Do you need help with purchasing a good battery for your trolling motor? If so, you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to talk about the top 10 trolling motor batteries and the lightest trolling motor battery available. Let’s get started.
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A Brief Introduction to Trolling Motor Batteries
Before we start listing the best trolling motor batteries available, it is important that you understand some key aspects of a trolling motor battery. This battery is significantly different than the starter battery used in your car.
A trolling motor battery is normally referred to as a marine battery or a deep cycle battery. This battery operates by discharging a small amount of current at regular intervals for a specific time period. This helps them use their electric charge more efficiently and helps run your trolling motor for hours. A deep cycle battery can be further categorized into two types:
- A sealed AGM battery
- A lead-acid wet-cell battery
A lead-acid wet cell battery is a traditional trolling motor battery. It makes use of electromagnetic plates that are submerged in an electrolyte fluid. This fluid is usually composed of sulfuric acid and water. It is important to maintain the fluid level for this battery. This can be done by adding distilled water, every time the fluid level decreases.
Make sure you don’t get careless about this aspect of battery maintenance. If the electrolyte fluid dries up to the point that the cells and plates get exposed, then the battery will get damaged. This type of battery is moderately priced and is very commonly used for trolling motors. It can last for 2 years.
An AGM battery is a type of battery that is completely sealed. This helps the battery maintain its charge for a longer period of time. It also extends its lifespan. They can last for as long as 4 years. However, they are also more expensive than a lead-acid wet cell battery.
Finally, always connect your battery to a battery maintainer when not in use. Many people like to store their kayak battery on an out-of-the-way shelf with their other boating equipment, but this could result in the premature death of your battery. Most quality battery chargers have a maintenance(or float) mode built-in, simply leave it connected in a well-ventilated place.
Why Does Battery Weight Matter?
Your electric trolling motor generates thrust to move your boat. The limiting factor in the yield of that thrust is weight. So, the higher the total weight of your boat and gear the more power it will take to move your boat.
Now, if you have a small motor and a lightweight boat, like a kayak, you can use a small battery to troll around your favorite lake. Some of the best boats for lightweight batteries could be jon boats, canoes, kayaks, and small aluminum boats.
If you go to a larger boat, you will need a larger trolling motor and larger batteries to power your motor.
Top Choice Light Weight Battery
When looking at batteries, the weight came in a close second to performance because if your battery won’t run your trolling motor, then the weight doesn’t matter. For that reason, we choose the ML Group 34 12V 60AH SLA Mighty Max Battery for Electric Trolling Motor as our top pick. The weight is at our maximum for this category; however, the 60 amp-hour rating makes a big difference.
If you are using a kayak, you might want a two battery system for better balance or weight distribution. In this case, we recommend the Mighty Max Battery 12V 35AH SLA Battery for Minn Kota Endura C2. The two batteries will weigh slightly over 46 pounds and have a 70 amp-hour rating. The Mighty max is a solid choice for a kayak trolling motor battery.
Finally, if you have the money, we recommend going with a lithium battery. Lithium batteries are the lightest with to potential energy of any current battery. Also, for life span, lithium batteries will have more than 10 times the cycle life at 50% depth of discharge compared to the best lead-acid battery. We have a list of some great lithium batteries below.
You can see our entire list below and see our rating and product summary.
Choosing the Lightest Trolling Motor Battery
Now that you have a brief understanding of trolling motor batteries let’s review some marine batteries that qualify as the “lightest trolling motor battery.”
1. Mighty Max Battery ML18-12 12V 18AH SLA AGM Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery for Electric Trolling Motor
Our Rating: 4.6/5
The first battery to feature on our list is the ML18-12 from Mighty Max. Mighty Max is a well-reputed brand for trolling motor batteries. Their products are well known for their quality and endurance. Their ML18-12 battery weighs only 12 lbs, which makes it the lightest trolling motor battery on our list.
The battery operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rate of 18 AH. It is a sealed lead-acid battery that makes use of AGM (Absorbent Glass Matt) technology. In spite of the low amp hour rate, you can expect this battery to deliver a high-quality performance. It also recharges quickly. Since it is an AGM battery, you do not need to worry about maintenance. It comes with a 1-year warranty, and you can expect this battery to last for 3 to 4 years. That’s not a bad bargain considering the amount of convenience it offers at a reasonable price.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
The second battery to feature on our list is the ML35-12 SLA by Mighty Max. This battery was launched in 2015. It is a sealed lead acid battery that is perfect for trolling motors. The battery makes use of AGM, as well as sealed lead-acid technology, and provides the best of both worlds. It has a calcium-alloy grid that enhances its performance.
The use of calcium alloy also makes the battery more resistant to overcharging. The ML35-12 SLA operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rating of 35AH. The battery is spill-proof and weighs 23.15 lbs. It also has a high discharge rate and can operate at a wide variety of temperatures.
You can recharge it by mounting it in any position. The battery is shock-resistant and comes with a 1-year warranty. The AGM technology, along with its valve-regulated design, helps prevent any leaking of the electrolyte fluid. It also requires very little maintenance. Besides serving as a trolling motor battery, it can also be used for motorcycles, golf carts, medical mobility vehicles, etc.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Expert Power Inc. is another well-known company that has been producing batteries since 1987. Their rechargeable deep cycle batteries easily qualify among the lightest trolling motor batteries you’ll find. This particular battery by Expert Power uses state-of-the-art Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) technology. It operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rating of 33 AH. It can run for several hours before you need to recharge it.
Like the Mighty Max batteries reviewed above, this one has a calcium-alloy grid too. These batteries are also regulated through valves and require minimal maintenance. It is a little heavier than the Mighty Max battery and weighs 23.3 lbs. It can operate at a wide variety of temperatures and is perfect for use in a trolling motor. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
Our Rating: 4.1/5
This is the second lightest trolling motor battery on our list. It weighs only 12.3 pounds. It was released in 2007 and is still the go-to choice for many boat owners. Backed by Expert Power Inc, you can expect this battery to give a reliable and consistent performance. It operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rate of 18 AH.
The battery makes use of sealed lead-acid technology. The cover is made of ABS plastic. This is non-conductive and shock-resistant. It can also withstand exposure to heat and chemicals. The battery is vibration-resistant as well. If you are looking for something light, durable, and price-friendly, then this is one of the best trolling motor batteries available.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
The EXP12200 is a winner in two departments. It is the third lightest trolling motor battery on our list. It is also very price-friendly. Given that it is a product of Expert Power Inc, you do not need to worry about compromising quality over cost. This battery makes use of the classic lead-acid technology.
It operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rate of 20 AH. It can run for several hours before you need to recharge it. The battery’s capacity to hold a charge for a long period of time makes it an even more cost-effective purchase. It is also valve-regulated and maintenance-free. The battery weighs only 12.5 lbs and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Produced by Interstate Batteries, the DCM0035 is a deep-cycle marine battery that makes use of AGM technology. It is smaller than most marine batteries and weighs 23.8 lbs. It operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rate of 25 AH.
Since it’s a sealed battery, you do not need to put too much effort into maintenance. This battery is more suitable for small boats that do not have a lot of space for fitting in batteries. It has a compact design and can help run your trolling motor for 2 or 3 hours. You can install more than one battery if you want to extend its lifespan before recharging.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
This product by Mighty Max is heavier than most deep cycle batteries on our list. It weighs at nearly 39 lbs but is a lot more dependable than other smaller batteries. It is highly resistant to vibrations and can help you navigate choppy waters without losing its charge. If you run it on an intermittent basis, then you can get several hours of runtime before needing to recharge.
It is most suitable for pontoon boats, canoes, kayaks, and small fishing boats and works well with 30-pound thrust trolling motors and 45-pound thrust trolling motors. You can expect it to run for 4 hours before needing to recharge it. If you reduce the power usage to 25%, then you can get an additional runtime of 2 hours. The battery comes with a 1-year warranty and does not require any maintenance. Make sure you check the charge level before recharging. The battery is sensitive to overcharging and may get damaged in the process.
Our Rating: 4.9/5
The ML Group 34 SLA is a Mighty Max battery that uses sealed lead acid and AGM technology. This battery is unique among those offering an amp hour rate of 60 AH and above. Most batteries in this category cost significantly more, as much as 2 times.
While the weight of this battery is among the highest for this product roundup, it is still lightweight at 39 pounds. This weight is right in line with standard weight-to-amp-hour performance.
The AGM/SLA type battery offers the ability to be mounted in any position and has a 50% depth of discharge rating without damaging your battery. This battery type gives a high-quality performance and will allow you to run your motor for several hours before recharging.
It is also highly resistant to shocks and vibration and can operate at a variety of temperatures. The battery comes with a 1-year warranty and will last you for at least 4 years before you need to replace it.
Our Rating: 4.1/5
The final product to feature on our list is the ML55-12 SLA Battery by Mighty Max. Like the ML50-12, this battery also makes use of sealed lead acid and AGM technology. It operates at 12 volts and has an amp hour rate of 55 AH. The best part is it weighs only 36 pounds, an impressive achievement for a trolling motor battery in this category.
The battery is spill-proof and does not require any maintenance. It has a high discharge rate and is resistant to shocks and vibration. It costs a little more than the other Mighty Max products featured here, but it is also very long-lasting. The battery comes with a 1-year warranty.
Special Feature: Lithium Ion Batteries for Electric Trolling Motors
So far, all the trolling motor batteries we reviewed employed AGM technology or lead-acid. These batteries are usually less expensive and long-lasting. However, we’d also like to discuss lithium-ion batteries.
These batteries tend to be very expensive (the price range can be anywhere between $700 to $1200). The upside is, they are also very lightweight and powerful. Also, kayak anglers might want to look for a lithium battery with a waterproof rating of IP67 or above in case you flip your kayak. Some lithium batteries can become dangerous when submerged in water.
Let’s take a look at our top 3 lithium-ion batteries:
Weize’s lithium-ion batteries can serve as a classic replacement for your lead-acid batteries. These batteries offer an amp hour rate as high as 100 AH. The incredible thing is, they weigh only 26 lbs! They have an incredibly long battery life of 8000 cycles at 50% (a traditional lead-acid battery lasts 300 to 500 cycles). They also come with a 10-year warranty. The batteries also have a battery management system installed that offers circuit protection and temperature protection.
2. Battle Born Batteries BB10012 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Lithium Deep Cycle Battery Bundle with Victron IP65 15A Bluetooth Charger
These lithium-ion batteries are equipped with state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology. They offer an amp hour rate of 100 AH and weigh only 30 lbs. The Bluetooth technology allows you to check the charge level of the battery through your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. You can also configure the charger settings using a smart app. These batteries can give a continuous output of 200 amperes and are incredibly long-lasting. They come with an 8-year warranty.
Ampere Time’s lithium batteries also deserve a mention. These batteries operate at 12 volts and have an amp hour rate of 100 AH. They are excellent with solar panels and weigh only 24.25 lbs. Like most drop-in lithium batteries, these also come equipped with a battery management system. They can help run your trolling motor for several hours. The charging system is incredibly fast, as well. These batteries require no maintenance and will last you for many years. (Editor’s note: I am currently using this brand 24 volt 100 ah battery for my boat’s trolling motor system and have been quite happy, here is a Youtube install video.)
For most lithium batteries you should use a special battery charger. The Optimate charger is not the largest charger but will extend your battery life because it is full function. Additionally, because it is weatherproof and lightweight you can mount it in any boat for onboard charging.
What is the smallest battery for a trolling motor?
The smallest battery for a trolling motor seems to be Mighty max’s ML18-12 battery. It’s lightweight, weighing just 12lbs, and runs on 12V. You can expect an amp rate of 18 AH. The small battery will still provide plenty of power, especially for smaller trolling motors. Just because it’s small, it doesn’t mean you will need to worry about power!
When selecting a small battery, it still needs to be big and powerful enough to power your motor. You will want the voltage of the battery and motor to add up for them to be compatible. You will also need to check that the amp will be able to support your trolling motor.
Thankfully, most small batteries can do this these days! Smaller batteries also tend to be lighter and can be easier to handle. When choosing your small battery, ensure that it’s light enough and still powerful enough to power your trolling motor.
Can you use a regular battery for a trolling motor?
You can use a regular battery for a trolling motor if you wanted to, but all advice will tell you not to use a regular battery for a trolling motor. This is because regular batteries aren’t suitable for being drained most of the way down or being unused for a long period of time. They can cause issues in the long term and impact the performance of your motor!
While it can be handy if you are in a pinch or are looking for a temporary cost-effective solution, you shouldn’t use a regular battery as a permanent or long-term solution.
Instead, you should use a deep cycle marine battery. These are better suited to the conditions of a trolling motor and are unlikely to cause issues. They come in a range of amps and voltages, so you can find one that suits your motor!
Can you use a lithium battery for a trolling motor?
Yes, you can use a lithium battery for a trolling motor! These are the batteries that most brands recommend you use with their motors. Lithium batteries can offer a longer run time and lifespan for your motor, meaning you can be out on the water enjoying yourself for longer!
Typically 12V 100AH lithium batteries are the best to use with trolling motors. Professional bass anglers often use these in sports, so you know you can put your faith in it! Always check that it will be compatible with your motor before purchasing your battery.
You might need to adjust the voltage or amps of your battery to ensure it matches your battery. If you are after maximum performance and all-day power, you should use a lithium battery with your trolling motor.
Are lithium RV batteries worth the cost?
Yes, lithium RV batteries can be worth the cost! RV lithium batteries are fairly new to the market and can be up to 15% more efficient when charging! They are also almost 50% lighter than AGM batteries making them easier to handle. They are an ideal battery for most users!
However, in terms of performance, there is little difference when compared to AGM batteries. For some people, this does not justify the higher cost, especially if you aren’t too worried about having a heavier battery.
It’s worth considering these factors when deciding if a lithium RV battery is worth the cost. Consider your budget when making this decision.
These batteries can last longer and are slightly more efficient, are these features enough for you to justify the higher cost? For many, it’s the lighter weight that makes these batteries worth the high cost.
Do you need a circuit breaker for a lightweight trolling motor battery?
A circuit breaker or fuse is a mandatory part of any trolling motor wiring system, regardless of battery size. The proper-size circuit breaker will disconnect your battery when your current draw goes above a safe level, preventing component damage or a fire.
Let’s Sum It Up
Choosing the right battery for your trolling motor is very important. It can help you get optimum performance out of your boat and also help you avoid an unexpected catastrophe. Here’s a quick recap of what you need to keep in mind when buying a marine battery for your boat:
- The battery should be able to operate for more than 2 hours at maximum speed.
- External shocks or vibrations should not compromise the charge level of the battery
- The battery should require little to no maintenance
- It should have a reasonable amp hour rate that gives you a good output
- It should not be too heavy for your boat
You must also keep an eye on the charge level when you set the battery up for recharging. Overcharging can shorten the life of the battery. It may damage it permanently as well. For these reasons, we always recommend a quality smart charger for your kayak trolling motor battery.
If you own a pontoon boat or a kayak, we strongly recommend you buy the lightest trolling motor battery available. This will help your boat function more smoothly.
For more interesting articles on trolling motors, visit DC Trolling Motor.