Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks – [In-Depth Reviews 2022]

If you’re an angling enthusiast or just an individual who enjoys and loves to fish, then you should probably read this article.

Fishing is considered one of the most challenging hobbies and most enjoyable outdoor activities out there which is why it is important to have the best combination of proper fishing accessories including rods, spinning reels, and kayaks or boats – and speaking of kayak, more and more people agrees that trolling is the best form of fishing and so, choosing the best kayak trolling motor is necessary.

Trolling motors can provide great comfort and ease to those individuals who love to fish on the river or lake but have problems or injuries that are preventing them from paddling – so what are the best motors for kayak trolling?

In this article, I will share some of the best and high-quality trolling motors in the market that could definitely let you enjoy morning or evening kayak fishing.

Best Pick #1: Saturn Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor

If you’re looking for the best short-shaft trolling motor for small boats and kayaks, then the Saturn 55 lbs. The short-shaft electric trolling motor is your ideal choice. As the first one on the list, the spectacular feature of this trolling motor stands out from their non-electric counterpart, all thanks to its silent movement that is essential for not scaring any fish away, a cleaner energy source that is safe from the environment, and a budget-friendly price.

It provides a high power 55 lbs. the thrust that runs on 12 V DC battery and can draw for a maximum of 50 Amp current. It also provides an excellent speed setting from 3 reverse speed and 5 forward speed that could give you more control in the water and it can be easily installed and removed from the boat or kayak as well. One of the unique features of this motor that all user’s loved is its 26-inch short-shaft that can transform your kayak or boats without any issues.

The short-shaft offers extreme durability and flexibility compared to any other aluminum or metal shaft and the structure of the motor is compact which is necessary for better storage and portability as well. Choosing the Saturn 55 lbs. The short-shaft electric trolling motor could definitely give you a better and pleasurable fishing experience.

What we like:

  • The motor weight and structure is great for portability and storage
  • Provides great water speed control of 3 levels for reverse and 5 levels for forward and no fish-spooking noise
  • Powerful thrust of 55 lbs. 12V, and 50 Amp maximum draw
  • Offers depth adjustability with its adjustable depth collar
  • Offers folding up or down of the angle and easily extendable with its adjustable angle throttle handle
  • A Special composite shaft that is stronger and more flexible compared to other shafts

What we don’t like:

  • May not be great for Jon boat usage
  • May not be a wise choice for casual fishers

MinnKota Riptide Trolling Motor

The MinnKota Riptide EM 160 Engine Mounted Trolling Motor is specially designed for saltwater fishing use. This engine-mounted trolling motor for kayak and small boats can be easily mounted and removed on your outboard or I/O unit while ensuring your deck clutter-free at the same time. This trolling motor from MinnKota is great for navigating both saltwater and freshwater with ease.

With its highly necessary features and performance such as a low-friction bearing system that can eliminate the noise that could spook away the fish, 18 foot corded remote, and a max thrust of 160 pounds, you can surely level up your fishing and troll game.  In addition, the MinnKota Riptide EM 160 Engine Mounted Trolling Motor is designed with corrosion-resistant, aluminum arms, and a premium-grade marine alloys that contribute to its extreme durability, excellent quality, and longevity of use as well.

What we like:

  • Special engine-mounted motor for both freshwater and saltwater fishing which comes with 18-foot corded remote
  • Easily mounted and remove from the outboard while keeping your desk clutter-free
  • Made from a low-friction bearing system that eliminates the any noise
  • Offers variety of speed choice from reverse and forward speed
  • Powerful thrust of 160 lbs. and 24V
  • Comes with 2-year warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive
  • May not be a wise choice for casual fishers

Minn Kota Endura C2 50 Transom-mount

Another powerful and innovative trolling motor for boats and kayak from MinnKota is the Minn Kota Endura C2 50 Transom-mount 12V 50 pound Trolling Motor. This one is built to last and built to explore as it can be used on freshwater fishing with a powerful thrust of 50. It also offers an excellent battery life for longer use and easy operation.

Notable features such as the level lock bracket that cuts the weaker usual brackets, more comfortable handling with its 6-inches telescoping handle and a twist tiller for better control and steering, improved control on the water, no fish-spooking noises, and powerful indestructible composite materials – what more would you want for?

What we like:

  • Special engine-mounted motor for freshwater fishing with a lever lock bracket for powerful and rock solid mount
  • Easy management and control with its telescoping handle
  • Made from a cool and quite system that eliminates any noise and enhance battery life
  • Indestructible and composite shafts and highly durable material
  • Offers variety of speed choice from reverse and forward speed
  • Powerful thrust of 50 lbs. and 24V

What we don’t like:

  • Can be pricey
  • May not be a wise choice for casual fishers
  • Might not be great saltwater fishing

Haswing Cayman

If you’re looking for the ideal kayak motor for your trolling, then the Haswing Cayman Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor with cable steering is probably your best choice as it comes with a powerful 80 pounds thrust which is a big plus compared to any other trolling motors. It also cuts the usage of dangerous and tangle-prone cords thanks to its waterproof remote control that lets you adjust or change the speed in just a click of a button for better control on the water.

The Hashing Cayman Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor Black 48’ Shaft with cable steering is great for those individuals or fishers who don’t want to paddle, thanks to its food pedal control system. It is also ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing as it is made with highly durable materials and no fish-spooking noise. With its battery level indicator, it will be so much easier for you to monitor how much time you have left – this one can surely give you an effective and enjoyable fishing.

What we like:

  • Special motor for both freshwater and saltwater fishing with waterproof remote control for convenience
  • Made from a cool and quite system that eliminates any noise and enhance battery life with indicator
  • Anti-corrosion materials with durable steel and fiberglass shafts and easy to adjust depth
  • Offers variety of speed choice from reverse and forward speed
  • Foot pedal control system that eliminates hand paddling with 2 blade propeller
  • Powerful thrust of 80 lbs. and 24V with a 1-year warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Can be pricey
  • May not be a wise choice for casual fishers

Intex Trolling Motor

Last but not the least is the Intex Trolling Motor for Intex Inflatable Boats with 36-inch Shaft. This one is an advanced choice than other ordinary motors that are available in the market. It is specially designed for inflatable boats that have a built-in motor mount fittings. The Intex trolling motor eliminate that annoying noisy motor that could make the fishing trip less enjoyable thanks to its amazing and innovative digital maximize control module that uses water in order to prevent the engine system from overheating.

This power motor comes with a great portability that can be carried around with your friends on your trips to freshwater or saltwater fishing. It also offers great adjustability in the handle that can be tilt upwards and downwards that can let you control the boat speed in forward and reverse. With an excellent and powerful trust of 40 pounds, 12V, and maximum 60amp draw for better and longer battery life.

What we like:

  • Special motor for both freshwater and saltwater fishing with control panel
  • Made from a cool and quite system that eliminates any noise specially made for index or inflatable boats with built-in motor fittings
  • Adjustable handle for great comfortability
  • Offers variety of speed choice from reverse and forward speed
  • Automatic wee escape control that has a battery meter or indicator

What we don’t like:

  • Might not be great for non-inflatable boats and those without built-in motor fittings
  • May not be a wise choice for casual fishers

​Watersnake T18 ASP

You cannot really go wrong with Watersnake’s motor. It is specifically designed for saltwater applications and features an electric design. It is easy to move around and portable – less than five pounds in weight.

The secret stays in its simplicity – no random bells and whistles that only add to the price and weight. Furthermore, the unit is compatible with canoes, inflatable boats, kayaks, and dinghies.

The battery is not included and must be purchased separately. It is available in two styles – 18 pound thrust or 24 pound thrust.

The kayak bracket mount is included in the package, though. There are plenty of adjustments for a unique overall experience – no matter what you need, this unit will deliver.


  • Good looking design
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Super simple to use
  • Comes with a kayak mount


  • Battery must be purchased separately

All in all, this motor impresses with its simplicity and direct approach – it is easy to use and makes a great addition to any boat.

BKC Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TM315

This motor is a must-have for your fishing trips and other similar experiences. It is super easy to setup – no experience required, but also to remove. It connects to almost every kayak hull out there.

The unit has an ambidextrous design, so it makes no difference what your dominant hand is. Its role is to provide convenience – basically, it turns a paddle boat into a trolling vessel.

The unit is made to last. It has a metallic construction that can resist corrosion and rust. Plastics will also stand the test of time.

The construction is pretty sturdy and solid, yet the motor feels lightweight – after all, it weighs less than four pounds.


  • Super lightweight construction
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant materials
  • No experience required


  • Unstable and sharp edges

Bottom line, whether this is the first motor you get, or you are a seasoned user, you will be pleasantly surprised by its convenience and ease of use.

Newport Vessels NV-Series

Simply designed and available in more sizes and options, this motor is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. The 55 pound thrust is the most popular choice.

Designed to last, you can use it all day long without facing any overheating problems or making too much noise to chase fish away. It has a 30 inch shaft, a five led battery meter, and a six inch telescoping tiller.

The propeller features three blades. Everything can be adjusted, including the height, direction, and mount angle. Other than that, the motor comes with eight speeds – three of them in reverse.

The top speed is about 4MPH, yet it depends on more factors, such as the boat or weather conditions. It is worth noting that the battery is not included in the package.


  • Available in more options
  • Eight different speeds
  • Lots of adjustability
  • Easy to install


  • Battery not included

Bottom line, this motor is likely to impress with its power and reliability. It is widely adjustable for a perfect installation too.

AQUOS Haswing

Excellent for both freshwater and saltwater, this motor is available in white and makes a good addition to any bike out there. It is quieter than other similar motors and features variable speeds.

You can dial in the required speed and benefit from smooth adjustments – basically, the control is flawless. The variable speed also adds to less power consumption.

The unit comes with remote control – small and compact. Control it without even being in the boat – up to 164 feet. You also have a cruise control feature to ensure a constant speed.

Corrosion resistance is amazing. In terms of sizing, you have two different options – 54-inch aluminum alloy shaft or a smaller alternative of 44.3 inches.


  • Lots of bells and whistles
  • Cruise control
  • Durable design
  • Can be remotely controlled


  • Remote feels a bit difficult to use at times, as you may need to send a command more times

Generally speaking, this is one of the ultimate choices on the market in terms of features, bells, and whistles.

MotorGuide 940200050 X3

No matter what weather conditions you navigate into, the exclusive VRS system will ensure you can position the boat accurately at any given time – probably what makes this motor unique.

Then, you have a foot-controlled unit with a design for heel and toe, as well as an indicator for the direction. It allows doing something else with your hands – such as fishing.

Unlike other motors, this one is super quiet in the water, so it is less likely to chase fish away. It is mostly aimed at freshwater uses, so the saltwater corrosion resistance is not the best.

Finally, in terms of durability, you can count on aircraft grade aluminum and stainless steel – it will last forever if well looked after.


  • Comes with foot control
  • Good positioning system
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to mount


  • Corrosion resistance not good enough for saltwater applications

In the end, this motor comes with a few extras that will add to your fishing experience – especially in terms of convenience.​

Trolling Motors – Are they necessary?

It’s been debated for years whether you actually need a trolling motor on a Kayak which has been designed for paddling. Some insist that it promotes laziness, and takes away the enjoyment of the activity. I personally don’t agree with this and think that a trolling motor can be effective when covering a large area. This is because covering such a large area whilst paddling can be very exhausting.

What are the things to look for in the best trolling motor for small boats and kayaks?

Having the basic knowledge of how to choose the best one is important. Before deciding to buy a fully functional motor trolling, here are some things to consider that can help you in your purchasing decision.

 Boat or Kayak Size

The motor will be based on the size of your kayak or boat. For example, a 16-foot kayak will require 12V with 55-pound power thrust motor while 36V and 100 pound motor for 19-foot. So as an angler, you should be aware of the weight of your boats in order to decide what type of motor trolling you will need.

Type of Water

There are two types of water for fishing namely, freshwater and saltwater. A motor trolling that offers corrosion-resistant capabilities is your best choice if you’re planning to fish on saltwater. These are commonly provided extreme durability for longer use.

Mounting Place

Two types of motor trolling include transform-mount and the bow-mount. Bow mounted motors can be hand operated or wirelessly controlled and typically expensive while the transform mounted motor is typically assembled at the back of the kayak or a boat and it hand operated.

Shaft Length

In order to know how long the shaft to be mounted in your boat will be, you should pay attention to the measurement of your boat or kayaks. But the recommended shaft length is 36 inches, 54 to 62 inches is also an ideal choice. Bare in mind, the length of your shaft is unimportant to those who have an engine mount trolling motor as the motor will be mounted onto the engine instead.

Motor Battery

This will depend on the type of boat you are using. Most commonly trolling motors can come in 12, 24, and 36 volts which is why it will basically require up to 3 batteries. It’s always a good idea to stock up on batteries so that you don’t have to find yourself scrambling to the store to buy some when your motor dies. Kayaking is no fun when you have to worry about your motor dying on you!


The amount of blades on a trolling motors propeller will vary greatly. Some will have more than others, whilst some will have less. The more blades than a motor has, the sturdier it will be as a whole. The blades will help the kayak motor to navigate through grassy or seaweed infested waters. The amount of blades a motor has is often no advertised by sellers, but is something you should keep an eye out for when shopping in-person.

The Best Trolling Motor for Kayaks

Having the best trolling motor for kayaks and small boats is vital for ensuring an effective and enjoyable fishing trip. All the items we’ve listed above have their own interesting features and advantages as well as a setback, so have you decided which one is the best for your next freshwater, saltwater, or deep fishing trip?

If you haven’t decided yet, we can definitely go to the Saturn 55 lbs. Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor, Why?

The Saturn 55 lbs. Short-Shaft Electric Trolling Motor is without any doubts, is the best motor trolling for your small boats and kayak mainly because of its top-notched features such as powerful 55 pound thrust, adjustable handles for your desired angles, adjustable depth collar, speed options (5-speed level for forward and 3 speed level for reverse), battery level, and a very strong and flexible shaft for better control on the water – this one surely is an ultimate choice for you.

To make the kayak fishing more enjoyable and easier, it is important to choose wisely when it comes to motor trolling. Opt for the one that has interesting and essential features and most importantly, the one that can give you a better and effective fishing experience.

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