The best kayak trolling motors are perfect for fishing in saltwater or freshwater. These trolling motors will provide smooth and quiet navigation to provide the best possible fishing experience. A trolling motor is much different from a dirt bike motor.

Many people attach their kayak trolling motors to a standup fishing kayak, a river kayak, or an inflatable kayak.

The Best Kayak Trolling Motors

Top Choice

Newport NV Trolling Motor - Top Pick

Newport NV-Series

  • Saltwater/Freshwater
  • Thrust Level: 30
  • Price: $$$

Best Bang for the Buck

Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura

  • Freshwater Only
  • Thrust Level: 30
  • Price: $$

Table of Contents

  1. Newport NV-Series Trolling Motor Review
  2. Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor Review
  3. Mounting your Trolling Motor
  4. Where to Mount Trolling Motor
  5. What Size Motor Should You Buy

1. Newport NV-Series

The Newport NV series 36lb thrust electric trolling motor is a both saltwater and freshwater compatible and is perfect for a kayak, canoe, inflatable boat, bass boat, or jon boat. This trolling motor features a longer run-time while still providing great performance. 

This is an all purpose trolling motor that is designed by Newport Vessels, one of the most respected trolling motor companies in the industry. 

The trolling motor features a 30 inch shaft (perfect for kayaks), 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, and is available in 36lb, 46lb, 55lb, 62lb, and 86lb thrusts. 

The Newport Vessels motor was chosen as the best trolling motor for kayaks because it differs in so many ways from its competition and offers so many great features at a lower cost. One of the reasons this motor is different is because it is compatible with both saltwater and freshwater.  The materials used to build the motor are zinc, aluminum, and stainless steel. These materials result in dependability when it comes to corrosive saltwater. Another feature that sets this motor apart is its LED battery life meter. The LED meter is 5-points and is built into the motor to provide an accurate reading. Other brands often do not have a battery motor. This can be a huge issue if you wish to travel significant distances. 

Mounting Your Trolling Motor

Where to Mount Trolling Motors

Trolling motors can be placed at the front or back of boats and are generally mounted at the back of kayaks and canoes. 

Trolling motors mounted on the front of a boat can be mounted with bolt-on brackets. A motor on the front of the boat will pull the boat in the water for greater control. 

Motors mounted at the back of kayaks and canoes can be mounted with a clamp-on bracket. Trolling motors placed at the back are best for smaller boats, canoes, and kayaks. 

What Size Motor Should You Buy?


Thrust is a common term for motor power. The key indicator of the thrust level needed depends on the size and weight of the boat. A lager and heavier boat needs a motor with more thrust. The best way to determine the perfect amount of thrust is based on weight. Generally, you will need two pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds. This includes the weight of people and equipment on board. 


Battery voltage shows how much battery power that your motor will need to operate. A battery is needed for every 12 volts in your trolling motor. 

A common rule of thumb:

  •  55 pounds of thrust or less is equal to 12 volts and 1 battery 
  • 60-80 pounds of thrust is qual to 24 volts and 2 batteries
  • 100-115 pounds of thrust is equal to 36 volts and 3 batteries

Trolling Motor Shaft Length

Determining the correct shaft length for your kayak, canoe, or boat is very important. If the shaft is not long enough then the propeller will not be fully submerged and will not be able to power the craft. The shaft length should be long enough to submerge propeller at least 12 inches below the water. 

The best way to determine shaft length is to estimate the length from the bow/transom of the craft to the water. For example, if the bow/transom of the kayak or boat is 10 inches from the water, then the appropriate shaft length would be 36 inches. That means that the prop would be 26 inches below the surface which is adequate.