Here’s a quick article to help you understand the difference between foot controls and hands controls and some FAQ’s answered. There are actually 3 types of controls for trolling motors. Foot control. Hand control. And for the techie lovers, a wireless remote control. Nifty right. So, which one is right for your boat and fishing style?


Here we’ll discuss the pros and cons of foot control vs hand control.


Remote control comes with certain trolling motor models which you can read about here to find the freshwater or saltwater model you love that comes with it.


But for now, to make the decision easier for you, here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before you purchase your motor to help you choose.


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

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

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

Which boats is a foot control best suited for?

“Pick me for bass rigs with casting decks

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 manoeuvrability 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.

Why 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 boats direction easily for optimum manoeuvrability and keep your hands free for casting, pitching and piling.
  2. Flexibility of being able to stand allows better visibility of underwater obstructions like weed beds, shallow areas, rocks and logs so you reduce the likelihood of damage to your boats hull.
  3. Use foot control anywhere in the boat depending on where you like 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, especially if you accidentally get caught, trip and give them a good tug.
  3. Take into account that some models have a slower response time.

Which boats are best suited for a hand control?

“Pick me for a jon, kayak or canoe


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.

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 which will definitely scare the fish.
  3. The benefit of choice. Either a transom mounted or engine mounted motor which you can drive from a comfy seat.

Disadvantages of a hand control

  1. Limitations in what you can do in your boat because it can only be driven from the back of the boat where your motor is.
  2. Your hands can’t be on your rod. You can’t fish and drive, cutting down on your fishing time and also means you definitely 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.