Whether your boat has only a trolling motor or both a trolling motor and an outboard motor, it’s important to have the best trolling motor possible for your budget.
In recent years, the trolling motor market has exploded, with nearly a dozen electric motor makers offering some form of electric trolling propulsion for John boats, kayaks, and larger fiberglass boats.
Prices can range from as little as $149 up to $5,000 depending on the features, power, and build that matter to you.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a rundown of the best trolling motors on the market for 2024, taking into consideration the most important categories for fishermen across multiple budgets and feature sets.
The Best Trolling Motor Roundup For 2024
After thorough research and testing, we’ve compiled a list of the top trolling motors for 2024 based on efficiency, functions, and performance.
Check out our picks below:
- Best Overall Trolling Motor: Minn Kota Ultrex Quest
- Most Dependable Motor: Lowrance Ghost
- Best Value Trolling Motor: Motor Guide Tour
- Most Robust Trolling Motor: Power-Pole MOVE
- Best Kayak Trolling Motor: Minn Kota Endura 55 pound Thrust
- Best Deep Hull Trolling Motor: Garmin Force Kraken
These motors are versatile and suitable for various fishing conditions.
Whether you’re fishing in shallow waters or deep hulls, there’s a trolling motor that’s perfect for you.
Our Overall Top Pick For Best Trolling Motor
If you’re looking for the best overall trolling motor, the Minn Kota Ultrex Quest is a top-of-the-line choice. With its powerful 112-pound thrust, improved brushless motor design, and efficient power usage, this trolling motor is a game-changer.
One of the standout features of the Ultrex Quest is its Spot-Lock GPS anchoring capabilities. This technology allows you to anchor your boat with pinpoint precision, making it easy to stay in one spot and fish to your heart’s content. With the One Boat Network, you can also control your boat and trolling motor with ease, making it simple to troll along contours and jog a few feet while remaining spot-locked in an area.
The Ultrex Quest is also incredibly easy to deploy and stow, with little to no noise. And with its rock-solid bracket and reduced vibration, you can be sure that this trolling motor will last for many fishing trips to come.
In addition to its impressive performance, the Ultrex Quest also offers connectivity to all of your other Minn Kota and Humminbird electronics.
And with its variable speed control, you can enjoy incredible battery efficiency, making it easy to stay out on the water for longer periods of time.
While the price tag of $3,999 may be steep, the Ultrex Quest is well worth the investment for serious anglers who demand the best in performance and technology.
Overall, the Minn Kota Ultrex Quest is the best overall trolling motor on the market today. Its precise GPS anchoring, efficient power usage, and advanced technology make it a must-have for any serious angler.
Most Dependable Trolling Motor
If you are looking for a dependable trolling motor, the Lowrance Ghost is a great option. With a brushless motor design and 120 pounds of thrust on the 36-volt option, the Ghost is very quiet and has a sturdy mount. It also features a lift assist springs and the head auto rotates for quick stow and deploy.
One of the best features of the Ghost is its power management system, which allows you to run all day and still have plenty of battery left over. This makes it a great option for long days of fishing. Terry, a top independent marine electronics sales and service shop owner, runs a Ghost on his boat and loves how much quiet power he has. He can jump across the cove quickly, leaving a wake behind him with just his trolling motor.
The Ghost is also competitively priced in its class, making it a great value for its features. However, it should be noted that the arrow doesn’t always line up with live forward-facing sonar, which could be a drawback for some users.
Overall, the Lowrance Ghost is a solid choice for a dependable trolling motor, and is a close second to the Garmin Force in terms of needing the least repairs.
Best Value Trolling Motor
Looking for a tough and reliable trolling motor that won’t break the bank? The MotorGuide Tour trolling motor might just be the perfect fit for you. With a reputation for toughness and no-nonsense performance, the MotorGuide Tour has been a favorite among anglers for decades.
One of the standout features of the MotorGuide Tour is its durability. The shafts, brackets, breakaway spring busters, and components are built to withstand a lot of abuse, making it ideal for use in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It can chew through grass, bump off stumps, and keep pushing you forward, no matter what obstacles you encounter.
The 82-pound thrust cable drive MotorGuide Tour is a great option for those on a budget. It can push a lighter boat fast on 24-volts, making it efficient and powerful. The build quality of the MotorGuide Tour is also impressive, which is why we voted it the best value trolling motor.
MotorGuide Tour Trolling Motor Specs:
- Voltage: 24-36 volts
- Battery Life: Varies depending on usage
- Power Consumption: Varies depending on usage
- AA Batteries: No
- Freshwater/Saltwater: Fresh and saltwater
- Saltwater Trolling Motor: Yes
- Efficiency: Efficient
- Budget: Yes
MotorGuide Tour Trolling Motor Pros:
- Simple quick install
- Powerful and tough
- Can come with Universal Sonar in the head
- Durable metal pedal
- Katana prop cuts up grass easily
- Priced competitively starting at $1,449
MotorGuide Tour Trolling Motor Cons:
- A lot less options than newer trolling motor creations
- No remote or controlling with other electronics in boat
If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient trolling motor that won’t break the bank, the MotorGuide Tour is definitely worth considering. With its durability, power, and affordability, it’s no wonder why it’s our top pick for the best value trolling motor.
Most Robust Trolling Motor
If you are looking for a trolling motor that is dependable, powerful, and built to last, then the Power-Pole MOVE ZR is an excellent choice. This trolling motor is designed to be super dependable and not have the issues that are common among other trolling motors of the past.
Titanium Shaft with Lifetime Warranty
One of the standout features of the Power-Pole MOVE ZR is its titanium shaft. This material is lighter, longer lasting, and stronger than the fiberglass composite that most shafts are made out of. The shaft is rated indestructible and has a lifetime warranty on it, giving you peace of mind that it will last for many years to come.
Tons of Power
The Power-Pole MOVE ZR is one of the most powerful trolling motors on the market. Its brushless motor was built from the ground up and is highly strong, powerful, and robust. While it is hard to judge power with arbitrary measurements like thrust, it felt like one of the strongest in terms of power in vegetation and speed in open water.
Quietest We’ve Seen
We found the Power-Pole MOVE ZR to be the quietest of all the trolling motors we tested. This is an important feature for anglers who want to avoid scaring fish away with noisy trolling motors.
Cuts Through Vegetation
The Power-Pole MOVE ZR is also excellent at cutting through vegetation. This is a key feature for anglers who fish in areas with a lot of weeds or other vegetation.
Redundant Fail Safes Throughout
The Power-Pole MOVE ZR has built-in levels of redundancy to ensure that it is always dependable. For example, the steering gears have six additional gearing drives. So if you sheer all the teeth off one gear, there are five more that will take its place and still allow you to steer.
The Power-Pole MOVE ZR is the most expensive trolling motor on the market. However, if you are looking for a trolling motor that is built to last and has excellent performance, then it is worth the investment.
It is too early to know if the Power-Pole MOVE ZR will have a proven track record with design, but based on our initial testing, we feel like this is going to be a very good option for years to come. Power-Pole is known for its excellent customer service, and they are quick to adapt their designs to fix any known issues to ensure that the MOVE ZR is always at the top of the list in performance and customer satisfaction.
Best Kayak Trolling Motor
If you are an angler looking for an affordable and easy-to-use trolling motor for your kayak, the Minn Kota Endura is a great option. This transom mount trolling motor is not only suitable for polyethylene boats but also works well for kayaks. With the addition of a trolling motor mount like the Railblaza Kayak Motor Mount, you can set up this whole system for less than $350.
The Minn Kota Endura comes in three different shaft lengths, ranging from 30 to 42 inches, and three pound thrust powers, ranging from 30 to 50 pounds of force. For kayaks, we recommend the 36 inch shaft and 40 or 50 pound thrust options. The easy-to-use twist handle operation and display make it simple to operate, and you can easily set it to a straight course and use your kayak’s rudder to adjust your direction.
- The Minn Kota Endura is the most affordable option on the market.
- It is easy to operate.
- It provides quiet propulsion.
- It only comes in a transom mount, which requires another mount for stability on a kayak.
In summary, the Minn Kota Endura is a great option for those looking for an affordable and easy-to-use trolling motor for their kayak. Its quiet propulsion and easy operation make it a favorite among kayak anglers. However, keep in mind that it only comes in a transom mount, which requires an additional mount for stability on a kayak.
Best Deep Hull Trolling Motor
If you are looking for a trolling motor that can handle big and deep-hull boats, the Garmin Force Kraken is a great option to consider. This trolling motor is available in both saltwater and freshwater options, and it has some impressive features that set it apart from other trolling motors.
Dual Head GPS
One of the standout features of the Garmin Force Kraken is its dual head GPS system. This system allows the boat to be triangulated, which means that you can have industry-best precision anchor lock that singular GPS systems can’t match. This is particularly useful in compromised areas where GPS positioning may be less accurate.
The Anchor Lock feature on the Garmin Force Kraken is also noteworthy. Unlike other trolling motors, the head of the Kraken doesn’t swivel all the time to move you back and forth. Instead, it simply reverses the prop to hold you dead on your spot. This is particularly useful in windy or rough conditions.
Another impressive feature of the Garmin Force Kraken is its cable management system. The cables for your Livescope are routed through the shaft, which means that they are not in the way and are less likely to get pinched or compromised. This allows for worry-free operation of your electronics.
The pivot mount on the Garmin Force Kraken also makes mounting easier and provides more fluid operation. This allows for smoother and more precise movement of the trolling motor.
The Garmin Force Kraken is also known for its quiet power, which allows for a more enjoyable and peaceful fishing experience.
Price and Shaft Length
While the Garmin Force Kraken has many impressive features, it is important to note that it is only available in long shafts (63, 75, or 90) and comes with a higher price tag than some other trolling motors on the market.
Overall, if you are looking for a trolling motor that can handle big and deep-hull boats and has some innovative features, the Garmin Force Kraken is definitely worth considering. Its dual head GPS, Anchor Lock, cable management system, pivot mount, and quiet power make it a top contender in the trolling motor market.