Do you love kayaking but tired of paddling? Kayaking is one of the most popular activities that people indulge especially every weekend and long vacations. But if you’re tired of using paddles, you could improve your kayaking experience by using a trolling motor. Of course, trolling motors vary and you wouldn’t want to get one that creates a loud noise. That would only ruin your trip if you’re into fishing.
It is always the best move to get the trolling motor for kayak. So, we’ve come prepared with a review of the best trolling motors for your kayak and other helpful tips about kayaking below:
Our Top Picks for Kayak Trolling Motors
(Fit Most Canoes)
Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor
If you are a fan of Minn Kota, this is the trolling motor you should not miss. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor offers great features that are specially designed for freshwater kayaking. This transom mounted trolling motor from Minn Kota is capable of navigating even the farthest reaching edges of the freshwater.
At the same time, you can guarantee a long-term benefit for using this trolling motor that has a high thrust level and speed. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 also has a telescoping handle and a tilt twist to gain a better control.
Features and Specifications:
- 12V transom mounted trolling motor that is specially designed for freshwater kayaking
- High performing level 30 thrust and a shaft that is 30 inches in length
- 6 inches telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller that allows a better steering and ergonomic control on speed
- A handy lever lock bracket that offers a sturdy mount on any kayak boat
- Cool and quiet power propeller gives the battery with an extended life
- 3 reverse speeds and 5 forward speeds for a maximum speed control
- A super solid composite shaft that comes with a lifetime warranty
- Easy and comfortable to operate with a solid mount
- Generates less heat and noise with windings
- Extends and conserves battery life to last longer on the water
- Doesn’t scare away fish while running through water
- Comes with a 2-year motor warranty
- Gets tangled in seaweeds sometimes
- Not fast enough in spite of its thrust level
- Reverse speed control is quite weak
Saturn 55 Lbs Short-Shaft Electric Tolling Motor For Inflatable Boats
Second on our list is the Saturn 55 lbs. Short-Shaft Electric Tolling Motor with a shorter shaft. Saturn 55 lbs. Short-Shaft Electric Tolling Motor’s shaft is made from a very durable material to that provides a maximum protection to the motor. Its high level of thrust also makes it an impressive choice especially if your kayak is a little bigger and requires more power.
As a matter of fact, Saturn 55 lbs. Short-Shaft Electric Tolling Motor is also perfect for canoes, inflatables, and regular boats. Its versatile speed control can help your kayak to reach the shore faster.
Features and Specifications:
- 5 forward speed controls and 3 reverse speed controls for a maximum speed control
- 12V Powerful trolling motor that weighs 17 lbs. only
- High performing level 55 thrust power with a maximum of 50 amp energy draw
- Adjustable depth collar that allows an easy access to the motor when changing its depth
- Angle throttle handle that can be adjusted according to your desired angle by folding it up or down
- 26 inches composite shaft and an extendable handle up to 13.8 inches
- Battery reader that displays an accurate battery level
- Very easy to control
- Flexible and sturdier composite shaft than ordinary shafts
- Comes with a 1-year warranty from the date of its purchase
- The water depth of the shaft can be changed without a hassle
- Requires a 12V deep cycle battery only
- Its maximum amp draw on the battery is not fast enough
- A shorter shaft can become an issue in some cases
Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor
Newport Vessels is one of the biggest names when it comes to trolling motors. Thus, you can assure yourself that this new trolling motor from Newport Vessels can perform as expected from a well-known company. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor is designed for saltwater kayaking and is transom mounted.
With a kayak shaft that is made from fiberglass, you can rely on its lifetime performance. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor also comes with a flexible depth placement which is an advantage.
Features and Specifications:
- Capable of delivering 55 lbs. thrust power
- 30 inches shaft that is made from fiberglass to ensure its durability
- Fits in almost all kind of small kayak and boat with an additional protective layer
- Designed to resist corrosion when used in saltwater and freshwater
- Flexible speed control with 5 forward speed control and 3 reverse speed control
- 12V deep cycle battery or marine battery
- Motor weighs only 22 lbs. with a shipping weight of 24 lbs.
- 6-inch telescoping handle and a sturdy nylon mount
- Built-in 5-point LED battery meter into the head of the motor
- Very portable and lightweight
- Comes with a 2-year motor warranty
- Can be used on either saltwater or freshwater kayaking
- Advanced battery meter that displays accurate battery level
- Made from high-quality materials to ensure its durability
- Versatile speed control system makes the ride smoother
- The increase in power is not as smooth as expected
- Its small battery meter can’t be read easily under direct sunlight
Goplus Electric Trolling Motor
Are you looking for an affordable trolling motor for your kayak and canoe? Then you should check out the Goplus 46/55/86 LBS Thrust Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor. In spite of its affordable price, never underestimate Goplus 46/55/86 LBS Thrust Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor’s performance. As a matter of fact, this trolling motor from Goplus is no doubt one of the best options when it comes to kayaks, canoes and other boats. This motor has a world-class quality that can power up small to medium boats on freshwater. With its ergonomic handle and other features, any user will find it comfortable to use.
Features and Specifications:
- 6 inches telescoping handle that can be adjusted for a more comfortable ride on freshwater
- Handheld speed control system with 3 reverse speed control and 5 forward speed control
- 3 weedless propeller blades ensure a smooth and fast movement through freshwater
- 10 points LED battery meter displays a clear battery level
- Runs a cool and quiet power system to avoid scaring the fish when fishing
- Sturdy and reliable multi-position angle adjustment aluminum mount
- A flexible composite shaft that is 36 inches long
- High powered 12V motor with a maximum 46/55/86 lbs. thrust level
- Available in different thrust levels from 46 to 55, and 86 lbs.
- Comes with a CE and ROHS certificate
- Its composite shaft extremely durable to last longer than other models
- Can run straight for up to 10 hours when fully charged
- Some parts are hard to find for replacements
- Performs like any standard motors in spite of its impressive features
- Drains battery fast
MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Transom Mount Trolling Motor
Another trolling motor from Minn Kota, Traxxis 55 SC Transom Mount Trolling Motor is a handy apparatus that you can navigate easily in freshwater. Whether you prefer to go kayaking for merely exploring the water or for fishing, having trolling motor comes in real handy. MinnKotaTraxxis 55 SC Transom Mount Trolling Motor is currently the most advanced model from Minn Kota that is transom mount.
The improved tilt tiller handle of MinnKota Traxxis 55 SC Transom Mount Trolling Motor makes it easier to more comfortable to use. Its quick-lock depth adjuster and other features make a fine result when combined together.
Features and Specifications:
- Powered by a 55 lbs. thrust level for freshwater and a 36 inches shaft
- Advanced one-hand stow mechanism
- Tiller handle that can be tilted up to 45° and extendable up to 6 inches
- Digital maximize technology that helps the motor’s battery to run 5x longer than other models when fully charged
- 2 weedless blades propeller
- A push-to-test-battery gauge that displays a state-of-the-art battery level reading
- Digital Maximizer controls and enhances its power consumption to extend the battery life
- Quick locking cam depth adjuster changes the depth and secures it without a hassle
- Specially designed for freshwater exploration and fishing
- Made from durable and steel construction for long-term kayaking
- Does not get caught up with grass or weeds easily
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
- Uses an easy to mount system and adjustable features
- Its one-hand lift needs some getting used to when stowing
- Reverse thrust performs pretty weak
- Vibrates a lot on medium to high RPM
Cloud Mountain 36/40/46/50/55/60/86 LBS Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor
When all you want is to kayaking and fish all day, the best way to do it is by installing a trolling motor on your kayak. Not just an ordinary trolling motor, Cloud Mountain 36/40/46/50/55/60/86 LBS Electric Trolling Motor is a heavy-duty device for any kayak boat. With an ability to deliver a high performance, this trolling motor from Cloud Mountain is definitely one of the best on the market.
Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor is operated by hand together with its long shaft that can be mounted easily. It is also salt-resistant which makes it perfect for saltwater fishing.
Features and Specifications:
- Powerful reinforced nylon bracket guarantees the motor’s durability, resistance to ablation, and dimension stability
- Ergonomic extendable motor handle with 8 speed controls that include 5 forward speed and 3 reverse speed controls
- 6 inches telescoping handle that can be adjusted and controlled by hand for a smooth ride
- 28 inches composite shaft that is made from high-quality fiberglass
- Tensile strength and corrosion resistant shaft is also suitable for sitting can be adjusted for the proper placement of depth
- 10 points battery indicator protects the motor’s batteries from overcharging and extends its life
- Very affordable and heavy-duty for regular use
- Compatible with saltwater and freshwater fishing
- Its stainless steel hardware provides an extra protection
- Better handling with its rubberized grip
- Available in different thrust levels from 36, 40, 46, 50, 55, 60, and 86 lbs.
- Requires a constant contact with the control system for steering
- Its bolts are not made from stainless steel which develops rust
Watersnake T18 ASP 18 lb. Thrust 12V Electric Trolling Motor
Coming from a trusted brand Watersnake, this new trolling motor is built with advanced functions that you should not miss. Watersnake T18 ASP 18 lb. Thrust 12V Electric Trolling Motor is just one of the few models that can be used on both freshwater and saltwater for a long time. Aside from having an excellent motor that works wonders on small boats especially kayaks, this trolling motor is a buyers’ top pick. Watersnake T18 ASP 18 lb. Thrust 12V Electric Trolling Motor comes with 2 speed modes and delivers impressive thrust level in 12V motor and batteries.
Features and Specifications:
- 24 inches shaft that is made from alloy can withstand even the toughest conditions while moving through the water
- Weighs only 18 lbs. for an easy transportation
- Comes with a unique design that makes it compatible with various kinds of small boats, kayaks, inflatables, and dinghies
- 2 speed controls that include high and low speed control, forward speed and reverse speed control
- 15 amp saltwater coated motor for additional protection against rust even when used regularly
- 2 weedless blade propellers are specially designed to chew through even the toughest and heaviest weed or grass underwater
- It has a unique design
- Available in a very affordable price with a 1-year motor warranty
- Super lightweight and performs quietly with 12V motor
- Perfect for kayaks together with its 24 inches shaft
- Powerful and durable to last for years of regular use
- Only comes with two limited speed controls
- Does not include the battery and tilt bracket in the package
- No powerful enough to move faster
Additional Things To Consider on a Kayak Trolling Motor:
- Type of Water
Before you buy a trolling motor for your kayak, consider where you intend to use it first. Though you can do kayaking on both saltwater and freshwater, not all trolling motors can keep up. This is due to the limited features of trolling motors that allow them to be useful on either saltwater or freshwater only. If you want to invest in the good trolling motor for kayak, be sure to get the right one.
It should be exclusive for the type of water you want to use it since a freshwater trolling motor can be damaged easily due to corrosion when used on saltwater. If you do kayaking on both water types regularly with the same kayak, you should find a trolling motor that is specially designed for both saltwater and freshwater.
- Number of Blades
Since trolling motors differ from each other just like kayaks, other motors are designed with more blades on propellers. Their extra blade makes these trolling motors more solid and easy to steer through grass or seaweeds. Other blades also help the trolling motor to thrust better to travel faster through the water.
- Thrust Power
When it comes to trolling motors, don’t forget to check its propelling power which is measured in pounds. The thrust of your trolling motor will determine how well your kayak will be able to move you through the water. Depending on the brand and model you prefer, you can select how many pounds of thrust your motor has. For instance, the propelling power of your trolling motor depends on the size of your kayak. The bigger size of your kayak, the more propelling power it needs to move.
- Motor Voltage
When it comes to trolling motors consider its voltage. The required power of your motor will depend on its voltage. Of course, the size of your kayak still matters which is why trolling motors are divided into 3 categories. So, there are trolling motors with 12V, 24V, and 36V. This means that if you get a 12V motor, you also need 12V batteries. If you fish regularly with 36V motor, you need three 12V batteries and if you fish occasionally, you need two 12V batteries. Thus, you can ensure that your motor will keep on running until you get back to the shore.
- Mounting Location
Trolling motors vary depending on its mounting location. Specifically, there are two types of mounting locations which include the Bow and Transom. Trolling motors with a transom mounts are installed on the stern while bow mounts are installed in front of the kayak. However, most trolling motors for kayaks and other small boats are transom mounts.
- Shaft Length
To get the best trolling motor for kayak, you need to consider the shaft’s length as well. Kayaks with long sizes require long shafts and kayaks with short sizes require short shafts. Thus, measuring the exact size of your kayak helps you determine the exact length of the shaft. Once you have the shaft’s length of your kayak, you can then move on to shopping for the best trolling motor.
Why Do You Need a Kayak Trolling Motor?
A trolling motor is typically attached to the stern of kayaks. However, there are some who prefer theirs to be attached to the bow. So basically, a trolling motor is attached to upgrade a kayak with the aid of a motor, propeller, and controls in one compact unit. Depending on your needs, you could get a trolling motor for a kayak & canoe that is powered by a gasoline or by batteries. But whatever is your with regards its power source, the main purpose of trolling motors stay the same.
You need the most powerful trolling motor for kayak & canoe so you can move through the water without paddling manually. No more strain on your arms, shoulders, and other upper body parts since all you have to do is sit and control it. You can control a trolling motor using your hand or foot though most kayaks that have this apparatus are controlled by hand. In addition, those hand-powered trolling motors come with a handle at the back or a remote control.
But the best thing about having a trolling motor for a kayak is its quiet operation. The only time most trolling motors become loud is when its motor is not that deep in the water. This makes fishing more fruitful since you can move from one place to another without disturbing the fish. Since you can also get one that is operated by your foot, you can drive it hands-free and fish better. You can also grab your camera and capture the view while you are kayaking hands-free.
How To Fish With a Trolling Motor From a Canoe Or Kayak
I have seen some great fittings fishermen use to install trolling motors for kayaks or canoes helping them to get the results they are looking for when going fishing. Because of the small space they have to work with these anglers and their crafts are usually pretty organised. The average length of their boats seems to be about 16 feet so they must be well balanced for maximum efficiency.
Never put all the weight, excluding the trolling motor, in the stern area. This may result in the bow sticking out above the water by about 2 feet which will then catch the wind and spin the boat around in ever tightening little cycles. As a spectator this is very funny to watch but frustrating for the canoeist who is eventually blown onto the opposite shore, empty handed. Try to fasten the battery amidships which will help to balance and trim the boat. This is also important for safety reasons.
Use Ties and Bungee Cord
I like the version that has the chilly bin lashed down with strong ties or bungee cord near the front of the canoe. It is very important that before setting off the chilly bin’s position passes the “easy to reach to get a cold one in one smooth easy manner” test. When a thirst strikes it has to be satisfied immediately and with very little effort. This is crucial to the success of the expedition which could then still get a 5 star rating even if no fish are caught.
Tie down most of your items because if you do accidentally capsize not much gear will be lost. Also keep items you use most often i.e., tackle box, anchors and paddles close at hand so that the noise factor is kept at a minimum while fishing and also helps to keep the boat steady.
A pretty cool feature I have seen is a homemade swivel pvc plastic 32-40mm pipe mounting for a camera. The one end slots into a fishing rod holder fixed in or tied against the side of canoe or kayak gunnel depending on the type of boat. A 90 degree bend is glued to the piece of vertical PVC pipe that slots into the rod holder at about eye height. Another pipe about 12-18 inches long with a small platform on one end where you fix your camera to, is glued into the other end of the bend.
So now if you want to take a picture of the fish you just caught you simply pull the pipe towards you ,”click” and then push it out of the way until it’s needed again. It had better be a waterproof camera or you won’t have it for long. There are many different types of camera mountings available in the market place for very reasonable prices but if you have no choice then this plastic pipe option is waiting.
Many guys have water proof fish finders fitted on a bracket that is fixed to the gunnel in front of them at a comfortable height and within easy reach.
At the back of the canoe or kayak a waterproof bag containing safety gear, spares, extra clothing etc. is stored.
Paddling can be tiring especially into the wind and this is where the guys have become very clever. By fixing a small transom to the boat an electric trolling motor for canoes and kayaks is then used to reach those distant places where one will normally not go. A 30 or 40 pound thrust motor is strong enough to push the boat without much hassle at a rate of 2 to 4 knots depending on the conditions. You will need a 12 volt 105 amp hour deep cycle sealed heavy duty marine battery which can be stored in an easy to handle and worthwhile low cost power centre to help operate the small and very lightweight trolling motor efficiently.
Some canoes and kayaks have a transom moulded into the stern so you can mount the motor there. If not then it is easy to construct your own with some 20mm plywood and 40 – 50 mm length of square timber or aluminium tube with a 3mm thick wall. This is fixed athwart ships with u bolts to the gunnel. There are many examples online of people’s innovative inventions as this picture shows as well as manufactured versions. The motor is then mounted on the side of the boat and easy to hand steer. If you have a kayak with a a rudder installed that you steer with foot pedals then all you do is clamp the motor so it is parallel with the fore and aft line of the kayak, set the speed , and off you go. If there is no rudder then you will have to hand steer.
Just remember to keep the motor perpendicular to the water giving you maximum forward drive. If the motor is in the water at an angle the result is poor forward performance because the motor is trying either to lift the nose or drive it downward.
Talking about performance you should try to keep the motor propeller submerged by about only a foot thereby reducing drag produced by the shaft. On most trolling motors you can set the depth of the propeller quite easily. This will also help in avoiding rocks on the bottom if cruising in shallow waters.
Going out on excursions with a well fitted out canoe or kayak on rivers, lakes and even calm seas whether fishing or exploring is a great way to spend time outdoors with nature. Always wear a life jacket and keep a cell phone in a waterproof bag in case of an emergency. Before setting out advise someone of your intentions just as a precaution in case a mishap occurs
What To Budget For When Starting Out With A Canoe Or Kayak And Trolling Motor:-
- Kayak or Canoe: this could be second hand as there are many good ones for sale at very reasonable prices.
- Any boating licences that may be applicable in your area.
- If starting from scratch, stuff like fishing equipment, safety gear (you may be required by law in your area to carry specified items), life jackets and boating items should be allowed for.
- When buying a best trolling motor for kayaks you will also need at the least one 12 volt heavy duty 105 amp hour battery, also either a power centre which includes a 60 amp circuit breaker or a 60 amp breaker on its own.
- Budget for a good battery charger.
- A transom mount if the boat has not got one.
- You may also need to purchase roof racks for your vehicle to transport the boat around.
- A good fishing book that will get you up to speed and catch great fish.
Sales figures show that more and more people are using electric trolling motors than ever before. Statistics suggest that in many areas out of every 5 outboard motors sold, 2 or more are electric motors.
Concerns about pollution and damage to the environment are some of the driving forces behind this wonderful new trend. Authorities worldwide are now prohibiting the use of gas powered outboards on many waterways and these restrictions will help contribute to a brighter future for the survival of these areas and their fish stocks. Using environment friendly trolling motors for canoes and kayaks allows us to continue enjoying our boating and fishing with minimum impact to these areas.
So get started and and get out on the water because when you do you will find yourself wondering… What took you so long?
Read also our article on – How to choose your trolling motor
Now that you already know the importance and what to look for in trolling motors, it will be easier for you to shop anywhere. Our additional review for the best trolling motors for kayak will also give you an idea on the best items on the market. You can find the best trolling motors based on the kind of kayak you have and other features you need.
But whether you are new or not in kayaking, you can always get the best option by checking its durability, performance, and power. After all, there aren’t many brands to choose so be sure to check them out before buying any.