Calender Icon Last updated: July 11, 2020
There’s nothing better than heading out in your boat and spending the hours fishing. However, you don’t want your fishing experience ruined when all the fish swim away as your noisy boat motor rumbles within casting range. Thankfully, you can prevent this with the terrific silence of a trolling motor. There are loads of options to choose from, and this guide will help you make your decision.

Here's the Best Trolling Motor, Backed by 24+ Hours of Research

sticker 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8)
Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT
Minn Kota Endura Max 55
Why is it better?
  • Extremely durable
  • Nice 55lbs of thrust
  • Sturdy and comfortable handle
14
RESEARCHED SOURCES
1.3K
REVIEWS CONSIDERED
24
HOURS RESEARCHING
19
PRODUCTS EVALUATED

Our Top Picks

Rank
Picture
Name
Score
Buy
#1
Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT

BEST OVERALL

Minn Kota Endura Max 55 read review
Editor's Pick 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8)
#2
Newport Vessels NV-Series

BEST FOR SALTWATER

Newport Vessels NV-Series read review
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6)
#3
G Trolling Motor

Goplus Trolling Motor read review
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3)
#4
attwood MotorGuide X3 Trolling Motor

BEST BOW MOUNT

Attwood MotorGuide X3 read review
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1)
#5
Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor

Cloud Mountain read review
4 out of 5 stars (4.0)
In Depth Reviews
  • Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT Minn Kota Endura Max 55
  • Newport Vessels NV-Series Newport Vessels NV-Series
  • G Trolling Motor Goplus Trolling Motor
  • attwood MotorGuide X3 Trolling Motor Attwood MotorGuide X3
  • Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor Cloud Mountain
Table of contents
  • Trolling Motor FAQ

Best Overall: Minn Kota Endura Max 55 Trolling Motor

Pros:
  • Extremely durable
  • Nice 55lbs of thrust
  • Sturdy and comfortable handle
  • Long battery life
  • High-quality materials
  • Very easy to mount
Cons:
  • 12V batteries required and not included

This transom mount trolling motor from Minn Kota is one of the more reasonably priced offerings out there right now.

It packs 55lbs of torque, giving you all the power you need to quietly move around the water in your bass boat, kayak, or raft.

One of the best features of this trolling motor is easily the digital maximizer. Essentially, this drastically increases power consumption by a factor of five times.

This also reduces wear on internal mechanisms, which makes this trolling motor less vulnerable to general wear and tear – which is an issue for many trolling motors.

Plus, it eases the strain on the battery, so your battery life-span will be extended as well.

Another thing that’s helpful about this motor is that it has an ‘energy meter’ on top of it. Basically, this informs you about the amount of power you’ve got left on your battery before it runs out.

So, you’re never left in a painful situation of being stuck in the middle of a lake!

The shaft on this trolling motor comes in two different lengths, 36 and 42 inches, so you can get the best ride for your boat.

You also get five-speed options going forward, and five in reverse too – so plenty of movement options there.

The only real downside is that it is made only for freshwater use, so saltwater use won’t be an option. Keep reading for a good saltwater option.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Shaft Length: 36″ or 42″
  • Thrust: 40/45/50/55 lbs (model dependent)
  • Peak Power Draw: 50 Amps (model dependent)
  • Saltwater Rated: No

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Indestructible Composite shaft — for life
  • Intuitive 6 Inch Telescoping Handle

Best For Saltwater: Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Motor

Pros:
  • Excellent thrust (55 pounds)
  • Saltwater compatible
  • Very quiet and cool
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable for different water depths
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
Cons:
  • Considerably slower than competition

Another transom mount trolling motor that packs 55 pounds of thrust, this is widely regarded as one of the top picks in the saltwater rated category.

It comes with an impressive 30-inch fiberglass shaft, which can be adjusted to let you achieve the perfect depth in numerous water conditions.

With 5 forward speeds and 3 in reverse, you do get a couple fewer gearing options than the Minn Kota trolling motor, but keep in mind that this is motor is a saltwater trolling motor, unlike the Minn Kota.

The trolling motor itself is powered by a 12V marine battery, which means it can give small fishing boats up to 7 knots worth of speed – which is ideal if you’re looking to get around quickly in a kayak or an inflatable pontoon boat.

Compared to other transom mount trolling motors, the telescoping handle makes this motor real comfortable and it has an ergonomic extendable grip as well.

This Newport Vessels Trolling Motor also happens to be one of the quietest trolling motors out there, so you can really sneak up on those fish feeding in the shallows.

It’s made from a lot of really high-quality stainless steel and coated materials to ensure that there is no corrosion and the trolling motor stays working for years to come.

If you’re looking for a saltwater rated transom mount trolling motor, then this is one of the most reliable options. It boasts lots of saltwater compatible hardware, so there’s no fear of wear and tear here!

FEATURED SPECS

  • Shaft Length: 30″
  • Thrust: 55 lbs
  • Peak Power Draw: 52 Amps
  • Saltwater Rated: No

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Fits most small boats & kayaks
  • 8 Adjustable Speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse)

Goplus Trolling Motor

Pros:
  • Fantastic thrust options
  • Easy-to-use handle
  • Helpful battery-life indicator
  • Made with high-quality materials to reduce corrosion
  • Very smooth ride
  • Great price
Cons:
  • Bracket is cheap and flimsy

Goplus offers this transom mount trolling motor with three different pounds of thrust to choose from. At the lowest end of the scale, there’s a motor with 46lbs of thrust, then a mid-range 55lbs, and an 86lbs option as well.

The one you choose depends on how you’re using it, and it will provide as much thrust as your boat needs! But, they all come with the same impressive features, including a 6-inch adjustable handle that makes it so easy to maneuver your boat in the water.

Speaking of which, the three-blade propeller means you’ll be moving very smoothly even when there’s a lot of grass or marsh under the water. It just adds to the capability and overall experience with this trolling motor.

The motor comes with an extremely useful 10-point LED battery indicator built into it. Mainly, this lets you see exactly how much charge you have left, so it negates the risk of running out while in the middle of a fishing session.

This Goplus Trolling Motor comes with 8 different speeds (5 forward, 3 reverse) but a tiny contingent of owners said they experienced premature wear in some of the gears.

But, the general consensus is that everything is very reliable so it might be down to the boat they’re using or hard use.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Shaft Length: 36″
  • Thrust: 46/55/86 lbs (model dependent)
  • Peak Power Draw: 50 Amps (model dependent)
  • Saltwater Rated: No

EXTRA FEATURES

  • 10 points LED lights battery indicator
  • Speeds: 5 forward/3 reverse

Best Bow Mount: Attwood MotorGuide x3 Trolling Motor

Pros:
  • The best steering mechanics around
  • Very durable
  • Aircraft-grade materials
  • Multiple speeds
  • Affordable foot controlled trolling motor
  • Ultra-quiet on the water
Cons:
  • Speed control switch low quality

This bow mount, foot controlled trolling motor gives you 45lbs of thrust, which is a bit less than the first two options in our review so far. However, it certainly makes up for this with some awe-inspiring features that make it a joy to use.

Where this motor comes into its own is the steering mechanics.

There are two key features here; Variable Ratio Technology and a dual cable pull-pull steering system. Both these things mean there isn’t any slack while steering, and you get reduced torque steer feedback, making it more responsive and easy to navigate.

One other critical thing that stands out is the quality of materials. It uses aircraft-grade materials for some parts, making it an impeccably durable trolling motor.

I’d go as far as to say it’s arguably the most durable and corrosion-resistant model out there.

There are 5 forward speeds to choose from, but one negative point is that there’s no true reverse gear. However, such is the quality of the steering that this isn’t too much of an issue.

You can make some really tight circles with this trolling motor, and you never really find yourself begging for reverse.

The newly designed and reinforced foot pedal in the Motorguide X3 also provides excellent feel and control compared to other foot controlled trolling motors.

That ability to foot control your trolling motor is a huge.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Shaft Length: 36/45/50 in (model dependent)
  • Thrust: 45/55/70 lbs (model dependent)
  • Peak Power Draw: 38/52/42 Amps (model dependent)
  • Saltwater Rated: No

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Precision response steering
  • Variable ratio technology

Cloud Mountain Trolling Motor

Pros:
  • Suitable for saltwater
  • Very strong and durable
  • Multiple speeds to choose from
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Excellent battery indicator
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • The bolts are not corrosion resistant

If you want variety, then Cloud Mountain offers you six different transom mount trolling motor models, with six different pounds of thrust to choose from.

Starting at 36lbs and going all the way to 86lbs, no matter if you have a big or small fishing boat, this trolling motor could be ideal for you.

The materials used in the construction of this trolling motor means it’s very durable and powerful. What we particularly like is that it’s one of the few saltwater trolling motors around.

The hardware used can efficiently operate in saltwater without corrosion fears, but it works just as well out in freshwater.

Plus, it used a Nylon bracket that provides effective resistance, and an aluminum head that protects the motor and drastically extends the overall lifespan.

You get the pretty standard 8 speeds with this motor, 5 in forward and 3 in reverse. There’s also one of the most ergonomic handles around, making it so easy to grip and steer your boat.

Along with this, you have a 10-point LED battery indicator that shows you exactly how much charge is left in the battery.

This is so useful when you’re out fishing, but it’s also handy when you’re charging the battery and want to see how things are going.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Shaft Length: 28″
  • Thrust: 36/40/46/50/55/60/86 lbs (model dependent)
  • Peak Power Draw: 57 Amps (model dependent)
  • Saltwater Rated: Yes

EXTRA FEATURES

  • It is competitively priced
  • 10-Point LED Battery indicator

Trolling Motor FAQ

Using Trolling Motor

HOW FAST WILL A 55 LB THRUST TROLLING MOTOR GO?

The speed of a 55-pound trolling motor will be determined by five things:

  • Amount of Load
  • Frequency of Use
  • Type of Water
  • The Specific Brand
  • The Type fo Fuel

As a result, it is not possible to give a precise speed for every occasion. As a general guide, however, you should expect a speed of somewhere in the range of 5 miles per hour.

Keep in mind that trolling motors are designed to be used close to shore. It will typically take about two hours for the battery to become depleted.

The best type of fuel to use to boost the speed of your trolling motor is distillate marine diesel.

HOW MANY POUNDS OF THRUST DO I NEED FOR A TROLLING MOTOR?

The amount of thrust in pounds that you will need for a trolling motor depends largely on the size and weight of the boat.

As a general guide, you should have 2 pounds of thurst for every 100 pounds of boat weight.

Based on this formula a 4000-pound boat would need 80 pounds of thrust. If you are not sure how much your boat weighs, you can look it up in the NADA directory.

Another consideration when deciding on thrust is the type of fishing you will be doing. The faster running the water, the higher the level of thrust you will need.

HOW LONG WILL A BATTERY LAST WITH A TROLLING MOTOR?

Three Trolling Motor Batteries

The battery length of a trolling motor depends on the model age and the amount of maintenance that the battery has received.

You can work out the general battery run time on your trolling motor, however, by doing the following:

  • Locate the amperage power rating of the battery
  • Find the amperage power draw of the motor
  • Divide the amperage power by the amperage draw

As an example, if your battery has an amperage power rating of 200 hours and the amperage raw power of the motor is 25 amps.

Then the battery will last 8 hours (200 divided by 25).

The run of the water and the general weather conditions are other factors that may affect the battery life of your trolling motor.

CAN YOU RUN TROLLING MOTORS ON THE STRONG CURRENT RIVER?

You may be able to run a trolling motor on a strong current river if you have a powerful enough level of thrust.

Trolling motors are not designed for heavy-duty boating in rough water.

They should be used close to the shore and generally will not provide a speed much greater than 5 miles per hour.

You will want a thrust of more than a hundred pounds in order to move you through a strong current river.

You should keep in mind, however, that a pair of 50-pound thrust trolling motors will not be equivalent to a single hundred-pound motor.

You need one single powerful trolling motor.