Skip to content

Is A trolling Motor worth it?

are trolling motors worth it

When it comes to enhancing your fishing experience, a trolling motor is often considered a game-changer. This article will explore the benefits and considerations of using a trolling motor, helping you decide whether it’s a worthwhile addition to your fishing gear.

What is a Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor is a self-contained unit that includes an electric motor, propeller, and controls, and is affixed to an angler’s boat either at the bow or stern. It’s used for precise maneuvering of the boat, allowing anglers to navigate through various water conditions quietly and efficiently.

Is a Trolling Motor Worth It?

Whether a trolling motor is worth the investment largely depends on your fishing style and needs. If you regularly fish in areas that require quiet, precise maneuvering, or if you want to enhance your boat control for better fishing efficiency, a trolling motor is invaluable. However, if your fishing excursions are more casual or in locations where a standard boat motor suffices, the additional cost of a trolling motor might not be justified.

Benefits of a Trolling Motor

  1. Enhanced Boat Control and Maneuverability:
    • Trolling motors provide superior control over your boat’s movements, allowing you to navigate through tight spots or maintain a specific position against the wind or current.
  2. Quiet Operation:
    • Unlike gas motors, trolling motors operate quietly, reducing the likelihood of spooking fish. This is especially beneficial for anglers who fish in calm and shallow waters.
  3. Hands-Free Operation:
    • Many modern trolling motors come with GPS and autopilot features, enabling hands-free operation and allowing you to focus more on fishing.
  4. Accessibility to Shallow Waters:
    • Trolling motors enable anglers to access shallow areas without the risk of damaging the propeller or the boat’s underbelly, areas where larger motors can’t navigate.
  5. Improved Fishing Techniques:
    • They are great for trolling, a method where you drag your line through the water, and are also beneficial for techniques like jigging or bass fishing, where precise positioning is key.

Considerations Before Purchasing a Trolling Motor

  1. Cost:
    • Trolling motors vary in price, and high-end models with advanced features like GPS can be quite expensive. Consider whether the benefits align with your budget.
  2. Battery Life and Power Requirements:
    • Trolling motors require a battery, which adds weight to your boat and requires regular charging. Ensure your boat can accommodate these needs.
  3. Mounting and Compatibility:
    • Check whether your boat is compatible with a trolling motor and whether it can be mounted at the bow or stern. The type of water you fish in (freshwater vs. saltwater) also dictates the kind of trolling motor needed.
  4. Maintenance:
    • While typically low-maintenance, they do require occasional upkeep, such as cleaning and ensuring electrical connections are intact.

Best trolling motors of 2024

When choosing the best trolling motor for your inflatable boat, there are several top picks to consider, each offering unique features to suit various boating needs. Here’s an overview of some of the best options available:

  1. Minn Kota Terrova: This high-end option is known for its bow trolling motor design, foot-steering, wireless remote control, spot-lock GPS, and auto-pilot feature. Although it’s praised for its excellent control and advanced features, it’s also on the pricier side and can be challenging to install​​.
  2. Minn Kota Endura: For those on a budget, the Minn Kota Endura offers great value. It’s available in various thrust levels (30lbs to 55lbs) and is known for being easy to control and remarkably quiet. While it lacks some of the more advanced features, it’s an excellent choice for casual boaters​​.
  3. Newport Vessels NV Series: The NV Series motors are dependable and come with a range of value-added features like a 2-year warranty. They are available in different thrust levels (55lb, 62lb, and 86lb) and are suitable for various inflatable boat sizes. The 86lb model requires two 12V marine batteries, while the others are compatible with a single 12V deep cycle battery​​.
  4. Newport Vessels X-Series Trolling Motors: Similar to the NV series, the X-Series offers additional features like a tilting head and a 10-point battery meter. These motors are available in 40lb and 55lb thrust variants and also need a single 12V marine battery. The extra features make the X-Series slightly more expensive than the NV series​​.
  5. Minn Kota Endura Max Trolling Motors: The Endura Max is an upgrade from the standard Endura range, featuring a built-in battery meter and Digital Maximizer technology, which allows for longer running at slow-mid speeds. This line is ideal for freshwater fishermen but is not recommended for saltwater use​​.


Trolling motors offer significant advantages for serious anglers, providing stealth, precision, and improved boat control, all of which can lead to a more successful fishing experience. However, it’s important to weigh these benefits against factors like cost, maintenance, and boat compatibility. For those who decide to invest, a trolling motor can be a transformative addition, enhancing both the pleasure and productivity of their fishing trips.

FAQs: Trolling Motors for Boats

What is the ideal thrust power for an inflatable boat trolling motor?

The ideal thrust power depends on your boat’s weight and the waters you’ll be navigating. As a rule of thumb, you need about 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of weight. For typical inflatable boats, a motor with a minimum thrust of 30 pounds is usually sufficient​​.

Are trolling motors for inflatable boats only suitable for freshwater?

While some trolling motors are designed specifically for freshwater use, such as the Minn Kota Endura, there are models available that are suitable for saltwater use, like the Newport Vessels NV and X Series. It’s important to choose a motor based on the type of water you’ll be boating in​​​​.

Can I use a gasoline-powered trolling motor for my inflatable boat?

Gasoline-powered trolling motors are generally not recommended for inflatable boats due to safety concerns and the potential for damage to the boat’s lightweight material. Electric trolling motors are a safer and more efficient option​​.

How important is battery life for a trolling motor on an inflatable boat?

Battery life is crucial, especially for extended boating sessions. Look for a motor with an energy-efficient design and a battery life indicator. The battery’s capacity should be sufficient to power the motor for the duration you intend to use it​​.

What shaft length should I choose for my inflatable boat trolling motor?

The shaft length should be long enough to immerse the propeller about 6 inches into the water while maintaining comfortable control. It’s generally recommended to choose a shaft length of at least 36 inches for inflatable boats​​.

Do I need any special accessories for my trolling motor and inflatable boat?

Depending on your specific setup, you might need additional accessories like a battery box, extension cables, or a specific mount. Always check the compatibility of these accessories with your trolling motor and boat​​.

How can I maintain my trolling motor and inflatable boat?

Rinse the trolling motor with fresh water after each use, especially if used in saltwater. Regularly inspect the propeller and lubricate moving parts. For the inflatable boat, check for punctures or leaks and store it properly to protect it from UV rays and extreme temperatures​​.

Are there trolling motors suitable for kayaks and smaller inflatable boats?

Yes, there are trolling motors specifically designed for kayaks and smaller boats, like the Newport Vessels Kayak Series. These motors often have shorter shaft lengths and are tailored to fit the smaller size and space of kayaks and compact boats​​.