Best Electric Trolling Motors for 2023

Best Electric Trolling Motors

newport vessels l-series transom mounted electric trolling motormotorguide xi5 trolling motor

Minn KotaTerrova i-Pilot

Newport VesselsL-Series Transom Mount Electric Trolling Motor

MotorGuideXi5 Trolling Motor

Water Compatibility: FreshwaterWater Compatibility: Freshwater, saltwater, and brackishWater Compatibility: Freshwater or Saltwater
Thrust: 55 lbs / 80 lbs / 112 lbsThrust: 62 lbs; 86 lbsThrust: 55 lbs / 80 lbs / 105 lbs
Voltage: 12 V / 24 V / 36 VVoltage: 12 V (62 lbs); 24 V (86 lbs)Voltage: 12V
Mount Type: BowMount Type: TransomMount Type: Bow
Control Type: Control Type Foot pedal, remoteControl Type: Hand-steerControl Type: Wireless foot pedal (heel-toe) or wireless remote
Speed Control: VariableSpeed Control: 5 forward; 3 reverseSpeed Control: Variable
Shaft Material: CompositeShaft Material: FiberglassShaft Material: Composite
The Best Electric Trolling Motor For:


Minn Kota Terrova

Why we love it

With its high-torque magnetic power system, the Minn Kota Terrova delivers excellent thrust while maintaining top-notch battery efficiency. Even at maximum speed, the optimized prop design and composite shaft minimize power waste.

Integrated digital controls give you total command over speed and maximize runtime. The fast, responsive precision maximizes thrust utilization for any conditions or load. When you need powerful yet efficient propulsion, the Terrova shines.

The Best Electric Trolling Motor For:


Newport Vessels L-Series

Why we love it

The Newport Vessels Saltwater motor makes controlling your electric trolling motor effortless. The wireless remote gives you precise command right in your hand. The smooth proportional trigger dial enables fine-tuning speeds.

Quick toggle controls allow fast directional changes on the fly. The convenient wrist lanyard keeps the remote secure. For lightning-fast responsiveness, it uses a direct mechanical rather than electronic throttle. Simple and intuitive, the Newport Vessels remote offers exceptional ease of use.

The Best Electric Trolling Motor For:


MotorGuide XI5

Why we love it

With its tough composite lower unit and shaft, the MotorGuide XI5 delivers exceptional resilience across years of service. The flexible composite material withstands scrapes and impacts that could damage metal shafts.

Reinforced mount connections and waterproof electronics keep critical components protected. The bearings are heavy duty and the bushings marine-grade. From tip to mount, the XI5 is engineered for maximum ruggedness and longevity.

When durability is a must, the MotorGuide XI5 brings the robustness required for the long haul.

Things to Consider

Find out things you should look for when buying a trolling motor...


minn kota powerdrive trolling motor

How to Choose the Best Electric Trolling Motor


Electric trolling motors provide propulsion, steering, and precise boat control. But with varied power, mounting, shafts, and features - how do you choose the right electric trolling motor?

The ideal trolling motor balances power, efficiency, durability, and intelligent control features. It must be properly matched to your boat's size and typical fishing demands.

Thrust determines raw pulling power while efficiency maximizes battery runtime - balance ample force with all-day endurance. Control systems should allow intuitive speed and steering command from anywhere on deck.

Rugged construction is essential to withstand years of scrapes, saltwater, UV rays, and trailering. Major vulnerability points are the shaft and mount connections.

Wireless remotes, anchor modes, route tracking, and cruise control provide next-level control. Clear networking with the boat's fish finder unlocks enhanced navigation.

Do your research to ensure the motor's mounting style, shaft length, power, and features are purpose-built for your application. This guide provides in-depth insight into evaluating key trolling motor criteria.

Power and Efficiency


An electric trolling motor's power is measured by its maximum thrust rating, shown in pounds of force. More thrust allows you to plane your boat faster and power through heavy winds, waves and current.

However, raw power must be balanced with energy efficiency to avoid draining your batteries prematurely. Optimizing efficiency extends runtime.

Seek out motors with "high torque" magnetic armature systems or lightweight, efficient brushless motors. These deliver robust pulling power with less battery drain.

Higher-end brushless systems are the ultimate for power and longevity but cost more. Look for thrust ratings from 55 to 112 lbs to match your boat's needs.

Maximizing thrust while minimizing power waste gives you the perfect blend of strength and stamina. Having ample battery reserves also prevents getting stranded. Carefully balance your speed and duration demands when selecting electric trolling motor power.

Intuitive Control Systems


Having speed and steering controls that are highly convenient and ergonomic greatly enhances the trolling motor experience. Control options vary significantly.

Wireless handheld remotes provide responsive fingertip control from anywhere on the boat. Speed dials should adjust acceleration smoothly across the RPM range rather than jerky pre-sets.

Toggle switches allow rapid 180-degree directional changes while a wrist lanyard keeps the remote secure. Control direction with the handheld itself for more intuitive steering.

Higher-end models integrate additional auto pilot features through GPS. Spot lock holds position, route tracking repeats paths, cruise control maintains speed.

Network integration with the boat's fish finder provides waypoints and sonar viewing through the remote. The ultimate in high-tech boating control.

Determine how automated and advanced you need the controls. But always ensure an ergonomic, responsive, and convenient system for frustration-free all-day usage.

Durable Construction


Electric trolling motors endure tough demands including saltwater, underwater impacts, UV exposure, trailering, and vibration. Quality construction is essential for longevity.

Two critical vulnerability points are the shaft and mount connections. Composite shafts better withstand flexing stress and corrosion than thin metal designs. Look for fiberglass, carbon fiber or thermoplastic polymer construction.

Reinforced mount joints prevent loosening over time while sealed electronics resist moisture and oxidation. Bearings and bushings must be heavy-duty.

It's wise to inspect motors closely and research real-world durability feedback before purchasing. Avoid flimsy components that compromise resilience.

Leading brands purpose-build their motors from stern to bow to endure years of hard use. Paying a bit more upfront prevents headaches later from equipment failures.

Ultimately, your trolling motor must be engineered without compromise for extreme toughness and longevity through all conditions year after year. Don't settle for less.

Additional Electric Trolling Motor Considerations

  • Mount style - Transom, bow, engine brackets each have pros and cons
  • Noise level - Quiet motors don't spook wary fish
  • Digital vs cable controls - Consider speed sensitivity needs
  • Warranty - At least 2 years of coverage for reliability
  • Prop material - Composite or stainless steel for durability
  • Brand reputation - Trusted names like Minn Kota deliver
  • The Bottom Line


    When selecting an electric trolling motor, balance power, control convenience, battery efficiency, and ruggedness. Carefully match the motor to your boat size and typical fishing demands.

    Invest in an electric trolling motor built to last from a leading brand. This ensures smooth, efficient performance and control for enhancing your time spent on the water.

    Electric Trolling Motor FAQs


    How is power and efficiency rated for electric trolling motors?

    Thrust ratings, shown in pounds of force, indicate the maximum power and pulling capacity of the motor. Higher thrust enables planning heavy boats and handling adverse conditions. Look for motors rated 55 pounds and up for sufficient power. Efficiency comes from high-torque magnets and lightweight brushless motor designs that maximize battery runtime. Features like battery power meters, variable speed controls, and prop designs further optimize efficiency. Balance ample thrust with battery maximizing efficiency when selecting your electric trolling motor.

    What shaft materials are most durable on electric motors?

    Heavy-duty composite materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, and thermoplastic polymer blends make the most durable trolling motor shafts. Composites resist corrosion, impacts, UV damage, and flexing stress far better than metal shafts over years of hard use. Composite's shock-absorbing properties also protect sensitive electronics when the lower unit hits objects. Brands like Minn Kota and Motorguide build their toughest shafts from composite. While more expensive than steel or aluminum, composite shafts deliver long-term resilience.

    What electric trolling motor mounting options work best?

    Bow mounting keeps the motor up front for excellent thrust and boat control. Transom mounts simplify installation and distribute weight. Engine brackets utilize your main motor's power system. Evaluate factors like your boat's size, fishing approach, weight balance, and speed needs when deciding on transom, bow, or engine bracket mounting. Smaller boats often favor transoms while larger fishing boats benefit from bow mount power. Combine bow and transom mounts on heavier boats for supreme control.

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