Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks | 2021 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
If you are tired of manually paddling your kayak, it might be time to invest in a trolling motor. The best trolling motors can be used with a variety of yaks and other watercraft, taking the effort out of traversing large stretches of water. They are very popular with anglers, making it easy to propel large yaks loaded with significant weights across long distances. If you are looking to upgrade to a trolling motor, there are some key terms you will need to understand before making a purchase. Our trolling motor guide outlines all the essential information you need to become familiar with.
In short, thrust dictates how powerful your trolling motor will be. To determine how much thrust you need, you first need to think about how much your boat will weigh when you disembark on a fishing excursion. You need to take into account the weight of the yak or boat itself, as well as the combined weight of any occupants and stowed gear. You will need around two pounds of thrust for every hundred pounds of weight you are carrying. If you are looking to fish in windy conditions or bodies of water with challenging currents, you may want to add even more thrust into the equation.
You will need to power your trolling motor with a battery, so you will need to know how much voltage is required in order to power it. If your trolling system dictates that it requires 12 volts in order to function, you will probably only need a single 12v battery in order to get across the water. However, if you are looking to enjoy significant thrust, you will need to invest in multiple batteries to provide the desired voltage. However, the vast majority of kayaks will only require you use a single battery.
The last thing you want to happen when using your kayak is to run out of battery for your motor. Therefore, look for trolling motors that include a battery indicator. Although they will not offer you a detailed insight into how many minutes or hours of battery time you have left, they will give you a broader picture of how much longer your battery will continue to power your motor. The majority of motors include an LED array that will diminish in brightness the lower the capacity of your battery gets. If you have a large enough yak, you may want to consider taking a second battery with you to ensure you are not left without thrust in the middle of a large body of water.
Variable Speed Control
If you want to explore a large body of water and investigate multiple fishing grounds, you will want the option of being able to travel at varying speeds. Variable speed control is therefore essential. Not only will this allow you to up your speed when travelling considerable distances, it will allow you reduce your speed when investigating certain areas in more detail. You can also use lower speeds when you want to remain more silent and not run the risk of scaring away fish if you are angling. Variable speed control is also handy if you want to preserve battery life. If your motor battery is running out of juice and you are far from the shore, you can opt for a lower speed setting to put less strain on your remaining battery reserves.
Your trolling motor should be easy to access and make adjustments to. One-handed operation is desirable as this means you do not have to leave the comfort of the cockpit when making adjustments to speed or direction. It also means you can enjoy better balance when in transit, eliminating the chance of you falling into the water. Ergonomic handles are also good to have as they will prevent you from straining your digits if adjust your motor on a regular basis.
Selecting the Right Shaft Length
Do not overlook the importance of shaft length when selecting a trolling motor for yak. If the motor you select is too short for your boat, it will not be sufficiently submerged. This will limit its functionality and impact the amount of thrust. Always consider the size of your hull when choosing a new trolling motor. If your kayak is particularly large, you will need a trolling motor with a much longer shaft length to ensure it can be properly submerged and perform at its best.
Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks | Reviews
Looking to give your yak some serious thrust? Below you will find our pick of some of the best trolling motors currently available.
Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30″ Shaft
If you are looking for a cost-effective and efficient trolling motor, this Newport Vessels Series 46lb model should satisfy your needs. This powerful kayak motor provides you with 46 pounds of thrust, which should be more than enough to get your yak in motion and allow you to accelerate at considerable speed. Despite the impressive amount of thrust provided by this motor, it is a very quiet option and will appeal to those looking to stay stealthy. This motor can also be used for hours at a time, without you having to worry about it overheating. This trolling motor has been built from high-grade fibreglass, making it very durable and ensuring you can partially submerge it in both freshwater and saltwater without damaging it.
This trolling motor offers eight different speed settings, giving you plenty of options when it comes to deciding on the right level of acceleration for your needs. You have five forward speed settings and three reverse speed settings to choose from. The telescoping handle boasts an ergonomic design, that makes operating this trolling motor user-friendly and comfortable. An LED battery metre is also included. The brighter the battery indicator, the more runtime your trolling motor has. You will of course need to attach a compatible battery to this trolling motor to use it. A 12 volt lead acid battery or marine battery is therefore essential.
AQUOS Black Haswing 12V 65LBS 35.5inch Shaft Transom Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing, Saltwater and Freshwater Use, Brushless Motor
If you are looking for powerful performance and variable speed settings, this AQUOS trolling motor is an ideal addition to your kayak. This trolling motor allows you to select exactly the right amount of speed for your needs, with user-friendly control allowing to give your yak more thrust or dial it back it when you want to go slower. The variable speed setting of this motor also means you can adjust your usage throughout the day. As your battery life diminishes, you can opt for slower speeds to ensure you are not left without motorized acceleration while you are out on the water. It is also easy to adjust the height of this transom trolling motor, allowing you to access the ergonomic handle at a position that suits you. This is crucial for ensuring comfortable operation of the motor when out fishing all day.
This transom motor can also be tilted in and out of the water whenever required. This is important f you are kayaking on bodies of water with uneven topography, meaning the motor never needs to come into contact with underwater obstacles. It is easy to lock the motor at a new height, with a quick release function so you can readjust the positioning when you move onto deeper water conditions. The brushless design of this motor also makes it an efficient choice. With no brushes to wear out, this motor will perform well for a long time. It is also relatively quiet when compared to other types of motor, making it a suitable option for those worried about scaring away potential catches. You also do no need to concern yourself with sparking and other hazards associated with other types of motors.
Watersnake – ASP 18 and 24 Pound Thrust 12V Saltwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor Kayak Bracket Optional, 24″ Shaft, White
The Watersnake ASP 18 is a lightweight choice of trolling motor. The simple design of this motor make sit easy to add and remove to your kayak of choice. This also makes it suitable for use between various watercraft. Weighing just under 5 pounds, this motor is exceptionally lightweight. It will add minimal bulk to your kayak and ensure you get the most runtime out of your motor. The smaller design of this motor makes it perfect for use with kayaks, small boats and other inflatable craft. If you are travelling solo, you will appreciate the compact nature of this motor.
A degree of variable speed control is provided by t his motor. You can choose between high and low speed settings, with a reverse and forward switch provided so you can instantly switch directions. An extendable handle is also included, allowing for much easier steering. An anti-impact clip system is also included, protecting your trolling motor against any damage should you make contact with obstacles in or on the water. Although a convenient choice for kayaks and smaller watercraft, you should bear in mind that this trolling motor offers only modest thrust. There are two thrust options available (24 pounds and 18 pounds). Both variants require you a 12 volt battery in order to operate, although these marine batteries are relatively affordable.
Newport Vessels L-Series 62lb/86lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (40″ Shaft)
This quality trolling motor from the Newport Vessels L-Series will satisfy your needs if you are after substantial thrust. Providing no less than 86 pounds of thrust, this is a high-powered option that will more than deliver if you are looking for advanced performance. Despite the powerful thrust potential of this motor, it is a relatively quiet option. Even when pushed to its limits, it creates minimal operational noise and should not overheat. If you are looking to use your kayak offshore and in challenging weather and water conditions, this heavy-duty trolling motor is the way to go. The stainless steel hardware make this motor particularly suited to saltwater conditions. You will not have to worry about corrosion or rusting here. However, it can also be used in freshwater conditions.
You have eight different speed settings to choose from here, with five speed options when moving forward and three selectable speeds for travelling in reverse. An ergonomic handle provides you with easy access to your motor, allowing you to quickly make speed adjustments and directional changes. A 10-point LED battery indicator will let you know how much battery life your motor has left. As the battery diminished, the LED indicator will fade incrementally. On the topic of batteries, you will need to ensure you have a 24-volt marine battery or a 12-volt lead acid deep cycle battery in order to operate this powerful motor. Both battery varieties are readily available online and relatively inexpensive.
Newport Vessels X-Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator (36″ Shaft)
This X-Series transom trolling motor is another powerful option for propelling your kayak. This Newport Vessels trolling motor provides you with 55 pounds of thrust, which should handle relatively challenging conditions with ease. It also makes it suitable for use with larger kayaks, especially those loaded with a considerable amount of angling gear and accessories. The fibreglass shaft makes this motor a particularly strong and heavy-duty option. The nylon mount is equally durable, ensuring you can use this motor on a regular basis with little worry about it becoming damaged.
This kayak motor offers you eight different speed settings. Five speeds are available when travelling forward, while three reverse speed settings are also on offer. The ergonomic handle allows you to easily make adjustments to speed or direction with one hand. A 10-point LED indicator is also included to provide you with a clear idea of how much battery is remaining. As the battery begins to run out of juice, the LED lights will begin to fade. This will allow you to make adjustments to motor speeds to ensure you are not left without thrust when out on the water. You will also need to think about purchasing a suitable battery to power your motor. This X-Series transom mount motor is compatible with 12-volt lead acid deep cycle batteries. It can also be powered by marine batteries.
AQUOS White Haswing Cayman 12V 55LBS 48″ Shaft Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor Portable,Variable Speed with Quick Release Bracket for Bass Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use
If you are looking for a trolling motor that makes minimal noise, the AQUOS Haswing Cayman 12V is a good option. This powerful motor provides you with 55 pounds of thrust, but the ultra-quiet design means you can stalk fish without worrying about giving your location away. Variable speed control is also on offer here, allowing you to make precise adjustments to acceleration and smooth adjustments with little effort. It is also good to see variable speed control provided by trolling motors as you can be sensible when it comes to preserving battery life if you plan on being out on the water for a considerable stretch of time. This trolling motor is suitable for kayaks and most light watercraft weighting up to 2750 pounds.
Another big draw of this motor is its remote control, allowing for wireless speed adjustments. This means you can keep your hands free for angling equipment and remain positioned in the cockpit without manually adjusting the motor. The remote control has an impressive range of 164 feet and can be charged via USB or power bank. You can also make quick adjustments to the height of this motor thanks to the depth collar. This is essential for ensuring you do not damage your motor blades when passing through water with varying topography.
The Minn Kota PowerDrive 45 is an efficient choice of trolling motor that combines powerful thrust with plenty of other useful features. This reliable trolling motor not only provides you with 45 pounds of thrust to get heavy kayaks going, it offers variable speed control so you can tailor your acceleration. This motor is also user-friendly, with speed control within easy reach so you can make constant adjustments from the comfort your yak cockpit. This mount is built to endure even the toughest of fishing expeditions, with the sleek build providing surprisingly robust. It will handle impacts well and is designed to withstand challenging water conditions.
A particularly useful design feature of the PowerDrive is the inclusion of the Universal Sonar 2. This will allow you to keep fish finder transducers and wiring concealed and safe from harm. Any wires and shield connectors are neatly routed through the shaft of the motor, meaning you will not have to worry about a cluttered deck. The flared blades also make this a very efficient choice of motor. The swept-back design of these blades means they will cope with challenging situations, without putting too much strain on your motor battery. This motor also produces minimal noise, making it a good option for stealthy stalking. It can also be used constantly, with little need to worry about the unit overheating.
The Minn Kota Edge 45 is a sleek choice of trolling motor that makes a low-profile addition to any kayak. However, if you are looking to give your yak some real thrust, this motor will not disappoint. Although slimline in its appearance, this efficient motor provides your kayak with 45 pounds of thrust. This is more than enough to get you going through freshwater and calmer offshore conditions. The build quality will also satisfy those after heavy-duty design. The composite shaft is practically indestructible, meaning you will not have to worry about steering through choppy waters or areas with substantial weed growth and other obstacles.
You also have variable speed control provided here. Five speeds can be selected when travelling forward, allowing you to tailor your motor usage to meet with new weather and water conditions. This variable speed control also means you can be economical when it comes to battery usage. It is also very easy to attach this motor thanks to its latch and door mounting system. The attached foot pedal also makes it simple to start and cease your motor. The ergonomic pedal also means you can keep your hands free for handling rods and attending to other angling tasks.
Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks
As you can see, you have a good variety of options when it comes to selecting a trolling motor for your fishing kayak. Even the most basic of inflatable boats and yaks can benefit from the addition of a trolling motor, saving you the effort involved in manual paddling.
The Newport Vessels NV-Series is definitely good option for those looking for a trolling motor that can be used in saltwater. This powerful motor is also a powerful option, providing you with 46 pounds of thrust. This high-quality motor will also appeal to anglers looking for something that can be easily mounted to their yak or boat. You also have variable speed control to help you better manage your battery life. This is one of the best kayak motors out there for those looking for efficiency combined with user-friendly design. Durability is also assured thanks to the rugged design and high-grade materials.
The L-Series is another great range of motors from Newport Vessels. With 62 pounds of thrust, this powerful motor will have trouble propelling larger yaks through the water. The longer shaft length makes it particularly suitable for larger vessels, although you will want to keep an eye on the battery meter to ensure you are not draining your reserves down too quickly. The durable motor head design also ensures you can get through difficult spots with little effort.