HomeGeneralWhat Should You Look For in a Saltwater Trolling Motor? A Guide

What Should You Look For in a Saltwater Trolling Motor? A Guide

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In fear of stating the obvious, a good fisherman is one who can be patient and move as silently as possible. 

This translates into how arriving at your fishing location silently will improve your odds of catching fish significantly.

Trolling motors, whether it’s a saltwater trolling motor or a freshwater one, are specifically developed for this purpose. They make it simple to transfer your boat to the next fishing location with the least amount of noise and work.

Trolling motors are available in a variety of configurations, from basic hand-controlled versions to more sophisticated models with GPS, wireless controls, and fish finders. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of everything you need to know about trolling motors, and how to get the best one for your needs. 

Saltwater Trolling Motor 101: What Is A Trolling Motor?

Trolling motors are used to control a variety of watercraft, such as canoes, kayaks, bass boats, all-purpose fishing boats, bay or flatboats, and so on.

It’s important to remember that there are transom mount and bow mount motors to select from, depending on your tastes and the kind of boat you have. These engines will move your boat at a moderate, silent pace while also steering it in the direction you choose.

Trolling motors are electric-powered and are often operated using foot pedals, hand controls, or manually adjusting the motor’s direction.

How to Pick the Perfect Trolling Motor: The Main Factors

Starting with the basics, you’ll want to keep your boat dimensions and size in mind. 

After all, contrary to popular belief, larger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to boats.

As previously said, you should match the size of your saltwater trolling motor to the size of your boat. When you just have a 12-foot Jon boat, don’t be seduced by extremely high thrust and 36 volts of electricity.

You’ll want to check out this trolling motor size chart before finalizing your selection. 

Bow-Mounted or Transom-Mounted

Bow mounts draw the boat forward, whereas transom mounts push the boat forward.

A bow mount is a good choice if you do saltwater fishing from the front of your boat. Bow mounts are also a suitable option for big boats over 14 feet in length.

For smaller boats, transom mounts are ideal. If you have a large group on board, a transom mount may be advantageous because of the additional room in the bow.

Hand or Foot-Controlled

Trolling motors operated by hand provide a greater range of control and real-time movement.

Foot-controlled motors enable hands-free action, which is ideal while holding a fishing rod.

They’re also rather easy to use, although they take up more deck space than the hand-controlled type. Some trolling motors even have advanced autopilot (or remote control) navigation.

Maintenance Routine

Unlike freshwater trolling motors, which may generally be “stowed and gone,” saltwater trolling motors must be rinsed after each usage.

Leaving it immersed in seawater while the boat is moored is likewise not a smart idea.

Mechanisms of Steering

Hand or foot control is available for electric trolling motors. Anglers will benefit greatly from these basic tasks, as they will be able to concentrate more on fishing and less on the boat.

A unique tiller controls the hand-control, which in turn activates the steering system, which includes the engine and propeller. The primary benefit of foot control is that it allows the angler to use both hands. The boat is controlled by a unique pedal. Wireless control is included with certain versions of the motor, making fishing simpler.

Other motors, such as bow mount motors, are operated manually by adjusting the motor angle and speed by hand. Anglers will always pay more for models with pedals or remote controls and less for ones with manual controls.

Levels of Noise

A good trolling motor will be very quiet and produce very little electromagnetic noise.

Less-priced versions may produce sounds that interfere with your fish radar. Anglers like quiet models because they are more pleasant.

Thrust and Battery System

Electric trolling motors are available at three voltages: 12, 24, and 36 volts. Marine batteries are typically 12-volts, therefore if you purchase a 12-volt motor, you’ll only need one battery, while a 36-volt motor would need three batteries.

The cheapest and easiest to set up trolling motor is a 12-volt model. They don’t have as much power as 24 volt or 36-volt motors, and they also don’t last as long.

If your boat is less than 16 feet, a 12-volt engine should suffice; however, depending on the size of your boat, you may wish to upgrade to a 24 or 36-volt motor.

Placement Concerns: Where to Mount It on My Boat?

Trolling motors may be placed on the bow, transom, or engine of your boat, depending on the model.

If you fish from your boat’s foredeck, bow mount trolling motors are particularly helpful. One of the benefits is that they are simple to use. Since you can exactly control the bow of your boat. They also often have more advanced capabilities and controls, such as GPS or cordless steering.

The disadvantage is that they are more difficult to install than transom motors since they need a horizontal surface to be placed at the front of your boat. They’re also usually very costly.

Transom mount trolling motors are popular among small boat, dinghy, and canoe owners because they are simple to install and generally less costly. That’s all! You just connect the trolling motor to the boat’s stern using twin clamps, either alongside or instead of your outboard engine. You’re all set to go.

Ready to Get the Boat Trolling Motor?

You might be new to the wide world of fishing. Or perhaps, you’ve been in the field for decades and you’re looking for an upgrade.

Regardless of why you’ve been looking into buying new saltwater trolling motor, we hope that our guide has simplified the process for you.

And, if you liked our guide, and you’re looking for additional tips of similar quality, then you’ll want to check out our services and products sections.

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Alison Lurie
Alison Lurie
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.
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