Best Trolling Motor Reviews 2018

Every serious angler knows the importance of a good trolling motor, and every rookie angler will soon find out how important a trolling motor is. As with every product of such importance, there are lots of options available to choose from, which makes buying one tricky. Since you’re here, you can forget about the hard part as we have done that for you. We researched those many options and came up with 5 of the best trolling motors made by trusted brands. All you need to do is read our review. Just keep in mind that these brands have other variants you can check out if the featured products are not exactly what you want.
Peak thrust
Our Top Choice
Motorguide FB X3 Trolling Motor
Since 1960, Motorguide has been manufacturing superior performance trolling motors that work for anglers so they can focus on fishing.
Corrosion-resistant shaft. Excellent performance. Smooth pedal control. Includes mounting hardware.
Power cord not long enough.
Foot operated; freshwater
45 lbs.
5 forward
Composite; 45 inches
Dual cable pull-pull
Best Value
Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Trolling Motor
As the inventor of the trolling motor, Minn Kota has continued to offer technologically advanced and innovative electric trolling motors.
Telescopic handle. Tilt and twist speed control. Ergonomic steering. Lock bracket for solid mounting.
The 3-speed reverse does not work well.
Lever lock bracket; freshwater
40 lbs.
5 forward, 3 reverse
Composite; 36 inches
6-inch telescoping handle
Watersnake Shadow Foot Control Motor
For years, Watersnake has been making superior quality and reliable trolling motors suitable for boats of different sizes and anglers of different experience levels.
Has a 12-volt motor with 44 pounds of thrust. Stainless steel propeller shaft. Corrosion-resistant composite shaft. Variable speeds.
The motor makes a squealing noise.
Foot operated; fresh/saltwater
44 lbs.
5 rotary forward
Composite; 48 inches
Haswing Cayman Electric Trolling Motor
Haswing is a top designer and manufacturer of electric trolling motors which are ingeniously engineered to give you superior performance.
It has 55 pounds of thrust. It has 10 variable speed settings. Controlled by foot. Has wireless, hand-held controller.
Wireless controller shuts off sometimes.
Remote controlled; fresh/saltwater
55 lbs.
10 settings
Cast aluminum; 48 inches
Foot control unit
Newport Vessels NV Mounted Trolling Motor
Since 2008, Newport Vessels has been offering high-quality and reliable marine accessories at affordable prices.
Suitable for salt or freshwater. Lightweight. Made with non-corrosive materials. Has 8-speed control.
The reverse speed is not consistent.
Hand operated; fresh/saltwater
36 lbs.
5 forward, 3 reverse
Fiberglass; 30 inches
6-inch telescoping handle

(Updated )
Related Reviews
Best Boat Anchor
Best Boat Cover
Best Inflatable Boat
Best Boat Ladder

How Do I Choose the Best Trolling Motor?

It is both fun and relaxing to go on a fishing trip with loved ones or even alone. Unless you want to paddle your way to your fishing destination, though, you need a trolling motor to drive your boat there. If you’re new to fishing, you might start thinking a trolling motor something you can use to troll your buddy for his terrible favorite football team. However, a trolling motor has little to do with that kind of ‘trolling’—it’s what propels your boat from shore to where you need to cast your fishing rod.

The best trolling motors are made with sturdy and durable materials that are corrosion resistant. They have high thrusts and variable speeds, and are easy to mount and unmount. Trolling boats come with different shaft lengths, voltage, and thrust. Some trolling motors are operated by hand while others are controlled by foot, and others still that are remote control operated. As you read on, you will find more information that will help you decide on the best trolling motor for you.
The materials used in making a trolling motor and the amount of power and technology stuffed in it are primarily what determine its pricing. It is tempting to go for the most sophisticated motor with all the cool features and options available, but when the price tag stares at you, you will be forced to step back and relate with your budget. Some trolling motors are on offer for as high as $500, while some less expensive ones cost around $150.

We all run on a budget, but don’t let the price of a trolling motor have too much influence on your decision. Some brands use ingenious strategies to ensure their products are available at a low price, so that does not mean they won’t make a great buy. However, there are the cheap trolling motors out there. Those are made with inferior materials, and will probably wait till you get to the middle of the lake before giving up on you. These are to be avoided, and we promise that our featured brands are reliable and will always see you through to where you need to go.
Any serious angler knows that the right trolling motor can significantly impact how well your fishing goes. There are many types out there, and the one you go for should fulfill your needs. There’s a better chance of making the right choice if you know what to look for. We have made that easy for you by listing the features to look out for below:
  • Volts and Thrust
  • Speed
  • Shaft
  • Mounting
  • Control
When you match this list with what you need a trolling motor for, you will be able to make up your mind on the features you expect the best trolling motor for you to have.
Construction and Design
The thrust is one of the most important things to look out for in a trolling motor as it is what moves your boat. Depending on how you plan to use your boat, the thrust delivered by your trolling motor has a lot to do with everything else. As a combustion engine is measured in horsepower, a trolling motor is measured by its thrust. The larger your boat is, the more thrust is required to move it. If you’re wondering how much thrust is needed to work your boat, here’s the math: for every 200 pounds of weight, you need 5 pounds of thrust to move it. You need to remember though, that the weight of the passengers as well as that of whatever load you carry has to be considered. The voltage of your trolling motor determines its performance and endurance. If you have a big boat and you fish all day multiple times a week, you’ll need at least a 24V motor. If you’re not the type that fancies spending a lot of your time fishing, a 12V motor will suit you fine.

The shaft will also heavily influence your decision of a trolling motor. There are two important aspects of the shaft of a trolling motor: its length, and the material it is made of. If the motor is bow mounted, you have to measure the distance between your bow and the waterline. If it is transom mounted, you measure the distance between the transom and waterline. Once you get the measurement, add 18 inches to it—this will give you the shaft length of the trolling motor you need. There are cases where the trolling motor is mounted on an engine. If that is your case, measure the distance between the cavitation plate and the waterline, then add at least 13 inches to it. Sturdy and durable materials are used for making the shaft of trolling motors. Composite aluminium and composite fiberglass are the likes of materials used for making trolling motor shafts. Some brands even employ materials they claim to be indestructible.

There are two main positions to mount your trolling motor, either at the bow or the transom. Which location you choose will depend on how you prefer to fish. An angler who loves to back troll will opt to mount on the transom, while a bow mounting will be preferred if you want more control in high winds and rougher waters. How easily you install or uninstall might also influence the mounting on your trolling motor of choice. Some trolling motors have quick release levers and other mechanisms that make mounting and unmounting easy. This makes it convenient for security purposes, and for storing your motor when not in use. The bolt-on mounting style does not readily provide you with the option of storing away your prized motor.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most trolling motors nowadays have variable speeds and are sophisticated enough to allow you control the speed. Some trolling motors have up to 10 speeds, 7 for forward movement and 3 for reverse. This lets you vary the speed of the movement of your boat according to what the situation warrants.

The control of your trolling motor lies in your hands, foot. Foot controlled motors usually have a control unit not far from where you chose to mount your motor. There are additional options that let you extend the length of the cord from the motor to the control unit. The hand controlled motors usually have telescopic handles that let you adjust its length to preference. And some trolling motors have an alternate means of control—you guessed right!—remote control. This method gives you control of the movement of your boat while freeing your hands and legs. There are some advanced trolling motors out there that can even control your boat automatically based on certain parameters you have set. Now that is cool!

Many trolling motors are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Despite that, if you want your motor to last as long as it should, it is best you wash off the salt water off after every use. With this information, we hope you will now be able to conclude on the features you want in a trolling motor. This will make it easier for you to decide on the particular product that will be the best trolling motor for you.

What is the Best Trolling Motor?

Now that you have decided on the features you expect from a trolling motor, go ahead and read our review of our top five brands/products. With the knowledge you have about trolling motors and the features you’re looking out for, you will find it easier to pick the best trolling motor for you.
Our Top Choice
The Motorguide FB X3 Trolling Motor has an aircraft-grade aluminium build for better control at high-thrust and an innovative Variable Ratio Technology that improves responsiveness. If you’d like a hand-operated trolling motor, go for the MotorGuide R3 12-Volt Freshwater Hand\/Transom Trolling Motor, which has a 36-inch shaft and a 45-pound thrust.
Motorguide 45FW FB X3 Trolling Motor - Available in 2 Sizes

Motorguide Trolling Motor 940200060 – 45-Inch/12V

Motorguide was started by G.H. Harris in 1960 in Jackson, Mississippi. It all started because Harris, like other fishers, got tired of having to scurry between moving his boat and fishing at the same time. He looked to create a motor that would mount on his boat to move it at fishing speed. He also wanted it to be operated such that he could focus on fishing. He ended up developing a motor that used a spring-loaded mechanism and was steered by foot. He patented the design, and since then, Motorguide has not relented in creating durable and reliable trolling motors.

The Motorguide FB X3 Trolling Motor is great for any serious angler with its 40-70 pounds of thrust range. It is built with sturdy materials for superior impact protection and innovatively designed for precision handling. It is a 12-volt motor with a peak thrust of 45 and its shaft comes in three lengths of 36, 45, or 50 inches. The following are some of the other features of this sturdy trolling motor:
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum build
  • Reinforced foot pedal
  • Easy to install and deploy
  • Stainless steel bushing
  • Fitted with composite locking pins
  • Height-adjustable motor shaft
  • Sports the patent-pending Variable Ratio Technology
  • Corrosion-resistant shaft
  • Superior steering performance
Best Value
The Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Trolling Motor has an indestructible composite shaft and a motor that is powerful, yet quiet. It is designed to increase battery life and durability. If you’d prefer a motor with a 30-inch shaft, go for the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor which has a thrust level of 30 and a 6-inch telescopic handle.
Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)

Minn Kota Trolling Motor 3005.6990

Originally an entrepreneur of copper soldering torches, Mr. O. G. Schmidt invented the Minn Kota electric trolling motor in Fargo, North Dakota in 1934. Since then, Minn Kota has continued to infuse technology and innovation into the design of its products.

The Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Trolling Motor is constructed with tough, heavy duty materials which guarantee it durability. It has multiple speed and smooth steering with a quiet 12-volt motor that won’t scare the fish away. This motor is great for inflatable boats and ideal for both newbie and veteran anglers. The following are some more features of this cool trolling motor:
  • 6-inch telescopic handle
  • Tilt and twist tiller
  • 40-pound maximum thrust
  • 10-position lever lock bracket mount
  • 36-inch indestructible shaft
  • 5-speed forward and 3 reverse speeds
  • Quiet motor
  • Ideal for freshwater use
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty
The Watersnake Foot Control Motor has a 48-inch alloy and composite shaft to withstand harsh conditions. It also has a heavy-duty 3-blade prop that cuts through underwater grass. If you want a trolling motor with 36-inch shaft instead, go for the Watersnake Tracer Series of Freshwater Motor which has 44-pound thrust and a 12-volt motor.
Watersnake FWDR44-48 Shadow Bow Mount Foot Control Motor

Watersnake Trolling Motor 55064

Watersnake is an American company specialized in designing and developing electric trolling motors to aid anglers in the activity they love. It has a wide variety of motors that work with boats of various sizes such as kayaks, canoes, inflatable boats, etc. Watersnake motors have a rugged construction with technologically advanced propellers and motors. Its wide-spread network of dealers all over the country makes its quality products readily available.

The Watersnake Foot Control Motor give you good control over your boat’s movement. Its foot control unit is highly responsive in steering the boat while leaving your hands free to fish. It also has a three-blade propeller that cuts through weeds and marsh. The following are some of more features of this foot control trolling motor:
  • Automatic cut-off with heavy duty mount
  • 48-inch composite and alloy shaft
  • Hands-free foot control
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Heavy duty 3-blade propeller
  • Foot control steering
  • 12V motor with 44 pounds of thrust
  • Stainless steel and corrosion-resistant shafts
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
The Haswing Cayman Electric Trolling Motor is engineered to be used both in salt and freshwater. It has a whopping 55 pounds of thrust and efficient battery management. If you’d like a white trolling motor with similar features, check out the Haswing 12V 55 lbs. Variable Speed Motor which can handle a boat of up to 3,000 pounds.
Haswing Cayman B 55lbs 12V Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor with Remote

Haswing Trolling Motor – 55lbs 12V

Haswing is owned by and has been under the operation of generations of manufacturing and design engineers. This alone should be enough to make you understand its commitment to ingeniously crafted products. It has a range of electric trolling motors that delivers superior performance and reliability. Its wireless trolling motors make angling an even more enjoyable activity.

The Haswing Cayman Electric Trolling Motor has a powerful 12V motor that can deliver 55 pounds of thrust that can propel all small and medium-sized boats. One awesome feature that most anglers love is that this trolling motor can be used both in saltwater and freshwater without any issues. The following are some other cool features of this trolling motor:
  • Durable cast aluminum shaft
  • LED battery meter
  • Easy to use foot control pedal
  • 150-foot range wireless hand-held controller
  • 48-inch aluminum shaft
  • 3-blade propeller
  • Efficient battery management
  • Low-noise operation
  • 10-speed settings
  • Maximum boat load of 400kg
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
The Newport Vessels Transom Trolling Motor is built with top quality materials and is powered by a 12V motor that delivers 36 pounds of thrust with its 2-blade propeller. If you’d like a trolling motor with more thrust, go for the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor which has a telescopic handle and fiberglass shaft.
Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor with 30" Shaft

Newport Vessels Trolling Motor 23M1000205

Newport Vessels was founded in 2008 with the aim of providing innovatively designed and reliable inflatable boats and other accessories to outdoor lovers. It has a rich line of products such as different sizes of inflatable boats, paddle boards, trolling motors, etc. It manages to offer its products at reduced prices as it sells directly to end user, and its customer service is readily available and provides awesome support.

The Newport Vessels Transom Trolling Motor is ideal to maneuver your small to medium sized boat with its 12V motor that churns out 26 pounds of thrust. It is fitted with a composite fiberglass shaft and stainless steel hardware that makes it usable in both saltwater and freshwater. Below are some other features of this versatile trolling motor:
  • 36-pound thrust motor
  • Adjustable 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft
  • LED battery meter
  • 8-speed control system
  • 6-inch telescopic aluminum handle
  • 2-blade propeller
  • Optimal battery management
  • Can work in saltwater or freshwater
  • Nylon transom mount
  • 1-year limited warranty

Get the Best Trolling Motor of 2018!

You completed reading our review—well done! It is our hope that you have all the information you need to make a confident purchase. If that is the case, what are you waiting for? If not, remember that the featured brands have other options you can check out. You just might find the best trolling motor for you among them.

Our Top Choice
Motorguide FB X3 Trolling Motor
Best Value
Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Trolling Motor
Watersnake Shadow Foot Control Motor
Haswing Cayman Electric Trolling Motor
Newport Vessels NV Mounted Trolling Motor