Best Trolling Motor Reviews 2018

Best Trolling Motor Reviews 2018: The thing about fishing is that you need a solid trolling motor. A great trolling motor will allow you to move around the water without scaring all of the fish away. Moreover, for those of you who own inflatable boats, trolling motors can act as a main power source. Just keep in mind that trolling motors are pretty different from traditional motors and you will need additional equipment. For instance, you will need a great trolling motor battery to make sure you don’t get stuck on the water. Here is an article I have written that will outline everything about trolling motors.

In this article, we have explored five different trolling motors that are the best at what they do, and also give you some tips on what you should look out for when purchasing one.

Best Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb

Newport Vessels 55 lb

Newport Vessels 55 lb

Minn Kota Endura C2 40 lb

Minn Kota Endura C2 40 lb

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 lb

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 lb

Rating: 4.4/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.5/5Rating: 4.7/5
Boat weight: Up to 2300 lbBoat weight: Up to 1800 lbBoat weight: Up to 2750 lbBoat weight: Up to 2000 lbBoat weight: Up to 1500 lb
Thrust Power: 46 lbsThrust Power: 36 lbsThrust Power: 55 lbsThrust Power: 40 lbsThrust Power: 40 lbs
Shaft length: 30 inShaft length: 30 inShaft length: 30 inShaft length: 36 inShaft length: 36 in
Cost: $$Cost: $$Cost: $$$Cost: $$$Cost: $

Scroll to the right to view all items in table

Newport NV-Series 46lb transom mounted electric motor – best for ease of use

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb


If you are searching for a motor that promises to give you an easy ride in fishing regardless of the environment, the Newport NV-Series is your answer.

This motor contains a 46lb thrust, which doubles up as quiet, efficient and cool, allowing you to fish the whole day without the risk of overheating the motor or scaring away the target fish. It also comes with a 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft that is highly durable and strong. The shaft is also adjustable to enable you to switch proper depth placements, depending on all water conditions that you are in.

The telescoping handle measures up to six meters, while it comes in eight speeds – three in reverse and five forward – this puts total control of the motor at you fingertips. With just the touch of a button, you can extend the handle length as well.

The motor comes with a 5-point LED battery meter. The display is very bright, and provides you with immediate charge readings of the 12V Deep Cycle (DC) battery, while the hardware is optimized for both freshwater and saltwater conditions. This is because its stainless steel, magnesium and zinc hardware enhances its durability. The motor has a very sleek design that allows it to fit not only all Newport vessels, but also other fishing boats, inflatable boats, aluminium fishing boats, kayaks and fixed transom small boats.


  • It moves easily through water
  • Can adapt to both fresh and saltwater easily
  • Has a strong, durable build
  • Quiet mechanism
  • Can be used on various boat types
  • User friendly
  • Good performance for the price



  • The variable speed switch tends to increase or decrease the speed unexpectedly

Newport NV-Series 36lb saltwater transom trolling motor – best for smaller workloads

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb


This NV series 36lb motor, this is the best low-cost transom motor for small workloads when you want to work for longer without sacrificing performance. It is a multi-purpose motor that has been constructed in the highest quality materials that are durable and ensure favourable performance for years.

Its shaft is composed of composite fiberglass that has durable nylon mount, and has an easily adjustable shaft length measuring up to 30 inches, and its build allows it to fit all Newport vessels, as well as dinghies, kayaks, aluminium fishing boats, inflatable boats, fishing boats, and inflatables with a transom.

The motor has eight speeds, both five forward and three reverse and uses a Deep Cycle battery of 12V. The motor is easily adjustable to both saltwater and freshwater use, and it comes with a 5-Point LED meter to indicate the life of your battery.


  • Light and portable, as well as ease of use
  • Durable, can be used in both fresh and salt water
  • Quiet mechanism
  • The multi-speed controls allow for greater control


  • In some cases, the head of the motor is not sealed, so saltwater gets into the controls and ruins the machine.

Newport Vessels 55lb 8 speed electric troll motor – best for saltwater conditions

Newport Vessels 55 lb



This motor promises to give you a wonderful performance in terms of efficiency in saltwater conditions. It has a 55lb thrust that not only gives it power, but also a quiet mechanism that retains the coolness of the motor. This gives it high levels of performance when you use it even in long periods.

The composite fiberglass shaft measures up to 30 inches, which makes it very adjustable and is very strong, so you can adjust the water placement in all water conditions. The 6-inch telescoping handle and eight speeds (three reverse and five forward) give you greater control over its operation.

It also comes with an ergonomic handle for your comfort, and a 5 LED battery meter that gives immediate readings of your Deep Cycle 12V marine battery charge levels. The hardware is specially designed for use in saltwater conditions – this is due to the magnesium, stainless steel and zinc hardware. You can use it with any boat type because of its sleek build.


  • It is very good for all boat types, especially small boats
  • Durable build
  • Works well for its price range


  • It lacks a clear indicator between the speed changes
  • It lacks a quiet mechanism
  • It does not perform well in areas with weeds or other vegetation

Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Freshwater trolling motor – best for durability

Minn Kota Endura C2 40 lb


Unlike many of the motors on this list, the Minn Kota C2 40 motor performs very well in freshwater, so if you require a motor for use in this environment, this is a good option. Do not let its smaller size fool you; its performance is top notch.

This motor comes with a 12V freshwater motor that has high thrusts of 40lbs, while the shaft measures up to 36 inches. The tilt twist tiller and telescopic handle making 6 inches gives you easy speed control and steering, and the lever rock bracket gives you a solid mount. The special materials that compose the shaft resist warping, flexibility and UV damage.

The motor has a quiet mechanism that provides a long battery life and the target fish are not scared off. The eight adjustable speeds provide you with maximum levels of control.

In addition, the motor comes with a lifetime warranty, while the motor is covered by two-year warranty.


  • Have a very smooth and quiet running mechanism
  • Very easy to use and steer
  • The motor and its components are very durable
  • The variable speeds work well and are easy to adjust


  • You cannot take it for too long for fishing trips – the battery can suddenly die out.
  • The wires lack a common plug connector, and they are too short

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Trolling motor – best for freshwater use

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 lb

This is another in the series of Minn Kota trolling motors that is built to last, and brings together the aspects of function and form.it is actually one of the best freshwater motors you can get.

It is maximized for freshwater environments, and the 12V DC motor allows for a thrust level of 30, as well as the shaft length measuring 30 meters. The telescoping handle measures 6 inches, and it has a twist tiller for maximum comfort in control. It also comes with a lever rock bracket, which offers a solid mount for your motor.

The battery has a quiet, cool mechanism that enhances its life and does not scare the target fish away. It has eight adjustable speeds – five forward and three reverse – which gives you maximum control levels over the motor.

In addition, the shaft comes with a lifetime warranty that gives you peace of mind, even as you purchase the motor, and the machine itself is covered by a two-year warranty.


  • Gives plenty of thrusting power, wile retaining long battery life
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Has a quiet mechanism
  • Great value for the price


  • The reverse gear changes are not very efficient, unlike the forward gears
  • The switch is fragile and breaks easily

What to Look for in a Trolling Motor

Many buyers make the mistake of purchasing a trolling motor that will not help them in their needs. You need to look out for several things when you search for your next purchase.

Know and understand the difference between transom and bow motors

There are two main types of boating motors – and to install them, you need to have enough space, as well as a mounting bracket that adjusts its housing in the proper position. There needs to be a flat bottom, platform that makes it easier to have a sturdy setup.

Bow motors are those that are placed at the front of the boat, and it is best for large boats that are past 14 feet because of the increased handling and speed requirements. Increasing mobility results because bow motors move the boat and pull it through the water. Transom motors do the opposite – they push the boat through the water.

Transom motors are very versatile and work with all types of vessels since they clamp to the stern (back) areas of boats, though they work best in smaller boats. They also provide enhanced trolling and positioning application. In fact, these are the best boats you can use during fishing in harsher climates because they keep your boat in a steady position.

Know the thrusting power

The thrusting power of motors is the strength amounts that are needed to move vessels through water. This means that the higher the thrust power, the better your boat moves in a water boat. When the boat motor does not have enough thrust, it becomes significantly harder to maneuver around harsh conditions such as high waves and snags.

A general rule is that boat size directly relates to thrust power. For instance, 30 pounds of thrust power is required for boats that are under 14 feet. For boats that are 22 feet or larger, they need thrust power of 101 pounds for term to move easily.

What this means is that, if you can purchase the largest motor that you can within the confines of your boat, it is better for you. Do not buy motors that are too large for your boat; they will “dwarf” its size. Do not buy motors that are too small either; your boat will be under powered. Be sure to choose your motor wisely and measure all the variables before purchasing.

Examine the length of the shaft

Shaft sizes determine the control that you have over your boat. For optimum performance, it is best to find a balance between long and short shafts.

Long shafts have problems in shallow water, while short shafts cannot be submerged in hard conditions. For a safe and carefree boating experience, it is good to find the correct shaft.

How do you find a correct shaft length, then?

Know the height of the bow or the stern (where you will mount the motor). small boats such as canoes require small shafts that keep them moving efficiently at higher rates, while deep V bats need shafts of longer length. Knowing the correct shaft length that is compatible with your boat goes a long way to ensure the boat operates optimally.

Motor batteries and voltage amounts

The trolling battery motors come in three amounts – 12, 24, and 36 volts. What this means is that 12-volt motors use one 12-volt deep cycle (DC) marine batteries, while 24-volt motors use two 12-volt batteries, and 36-volt motors use three DC batteries.

The simplest and most affordable to operate are the 12-volt motors. The only drawback is that they do not provide the equivalent amount of power that 24 and 36-voltbatteries will give you. The 24 and 36-volt batteries enable you to fish for longer periods, and give enough thrust power that allows for smoother rides on the water.

The size of your thrust motor, again depends on the size of your boat. If the boat is under 16 feet, the best battery to use is the 12-volt battery. This is because it allows the boat to properly work under harsh conditions. If the boat is over 16 feet, it is better to use a 24 or 36-volt battery to ensure the boat runs efficiently.

For you to get maximum power from your boat, be sure to purchase quality batteries. Batteries that are high quality will ensure longevity in your use of the boat, and this will prevent overheating and breaking down of the machine.

Should you go for a foot motor or a hand motor?

Your boating style as well as the boat size will end up setting the motor type you will require.

Foot motors will allow for a hands-free experience, which leads to the motor being easy to use and can be used at any position in the boat. They are very good, especially for beginners who desire something simple to operate. The drawback with foot motors is that they clutter the boat, and this can be very inconveniencing when your boat has multiple people.

They also have lower rates of response compared to other models, so they will take some time to adjust to.

Hand motors on the other hand, allow for responses in real time. This will help you to maneuver the boat at an efficient level that corresponds to your motion. Because they do not clutter the deck, they are very good when there are multiple people on your boat. In the end, they are best if you want maximum control of your boat.

The drawback to hand motors is that they must be controlled from the bow of the boat. They are also slightly more challenging to control because your hands are not always on the rod when steering, so it is best if advanced fishers use this motor type.

Indicators of the battery life

Trolling motors usually consist of battery gauges,and these are located in the head of the unit. They gauge the power that remains in the battery, and this helps you to know the amount of power that it needs before it is placed on a charger.

Self directed motors

Self directed motors can be very useful, because they follow depth shorelines and contours. The recommendation however, is that you use either a foot or hand motor since they enable you to control the vessel easier.

Extra features

This is really not that important, and only depends on your preference and budget. Do you want a high-tech motor or a basic one? Some newer trolling motors come with features like GPS features that assist you in tracking larger numbers of fish. Other features can be additional durability in saltwater, wireless piloting capabilities and autopilot features.

The next question to ask, is the kind of trolling motors that are best for saltwater.

Choosing a Proper Saltwater Trolling Motor

Regardless of the boat you use, saltwater grounds can be intimidating because you are not sure if the motor you are using is right for it. You therefore need to conduct your homework before you spend your money on one.

Choose one that uses 316-grade stainless steel

This is the most important feature. When the boat has lower grade stainless steel, or cheap steel fittings that are disguised as stainless steel, it will start to corrode after the first trip out on the water. Within a few times, it will turn into rusty junk.

Fish boxes should be ample size

There is nothing as discouraging as running out of room in your fish box, unless you want your fishing trip to be cut short. Your fish box must always have insulation, and keep in mind that better quality ones drain overboard, not pump.

If you insist on having a pump, look for those that are diaphragm types, followed by macerator types. Stay away from bulge pumps mounted in fish boxes – these are bound to clog from grime and scales, and they will not last for long.

Raw water washing sessions

This can apply to freshwater fishing as well. When there is fishing, be guaranteed that there is going to be fish blood and baits that are stepped on. There is always going to be a mess, and when this mess is not cleaned up, the mess is always going to be bad. For this reason, you need to have strong raw water wash downs frequently, in fact after every fishing trip.

In light of this, stay away from live well or wash down pump-share arrangements because they lack the pressure that you need to wash away the gore, and it also shortens the life of the pump since it does more work.

Strong construction

For anglers, it is always a guarantee that they will push harder than non-fishing pals even on similar boats, so you need to make sure that your boat can take the extra burden.

What is the transom access on the boat?

Many modern outboard powered fish boats have a common deign flaw – they have wide transoms, which ultimately force you to always avoid the outboards. This will make your fishing outings harder because you cannot work your rod tip around the props.

Make sure it fits your perfect hull design

you need to ensure that your boat has the optimum design that you want, otherwise, your fishing adventures will not be enjoyable. If you enjoy making long runs in all conditions as well as offshore angling and trolling, you would rather obtain a deep V boat. On the other hand, if you enjoy light-tackling or flat angling, then semi-V boats would be best for you. Also, choose a boat with maximum stability if you want to explore drift fishing.

A point of note – a lot of trolling motors are very easy to install, as they can be clamped conveniently. If you have a trolling motor that needs actual installation, which involves modification and mounting, you need to have plenty of working space before proceeding with the installation. You do not want a trolling motor in a cramped space.


Purchasing a trolling motor is a huge investment – that is why you need to do your research properly. For this round up, we found that the best trolling motor is the Newport series 36lb trolling motor. We have chosen it because of its ability to handle smaller workloads, which is very convenient especially if you are a hobbyist angler – and its durability is very high, so it can serve you well for a long time.

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