How to Pick a Trolling Motor?

How to Pick a Trolling Motor?If you are an avid angler, a trolling motor is an essential piece of equipment that can make your fishing experience more enjoyable and productive. But with so many options available, it can be daunting to pick the right one. In this section, we will provide expert guidance on how to pick a trolling motor that suits your needs and budget.

Choosing the right trolling motor requires consideration of several factors, including boat size, fishing style, battery capacity, shaft length, control options, and additional features. By understanding these key factors, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision that meets your unique requirements.

Consider Your Boat Size and Weight

Choosing the right trolling motor depends on the size and weight of your boat. An undersized motor could result in insufficient speed, while an oversized motor could be cumbersome and difficult to handle.

The first step is to determine your boat’s weight and size. Here is a table to help you estimate the appropriate trolling motor size based on your boat’s length and weight:

Boat Length Boat Weight Trolling Motor Size
12-14 feet 500-1,000 lbs 30-40 lb thrust
14-16 feet 1,000-1,500 lbs 40-55 lb thrust
16-18 feet 1,500-2,500 lbs 80-100 lb thrust
18-20 feet 2,500-3,500 lbs 101-112 lb thrust

Once you have determined your boat’s weight and size, you can then match it with the appropriate Trolling Motor Size. Keep in mind that if you plan to fish in rough waters or heavy currents, you may need to choose a larger size to ensure optimal performance.

In the next section, we will explore how fishing style affects your trolling motor choice.

Determine Your Fishing Style

Your fishing style is a critical factor when choosing a trolling motor. Different fishing techniques require specific features.

Freshwater anglers might prefer a trolling motor with a quiet motor that doesn’t spook fish and the ability to navigate through heavy vegetation. Saltwater fishermen might need a motor with saltwater-resistant components, higher thrust power, and more sophisticated GPS and sonar options.

Trolling in rough waters demands a sturdy motor with anti-corrosion materials, and features like spot lock, which keep the boat in place and help maintain the desired course.

Fishing Style Trolling Motor Features
Freshwater angling Quiet operation, weedless propeller, low profile mount, and GPS
Saltwater fishing Saltwater-resistant components, high thrust power, and advanced GPS and sonar features
Trolling in rough water Sturdy construction, anti-corrosion materials, and spot lock function

Consider the fishing techniques you prefer and determine which features are most important to match your needs.

Battery Capacity and Voltage

The battery capacity and voltage are crucial factors in choosing a trolling motor that meets your needs. The battery capacity determines the runtime of your motor, while the voltage determines the power output.

It is essential to choose a battery with enough capacity to power the trolling motor for the required duration. The battery capacity is typically measured in ampere-hours (Ah). A higher capacity battery will provide a longer runtime but will also be heavier and more expensive.

The trolling motor voltage also plays a significant role in performance. Higher voltage motors typically provide more power, making them ideal for larger boats or rough waters. A 12-volt motor is suitable for small boats, while a 24 or 36-volt trolling motor is appropriate for larger boats or when additional power is required.

It is important to note that higher voltage motors require a larger battery and may increase the overall weight of the boat. Therefore, it is crucial to strike a balance between power and weight when selecting a trolling motor.

Battery Life

The battery life of a trolling motor depends on various factors, including the size of the battery, the thrust power of the motor, and the speed at which it is operated.

It is essential to consider the battery’s ampere-hour rating and the motor’s power consumption to calculate the approximate runtime. For example, a 100Ah battery will provide approximately five hours of runtime for a 20lb motor at full speed.

To maximize the battery life, it is recommended to use the lowest speed possible to achieve your desired watercraft speed. It is also crucial to maintain the battery and charge it properly to prolong its lifespan.

Shaft Length and Materials

When choosing a trolling motor, the length and material of the shaft are critical factors to consider. The shaft length should be appropriate for the size and shape of your boat’s transom to ensure that the motor can submerge in the water to an adequate depth. A shaft that is too long or too short can lead to performance issues and cause damage to the motor.

The materials used to make the shaft also play a vital role in determining its durability and longevity. Stainless steel and composite materials are popular choices due to their resistance to rust, corrosion, and wear and tear from exposure to harsh weather and rough waters.

Shaft Material Pros Cons
Stainless Steel Durable, sturdy, resistant to rust and corrosion Heavier, more expensive
Composite Materials Lightweight, rust and corrosion resistant, affordable Less durable than stainless steel

It is important to choose a shaft material that matches your boating needs and usage frequency. If you frequently fish in saltwater or harsh weather conditions, a stainless steel shaft may be the better choice due to its superior durability.

Overall, selecting the appropriate shaft length and material for your trolling motor is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity, allowing you to enjoy a seamless and hassle-free fishing experience.

Control Options and Features

Controlling your trolling motor is essential to maneuvering your boat or changing your fishing strategies. Here are some of the most popular trolling motor controls and features to consider:

Foot Pedal

Foot pedals have been the traditional control option for trolling motors. They offer hands-free operation, allowing you to focus on fishing while maneuvering your boat. The direction and speed of the motor are controlled by pressing the foot pedal in different directions. Some models have advanced features such as responsive steering and variable speed control, enabling more precise adjustments.

Wireless Remote

Wireless remotes are a more modern and convenient option for controlling your trolling motor. With a range of up to 100 feet, you can adjust the motor’s direction, speed, and other settings from anywhere on the boat. The remote offers easy, one-handed operation, making it ideal for solo anglers or those who prefer to stay seated while fishing.

While wireless remotes are convenient, they do require batteries and may not be as durable as traditional foot pedals. Some models also come with backup foot pedals in case the remote fails.

As you consider the control options for your trolling motor, keep in mind your fishing style and preferences. Some anglers prefer the hands-free operation of a foot pedal, while others opt for the convenience of a wireless remote. Ultimately, the right control option for you depends on your boating and fishing needs.

Additional Considerations

While picking the right trolling motor is essential, there are some other considerations that you should keep in mind before making a purchase.


Your budget is a crucial factor in determining the trolling motor you can afford. Make sure to set a realistic budget and look for options that fit within your price range.

Brand Reputation

Investing in a trolling motor from a reputable brand is an excellent way to ensure that you will receive a quality product. Look for brands with a history of producing reliable and durable trolling motors.


Before making a purchase, it is always wise to check the warranty provided by the manufacturer. A good warranty will give you peace of mind and protect you in case of any defects or malfunctions with the motor.

By considering budget, brand reputation, and warranty, you can make a well-rounded decision when choosing the right trolling motor for your boat. Remember to factor in these considerations alongside the other factors we have discussed in this article.


In conclusion, choosing the right trolling motor is critical to ensuring an enjoyable boating and fishing experience.

Recap of Key Points

Firstly, consider your boat size and weight to determine the appropriate trolling motor size. Matching the motor’s thrust power is critical to ensure optimal performance.

Secondly, determine your fishing style and the features that cater to your fishing techniques. This will help you pick a trolling motor that suits your needs.

Thirdly, battery capacity and voltage play a crucial role in the performance and runtime of your trolling motor. Choose the right battery that caters to your needs.

Fourthly, shaft length and materials are important to ensure the trolling motor fits your boat’s transom and can withstand the rigors of regular use.

Fifthly, explore the control options and features, including foot pedal, hand remote, and wireless options. This will help you find the best fit for your needs.

Lastly, take into account your budget, the reputation of the brand, and the warranty provided. This will help you make a well-rounded decision.

Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to pick the perfect trolling motor that enhances your boating and fishing experience on any water.

Richard Dodds

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