Are you an angler who is looking to motorize your fishing kayak? If yes, then a trolling motor is ideal to cover long distances when you’re out on your fishing expeditions. Trolling motors have gained popularity in the kayaking world in recent times because they are powerful, compact, and work quietly.
However, selecting the trolling motor that is right for you ain’t a cakewalk. You need to consider some important aspects if looking to make a wise investment. Here we give you some important points to have in mind while shopping around to help you make the right choice in trolling motors.
Best 6 Trolling Motors for Kayaks
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Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor promises to offer superior performance irrespective of the weather condition. This kayak trolling motor is extremely durable since it is made from stainless steel. Both the propeller and the shaft are made from fiberglass that helps to expand their lifespan. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor is resistant to corrosion and saltwater.
Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor weighs around 23lbs and that means, you should not have an issue carrying it around. The height of the shaft can be adjusted at will and this is what makes depth placement as easy pie. The battery cable is 5ft 6in long and means, you should not have any problem while positioning the battery. Moreover, Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor is compatible with almost all transom mount kayaks that are available in the market.
Its telescoping handle allows you to have full control, over it. The motor head is made from aluminum and inner parts are made from either stainless steel, zinc, or magnesium and this is what makes them resistant to corrosion. The propeller comes equipped with 3-blades and the diameter of these blades is around 10 inches that helps to reduce the drag. The motor is known for proving optimal performance under extreme conditions. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor is powered by a powerful 12-volt Deep Cycle or marine battery.
Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor has also got a nice 5 LED battery indicator that alerts you whenever the charge falls below a certain level.
The best thing about this Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor is that it does not consume a lot of power. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor is known for its versatility and reliability. It has got a rugged look and it is highly responsive at the same time. Controlling this Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor is very easy. You don’t have to go through the manual for hours to get the hang on this Trolling Motor.
Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor can be deployed at the push on a button and on impact, its mounting system breaks away almost instantaneously. Resetting Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor is very simple and it does not make much noise and this is what makes it ideal for fishing trips.
Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor is known for its low battery consumption. On a single charge, this Trolling Motor can run 5 times longer than any other ordinary Trolling Motors that are commonly available in the market. It has got 3 3 reverse speeds and 5 forward speeds. Steering is made easy thanks to the inclusion of a 6-inch telescoping handle.
Aquos White Haswing Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor is far better than its predecessors. It is stronger, more reliable, and quieter than its previous models. Don’t let the fish hear your movement! The control has got a new facelift in this Aquos White Haswing Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor. Precise control and smoother adjustments are two hallmark qualities of this Trolling Motor.
Lower power consumption is certainly one of its unique features. Attach the wireless remote-control around your neck if you are finding it difficult to keep it in your palm all the time. wireless remote control allows you to control this Trolling Motor from a distance conveniently and can be recharged with a USB cable whenever you want. Installing and uninstalling Aquos White Haswing Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor is very easy; all you have to do is to make proper use of the Quick release bracket and you will be just fine.
To control the speed of the boat, you just need to press the up and down button on the wireless remote control and you will be in charge of the boat. Nothing can get better than this right? However, if the wind or the current is strong, you might have to intervene from time to time just to manually change the direction of the kayak. To get the kayak move in reverse, you just have to rotate the Trolling Motor 180 degree and it will get the job done.
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor i-Pilot can be used on both saltwater and freshwater. You can get this thing installed on your kayak without asking for any professional assistance. Instructions are simple and clear. Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor i-Pilot is extremely powerful and has got an impressive 55 pounds of thrust which is more than enough for most kayakers.
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Trolling Motor i-Pilot is known for its legendary stealth mode. By harnessing the power of its Lift-Assist Design, you will easily be able to stow and deploy it. It runs on autopilot! Yup this is true. All you have to do is to set the direction of the trolling motor and then activate the AutoPilot. Yup, that is all. AutoPilot will then cruise your kayak through wind and waves like a charm.
Minn Kota EM 55 Engine Mounted Trolling Motor is a pure beast when it comes to performance. Just get this thing installed on your kayak and it will get your kayak transformed into a monster. Minn Kota EM 55 Engine Mounted Trolling Motor is extremely powerful and has 55 pounds of thrust which is more than enough for most kayakers. On a single charge, this Trolling Motor can run 5 times longer than any other ordinary trolling motors that you can purchase at this price point. However, you need to give some credit to Digital Maximizer technology for its impressive low-power consumption capability.
Minn Kota EM 55 Engine Mounted Trolling Motor comes equipped with a Corded Remote Control that will let you move your kayak forward and backward without facing any hassle.
Watersnake – ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor has got a sleek look and it is extremely lightweight. Weighs just around 4.8lbs, you can Watersnake – ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor easily be lifted and moved around without asking for anyone’s else assistance. Move your kayak forward or backward by using a simple switch and to facilitate easy steering, Watersnake – ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor is equipped with an extendable handle. The propeller has got two blades and Watersnake – ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor is available two variants – 24 lb (9-20 amps) and 18 lb (7-15 amps) thrusts.
Watersnake – ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor is highly resistant to corrosion and can be used in salt water as well as in freshwater. The weedless design allows this motor to work seamlessly underwater.
What are Trolling Motors?
A trolling motor is a small-sized and electric-based engine that helps to maneuver your kayak. They do not make noise so do not worry about the fish getting scared when you’re out fishing. They can be set up to the stern of the kayak or via brackets or on the side of the boat beside the paddler. As compared to firing up a loud overboard for countering the winds, trolling motors allow you to make the necessary adjustments in silence.
Trolling Motor Buying Guide
Trolling motors were developed for conventional fishing boats and provide kayakers with several advantages.
1. Control Type
A range of control systems are available and going by the stipulated uses of trolling motors, some have to be operated on foot. Surely, they may be useful on bass boats, though that is not the case with kayaks.
- Foot pedals are not handy for kayakers – Foot pedal engines are developed to offer sufficient thrust to push large boats. However, they have excess energy for a kayak and are difficult to operate with feet. More so, they are suitable for bow-mounted motors; and the cables are not devised to go from a transom mount to the foot kegs in kayaks.
- Having a tiller handle helps – To remain on your kayak, you will be more comfortable if seated when operating your motor. While you can avail costly remote-control models, a tiller handle is easier to install.
Trolling motors can help you reach your desired fishing destination faster as compared to paddling. Sometimes, anglers have to travel miles to fish in deep waters, and trolling motors can help in reaching the fish speedily.
Trolling motors can power boats weighing up to 1500 pounds. So, do not worry about your kayak being underpowered.
- Loads of 2 pounds per 100 pounds is the general rule – Trolling motors generate high power and can move large-sized boats. Also, the thrust of the trolling motor is computed in pounds and not horsepower. In the case of kayaks, the tiniest electric motor offers sufficient thrust for propelling the boat forward.
- Greater thrust does not help – Kayaks are not meant to ride upon the waters as they gain speed. Consequently, your boat will top out rather fast, notwithstanding how much motor you have. Your top speed is dependent on several factors, though the speed will be faster than paddling of course.
4. Work in silence
Anglers need peace when they are fishing. Trolling motors are silent and do not create noise like gas outboards. Thus, with trolling motors, anglers can approach fish and not drive them away.
5. Mounting System
Here things can get a little complex.
Trolling motors are devised mainly for installing on bass boats, with several designs using sliding hinges so they can be raised and lowered into the water quickly. However, for kayakers, this does not work.
Rather, you will need a transom mounting system that fits the scuppers at the rear of the cockpit. They can be adjusted to kayaks and have a robust bar for mounting your new motor. Do not try messing with a bow mount on your kayak. With such an arrangement, anglers in bass boats can drive the trolling motor from the front captain’s seat or when on the deck. Nonetheless, they are not functional for kayaks.
Trolling motors being electric engines have power systems in multiples of 12v. For running powerful trolling motors, more electricity is required. In 24v systems, you will need two 12v batteries; and in 36v systems, 3 batteries. Though, keeping in mind the thrust to weight ratio, a basic 12v system with a single battery suffices for your kayak.
In general, motors that sip electricity are preferred, for the battery then remain active for longer.
7. Shaft Length
The shaft length is another aspect that is important to consider. In the case of trolling motors, the shaft linking the engine and propeller is long and stretches from the gunnel of bass boats to the water beneath while constantly submerging the propeller.
In kayaks, long shafts pose a problem. Though, you have to look around for the short shafts and opt for the ones that are appropriate for your kayak. Even so, you need to consider some aspects.
- The propeller should be underwater: Maintain the propeller 12 inches underneath the water so it does not suck air from the surface and make a loud noise.
- Measure carefully: As a kayaker, remember to measure carefully. After attaching the mount, proceed by measuring from its horizontal bar to the surface of the water and follow by adding 12 inches, after which add more 3-4 inches if you intend to go in rough waters. That is the shaft length you require. During poor conditions, you should add more 5 to 6 inches.
8. Legal Formalities
Several states require boats mounted with engines to be registered, including trolling motors. Consult the concerned wildlife and fisheries ministry and make sure you abide by the applicable laws.
Weight matters in a kayak. You need to consider your kayak’s maximum capacity, along with the trolling motor, the mount, and the battery. Also, you must ensure that the stern can still ride on top of the water. Thus, lighter motors are more preferred.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.