Best Trolling Motor For Kayaks

Trolling Motor For Kayaks - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Trolling Motor For Kayaks

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Trolling Motors for Kayaks buying guide

Do you love fishing on a kayak? Ready to go out on a bright day with your perfect rod, kayak, and other gear? But wait a minute. Paddling all the way to your treasure trove and losing the prime time to fish is not a smart option to opt.

Trolling motor for kayaks presents an easy and quick solution to this problem. You can easily reach your honey hole and reel in the bigger fish at a suitable time. However, selecting an appropriate trolling motor can be a challenging task.

You have to consider several factors which can be time-consuming and tiring. On the contrary, going through a suitable buying guide will allow you to get in-detail information on all the characteristics and save your valuable time.

Let us start by getting proper information on the product.

What is a trolling motor? Why do you need one?

A trolling motor that is used in a kayak for catching fish works like an electric engine. It is a small device attached to the bow of the kayak, and you can operate it using your feet. Many anglers like this trolling motor do not create any sound and allow them to fish quietly.

You do not need to paddle so you can reach your fishing location very quickly. Speed is essential for the anglers, and trolling motors offer you more power than paddling. So you can change your location swiftly with less effort.

Also, the trolling motor works silently without much noise. Installing trolling motors in your fishing kayak will allow you to fish efficiently without creating any noise. They do not create much noise as paddles do and thus will enable you to enjoy your fishing without scaring the fish.

Importance of reading a comprehensive buying guide

Selecting the best product from several options demands proper research. You also need to look for different resources to collect all the information, which may present false details too and lead you in investing your money in an inferior quality product.

However, a proper buying guide allows you to get accurate details on all the characteristics under one roof. In this guide, we have poured all the necessary information through which you can make an informed decision.

Let us now look into the characteristics in detail.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Trolling Motor For Kayaks

  1. Boat size

When you are going to choose the trolling motors for kayaks, you must consider the size of your kayak in the first place. Your kayak size plays a significant role in determining the right type of trolling motors required for the kayak.

Usually, the motors have three different types of powers, 12volt, 24volt, and 36volt.

Let's suppose your kayak length is 16-foot so that you will need a 12volt and 55lb motor for your kayak. But for a 19-foot kayak, a 36volt 100lb engine will be appropriate.

Besides size, the weight of your kayak also matters. The kayaks weigh more or less 1500 pounds and will need a motor providing 30 pounds thrust. So, check both the size and weight of your kayak to get the perfect trolling engine.

  1. Length of shaft

If you want the trolling motor to operate, creating much noise, you should check the shaft length before buying. Especially when the engine is bow-mounted, it will be better to measure the length of the shaft.

A trolling motor with shorter shaft length may create noise while the propellers are hitting the water's surface. Also, it will not allow the engine to perform well. The propellers need to be submerged in the water thoroughly so that you can move faster. Otherwise, it may reduce the speed of your kayak.

It is suggested to measure the shaft length between the waterline and transom mount.

If the distance is up to 10 inches, you will need a shaft length of 30 to 36 inches. When the range is from 16 to 20 inches, you should choose a 42 inches long shaft. For a range between 22 and 28 inches, you can go for a 52 inches shaft length.

  1. Freshwater or saltwater

Another vital consideration required for choosing the trolling motors for kayaks is the type of water.

When you are going fishing in saltwater, you should look for some specific metals. Saltwater increases corrosion, which causes damages to the trolling motors. So only picking up the corrosion-resistant metal can protect the engines from sand and seawater.

For freshwater fishing, you will get some metals that are only made for freshwater use.

The hardware present in saltwater trolling motors is composed of stainless steel and several other corrosion-resistant materials, which means you can easily use them in the deep ocean.

The best thing about having a saltwater kayak trolling motor is that it will also work in freshwater. However, you must check the warranty beforehand for both types of trolling motors to make sure they can be replaced if you face any issues.

  1. Battery choice

The battery is an essential thing to run the motor. So, getting the appropriate battery for the trolling motors for kayaks is subjected to the engines' performance. However, the battery's choice depends on your budget and the spaces that you have in your kayak.

It will be a wise decision to check the free space on the kayak in advance. Many fishing kayaks models come with battery storage, where you can keep the battery safely. But, in case your kayak does not have any specific area to store the battery, find a place to keep it properly.

You should also measure the accessible storage space so that you can get a battery with the exact dimension. Many anglers choose the battery first and then try to match the dimensions with the storage space. But it is advised to follow the previous method to avoid difficulties.

You should also consider the weight capacity of the kayak, including your weight and other gear before choosing the battery. You can check the highest weight capacity of your kayak to be sure.

Make sure the voltage of the battery works compatibly with the voltage of the trolling motor. For example, you should use a 12volt battery with a 12volt engine to get the best performance.

  1. Speed

You must need great control over the speed, which helps you to reach your preferred fishing spots very quickly. Also, you can move slowly when necessary. Controlling the speed of the motor can increase the efficiency of your fishing.

Anglers use slow forward and reverse operation to maneuver the boat or kayak properly. This comes handy to catch fish without any hassles.

Commonly, you will find a wide variety of speed ranges in trolling motors for kayaks. There are eight types of speed that includes five forward speeds and three reverse speeds.

Getting maximum speed of the kayak directly depends on two critical factors, such as the weight of the kayak and the power of the trolling motor. An excellent trolling engine can increase the speed of your kayak up to 10 mph.

  1. Mount type

Two critical parts are required to mount the trolling motor. They are transom and bow.

Most of the kayakers go for the transom mount because, in this setting, the motor pushes the kayak behind from you. So, you can operate it comfortably according to your sitting position.

Although most of the trolling motors can be transom-mounted, some can be mounted on the bow of the kayaks. However, this position is not very convenient as you are not able to reach the handle easily.

For both mount types, you must follow the company's guidelines about the method of mounting.

  1. Weight

You have already come to the conclusion that the weight of your kayak is also a significant deciding factor of the kayak trolling motor. You should remember that weight can be a big issue for your kayak.

You should consider your weight, the mount, and the battery apart from the trolling motor. Make sure it does not cross the maximum weight capacity of the kayak.

Moreover, you should check the stern whether it rides above the surface of water or not. Therefore, it is best to look for a motor having a lighter weight.

Having a lightweight trolling motor supports your kayak to move with faster speed. Also, you will have enough space to carry other essential gears without crossing the kayak's highest weight capacity.

  1. Power

The trolling motors for kayaks do not need to be more potent as the kayaks have a weight of up to 1500 pounds. So, you have the leverage to go underpowered.

There is a thumb rule that you can follow to select the power of the motor. For every 100 pounds loaded weight, you will need a 2 pounds thrust of power. Generally, pounds is used to measure the thrust of a trolling motor instead of horsepower.

Therefore, it is not a problem to have less power. A trolling motor provides enough thrust to a fishing kayak.

Moreover, having more thrust does not help much. Basically, the kayaks top out quickly, and that never depends on the number of motors. Though the speed is determined by some other factors trolling motors are more useful than paddling in terms of speed.

  1. Control type

There is a wide variety of control systems available for the trolling motors for kayaks. You will find some trolling engines that can be operated by feet. Though they are useful for bass boats, they are not suitable enough for kayaks.

Foot pedals are not going to help you much on a kayak. Trolling motors are electronic devices and are adequate to provide instant thrust to your kayak. So you do not need to spend extra energy by operating the foot pedals. Also, they are for bow-mount trolling motors, which means they will not work effectively in transom-mount engines.

For better comfort, you will always want to handle the motor from a sitting position. Although motors can be operated with a wireless remote, you can go for the tiller handles so that you can tilt the handle up and down at ease.

  1. Mounting system

Two types of mounts are available in the market, including transom-mount and bow-mount. The transom-mount trolling motor is placed behind your seat on the kayak so that you can operate it with your hands. This can be a good choice for a small size kayak.

However, bow-mounted trolling motors can be operated by hands or feet. You can also control it wirelessly. Bow-mounted engines are practical for having better control, and they are easy to maneuver. Though bow-mounted motors are a little more expensive than transom-mounted motors, you can choose them for better performance.

  1. Legalities

You may experience some legal issues for some particular states. There are some states where you need to register a boat that is equipped with an electric engine, which includes the trolling motors too.

Therefore, you must contact any wildlife and fisheries agency in your locality to know about the law in detail, and if there is such law in your state, you must conform to those rules and regulations.

  1. Water depth

When you are about to buy trolling motors for kayaks, make sure they are in the exact position. If the engines are in the right place, the depth of water will not impact the performance of the kayaks.

But you should know the water depth to find out your targeted fish easily. It will help you to look for a suitable area for fishing effectively.

Some specific species of fish are found in a certain depth of water. Some motors allow you to check the depth of water underneath your kayak through the display precisely.

Moreover, the motors need more strength to deal with the bigger waves, so knowing the depth of water will increase your kayak's overall performance. Also, it will help you to avoid any type of risky situation while kayaking in the ocean.

  1. Ease of use

You must consider this aspect while buying the kayak trolling motors. Make sure you will not have to stretch your arms and shoulders too much to reach the handle.

Most of the trolling motors are available with adjustable handles to extend or tilt them according to your convenience. Also, the ergonomic design of the handles ensures a firmer and tighter grip for the users.

Besides hand-operated motors, you can look for foot-operated models or an engine that can be operated wirelessly. For a foot-operated trolling motor, you need to attach a pedal inside your kayak, which will need some extra space.

Another essential feature is the battery indicator, which enhances the comfort of use. With a battery indicator, you can check the remaining power so that you can estimate the time to go back.

If you want, you can have kayak stabilizers that will help you to move quickly. For additional safety, you can carry a kayak paddle while going to fish.

  1. Propeller blades

The efficiency of the trolling motors for kayaks depends on the structure of the propeller blades. Therefore, you should not overlook the design of the propeller blades when you are planning to buy the trolling motors for your kayaks.

Usually, the trolling motor comes up with two blades. You will see three blades for some powerful engines. Make sure that the blades are correctly submerged inside the water so that they can move smoothly. It will help avoid any type of vibrations and noise, and you can catch fish without scaring them.

Also, you must be careful of the strength of the propeller blades. If the blades are durable enough, it will not get damaged even after hitting any hard objects in their way.

Sometimes, the manufacturers offer replacement of the propeller blades, which will be a significant advantage for the kayakers.

  1. Motor size

The size of the motor is closely related to power. Generally, the motor size or power required for your kayak depends on your kayak size. As the kayaks do not weigh much like other boats, they will need less power to perform.

Keep it in mind that having a bigger motor never means you can move faster. But it will definitely allow you to maintain the highest speed of the kayak when your kayak is struggling with large waves or strong gusts of winds.

It is also essential to know that a trolling motor that offers a more pound thrust will increase the kayak weight. An engine with a lower pound thrust will be a better choice in such a case.

Commonly, a motor having the thrust rate of 30 pounds is ideal for supporting your fishing kayak carrying you and several other gears.

Steps to mount a trolling motor on a kayak

Buying the best trolling motors for kayaks will come in useful when you know how to install the motor accurately on your kayak. You will find it easy for some kayaks, and sometimes, it may get difficult for other kayaks. You should look for some particular factors before starting the process.

Start with checking the weight capacity of your kayak. Some models can work compatibly with a heavier weight. But most kayaks are not able to carry much load, so you should choose the motor and battery size accordingly.

Let us understand it precisely with a suitable example. If your kayak is capable of 200 pounds and your weight is 185 pounds, you should go for a larger kayak before mounting a trolling motor on the kayak. It does not matter whether the kayak is available with accessible mounting features or not, you can not install the trolling motor on the kayak.

After deciding that the kayak is appropriate for mounting the trolling motors, you should look for a mounting kit. Either you can buy a professional kit, or you can make a mounting kit on your own.

In case you have a professional mounting kit, what you need to do to install the mount is to make some holes in the kayak.

You just need to follow the instructions given in the mounting kit to attach the mount correctly.

Also, you can try to make a mount all by yourself. Create a cross brace at the back. Otherwise, you can directly attach the mount to stern.


1. What is Trolling from Kayak?

Many fishers consider trolling as the ultimate fishing technique that uses both knowledge of fishing as well as your own creativity. It uses an electric motor so as to enhance the speed of the kayak and reach the best fishing potential in no time.

2. What is the right place to put the trolling motor on the kayak?

Although there is no hard and fast rule to keep the motor at an apt place, it all narrows down to your own personal preference. Thus, all you need to do is check the place where you can easily connect it to the battery. Rest, you don't need to be worried about keeping it in the transom or bow area. Whatever suits you, just go with that!

3. What are some tips from experts for trolling on a kayak?

Fishing while trolling in the kayak is ideal when you are in the muddy water. It is because you can easily keep up with speed with the help of the motor. You should always snag lures in rocks. In case the intended lure does not bounce off boulders, the chance of catching fish is very low. However, keep in mind that while you are snagging lures, your safety is never compromised.

4. What are the factors affecting the speed of the kayak?

There are mainly two factors that play a pivotal role in increasing or decreasing the speed of the kayak:

  1. Kayak's weight: If the weight is more, it will require more power to move it faster.
  2. The power of the motor: Motor's potential is extremely beneficial in keeping the pace of the kayak maximum as and when you need it.

Final verdict

These incredible engines prove to be very beneficial and practical when you think about going fishing on your kayak.

You just have to look for several factors that may affect the overall performance of the product. To ensure that you purchase the right product and enjoy a smooth fishing experience, we have prepared a detailed buying guide.

The guide covers all the critical aspects of the products, which will allow you to analyze significant differences between an exceptional and low-quality product. Go through it and select an elite product. / - © Copyright 2020