5 Best Trolling Motor Brands in 2023

Best Trolling Motor Brands

Whether you’re new to trolling motors or have experience with them, it pays to do your research before purchasing a model that won’t suit your needs. You are thinking about which brand of trolling motors is the best choice? This guide offers tips and recommendations on choosing the best trolling motor brands and reviews some of the most popular models.

A Comprehensive best trolling motor brands Buying Guide

Unfortunately, you can’t just buy the first trolling motor you see. You have to research before buying one because they are designed for different purposes and vessel types. Before investing in a new motor, keep these things in mind.

Where Are You Operating?


It is often the case that freshwater trolling motors are cheaper than their saltwater counterparts. The reason for this is that freshwater isn’t particularly damaging to components. On the other hand, freshwater motors often have propellers that can cut through weeds, whereas saltwater models lack this feature. It is not recommended to use a freshwater motor in the ocean.


Saltwater motors are designed to resist salt water’s harmful effects. Rust and corrosion can build up around your motor shaft due to seawater’s high salt content. Saltwater motors are generally more potent since they contend with the ocean rather than calmer waters. If necessary, saltwater trolling motors can also be used in freshwater.

Where Are You Mounting The Motor?

Having figured out where you will use your boat, you now need to determine where you will put a motor. Depending on their mounting location, some motors perform better in one place than another. Listed below are the different mounting areas.


For landlubbers, the bow is a popular mounting location. Typically, these motors are attached with bolt-on brackets, and propellers pull your boat through the water. There is a belief that motors mounted on the bow offer increased control.


Your boat’s transom is the back section. Most transom-mounted trolling motors feature hand-operated tillers and clamp-on brackets. The location offers convenient and straightforward positions and steering.


Unlike an outboard or inboard motor, these motors don’t mount onto engines but onto a cavitation plate. Having the motor located here means your deck will be clear, and you won’t have to stow it away or deploy it.

What Size Trolling Motor Do You Need?

You are finding out what size motor you need is one of the most confusing parts of buying a new motor. The amount of thrust your vessel needs, the number of volts required, and the shaft length necessary to provide adequate propulsion through the water. These should all be considered when searching for what you need to know.


In motors, “thrust” refers to the power they have. We measure thrust in pounds in the US. Heavier boats will require more thrust to move through the water. The general rule is that for every 100 pounds of overall weight, you need at least 2 pounds of thrust. In addition to the boat’s weight, that figure should include your gear and passengers’ weight. Although more thrust can help you in tricky conditions with strong winds and currents, it can also cause substantial disturbances in the water, which can scare fish away.


Next, we have voltage. Voltage is always measured in volts, which is not surprising. A motor’s voltage indicates how much power it will require. A 12-volt motor requires a 12-volt battery. To power a 24-volt motor, two 12-volt batteries will be essential. For every 12 volts that a motor needs, you will need one battery.

Generally, motors with less than 55 lbs of thrust require a single 12-volt battery. It will be necessary to use two 12-volt batteries when the weight is between 60 and 80 pounds. It is usually necessary to use three 12-volt batteries for a thrust more significant than 100 lbs. To get the most accurate results, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Comparison Table:

Minn Kota Fortrex 80/112

Minn Kota Fortrex 80/112

You’ll find more than a few Minn Kota trolling motors on our list of favourite products. Despite the most challenging conditions, Fortrex gets the job done daily. While it’s not packed with the features of the Terrova, it’s also not plagued by any technical difficulties. There are two thrust options for the Fortrex: 80 pounds and 112 pounds, with 24 and 36-volt systems, respectively. In Minn Kota, we’re all pretty similar.

The 80 delivers plenty of thrust for an appropriately sized boat and load, and it does so more gradually than the hefty 112. While the larger of the two is a better choice if you are fishing in heavy wind, be aware that it delivers a powerful punch. Be careful when engaging this motor!


  • There is plenty of power in either option
  • An awesome mounting system
  • A precise pedal
  • Battery life is awesome
  • Simplicity that is bomb-proof


  • Small boats shouldn’t use it.

Minn Kota Terrova 80/112

Minn Kota Terrova 80/112

Minn Kota’s Terrova is designed for larger boats and foul weather. High-tech bells and whistles set it apart from its rival. While some of these are simply amazing, others often fail over time. It’s up to you whether that’s something you’re interested in. As far as power plants are concerned, the Terrova’s and Fortrex’s are functionally identical. Thus, you can expect great power and even jarring thrust. As long as you’re reasonable with the throttle, Minn Kota’s Digital Maximizer works its magic here, too.

In addition, the Terrova and the Fortrex both feature an excellent weedless prop and a fantastic mounting system that simplifies lifting and lowering the motor. However, that’s where the similarities end. Four composite shaft lengths are available on the Terrova, accommodating a wide range of boats: 45, 54, 60, and 72 inches.


  • Both options provide plenty of power
  • An awesome mounting system
  • The battery life is amazing
  • Remote control with innovative features
  • Features that are high-tech and awesome


  • Electronics have some durability issues
  • For suitable Boats, this is not a viable choice

MotorGuide X3 45

MotorGuide X3 45

Not every angler runs a large boat, and many find the top-end Minn Kotas too expensive. MotorGuide’s X3 45 is a suitable option if your loaded weight is about 2000 pounds, and it’s priced right too! While MotorGuide doesn’t enjoy the reputation of Minn Kota, it has been a friend to fishermen for years, and you’ll find it on more than a few bass boats. Performance is the key to its success.

Its quiet motor produces 45 pounds of thrust, which is plenty of power for aluminium boats like the Crestliner Bass Hawks. The excellent prop is attached to a stainless steel shaft via a composite material so you won’t experience corrosion problems. Long-term users report no problems with this model, which we appreciate since trolling motor problems when fishing can be very frustrating.


  • Powerful enough for boats weighing less than 2500 pounds when loaded
  • It is easy to install
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Simple to use
  • An affordable price
  • Ensures reliability


  • Suitable for boats weighing less than 2500 pounds

Minn Kota Endura Max

Minn Kota Endura Max

As Minn Kota knows, many anglers run a trolling motor as their only engine on a small boat, and the Endura Max is their response to their needs. Several shaft lengths and thrust ratings are available, all backed by the Minn Kota name, making this a popular choice for Jon Boats and canoes. With a 36 or 42-inch shaft, the Endura Max is available in models with 40, 45, 50, and 55 pounds of thrust.

The transom mounting system is straightforward and highly secure so that it can be fitted to various boats. A telescoping tiller makes it easy to keep your hand on the throttle, whatever your seating position and deck layout. Furthermore, it has an accurate variable speed throttle that prevents battery drain caused by leaving the throttle on low by accident.


  • Powerful and versatile for small boats
  • It is easy to install
  • The battery life is amazing
  • A great throttle
  • Reliable


  • Some deck layouts may have a short power cable.

MotorGuide R3 40/36″

MotorGuide R3 40/36"

MotorGuide gives Minn Kota a run for its money in the area of transom-mounted motors. The excellent R3 is a great choice for small boats, but be aware that it only comes with a 36-inch shaft. You’ll want to look closer at the Minn Kota Endura Max if that’s not a proper fit for your boat. Its 40 pounds of thrust is more than enough for boats weighing less than 2,000 pounds. You’ll often see these motors used as an outboard replacement on lighter Jon Boats.

The R3 mounts with the usual transom clamp, and it is rock solid and quite tight. A telescoping tiller controls the motor, offering five forward and two reverse speeds. You can expect awesome battery life if you keep the throttle in appropriate settings.


  • Small boats have plenty of power
  • It is easy to install
  • The battery life is amazing
  • It is easy to use
  • Reliable


  • There is only one shaft length.


How powerful is the most powerful trolling motor?

Minn Kota Fortrex 80/112 trolling motors are the most powerful and reliable.

Can you tell me how many pounds of thrust I need for my trolling motor?

A general rule of thumb is that you need at least 2 pounds. Every 100 lbs produce 100 lbs of thrust—the weight of a fully loaded boat (including people and gear). When the wind or current is a significant factor where you fish, you’ll need a little extra thrust.

Can you tell me what size trolling motor I need?

A trolling motor with a thrust of 55 to 70 pounds is needed for boats 12 to 16 feet long. Trolling motors with a thrust of 70 to 100 pounds are required for boats 16 to 21 feet long.


 There is a list of the few best trolling motor brands. With the possible exception of Minn Kota’s engine-mounted EM series, there are no winners or losers here. That caveat aside, we can recommend any other motors we reviewed. Make your choice based on your needs, and don’t worry about quality, durability, or performance. We know you’ll be happy with whatever you choose! Let us know if this guide helped you make your decision. Comment below if you have any.

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