Small Trolling Motors: Why You Need One

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Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24

When it comes to buying kit for a hobby we love, like fishing, for example, most of us want to buy the biggest, most powerful gear we can afford. But that's not always the most sensible thing to do. When it comes to expensive fishing gear such as electric trolling motors, there are actually many advantages to using a small trolling motor. So, before you dive in and buy the wrong thing, in this post, I'm going to outline what the benefits of small trolling motors are, and then I'm going to show you the 5 best models on the market today.

But, before we launch into the details, to help you decide on the best model for your needs, I have created an easy-to-read chart that outlines some of the different types of motors available for purchase.

My Top Picks for Small Trolling Motors

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

The Advantages of Owning a Small Trolling Motor

Small trolling motors have many advantages over their larger counterparts. For example,

  • They are lighter.
  • They don’t require maintenance as often.
  • The battery lasts longer than other types of trolling motors.

Smaller models are easier to steer in shallow water, where larger motorized boats have trouble getting through the rough waves and mud on the bottom of rivers or lakes. This is a huge advantage for people who like fishing, but don't want to deal with a heavy boat that requires too much muscle power!

Smaller motors also make it easier to wrestle your catch onto shore and then quickly get back out into deeper waters if you choose to do so (which I always recommend!). That's because, generally speaking, small trolling motors operate better in shallow and smaller bodies of water than their larger counterparts because they're designed specifically to operate in such conditions!

As I mentioned above, they tend to be cheaper than larger models and weigh less, so there is less stress on the boat and its frame, and, of course, less stress on your wallet!

Smaller Size - Fewer Problems

Being physically smaller, they are also easier to handle and store, which is a major benefit, particularly if you drive a smaller automobile or storage shed (BTW small trolling motors are really great if live in an apartment) or, indeed, anywhere that space may be restricted. Because they are lightweight, they won't weigh down your boat when in use. They do not take up much space on the back of a boat, allowing you to easily move around without hitting it or kicking it by mistake.

Smaller models can be stowed behind the seat if desired, which means they won't get damaged while transporting them.

Finally, they generally require less maintenance because they have fewer moving parts to break down and, because they are smaller, lighter, and under less stress, the battery lasts longer than other types of motors.

Small Trolling Motors Are Best For:

Small trolling motors are ideal for fishermen who don't own a heavy boat that requires a lot of effort to steer. They are also great for those of us who prefer fishing in shallower waters such as creeks, ponds, wetlands, etc., as opposed to deeper water. Fishing in these environments doesn't require such powerful motors to bring fisashore,re particularly when you are baitcasting using hand lines.

Minn Kota 1358744 PowerDrive Freshwater Electric-Steer Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Digital Maximizer & i-Pilot GPS, 55 lbs Thrust, 54" Shaft

Their compact design means they will fit almost any boat.

One of the best things about small trolling motors is that, because of their small size and weight, you can use them on even the smallest craft, such as kayaks for example. They will not add much weight to your boat, so you can use them for long periods of time without getting tired. They are perfect for boats that have limited space because they take up less room than other models do.

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24

Add the fact that they have longer battery life, which means you can go out on your boat for much longer periods before needing to recharge it and you should get the idea that small trolling motors are actually a very good fit for most purposes.


So, to summarise, people who often purchase small trolling motors are:

  • Kayakers and canoers.
  • People who have limited storage space on their boat.
  • People looking for a light trolling motor that is easy to use, store, and transport without adding too much weight or bulkiness to the back of their boat.
  • Anyone fishing in shallow water conditions where waves are less rough, allowing you to easily fish with bait cast by hand lines.
  • If you live near creeks, dams etc. small trolling motors can be used there as well!

Ok, so now we know the advantages, which small trolling motors do I recommend?

5 Best Small Trolling Motors

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The Newport Vessels NV Series 55lb thrust electric trolling motor is a versatile and multi-purpose trolling motor constructed with the highest quality materials and the most up-to-date design concepts. This trolling motor is made to last and is intended to be future-proof. The Newport Vessels trolling motor is designed to suit all Newport Vessels inflatable boats, as well as any other inflatable boats, kayaks, dinghies, tenders, fishing boats, aluminum fishing boats, and inflatables with a transom, thanks to its adjustable 30" fiberglass composite shaft. A smooth and completely customizable ride is provided by the 8-speed control system (5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds). A three-year warranty is included with 55lb thrust trolling motor.

The Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Motor is a 55lb thrust motor that provides excellent power and efficiency for any boater. This 12v electric trolling motor features a 30-inch shaft, 6-inch telescoping tiller handle, 5 LED battery meter, 3 blade propellers, and more! The mount angle, height, and direction can all be adjusted to fit your needs.

Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Motor is a great option for those looking to upgrade from gas or manual trolling motors. The motor offers 8 speeds, 5 forward and 3 reverse, so you can find the perfect speed for your needs. It also includes a 50amp circuit breaker which is recommended at all times to protect from battery voltage surges. Max Amp Draw: 52A

The NV 55lb motor requires one (1) 12V Lead-Acid Deep Cycle or Lithium Deep Cycle battery (battery not included), 50ah

Dynamic, high-performance transom-mounted trolling motors from Newport Vessels are designed to provide the most comfortable and efficient fishing experience possible. With a wide range of models available for both freshwater and saltwater applications, you can be sure that we have a product that is perfect for your needs.

Watersnake - ASP 18 and 24 Pound Thrust 12V Saltwater Trolling Motor, Transom or Kayak Mount

A pair of Australian fishermen had the idea on a sunny day in 2004 that electric motors could be upgraded, made more accessible, and robust enough to endure the harshest fishing situations. With the global success of Watersnake Electric Motors, that notion is now a reality. Fishermen from all over the world recognized the value of Watersnake motors and felt compelled to own one. In more than 30 countries, Watersnake electric motors are improving fisherman catches. Their motors may be spotted on the bows of competition bass boats, on family fishing vessels, on the transoms of classic tiny boats, and even powering modern kayaks and canoes.

Watersnake’s 18-pound thrust trolling motor is a 24V, 12V, and 36V compatible electric outboard motor. It delivers a top speed of 1.3mph (2.1kmh) and has a maximum range of 2.4 miles (3.8km). The Watersnake Saltwater Electric Outboard Motor weighs only 4.85lbs (2.2kg), making it the ultimate in lightweight portability, while still delivering quality and performance for all your fishing needs!

Designed for saltwater use, the Watersnake ASP is an electric motor that features a hand tiller with an extendable handle. The easy to steer motor uses a hand tiller with an extendable handle, high and low-speed control, forward and reverse switch and two blade weedless propeller design. The 24” shaft allows for easy attachment to your boat or kayak. Designed with safety in mind, this electric motor includes anti-impact clip system which prevents

Watersnake's 12V 18 and 24 Pound Thrust Saltwater Trolling Motor is the latest innovation on the water. This motor’s new design features a stainless steel shaft that provides superior corrosion resistance and increased strength for maximum performance. The gear housing has been redesigned to increase thrust and efficiency while reducing weight, making this motor perfect for your fishing boat or pontoon.

Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive Trolling Motor, 30" Shaft Length, 55 lbs Thrust

The Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive Trolling Motor, 30" Shaft Length, 55 lbs Thrust is the best motor for fishing. It's perfect for lakes and rivers. The Deploy Assist Lever makes it easy to get in and out of your boat. It has a Copilot Wireless Remote that gives you push-button command of speed and steering of your trolling motor from anywhere on the water. You can also use your smartphone or tablet with the free i-Pilot Link app to control your motor from up to 180 feet away using Bluetooth technology.

To paraphrase an ancient cliché, you will lose 100% of the fish you do not chase. With reliable performance and intelligent boat handling features like Digital Maximizer, i-Pilot, Spot-Lock, and Autopilot, Riptide PowerDrive puts you in the hunt from the outset.

Unlike five-speed versions, Digital Maximizer motors have variable speed, enabling you to dial in the right pace while your motor uses just as much power as it needs, allowing you to spend up to five times more time on the water.

To assist prevent oxidisation and corrosion, Minn Kota Riptide bottom unit housings are grit-blasted, coated with aluminium, and given a final coat of powder coat paint.

MotorGuide Wireless Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

A Wireless Handheld Control that Lets You Precisely Operate the Motor from Anywhere on the Boat The MotorGuide® Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor is a wireless, handheld remote control that lets you precisely operate the motor from anywhere on the boat. It features an innovative mount with easy-to-read LED dashboard and it’s compatible with accessory Pinpoint GPS, the industry's most accurate GPS. And its high-efficiency electronics are fully encapsulated in high tech coating making them impervious to water and dust.

The Xi5's wireless functionality makes your days on the water more easy and convenient. With high-tech options like integrated sonar, advanced accuracy Pinpoint GPS, and touchscreen control displays from manufacturers like Lowrance, Simrad, and Mercury VesselView, you can enjoy the benefits of absolute control.

Saltwater motor delivers 55 pounds of peak thrust and has a 48-inch-long composite shaft with a 3-blade Machete III Glass-Filled propeller. Versatile 12-volt motor has a maximum draw of 52 amps and is recommended for boat lengths of 14-18 feet.

A rugged, waterproof case houses the sealed gear box, while its high torque design produces more power to handle larger fish. The saltwater trolling motor’s stainless steel shaft is corrosion resistant and designed for use in fresh or salt water.

Attwood X3-45FW-36 MotorGuide X3 Bow Mount Foot-Control 940200050

For quiet, dependable operation, all X Series models are built using durable components. Even in tough circumstances, foot-controlled models enable agile turns and improved boat control. Hand-operated steering is also available on many models.

It takes years to create a reputation for reliability. It occurs across tens of thousands of throws and an infinite number of fishing spots. The X3 is overbuilt to handle anything. The X3 offers a lot of bang for your buck, thanks to high - end features such as Digital Power Management.

Fishermen are distinct from the rest of the world in more ways than one. They're unique from one another. MotorGuide caters to a wide range of fishermen, vessels, and fishing methods using trolling motors.

Attwood’s X3-45FW-36 MotorGuide X3 Bow Mount Foot Control features a patented Variable Ratio Steering (VRS) system that lets you accurately position your boat even in wind, rough water, and other challenging conditions. The foot control unit is equipped with a heel/toe design and directional indicator so you can keep both hands on the rod for what really counts—reeling in the big one. Rigid aircraft grade aluminum mount and stainless steel bushings ensure dependable performance.


A small trolling motor is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy fishing. They're easy for beginners because they don't require any knowledge about how motors work, just some common sense when it comes to hooking up your battery and plugging in an extension cord if you need one. You can find them at most physical stores or online where there are plenty of options available so that you'll be able to choose the right type of boat motor based on what's important to you. It doesn't matter whether you want something with more power or less power; we've got everything from 55 pounds of peak thrust all the way down to 1/3 horsepower - whatever floats your boat!

I’m looking forward to hearing from my readers and would love if I could hear what they think about this post! Is there anything else that should be included? Have any questions or comments? Please let me know by leaving a comment below! Thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for more posts like this one! If you enjoy these types of articles please share with friends (they might find it too!) and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Facebook!