Best Saltwater Trolling Motor

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Can you use a regular Minn Kota trolling motor in saltwater?
Designed for all kinds of freshwater boats, our motors offer the most intuitive controls, advanced technologies and unparalleled durability in fishing. Using any of our freshwater Minn Kota motors in saltwater may dramatically reduce the life of the motor and voids the manufacturer’s warranty.
Electric stern drive motor with 360 watts of power and 30 lb of thrust suitable for boats up to approximately 180 kg displacement. Minn Kota tiller operated motor has a step shift and has a battery indicator.Corrosion isn’t such a big deal for freshwater anglers, but brackish water and saltwater are very corrosive; that’s why buying a saltwater-specific trolling motor is highly recommended. Even though you purchase a corrosion-resistant trolling motor, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain it after every use.

Theoretically, the more volts you have, the higher the thrust, but you can max out the motor, so it’s best to have a circuit breaker in case of a power surge.
I consider the X Series to be Newport Vessels’ top trolling motor because it’s a little more versatile than the other trolling motors in their lineup. They work great on their inflatable boats!The Cayman GPS is the best trolling motor they make, but I wish they’d combine the features across all of their trolling motors to make a single saltwater trolling motor that can compete with the higher-priced Minn Kota motors.

Newport Vessels manufactures affordable saltwater trolling motors. They keep their prices low by most of their trolling motors being transom mount motors with limited features. Don’t let their low prices fool you, though; they make a quality motor.
While the Garmin Force is the best overall saltwater trolling motor, it’s not for everyone. This trolling motor is for those who make a living fishing in salty or brackish water and NEED a high-quality trolling motor. I wouldn’t recommend spending this much money unless you will use most of the features the Force offers.Ever since Garmin introduced the Force to the market, the only other trolling motor that comes close to having all the same features is the Lowrance Ghost. Except, the Ghost is not approved for saltwater use like the Force.The X Series stands out from the others because of the tilting head unit and ten-point LED battery meter, but it doesn’t have any heart-stopping features; for that, you’ll have to spend A LOT more money.

What is the most powerful trolling motor on the market?
The Best Spot-Lock Trolling Motors of 2023Best in Heavy GrassMinn Kota UltrexSEE ITMost PowerfulLowrance GhostSEE ITBest for LivescopeGarmin ForceSEE IT9 Jun 2023
Not every trolling motor is designed to withstand the corrosive nature of saltwater. That’s why we’ve created this article to ensure you choose the best saltwater trolling motor that’s sure to provide you with hours of fishing bliss.If your trolling motor is loud, you’re going to spook fish. This is even more important when the water is clear, or you’re fishing shallow. The motor noise won’t matter as much when you’re fishing deep. However, I prefer to be safe rather than sorry, so I go with the quietest motor I can afford.

Is there a difference between saltwater and freshwater trolling motors?
The main difference that impacts your motor is the environment you usually fish in: freshwater or salt. Saltwater salinity is harsher on your motor and if it’s not properly looked after and maintained after each trip, will degrade and corrode your motor at a faster rate reducing its life span.
I love the futuristic features like gesture steer that the Force offers. It will make others believe you’re a Jedi steering the boat with your mind! You can find out more about these features in my Garmin Force Review.By now, you’ve figured out the best saltwater trolling motor is the Garmin Force, but you’ve also learned of several viable options that cost must less, like the Newport Vessels X Series or the Haswing Cayman GPS.The Newport Vessels X Series is the best saltwater transom mount trolling motor, so if you don’t need all the extra features that a bow mount trolling motor offers, I highly recommend the X series. If you’re curious about the rest of Newport Vessels trolling motors, you should read our Honest Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Reviews.It’s impossible to charge your trolling motor batteries unless you carry a solar panel battery charger with you to extend your run time. Running out of battery juice is an awful way to cut a good day of fishing short or even a bad day of fishing, for that matter! So buy a trolling motor that conserves as much battery as possible.If you don’t have a place for your battery on your boat, then buy a battery box to keep it secured. The Newport Vessels battery box has several cool features like a USB port to charge your phone and a battery meter so you can see how much battery you have left.Having at least one extra prop is essential. You will run into rocks or other structures and damage or break your prop, so having a spare 3-blade propeller and the tools needed to replace it onboard will save your day of fishing.

Motorguide is another trolling motor brand that has been around for decades. They’re most known for their cable steer trolling motors, but the Xi5 was supposed to improve the Xi3. However, many people were not impressed, especially with the price.
Trolling motors don’t work without a battery. You’ll need a deep cycle battery or a marine battery. The amount of volts your trolling motor is rated for will determine how many you need. Most batteries will be 12-volts.

Shaft length is arguably crucial for every fishing boat, especially for saltwater fishing boats. Having a short shaft means the lower unit will break the surface of the water while you’re bobbing over waves.
The unbreakable composite shaft has a lifetime warranty, but that’s expected from a motor in this price range. Chartplotter integration with Lowrance and Simrad electronics gives you control, which is nice if you own those brands. If you don’t, though, then you’re just out of luck!The price and GPS capabilities are what make the Cayman GPS special. While the GPS is limited to the Helmsman app, which has spotty coverage, it’s difficult to find another trolling motor in this price range with a functioning GPS, wireless remote control, and a foot-pedal.The Motorguide Xi5 Wireless Saltwater is a good option if you need a mid-range trolling motor with a few features of a high-end trolling motor. It does have a few shortcomings but not enough to keep it out of our list!While I would have preferred a longer shaft for this bow-mounted tiller handle, it adjusts, so you don’t have to constantly bend over to steer the motor since there is no other way to steer it.

Haswing trolling motors have been around for over a decade, and I believe they’re here to stay. I wouldn’t consider them a high-end trolling motor by any means, but they offer a decent quality trolling motor at an affordable price.As the name suggests, the Newport Vessels Kayak Series is for saltwater kayak anglers, and that’s why I rated it as the best saltwater kayak trolling motor. If you’re in the market for a kayak trolling motor, we suggest checking out our Top 10 Best Trolling Motors for Kayaks article.

I noticed a few complaints from people saying it was not corrosion-resistant, which means they probably didn’t wash it off and maintain it after using it in saltwater. So if you want to add this to your fishing boat, then be sure to wash it after every use and properly maintain it to last you as long as possible.

Since it’s designed for kayaks or small dinghies, it has a short 24″ fiberglass shaft. The five-point battery meter is a nice touch to know how much juice you have left in your batteries while on the water using this 12-volt saltwater trolling motor.
Whether you’re in the market for a cheap saltwater trolling motor or the best money can buy, we have compiled what we believe to be the best motors for every situation. While all their trolling motors lack the fancy features of high-end trolling motors, they all do precisely what they promise. They get you from point A to point B; they’re dependable and budget-friendly; the X Series is no different. Despite the disappointment with the Riptide Ulterra, Minn Kota has produced quality trolling motors for years. The Riptide Fortrex is a terrific example.If you have any experience with any of the trolling motors listed above or think we forgot to include a worthy candidate, then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! Not only does it have new features, but it’s improved on the ones we’ve come to love, like anchor mode and integrated sonar. Even though I use Garmin sonar, I don’t particularly appreciate that the sonar is only compatible with other Garmin electronics. I would love to see a universal integrated sonar option. We had a wide range of standard features on this list because we listed the high-end trolling motors alongside the budget-friendly trolling motors. You can’t pay less and expect to have as many features as more expensive trolling motors. However, you should expect those features to work correctly.The clear winner for best saltwater trolling motor is the Garmin Force. However, several others make the list and cost much less than the Force. They might be a much better option for you.

Is Garmin trolling motor for saltwater?
Can be used in Saltwater, Freshwater or Brackish Water. Simple chartplotter integration via wireless connection makes it easy to create routes to waypoints and to follow tracks. Precise anchor lock holds your boat in the same location while you fish via integrated heading sensor and GPS.
In theory, Minn Kota made an excellent saltwater trolling motor, but they failed to deliver quality. I only recommend Riptide Ulterra because Minn Kota pioneered the Spot-Lock technology. However, it might be best to look at other options with GPS capabilities.Sadly, their quality has faltered in recent years, but their customer service is still good. We rated this the best spot-lock trolling motor because Minn Kota does an excellent job keeping you on the spot. However, the other features and parts aren’t holding up, like the trim motor or the auto-deploy mechanism.

Having options is always best. I like to know that I can make the trolling motor fit my situation instead of trying to fit my situation to the trolling motor. Most trolling motors will be powered by a 12-volt deep cycle battery, two 12v batteries, one 24-volt marine battery, or three 12v batteries run in series.
Whether you’re fighting ocean currents and waves or only the weight of your boat, you need a motor with enough thrust to propel you in any direction. Boats large enough to hand the rough seas need more thrust than your average bass boat because they weigh more.

I would recommend the Riptide Fortrex to anglers who don’t like using a foot pedal but want a saltwater bow mount trolling motor. It’s powerful enough to quickly move larger boats and still quiet enough to sneak up on fish without spending a fortune.The Kayak Series by Newport Vessels doesn’t have any fancy special features, but it delivers what it promises especially the variable speeds in forward and reverse.

However, there are 24v and 36v batteries available. I like lithium batteries because they are lighter and seem to hold a charge better. Still, some trolling motors are not compatible with lithium batteries, so you must purchase a lead-acid or ACM battery.

The Watersnake Assault electric trolling motor is for a saltwater angler on a budget. It has minimal features, but it will get the job done at a much lower price.
No matter what brand you buy, you will eventually have problems. That’s why a warranty is nice, but I prefer doing business with companies that have excellent customer service. It shouldn’t matter if it’s a major breakdown or a minor inconvenience; the customer service should serve the customer!You might need longer heavy duty battery cables if your batteries are too far from your trolling motor. While wiring in your longer battery cables, you should also consider installing a circuit breaker to keep from overpowering your trolling motor and burning it up.

The Motorguide Xi5 offers many features for a mid-range trolling motor like pinpoint GPS, wireless remote control, and electric steering. That’s why I ranked it as the best saltwater electric trolling motor. For a deeper dive into the features, read my Motorguide x5 review.
If you need a high-end saltwater trolling motor but currently can’t afford it, then don’t hesitate to check websites like eBay for used and refurbished models. You do have to be careful not to get scammed into buying a pile of junk, but there are good deals to be found on secondhand websites.” was extremely helpful when UPS damaged my Minn Kota Riptide trolling motor. They arranged for replacement parts to be sent out to me immediately – at no cost – and were very prompt with and follow-up calls and emails. I’ve been recommending”

“ was the most informative trolling motor site I found online! When I had questions the site didn’t cover, their knowledgeable staff was friendly and helpful. If you’re looking to buy a motor – especially a larger one – I would recommend these guys as they will definitely take care of you.”
“After BassPro couldn’t answer my question, I called The representative was really knowledgeable and answered my question right away! These guys definitely know their stuff and I’d recommend them for any major motor investment to ensure you get the right equipment.”

What is the best speed for ocean trolling?
In fact, slowing down on the troll often produces more and bigger fish. A lot of my trolling is at speeds between 8 and 10 mph, and often I’ll drop to between 6 and 8 mph, depending on conditions. It’s effective. Consider wahoo, notoriously receptive to fast trolling speeds, sometimes upwards of 15 mph.
“The personal service provided was fantastic. They responded very quickly to my emails and phone calls. The order was delivered faster than expected. I will definitely (and already have) told others that this is the only place to go for trolling motors.””My $1,500 Terrova 80 i-Pilot purchase was a big investment so I was a little nervous ordering my motor online, but I’m sure glad I chose! When a UPS error delayed delivery, ended up sending another motor to me so I’d have it in time for my tournament.” If you are not using baits, you can pull plastic plugs faster, to 10 knots. “Any [speed] faster than 10 knots, [and] you typically have to fish with trolling weights and wire line in order to keep the baits down below the surface,” says Impson. “Outboards tend to kick out more white water than inboards,” says Impson. “The faster you go, the more white water you are going to push back into the baits, and the less the fish are going to be able to see your baits.”A variety of speeds, from 2 to 9 knots, encompass trolling “sweet spots” for several respected charter captains. Chances are you can steal a speed and trolling pattern from one of these experts.

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“Smaller center-consoles need to troll faster to produce a wake with any white water at all,” says Adam LaRosa, owner of Canyon Runner Sport Fishing in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. “[Center-consoles] have a ton of white water up close, so flat lines don’t work well in that dead zone, but you still need that much white water to produce a wake of any substance.”Speed can make or break your trolling success, and yet there’s not one single speed fishermen rely on day after day. Variables such as your heading (up-sea or down-sea), weak or strong currents you must cross, winds that vary in direction and strength, and the height of wave swells all affect your offshore trolling speed daily.

I prefer to hunt bigeye tuna, and 6 to 6.5 knots seems to be the speed that produces best while also attracting other tunas and marlin. When we’re targeting bigeyes, the baits we pull — mostly split-billed ballyhoo — and certain plugs work best at this speed. Fellow captain Phil Dulanie, who runs a 60-foot Ritchie Howell, prefers 6.8 to 7.2 knots for pulling spreader bars and lures for tuna. In addition, the sounds of the engines and wake produced by my 48-foot Viking with a CAT C8.7 are best at this speed. Depending on sea conditions, my speed does fluctuate — faster on calm days and slower on rough.
Anglers can get heavy with the throttle when conditions allow and they want to pick up their trolling speeds. New Jersey captains Dulanie and Lambros troll specific speeds when targeting marlin. For blue marlin, Dulanie says he trolls plugs up to 9 knots. “On the other hand, for white marlin, we really slow down to 5.5 to 6 knots and troll dink ballyhoo,” he adds.The Ripper tournament fishing team, based in Tampa, Florida, and composed of Darren Impson and Matt Taylor, fishes out of a 36-foot Yellowfin with triple Mercury Verado 350s.

What happens if I use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater?
A freshwater trolling motor can be used without immediate damage in saltwater. However, there is increased risk for corrosion on metal components. Apply a thin coat of oil or grease to exposed metal and rinse the trolling motor with freshwater after using it in saltwater.
“Use the same tactic when slow ­trolling,” he explains. “Go as slow as possible until the baits no longer swim properly, then bump up your speed. I have four different boats, and they all have different trolling speeds. I use this technique to figure out the best speed each day.”By signing up you agree to receive communications from Sport Fishing and select partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You may opt out of email messages/withdraw consent at any time.

Wahoo are one species that truly excels at those high trolling speeds. Ten to 12 knots is no problem for a trolling speed for wahoo. “I refer to it as ‘travel fishing’ or ‘scouting,’” says DeSilva, “when you are fishing to a known hot spot or looking for one. [Ten to 12 knots] is fast enough to get you where you’re going, but not too crazy on the fuel burn.”
Impson and Taylor say 9 knots is the best trolling speed for their boat in most conditions when trolling Ilander/horse-ballyhoo combos for marlin and yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico. But conditions can get nasty when trolling 100 to 230 miles offshore, along the Gulf’s continental shelf.

My trolling speed varies for many reasons, from the type of bait to the target species. For everyday marlin fishing with dead bait or lures, 8.5 knots is a good all-around speed. Both baits and lures run great, plus most boats have a great hum at this speed. For tuna fishing, I find a slower pace of 6.5 to 7 knots gets more bites than my everyday speed. Plus, at this speed, my boat throws a cleaner wake that the tuna seem to like. Live-bait fishing requires slow (2- to 4-knot) speeds, allowing live baits to swim naturally. There is no set trolling speed for me. I troll naked baits between 3 and 8 knots regularly. For sailfish, when fishing near baitfish schools, that’s when we tend to slow our speed. Truthfully, the best speed is the one that garners the most bites — not raised fish, not lookers, but actual, true bites. Optimal trolling placement for baits often requires finding that clean-water alley behind the boat. Bigger boats produce bigger wakes, so you need to go more slowly to get those pockets of clear water. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Sport Fishing Magazine may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. We typically fish at 9 knots, looking for that instinctive bite. Our main troll presentations include fresh bait behind plugs, using fluorocarbon leaders to get more strikes. Nine knots allows the bait to look natural in the water, with the right movement and bubble stream, without washing the baits out quickly.“The best way to control speed is to watch your skirted baits and keep bumping up faster and faster, until your baits start to spin,” says Capt. Anthony Mendillo, of Keen M Sport Fishing in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. “Then slow down until your presentation swims true, and you’ve found your peak natural-bait trolling speed for the day.When fishing with naked ballyhoo (no plugs or skirts), we troll even slower, at 4 to 5 knots. A naked ballyhoo should skip perfectly as long as it’s rigged correctly, and there is no better trolling bait out there. Of course, without a plug or skirt in front of it, anglers risk getting cut off by a toothy critter. A plug or skirt in front of the bait not only protects it from washing out, but also provides some protection from the sharp teeth of a wahoo or barracuda.“If conditions are really rough, trolling becomes tricky, and you have to work your troll in the best direction possible, usually in the troughs,” says Impson. “Then we put our baits a little farther back in the spread in order to reach cleaner water.”

Trolling motors are built to run off of a wide range of voltages. The most common are 12, 24, and 36 volts. The higher the voltage setup, the more battery life you can get out of the motor. While it may seem obvious to go with the highest voltage available, there are some drawbacks. High voltages mean more batteries and more weight. If you have a small boat or are looking to keep things light, 36 volts is too much and you’d be better off with a 12-volt trolling motor. I find 24-volt systems to be a good compromise between the battery life and overall weight, especially on smaller inshore boats.
Anglers looking for a reliable and corrosion-resistant motor at an affordable price should consider the Riptide Maxxum. While it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of top-dollar models, it makes up for it in performance. Available in 55 or 70-pound thrust, it works for most inshore boats. Its two-blade prop pushes water well and stays out of most vegetation. When fishing grass flats, this is crucial to staying on fish. The motor is controlled by an adjustable handle that manages direction and speed. To maximize the amount of time you can fish, Minn Kota integrated a digital maximizer that extends battery life, which helps you get the most life out of what you have especially on small boats where battery storage is limited. Built with corrosion-resistant parts and backed by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll have the confidence your investment is a good one.You can connect a fish finder to a trolling motor battery and get both to work. However, for peak performance, separate batteries are the best option. This keeps interference issues to a minimum to get the clearest imaging pictures. Plus, if a trolling motor battery goes bad it’s easy to switch out the battery without having to worry about extra wiring from the fish finder.

Trolling motors can range in shaft length depending on the size of your boat. For most inshore models, anglers prefer shaft lengths between 50 and 60 inches. These shafts give boaters plenty of depth for the prop to push water while allowing boats to run shallow. For larger boats, motors are available with shafts up to 80 inches to reach the water with high gunnels. Finding the right shaft length will optimize performance and minimize the amount of space you lose on the deck of your boat.
Like other Minn Kotas, the Terrova features spot lock. With 80 pounds of thrust, it has enough power to manage large boats. When fishing offshore around reefs or wrecks, one click on the remote will keep you on top of the fish. Anglers can also pair it to a fish finder and maneuver their boat or set courses for the motor to follow. It is the most expensive option we tested, but for bigger boats, it unlocks new water you’d otherwise pass by.

What is the best speed for saltwater trolling?
We typically fish at 9 knots, looking for that instinctive bite. Our main troll presentations include fresh bait behind plugs, using fluorocarbon leaders to get more strikes. Nine knots allows the bait to look natural in the water, with the right movement and bubble stream, without washing the baits out quickly.
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The amount of thrust you need on your trolling motor will be determined by factors like the weather, water conditions, and run time. For instance, if you’re fishing a quiet lake with no current or if you have a lighter boat like a fishing kayak or jon boat, you won’t need as much thrust. But if you’re taking out a larger boat for hours on end, more thrust is ideal. A good rule of thumb is 2 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of vessel weight.
How long your trolling motor will last depends a lot on how you care for it and how often you use it. Trolling motors that are properly maintained should last at least five years or so before they need to be replaced or repaired.Every manufacturer now offers trolling motors that are GPS-compatible. At the click of a button, the motor will hold you in a place like an anchor. Even in heavy currents, this is a great way to stay in one spot. When I’m re-rigging or taking a break, I always use this feature. Unfortunately, GPS anchoring comes at a cost. If you find yourself dropping anchor a lot, it’s a good feature to have. However, if you’re looking to save some money or just need a motor that will move the boat around, it may not be worth it to you.There are a lot of benefits to a hand controlled trolling motor—they are often less expensive, easier to mount, and just as easy to operate. One of the best out there is the Minn Kota Riptide Transom Mount. It’s the cheapest trolling motor on this list, starting at just $320, making it a great value buy. It provides adequate power while still remaining somewhat silent, so you can move stealthily through the water. Many people rave about its efficiency and long battery life—it can run for hours and hours on end, so it’s ideal for long days out on the water without running out of power. The trolling motor is equipped with technology that calculates the best power use for any setting which, according to the brand, extends the battery life up to five times longer than other motors.Minn Kota’s Terrova series gives anglers access to spot lock technology in a package sized perfectly for inshore boats. Its one-click foot pedal allows you to quickly deploy and stow the motor while running between spots. The wireless remote goes a step above the rest. Even without pairing the unit to a fish finder, you can save and view tracks, anchor points, and more. To engage spot lock, hit the anchor button once and the motor will lock your spot regardless of current. The unit is also one-boat friendly, which means you can pair it to portable fish finders and lay tracks right off your maps. To get the most out of it, a convenient smartphone app lets you control the motor and download live soft updates for optimal performance.

Those running offshore boats, bass boats, or large bay boats know the struggles of anchoring and maneuvering. The Ulterra gives those anglers the ability to turn on a dime and stay put without dropping anchor. While large, this motor features auto-deploy to save you some strain. With the click of a button, the motor will either deploy or stow itself. Once in the water, power trim lets you move the motor up or down to adjust for water depths. Even on big boats, this feature can get you surprisingly shallow.Whether you’re sneaking around shallow flats or anchoring on an offshore reef, saltwater trolling motors can get you where you need. Unlike their gas-powered counterparts, trolling motors run off of marine batteries. Advances in technology have made these motors easy to operate and efficient, and what they lack in power, they make up for in maneuverability and stealth.

Is Minn Kota Endura good for saltwater?
Use of the Minn Kota Endura C2 The motors are mainly suitable for use in freshwater. The motors are quickly damaged by saltwater. Minn Kota has designed the special Riptide models for this purpose.
The Motorguide Xi3 is a great choice for anglers looking for an easy-to-use and wireless trolling motor. You can control it from anywhere on the boat via a remote. No longer do you have to worry about hitting the wrong button—the remote features oversized buttons and a user-friendly layout. Of all the trolling motors I’ve used, it is the easiest to stow and deploy. Press the SecureStep foot pedal and the motor is ready to deploy in a fluent motion. This motor also comes ready with GPS anchoring. Its improved anchoring technology keeps your boat right on the spot you lock in. Even in heavy currents, I’ve had no problem keeping an 18-foot flats boat in position. While not cheap, the features you get at this price point are hard to beat.Popularized by bass anglers, trolling motors have quickly become favorites among saltwater anglers. They allow boats to get to new areas, anchor on structures, and sneak up on wary fish. New features and wireless communication make them incredibly user-friendly. Especially if you fish alone, they are great options to control your boat. To get the most out of your purchase look for one of the best saltwater trolling motors that pairs with your existing fish finders, is capable of GPS anchoring, and is built to withstand harsh saltwater conditions.

Saltwater trolling motors are showing up on more and more boats and for good reason. The improvements in technology allow bigger boats to be more maneuverable and get to shallower water. Instead of dropping anchor in hundreds of feet of water, a click of a button can hold you in place. Features like GPS anchoring can even hold large boats over structures and lock in on fish. Additionally, new corrosion-resistant materials prolong the life of trolling motors for years of fishing.
The Xi3 Kayak Saltwater motor combines everything anglers love about the Xi3 into a smaller package. It comes with the same features as the bigger model including GPS anchoring, SecureStep, and wireless operation. With 55lbs, there is more than enough power to move and anchor small boats even when the winds pick up offshore. The beauty of fishing kayaks is that you can quietly sneak up on fish, and this motor is known for its noise reduction, which can keep you nearly silent around wary fish. For those running a Lowrance or Simrad head unit, you can control features like GPS anchoring right from the screen. Being able to move quietly and lock in on fish gives kayak anglers the advantage you need. As an avid inshore fisherman, I’ve come to rely on my trolling motors. The amount of water you can cover and the spots you can reach unlock new fish. Add on features like GPS anchoring and you can position your boat to stay on fish. One thing I’ve learned is not all trolling motors perform the same. Different features and compatibilities can make finding the right electric trolling motor tricky. My preferred motors pair with my fish finder and are durable and easy to use. Here are the criteria I evaluated each motor on: Trolling motors are a great investment but come with a high price tag. Before you buy one, know what features you want to help narrow down between models. There are several manufacturers out there that all have ties to specific fish finder companies. I always make sure the motor I’m choosing pairs with my fish finders for optimal performance. You can unlock useful features such as drawing paths on your fish finder for the motor to follow.While you can take a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater, it comes with risks. Saltwater is harsh on gear and rust is practically inevitable. To counter this, saltwater trolling motors are built with corrosion-resistant parts and electronics are sealed in. This maximizes the life of a trolling motor in harsh conditions. A freshwater motor will perform in saltwater but over time will break down as salt gets into areas it’s not supposed to be.

Most models come paired with wireless remotes so anglers can control them from anywhere on the boat. Throw in GPS features to keep you in place and it’s obvious why most inshore boats are adding trolling motors. Here are my top choices for the best saltwater trolling motors if you want to take your fishing to the next level.

Electric trolling motors help anglers catch more fish. Whether you are using it to reposition your boat for the perfect cast or you are tracking down finicky trout with trolling spoons, the electric trolling motor has made its mark on freshwater fishing.
Utilizing corrosion resistant products goes a long ways in protecting freshwater motors against the ravages of saltwater. With that in mind, never moor a boat with the trolling motor left in saltwater for extended periods of time. Eventually, irreparable damage will occur.

Can any trolling motor go in saltwater?
Trolling motors are a life-saver for anglers fishing in different waters. However, the question is, can you use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater? Yes, you can. A freshwater trolling motor works just as well in saltwater.
Generously coat the mounting brackets, prop nut and pin, shaft, metal fasteners and any electrical connections with your choice of oil. I use a dab of marine grade grease on transom lock down bolts when I feel extra protection is needed.All it takes is a quick rinse at home with a bucket or garden hose. Start on the shaft and work your way down to the lower unit and prop. Be careful to avoid spraying the control head. Forcefully spraying the control head may expose sensitive electronics to water. Instead, use a damp rag to wipe down all other surfaces.

I know several anglers who use their freshwater trolling motors for occasional saltwater use. Usually 3 to 4 times a season. Not one of them has had any problems over the years. The motors function normally and with added care, corrosion is kept to a minimum. All of these features come at a premium price but it may be worth it for long term durability. Standard maintenance is still required to keep the motor in working order. Manufacturers still recommend rinsing all trolling motors with freshwater after use. Those same benefits have also caught the eye of avid saltwater anglers. I personally enjoy fishing saltwater estuaries in the Pacific Northwest and an electric trolling motor could make fishing much easier. However, I’ve heard that using a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater is a great way to kill the motor. But is that true?Using a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater is not the end of the world. With general care and some added precautions you can use your freshwater trolling motor without much trouble.

One of the misconceptions I hear a lot is that saltwater will damage the electronics in freshwater trolling motors. It’s generally thought that saltwater shorts out power connections.

So, can you use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater? Yes. A freshwater trolling motor can be used without immediate damage in saltwater. However, there is increased risk for corrosion on metal components. Apply a thin coat of oil or grease to exposed metal and rinse the trolling motor with freshwater after using it in saltwater. Keep in mind that most manufacturer warranties will not cover damage from saltwater use.Freshwater trolling motors are not made with corrosion resistance in mind. It’s just too expensive to added stainless steel components and additional rust proof coatings if it’s not needed. Freshwater does not cause metal to rust easily, assuming the motor has a chance to dry between each use.

I’ve used an inexpensive MinnKota Endura, purchased 15 years ago, in saltwater several times a year. It still functions flawlessly to this day. I firmly believe it’s lasted so long because I took steps to protect it from corrosion by applying protective oil and rinsing with freshwater.
What about constant saltwater use? It’s a fair bet that you can keep a freshwater trolling motor functioning in saltwater even with constant use. But, if that is your plan, just consider upgrading to a saltwater trolling motor and spare yourself the headache.Spending the extra time to apply corrosion blocking spray and rinsing the motor with freshwater will go a long ways in providing years of trouble free use.

Before you consider using a freshwater trolling motor in a saltwater environment, always review the manufacturer’s warranty. Companies like MinnKota and MotorGuide void the warranties on freshwater trolling motors used in saltwater.
The most popular makers of trolling motors like MinnKota, MotorGuide and Watersnake have recognized the popularity of trolling motors for saltwater use. Therefore, each manufacturer offers a saltwater line of motors for anglers looking to use their boats in protected bays, brackish sloughs and other coastal environments.You also should avoid excessive salt spray and splashing on the control head of a freshwater trolling motor. Many freshwater motors don’t add water tight seals to the control head so electrical damage can occur. This is a precaution you should take whether you fish in fresh or saltwater. Coat exposed metal with grease or oil to reduce water contact. Corrosion preventatives like WD-40, Corrosion Block spray or marine grade grease are suitable for most applications. Saltwater corrosion starts immediately after contact with unprotected metal. The best way to stop rust before it starts is to rinse with freshwater as soon as you pull your boat out of the water.Keep a jug or plastic bottle filled with freshwater in your vehicle. Once the boat is back on the trailer, give the trolling motor a quick splash using the bottled water. You can then do a more thorough cleaning at home.

Another angler warned that high end trolling motors with automatic stowing or lift-assist can drag saltwater up into sensitive areas of the motor as it lifts out of the water. For those types of trolling motors it is not recommend to use freshwater models in saltwater.
If the warranty is important to you, don’t use it in saltwater. Always consult the user manual and contact the manufacturer if you have concerns about using it in saltwater.

How fast will a 50 lb thrust trolling motor go?
The maximum speed of a trolling motor is 5 mph regardless of how many pounds of thrust.
Join the Duo to stay informed with trusted fishing advice! No strings attached. Just enter your email to subscribe to our blog and receive notifications of new posts.More than likely, your motor will be fine in saltwater if the proper precautions are taken to protect it. Ultimately, you should use your own judgement based on the model of trolling motor you have and how often you plan to use it in saltwater.

I find Corrosion Block spray to be the best all around rust preventative for all metal parts and electrical connections on a trolling motor. One 12 oz can last for many trips and is fairly inexpensive on Amazon. It’s also ideal for other marine applications. Keep some on hand and you won’t be is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. The truth is, the lower unit on trolling motors are sealed to prevent leaks in both salt and freshwater. Electrical connections exposed to water will short out when power is applied whether it’s fresh or saltwater. The problem is a leaky seal, not the type of water. Now, I will admit that saltwater is harder on rubber seals than freshwater so premature leakage may occur if you don’t first protect the motor as described earlier. The first thing to consider when choosing a trolling motor is the amount of thrust it provides. Thrust is measured in pounds and refers to the amount of force the motor can generate to move your boat through the water. The amount of thrust you need will depend on the size of your boat and the type of fishing you plan to do. For example, if you have a large boat or plan to fish in rough conditions, you will need a trolling motor with a higher thrust rating. Another important factor to consider is the length of the trolling motor’s shaft. The shaft is the part of the trolling motor that extends down into the water, and the length of the shaft will determine how deep the motor can operate. If you plan to fish in shallow water, a shorter shaft will be sufficient. However, if you plan to fish in deeper water, you will need a longer shaft to reach the desired depth.Saltwater trolling motors are an important piece of equipment for any saltwater angler. They allow you to move your boat quietly and efficiently, giving you the ability to target specific areas and species of fish. With so many different options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right trolling motor for your needs. In this article, we will go over some key factors to consider when selecting a saltwater trolling motor. Jason Kiser is an editor who lives in California, he previously worked in a travel agency for ten years, which enabled him to travel a number of interesting countries and experience several different cultures along the way. His range of job and travel experiences grant him expertise in hiking, camping, outdoors and fitness. Trolling motors also come with different speed control options. Some have a traditional throttle that allows you to adjust the speed manually, while others have a variable speed control that allows you to set a specific speed and let the motor maintain it automatically. Which option you choose will depend on your personal preference and the type of fishing you plan to do.The saltwater trolling motors are available for purchase. We have researched hundreds of brands and picked the top brands of saltwater trolling motors, including Minn Kota, MotorGuide, PARKHO. The seller of top 1 product has received honest feedback from 2,341 consumers with an average rating of 4.5.

Saltwater trolling motors are a must-have for any serious angler who wants to navigate through saltwater with ease. These motors are designed to withstand the harsh and corrosive conditions of saltwater environments, ensuring maximum durability and longevity. They come equipped with advanced features such as GPS, wireless control, and variable speed settings, allowing users to effortlessly maneuver through rough waters and locate fish more efficiently. Saltwater trolling motors are available in different sizes and power options, making them suitable for all types of boats and fishing needs. Whether you’re a recreational fisherman or a professional angler, a saltwater trolling motor is a valuable investment that can enhance your fishing experience.
During our saltwater trolling motor research, we found 167 saltwater trolling motor products and shortlisted 10 quality products. We collected and analyzed 15,280 customer reviews through our big data system to write the saltwater trolling motors list. We found that most customers choose saltwater trolling motors with an average price of $2,016.28.

Choosing the right saltwater trolling motor can be a daunting task, but by considering factors such as motor thrust, shaft length, speed control, power source, and price, you can find the perfect trolling motor for your needs. With the right trolling motor, you will be able to enjoy a successful and enjoyable day on the water.
* Our editing teams independently research, review, and recommend the best products based on extensive data analysis; if you click on the product links, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.Of course, price is also an important factor to consider when choosing a trolling motor. Trolling motors can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the features and performance they offer. It’s important to set a budget and stick to it, but also keep in mind that a higher-quality trolling motor will likely provide better performance and last longer.

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As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon, Amazon Prime, the Amazon logo, and the Amazon Prime logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.Trolling motors are available in two different power options: electric and gas. Electric trolling motors are quieter and more environmentally friendly, but they require a battery to operate. Gas trolling motors, on the other hand, are louder and produce emissions, but they do not require a battery and can provide more power. Which option you choose will depend on your personal preference and the type of fishing you plan to do. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a saltwater trolling motor is the amount of thrust it provides. The amount of thrust you need will depend on the size and weight of your boat, so be sure to choose a motor that provides enough power to move your vessel through the water with ease. If you’re looking for a versatile and efficient trolling motor that can handle small to medium-sized watercraft, the Newport NV-Series 55lb Thrust Electric Trolling Motor is an excellent choice. With its high-quality build and corrosion-resistant hardware, this motor is ready to tackle any environment.While the Riptide Terrova is a powerful and advanced trolling motor, it does have a few drawbacks to consider. The heading sensor is not included in the package, even though it’s mentioned in the product description. Additionally, the size and weight of the motor may make it difficult to install and maneuver for some users. Lastly, the price point may be higher than some other saltwater trolling motors on the market.