There are many ways to improve your kayaking experiences, like accessories, mounts, seats, or electronics. Yet, the most useful addition for many kayak anglers and those who enjoy kayaking is a kayak trolling motor.
Choosing the right trolling motor can be a daunting task for people new to kayaking. Even experienced kayakers who have recently decided that the addition of a trolling motor is the next step in their journey may experience some difficulty deciding which one to choose.
In this article, I will list a few of the best kayak trolling motors, as well as explain why you may need them in the first place.
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Why Use a Kayak Trolling Motor?
Some of the main reasons people choose to get a kayak trolling motor are:
A trolling motor will save you time and energy, allowing you to reach your destination faster.
- Injuries or disabilities
If you have a disability or an injury, you may not have the strength for kayaking. A kayak trolling motor can make kayaking accessible to you.
If you don’t want a workout every time you step onto your kayak, you can get help in the form of a trolling motor.
How Does a Kayak Trolling Motor Work?
A kayak trolling motor consists of an electric motor, as well as a propeller and controls. You can measure the power of a trolling motor in pounds of thrust.
They are available in 12 volts, 12/24 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts but most kayak motors will be 12 volts. A kayak trolling motor can be controlled via a remote, a foot pedal, or a handle.
You can control the speed of the trolling motor and, in most cases, the direction. Some trolling motors may require you to manually correct or change the direction.
How to Mount a Trolling Motor Onto a Kayak?
Depending on the type of kayak you own, the mounting procedure can vary greatly. Here are the steps to follow to mount a trolling motor successfully.
- Check the weight limit of your kayak
Take into account how much you and your gear weigh. Choose a trolling motor that will stay within the weight limit of your kayak.
- If you want to mount the trolling motor on the side of the kayak
Create a mount that crosses over the stern. Do this by drilling a waterproof pole or board across the back of the kayak. Make sure it can hold the trolling motor.
This way, you can mount the motor on the side of the kayak, and you can easily reach the steering handle. If you are right-handed, put the motor on the left side of the kayak, and vice versa, so you can hold your fishing pole with your dominant hand.
- If you want to mount the trolling motor to the stern or the bow
To mount the motor to the stern or the bow of the kayak, you will need to drill down into the kayak. After that, you can clamp the trolling motor onto it.
You may also have to reinforce the bow or the stern because kayaks don’t usually have sturdy enough bows and sterns to support a trolling motor on their own.
You can use metal, fiberglass, or waterproof wood reinforcement for this.
- You may need to register your kayak
You don’t have to register a small, human-powered boat, but a kayak with a motor is no longer human-powered. You may need to pay a small fee to register your kayak.
Top 5 Best Kayak Trolling Motors
Now that we know more about kayak trolling motors, let’s look at some of the best trolling motors on the market right now:
This Newport Vessels trolling motor has a 55-pound thrust. It has a 30-inch shaft built of durable composite fiberglass. The motor is quiet and efficient. It’s capable of working all day without getting overheated.
The durable shaft is fit for all water conditions. It has a long battery life and a 5-LED battery meter that will instantly show the battery level. It’s made of stainless steel, which is excellent for both freshwater and saltwater.
The handle is ergonomically controlled and easy to use, which results in a smooth ride. It also has five forward speeds and three reverse speeds, making it easy to fully control your kayak.
- A durable fiberglass shaft
- Eight speeds
- An ergonomic telescoping handle that is easy to use
- Water damage may appear after a while
This motor has a thrust of 30 pounds, a 30-inch shaft, and a 12-volt transom. The motor has a two-year warranty, while the composite shaft has a lifetime warranty.
The composite shaft of Minn Kota Endura is made of a material stronger than steel, so it’s extremely difficult to break or corrode.
It has five forward and three reverse speeds, allowing you to stay in control. It also has cooling components that will remove heat from the motor, allowing for extended use.
- Adjustable speed settings
- Indestructible composite shaft
- Cooling components that prevent the motor from overheating
- Can be loud when working
- It is not suited for saltwater use
Watersnake ASP is a compact trolling motor, weighing only 6.7 pounds. This makes it a great choice for kayaks with a lower weight limit. The motor has a 24-pound thrust and features a 12-volt battery.
The shaft is 24 inches and is adjustable so that it can fit the specifics of your boat. The motor has an anti-corrosive paint finish and stainless steel parts. You can use it in freshwater or saltwater, without worrying about any water damage.
The speed selection is high and low for both a forward and a reverse switch. The motor is easy to install and steer.
- An adjustable shaft that can fit any boat
- Easy to install
- Lightweight – only 6.7 pounds
- Can be used for freshwater or saltwater
- The propeller can become defective after prolonged usage
- Only two speeds available
Haswing has a thrust ability of 55 pounds and 12 volts of power. It has a 48-inch shaft that is designed to run quietly. This means you’ll avoid alarming the fish when you’re near them.
It comes with a wireless remote control with which you can control the speed and movement of your kayak. You may have to manually correct the direction at times, due to wind or current, however. Turning the motor 180 degrees will push the boat in the reverse direction.
It can work in freshwater and saltwater since it uses a sacrificial anode that protects metal components from erosion.
- A quiet operation ideal for fishers
- Speed control via a wireless remote
- Can work in both saltwater and freshwater
- You may have to correct the direction manually
Minn Kota Edge has a thrust ability of 45 to 70 pounds, depending on the model. It has 24 volts of power. The composite shaft is indestructible and has a lifetime warranty.
The motor has a latch and door mount, which results in easy mounting and removal. It is equipped with features that make it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.
Minn Kota Edge has five forward speeds. You can control the speed easily via a heel-toe/cable-steer foot pedal.
- Foot pedal for convenient steering
- Easy to install and remove
- Indestructible composite shaft
- Equipped for both saltwater and freshwater usage
- The propeller can get stuck in weeds
Kayak trolling motors can improve your time on the water by removing the task of using your strength while paddling. Owning a trolling motor can help you reach your destination quickly and efficiently.
It can also help you focus on things other than paddling. However, there are many things to consider when choosing the trolling motor that will be perfect for you.
Choosing the motor that is right for you can be a daunting task. I hope this list of the best kayak trolling motors on the market has helped you choose the trolling motor that is perfect for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does my trolling motor come with a warranty?
A: Warranty depends on the manufacturer and the model. Most trolling motors come with a two-year warranty, although some come with a lifetime warranty for certain parts.
Q: What do kayak trolling motors come with?
A: When you purchase a trolling motor, it usually comes with a propeller and an instruction manual. They usually don’t come with batteries, but those can be purchased separately.
Q: Which battery should I get for my trolling motor?
A: This depends on which model you own. For most trolling motors, the lowest you can go is a 12-volt battery, but many models do come in 24-volt or 36-volt varieties. Read the instructions carefully to avoid buying the wrong battery.
Q: How long will my battery last?
A: You can check the amperage hours of your battery. Amperage hours measure for how long a battery can maintain a consistent amperage output. The higher the number on the battery, the longer it will last between charges.
Q: How fast will my kayak go with a trolling motor?
A: The fastest your kayak can go with a trolling motor is 5 mph.
Q: Do kayaks with electric motors require registration?
A: Each state has different rules for kayaks and furthermore different rules for electric motors. You will need to contact your local marine board or in some states the DMV. For more information on classifying eclectic trolling motors see our article.