Best Trolling Motor for Small Boats and Fishing

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If you are in a Hurry the Best Outboard Trolling Motor is the Minn Kota Endura C2 55

One of the biggest worries I have when I go trolling for fish is that I will disturb the fish and come back empty handed. That is why I decided to research and find the best trolling motors in the market today. I found using an outboard trolling motor has enhanced my fishing experience and has increased my catch significantly. This is because the area that you cover when fishing with a trolling motor is better than if you you were paddling in a regular fishing kayak without a trolling motor.

Since it is an expensive purchase, it makes sense to check and understand which trolling motor is the best for you.

the Top Rated Trolling Motors in the Market.

Trolling Motor Reviews: What is the Best Trolling Motor?

Here are some of the top trolling motors available. I choose a wide variety of different kinds for different conditions and uses.

1. Minn Kota Trolling Motor (Endura C2 55 Review)

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Comfortable Handle: The Minn Kota Trolling Motor C2 55 has a telescoping handle that is 6 inches. This makes it very easy and comfortable to use. Even when you are steering for a long period of time, your hand won’t get tired.

Strong Bracket: The Endura has a bracket that is very sturdy. A bracket is something that is often ignored by manufacturers and they use cheap material to make it. The problem with a conventional bracket is that if it gets damaged, the expensive motor will be affected.

The Endura has a rock-solid mount. It is made composite materials which ensured that the bracket doesn’t flex, warp and is not damaged by UV rays.

This ensures that the lever lock bracket of the Endura C2 55 is long lasting and durable.

Easy Grip Tiller: The Endura C2 55 has a Tilt Twist Tiller. This gives you a natural grip when you are steering the boat. You can steer and maneuver the boat easily with the tiller. The easy to hold tiller is a great asset if you are a beginner as it will help you to navigate and change the speed of the boat easily.

Speed Levels: The Endura has 5 speed options. The forward speeds go up to 5 levels. The motor also has 3 reverse speeds. This ensures that you can move your boat at the speed of your choice.

Composite Shaft: The shaft of the Endura is literally indestructible. It is stronger than steel and is made of high-yield composite material. On impact, the shaft will flex and get back to its original position. This is excellent and very helpful especially in shallow water or if there are rocks in the water. The shaft has a lifetime guarantee which speaks volumes of the confidence Minn Kota has in its shaft.

Cool Motor: The motor has commutators and windings which are extra large. This helps to dissipate the heat that is caused by the running of the motor easily and faster. This makes the motor cooler. A cool motor ensures that the battery power lasts longer and the motor life is extended.

Noise Reduction Motor: The Endura has a bearing system which reduces friction. This reduces noise which may spook away fish and improves to your fishing experience.


Noises: Some boat owners complained that there were strange noises when they started the motor. These may be isolated incidents though as when they asked for a replacement, the new motors worked well.

2. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust Trolling Motor Reviews

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Excellent Thrust: With 55 pounds of thrust you are assured that your boat will have enough power to ride the roughest weather. The motor is very quiet, efficient and cool. You can run the motor for the whole day and you don’t have to worry about the motor over heating.

The motor is noiseless so you won’t spook the fish when you are in the water.

If you plan to take the boat in saltwater, this is a perfect motor for you. The motor is made of stainless steel and is saltwater resistant.

Strong Shaft: The shaft of the Newport motor is made of composite fiberglass. This gives the shaft a lot of strength.

The shaft has a maximum length of 30-inchs which is more than enough most boats. You can adjust the shaft fully. This allows you to have depth placement regardless of the condition of the water.

8 Speeds: an excellent and sought after feature of the Newport is its variety of speed. Like the Endura reviewed above, the Newport has 8 speed levels. It has 5 forward speed levels and 3 reverse speed levels

It has a Telescoping Handle: You get total control over your boat with the handle. It is great for beginners and very responsive. The extendable handle of the motor is ergonomic and very easy to use.

It has a 5-Point LED Battery Meter: As you may remember in the guide above, having a clear and easy to read battery meter is very important so that you can charge your battery when the power is low.

The Newport trolling motor gives you a 5-point immediate reading of the battery level.

Saltwater Compatible: You can use the trolling motor in saltwater and freshwater. The motor is made of sturdy and corrosion resistant material including Stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc.

Warranty: The Newport Electric Trolling Motor comes with a 2 year warranty and has an excellent customer service team. Your local repair man can easily get in touch with the Company if there are any issues with the motor or needs any help in installing the motor.


Plastic mount: The transom mounted peice is made of plastic. This makes it very malleable and it will wear off fast. There are many newport vessels trolling motor reviews online that reported of the mounts breaking off while in use.

Speed level: With the slowest speed being 2 miles per hour, the motor is fast when it comes to trolling for some species of fish.

3. Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor Review

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Foot Control: If you want a motor that you can control with your foot then the Minn Kota Edge is an excellent choice. It is great for beginners as your hands will be free for other tasks while you control the motor with your foot.

The foot pedal of the Edge is ergonomic. This makes it very comfortable to use. Even if you are using the pedal for the whole day, you won’t get exhausted.

Very Durable: The motor is made of very durable material to ensure that it has a long life. It is very tough and has an anodized aluminum spine.

The head is made of composite material which is impact resistant. The shaft is made of composite material. This makes it very strong. The Company is so confident of the shaft quality that it has a lifetime guarantee.

24 V Battery Capacity: The Minn Kota Edge has a 24 V battery capacity and runs on 2 batteries of 12 V each. This gives your motor a lot of power and ensures smooth running of the motor. The battery ensures that your boat has sufficient thrust.

5 Forward Speeds: The Edge like the above two trolling motors that we reviewed has 5 speed levels. This ensures that you can troll your fishing boat at the speed of your choice.

There are a few min kota trolling motor reviews online that the four speed level could be a bit higher. The level 5 speed is perfect and smooth.

Latch and Door Mount: A unique feature of the Edge is that it has a latch and a door mount. This makes it very easy to remove the motor if you need to clean it. It also makes it easy to remove if you want to repair it.

Two-Year Warranty: The edge comes with a two-year warranty so if you have any issues with the trolling motor, you can get it replaced within the time duration.

We suggest that you use the motor immediately once you get it so that you can understand if there are any issues.


Mount and cord: There are a few reviews online about the quality of the mount. Though the mount trolling motor has a latch and door system, it is not very durable. There were issues with the cord too as a few reviewers said that they had to replace it.

Shipping: There are a few reviews online that the shipping of the motor has issues due to which the box came with holes.

4. Newport Vessels 86lb Thrust Electric Trolling Motor Saltwater Review

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It can be used with a variety of boats: The Newport Vessels trolling motor can be used with a wide variety of boats including fishing boats, sailboats, and a range of small to mid size boats. As long as a boat has a transom mount, you can set up the Newport trolling motor in it.

This is because the motor has a 40-inch composite shaft made of fiberglass which is fully adjustable.

Speed: The Newport Vessels Electric boat motor gives you a range of 8 speed levels i.e. 5 forward speed levels and 3 reverse speed levels. This allows you to control the boat as per your wish.

You get a smooth ride when you use the Newport motor as it has an 86 pound thrust and uses 2 batteries of 12 V each. This gives the motor a significant amount of power. The motor has a 3 blade propeller which has a diameter of 10 inches. This allows the boat to move at optimum speed.

The motor is an excellent purchase considering that it has a 86 pound thrust and it comes at a very reasonable price as compared to other brands like the Minn Kota.

The quality, speed, and thrust of this Newport trolling motor is comparable to more reputed brands like the Minn Kota, the Watersnake, or the Motorguide transom mount trolling motor and it comes at a significant price discount.

Even though the motor has a thrust of 86 pounds, it is very cool and very quiet. You can go fishing in any type of current and wind situation.

Strength: The motor is made of stainless steel. This makes it corrosion resistant. You can use it in saltwater and in freshwater. The shaft is made of composite fiberglass which gives it a lot of strength.

Battery Meter: The battery meter of the motor has a wide range of 10-points. This reflects slight changes in the battery level too. The lights are LED so you can check the power charge even at night. You will need to use two deep cycle marine batteries of 12 V each with this motor.

Warranty: The Newport motor has a 2-year warranty and the customer service of Newport is excellent.


Thrust at various speed levels: The thrust of the Newport motor is heavy when you are on the first gear. Later the rest of the speed levels show only a slight increase in the thrust.

If you are planning to fish in mangroves or fish at low speeds then you can’t as the first level is very fast as compared to other trolling motors.

Body: There are many parts of the motor that are made of material which break off. Many reviewers had an issue with the poor material used in the control housing.

There are many parts of the motor like the control housing which are not made of strong material (reviewers say it is low quality plastic) which may affect the long life of the motor.

This is because, even though the main body of the motor and the shaft are strong, if the controls are not working, you will be stuck with a useless motor.

5. Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats, 36″ Shaft Review

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It is designed for Intex boats: If you have an Intex inflatable boat then having an Intex trolling motor is the best option. If you plan to use your Intex inflatable boat for fishing then the Intex trolling motor is necessary to ensure that the fish are not spooked away. You can use the Intex mount trolling motor with a variety of Intex boats which include the Challenger 3, the Seahawk Series of 2, 3, 4, the Excursion Series of 3, 4, 5 and the Mariner Series of 3 and 4. Even if you do not have an Intex boat but would like to use a trolling motor with other inflatable boats you can use the Intex trolling motor. You need to check though that it motor mount fittings are in-built.

It has an extensive control panel: The control panel of the Intex trolling motor offers multiple features which a battery meter, a dry operation protect control, a escape weed control key that is automatic, and an overload protect controls. The motor has many new features which don’t come in normal trolling motors. The weed escaping feature is a very helpful feature if your motor gets stuck in weeds or if you are fishing in areas where there are a lot of weeds.

It has an adjustable handle: It is very easy to tilt the handle up and down as per your requirement. You can tilt it up from 0 degrees to 15, 30 and 45 degrees. You can tilt it downward too from 0 degrees to up to 75 degrees. The handle is 6 inches in length so it is easy to hold.

It has 5 speed levels: The motor has five speed levels to go forward and it has three speed levels to go in reverse. This is standard among the motors that we have reviewed but it stands out when it comes to inflatable boat motors.

It is very quiet: The Intex trolling motor is an extremely quiet motor. It has a digital maximize which is its control module. It also has a water cooling system. These two features ensure that it supplies power as per the requirement. This makes the motor very efficient. It also allows you to have a longer run time on a 12 V battery.

Easy to control: The boat speed is easy to change and the motor has a “Soft Start” function. This regulates the speed from the “off” mode to the “on” mode. This feature increases the life of the motor.


Motor issues: There are a few reviewers online who mentioned that the motor just stops suddenly or doesn’t start at all. A few mentioned that it stops when you change speeds. A few reviewers asked for replacements and the new ones that came were better.

Trolling Motor Buyers Guide:

Though there are many factors that come into play when you decide on buying a top rated trolling motor, the main points to keep in mind are as below:

(Trolling Motors don’t have to be limited to just boats as they can be used with kayaks as well.

Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing

If you plan to fish in saltwater then you should buy a trolling motor that is made for saltwater. Most of the time, when you compare the price of a saltwater trolling motor with a fresh water one, it is costlier. This is because it is made so that it is resistant to corrosion.

If you use the boat only in fresh water then go for a freshwater trolling motor. If you use the boat in both types of water then you will need a saltwater trolling motor.

Thrust of the Motor

The strength needed to move your boat in the water is known as thrust. The more the thrust, the better and easier your boat will move through the water.

If your motor doesn’t have proper thrust power, it will be difficult for you to work with your boat when the tide is high or when the weather is rough.

You need to get thrust power as per the size of your boat to decide what size trolling motor you need. If your boat is less than 12 feet in length then 30 pounds of thrust is enough to run it.

If your boat is over 20 feet then you will need 101 pounds of thrust power to run it properly.

You need to balance the size of your boat with the thrust power. We all love a powerful boat but it doesn’t make sense to have a motor which is too powerful for a boat that is too small.

If you have to choose between a motor that is too big and too small, the better choice is a big one. This is because you will get a little more thrust than you need which will help in rough weather. Also, the feeling of a powerful motor is great. You need to keep in mind though that the more powerful your motor, the more fuel and electricity it will consume.

Power Consumption: What Size Trolling Motor Do I need?

Consumption of power is an important thing to keep in mind when you are buying a trolling motor which is electric.

When you buy a large motor, as mentioned in the above point, it will consume much more electricity than a smaller one. That is why you will need more battery capacity.

Depending on the size of your boat, the motor capacity and the duration you would like to use the boat, you can choose the voltage of the motor. If you plan to fish for the whole day then you will need a motor with a higher voltage.

A 12 V motor is good enough for a boat that is less than 16 feet. If you have a boat larger than that you can go for a 24 V motor. If your boat is over 22 feet then it is best to get a 36 V motor.

Ensure that the battery that you buy is a deep cycle, high-quality marine battery. These are batteries that are made specifically for electric trolling motors.

Batteries and Voltage

As mentioned in the above point, you can choose from three power systems. The systems are 12, 24 or 36 volts. A 12-volt trolling motor uses will use a 12-volt marine battery.

A 24-volt motor will use two 12 volt batteries. A 36-volt motor will use three separate marine batteries.

Obviously the 12-volt battery is the cheapest battery as it is a single battery. You won’t get the power that you will get from the battery life that has 24 V or has 36 V.

You can also fish for a shorter period when you compare it with a 24 and 36-volt marine battery. The ride will be smoother with a 24V or a 36 V battery as compared to a single 12 V battery.

best trolling motor


Transom or Bow Trolling Motor

Depending on the size of your boat you can either go for a transom or a bow trolling motor. A bow trolling motor is perfect if your boat is compact.

If you have a large boat then you can go for a Transom trolling motor. When you install a motor, you need to check that there is sufficient space at the front of the boat.

You also will need a mounting bracket so that the housing of the motor is positioned correctly.

If your boat is more than 14 feet in length then you should go for a Bow trolling motor. The advantage of a bow motor is that since it pulls the boat through the water rather than pushing it like the transom motor does, you get faster speed and easier handling.

One advantage of a Transom motors is that it will ensure that your boat stays in position even when the weather is rough so if you generally fish in areas where the weather gets rough, even though you have a long boat, you can still go for the transom trolling motor.


When it comes to control, you don’t have an option if you go for a transom mounted trolling motor. They have only hand controls. If you get a bow mount trolling motor, then you can choose between a foot control and a hand control option to operate the trolling motor.

When the motor is a hand controled one, the deck has less clutter as there is no foot pedal. This is the advantage of a hand control motor.

The advantage of a foot pedal motor is that your hands are free when you are operating the motor so that you can do other tasks when you are operating the motor.

Foot control trolling motors will give to you a experience that is hands-free. You can use it anywhere in the boat and it is very easy to use. It is great for beginners as they can then focus on other things and their hands are free to manage the boat and fish.

If you plan to have many people on the boat or if the boat is small then having a foot motor is an issue as the clutter on the boat increases. This makes it difficult to use.

Another disadvantage of a foot pedal trolling motor is that the response is slower when you compare it to a hand motor. This reduces the efficiency when you maneuver the boat making it a bit clumsy to use.

Regardless of the motor that you decide on, it will take a bit of time to get used to it. Practice for a while before you decide to go in deep waters.

Shaft Length

The length of the shaft determines how easily you control the boat. This is the reason that the shaft length of your trolling motor should be perfect.

If you buy a shaft that is very long then it will be difficult for you to use the boat when you are in shallow water.

If the shaft of your trolling motor is very short then the prop won’t submerge deep enough. This will result in it being hard for you to use the boat when the water is rough or when the weather turns.

The standard length of a shaft is 42 inches. When you want to decide on the right length that you need for your boat, you need to do the following. Measure the length from the place the shaft is mounted to the transom and to the water. Then you need to add 16 to 20 inches to that depending on the motor you choose.

Battery Indicators

An important and often ignored aspect that you need to keep in mind when you are buying a trolling motor is to check the battery indicator of the motor. The battery gauges will mostly be located in the motor’s head.

This is important as it shows you howmuch  power is there in you battery life. You can then decide when you need to charge the battery. If you forget to charge the battery, you may get stuck suddenly in the water after a long day of fishing.

Self-Directed Motors

Self-directed motors have automation. These motors follow shorelines and contours. These are expensive compared to a hand or a foot powered motor.

For example i-Pilot is an advanced GPS-powered navigation system by Minn Kota which gives you a host of advanced features to control your boat. It is not really worth the price so we won’t suggest that you buy a self-directed motor.

Final Thoughts

As you can see above, there are many excellent trolling motors in the market. You can choose the best trolling motor for your needs. As per our research, the trolling motor we liked the most is the Minn Kota Endura C2 55. It is strong, durable and literally makes no noise which makes it perfect for fishing. It has a strong bracket, an indestructible shaft and a comfortable to hold handle.

If you would like a foot control trolling motor then the Minn Kota Edge Bowmount is an option which we feel is the most appropriate.

If you have a Newport boat then you can choose between the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust and the Newport Vessels 86 pound Thrust depending on the size of your boat.

Finally if you have an inflatable boat then the Intex Inflatable trolling motor is an excellent choice.

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