As the name suggests, the 40lb thrust does not make it a speed demon. However, it will help you save some battery life. The two reverse bodied blades will also contribute to this matter.

The propeller and the battery have been structured to keep the motor cool and quiet. It allows a calmer environment for the fishes to swim closer to the kayak.

Pros
  • Instant back trolling
  • Extremely high battery durability
  • Easy height adjustments
  • Quiet motor
  • Handle tiller for controlled steering
  • Lightweight battery suitable for kayaking
  • Saves both the stern of the kayak and fishes from hazard
Cons
  • Unsealed hot wire
  • Not suitable for saltwater

Again, this one is for the saltwater lovers but with a little less speed, as the title indicates. The NV-series trolling motors contain all the specialized features that any other Newport Vessels trolling motor got except for the head tilt. 

Fishing in kayaks is different from boats. They sit more along the shoreline than deep water. So, there is a higher chance of hitting rocks or sands, sometimes even fishes if you have a motor with a more elongate shaft.

This product comes with a shorter shaft than most motors that helps you save all the hassles. The two-bladed propeller acts as a power conserver in this regard.

Even if the motor gets heated by any chance, the circuit breaker is there to save your day. If you are looking for a long day outing in saltwater, this is the best trolling motor for a kayak.

Pros
  • Shaft made of stainless steel that saves from saltwater damage
  • Speed limit helps with long battery durability
  • Shorter shaft
  • Controlled steering
  • Comes with a circuit breaker
  • Less noisy
Cons
  • Absence of handle tiller
  • Head cannot be rotated for bow mounting

If your kayak does not support the trolling motor’s affixation in the back, you should apply a reverse Uno trick. That is buying a bow mount trolling motor kayak.

It is highly necessary for angler devotes to keep their hands free. They have to put their full concentration on fishing. If you happen to be one of them, then this remote-controlled bow mount trolling motor has to be the goal for you.

It comes with wireless remote control that helps you keep your hand steers free. The cruise control specialization will keep the kayak at a steady speed while fishing. So, this must be the holy grail for your fishing endeavor. 

However, sometimes people want to be even more adventurous. They want to set out their kayak in windy air for some exotic thrill. The quick release bracket in the bow mount will act as a lifesaver in such case.

It can be stowed and deployed easily with a single hand or foot press. That will provide a quick rotate to change the direction of the kayak.

Pros
  • Highly corrosion resistant.
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
  • Foot-controlled
  • Wireless remote control available
  • Lightweight battery
  • Stow and deploy motor when needed
  • Easy to carry around
  • Calmest motor
  • Comes with a circuit breaker
Cons
  • The shaft is a bit longer for kayaks, but height adjustment available.
  • The remote control needs extra charging.

Fishing is fun and all until you have to chase it all while having your spinning wheel in the water. This will not give you enough time to control your kayak with a remote.

This particular product has been designed to avoid all these hassles. This trolling motor is brought to you with a complete foot control feature with a bow mount. The foot control device is just like a gaming console. However, it functions only with the foot for changing direction and speed. 

The stow and deploy pf motor feature is just a play of two different buttons. So extra workload can be saved here with a single foot press.

The three-bladed weedless propeller buys some extra calmness on the water—no wonder the fishes will be surrounding the kayak.

Pros
  • Fully foot controlled
  • Easy stow and deploy
  • Quiet motor
  • Waterproof
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
Cons
  • The foot control device needs proper maintenance.
  • The cord attaches with the head instead of the base. So it may get entangled with the shaft often.

If you are worried about trolling motor mount on the kayak, then Newport Vessels has taken that burden down from your shoulder. They are now coming with an extra mounting set.

This 55lb trolling motor is a speedster for a kayak that can be mounted on the transom. This mounting set helps in a quick switch from manual paddling to the motor. The telescopic handle is also suitable for extended steering.

Everything from down the head is made of stainless steel that protects against corrosion. To add a little extra, it is even structured with a fiberglass component. As you can see, rust does not stand any chance if you are using this motor.

The Railblaza Kayak Transom Mount comes with all the necessary kits to make your fishing or site seeing trip even a better one. The speed variety (with five forward and three reverse) makes the whole adventure even more thrilling.

Pros
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Saltwater specialized
  • High speed
  • Extra mount set
  • Easy and quick to use
  • Controlled steering
  • Shaft height adjustable
Cons
  • The hardware setup is a bit tricky
  • Absence of handle tiller

It might not be a giant as Newport Vessels or Minn Kota, but AQUOS Haswing has its unique concise features that it’s only right to keep it in the list of the best-trolling motor kayak. Even though most bow mount trolling motor are foot controlled, this one has been an exception to having hand steering options.

This trolling motor is all about the switch. There are two different switches on the head for speed and direction. It makes the explore much steadier than it seems.

Even though the speed options are super limited compared to the other trolling motors mentioned above, it acts as a great power saver. The two forward and two reverse speed are just the amount of variation you need in the speed to ensure the highest safety

The speed limit is mostly because it has a lower thrust than the other products, which is only 20lbs. The two-bladed propeller glides along the water very calmly. The angle adjustment brackets make it easier to lift the motor up from water anywhere at any time.

As you can see, this trolling motor has got everything but in a smaller proportion. So if you go kayaking or fishing only during holidays, in other words, if you are not a full-time angler, then this product is a must target. Smaller but more substantial is the right phrase to describe it all the way.

Pros
  • Shorter shaft perfect for kayaking along the shoreline
  • Calm and cool motor
  • Power conserver
  • Comes with head tiller
  • Controlled steering
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
  • Lightweight trolling motor battery
  • Handy and easy to install.
Cons
  • Corrosion resistance is not much reliable
  • Limited speed variations

This one is another one from Minn Kota. When you are looking for the best trolling motor for a kayak, Minn Kota is the first name you hear because they have been the market dominator with their extensive service.

They are the first ones that introduced vantage feature in the world of trolling motor. Without any doubt, it has still been being considered as the best for back trolling. The vantage feature is still going like a pro ever since Minn Kota has brought to the consumers.

Steering in windy is, against the current, can be dangerous sometimes. But the easy transom mount with instant back trolling may save the day. Hand steering is very articulated with telescopic handle and tilting options

The speed variations are not only suitable for gearing up a bit, but it also gives five times more run time. All while charging the battery only for once. The two-bladed weedless propeller keeps the back of the kayak from any harm.

Pros
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • High durable shaft
  • Easy stow and deploy
  • Calm experience with a weedless propeller
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
  • Handle tiller present
Cons
  • It expects a 24-V battery rather than the usual 12-volts.
  • The shaft is a bit longer for usual kayak boats, but height adjustment present.

Motorguide is comparatively a less known brand in the trolling motor zone. But the service they have been providing for years is highly appreciable. Even though it is a bit pricey, money should not be considered if you are looking for a fantastic product.

If you are looking for something that may not have made a lot of noise in the market but still gets the job done, this might be the right to go for you. They are the first one introducing patented variable-ratio steering. It helps to position kayak even in rough climates.

This bow mount foot controlled product comes with cable steering, which is different than most. The propeller helps to glide in a calmer environment, for that matter. The well-built mount is a good plus point for the high durability of the product

With 45lbs peak thrust and various speed limits, you may turn your little kayak into a speedster. It is a plus for the adventurous minds.

Pros
  • Cable steer facilities
  • A lightweight battery that conserves power
  • Foot controlling is easier
  • High-speed limit
  • Sturdily built mount
  • The quieter motor that moves the kayak in silence
Cons
  • Suitable only for freshwater.
  • Enclosed motor release so cannot be taken for repair
  • More elongate shaft with less height adjustment options

The only reason it did not top my list is that these trolling motors only fit on the kayak boats engineered by the same brand. So, if you already got one, then this is the go-to trolling motor for your kayak.

In the case of the shaft, thrust, voltage, everything you look for in a buying guide is already prepared in this motor. Be it the shorter shaft, or the perfect speed or the high durable voltage, and you name it, they have it.

This transom fitting mount has a quieter motor with a cooling water system. Among all the other trolling motor, this should be given the award for the most comfortable installment process.

Pros
  • Water cooling system
  • Composite and short shaft
  • Presence of handle tiller
  • Comes with digital maximizer
  • Easy mount system
Cons
  • Corrosion resistance not too reliable. But suitable for the freshwater experience.

Best trolling motor for kayak Buying guide:

Any kind of electric machine needs an extremely efficient buying guide. You need to watch out for the criteria that fulfill your wants. Many technical issues may give you a long-term headache if you are not aware.

To lower that burden from your shoulder, here is the ultimate buying guide you need to have a glance at for your trolling motor.

Reputation:

When you buy something for a hobby closer to your heart, you look for the best one in the market. The branded trolling motor companies have been giving off the ultimate favorable service in this regard. You do not want to stumble upon an unknown brand that may have the potentiality of scamming.

The brands mentioned here have been highly competitive to ensure the best quality for kayak owners. These trolling motors will not disappoint you in case of maintaining a reputation for the best quality.

Mount:

Mounting a trolling motor is literally a personal choice. There are two types of mount- Transom mount and bow mount. Transom mounts are affixed at the kayak’s stern or transom, whereas bow mounts are attached at the bow of the kayak.

Since both of the mounts have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, it is better to consider which body part you are comfortable with while steering. If you are a hand steerer, then go with the transom mounts.

Most bow mounts come with foot controlling features. If you are a devoted angler, then you might be needing one of these.

Motor:

The different trolling motor comes with different power thrust. There is 36/40/55lbs thrust. Even though you have the option of going for a higher number, but if you own a kayak, then choosing among only these three options should be the top choice. 

Since kayaks are lightweight water vehicles, it’s safe to go with a less speedy motor. But you can have it your way if you rig up the gear a bit.

Corrosion resistance:

There are two types of trolling motor- The saltwater ones and the freshwater ones. You cannot use the freshwater ones in salt water, but the saltwater trolling motors are suitable in both fields.

The trolling motor specialized for the saltwater ride must be made of stainless steel from below the head downwards. Even better if the propeller is engineered to be indestructible composites just like the shaft.

If you do not want your trolling motor to have a lower lifeline, then this has to a key point before buying it.

Battery life:

You do not want to set out your kayak for a pleasure trip then realize you do not have enough battery to go back home. Even worse, you would not want your entire trip to be ruined just because you had to come back early or limit speed due to low battery durability.

The brands mentioned here ensure the highest durable battery for your trolling motor. Batteries are always included with the main product, so you will not have to spend some extra penny.

Moreover, it is always best to choose the ones whith a longer and higher battery life even while running at top speed for a long duration.

Propeller:

The propeller’s blades have to be designed in a way that it keeps a calm and quiet environment while riding. Otherwise, it will be a waste while going on a fishing trip.

Watch out for how many blades it contains. Some have two blades, and some have three. Each one has its good and evil. But the more streamlines the blades are engineered, the better it is for the driver.

Shaft:

Kayaks do not sit on deepwater generally. To not hit the rocks or other components lying in the shallow shoreline, you should be looking for a trolling motor with a shorter shaft.

If that is not possible, then at least go for the ones with height adjusting features.

Handles tiller:

People looking for a relaxing and comfortable steering experience have to have a trolling motor with handle tillers. The head tilting features give you enough leverage in hand extensions.

Frequently asked questions (F.A.Q) by buyers:

1. What should be the best battery choice for a Minn Kota trolling motor?

A trolling motor manufactured by Minn Kota will run in any deep marine, lead-acid 12-V battery. Some often require a 24-V battery. But you can quickly solve the issue by connecting two 12-volt batteries in series.

Just make sure not to connect the (+) and (-) of the same battery terminal. Then you are good to go.

2. How to make my trolling motor faster?

It depends a lot on the battery. Make sure it is from a well-reputated company with lightweight. Also, try keeping the extra kayak load free.

While buying the motor, look for the ones with more streamlines propeller. It helps both towards and against the current.

3. Is a freshwater trolling motor also suitable for saltwater?

Well, the recommendations were forever highly against it. Freshwater trolling motors neither have stainless still nor corrosive protective powder on them. So it will be damaged easily if used otherwise.

4. Do I need a circuit breaker?

It is recommended because it saves your propeller if it gets heated up. Even if you buy motors that do not come with one, always buy an extra for safety.

5. What is thrust?

Thrust means the pushing and pulling power of a trolling motor which is measured in pounds. So it does not necessarily mean the higher the thrust, the higher the speed. It is also very much different from horsepower.

Endnote

Buying the best trolling motor for a kayak can be a challenge if you are new to the market. Even if you have been buying for years, this can often get difficult for the bones.

Right now, there are way too many companies with way too many products. Each of them is the ultimate trolling motor goal. But not all of them will be suitable according to your taste and preference.

Although the price may vary from product to product, it’s better to buy the best one that will function for years rather than buying a cheaper one that may have to be repaired now and then.

To have a surreal experience with your kayak, you need to buy the best among the best. That is when this article becomes helpful with every bits and piece you need to know about a trolling motor before getting your hands on one. 

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