10 best trolling motors for kayaks 2020 – Freshwater & Saltwater Models

Most experienced fishermen understand the importance of trolling motors which most beginners don’t know. Often times, you can witness fishes running away from your boat, kayak, canoe because they can hear sound from the movement of water, wave, and your kayak engine which is why you need the best trolling motors for kayaks for adequate hunting.

The operation of mount trolling motors for a kayak is to reduce the sound from your kayak while you move on the water which is a perfect means to get your fish unaware of your presence. Most seasoned hunters have made use of this fishing device and they’ve all had good reports on its operations and yours should not be an exception.

So, we have made all the easier for you with the list of the top products that you need to consider. They are well researched and reviewed by experts and customers who had experience with it. So we, hope you can go on to make the right decision from the list below and you can as well have a quick check through the comparison table.

Best kayak trolling motor comparison table

Image Product Features View

  • 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings
  • Shaft length: 36″, 42″
  • Thrust level: 40, 45, 50, 55
  • Control: Telescoping Tiller
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  • Shaft length: 48 inch
  • Thrust level: 54
  • Power: 12V
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  • Thrust levels 40, 45, 50, 55
  • Shaft length 36″, 42″
  • 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings
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  • Power 12V
  • Shaft 24 inch
  • Thrust 18 pounds
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  • Thrust 36 pounds
  • 5 forward speeds, and 3 reverse speeds
  • Shaft 30 inches
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  • Wireless Pedal for Precise Control. All-New Composite Shaft
  • Shaft Length: 45 inches, Recommended Boat Length: 17 – 21 feet
  • Thrust 80 pounds
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  • 5 forward speeds
  • Latch and door mount for easy removal
  • Heel-toe/ Cable-Steer foot pedal
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  • Motor Style: Electric-steer
  • Mounting Location: Bow-mount
  • Shaft Lengths: 45-inch, 54-inch, 60-inch, or 72-inch
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  • 45-inch shaft length
  • Thrust 112 pounds
  • Power 36 v
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  • Thrust levels 45, 55, 80, 112
  • Shaft Length 36″, 42″, 52″
  • Saltwater, Cable Steer Transom-Mount Motor
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Trolling motors for kayaks in 2020

best trolling motors for kayaks

1. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor

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2. Shadow Bow Mount Foot Control Motor Trolling Motor

Watersnake FWDR54-48 Shadow Bow Mount Foot Control Motor (Black, 48-inch)
  • Control the direction or speed of your boat with a touch of your foot with the variable speed foot control unit
  • All models are fitted with stainless steel propeller shafts, propellers and corrosion free composite shafts that flex on impact
  • The 3-blade propeller has a weedless design that can chew through the heaviest of underwater grasses and marsh
  • Features a 54-pound thrust while running on 12-volts of power and a 48-inch shaft

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3. Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Transom Mount Trolling Motor 

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4. ASP 18 and 24 Pound Thrust 12V Saltwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor

Watersnake T18 ASP - 18 Pound Thrust 12v Electric Saltwater Trolling Motor with Transom Mount, 24" Shaft, White
  • LIGHTWEIGHT SIMPLE DESIGN: If you're after lightweight and portability. This motor weighs a mere 4.85 lbs (2.2kg) and is ideal for powering kayaks, canoes, small dinghies and inflatable boats, especially if you have to carry your craft to the water.
  • CONTROL + FEATURES: There is a high and low speed control, a forward and reverse switch, and extendable handle for easy steering, a 24" (61cm) shaft plus an anti-impact clip system in the mount. The 2-blade propeller is a weedless design. Bracket optional
  • ELECTRIC POWER: Available in 18 lb (7-15 amps) and 24 lb (9-20 amps) thrust, both 12 Volt motors, Battery Not Included.
  • VERSATILE: Universal design suitable for most kayaks and canoes, optional bracket for more mounting options and less DIY mounts. Adjustable transom mount fitting

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5. Newport Vessels NV-Series 

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft
  • 36lb Thrust - The easy to operate, quiet and cool 36lb NV Series allows you to fish all day long without overheating, or scaring away fish.
  • 30-inch Composite Fiberglass Shaft - High-strength, fully adjustable shaft allows for proper depth placement in all water conditions.
  • 8 Speeds and 6-Inch Telescoping Handle (5 forward, 3 reverse) - Ergonomic extendable handle, 5 forward speeds, and 3 reverse speeds puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and controlled ride.
  • 5-Point LED Battery Meter - Super bright battery indicator provides immediate charge level. Note: The NV 36lb motor requires one (1) 12V deep cycle or marine battery (battery not included).

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6. Motorguide Motorguide

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7. MinnKota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor

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8. Minn Kota Terrova Freshwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Terrova Freshwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Universal Sonar 2 and i-Pilot GPS (24-Volt, 80-Pound)
  • The Minn Kota Terrova features an easy-to-deploy system of fall away ramps that effortlessly slide the trolling motor into the water, plus a spring-loaded Lift-Assist design for easy stowing.
  • A low-profile electric foot pedal offers two steering options (heel/toe pedal and left/right steering buttons) and includes Spot-Lock activation, rotary speed control dial, momentary/constant on toggle, and Autopilot on/off toggle.
  • Using GPS to lock onto fishing spots with Spot-Lock, record paths, and command speed, the i-Pilot Link system allows you to control your motor from the touchscreen remote or from a virtual remote on your Hummingbird fish finder (sold separately).
  • Offering optimal sonar performance to help you find fish, the built-in Universal Sonar 2 keeps your transducer and wiring completely concealed and protected, running everything through the trolling motor's shaft with shielded connectors.

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9. Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor

Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow-Mount Motor with MEGA Down Imaging and i-Pilot GPS (36-Volt, 112-Pound)
  • Combining Minn Kota's most responsive, intuitive steering yet with GPS-powered automatic boat control, the Ultrex trolling motor features a next-generation power steering foot pedal that's built for all-day comfort and precise control.
  • Tap the foot pedal's Spot-Lock button to stay on a fishing spot without touching your trolling motor. When you take your foot off Ultrex's foot pedal, the motor head remains pointed in the direction you left it—no recoil or readjustment.
  • Using GPS to lock onto fishing spots with Spot-Lock, record paths, and command speed, the i-Pilot Link system allows you to control your motor from the touchscreen remote or from a virtual remote on your Humminbird fish finder (sold separately).
  • This Ultrex features a built-in transducer with Humminbird MEGA Down Imaging (DI), which provides crystal-clear coverage down to 125 feet below your boat so you can easily distinguish fish from structure and even target individual species.

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10. Minn Kota Riptide SC Transom Trolling Motor

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Kayak trolling motor buyer’s guide

best trolling motors for kayaks

  • Batteries

Trolling motors are electrical devices as they run on electrical charges. They run on the power system in multiples of 12v, 12/24v, 24v, and 36v. The principle is simple with the use of batteries. the more powerful the motor is the more voltage needed to run it. All that matters is getting the right battery that is needed to get the best out of your trolling motor.

  • Mounting System

Trolling motor is designed for boats and that is the reason you have to do lots of drilling on your kayak to mount on it. You just have to get the right mounting system and you can always read how you can install trolling motor on kayak above for easy operation.

  • Shaft Length

The shaft between the propeller and ending on trolling motors is long and it can extend to the water below from the gunnel of a bass boat. But for kayaks, using a long shaft is a big problem which is why you need to consider trolling motor with short shafts if you want to use it with your kayak.

  • Control Type

The control of the trolling motor is another factor that you must consider. there are many in the market. You can be offered a foot pedal operation control but that is very much useless with a kayak. The e=best control type is the use of remote control which you can attach to your kayak operating system and control it whenever you want to move forward or backward with a button.

You’ll find a variety of control systems on the market, and given the intended use of trolling motors, many will offer some form of foot pedal operation. As useful as that is on a bass boat, it’s pretty much useless for a kayak.

  • Weight

If you are getting a trolling motor, you need to consider the weight of the product you are about getting. You do not need something that will be too heavy for you kayak to move easily, So you need to consider the weight and that of your kayak.

How to mount a trolling motor on a kayak

 

best trolling motors for kayaks

 

This will help you to have a smooth and easy way to install your trolling motor on your kayak either as a beginner or a seasoned hunter.

Here are the essential materials needed for mounting a trolling motor on your kayak. You sure need some and can as well do away with some.

  • 12 volts, deep cycle Marine Battery
  • Steel Wires
  • A new set of paddles
  • Minn Kota Plug
  • Battery Tray, Piece of wood and foam.
  • Glue
  • Electric Wires
  • Wire cover
  • Electric tape
  • Minn Kota Endure Motor
  • Kipawa 314 propeller
  • Wingnuts
  • Drill Machine
  • Hand saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire snips crimps
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Glasses to protect the eyes

Step 1. Attach the Motor with Propeller

The first step is to attach a fitted propeller to your motor. While doing that, never overlook the weight of your kayak. Although the propeller doesn’t improve the speed of a boat but rather increases the thrust of the motor.

Step 2. Mount the Motor with Kayak

Now that you’ve added your propeller, you can then locate the back of your kayak and then drill four holes to fit a stand using the drilling machine. The stand helps you to easily connect the motor with the kayak. You need to get the right stand for the kayak and you can make one fit your kayak. Note: never go for a stand that is too heavy

Step 3. Build the Steering Linkage

Now that you have all set, you need to steer the system and you need to punch a hole at the back of your kayak. Each hole should be 1 ½ inch from the depression at the back of your kayak. Now, you can then put a plastic tube in the holes. Ensure you get the perfect tubes.

Step 4. Plug wires inside “Minn Kota Plug”

Go ahead to remove the head of the trolling motor and expose the wired coming from the place. Cut off the red and yellow wire from the terminal and tape them using a tape tool to avoid short circuits. You only need the white and black wire.

Then you can drill another hole at the back of your kayak, just about two to three inches away from the lid of the rear storage compartment of your kayak. Ensure the hole is big and then fit in a “Minn Kota Plug”. It has to be waterproofed and that can be achieved by adding a receptacle. Then you can plug in the white and black wires and also insulate them using a pipe.

Step 5. Connect Steer linkage with paddles

Now, you have to remove the rudder system but never should you remove the rail that is installed with the kayak. Get your paddles and drill the holes in each paddle. One hole at the top and the other at the front side of it. You should then pass the wire through the front hole and put a detain pin in the other hole you drilled.

Step 6. Attach the circuit with RPS (Reverse polarity Switch)

This seems to be the tricky part of mounting your trolling motor on a kayak. You should attach the circuit directly with a battery using a single button if you only want the kayak to move in just a single direction. But for you to move it in both forward and backward direction, you need a reverse polarity switch.

For this purpose, you might want to turn your attention to a 12 Volt DC 30 Amp RF remote control switch. This saves you from stress and you can just direct your kayak in any direction you want with a single click.

Frequently asked questions

What size trolling motor do I need for my kayak?

Thrust matters a lot and that which determines the amount of thrust needed from your trolling motor is the weight and length of your boat. You need to look at the size of your kayak and the weight and then opt for the motor that will conveniently fit into your kayak without hassles. Note that, a trolling motor with high thrust 12V is designed for bigger heavier boats with larger payloads.

How fast will a kayak go with a trolling motor?

The maximum speed a trolling motor can achieve is 5 mph irrespective of the amount of thrust.

Is it legal to put a trolling motor on a kayak?

Attaching a trolling motor is legal and you are by no means violating any state rules for fishing. Installing a trolling motor to your vessel. However, you still have to follow every boat safety laws of your state. The use of kayak also has its law and you must know it.

Can I put a trolling motor on my inflatable kayak?

Yes, you can add your trolling motor to your inflatable kayak. The only setback is that you have to push your kayak before it gets moving.

How fast will a 55 lb thrust trolling motor go?

Under perfect riding conditions with a moderate load, 55-pound trolling motors are likely to attain a maximum speed of only 5 miles per hour. It will take about two hours for the deep cycle battery charge to get fully depleted.

How fast will an 80 lb thrust trolling motor go?

Take note that having high or more thrust does not mean more speed. The trolling motor’s maximum speed is always around 5 mph irrespective of the number of lbs (pounds) of thrust it provides.

How deep should a trolling motor be in the water?

The rule of installation is that the top of your trolling motor section should be submerged 12″. In general, shaft length selection is very critical with bow-mount motors versus transom-mount motors.

Conclusion 

Do you know you can move silently on the water without your target being aware of your presence? Every seasoned fisherman will know that. But for the beginners, the secret is the use of the best trolling motors for kayaks. It is a resourceful hunting device that helps you to move on the water silently and we have above the lists of the top reviewed products you can choose without any regret in investment.

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