Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks – Freshwater & Saltwater Models

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. 

10 Best Trolling Motors For Kayak in 2020

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

Check Price


34.5 inches


36 inches


30 inches


30 inches


26 inches


30 inches


48 inches


48 inches


36 inches


36 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

10 Best Trolling Motors for Kayak

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. Outsunny 12V Transom Mounted 50-Pound Thrust Electric Fishing Boat Trolling Motor

Technically speaking, this motor is designed for fishermen who like to trawl along the lake, but anyone who wants to be out on the water can get a lot out of this motor. First of all, it’s built with tough components like a fiberglass composite shaft and an aluminum head. This also means that it won’t rust or corrode over time.

As far as performance goes, this motor has eight speed options, with three in the reverse setting. It can deliver up to fifty pounds of thrust, and it has ten locking positions so that you can adjust the height quickly and easily. Overall, as far as trolling motors go, this is practically the gold standard.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable composite shaft
  • Delivers up to 50 pounds of thrust
  • Eight variable speeds (five forward and three reverse)
  • Ten different locking positions for convenience
  • Six-inch telescoping handle
  • Soft grip handle for comfort
  • Durable three-blade propeller

One of the best features of this motor is the fact that you have eight speeds from which to choose. Not only that, but three of them are for reverse so that you can navigate any waters with precision if necessary.

On top of that, you get 55 pounds of thrust, a six-inch telescoping and adjustable handle, and a three-blade propeller that won’t get stuck in undergrowth beneath your boat. Overall, whether you’re on the ocean or the lake, this motor will make your boat soar.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable stainless steel works in salt and freshwater
  • Heavy-duty 36-inch fiberglass shaft
  • Delivers up to 55 pounds of thrust
  • Eight speed options (five forward, three reverse)
  • Six-inch telescoping handle
  • Handle conforms to your hand
  • Three-blade steel propeller
  • Adjustable placement works on most boats with transom

Although the shaft is a bit shorter than usual (only thirty inches), everything about this motor is built for reliability and performance. It can deliver up to 55 pounds of thrust, it has eight variable speeds (including three for reverse movement), and the head is all aluminum with a telescoping handle. Best of all, it’s so durable that it can hold up to saltwater conditions, making it an ideal choice for any fishermen or boaters out there.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable 30-inch fiberglass shaft
  • Delivers up to 55 pounds of thrust
  • Eight variable speeds (five forward, three reverse)
  • All aluminum head with telescoping handle
  • Adjust shaft as needed
  • Durable steel three-blade propeller
  • Ideal for saltwater conditions

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

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

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

What makes this motor so unique is that it is hands-free. Instead of guiding the propeller with a handle, it has foot pedals so that you can control your direction and speed while keeping your hands on your rod.

Best of all, the speed is pressure sensitive, so you don’t have to fumble with different settings while you’re on the move. That, coupled with a three-blade propeller that won’t get stuck in the weeds make this a perfect fishing trolling motor.

Highlighted Features:

  • Twelve-volt motor
  • Provides up to 54 pounds of thrust
  • Three-blade propeller
  • Weedless design works in thick brush
  • Foot operated speed pedal
  • Adjust speed with pressure
  • 48-inch shaft
  • Raise and lower the prop as needed
  • Waterproof circuit board
  • Safety switch cuts off when stowed
  • Adjust direction with foot as well
  • Durable alloy and steel construction

First of all, when talking about power, this motor delivers 80 pounds of thrust, blowing away the competition easily. Secondly, it comes with a waterproof remote control so that you can adjust the speed (ten forward options) with a click of a button. This, coupled with a foot pedal control system, makes this motor ideal for any fishermen who want to keep their hands free while trawling.

The other great thing about this motor is that it works in both fresh and saltwater and it’s quieter than most other units. That way, you don’t have to worry about spooking the fish away. Finally, it comes with a battery level indicator, so you know how much time you have left. This is the ultimate fishing trolling motor.

Highlighted Features:

  • Powerful 24-volt motor
  • Delivers up to 80 pounds of thrust
  • Remote control provided for convenience
  • Control is waterproof
  • Durable steel and fiberglass shaft
  • Easy to adjust depth
  • Extra-long 48-inch shaft
  • Ten forward speeds available
  • Foot control included as well
  • Quiet power stays cool and isn’t too noisy
  • Durable two-blade propeller won’t get stuck
  • Works in fresh and saltwater
  • LED battery indicator lights
  • Anti-corrosion materials

When talking about performance, this motor can deliver up to 55 pounds of thrust with a variable speed control system. To help you on shallower waters, it uses a two-blade propeller that is specifically designed not to get caught in grass or weeds. The best part about this motor, though, is the battery.

Unlike other models, it has a digital maximizer that gives you up to five times the battery life so that you can stay out on the water longer. Overall, as far as freshwater trolling motors go, this is one of the best.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable steel construction
  • Built for freshwater environments
  • Delivers up to 55 pounds of thrust
  • 36-inch adjustable shaft
  • Durable two-blade propeller
  • Won’t get stuck in weeds or grass
  • Easy to use mounting system
  • Digital Maximizer extends battery charge
  • Adjustable handle moves up to 45 degrees
  • One-hand stowing mechanism for easier use
  • Quick-locking depth adjuster
  • Variable speed adjustment

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

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!

  • Chester Bradburn says:

    Will this work on my 12′ zodiac kayak?

  • Guy Miller says:

    I have really looked delienginty into purchasing a 12 volt for my 17′ Hobie tandam fishing kayak and after your article I have decided to go with the Saturn 50lb thrust.My theory is I would rather have the extra thrust and not need it as to need the extra thrust and not have it.

  • Jan Viljoen says:

    I have a Wilderness Thresher 155 and want to fit a trolling motor. Pro’s & Cons on Side(next to seat) fitment. If I fit it at the stern/back of the kayak I will not be able to deploy the motor – throttle handle to far back/to short. Any solutions? The Torqeedo Ultra light 403 and the new pod fitted Helix HD is just to expensive – Approx R30 000.00. Any motor delivering about 34lb thrust with remote control like the Torqeedo available?

  • Megan Reese says:

    I have an inflatable Intex Excursion 5. The total weight of our boat is going to be around 1,000 lbs as we are adding a pvc and plywood floor and plywood storage boxes. I see many differing opinions on the amount of thrust to use on inflatable boats and whether or not spending more money for more thrust is worth it. What is your opinion on this?

  • Lucio D'Amico says:

    Hi there i would like to know before buying my new electric motor how long an average battery will last?

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