Designed to be attached via a bracket lock or transom mount onto the stern or bow of your kayak, trolling motors make fishing more enjoyable. They have the advantage of being quieter than standard motors on boats, which translates to a more convenient time on your yak and fewer chances of fish being scared away!
Not all of them are the same, however. The current market stocks many models, but you need to be sure of the type you need for your particular kayak. To help make things easier, we have compiled the best trolling motors in one place so that you can compare and choose the best option for you.
|Model||Fresh and Saltwater Environments||Thrust Power||Variable Speeds||Shaft Length|
|Newport Vessels Kayak Series||✔️||55lbs||✔️||30”|
|Haswing Black Cayman||✔️||55lbs||N/A||48”|
|Minn Kota Endura C2||N/A||55lbs||✔️||36”|
The 5 Best Trolling Motors in 2021
Below are the five models we have chosen as the best on the market. We’ve made sure to mention their positives and negotiables, stressing on what makes each of them stand out in the competition.
1. Newport Vessels Kayak Series – Best All-Rounder Option
The Newport Vessels Kayak Series provides an all-rounder option, with comfortable features fit for most uses.
It is suitable for fresh and saltwater, designed with stainless-steel hardware and a sacrificial zinc anode. It comes with a 30-inch fiberglass shaft that is adjustable to work for any kayak. It also features a thrust power of 55lbs, meaning it can power boats up to 18ft long.
The Newport Vessel Kayak Series comes with the standard 12-volt power and has a bright blue LED battery charge indicator light. It features eight variable speed settings: 5-forward and 3-reverse, allowing for adjustability in speed increments and ensuring you conserve your battery as much as possible.
This model is one of the mid-range priced ones available on the market. Newport Vessels have a reputation for being one of the leading providers, so it is a retailer known for its expertise in the field.
Features to boast about are:
The trolling motor features extra-long battery cabling allowing better weight distribution and compatibility with all kayaks. It fits onto the stern of a kayak using a transom mount piece to secure the motor.
It comes with a 3-blade nylon fiberglass propeller for a smoother ride to stand up to more trying water conditions. Moreover, it has a useful tilting feature on the telescoping handle to maneuver the boat with minimal effort. Given its capacity of 55lb, it also manages to stay light and portable, making it a convenient option.
- Fresh & Saltwater Durable
- Extra-long battery cabling
- 8 Variable speed settings
- Fairly lightweight and portable
- Not the cheapest
- Transom mount plastic piece could be a little unsteady.
The Newport is a fabulous all-rounder, equipped with features that won’t leave you feeling left out. It takes a shine providing long cabling and being lightweight, making things extra convenient. It does have a slightly high price and an unsteady mount, but these could be two things you could work your way around.
2. Haswing Black Cayman – Budget Option
The Haswing Black Cayman trolling motor is perfect for those on a tight budget. It includes most features an angler would desire. It is suitable for fresh and saltwater, designed with aluminum hardware and a sacrificial anode to protect the other components. It also features a thrust power of 55lbs, so it is catered to take on boats of up to 18ft.
It comes with the standard 12-volt motor and has a battery charge indicator light so that you know how much power is left. The Haswing Cayman doesn’t come with five variable speeds as some others do, but it does allow some speed adjustments. With its thrust power, you can rest assured that it can power through choppy waves and mossy vegetation.
The 48-inch aluminum shaft makes it easy to adjust for different types of kayaks. Since this shaft is particularly long, it’ll keep your propeller submerged below the waterline, depending on your specific fishing conditions.
With regards to price, this motor is one of the cheaper ones on the market.
It has some unique features to note:
The Haswing Cayman attributes itself to having a quick-release button to detach the trolling motor when you require, with the plate staying affixed. This is handy if you require something more portable but also ensures security too.
Your package will come with a mounting plate that you secure to the bow and mount the motor onto. Some may dislike bow-mounted fixtures due to the motor hanging over the bow, but it’s not that big of an issue for most kayakers.
It comes with a foot pedal, which is liked by some and disliked by others. It just means that your foot controls the motor, so when catching fish, your foot pedal would be controlling your motor’s on-off power. If you’re out to focus on your surroundings or fishing, it can be a little distracting to switch it on and off with your foot.
Having said that, this model comes equipped with a remote control that makes it maneuverable with cruise control. So, you can keep your boat at the desired speed with just a press of a button from wherever you are on your boat. This gives you the advantage of focusing more on fishing or the activity at hand.
- Fresh & Saltwater durable
- Battery charge indicator light
- Remote control power
- Cheaper than other trolling motors
- It does not have five-speed variables
- Bow-mounted hanging
- Foot pedal: A disadvantage only to those who want to focus on the activity at hand
The Haswing Black Cayman is a great budget option with notable features that give you value for your hard-earned cash. It may not feature 5-speed variables, but it has a powerful thrust power you can rely on to get you around.
3. Cloud Mountain – Most Powerful Momentum
The Cloud Mountain motor comes with an impressive motor to ensure smooth sailing. It is suitable for fresh and saltwater, designed with stainless-steel hardware and a sacrificial anode to protect the other components. It features a thrust power of 55lbs, so it can take kayaks up to 18ft long.
You would need to know whether a shaft length of 28 inches would be enough for you. If it is too short for the waters you operate in, it may cause the prop to keep coming out of the water. This shaft length would work for those with smaller boats or those operating in shallow waters.
The Cloud Mountain comes with the standard 12-volt motor and has a 10-point LED battery indicator light so that you can know how much power is left.
It features an incredible eight variable speeds, 5-forward and 3-reverse for smooth in-control gliding. Combined with the standard 12-volt motor, it allows high-powered resistance to position the boat in various water conditions.
It’s helpful to choose between the different speeds for quiet and slow movements and quick scanning to allow for better coverage and a better catch at the end of the day!
With regards to price, this motor is one of the mid-range ones available on the market.
Some of its features that are definitely ones to consider are:
This trolling motor comes with a handy ergonomic telescoping adjustable handle, allowing for better maneuverability when wading through bends and corners. It is also extendable, so you don’t have to get up all the time to adjust the position of your kayak. It allows for your boat’s swift movements to straighten out and point to the direction you wish to go.
The motor fits on a plastic transom mount, which is relatively easy to do. However, it can be seen as a little flimsy, especially if you turn sharp corners with your boat – you may need extra brackets to bolt it into place for extra security and keep the motor in position.
- Stainless-steel hardware
- Battery charge indicator light
- Eight variable speeds
- Telescoping adjustable handle
- Plastic transom mount
The Cloud Mountain is a powerful trolling motor and has great ablation resistance to all water conditions, thanks to the materials used. It may be a little troublesome to mount up due to the flimsy plastic, but there may be ways around that by using stronger bolts.
4. Watersnake – Most Lightweight Motor
The Watersnake motor is sleek and lightweight, great for those with smaller kayaks or who need a portable option. It is suitable for fresh and saltwater.
Though featuring a lower thrust power than the previous two contenders, it is a lighter-weight piece of equipment, making it perfect for relaxed & recreational activities in smaller kayaks up to about 12-14ft long.
At a 24-inch shaft length, it would do well in shallow waters and fair weather conditions.
With a standard 12-volt motor, you can choose between a 35amphr battery to a 60amphr battery, depending on how long you want to be out in the water. Practical and quiet, it has its advantages for those who have smaller boats.
There is no built-in battery indicator light, but depending on the battery power you choose, you can get an idea about how many hours it’d last. Due to the smaller size you’re running on, you would probably last for long anyway.
Additionally, it comes with just two speed settings – high and low, unlike the previous two. Due to this trolling motor’s simpler design, the manufacturer has felt no need to provide this feature.
It is a pricier model, and this may be due to its favor towards a particular market and its unique features, explained below.
Features to note are:
This trolling motor allows for different mounting options. You can choose from a kayak mount bracket or a saltwater transom mount.
The transom mount fitting is generally easier to clip on and comes with an extendable hand tiller for easy steering. The kayak mount bracket requires screwing the brackets into place and fitting the motor on-top, which might be a little more secure.
Depending on if you prefer a transom with a hand-tiller or something more secure, the manufacturer has given two options.
It weighs just 2.2kg and performs well due to its standard 12-volts and battery power choice for the user. Perfect for smaller boats and for those unable to lift and handle heavier equipment.
- Fresh & Saltwater Durable
- Lightweight at only 2.2kg
- Perfect for smaller kayaks or boats
- Choices for mounting: Kayak mount bracket or saltwater transom mount
- It does not have 5-speed variables
- It does not have a battery indicator
- Pricier compared to other trolling motors
The Watersnake provides a great choice for those with smaller kayaks. The user can enjoy flexibility and portability due to its light weight and many options for mounting. It does carry a slightly expensive price tag, but its positives outshine this.
5. Minn Kota Endura C2 – Most Feature-Friendly
The Minn Kota Endura C2 motor comes with an array of cool features and is suitable for freshwater usage only. It features a thrust power of 55lbs, catering for boats up to 18ft, and a handy 36-inch shaft, a good size-able length for both deep and shallow water.
It comes with the standard 12-volt motor and has a battery charge indicator light. The Minn Kota Endura comes with eight variable speed settings: 5-forward and 3-reverse, allowing flexibility to dial in your exact required speed. This is efficient, as you only use as much power as needed, conserving your battery power.
With regards to price, this motor is one of the expensive ones on the market. Due to Minn Kota’s presence as a leading provider for trolling motors, the features offered in this one make it worth the extra pennies.
Features to flaunt are:
The Minn Kota Endura comes with a 6-inch telescoping handle with a firm steering response thanks to a tilt-twist mechanism on the tiller, allowing for easy speed control. It comes with a “Power Prop”, which enables it to push away heavy vegetation without consuming the battery.
You can mount it using the lever-lock bracket that fits onto the stern, which you tighten on to lock the motor in place. The lever-lock is made of plastic, so it can react with thrusting when moving the boat sideways or steering to a certain extent. Fixture brackets of alloy material may be more sturdy, and you could purchase these separately from the product.
This trolling motor prides itself on its cool-quiet power technology, ergonomically designed with large windings to dissipate heat and a bearing system that reduces friction to avoid scaring fish away.
Due to the extra features, however, there is the likelihood of draining the battery quicker. So it’s better to pair this one with a battery with higher amp-hours or keeping a spare one when going out into the water.
- Battery charge indicator light
- Eight variable speed settings
- 6-inch telescoping handle
- Cool-quiet power technology to reduce spooking fish
- “Power Prop” – an efficient propelling mechanism
- Freshwater usage only
- Lever-lock bracket for mounting, made of plastic that could be flimsy or unreliable
- Expensive, in comparison to other trolling motors on the market
The Minn Kota Endura C2 stands out from the crowd with all its features, which make fishing a breeze and ease the tensions you could do without. It does come with a slightly heftier price-tag, as you’re also paying for the Minn Kota brand name. Yet, it’s worth every penny.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Kayak Trolling Motor
These are some of the things to keep in mind, so you have your motor doing the best it can for your needs. The tips below will highlight what to look for:
Fresh or Saltwater Environments
Since saltwater tends to damage coatings, you would want to choose a motor specifically designed for saltwater to withstand the conditions. This type of motor comes specially designed with a corrosion-resistant coating like stainless-steel and aluminum.
The size of your kayak can determine what thrusting power you would need. Most of us have kayaks or dinghies of an average length of about 8 to 10 feet long, and thus, the standard 30 to 40 pounds of thrust in many trolling motors would be adequate.
If, however, you live somewhere with high wind speeds and rough waters, or you have a boat longer than 15 feet, you may need to consider a thrusting power of 70 pounds or more.
It is also worth mentioning that if you choose to go for a motor with thrusting power too great for your small vessel, it could lead to issues of instability. You don’t want to buy a trolling motor with high thrust power, thinking that it’s going to make things more efficient if it is far too powerful for your small kayak.
Battery & Voltage Power
Most trolling motors have a standardized 12-volt power. The voltage power indicates how much battery power will flow in a given amount of time. Usually, most motorized boats run on 12-volts, but the more significant the boat size, the higher the voltage needed.
Some trolling motors will let you know how much battery power is left with an LED light indicator. This is a useful feature to have so that you’re not left out in the waters without any juice left.
Trolling motors usually do not come with a supplied battery. It is left up to the kayaker to buy the battery and decide how much AMP hour their battery needs, depending on how long you take your boat out.
Some trolling motors come with several adjustable speeds for forwarding and reversing your boat. This is handy if you like to drift out to take advantage of a wider breadth of space in a short span of time.
Trolling motors that come with extra features make things a little easier. These can be, for example, many propellers that make for a smoother glide, types of mounts for mounting the motor onto, or telescoping handles. Whatever they are, extra features tend to highlight things that you may have missed out on.
Ultimately, the more expensive trolling motors have additional features and are more powerful. Keep the price as one of the last factors in your decision-making process, as trolling motors are investments that can give you rewards in the long run.
Unless you are on a strict budget, try not to get weighed down by the price and consider the mid-range options available.
The Best Catch
The key to deciding the best kayak trolling motor to go for depends on what you want out of it, rather than which one has the leading specifications or features.
Keep in mind the primary deciding factors: the thrust power, your waterbody of choice (Fresh & Saltwater), and the voltage power you need for your particular kayak and water you sail in.
It is handy to have features that make fishing and recreational trips easier and enjoyable. The Newport Vessels Kayak Series really stands out, offering new technologies to get the most out of your trolling motor.
The Haswing Black Cayman equips the user with a classic foot pedal but modern remote control. The Watersnake prides itself on catering to a market looking for lighter-weight options, and the Cloud Mountain offers solid, reliable power.
It just begs the question of whether you’d rather stick to the basics with a more classic model or if it’s necessary for you to have certain things included in your trolling motor to make fishing and kayaking a better experience.