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2y3k » Best Kayak Trolling Motor Review 2023

Best Kayak Trolling Motor Review 2023

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In some conditions, a day of paddling your kayak while trying to fish can be a bit much. It can be tiring and difficult to juggle propelling the kayak with the management of the fishing poles and gear at the same time. You could free up your hands by acquiring a pedal model fishing kayak or alternatively a quiet, battery-operated trolling motor.

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Trolling motors come with a variety of features and capabilities that can be a bit bewildering for the uninitiated. You want to match the motor with your specific vessel and the location and conditions you will encounter. To make your selection process a little easier, eight of the best models of different sizes with a variety of features are reviewed below with specifications, photos, and videos, followed by a comparison table and a basic buying guide.

Best Kayak Trolling Motor List

Minn Kota Endura Transom C2 Transom Mount Trolling Motor

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The Endura C2 30 is one of the most popular models for use on kayaks by Minn Kota, known for its top-quality trolling motors.

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Designed for freshwater, the 12V battery powers the quiet motor which can deliver 30 pounds of thrust, plenty for most kayaks, and trolling conditions.

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The telescoping tiller extends by 6 inches and the 30-inch shaft is made of extra durable composite materials.

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In addition, it is a light 17 pounds and very reasonably priced.

  • Tilt twist tiller with 6-inch telescoping handle
  • Lever lock bracket for mounting
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 30 inches, composite
  • Thrust: 30 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: freshwater
  • Weight: 17 pounds

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Goplus 86 Thrust Trolling Motor

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The Goplus 86 delivers plenty of thrust to propel kayaks and small to medium-sized boats.

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The 24V battery will give you 8-10 hours of trolling on an overnight charge and has an easily visible LED lights display that indicates how much charge remains.

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A weedless 3-blade propeller moves smoothly through underwater plants and grasses prevalent in many lakes and ponds.

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The durable design includes a composite shaft that can be adjusted for angle and depth and an adjustable telescopic handle makes it easy to control.

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Pricing for this powerful trolling motor is moderate.

  • 6-inch telescoping, adjustable handle
  • Reinforced nylon bracket
  • Weedless 3-blade propeller
  • 10-point LED battery indicator
  • Battery: 24V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 36 inches, fiberglass composite, adjustable shaft angle and depth
  • Thrust: 86 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: freshwater
  • Weight: 22 pounds

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Newport Vessel NV Series 55 Trolling Motor

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The Newport Vessel NV Series 55 has plenty of thrust for small to mid-size boats and kayaks and with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium hardware it will have longevity in saltwater, as well as freshwater.

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Powered by a 12V battery with a 5 point LED battery meter, it will run all day without overheating.

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It has a durable nylon transom mount, adjustable 30-inch fiberglass composite adjustable shaft, efficient 3-blade propeller, and easy-to-use adjustable, telescoping handle.

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Newport Vessel demonstrates their confidence in the quality by offering a 2-year warranty.

  • 6-inch telescoping, adjustable handle
  • 3-blade propeller
  • Stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium hardware compatible with saltwater and freshwater exposure
  • Nylon transom mount
  • 5-point LED battery indicator
  • 2-year warranty
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 30 inches, fiberglass composite, adjustable
  • Thrust: 55 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: saltwater and freshwater
  • Weight: 23.2 pounds

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Cloud Mountain 8 Speed Trolling Motor

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The Cloud Mountain 8 speed trolling motor comes in 6 models based on pounds of thrust running from 36 to 86.

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With an aluminum head and stainless steel hardware, it is corrosion-resistant in saltwater.

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Each model has the same 28-inch adjustable fiberglass shaft, telescoping handle, and 10-point LED battery indicator.

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The range of models is suitable for vessels from canoes and kayaks using the lower thrust models to much larger fishing boats at the top end.

  • 6-inch telescoping, adjustable handle
  • Stainless steel hardware and aluminum head
  • Reinforced nylon bracket
  • 10-point LED battery indicator
  • Battery: 12V or 24V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 28 inches, fiberglass composite, adjustable
  • Thrust: 36/40/46/50/55/86 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: saltwater and freshwater

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Minn Kota Traxxis 55 Transom Mount Trolling Motor

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The Minn Kota Traxxis is a top trolling motor with several features that set it apart from the rest.

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It has Digital Maximizer technology which extends the battery charge up to 5 times the standard and design features including a quick-lock depth adjuster and one-hand stow mechanism.

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The adjustable tiller can be tilted to 45 degrees and the Wedge 2 prop can help keep you from getting bogged down in weeds and grass.

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The pricing isn’t cheap but the quality and confident 2-year warranty make up for it.

  • 6-inch telescoping, adjustable tiller with 45-degree tilt capability
  • One-hand stow mechanism
  • Stainless steel hardware and aluminum head
  • Weedless Wedge 2 prop
  • Digital Maximizer technology increases battery charge efficiency
  • Battery gauge
  • Quick-lock cam depth adjuster
  • 2-year warranty
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 36 inches, composite, adjustable
  • Thrust: 55 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: freshwater
  • Weight: 29 pounds

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Intex Trolling Motor For Intex Inflatable Kayaks

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This Intex motor is designed especially for a range of Intex inflatable kayaks and boats but is also a great fit for most other inflatable boats with built-in mount fittings.

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There is plenty of thrust at 40 pounds and many useful features that include an extendable tilting handle, a digital maximizer for efficient battery use, and a control panel with several useful functions and indicators.

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Finally, a Weedless Wedge 2 prop combines with an automatic weed control escape key for a minimum of weed and grass entanglement.

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Pricing is moderate.

  • Designed for Intex models including the Challenger, Seahawk 2, 3, and 4, Excursion 3, 4, and 5, and Mariner 3 and 4
  • Compatible with other inflatable boats with built-in motor mount fittings
  • 6-inch extendable handle tilts upward to 45 degrees and downward to 75 degrees
  • Control panel includes battery meter, automatic weed control escape key, overload protection, and dry operation protection
  • Weedless Wedge 2 prop
  • Digital maximizer control module for battery use efficiency
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 36 inches, composite, adjustable
  • Thrust: 40 pounds
  • Speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse
  • Water Type: saltwater and freshwater
  • Weight: 23 pounds (shipping weight)

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Watersnake FWDR54-48 Shadow Trolling Motor

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Suitable for saltwater and freshwater use, this Watersnake trolling motor is made of durable components and is a bow-mounted easy to use foot control model.

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There is variable speed control, forward and reverse, with a cut-off switch when put in the stow position.

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The circuitry is fully waterproofed inside the sealed motor casing and the stainless steel 3-blade prop has a weedless design.

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It is relatively lightweight and with 54 pounds of thrust, there is ample power for canoes, kayaks, and small boats.

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A 2-year warranty backs up the quality.

  • Variable speed foot control
  • Cut-off switch when the motor is placed in stow position
  • Waterproof and sealed motor casing which includes the circuit board
  • Stainless steel 3-blade prop and shaft, weedless design
  • 2-year warranty
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: bow
  • Shaft: 48 inches, stainless steel
  • Thrust: 54 pounds
  • Speeds: forward and reverse (with a switch)
  • Water Type: saltwater and freshwater
  • Weight: 26 pounds

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Watersnake T18 ASP Trolling Motor

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The T18 ASP is the smallest motor in the Watersnake line.

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It has a simple durable design with corrosion-resistant coating for saltwater, a 2-blade weedless propeller, and a 24-inch alloy shaft.

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The hand control tiller has a stowaway handle with 2 forward and 2 reverse speeds.

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It’s extremely lightweight at less than 5 pounds and has 18 pounds of thrust that is enough for smaller kayaks.

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This low-priced model comes with a 1-year warranty.

  • Hand control, stow away handle
  • Anti-impact clip system
  • Corrosion-resistant coating
  • 2-blade weedless propeller
  • 1-year warranty
  • Battery: 12V
  • Mount: transom
  • Shaft: 24 inches, alloy
  • Thrust: 18 pounds
  • Speeds: 2 forward, 2 reverse
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Weight: 4.84 pounds

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Kayak Trolling Motor Buying Guide

Size and Weight

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How much power your electric trolling motor needs is based on the combined weight of the vessel, the riders, and their baggage. Fishing kayaks will generally be less than 15 feet long and have a capacity of 500-600 pounds. For that weight combined with the weight of the kayak and the motor and battery, 30-55 pounds of thrust will probably be enough. For smaller kayaks and loads the 18-pound thrust Watersnake T18 can be adequate. Models with more than 55 pounds of thrust often require 24V to 36V batteries that can up the weight considerably at the spot they are placed. Fortunately, none of the trolling motors reviewed here including the 86 thrust models are substantially heavier and require only 24V batteries.

Battery Space

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Depending on the amount of thrust in the motor, 12, 24, or 36 volts will be required. Storage space on kayaks can be quite limited, so where you will put the battery or batteries is a factor. For a single paddler on a small kayak with a motor that requires 3 x 12V batteries, it can mean a substantial amount of weight in one end of the vessel potentially disturbing equilibrium substantially. Plan accordingly.

Freshwater or Saltwater


Saltwater can have a destructive effect on certain metals due to its corrosive qualities. For that reason models designed for saltwater use will use stainless steel and other metals and composites as well as corrosion-resistant coatings that can handle the salt. There are models for use only in freshwater that don’t use such materials. Perhaps self-evidently any models that are designed for saltwater can also be used in freshwater.

Shaft Length

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For good performance, the shaft should be long enough for the propeller to be submerged below the water surface around 12 inches. If it is shallower it won’t propel efficiently. An adjustable shaft allows you to place the propeller at the proper depth. You need to keep in mind the distance from the mounting position on the transom or bow-mount to the water and make sure your shaft is long enough for the propeller to reach that optimum 18 inches below the surface.

Mount Type

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Motors on kayaks can be mounted on the transom (at the back) or on the bow. Mounting on the transom is the logical location for kayaks where the motor rests behind the paddler who can fairly conveniently manipulate the tiller to control it while sitting. There are models that have bow-mounted motors like the Watersnake Shadow reviewed above. That particular model has foot controls that permit the kayaker to sit while operating it. If you have hand controls it often is challenging or inconvenient when bow-mounted. For maneuverability, however, there can be an advantage on occasion for bow-mounting.

Speed Controls

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The capability of adjusting the kayak’s speed gives you more options. For a cruise across open water to a site you would like to go as fast as possible. For trolling you probably want a much slower pace to be more effective. For tight maneuvers forward or in reverse, slower speeds can be best. Most trolling motors for kayaks are designed with 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds.

Propeller Blades

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Blade design is emphasized by the manufacturers. The efficiency of the motor relies on a hydrodynamic blade structure. The motors will have 2 or 3 blades which should push the kayak through the water smoothly while maintaining near silence without vibration to alert fish of your presence. Propellers should be durable and resistant to bumps. Many are designed to be weedless avoiding clogging when going through grass or weeds.

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