Fishing is one of those hobbies a lot of us enjoy. It is one great way of catching fun right out on the open waters where you’ll be brought closer to nature. Among the necessary kits to make your kayak fishing sessions a successful and memorable one is a kayak trolling motor kit. This gives you great freedom and as you can concentrate on fishing while the trolling motor propels your kayak. As our discussion of today centers around the best trolling motors for kayaks available today, we’ll be bringing you a buying guide to ensure you get your perfect kayak fishing trolling motor along with a top ten recommendation of the best kayak trolling motors available today.
Why You Should Need Trolling Motors for Kayaks
Two of the most important benefits you stand to gain from using the best trolling motors for kayaks is the ability to move quickly and being able to cover a large fishing area when you compare this to paddling. Kayak motors are often battery-powered and so will give you enough freedom with your hands and time to concentrate on the major reason why you’re out on the water.
While you will be able to move quicker, you’ll also be able to cover more fishing area. This will reduce the burden on you through your fishing session and will help to increase your catch rate. Another reason why you definitely need a kayak trolling motor setup is the ease at which you’ll be able to move around on water without having to disturb the fish with your paddling.
The best trolling motors for kayaks as you’ll see later on in our review offers you great benefits to improve your fishing adventures. Though some may cost a fortune, many are also affordable and for a reasonable amount will find their place on your next fishing trip out on the ocean.
How to Choose the Best Kayak Trolling Motor Setup
Choosing the best trolling motor for your kayak should be the priority of every kayak fisher. When it comes to this, there are a lot of boxes that will need to be checked.
Size of your kayak
One of the first things you should look at is the size of your kayak. Kayak trolling motors come in 12, 24 and 36 volts. If for example, you have a 16ft kayak, you’ll need something like a 12-volt, 55lbs motor. If you have a boat or kayak of about 19ft, then you’ll need a 36-volt motor close to 100 lbs.
The weight of your vessel
Along with the size of your kayak, the weight of the kayak too should be considered. Boats weighing up to 1,500 pounds will require nothing less than 30 pounds of thrust while those weighing as much as 4,000 pounds will need nothing less than 80 pounds of thrust motor.
The next parts of this article will deal with those things you should consider before making your purchase of the next available trolling motor for your kayak. This will then be followed by a brief tutorial on how to put a trolling motor on a kayak. Our last part will then feature ten of the best trolling motors for kayaks so you can easily choose your own setup without having to leave with any mistakes or regrets.
Features to Look Out for in the Best Trolling Motor for Kayaks
Trolling motors come with different features and specifications among which your boat and fishing waters will determine the perfect one for your trips and fishing adventures. Below are some of these features as they impact the functionality of the trolling motor.
Saltwater or Freshwater Compatibility
While some kayak trolling motors are intended to be used on saltwater seas, some are primarily designed for freshwater fishing. The difference in these motors though is the presence of anode which is better covered to guard against corrosion on saltwater motors. Some motors are designed to be used on both saltwater and freshwater and may be great options if you’re looking to cut down costs.
Blades for Navigation & Power
Blades on trolling motors help with motion. Some have more blades than others which make it easier to navigate through seaweed or grass. These blades will help to also make the motors sturdier than those with a lesser amount of blades on them. Some also have this better thrust than others as this will help with more power to navigate through water faster.
Some of the best trolling motors for kayaks would usually come with speed settings which will help with propelling forward or reversing backward. This will also help you achieve easy movement with more control.
Length of the Shaft
This is also one of the important things you should consider to check out before setting up your kayak with the trolling motor. There is no doubt that you’d want a quiet and solemn atmosphere as you navigate the waters. Short shafts may compromise this as they tend to make some noise when they hit water surface. This can also affect the motor’s thrust as well as its overall performance.
Ease of Use
Several other features such as a battery LED notification, as well as an adjustable handle, will help to make the use of the best trolling motors for kayaks seem simple and easy. An adjustable handle with help you with easy maneuverability while the LED notification will help you know how much longer you can continue fishing till you’ll need to row back to the shore for more power recharging.
How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak
This is the part where most people seem to be wary of but with some of the best trolling motors for kayaks, this should be a breeze. When the installation of a trolling motor becomes a nightmare, then it may have been the result of having to buy one of the many sub-par trolling motors which many are being sold on markets all over.
Like we already said, how to put a trolling motor on a kayak is not rocket science and should be simple to the best of our knowledge. Below are some of the materials and equipment you’ll need for installation.
- Your kayak
- The Kayak trolling motor of your choice
- Plastic battery box and battery
- Waterproof circuit breaker
- 2×4 and two ¼ x 3’’ toggle bolts
Although these may not be the only things you’ll need, most installations will be easy with these. First set up the kayak on a platform to have it at waist length so it will be easy to mock up everything without the kayak motor hitting the ground. Set the battery box on the storage space located at the back of the kayak. After this set the 2 x4 inch wood between the seat and the battery box having the 4-inch side against the box. Find someone to help hold the 2 x 4 in place while you mount the trolling motor to it. Mark the edges of the 2×4 so you could easily line it back up later.
Eyeball where you’ll need to drill and attach the board to the box. You could use a Dremel or hand hacksaws to trim things down as the toggle bolts may stick out too much inside box making the battery appearing not to be fitted in. Be sure to cut even so you don’t have a sharp edge going into the battery though. Slip the battery pack into the box and lift it back inside the kayak.
At this point, you should be able to attach the trolling motor with the 2×4 board moving around. Run the black wire straight to the negative terminal and the red one straight to the AUX pole on the circuit breaker and finally a jumper from the BATT pole on the circuit breaker to the positive terminal of the battery. You should try to make the circuit breaker stationary either by mounting on the battery with a tape or whatever suitable mode you prefer.
You’re ready for the open waters and you can now easily take out your kayak for a ride on the sea. It is recommended to take a paddle along though just in case anything goes wrong.
PS: your kayak trolling motor would on most occasions come with a manual guide about its installation. While this is meant to provide you with a general view as to how to go about the installation, your motor’s features may mean you’ll have to follow a different route. Although this will still seem similar to this, do not discard information and details therein as they’ll help with proper fitting and installation as regards how to put a trolling motor in a kayak.
Top 10 Best Kayak Trolling Motors Review
If you are hoping to select the best trolling motor for kayaks available on the markets today, we’ve gone far and wide consulting experts and seeking the opinions of users to bring to you this list of the top ten best trolling motors for kayaks.
1. Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor
($91.14 From Amazon)
With a power of 12 volts and a thrust of 30, this Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor may be all you need for better kayaking and fishing adventures. The transom-mounted trolling motor is perfect for memorable and adventurous fishing sessions on freshwater and features several innovations and design which are aimed at making it super-efficient, durable and valuable. It is amazing how this trolling motor which by no accident is one of the best trolling motors for kayaks still manages to retail at such incredibly low prices considering some other trolling motors with fewer features and performance still retail for far more steeper prices.
Features & Description
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor is feature-laden and this has made its performance one that is loved by many. Let’s take a few minutes to check out some of these features that have made this one of the best kayak trolling motors of our time.
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor is a 12-volt transom-mounted trolling motor which is suitable for use on freshwater.
The 12-volt trolling motor has a thrust of 30 along with a shaft that is 30-inch long
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor comes with eight speed settings. Five of these are for forward speeds while the remaining three operates in reverse modes.
Ease of use
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor is one of the most advanced kayak trolling motors we found to be super-easy to use. The trolling motor has a 6-inch telescoping handle, tilt twist tiller which offers ergonomic speed control and steering. This makes the use of this trolling motor easy and as such one that is loved by a lot of people around the world.
There is a lever lock bracket offering a solid mounting. The trolling motor also operates coolly and quietly. While this helps to maximize battery life, it also helps to make sure you don’t spook the school of fishes around you.
2. Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor
(Out of stock From Amazon)
Here come another one of the best trolling motors for kayaks. The simple but excellent design along with the balanced mix of functionality and value makes this Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor one of the most sought-after kayak trailing motors on the markets today. When you look at its performance and the price at which it retails, it’s hard to not fall in love with the Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor.
It is designed to make your journey and adventure on water as calming, comfortable and convenient as possible. Thinking you have to buy a huge built-in engine to propel your vessel? Think again as this Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor offers you great performance for less than it asks for in return.
Features & Description
Awesome performances and great features set the Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor apart from many of the kayak trolling motors available today. Why not take a few seconds to check out these features for yourself?
The Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is powered by 12 volts, operating quietly with less noise.
The Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is definitely one of the best kayak trolling motors we’ve reviewed and the speed settings are about eight. Just like the Minn Kota above, it has 5 for forward motion and 3 in reverse mode.
A durable 3-blade propeller helps with more speed and the motor comes with a thrust that is up to as much as 50 pounds.
Although the length of the shaft is not indicated, it is made from a durable composite material that will last for many years to come.
A 6-inch telescoping handle along with a soft grip handle for comfort are just a few of the many things that have made the Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor one of the less difficult trolling motors to operate.
3. Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor
($238.76 From Amazon)
Looking for the best trolling motors for kayaks that are compatible with both freshwater and saltwater? Then you seriously need to consider this Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor as it offers your boat great functionality on oceans and lakes alike. Although it gets a bump in price compared to the two products above, that has to do with the added functionality and features.
At the medium price at which it retails, you’ll get some mouth-watering performance out on the waters with this trolling motor. It offers you a whopping 55 pounds of thrust with its three-blade propeller that never gets stuck in the water. Add this along with the comfort and easy operation and you’ve got yourself the best kayak trolling motor for saltwater and freshwater.
Features & Description
Freshwater & Saltwater Compatibility
Want to cut down costs without having to buy separate trolling motors for your sea water and fresh water fishing trips? Then this Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor has a durable stainless steel construction that works excellently well in both saltwater and fresh water.
A durable stainless steel construction and a durable 36-inch fiberglass shaft make the Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor one of the best trolling motors with the best build quality.
A six-inch telescoping handle works for steering and control. The handle is designed to conform to your hand and the eight speed options of this motor make it super-easy to use and control.
The Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor delivers up to about 55 pounds of thrust with its three-blade propeller. The speed settings come in eight different sections. Five functions for forward movement while the remaining three operates in reverse motion.
4. Saturn 55lbs Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor
($175.00 From Amazon)
This Saturn 55lbs Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor is the ideal option if you’re looking for a powerful motor retailing at an incredibly low and affordable price. Although the bulk of the Saturn 55lbs Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor’s appeal lies in the powerful thrust with which it operates, it still does not lack in other departments as its 8 speed control settings, as well as a few other different features, make it an all-around option for great fishing on the open waters.
This is not just one of the best kayak trolling motors by mere coincidence. The ability to use this both on saltwater and freshwater is one thing a lot of people also love. It is specifically designed for saltwater but would also do well on freshwater though you’ll need to rinse it saltwater after use in freshwater.
Features & Description
The Saturn 55lbs Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor offers a powerful 55lbs of thrust. This is uncommon within most of the other kayak trolling motor within its price range.
Eight speed settings include 5 for forward movement while three functions for the reverse mode.
At 26-inch, the shaft is rather short though the motor is still able to operate without making noise to spook fishes in the waters.
Adjustable handle can extend to 13.8 inches. This helps to ease control and movement making it easy to use.
The Saturn 55lbs Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor needs a 12 volts battery and has a maximum draw of 50amps.
5. Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor
($200.00 From Amazon)
For fishing lovers who need the best trolling motors for their kayak, boats and other sea vessels, this Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor may just be the best answer as regards their kayak trolling motor setup. Delivering 55 pounds of thrust, this motor navigates the seas without worries with its two-blade propeller that does not drain the power excessively or get caught in undergrowth beneath the vessel.
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor is priced reasonably and comes packaged with lots of innovative features. The motor, like many others, has eight speed gears. Five of these functions for forward movement while three operate in the reverse motion. With the Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor, your time fishing on the waters will get a calm and ease that has been missing all along.
Features & Description
Here are some of the excellent features that have made this Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor the choice of many as far as the best kayak trolling motors is concerned.
The Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor delivers a whopping 55 pounds of thrust. The two-blade propeller features the patented Weedless Wedge 2 Prop which is aimed at easily navigating through the thickest stuff without battery-draining or hacking. The power runs cool, quiet and with less heat.
The powerful shaft is guaranteed to last you through decades and is practically indestructible. The build quality is stronger when compared pound to pound with steel, it is known to remain intact and won’t break, corrode or kink with impact.
Ease of use
Various user-friendly features such as the ergonomic design of the handle make the Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor a great choice for many people. Along with the bearing system known for its high-level torque, you’ll get long hours on the sea without the fish having any idea of your presence to scare them away. With the Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor, you should always be ready for the great catch.
6. Goplus 86lbs Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor
($179.99 From Amazon)
Looking for the something that combines power with great comfort and affordability? Then maybe you should consider this Goplus 86lb Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor. It delivers 86 pounds of thrust which along with its three-blade propeller is enough to get you through marshes or underwater grass with great stride and ease.
The Goplus 86lbs Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is designed for freshwater navigation and is a little larger than most trolling motors. The long shaft measures about 36 inches and is indestructible. Along with these excellent features is an ergonomically-designed 6-inch telescoping handle along with a 10-points LED notification for battery charge level.
Features & Description
The Goplus 86lbs Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor delivers 86 pounds of thrust. This more than most people will need. The three-blade propeller along with the 36-inch shaft helps you navigate through marshy areas as well as grass with ease.
The motor is powered by 24 Volts. There is also an in-built battery charge level LED notification which helps with battery charge level. It will let you know the amount of power left before you’ll have to go back on shore so you’re not stranded out on the open waters.
Ease of use
The Goplus 86lbs Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is designed for comfort and easy handling. It comes with a 6-inch telescoping handle which you can easily adjust to suit your handling and use. Along with the package also comes an operation manual to help you navigate your ways. The battery level notification also helps to ease difficulties and improve the user experience.
The Goplus 86lbs Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor comes fitted with eight speed gears for speed control. Like most of the other best trolling motors for kayaks featured on our list, five if these controls are used for forward movement while the other three work in the reverse mode.
7. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor
($199.00 From Amazon)
The Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor delivers an awesome 55 pounds of thrust and comes with 8 speed gear settings. Despite these great and excellent features, the trolling motor still has this small and compact design that will appeal to most people who’d like to operate out of something small such as an inflatable skiff or dinghy.
While some trolling motors are long, this Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor has a rather short shaft at 30 inches. This allows for proper depth placement and still manages to operate without spooking the fishes away. Along with a 5-point battery meter with LED notifications, the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor comes in as one of the best trolling motors for kayaks. Coupled with the affordable price at which it retails, it’s hard to not see why the motor has been the favorite of a lot of shoppers on Amazon and other online and offline stores
Features & Description
The motor delivers a powerful but cool and quiet 55 pounds thrust which will make your adventures great. It does not overheat and won’t spook away fishes.
The shaft is somehow short. At 30 inches, the fiberglass shaft is adjustable and made from a high-strength material which gives t proper depth placement in all waters. Though seemingly short, the shaft does not make any noticeable noise as it comes in contact with water.
The motor comes with 8 speed gear settings which similar to those seen in many of the other best trolling motors we’ve reviewed.
Ease of use & handling
An ergonomic and adjustable handle along with a 5-point LED battery meter to let you know how much charge you have on the 12V battery with the 8-speed settings help make this a greatly comfortable and easy to handle trolling motor.
Saltwater & Freshwater Compatibility
Thinking of going anywhere you like? The hardware make of stainless steel with zinc and magnesium means you are fine whether on seas or lakes.
8. Watersnake T18S Asp Motor (White, 24-inch)
($105.66 From Amazon)
Still not satisfied with the small Newpounds Vessel above? Want something for even smaller boats and kayaks while maximizing value and reducing costs? Then you need to check out the Watersnake T18S Asp Motor (White, 24-inch). This trolling motor from Watersnake is a great choice for small size kayaks. You can easily transom-mount it with secure attachments.
The Watersnake T18S Asp Motor comes with two-speed gears. These are high and low and have both forward and reverse functions. The motor delivers 18 pounds of thrust and will be powered by a 12V trolling motor battery. The motor is backed by a one-year warranty and you’ll be amazed at the ease at which it cuts through water weeds and under-grasses.
Features & Description
For a reasonably-priced trolling motor, the Watersnake T18S Asp Motor still has decent features that made it worth every penny and more than it costs. These features are the reasons why the T18S Motor found its way into this review of the best kayak trolling motors.
The Watersnake T18S Asp Motor delivers a decent 18 pounds of thrust to help move small-size kayaks, dinghies, and inflatables through the waters with ease and calm. The motor comes with a two-blade propeller which easily navigates through weeds and under-grasses with calm and ease.
The motor comes with speed control settings. Works both in the forward and reverse modes and has a high as well as a low-speed setting. The motor also comes with a 24-inch alloy shaft which has been designed to withstand the toughest conditions. It is nearly indestructible and will take you through long years.
The 18-Pound 24-inch shaft trolling motor will be powered by 12V. It is super-quiet on the water and will not overheat or spook the fishes away.
9. MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor
($377.67 From Amazon)
Having a motorized boat for your fishing trips is one part of the equation. The other great thing is to have a boat that can easily handle any condition whether minimal or extreme. If you need a trolling motor of such reputation for your kayaking sessions, then why not give this MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor a try?
It’s got a great delivery if you need power. It’s got the comfort and ease with which you can easily navigate through freshwater. It’s got all you need and more and seems at the moment to be one of the best trolling motors for kayaks that can deliver 55 pounds of thrust to take you through your adventures. Want to fish with style? Motorize your boat with this MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor.
Features & Description
A lot of features present in the MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor has been significant and instrumental to the powerful performance that has made this motor from MinnKota one of the best today. Want to know those? Check it out.
The MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor delivers about 55lbs of thrust and is powered by a 12V DC battery. This powerful thrust at the end of a 36-inch long shaft makes this one of the best trolling motor setup available as of today.
Ease of Use & Handling
There is a 6-inch extendable and adjustable handle for control. The ergonomic design of this handle along with its ability to tilt and extend to varying degrees is perfect to fit in your trips regardless of your fishing style.
Want to fish for longer periods on the water without having to row back to the shore to recharge your battery? The MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor comes with a digital maximizer that helps to reduce heat and extend battery life. This may even give you five times longer use on a single full charge.
Quick-lock Cam Depth Adjuster
With this feature, it is easy to change depths. This feature of the MinnKota Traxxis helps you to make easy and secure changes if you need depth adjustment. This will make things simple and locks in tight keeping the motor exactly where you want it to be.
Push-to-Test Battery Gauge
Want to know how much charge you have left? The push-to-test battery gauge will notify you of the state of charge instantly with the push of a button.
Along with a great many other features, the MinnKota Traxxis excels as one of the best kayak motor trolling setup you can get on the market.
10. Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Boats
(Check on Amazon From Amazon)
If you are on the lookout for the best Intex trolling motors, you can give this Intex Trolling Motor a chance. It retails at an affordable price and will be a great addition to your fishing adventures. It has a somewhat different design and seems to be a little more advanced than other trolling motors out there.
It is designed to be used with Intex boats though and will perfectly work fine with boats such as the likes of challenger, excursion, mariner as well as Seahawk. Inflatable boats with in-built motor mounts may also use this easily. The operation and power efficiency is awesome. It operates quietly and has been designed in such a way that it uses water to cool off its engine.
As regards easy operation and comfortable handling, this Intex Trolling Motor has an adjustable handle that can be tilted upwards or downwards. The handle is also extendable and will allow you to control the speed as well as the direction of the boat whether forward or reverse.
Features & Description
The Intex Trolling Motor has a thrust of 40lbs and is powered by a 12V DC battery. Maximum power wattage is 420W to navigate your ways easily through the waters for fishing and other adventures.
Control & Operation
Want something easy to use? This is it. The motor comes with an extendable and adjustable handle that can tilt in various degrees. It can tilt upwards in 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees while it will also tilt downwards in 0-75 degrees. It is extendable to up to 6 inches and comes with eight speed control settings. There is also a battery meter to help with discerning charge and power levels.
The Intex Trolling Motor is designed to be used by the Intex Challenger 3, Excursion 3, 4 and 5, Seahawk 2, 3, and 4 as well as Mariner 3 and 4. It is nevertheless compatible with other inflatables with built-in motor mount fittings. The motor has been designed for use and is compatible with both saltwater and freshwater.
Up there are ten of the best trolling motors for kayaks as revealed from our extensive research, while we’ll like to state that all ten are excellent and are the top shots when it comes to motorized kayaking, we found the Minn Kota Endura C2 Freshwater Trolling Motor and the Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted Trolling Motor as the top picks for a lot of people. When it comes to brands, a lot more people trust the Newport brand of motors along with MinnKota more than others. These are the best ten kayak motors available as of today and your personal preference is all you need to make a final decision
We’ve discussed the benefits of having motorized kayaks and boats. This is especially great for fishing as it will help make your trips more adventurous and successful. We brought you this guide to make sure you do not have to burn your fingers while planning to get the best trolling motors for kayaks as we know you’ll need. You can easily choose from one of the top ten recommendations in our review of the best kayak trolling motors. These motors offer a balanced performance, value and durability. They are the best available today and will certainly spice up your fishing trips, making them more adventurous and pleasurable.