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Guide to Trolling Motors

Guide to Trolling Motors

If you’ve spent any time looking into boating, you’ve likely heard about trolling motors along the way. These nifty devices are more than just an accessory, they’re a game-changer in the world of sailing, fishing and general boating. Let’s dive into the basics, explore why you need a trolling motor, and help you find the right one for your aquatic adventures! 

Understanding Trolling Motors

Trolling motors are electric motors designed to provide more quiet and precise control over a boat’s movement. Unlike the main outboard motor, trolling motors are submerged in the water, typically mounted on the bow or stern. They are a staple for anglers, providing a stealthier approach to waters.

Why You Need a Trolling Motor

Precision Fishing:

Trolling motors allow anglers to navigate with precision, especially in tight spaces or near obstacles. This silent propulsion helps maintain a steady position for casting or trolling, without scaring away the fish.

Reduced Noise and Disturbance:

Unlike traditional outboard motors, trolling motors operate quietly. This is a game-changer for anglers who want to maintain a peaceful environment on the water, minimizing noise that could scare off fish.


Trolling motors offer excellent maneuverability. They allow for precise navigation, making it easier to explore hidden coves, navigate through vegetation, or follow contours of the shoreline.

Extended Battery Life:

Since trolling motors are electric, they are more energy-efficient than traditional motors. Anglers can enjoy longer hours on the water without worrying about fuel consumption.

Choosing the Right Trolling Motor:

Thrust Power:

The thrust power of a trolling motor is crucial. It’s essentially the motor’s strength. Consider the size of your boat and the conditions you’ll be facing. Larger boats or those dealing with strong currents may require higher thrust power.


Trolling motors usually come at 12V, 24V or 36V. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the motor, so think carefully about your requirements! Match the voltage to your boat size and your desired level of control over your vessel.

Shaft Length:

The length of the shaft determines how deep the motor sits in the water. It’s essential to choose the right length based on the size and height of your boat. A motor with too short a shaft may not perform optimally in rough waters.

Control Options:

Consider the control options available. Trolling motors come with hand-operated tillers, foot pedals, or even remote controls. Choose the one that suits your preference and provides easy and comfortable operation.

In conclusion, a trolling motor is a must-have for any boating enthusiast, especially those passionate about fishing. Understanding the basics and selecting the right trolling motor for your needs can significantly enhance your on-water experience.

– Written by Jack Vale in partnership with Mealey Marine boating accessories.