Electric Trolling Motor Reviews
12 Volt Trolling Motors
- Minn Kota Endura
- Endura Max
- Riptide Terrova
- Newport Vessels X series
- Newport Vessels NV series
- Haswing Cayman
- Cloud Mountain
- Motorguide Xi5
Choosing the perfect trolling motor for your boat is one of the most important decisions and purchases you’ll make. You might want to settle in because we have a lot of information to cover on top brands, types (freshwater or saltwater), and descriptions of each motor.
We’ve broken it up into sections so you can skip ahead if you already know the brand you like and the power your boat needs. Most importantly we cover the motors’ main features, technology, mounts, upgrades, price, and power so if you don’t already have a model in mind, by the end of this article you’ll know which is the best choice for your boat and fishing style.
If you’re like us, you’ll probably want more than one, but this will help you narrow it down.
Saltwater Trolling Motors
Let’s narrow it down. If you’re looking for a Minn Kota saltwater trolling motor check out Riptide models in the range.
These are recommendations depending on your price range and brand preference.
- Riptide Terrova
- Newport X series
- Newport NV series (a step up from the X series)
- Goplus electric trolling motor
- Haswing Cayman
- Cloud Mountain
Minn Kota Trolling Motors
Having an established history of being reliable, durable, and affordable has made Minn Kota a market leader. Base models through to top-of-the-line technologically advanced models that drive themselves offer value for money in any price range.
Minn Kota is a top brand so no matter where you fish, don’t be surprised if the neighboring boat has a Minn Kota as well.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a look behind the scenes, you’ll find this Minn Kota promo video interesting.
Minn Kota Endura C2 30
This durable, 12v top little motor is hard to beat when it comes to value for money. With 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds driving the power prop on the exclusive, indestructible guaranteed-for-life shaft, it’s able to cut through underwater vegetation and weed no problem without overheating the motor.
A fully adjustable 10-position lever bracket means it will fit any transom while the adjustable telescopic hand tillers’ special ergonomic design means that no matter how long you’ve been chasing the fish you’re as comfortable as when you started.
This motor runs cool and quiet extending its lifespan with a bearing system that reduces noise as much as pivot smoothly allowing for maximum maneuverability without spooking the fish.
You can usually pick one up for under $100 and if you have a larger boat then upgrades to the Endura C2 40, 45, 50 or 55 are available, all with varying shaft lengths: 30 inches, 36 inches, or 42 inches.
- Transom Mount
- Speed 5 forward/ 3 reverse
- Endura C2 30lb = max thrust 30 lbs
- (as a guide)
Shaft Length Thrust C2 30 30″ 30lb C2 40 36″ 40lb C2 50 42″ 50lb
- 2-year warranty
- Suits smaller boats to 14 ft
4.5 stars (over 1280 other customers have taken time out to give their independent reviews on Amazon and rank this product as an Amazon Best #1 seller)
Pick me for reliable, affordable, energy efficient, power trolling motor.
The upgrade is the Endura Max with digital maximizer and push-to-test battery meter (visible on a bar graph) so not only do you get as much as 5x the run time from every single battery charge, but you can see how much battery you have left at the touch of a button.
The variable speed control gives you better control instead of being locked into presets speeds.
Specs – additions
- digital maximizer
- battery meter
- the shaft length, available in 36″ or 42″
- variable speed control (instead of presets)
- hand control, telescoping tiller (6″)
- power prop
When not in use, disconnect your Endura Max from the battery
Minn Kota Terrova (Freshwater)
This motor takes it to the next level with lift-assist, spot-lock, and auto-pilot technology adjusting to current, wind and waves that fits with most sonars.
Easily installed, it runs quiet, cool, and smooth in the water to get you right in on top of where the fish are hiding giving you more rod-in-hand time.
Plus, the bow-mount responsive heel-toe foot pedal is not only easy to use but provides optimum maneuverability easily keeping you right on top of the fish and activating spot lock GPS with a tap, so you’ll never miss a strike or forget that excellent spot you stumbled across.
The remote can be used anywhere onboard controlling motor speed and direction with the added benefit of being waterproof, and it floats in case you have an accident and drop it in the drink.
Digital maximizer prolongs your run time up to 5x longer while the touch of a button shows you how much battery you have left. No excuses if you ever get stuck.
This model is a top mix of technology, reliability, and price.
You can upgrade to include i-Pilot which allows the wireless trolling system that will drive itself, store your favorite spots, remember routes, and more.
This popular freshwater motor comes in a 55lb, 80lb or a whopping 112lbs with either 45” or 60” shaft lengths with either 24v or 36v depending on your choice.
- bow mount
- max thrust 80lbs
- Foot pedal – electric heel-toe style
- Bluetooth connectivity
- i-pilot integrated gps
- wireless remote
- lift assist
- push-to-test battery meter
- digital maximizer
- 2-year manufacturer limited warranty
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova (Saltwater)
This saltwater model is the stuff dreams are made of. It has everything the freshwater version has, plus a few extras to handle the harsher saltwater environment. It was formerly known as ‘Riptide ST,’ so you might have heard that model bantered about in the past.
Advanced Corrosion Protection prevents rust by grit blasting then coating with aluminum before adding a protective powder coating for extra protection.
Choose from the 12v (55lb), 24v (80lb) or the 36v (112lb) along with 3 shaft lengths (54″, 60″, 72″) to suit every boat. It’s powerful, quiet, and has the technology you want. Complete with your choice of incredibly accurate i-Pilot GPS or i-Pilot Link, autopilot, spot-lock, digital maximizer for 5x the run time, incredibly strong weedless-wedge props to cut through underwater vegetation and lift assist, this is every fishermen’s dream.
It even deploys and stows at the touch of a button, making it the easiest it’s ever been to pick up and move spots.
It’s a top of the line model so it’ll set you back between $3,000 – $4,000, but you couldn’t buy better.
- power steering
- Note: foot pedal style not included
Minn Kota Ultrex (Freshwater only) Bow Mount
The crowning jewel in the Minn Kota cap, with award-winning power steering technology and cruise control, this motor is an absolute beast with loads of power.
Boasting the only cable heel-toe foot pedal, its instantaneous responsiveness and incredibly accurate upgraded spot lock electronic anchor keep you right on the fish with a touch of your toe.
Autopilot drives the boat as soon as you remove your foot, so you don’t have to, and every fisherman’s best friend i-Pilot is there to record your paths, spot locks, direction, speed and more.
This motor is at the summit of electronic trolling motors. Minn Kota is so confident you’ll love it that they’ve extended the warranty to 3 yrs and of course, the durable composite shaft housing your wiring and transducer keeping it completely safe and sealed is guaranteed for life.
Reliable and durable, the motor runs virtually silent, smooth and cool extending the motor’s life span. This, coupled with the batteries digital maximizer only delivering that amount of power needed, you get up to 5x longer run time off of every single charge. It’s also easy to keep an eye on with a built-in battery meter showing you just how much juice is left.
This motor suits fishing boats, v-hull and pontoon up to 23 feet. 80lb thrust suits a boat up to 4000lbs. (Based on the rule of thumb 2lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs.) 80/2 x 100 = 4000lbs
We won’t tell you the price until you’re sitting down…no it’s not too bad, you can pick one up for around $2,500 on Amazon which for the top trolling motor on the market is quite reasonable.
- Power steering and steering lock
- Foot control – heel-toe/ cable
- Wireless remote
- I Pilot GPS
- US2 sonar
- Digital maximizer
- Battery meter
- Weedless Wedge 2 prop
- Thrust: 80 or 112lbs
- Shaft lengths: 45″, 52″ 60″
- Warranty – 3 years
Pick me if you’re wanting a ‘top of the range’ motor with foot control giving instant responsiveness and advanced technology features.
Minn Kota Fortrex 112 (Freshwater – bow mount)
If it’s the power you’re after, look no further. This bow-mounted freshwater monster has one of, if not the biggest, thrust ratings out there. But don’t get scared of the power, it’s got a removable 360º bow guard bracket which breaks away on impact and resets itself so you can’t get into too much trouble.
The new Mono-Arm design is sturdier than ever, made of tough extruded and anodized aluminum which also helps the motor run quieter and reduces the wear extending its life span.
For serious anglers and keen fishermen that go into a variety of environments, it’s a great allrounder handling faster flowing waters, currents, wind and waves with ease. And don’t worry about weed, the specially designed prop blades are swept back so they’ll cut through underwater vegetations and obstructions easily. Even stumps won’t stop you.
The other feature to love is the counter-tension stabilizer which means when the motor is deployed (or stowed) an integrated spring applies force translating to: no give, reduced torque, no play and it helps keep your motor running virtually silent for years. There’s another spring which is a bit of a life saver, the stainless-steel nitrogen gas-charged spring in the Lift-Assist mount cutting the motors weight in half making your life easier as it does the work for you.
This beast falls into the middle price range, and you can pick one up on Amazon for under $1,500.
Voltage (thrust) 36v (112lbs)
Shaft Length: 45″, 52″, 62″
Foot pedal – heel-toe/ cable
Warranty – 2 years
Minn Kota Maxxum (Freshwater – Bow mount)
In what could possibly be the best mid-sized motor on the market, the Maxxum comes in 6 models: 80, 70, 70/SC, 70/SC/H, 80H and the 55/SC/H with 2 shaft lengths and is a great all-round 24v bow mounted freshwater motor.
As Minn Kota say “built to keep up with dedicated anglers, with tournament-tested power, innovative fishing features, and an impact-resistant composite head” they aren’t joking.
Its digital maximizer gets you 5x greater run time only feeding enough power needed even when the weedless wedge props are cutting through underwater weed so she goes all day smoothly and quietly.
You’ve also got a choice of up to 8 speeds: 5 forward, 3 reverse depending on the model controlled by either heel-toe (H) or cable-steer (CS) foot pedals enabling great maneuverability and responsiveness. The motor runs cool, quietly and efficiently every time.
For out peace of mind, the manufacturer stands by the ‘indestructible shaft’ claim with a lifetime warranty.
The durable high-strength steel and aluminum bracket is hardy and makes installation on your bow easy. And it comes with a bow guard 360 providing pressure relief to both the motor and shaft while shielding your bow.
Coming in at the lower end of the mid-range motors, you can pick up one under $600 – $2,755 on Amazon depending on the model you choose.
Weedless Wedge prop
Foot pedal – heel/toe cable
- Shaft length: 42″ or 52″
- Voltage (thrust): 24 v 70 lbs or 24v 80lbs
Hand\tiller – tilts up to 45 degrees and extends up to 6″
- Max thrust – 24v 80 lbs, 52″ shaft length
Minn Kota Traxxis (Freshwater – transom)
This little 12v motor is built for comfort and handles like a dream. A terrific freshwater transom-mount comes in 55lb or 70lb that has your all-day comfort in mind. An easy one-hand stow means that all you have to do, no matter what you run across, is pull it toward you and it will keep running in one of 10 different positions. No levers, buttons or switches, just keep on going. And don’t worry, the ergonomic tiller tilts to a 45º angle as well as extending an extra 6 inches so your wrist won’t feel it at the end of the day. Conveniently, a digital battery indicator is in plain sight on the head so you can see how the digital maximizer is saving your power, giving you up to 5x longer run time. Another handy feature is the quick cam depth adjuster which allows you to change your trim depths quickly and once you’ve found the right depth, lock it in securely. While it’s in this position, you can either choose to lock in your steering or keep it loose with the built-in steering tension control. (This is great if you’ve had to tilt it right up in some shallows giving you great vertical control.) Although the shaft is durable and the props are designed to chew through heavy weed without a problem, sometimes you will have to lift over rocks or logs. Durable, dependable with a lifetime warranty on the shaft, you can easily pick up one of these models from between $300 – $1,200 on Amazon depending on size. Specs
|36″||12v (45lbs), 12v (55lbs)|
|42″||12v (55lbs), 24v (70lbs), 24v (80lbs)|
- Hand-steer with tilt/extend tiller
- Variable speeds
- Digital maximizer
- Battery meter
- Depth adjuster
- Warranty – 2 years
- Suits boats up to 25′
Minn Kota Edge
Available in 3 models and 4 shaft lengths there is an Edge for every boat. Either the 12v or 24v is a sturdy, durable little bow-mounted freshwater trolling motor driven by a larger power prop to get you through anything. Take your choice of 5 speeds driven by a very responsive heel-toe foot pedal allowing you maximum maneuverability to get right in where the fish love to hide alongside speed control and a directional indicator right on the head of the motor so you always know where you’re going.
Strong, it’s extruded anodized aluminum with a door and latches bracket for ease of removal at the end of the day and an unshakable hold while she’s stowed.
Like all Minn Kota’s she runs cool and quiet but we’ll be honest, this one has had its issues so for around the same money, do your homework to make sure this is the model you really want. You can pick them up on Amazon for under $800.
Newport Vessels X Series
This versatile little beauty is designed for all small vessels from kayaks to tinnys and tenders. Designed for both salt and freshwater, the 55lb thrust transom mounted motor gets you there quickly, quietly and calmly in one of 8 speeds.
Yes, you heard right, 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds powered by 10-inch props getting you everywhere you want to go while efficiently handling currents, tides and changing weather conditions.
To guarantee all-day comfort, it’s also got a very convenient adjustable motor head allowing up to +/- 30º degree tilt, and the 6-inch aluminum telescoping tiller handle ensures it’s a comfortable fit for everybody.
The head also showcases a 10-point LED battery meter allowing you to see how much run time is left at a glance.
Durable and made of high-quality materials, the stainless-steel anti-corrosion hardware is long lasting extending the lifespan of the motor which is just as well because the 36-inch shaft is adjustable making it highly versatile and transferable between boats and able to fit just about every boat.
You’ll find these on Amazon for $220.
Newport Vessels NV series
The next step up, the NV Series comes in 36lb, 46lb, 55lb, 62lb, and a whopping 86lb thrust so this durable saltwater motor will power everything from a small, light kayak through to a big bass boat.
Inflatables, Jon boats or any other style of boat, it easily installs on anything with a transom making it highly transferable. Made of high-strength durable composite fiberglass, the 30-inch shaft has a high saltwater resistance extending the life of the motor in the harsher saline environment.
Running and operating smoothly, it’s ultra-quiet and efficient running cool not only prevents overheating but extends life span. Highly maneuverable in all 8 speeds, 5 forward and 3 reverse, it will handle any conditions you may find yourself in which is great when the tides change, the wind picks up or the current gets stronger.
One very handy feature is that the shaft is adjustable making it highly adaptive to all water depths and conditions during your day out. This helps efficiency by not taxing the motor and cutting down on your run time.
There’s also an LED battery meter illuminated clearly visible allowing you to check how much time you have left with a mere glance.
Highly durable componentry along with its zinc, stainless steel and magnesium construction means that not only will you have this motor for years to come but it’s going to last in the harsher salt water environment. Plus, you can use it in freshwater anytime you like.
For everything that you get, these are very well priced and depending on the model size you can pick one up on Amazon for $200 making it great value for money.
Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 45/55/86lb – transom mount
Another good transom-mount trolling motor built for smaller vessels that will handle both fresh and harsher saltwater environments.
Corrosion-resistant fiberglass composite shaft is not only strong; it ensures a high tensile strength giving extra durability and longer life.
Driven by 3 specially designed propeller blades that handle weed and underwater vegetation easily, it’s quiet getting you right into the best spots for pitching and piling those stumps where the big fish like to hide.
There’s 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds running smoothly and efficiently. They’re shown by the battery meter illuminated on the motor’s tough aluminum head.
The bonus of an adjustable shaft adapts to all water depths, so you get the best run time possible by not taxing the motor. Handling is easy and comfortable, controlled by a telescoping 6-inch tiller handle. With the flick of a lever, you can conveniently tilt the motor if you don’t feel like adjusting the shaft height.
This is a cheap trolling motor, you can pick one up on Amazon from between $150 to $ 250.
Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor – bow mount fresh and saltwater
A 12v, 55lb thrust or 24v, 80lb thrust bow-mounted motor that is versatile and both fresh and saltwater compatible. With the option of wireless hand remote or wireless foot control you get more rod-in-hand time while the boat maneuvers smoothly with an impressive 360º control power steering controlling all 10 speeds.
Running like a whisper, the 3-blade prop is very quiet reducing the chances of spooking the fishl. It gets you up close into the best spots.
There’s a quick reference 5 level battery status indicator so you can see run time at a glance. Although it’s pretty good on battery usage with low speeds getting 5x longer run time, mid speeds at 2.5x longer and high speed the maximum draw.
The adjustable 48-inch durable extruded aluminum shaft easily attaches to all inflatable boats, kayaks, dinghies and aluminum boats. The entire motor has great sealing, waterproofing and anti-corrosion suiting all watercraft in both salt and freshwater environments.
- Noisy at high speeds, not a favorite
You can pick one up on Amazon for around $660 in either black or white to suit your boat.
Cloud Mountain – Transom mount
You have a fantastic size range with these trolling motors coming in 36/40/46/50/55/60 and 80lb thrust to choose from.
The strong 28-inch fiberglass composite shaft is adjustable and easily altered for correct depth in either fresh or saltwater favorite fishing spots.
Corrosion-resistant with high tensile strength – the bonus that gives this motor versatility.
Smooth driving, the 6-inch telescoping tiller handle provides maximum comfort all day.
The 10-point LED battery display shows you exactly how much battery power you have left and how each of the 8 speeds, 5 forward and 3 reverse, affects your remaining battery life and run time at a glance.
It’s easily installed on just about any boat with the reinforced nylon bracket providing good ablation resistance, dimension stability and durability. Its stainless-steel hardware helps the motor run smoothly and should give reasonable service in saltwater for years to come.
A good, cheap choice for just about any small boat. You’ll be able to pick one up on Amazon under $200.
Outsunny 12v Transom Mount
A top little 12v transom mount trolling motor for smaller watercraft.
It does everything you need it to do with 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds locked into one of 9 positions with the lever lock bracket allowing it to be mounted in 10 different positions. The durable composite shaft is easily steered by the 6-inch telescoping handle.
You can pick one up on Amazon for around $400.
Motorguide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor
‘Stealthy quiet and ultra-responsive’ is how Motorguide made it and that’s exactly what you get.
Loaded with more features than you can poke a stick at, it’s tech-savvy and exactly what anglers dream about.
The amazing composite shaft will handle anything, bend but not break and they’re so confident they’ve given it a lifetime warranty to prove it.
The Motorguide Xi5 is driven by a smooth, quiet steering transmission with ball bearings to reduce friction for smoother operation and less wear.
The electronics are all fully protected, waterproof and dustproof encased in a high-tech coating. It’s instantly ultra-responsive with 50% more efficiency extending run time and reducing battery usage.
The two-blade prop is designed to cut through weed without draining the power.
Smooth heel/toe foot pedal operation can be used anywhere on the boat boasting that it’s extremely quiet, precise and 50% faster than the competition. The benefit, response time is almost instantaneous.
Technically sophisticated, with GPS anchor, jog, heading lock, route record, and cruise control, so it basically drives itself and remembers all of your favorite spots.
Like all motors, you get what you pay for and this fantastic motor comes with all the bells and whistles. Price-wise it’s comparable to top of the line models. Available on Amazon with free shipping.
There’s a freshwater