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Best Kayak Trolling Motor For Saltwater & Freshwater

Not everyone gets to enjoy the waters like someone who lives near a lake. And one of the best ways to make the most out of such privilege is through kayaking. Heading out on the crystal clear waters on your kayak for a little meditation and admiration of nature is probably one of the effective therapies in the world. So, it is no surprise that people who enjoy nature’s greenery and value quality time make the most out of their kayaks. And one way to take your kayak a step further is by installing a trolling motor on it to give it some speed and mobility. In this article, we will look through the best kayak trolling motor.

7 Best Trolling Motor For Kayak

Minn Kota C2Freshwater1230 level30 inch5 forward & 3 reverse
Newport Vessels NV seriesFreshwater & Saltwater1236lb30 inch5 forward & 3 reverse
Coleman 12VFreshwater1218lb18.5 inch2 forward & 2 reverse
Goplus FreshwaterFreshwater1255lb36 inch5 forward & 3 reverse
Saturn short-shaftFreshwater & Saltwater1255lb13.8 inch5 forward & 3 reverse
Newport vessels X seriesFreshwater & Saltwater1255lb36 inch5 forward & 3 reverse
MotorGuide VariMaxSaltwater1245lb18 inch5 forward & 3 reverse

Why Do You Need Kayak Trolling Motors?

  • Kayak trolling motor is a quick and easy solution for holding your position.
  • It’s allows you to move quicker.
  • You can hit very large fishing areas.
  • Easiest to control.
  • Simple to take on and off.

Things to consider before buying a kayak trolling motor

If you think you can work with any trolling motor on your kayak, then you are very wrong. Trolling motors will vary from boat to boat and many other things. But, you are obviously here to find out how to get your hand your hands on some of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor if you are reading this article. The truth is the Best Kayak Trolling Motor do not just pass by so easily; picking the right one out of so many can be especially overwhelming with all the different features and variations. To make sure you win the deal at the end of the day make sure to follow through these points prior to purchasing any old trolling motor:

1. Thrust

Thrust is the power required to propel a kayak into motion and speed. The thrust power required for a vessel will depend on the condition of water it sails on, its length and of course, the weight. If you use a boat, for any purpose, at all in rough waters then you will need higher thrust power. Also, the length of your kayak will decide at least how much thrust it will require for the motor to function adequately. For example, a 12-foot long kayak will need at least 30 pounds of thrust. As for weight, the general rule is to count 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of kayak weight.

2. Voltage and battery

The voltage a battery is able to generate should suffice the boat’s need. Getting a battery too powerful for a small boat is not a smart move, and getting an under powered battery for a large boat is even worse. The rule of thumb is that the smaller and lighter the kayak, the lower the voltage. For example, for a 14 foot and 1500 pounder vessel, a 12-volt battery should get the job done. Also, make sure to buy a deep cycle marine battery to maximize run time and power.

3. Shaft length

You may have understood by now how the length of the shaft of a boat/kayak affects its performance and how different vessels need different lengths. But getting the right length can be tricky: get one too short and the propeller will not submerge, and get one too long and it will get stuck. The length of the trolling motor’s shaft should be dictated by the height of the bow or stern from the water.

4. Mounting type

The bow mount motors pull the boat through the water as opposed to pushing it. Bow mounts are great for fisher with small to medium boats. Bow mounts have more precise control, but are expensive and take up more room.The transom mount pushes the boat through the water and is ideal for smaller boats. It is more affordable and easier to install. But, it can have less precise control.

Engine mount motors provide enough thrust and the boat is steered via the outboard motor. These are great as they don’t take up too much space, but they very expensive and difficult to control

5. Control (remote, hand, feet)

If you have opted for a bow mounting motor, you can choose to control it through either your hand or feet. However, some of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor and boats also allows for remote controls. You may pick whichever is most convenient for you, your boat and profession or purpose.

These are all the ingredients you need to find some of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor. Be sure to always refer to your kayak model for maximum accuracy.

The 7 Best Trolling Motor for Kayaks

Now, for the fun bit: the names and reviews of the 7 Best Kayak Trolling Motor in the market. We know how tough it can be to pick the right one for kayak despite all the information and preparedness. To narrow down your choices, and save you some much-needed time, the Best Kayak Trolling Motor has been put together for your convenience. Go through the list attentively and assess what you need in a trolling motor. These names have been carefully chosen through expert and consumer ratings. So, you know you getting some good recommendations with honest reviews. Here is the Best Kayak Trolling Motor:

1. The Minn Kota C2 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor

It is not a complete and legit list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor unless the Minn Kota C2 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is not included in it. This trolling motor is sworn by and recognized by almost all kayakers and fishermen who have years of experience with it. It is a 12-volt freshwater, transom mounted trolling motor with a 30-inch long shaft and a 30-pound thrust. The C2 has a 6-inch telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller for easy speed controls and steering. The lever lock bracket offers a rock-solid mount with wobbling or shaking from shocks and movements.

A kayak with a trolling motor like the C2 can make the most out of fishing because of its quieter motor which does not scare them away along with a longer run time. It has forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds, and 2-year warranty on the motor.



  • Quiet motor that runs for a longer time and does not scare the fishes away.
  • Various speed setting.
  • Great warranty offers.
  • Ideal for very tiny small boats only.

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2. The Newport Vessels NV series

If you are looking for a trolling motor for saltwater that will last you a few years without rotting and rusting then the NV series from Newport Vessels if your guy. Its saltwater feature is what landed it a position on our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor.

This trolling motor has stainless steel hardware for both freshwater and saltwater use. The shaft of the motor is 30 inches long and produces 30-pound thrust. With 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, control is easier than ever. It comes with a point LED battery meter and a 6-inch telescopic handle.



  • Great for salt and fresh waters.
  • Composite fiberglass shaft with a heavy duty mount.
  • Ideal for small boats/kayaks only.

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3. The Coleman 12V Electric Trolling Motor

We thought we’d give our readers a variety of motors, and we delivered. Third on the list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor is an electric motor from Coleman. If you’d like to take advantage of the fishing season but have a very small boat or kayak, we have got you covered on this one with this 12 volts electric motor.

This electric motor produces 18 pounds of thrust and can be transom mounted to the bow of your boat if it is equipped with bow eyelets. The trolling motor is made out of stainless steel tube with plastic fittings and has a plastic bracket.



  • Great very small boats.
  • Lack of speed variations.
  • Plastic was cheap, as per consumer reviews.
  • Not ideal for small to medium boats as its thrust is very low.

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4. The Goplus Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor

The Goplus Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor is our 4th contender on our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor thanks to its high thrust power. The Goplus 12 volts trolling motor generates up to 55 pounds of thrust, has a shaft measuring 36 inches in length and 6-inch telescoping adjustable handle, making it a great choice for small to medium sized boats or kayaks. It has 8-speed variations: 5 forward and 3 reverse. You can be assured of a very smooth sailing thanks to its 3 blade propeller and 10 point LED lights battery indicator



  • Great choice for small to medium sized boats.
  • Multiple speed variations for maximum control.
  • Consumers have complained about the brand having a lousy customer service; difficult parts replacement.

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5. The Saturn Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

Bigger is not always better, and to proof that to you we have a short-shaft e12 volts electric trolling motor from Saturn. The eccentricity of this trolling motor is what has put it on our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor.This shaft length is great for inflatable boats like kayaks, canoes etc.

The great thing about it is that you can always extend the short shaft up to 13.8 inches long if you wish. The shaft is more flexible and durable than others due to special composite materials. It has an adjustable throttle handle and can generate 55 pounds of thrust. What makes it so convenient is that it is highly adjustable: adjustable depth collar, adjustable handle. It has 8 speed-controls: 5 forward and 3 reverse, and comes with a 1-year warranty.



  • Extendable shaft length.
  • Durable and sturdy shaft.
  • Various speed setting.
  • Have many adjustable features.
  • No warranty coverage.

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6. The Newport vessels X series

6th name on our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor is the X series from Newport Vessels once again. This 12 Volts electric trolling motor has a transom mount, shaft 36 inches in height and can produce 55 pounds of thrust, making it a good deal for small to medium boats and kayaks. Its 36-inch shaft is made out of composite fiberglass with heavy duty nylon mount. It has 8-speed variations: 5 forward and 3 reverse.

One very convenient feature of this trolling motor is that is has a 30 degree adjustable, up and down, control head with a 6-inch telescoping handle. This motor is also usable in both fresh and salt waters due to its trusted stainless steel hardware.



  • Great for small to medium boats.
  • Great for both salt and fresh waters thanks to its stainless steel hardware.
  • Multiple speed controls.
  • Consumers have had problems with the speed differences from one setting to another; it was too drastic.

Check Price on Amazon

7. The MotorGuide VariMax Trolling Motor

The last but not least, name to make it to our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor is the VariMax trolling motor from Motor Guide.

What put this trolling motor on our prestigious list is that it produces some serious thrust power despite its petite size. This 12-volt trolling motor produces 45-pound thrust and has a shaft measuring 18 inches in length (or height). It has transom mount, longest run time of any motor in its class, 3 times the battery life and 5 variable speeds.



  • You can position it on the bow or even the side of a boat or kayak.
  • Great for small boats.
  • May misbehave if the motor gets wet.

Check Price on Amazon

How to put a trolling motor on a kayak?

Now, here’s the thing: traditional kayaks are not designed to have any type of installation on them, which is why, finding a way to mount trolling motor stably and securely on it can be tricky, and require some small adjustments. So, if you have one that does not allow for an installation then this part of the article will be a lifesaver.

First and foremost, get your supplies gathered. You are most likely to need a drill machine, nuts, and bolts, metal pipes, wooden plank (may not be limited to these only). However, trolling motors now come with various types of convenient mounting options, and the Best Kayak Trolling Motor come already designed and equipped with the right mounts to eliminate the need for various tools and items. You can also buy a mounting kit separately to help you with the installation. But, in case you do not have a mounting facility on your kayak, here’s a little DIY for you:

How you choose to place the battery is up to you. Let’s move onto the kayak trolling motors now. Begin by deciding the position of the motor. Then check your kayak’s rod holes; almost all kayaks come with holes on each side. This is where you will be putting in the steel pipes. Check for the fitting of the pipes; make sure they fit snuggly. Insert around 30 inch long pipes into the rod holes and drill on the wooden plank onto the base of the pipes. The length of the wooden pipe should be a few inches longer than the width of the kayak. Now, drill on the mount of the propeller onto one end of the wooden plank securely, and you are done! Trolling motors, especially the Best Kayak Trolling Motor, can be installed onto most mounting boards found on the market today.

What size trolling motor for kayaks would be ideal?

The excellence in performance with which a motored kayak works is very dependable on the size of the trolling motor being used on it. Therefore, there are specific trolling motor sizes for each type of boats, meaning that the size of a trolling motor for kayak saltwater would be different a trolling motor for a leisure boat. You want to make sure it is long enough to submerge the propeller but short enough to not get stuck in sediments or banks.

In the case of a kayak, the length of the trolling motor will decide the speed with which it cuts through the water and the amount of time it can move about on the water. So, getting the Best Kayak Trolling Motor is also a matter of heights. Whether it is for fishing or just for treading the water, a kayak with a trolling motor with a height of about is 30 inches would be the smartest choice. However, always add an addition 5 inches to the shaft length if your main purpose is to fish on the kayak. This will make sure your propeller stays under the water at all times in choppy and windy waters.

Final Word

This article has all the information and the best trolling motors for kayak so that you know what you need and are looking for. Be sure to check our list of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor for the features, pros and cons and other details before jumping into any impulse purchase. Remember, what you consider the Best Kayak Trolling Motor maybe be different from someone else’s concept of the Best Kayak Trolling Motor; to each their own. Always prioritize your own needs and demands before grabbing a crowd-pleaser motor. Now, that you are all equipped and set, go out and get your kayak game on!

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