Whats The Best Trolling Motor For Kayaks?

Kayaking is one of the most common water sports in the world today. Of course, its success has sparked a lot of creativity in the industry, and kayaks are now being used for all sorts of tasks that they wouldn’t have been considered suitable for previously. Take, for example, fishing. With this popularity, it stands to reason that there are a huge number of products that you can add to your kayak to make it more flexible, powerful and easier to use. And, that includes trolling motors. In this article I am going to answer one of the most common questions I het asked – what is the best trolling motor for a kayak.

Why a Kayak?

If you own a sea-kayak you can head off to remote sports around the coast and enjoy solitude and great fishing at sea.

But, there’s one small issue – it can be exhausting paddling all of that heavy gear around and chances are, by the time you get there you may be too tired to enjoy the fishing. So, thats where a trolling motor can help.

By using a small electric trolling motor attached to your kayak, you can move around with virtually no effort at all. You will reach the perfect fishing spot quicker, you will feel less tired and you can even go further and save time. Whats more, trolling motors are easy to fit to most kayaks, they are quiet, lightweight and cost virtually nothing to run. So why wouldn’t you have one?

But, like most things, it pays to do a bit of research when choosing the best trolling motor for your kayak – and thats where Trolling Motor Info can help. I’ve done the heavy lifting searching the net, reading forums, watching YouTube videos and asking our buddies and we have brought together all of the information you need. I’ve even selected the 5 top trolling motors for kayaks on the market today.

So, for the next 15 minutes or so, kick back, grab a beer and find out everything you need to know about buying a trolling motor for a kayak.

Why Use a Trolling Motor on a Kayak?


Its pretty simple really, if you attach a motor to the kayak, you can reach much higher speeds and go much further, for longer than would be possible by paddling alone. This is a real advantage for anglers who often want to get to out of the way places to secure the best fishing.

When buying a kayak motor you should consider several aspects. The most important one is to make sure that the motor has the right power for your kayak. Furthermore, the material used should be durable and the workmanship should be of high quality, so that you will get something out of your purchase for a long time. Who wants the motor to break down in the middle of the lake?

What Size Engine Should I Use?

The engine size required will be determined by several factors such as the size and weight of your kayak as well as the distance you need to go and the kind of conditions you will be working in. When making your calculations you should include the weight of the boat, all paddlers, their (possibly wet) clothing and equipment.

The shape of the boat also plays a role here. This is especially true for wide boats which are less racy in the water and therefore require a more powerful motor than long kayaks do, which generally have a good straight line tracking.

The strength of a boat engine is measured in lbs.

For kayaks, electric motors with a strength of 25 to 50 lbs are completely sufficient. With this kind of power you can easily reach a speed of 10 km/h or more, which is a good speed to get to your destination quickly but also in comfort.

Racing over the water may be really cool but you should not choose a kayak motor that is too powerful.

Strong motors also weigh a lot and upset the balance of the kayak when they are hanging on the stern. Not only will the stability be affected but the kayak’s maneuverability is also limited by the engine. The heavier the engine, the more maneuverability suffers so don’t overdo it.

Speed Control

The power of a trolling motor can usuall be controlled in stages. Theses electric motors usually run between two to five different forward speeds and one to three reverse speeds. When buying one, you should ensure that the motor also offers one setting with as little thrust as possible, because boats are easier to manoeuvre accurately at very low speed settings.

The top speeds on most kayak motors are in the range of 10 to 20 km/h but, of course. heavy, large or wide kayaks will be slower with the same model of motor than narrow and light kayaks.

Propeller Design

There are many different propeller blade designs to choose from that will work with your boat engine. A three-blade design is typically the most efficient for a variety of boating conditions, but it may be necessary to add protection systems like this in order to keep them protected even when they collide with obstacles such as trees and docks.

Salt or Fresh Water?

An electric kayak motor’s performance is dependent on the type of water it will be used in. Freshwater motors need to have corrosion-resistant materials, while salt water can quickly damage a freshwater engine and needs an all new coating that prevents rusting and other forms of damaging effects caused by salt exposure like algae growth.

If you are planning a fishing trip or touring on the open sea or in other waters with saltwater, it is essential to use a motor that is suitable for seawater.

Saltwater can quickly corrode motors that are not designed for it. If you plan on using your new boat out at sea, make sure your purchase includes a seawater-resistant design and avoid freshwater use if possible!


Easy use of the motor is also important. You want to make sure that you can control the motor without straining your arm or shoulder. Many models that have been tested in kayak motor tests offer ergonomic grips that can be adjusted if necessary. The handles of some kayak motors can be extended and retracted to adjust to the most comfortable position.

A frequently overlooked detail is a small indicator on the electric motor that shows the battery level. The small toolbar or digital display allows you to quickly think about whether you can make it back with the remaining battery charge and really helps in journey planning.

The majority of kayak motors are steered by hand but you can get more expensive models that are controlled using foot controls or even wirelessly. However, given the (sometimes significant) additional cost, most fishermen are happy with the hand controlled versions.

Water Depth

Motorized kayaks are perfect for catching fish. Interestingly, the water depth does not have a significant effect on how electric powered motors work; as long as you make sure your motor is aligned correctly and isn’t running into any rocks or trees underwater!

However some higher end models come with sensors to measure distance from ground and will even tell you if it’s too close. Be careful fishing in shallow waters though–you can easily get stuck there after grounding out your boat while trying to go fast enough that an angler doesn’t catch up!

Kayak motors are usually attached to the kayaks by a harness. The kind of depth in which you can operate your Kayak motor varies from boat-to-boat depending on how well it was made and what type of material is used for its construction.

Generally, electric powered boats that use batteries work better in shallow waters because they rely heavily on hydropower generated underwater currents as their fuel source when not tethered to an electric power outlet or generator system.

However, certain types do offer different depth options such as the Minn Kota Endura C2 30″ with two battery options; one offers up to 8 hours at 4 mph while others last 3 hours maxiumum if running at 6mph – but only 2 feet deep!

Which brings us onto the most important aspect when buying a trolling motor for a kayak; the battery.


The type of electric motor you choose influences which type or how many batteries are needed. Smaller kayak motors only require a single 12 volt battery, while larger and more powerful electric motors require several small or a single large 24 or even 36 volt battery.

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The voltage of the kayak battery should match that of its application. If not, then batteries will get hot and quickly lose their power over time. The ampere-hours determine how long they last so if you’re using them continuously without charging they may only provide enough juice for one day at best! On top of all these considerations is size; smaller batteries save space and weight while larger models offer more longevity with less recharging required between uses – something perfect for those on longer trips or who simply want peace of mind that they can always make it back to shore.

The idea that there is no one size fits all battery fails to take into account the individual’s needs. For trips at high speed, a large battery will suffice while for short journeys or quick sprints across the lake, less power and weight are necessary.

There really isn’t just one answer when it comes to deciding which type of car battery you should have on hand because each person has different plans in mind for how they want their vehicle used during specific scenarios. Long outings require an extra-large capacity but shorter ones can be done with something smaller–think about what kind of trip you’ll need your auto most often before making this decision!

Shaft Length

When a motor sits too deep in water, it can become difficult for the propeller to push air through and against objects like plants or rocks. But when an engine is sitting on top of these underwater obstacles, this becomes less problematic because there’s no consequence that has been shown with shallow motors as well as deeper ones so long as they are all at similar depths below the surface of the water.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about electric motors for kayaks

Do you need a kayak motor?

Well, I’m biased because I’m a big fan of motorized kayaking. Sure, it is possible to paddle a kayak solely on the power of your own muscle, but what if you wanted to go farther? Or reach places that aren’t instantly accessible without breaking out into a sweat and getting tired? That’s where motors come in handy! Kayakers can use these engines for trips upriver or downriver – all depending on their preferences. If an area isn’t suitable for round-trips like this one, they simply have the opportunity to either paddle back upstream or downstream with ease thanks to their trusty engine.

How to mount an engine on a kayak?

Bit of a cop-out answer here but, the steps involved in mounting an engine on a kayak really depend on the motor and the kayak involved. My best advice is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which you can find in the manual supplied with the kayak or online on the manufacturer’s website.

In some cases the motors come with a special mount that you only need to attach. You may also need to drill holes in the kayak or possibly build a wooden mount for the motor yourself.


Kayak motors are a great way to enjoy your favorite water sport in any condition, but it can be difficult to find the right battery for your needs. Luckily there are several things you need to consider before making this purchase: The voltage of the kayak motor should match that of its application. If not, then batteries will get hot and quickly lose their power over time. The ampere hours determine how long they last so if you’re using them continuously without charging they may only provide enough juice for one day at best! On top of all these considerations is size; smaller batteries save space and weight while larger models offer more longevity with less recharging required between uses – something perfect for those on longer trips or who simply want peace of mind.