If you’re not sure whether you’re after a foot control or hand control trolling motor, make the decision easier by asking yourself these questions before you buy a motor.

Q. What type of fishing do you like and spend the most time doing?

A. Trolling along the shoreline? A hand control will better be suited for that purpose.

B. Puttering around the estuaries? You’ll need excellent manoeuvrability around mangroves and obstacles. You need a foot control. The same goes for dams with loads of submerged obstacles like logs and large rocks.

Q. Which boat is best suited to a foot control?

These are perfect and preferred for bass rigs. Why? You can fish from anywhere on your boat with full control. Easy to use touch-of-the-toe maneuverability gets you into the best spots, and with your hands free it keeps your rod in your hand the whole time you are out there.

Pick a foot control for bass rigs with casting decks

Q. Why should I work with a foot control?

If you love fishing in those magic areas full of dead trees, stumps and hidden underwater spots where the big bass hide or getting in and around mangroves chasing huge barra, then a foot control frees up your hands so you can repeatedly pitch, flip and pile. A bow-mounted trolling motor will get you right in there, and the foot control keeps your hands free for what they do best. Fishing.

Advantages of a foot control

  1. With heel or toe pressure, they’re easy to use. Change the boat’s direction easily for optimum maneuverability and keep your hands free for casting, pitching and piling.
  2. Having the flexibility of being able to stand, give you better visibility of underwater obstructions like weed beds, shallow areas, rocks and logs. Greater visibility reduces the likelihood of damage to your boat’s hull.
  3. Use foot control anywhere in the boat, depending on where you prefer to stand.

Disadvantages of a foot control

  1. More clutter on deck with the pedal and cables running from the motor.
  2. More parts to malfunction or break.
  3. You need to be careful not to accidentally get caught up and trip, giving the cables a good tug.
  4. Take into account that some models have a slower response time.

Q. Which boats are best suited for a hand control?

Hand controls are perfect for small boats like a Jon boat, tinny or even a kayak or canoe, especially if engine mounted to save on boat space. Yes, they’re easy to install on kayaks as well where it would be impossible to use a foot control.

Choose a hand control for a jon, kayak or canoe

Advantages of a hand control

  1. An instantaneous real-time response.
  2. A clear deck, no pedals and cable laying around to get tangled up in or trip over which may send you into the drink that will definitely scare the fish.
  3. The benefit of choice. Either a transom-mounted or engine mounted motor which you can drive from a comfortable seat.

Disadvantages of a hand control

  1. You’re limited in what you can do in your boat because it can only be driven from the back of the boat where the motor is.
  2. Your hands can’t be on your rod. You can’t fish and drive, cutting down on your fishing time. It also means you can’t fish while trolling.
  3. Hard to maintain course or keep your position when you’re fishing, especially if you like to fish standing.

There are in fact 3 types of controls for trolling motors. Foot control, hand control, and for the techie lovers, a wireless remote control. Remote control is available only with particular trolling motor models. So, which one is right for your boat and fishing style?


If you’re ready to find your trolling motor go straight to our trolling motor reviews to find a freshwater or saltwater model that suits you.