Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks – Top Freshwater & Saltwater Models For 2017!

Fishing is perhaps one of the most enjoyable and challenging hobbies out there, giving you the opportunity to take in nature at its finest while handing you the chance to bring back dinner in the form of the fish you wrangled in.

For many people, trolling is the best form of fishing, combining both ingenuity and fishing prowess to fishing reel in your desired catch.

But when you troll on your fishing kayak you may need a few items, such as outriggers, downriggers, planer boards, spreader boards and paravanes. However, the most important piece of equipment you will need when you a trolling is a kayak trolling motor. These motors power your boat and maximize your fishing potential. 

Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks in 2017

I have spent countless hours researching for the best kayak motor out there. Analyzing hundreds of reviews, product features, interviewing experts & consumers, these following kayak trolling motors are my best picks!


Product Name

Maximum Thrust

Shaft length

Read Review

 Minn Endura C2Freshwater Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2


30 inches

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor

The Motor Gudie VariMAX  motor


30 inches

Saturn Soft-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

Electric trolling motor


26 inches

Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats

Intex Trolling Motor


36 inches

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Trolling Motor

Newport Trolling Motor


30 inches

Why Do You Need A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

  • Allows you to move quicker
  • You are able to cover a large fishing area as compared to paddling

Our Pick Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks

Trolling motors have different features and specifications, and below we will look at the top 3 trolling motors out there for your kayak, based on their features, functions, power limits, battery life, and speed range.

1. Minn Endura C2Freshwater Trolling Motor

Minn Endura C2Freshwater Trolling Motor

Editor Rating:

The Endura C2 is a trolling motor innovation from Minn Kota, giving trolling enthusiast the opportunity to take advantage of the best freshwater fishing holes out there.

This high performing transom mounted motor has been built to navigate the most far reaching edges of fishing water, while ensuring that your investment will pay out for a long time to come.

Now for the features that deliver such an amazing trolling experience for everyone on board. The Endura C2 is composed of a 12-volt motor with a thrust level of 30, as well as five forward speeds, and three reverse speeds.

When all of the aforementioned components of the transom mounted trolling motor come together, you are left with a powerful motor that will give you maximum control of your kayak while you are out exploring and fishing in fresh water.

The Endura C2 also has a 30 inch high-yield composite shaft, made of nearly indestructible components that are harder than steel. You can go out fishing with the knowledge that this trolling motor shaft will not kink, break or corrode.

However, the most impressive feature of this motor is its 6 inch telescoping handle which improves the ease of operation of the motor by providing you with a comfortable and ergonomic way of maneuvering the kayak.

And we cannot talk about the telescoping handle without mentioning the tilt twist tiller, which works to magnify speed and steering by using an ergonomic grip that provides you with optimized hands-on control on the water.

The Endura C2 also has a lever lock bracket which acts as a sturdy mount that can withstand UV, warping and flexing damage. This bracket is constructed using composite materials, which makes it sturdier than the standard brackets you will find on the market today.

Highlighted Features

  • 12-volt freshwater transom-mounted trolling motor
  • 6-inch telescoping handle
  • Tilt twist tiller for ergonomic speed control and steering
  • Lever lock bracket offers a rock solid mount
  • Cool quiet power maximizes battery life and doesn't spook fish
  • 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds for maximum control

2. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor

Editor Rating:

The Endura C2 30 Freshwater Trolling Motor is a legendary and well-known performer.

It has cool, quiet power which helps the motor to offer maximized battery life, prolonging the motor's life, and cuts down on fish-spooking noise.

The telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller make the motor comfortable and easy to operate hence no frustrations with this trolling motor.

Its composite shaft is indestructible and is guaranteed not break, kink, or corrode this will ensure that you will need no touch ups or repairs in the future which will cost you a lot of money hence will help you save up instead.

The Endura C2 30 Fresh water Trolling Motor is perfect since it is light weight, has plenty of power and has good battery life. It is rock solid and has great value for its general purpose. You can go for a distance with it, and it doesn't heat up, slow down or show signs of difficulty. It seems durable and has enough power to troll and get around.

It is easy to put together and also very easy to use. It is very silent, so it will not spook the fish hence perfect for you while fishing with your kayak, canoe or boat. As much as it is quiet, it is very powerful. 

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor has received great reviews and rating and every user I come across always recommends it. It is reliable, convenient, efficient and affordable hence you will receive great value for a great product. It works very well, and it meets all your needs.

Highlighted Features

  • Telescoping handles for comfortable and easy steering.
  • Special composite materials resist flexing, warping, and UV damage.
  • Tilt Twist Tiller to deliver the ultimate in hands-on control for speed and steering.
  • Indestructible Composite Shaft hence you are assured it won't break, kink or corrode.
  • Cool, Quiet Power.
  • Five forward speeds, three reverse speeds for maximum control.
  • Indestructible composite shaft.

3. Saturn Soft-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

Saturn Soft-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

Editor Rating:

Electric trolling motors stand out from their non-electric counterparts, by offering a cleaner energy source which is better for the environment, silent movement which will not scare the fish away, and lower prices which is better for your budget.

The Saturn Soft-Shaft in particular is a 12-volt marvel that comes with a maximum draw of 50 amps for powerful and prolonged fishing.

This 17lbs motor provides your kayak with 55lbs of trust, as well 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds for easy, powerful and quick maneuvering on the water.

Optimum control is also provided to you through its tilting throttle handle that has 10 modifiable positions for your convenience. This angled handle can be lifted up nearly 45 degrees, or tilted fully down until it is parallel with the motor shaft.

However, the most unique feature of this Saturn electric trolling motor is its 26 inch short-shaft, which can fit in the transom of your kayak with no problem. This custom composite shaft tends to be more sturdy and flexible than other metal and aluminum shafts, making your fishing a much more pleasurable experience.

Other beneficial features of this trolling motor include its compact size which aids in portability and storage, its depth collar which can adjust the depth of the motor, and its battery level reader that displays precise battery power readings so that you do not run out of juice in the middle of the water.

Though the composite shaft of the electric trolling motor resists corrosion, it is wise to wash the Saturn Soft-Shaft with fresh water once you are done with your salt water use so that you can maximize the life span of this amazing motor.

Additionally, if you have a collection of boats in your house, then you will be glad to know that this versatile motor can be mounted on canoes, KaBoats, and other inflatable rafts and boats for a great trolling experience.

Highlighted Features

  • Speed Control - 5 speed levels for forward 3 levels for reverse
  • Motor Weight - 17 lbs
  • 55 lbs power thrust, 12V, 50 Amp Max Draw
  • Adjustable Depth Collar - for changing the motor depth
  • Adjustable angle throttle handle - Adjust to your desired angle by folding up or down
  • Special Composite Shaft - More flexible and stronger than other shafts
  • Extendable Handle - Can be extended to 13.8", for much better control

4. Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats

Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats

Editor Rating:

Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats, 36" Shaft is an advanced and in much better condition if compared to other ordinary motors.

It is a unique motor that can be used on different types of boats like the challenger, seahawk, excursion, and mariner. It is designed for compatibility with inflatable boats that have built-in motor mount fittings.

Sometimes it is annoying to have a noisy motor when you are on a mind-blowing adventure, but the intex trolling motor comes with a digital maximizer control module where it uses water for cooling up the engine system. The system also gives the motor the power it needs to carry you along with your friends on your trip to deep see fishing. You will also enjoy high water surface speed for a very long time.

Another amazing fact about the intex trolling motor is that it has an amazingly adjustable handle that can even tilt upwards and downwards. Besides that, the handle will allow you to control the speed of your boat with its reverse and forward capabilities. You will also be able to extend the handle for comfort.

The only motor that is constructed to utilize power economically while giving you the fun of speed and efficiency. It uses a maximum power of 420W, a voltage of 12V and an excellent thrust. The fact that you can buy a deep cycle marine battery with 60-ampere hours rating proves that the motor is super efficient and affordable.

To top it all, the motor is designed to be used in both salt and fresh water bodies. With its control panel where you can see the battery meter and be able to move the water hyacinth and lilies out of your way. The trip will be very successful with this boat motor.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made specifically for index boats
  • Control panel
  • Adjustable handle
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater
  • Has a battery meter
  • Automatic weed escape control
  • Overload protect controls

5. Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Trolling Motor

 Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Trolling Motor

Editor Rating:

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor is a versatile and all round use trolling motor.

It features a professional construction with the highest quality materials and top notch design concepts.

The Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor is built to serve you for a very long time, with its adjustable thirsty inch shaft length you are guaranteed of extra efficiency and off the charts performance.

The Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb.  Electric Trolling Motor features a 36lb thrust trolling motor is built to fit every Newport inflatable boats and also other inflatable boats of other brands like Kayaks, dinghies, tenders, fishing boats, aluminum fishing boats, and inflatables with a transom.

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor comes with a super powerful eight-speed control system with five forward and three reverse capabilities. This will make your ride an easily controllable ride.

When it comes to propeller blades, the Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor beats the chat by far. It has two blades for propelling that have a diameter of approximately nine inches to ensure excellent performance of the motor.

The multifaceted motor is built to be powered by a twelve-volt deep cycle battery or marine battery which I would advise you to purchase it separately.

Highlighted Features

  • High-speed accelerator
  • Deep thrust
  • Long composite fiberglass
  • Strong shaft and nylon mount
  • Can forward and reverse
  • Powerful battery
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater

Best Trolling Motors - Things To Consider

There are several debates on why you need to have a trolling motor on a kayak or boat that is designed for paddling. Doesn’t this promote laziness and take away the fun of being active and exercising?

However, this is not the case. Trolling motor for kayak is very effective when you are covering a large fishing area in your kayak GPS you can go fast without getting tired.

Boat Size

The size of your kayak will determine the type of kayak trolling motor that you will require. The motors come in 12 volt, 24 volt and 36 volts. For instance, if you are have a 16-foot kayak you will definitely need a 12 volt, 55lb motor. If your kayak or boat is 19-foot, you will need a 36 volt motor that is close to 100 lb.

Apart from the size of your boat, the weight of your vessel will also determine the type of trolling motor. Boats up to 1,500 pounds will require at least a 30 pound thrust motor while those weighing up to 4,000 pounds will require 80 pounds of thrust motor.

Unfortunately, many anglers are not aware of the weight of their kayaks or boats.

Available Battery Space

This is another factor that highly depends on the type of boat that you are using. As I mentioned earlier, trolling motor come in 12, 24 and 36 volts. In other words, you will require up to three batteries respectively.

Depending on the space that you have, you will be able to make the right decision on the number of batteries that you should buy for your kayak.

Type Of Water

There are different trolling motors that are designed for both saltwater and freshwater. For instance, you check our best trolling motor reviews and it is perfect for saltwater fishing because it does not corrode. This type of trolling motor has a special coating for corrosion protection and durability.

Mounting Place

Basically, there are two types of trolling motor, transform-mount motor and bow-mount. The transform mounted trolling motor is mounted at the back transform of the boat, and it is hand operated. If you have a small boat with a flat back, this is a superb selection.

On the other hand, bow mounted motors can be hand-operated, foot operated or controlled wirelessly. These types of motor provide improved control and easy maneuverability. In addition, they are expensive as compared to the transform motor.

Length Of The Shaft

Anglers who have an engine mount trolling motor should not pay attention to the shaft length because the motor will be mounted directly to the engine. For those who have both transform and bow-mount, you need to determine the measurements of your boat in order to determine the required shaft length.

From 0-10 inches, the recommended shaft length is 36 inches. From 16-22 inches, you need a 42-inch shaft length. 22-28 inches, go for a shaft length between 48-52 inches and from 28-34, the ideal shaft length should be between 54-62 inches.

Final Verdict

With the trolling motors for kayak provided above, you can now see why these motors made the top 3 list. I can guarantee that the 3 options are durable, high performing, and high quality, leaving you with an exceptionally powered kayak which can reach the hidden fishing spots for an angling experience like no other.

You will not go wrong buying any of the trolling motor for kayak given above, and I can assure you from my own personal experience that these trolling motors are the way to go!

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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