Best Cheap Trolling Motors for 2023
Best Cheap Trolling Motors
Newport VesselsL-Series Transom Mount Electric Trolling Motor
Minn KotaEndura C2 Transom-Mount Trolling Motor
GoPlusElectric Freshwater Trolling Motor
|Water Compatibility: Freshwater, saltwater, and brackish||Water Compatibility: Freshwater only||Water Compatibility: Freshwater, saltwater*, brackish*|
|Thrust: 62 lbs; 86 lbs||Thrust: Maximum thrust 30-55 lbs. depending on the model||Thrust: 46/55 lbs / 86 lbs|
|Voltage: 12 V (62 lbs); 24 V (86 lbs)||Voltage: 12 volt||Voltage: 12 V (46/55 lbs) / 24 V (86 lbs)|
|Mount Type: Transom||Mount Type: Transom mount||Mount Type: Transom|
|Control Type: Hand-steer||Control Type: Hand||Control Type: Hand-steer|
|Speed Control: 5 forward; 3 reverse||Speed Control: 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds||Speed Control: 5 forward; 3 reverse|
|Shaft Material: Fiberglass||Shaft Material: indestructible composite shaft||Shaft Material: Fiberglass|
Newport Vessels L-Series
Why we love it
For outstanding value at an affordable price, the Newport Vessels Saltwater motor can't be beaten. Despite costing under $200, you still get 30 lbs of ample thrust on a lightweight 10 lb package.
The Saltwater punches far above its price tag thanks to smart composite construction and a thoughtfully designed prop. It doesn't feel cheap or under-powered. When every dollar counts, this little motor packs a punch.
Minn Kota Endura C2
Why we love it
While cheap trolling motors often compromise on power, the Minn Kota Endura C2 still provides a robust 55 lbs of thrust in its highest model. This allows moving larger boats without being underpowered.
Quiet operation, 5 speed settings, and a decent composite shaft mean you aren't making big performance tradeoffs just to save money. The Endura C2 focuses budget dollars where they count.
GoPlus Electric Freshwater
Why we love it
Many bargain motors cut corners on materials and durability. But the GoPlus Electric Freshwater retains remarkably solid construction given its affordable price.
The GoPlus boasts a tough composite shaft, reinforced head, and robust mount unlikely to be found on other budget options. This ensures it will hold up season after season. Don't settle for flimsy when buying inexpensive.
How to Choose the Best Cheap Trolling Motor
You don't need to spend a fortune to enhance your fishing and boating adventures. Securing an affordable trolling motor just takes knowing what matters most.
The number one priority is overall value - does the motor provide useful performance and well-designed construction given its inexpensive price tag? Avoid anything that feels flimsy or under-powered.
Thrust should still be sufficient for basic boating needs, even if not up to premium standards. Anything under 30 pounds will leave small boats underpowered. Quiet, smooth operation is also important for budget models.
Durability cannot be compromised too much - insist on decent shaft construction, waterproofing, and reinforced mounts. Check reviews to avoid options prone to rapid breakdowns. Warranty coverage provides peace of mind.
Balance expectations and select based on great value, not the cheapest price. The right inexpensive trolling motor can unlock fishing access without breaking the bank if you apply wisdom when making your choice.
Excellent Overall Value
The first priority is getting the most for your money. Seek out motors that pack useful power and thoughtful design despite a budget price.
Avoid cheap-feeling parts that seem flimsy. Thoughtful composite construction prevents cutting corners. Just don't expect premium features and performance.
Let value be your guiding light to avoid money pits requiring constant repairs and upgrades. The best bargains feel well-built.
While expectations need adjustment, you still want usable power and decent runtime from a cheap trolling motor.
Look for at least 30 pounds of thrust for small boats and 55+ for larger vessels. Quiet, cool operation prevents frustrating breakdowns.
Test lower speeds for sufficient control authority. While not luxurious, performance should meet basic needs.
It's tempting for budget brands to install inadequate materials and components prone to rapid failure.
But the best values retain surprisingly robust construction like composite shafts, reinforced mounts, and waterproofing where it matters most.
Avoid thin metal collars around shafts that quickly bend and cheap plastic heads that crack easily. Insist on durable design.
Additional Cheap Trolling Motor Considerations
- Sufficient warranty coverage
- Enough cable length to fit your boat
- Easy to control and operate
- Battery and power needs
- Motor weight and balance
- Noise level at higher speeds
- Availability of replacements parts
The Bottom Line
Don't abandon your boating dreams just because trolling motor prices make you groan. Excellent budget-friendly options exist without totally compromising performance and quality.
Let value be your guide, not the cheapest models with flimsy construction. Carefully balance price, design, durability and power when seeking affordable trolling motor adventures!
Cheap Trolling Motor FAQs
Inexpensive 12 or 24 volt marine batteries are ideal for powering budget-friendly trolling motors. Small 12V batteries paired with low-thrust motors provide sufficient power at low cost. For more powerful cheap motors, wire two 12V batteries together for 24V setups. Use a dedicated deep cycle battery instead of dual-purpose to extend runtime. Properly fuse all connections and don't run other accessories off the trolling motor battery.
Cheap trolling motors typically come in either transom mount or bow mount options. Transom mounts position the motor in the rear for simplified installation. Bow mounts enable better forward thrust from the front. Consider your boat size and weight balance when deciding between bow vs transom mounting options. Kayaks do best with compact transom mounts. Larger boats benefit from bow mounting power.
Don't expect advanced features, but the controller should still be ergonomic and intuitive. Tillers should adjust for comfort and offer smooth steering. Foot pedals with proportional control provide better low-end responsiveness. Avoid jerky, awkward controls prone to rapid wear and tear. You want a smooth, reliable user experience even at low price points.