With kayak fishing becoming more and more famous, it was about time to execute the idea of using electric motors onto the fishing kayaks. If you are looking to spend more time fishing and less time paddling, then you should really invest in some great trolling motors.

For anglers, who need to cover a lot of distance in the water, a trolling motor is a necessity. Powerful, quiet, and small, these electric motors are becoming increasingly famous among kayakers and sailors. 

Trying to find the best trolling motor might seem very challenging considering there are so many types available in the market. These different types and models are designed to serve different purposes for various water sports. However, finding the perfect trolling motor for your kayak/boat needs some expertise. To help you with that, we have assembled a buying guide for finding the right trolling motor for your kayak and reviews the best trolling motors available in the market.

Buying Guide: Best Trolling Motor for Kayaks

man kayaking with trolling motor for kayak

Here is a complete guide to the basic things you should be mindful of when purchasing a trolling motor for your kayak. We have then reviewed our top picks of trolling motors and what unique features each offers specific to different user requirements. We’re certain you’ll be able to pick the right one for yourself from our list!

What is a Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor is a small and quiet electric engine that is used to maneuver without scaring fish. It attaches to the stern or bow of a kayak, but it is usually attached to the stern/transom. 

A trolling motor is an equipment that features a motor, a propeller, and controls in a compact self-contained unit. Trolling motors are typically electric and are powered by batteries, but you will also see some gasoline-powered motors in the market. These motors are controlled by hand or by foot, however, hand-controlled motors are more common.

Why Do I Need a Trolling Motor?

Although trolling motors are designed for traditional fishing boats, they offer a number of advantages to a kayaker. 

  • Speed

Most anglers need speed, and they want to reach where they are going as soon as possible. Sometimes they need to cover miles before reaching their destination fishing point. Paddling is not convenient for such die-hard fishermen, as for them getting quickly to the fish is most important. A trolling motor is much faster than paddling. 

  • No Noise

Trolling motors are almost silent. One can also use a trolling motor on a kayak to catch the fish. In this way, you will have an amazing fishing experience. 

Prerequisites before buying a trolling motor

Before you go out and purchase a trolling motor, you need to make sure that your kayak/canoe is ready to have a motor installed. For this, you will need a mount on your motor. You also need to make sure that whatever trolling motor you buy is suitable for your kayak and is not too big or too small. 

Apart from this, there are also some legalities associated with the use of trolling motors. Some states require registration of any boat that is equipped with an engine, and that includes a trolling motor as well. Check with your state law, and make sure to comply with it. 

Trolling motor on kayak


Top 10 Trolling Motors for Kayak 

1. Newport Vessel 55 lbs. Thrust Trolling Motors

Newsport trolling motor

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Pros Cons
 Short and adjustable shaft  Heavy
 Excellent Battery Life
 Work well in saltwater 
 55 lbs. thrust which is more than enough for most of the boats
 Ultra-quiet and efficient
 Excellent customer service


  • Shaft length: 30 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 55 lbs. 
  • Peak Power draw: 52 Amps
  • 3-blade Propeller Kit – Large
  • 6-inch telescopic handle
  • 8 speeds – five forward and three reverse
  • 12V Deep Cycle Battery with 52-amp hour rating
  • 2-year warranty

The Newport Vessel Kayak Series is way different than other competitor models like Minna Kota and Motor Guide. This Newport’s vessel comes with an impressive 55 pounds thrust which offers enough power for a 2700-pound boat and more than enough for any kayak. 

Newport Vessel stands out from the rest in its resistance to saltwater. This is such a unique feature as a lot of them can’t be used in saltwater. This Newport Vessel Trolling Motor is made up of aluminum, stainless steel, and zinc for enhancing its performance in saltwater.  

Newport Vessel has a 6-inch telescoping handle and eight different speeds, five forward, and three reverses, which makes the ride very seamless. It has a 55 lbs. thrust trolling motor which offers great clicks to let you know when you have changed gears or have turned the motor off. This is quite important as well because the motor is so quiet at low speed that there are chances you will leave it on which in return will drain the battery. 

The trolling motor comprises a composite fiberglass shaft, and the head and the prop for saltwater. High-quality construction material along with the excellent design is used to make this trolling motor future-proof and long-lasting for years. Battery life is also outstanding, especially at low-speed settings. 

2. Minn Kota Endura C2 Endura C2 55 Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 55

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Pros Cons
 Excellent Battery Life  No twist ability
 Work well in saltwater
 Easy to maintain    
 8 speeds, five forward and three reverse
 Lifetime warranty on the shaft
 2-year warranty on the motor
 6-inch telescopic handle
 Quiet and cool


  • Shaft length: 30 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 55 lbs. 
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Peak Power draw: 50 Amps
  • Lever lock bracket
  • 6-inch telescopic tiller
  • Power prop

This is one of the best Trolling motors for kayaks in 2020. Minn Kota Endura C2 works efficiently in saltwater without degrading the performance of the motor.

This trolling motor generates less heat, less noise, and runs cool with commutators, windings, and large brushes. The motor is designed to conserve less power and extend battery life. This Minna Kota Endura C2 motor comes with a composite shaft that is indestructible and is guaranteed for life. It does not break or bend. Its 55 thrust model features a two-prop system that has the capability to take thick stuff without draining the battery. 

Its lever lock bracket is stronger than the routine brackets and delivers rock-solid mounting. Strong construction material is used to resist UV damage and warping. The bearing system produces fewer RPMs which in return reduces the fish-spooking noise.

Minn Kota Endura C2 is famous among sailors as well as kayakers. It is praised for its efficient performance in water and affordable price. To conclude, this trolling motor is built to last longer and provides quiet and cool power.

3. Goplus 46 55 and 86 Lb. Thrust Trolling Motors

GoPlus Trollling Motor

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Pros Cons
 Works in both saltwater and freshwater  Poor throttle quality
 Good Battery Life  Motor is heavy
 Offers customers a choice between different thrust options
 Cool and quiet power system
 Multi-adjustment angle adjustment aluminum mount
 3 propeller blades
 10 Point LED light battery indicator


  • Shaft length: 36 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 46 lbs. 55 lbs. and 86 lbs.
  • Weight: 19.4 pounds 22 pounds and 
  • Peak Power draw: ~35 Amps
  • 6-inch telescopic handle
  • Sturdy and Durable

GOPLUS’s electric trolling motor is a great addition to the trolling motor industry, with a choice of 46, 55, and 86 lbs. thrust in an affordable package. Each of these models features a 36 inches long shaft, although each one of them offers a different thrust. However, all of these models provide more than enough speed and thrust for a kayak, and for most people in a ‘yak, the additional thrust just means shorter battery life. 

Each model has a 6-inch telescoping and adjustable handle which makes you control the motor easily. It has eight speeds, five forwards, and three reverses, so you can quickly speed up and down when needed. 

This GOPLUS trolling motor features a 3-blade propeller and 10-point LED lighted battery indicator that shows how much battery is left for the motor. All things considered, we can say that GOPLUS provides one of the most easy-to-use motors that is smooth, powerful, and well-controlled. 

4. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motors

Pros Cons
 Short adjustable shaft  Designed for freshwater
 Excellent build quality  Its ability to expand makes it a little fragile when the person handles it rough
 Good Battery Life
 Easy to steer and control
 It can expand to suit individual preferences
 Lever lock bracket
 Lever lock bracket


  • Shaft length: 30 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 20 pounds
  • Weight: 17 lbs. 
  • Peak Power draw: ~50 Amps
  • Telescoping Tiller
  • Power prop
  • Sturdy and Durable

Minn Kota is a brand that believes in the originality of its products. Endura C2 30 gives a warranty of 2 years for this product. This trolling motor is an amazing combination of design and functionality.

It provides 30 pounds of thrust which is more than enough for a kayak. The Endura C2 30 gives power to its prop through a 30-inch fiberglass shaft. The composite shaft comes with a warranty of a lifetime. It is flexible and will not corrode. It offers the usual 8 speeds, five forward, and three reverses.

The best feature of this trolling motor is its cool and quiet power which is able to dissipate the heat and cool down the motor. Its quiet power maximizes the motor life, prolongs the battery life, and tones down the spooky fish noise. 

Endura C2 30 is built for freshwater use. That being said, there are still plenty of people who will take this motor to places where it is not intended. Ensure that you rinse it with clean water after use and expect some corrosion.

5. Haswing W20 20 lb. Trolling Motor

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Pros Cons
 Ultra-lightweight  Poor construction material
 Excellent battery life  Some customers experienced the warranty-related issue
 Short adjustable shaft
 Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
 Noiseless operation
 Total control over speed and direction


  • Shaft length: 23.6 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 20 pounds
  • Weight: 8 lbs. 
  • Peak Power draw: 12 Volts
  • Telescoping Tiller

Haswing W20 trolling motor is a tough portable device, which is suitable for kayaks, small dinghies, canoes, and other small boats. It provides 20 pounds of thrust which does not offer high speed but is enough for a seamless ride. This small electric motor will maximize your battery life.

Haswing W20 comes equipped with a durable cast aluminum shaft, weighs only 8 pounds, and is the lightest in its class. Given the ultra-lightweight of this trolling motor, if you are already near the max capacity of your ‘yak, you may want to explore this trolling motor. It also features an LED-based battery level indicator.

Haswing claims that the head and prop of this trolling motor are suitable for both saltwater and freshwater. W20 motor is equipped with a forward and reverse switch, and high and low gear which are available with the twist of your wrist on the tiller handle. 

Some customers have complained about the poor construction material of this trolling motor, which is a trade-off for its exceptionally lightweight manufacturing.

6. Saturn 55 lb. Short Shaft Trolling Motor

Saturn short shaft trolling motor

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Pros Cons
 Lightweight and compact  Heavy
 Custom-cut short shaft  Poor build quality
 Made out of composite material for added durability
 Suitable for freshwater and saltwater
 Ultra-quiet and efficient
 Extendable handle


  • Shaft length: 26 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 55 pounds
  • Weight: 17 lbs. 
  • Peak Power draw: ~50 Amps
  • Adjustable Tiller
  • Special Composite Shaft
  • Adjustable Depth Collar
  • Sturdy and Durable
  • 1-year warranty

The Saturn short shaft offers 55 lb. of thrust and is designed to work for kayaks, short dinghies, small boats, inflatables, and canoes. This trolling motor is suitable to be used both in saltwater and freshwater. Make sure to rinse your motor with clean water after you have used it in saltwater. 

Saturn short shaft comes with a 26-inch composite shaft. This gives it the length to easily submerge its propeller. Just like any other competitor, this trolling motor has eight speeds, five forward, and three reverse, which allows plenty of control over your speed. 

Saturn short shaft features an extendable handle, so you do not have to worry about reaching for throttle while it’s mounted on the transom behind you. The handle can be up to 13.8 inches. The overall motor operation is very cool and quiet 

It only weighs 17 lbs. which is lightweight. It also features an LED-based battery level indicator that alerts you to the battery life.

7. Minn Kota Traxxis 55 lb. Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Traxxis Series

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Pros Cons
 Easier to mount and dismount  Heavy
 The  Tiller handle can move up to 45 degrees  Suitable for freshwater only
 Good speed adjustment ability  Some customers have complained about the coverage in the manufacturer’s warranty
 Digital Maximizer Technology for better battery life
 Good build quality
 Provides option between two separate shaft sizes


  • Shaft length: 36 and 42 inches Composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 55 pounds
  • Weight: 29 lbs. 
  • Peak Power draw: ~50 Amps
  • Adjustable Tiller
  • Quick-cam Depth Adjuster
  • Indestructible Composite Shaft
  • Sturdy and Durable
  • Power Prop

This trolling motor is from the Traxxis series of Minn Kota and is one of the best transom mount trolling motors for a kayak or canoe. The motor is designed with high-quality features and is available in two separate shaft sizes of 36 and 42 inches. 

This Traxxis motor provides a thrust of 55 pounds and is intended for freshwater only. However, if you take it to salt water, then you should expect some corrosion and reduced service life. 

This trolling motor features a variable throttle that gives you that precise control to avoid problems like leaving the nearly silent motor on and draining the battery. Just like other top-notch trolling motors, its tiller handle also extends, keeping you in control comfortably. 

Minn Kota is a renowned brand and is famous for using high-quality construction material for their products, this Traxxis motor is no different as well. The motor weighs 29 pounds which is comparatively heavier than some other trolling motors. It should be of concern of to you if the stern of your kayak is already riding low in the water. 

Its battery comes with a digital battery level indicator light. The motor is also equipped with Digital Maximizer technology which improves battery life.

8. Watersnake FWDR44-48 Shadow Bow Mount Foot Control Motor

Watersnake bow mount water

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Pros Cons
 A perfect combination of features and quality  No optional navigation or sonar electronics
 Powerful motor with decent thrust  Lightweight construction can be a problem for some customers
 Foot control mechanism  Only suitable for small and lightweight vessels
 Bow Mount
 Easy installation
 Affordable price
 Low power consumption


  • Shaft length: 48-inch composite shaft
  • Thrust: 18 pounds
  • Weight: 36.5 pounds 
  • Peak Power draw: 11-44 Amp
  • 3-blade weedless propeller
  • Potted Circuit Board
  • Foot Control with a variable speed control unit
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Watersnake FWDR44-48 Bow-Mount Foot Control Motor allows you to control the direction and speed of your boat with just a touch of your foot. It offers a variable speed foot control unit. 

This bow-mounted trolling motor features a 48-inch composite shift and is designed to be used in freshwater. It comes equipped with 3 stainless steel propeller blades that are strong and has a weedless design. If you are going to fish in areas where there is underwater grass, this trolling motor can be the right one for you. 

This watersnake shadow motor offers 44 pounds of thrust so it’s ideal to work for small boats, kayaks, and even canoes. The mounts are light in weight, easy to install, and easy to stow. 

Another impressive feature of this bow mount trolling motor is the placement of a potted circuit board which is fully waterproofed and sealed in the motor casing for extra protection. These Watersnake Shadow motors are strictly designed to withstand the harsh water conditions associated with saltwater fishing.

This watersnake trolling motor offers customers more reliability and power for fewer dollars. The motor is constructed from high-quality construction material and is proven to be dependable and super quiet on the water.

9. Watersnake T18S 24-inch Asp Motor

Pros Cons
 Extremely light in weight  2-speed settings
 Super low power consumption  Lightweight construction might become a problem for some customers
 Portable  Design flaw with mounting bracket
 Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater  Doesn’t offer high speed in the water
 Easy installation
 Sleek design
 Affordable price
 Extendable handle
 1-year warranty


  • Shaft length: 24-inch heavy-duty alloy shaft
  • Thrust: 18 pounds
  • Weight: ~10 pounds 
  • Peak Power draw: 7-15 Amp
  • Heavy Duty Nylon Transom Bracket Mount
  • 2-blade weedless propeller
  • Adjustable Tiller handle
  • Encapsulated Electric circuit and shaft

The Watersnake T18S is super light in weight and is a portable trolling motor. Because for some people, weight is everything in the water sports. This trolling motor is an incredible option for such enthusiasts as it comes under 10 pounds. 

This trolling motor comes equipped with a 24-inch heavy-duty alloy shaft and a 2-blade propeller. This will help power kayaks through the water stealthily just like a water snake. The motor offers 18 lbs. of thrust which is not that powerful compared to other similar trolling motors but it is durable and quiet and enough to power a kayak. 

There is a high and low-speed control gear, a forward and reverse switch and an extendable handle for easy steering. This Watersnake trolling motor has an anti-impact clip system in the mount and an optional bracket which is ideal for use on kayak deck mount. 

This 12-V trolling motor is designed to be used in freshwater as well as saltwater. This is because of the protective coating of the motor which preserves it from the corrosive effects of the salt.

10. Cloud Mountain 8 Speed Trolling Motor

Pros Cons
 Reinforced nylon bracket   The feel of the handle is not so great
 High tensile strength  A somewhat wonky mounting mechanism
 Corrosion-resistant adjustable fiberglass shaft  The power reader looks very dated
 Offers 7 different thrust settings to choose from 36, 40, 46, 50, 55, 60, and 86 pounds
 A dependable and affordable product
 Stainless steel hardware
 1-10 point battery indicator
 Ergonomic extendable handle


  • Shaft length: 28-inch composite fiberglass shaft
  • Thrust: 36 – 86 pounds (7 different options)
  • Weight: 16.1 – 22.3 pounds 
  • Peak Power draw: 29.5 – 48.5 Amp (Different for different thrust options)
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • 10 point LED Battery indicator
  • 8 speeds
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater

Cloud Mountain introduced some remarkable trolling motors that come in a number of different thrust options from 36 all the way to 86. If you are looking for some extra power from your motor, then this Cloud Mountain trolling motor is a great option.

The motor features a reinforced nylon bracket, which guarantees elevated durability, resistance, and stability. This versatile trolling motor has a 28-inch composite shaft made up of fiberglass. The shaft allows correct placement in various water conditions and a high-powered resistance to decomposition. This shaft can be positioned from a seated position as well. 

Moreover, this trolling motor has all stainless steel hardware, so it works equally well in both saltwater and freshwater conditions. The motor also features a 10-point LED battery level indicator that allows you to keep an eye on your battery life during your ride on the water. But know that the battery itself is not included in this trolling motor package so you will have to buy a battery separately.

What to Consider When Choosing a Trolling Motor for a Kayak

There are a number of features that you need to consider before choosing a trolling motor for your kayak. We will go over these features in detail here. 


The amount of power you need will depend on the size of your kayak. As the trolling motors are primarily designed for boats that weigh more than 1500 pounds, you certainly do not need to worry about being underpowered in your kayak. 

Know that a bigger motor will not necessarily make you go any faster, but it can help you achieve maximum speed if you are headed into the wind or against the water current. On the other hand, a smaller motor with a higher thrust rating will likely add more weight to your kayak compared to one with a lower thrust rating. 

Typically, the rule for motor power is 2 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds loaded weight. This means that even a mediocre trolling motor will provide more than enough thrust to your kayak. 


While a larger boat designed for fishing will be moved very slowly with a trolling motor, a kayak, on the other hand, will run much faster. For still waters like lakes and ponds, most trolling motors offer 35-45 pounds of thrust which is enough to move smaller kayaks in the 7-foot range at a speed little under 4mph. 

However, most fishing kayaks are not that small in size. In fact, famous brands are mostly designing fishing kayaks of about 10 feet long. To cater to this need, trolling motor manufacturers are coming up with motors that provide 50-60 pounds of thrust or even greater than that. 

So, the anglers who want to move quickly, like those participating in fishing tournaments, can even find trolling motor models that offer 86 lbs. of thrust which will suit their needs best. 


Along with some other important features, you also need to consider a reliable trolling motor mount. Most trolling motors are designed for bow mounting on bass boats, while some others use a sliding hinge to allow them to be quickly raised and lowered in the water. However, for kayaks, these mounting mechanisms won’t work best.

Instead, for a kayak, you will need a transom mounting system that fits the scupper holes behind your cockpit. A transom mounting system is suitable for most kayaks, as it provides a solid bar to mount your new motor.

 Bow mount systems are best for anglers in a bass boat but it does not add any functionality for the kayakers.

trolling motor kayak

Shaft Length

The length of the shaft of your motor is an important feature. Because you will want your motor to be as quiet as possible. If you use a trolling motor with a shaft that’s too short for your kayak, the propellers could create noise from hitting the water surface.

This in return will affect the performance of your motor and the level of thrust it generates. This is because if the propeller is not fully submerged in the water, it will not be able to move as much water as if it was fully under the water. This could limit your speed.

The depth of your boat also impacts the required length of the shaft, as deeper kayaks/boats will need a longer shaft since the mounting point will be further away from the water. Ideally, you should make sure that the top part of your motor is 12 feet deep in the water. 

Control Type

You will find various types of control mechanisms in trolling motors. However, the most common ones are as follows

1. Foot Control

Some trolling motors come with a foot pedal that is used to control your speed in the water. As much as we find this mechanism convenient, unfortunately, this type of control is not feasible in kayaks especially the shorter ones. That’s because these electric motors provide an instant push with a powerful thrust, and even with you in it, this is just way too much energy for you to operate in a kayak. 

Moreover, this type of control is designed for bow-mounted motors, and the cables are not designed to reach from a transom mount to the footpegs on the kayak. 

2. Tiller Handle

While there are some pricey remote control options, a tiler handle is the easiest control system for trolling motors. A tiller handle offers complete control with just the tilt of your wrist. This type of control is suitable for all types of vessels including small kayaks and canoes. 


The weight of your trolling motor is another important feature to consider. Because with the battery, the mount, and the trolling motor, you will need to consider your kayak’s maximum capacity. Apart from this, you will also need to make sure that the stern of your kayak still rises above the water.

Therefore, you will want a trolling motor that is light in weight. You can find these motors in varying weights and some of them are as light as 10 pounds. 

Corrosion Resistance

It is really important that you purchase a trolling motor that’s resistant to corrosion caused by the salt if you intend to use it in saltwater. Otherwise, your motor will wear off quickly. 

Saltwater-resistant trolling motors are built with construction material (usually stainless steel) that’s resistant to rigorous corrosive salts. If you are not sure whether you will be using your motor in saltwater or not, we recommend that you still purchase a trolling motor that’s corrosion-resistant because one way or another it will turn out useful. In our opinion, saltwater resistant motors are manufactured with higher standard materials compared to the fresh-water only designs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Fast will a Kayak go with a Trolling Motor?

Typically, most kayaks will go as fast as 5mph with a good trolling motor. Higher thrust trolling motors are designed for bigger boats with larger payloads. However, the trolling motors that are designed for kayaks will cover 3-4 mph on average. 

Do I need to register my boat if I use a Trolling Motor?

In most states, yes. Once you have installed a trolling motor on your kayak or boat, you will either need to register it or get a license. 

Is it easy to add a trolling motor to your kayak? How is it done?

Yes, it is easy to install a trolling motor on your kayak. For this, you will need a mount to attach your motor which 00comes with your motor or you would have to buy it separately. Know that, some vessels already come with a motor mount. 

How long do the trolling motor batteries last?

This usually depends on how much power you consume on average to move across the water. If you have a lightweight which does not consume much battery power, your batteries will last for a long time between 5-6 hours or even more. 

But if you have a heavy motor that consumes a lot of power, your battery power may run out only in 2 hours. 

What lb. thrust trolling motor do I need?

To know how many pounds of thrust you will need for your kayak, it is important to know the loaded weight of your boat. A general rule is 2 pounds of thrust per 100 loaded pounds. For example, if you have a 2000 pound fully loaded boat, then you will need a thrust of (2000/100) * 2 = 40 pounds of thrust.


After reading this blog post, we hope that you have a better idea of how to find a good trolling motor for your kayak which best fits your need. 

You will need to consider a lot of factors before choosing a trolling motor for your kayak. For example, you will need to consider where you are intending to use this motor, how much thrust you will be needing for your kayak, what type of control you will like, and most importantly how much do you want to invest in a trolling motor. But all the above-mentioned trolling motors are good enough to make your experience in water more joyful.

Also, remember that you may need to consider the registration of your vessel or a license for it as per the law in your state once you have installed a trolling motor on your kayak. 

Michael Holding

Michael is an outdoor adventurer and a kayaking enthusiast who loves to share his experiences with others. He is the Chief Editor at XgearHub.

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