Updated on October 6, 2020

Anglers looking to take their kayak fishing to the next level will definitely be in need of one of the best kayak trolling motors. We’ve taken the complexity out of searching and narrowed this list down to our Top 5. 

Motors can be a tricky gear item to understand but they don’t have to be! Most of the specs listed are simplified into an either/or, making your decision quick and easy depending on the type of motor you need. Be sure to check out the Things To Consider section at the end of the article for more information on specific specs to keep an eye as well as what to expect before adding a trolling motor to your kayak.

For more of our top kayak fishing gear recommendations, check out the Best Fishing Kayaks.


Quick Answer - The Best Kayak Trolling Motors

  1. Minn Kota Endura
  2. Newport Vessels NV-Series Saltwater
  3. Minn Kota Fortrex 80
  4. Minn Kota Powerdrive
  5. U-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater


Comparison Table - Best Kayak Trolling Motors

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Minn Kota EnduraFreshwater30 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 lbs.$$4.75Read Review
Newport Vessels NV-Series SaltwaterSaltwater36 / 46 / 55 / 62 / 86 lbs.$4.6Read Review
Minn Kota Fortrex 80Saltwater80 lbs.$$$4.55Read Review
Minn Kota PowerdriveSaltwater45 / 55 / 70 lbs.$$$4.5Read Review
U-BCOO 8 Speed SaltwaterSaltwater46 / 55 / 60 / 86 lbs. $4.1Read Review
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks

Minn Kota Endura

  • Type: Freshwater
  • Mount: Transom Mount
  • Voltage: 12v
  • Thrust: 30 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 lbs.
  • Shaft Length: 30” / 36” / 42”
  • 3 Options For Shaft Length
  • 5 Different Thrust Options Available
  • Backed By A 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty


Boasting an impressive 1,600 reviews and ratings on Amazon, the Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor is a highly valued favorite among kayak fishing enthusiasts. As the most trusted name in trolling motors, Minn Kota has been producing nothing less than the best since 1934. 

The Endura sports an indestructible composite shaft that is not only durable but also lightweight. It also features the ability to customize the tiller (the steering handle) to your needs – the telescoping tiller can be pushed further back to stay out of the way or pulled closer to you. 

Minn Kota also backs all of their products with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, giving you peace of mind when on the open water.

Newport Vessels NV-Series Saltwater

  • Type: Saltwater
  • Mount: Transom Mount
  • Voltage: 12v
  • Thrust: 36 / 46 / 55 / 62 / 86 lbs.
  • Shaft Length: 24” / 30” / 36”
  • 3 Options For Shaft Length
  • 5 Different Thrust Options Available
  • LED Battery Indicator Won’t Leave You Guessing On How Much Charge You Have


If you’ve got a heavy hoss of a sea kayaking rig that’s ready to take on bigger fish in bigger open water, then the NV-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor by Newport Vessels will be your best bet! 

Sporting a heavy duty coating that protects against highly corrosive saltwater, the NV-Series will last you a long time before needing any maintenance. The NV-Series also sports a variety of options with models offering anywhere between 36 lbs. of thrust, for more relaxed fishing, all the way up to 86 lbs. of thrust, for intense days with plenty of gear and fish to haul.

Minn Kota Fortrex 80

  • Type: Saltwater
  • Mount: Bow Mount
  • Voltage: 24v
  • Thrust: 80 lbs.
  • Shaft Length: 45”
  • Mounting Is Secure Yet Easily Removable
  • Foot Pedal Makes Bow Mount Steering Easy
  • Backed By A 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty


If you’re a versatile angler with more than just one boat, then you should heavily consider investing in the Minn Kota Fortrex 80 Trolling Motor. Not only is it total overkill for most kayaks, but you can dismount the motor and pop it on your larger vessels when you need more gear or have a friend tagging along. 

Considering that 2 lbs. of thrust is needed for every 100 lbs. of weight you’re hauling, including yourself and your catch for the day, the impressive 80 lbs. of thrust that the Fortrex offers will allow you to haul up to 4,000 lbs. of weight!

Minn Kota Powerdrive

  • Type: Saltwater
  • Mount: Bow Mount
  • Voltage: 12v
  • Thrust: 45 / 55 / 70 lbs.
  • Shaft Length: 48”
  • 3 Different Thrust Options Available
  • Backed By A 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Features Bluetooth For Remote Control Steering


Anglers who enjoy spending time fishing in marshes and smaller inlets will find much needed relief with the Powerdrive Trolling Motor by Minn Kota. Its bow mounted design improves maneuverability in tight spaces and gives you better access for control by being right in front of you. 

The added bonus of having a bow mount trolling motor is the inclusion of a foot pedal that gives you the ability to steer without moving from your seat. It also has Bluetooth which can be paired with a remote for even easier use. Just sit back and worry about fishing instead of heading to the front of the kayak to steer.

U-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater

  • Type: Saltwater
  • Mount: Transom Mount
  • Voltage: 12v
  • Thrust: 46 / 55 / 60 / 86 lbs.
  • Shaft Length: 28 ½”
  • 4 Different Thrust Options Available
  • Telescoping Tiller Allows You To Customize Your Steering
  • Stainless Steel Construction Resists Corrosion From Saltwater


Versatility and variety are the spices of life, and when infused into your next kayak trolling motor, they make for a serious upgrade to your fishing life. Enter the U-BCOO 8-Speed Saltwater Trolling Motor!

This trolling motor boasts an impressive 8-speeds (5 forward and 3 reverse) to give you options when scouting your next fishing spot. It’s also highly resistant to corrosion, meaning that this bad boy will operate well in both freshwater and saltwater alike. 

The best part is the reasonable price point, making this an excellent option for entry-level anglers looking to up their fishing game.





Trolling motors are sold as either being a Saltwater or Freshwater trolling motor. The difference is a small part called the “anode” which is covered with protective materials. Saltwater trolling motors are better protected since saltwater is more aggressive at rusting. Also, a saltwater motor can be used in freshwater but it is not advised to use a freshwater motor in the sea. 



It’s important to know how heavy your fishing kayak will be when fully loaded (including you and your potential haul for the day). As a general rule of thumb, you need 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of weight you’re hauling. 

It’s best to cover the max weight of your kayak. So, if you have a smaller boat with a max weight of 275 lbs., then you’ll want a trolling motor with at least 5 lbs. of thrust. If you have a larger kayak meant for the ocean with a 600 lb. maximum weight, then you’ll want a motor with 12 lbs. of thrust.



Where you mount your trolling motor is a matter of preference and there are two different types: Bow Mount and Transom Mount.

Bow mount trolling motors are mounted to the bow (the front) of your kayak. The advantage is more maneuverability in tighter spaces such as a marsh. Transom mount trolling motors are mounted to the stern (the back) of your kayak.



This is a crucially important feature to know before buying your trolling motor. If you end up with too short of a shaft, your motor may not be fully submerged, causing you to operate inefficiently and loudly (which will scare away fish). 

The top of the motor needs to be submerged at least 12” below the surface of the water for best results. However, it’s also important to know the distance (or height) from the bow (front of the kayak) or stern (back of the kayak) to the waterline. You can use the following chart to help you determine the correct shaft length. 


shaft length chart



Since an electric trolling motor relies on a battery for its charge, you’re going to need to match your battery and the voltage of the trolling motor you buy. Trolling motors are sold in either 12-volts, 24-volts, or 36-volts. As long as you match the voltage of the battery to the trolling motor, you’ll be set.



Make sure you check the laws in your state regarding motorized vehicles and watercrafts. In most states, if you add a motor to kayak it will need to be registered with either the DMV or another government agency and you may be subject to tax as well. Your state may also require that you hold a license for the motorized kayak as well. 




The front of a kayak.


The rear of a kayak.


The handle on a trolling motor that controls steering.


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