Trolling motors are small in size and are usually battery-operated. While they aren’t powerful enough for propelling a large boat, they are great for guiding the boat through shallow areas. You can also use them to fight the current or wind without using the anchor while remaining stationary in one place.
Want to reach an almost inaccessible fishing spot? A trolling motor will give you precise control for maneuvering in tight areas.
Minn Kota is one of the top manufacturers of trolling motors with a wide variety of products. But choosing the right product from their wide range can be a challenging task.
To help you out, we will take a look at choosing the best Minn Kota trolling motors for your boat.
How to Pick the Right Trolling Motor?
Before we look into the details, here are some points to help you pick the right Minn Kota trolling motor.
- A trolling motor can be mounted on the bow, pontoon, or transom. Minn Kota has different models to match these mounting options.
- Trolling motors usually come in 12, 24, or 36 volts in terms of power options. If your boat is 16-foot long or smaller, a 12-volt motor should be good enough. Otherwise, picking a 24 or 36-volt system is a better option.
- Both hand and foot-controlled motors have their merits. Foot-controlled units can ensure a hands-free fishing experience. But some users prefer hand controls for better response and low maintenance needs.
- Trolling motors come with various additional features. These include digital displays, battery gauges, and advanced GPS and auto-pilot technologies. You need to pick the right motor based on the features you need.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these factors.
Generally, bow mount trolling motors are common for medium to large fishing boats. These motors provide better boat control than transom or engine-mounted ones. The reason is, these motors pull the boat instead of pushing it. Bow motors also come with multiple control options, including foot pedals or remote-controlled operability.
If maneuverability and precision are your priority, pick a bow-mounted trolling motor. But they are more expensive, and the mounting process can be more challenging.
On the other hand, transom mount motors are easy to use and install. They are usually operated with a hand-held tiller and keep the deck clutter-free. These units are also cheaper.
Engine mounting may not be possible in all boat types, even though they have the advantage of not taking up space on the boat. In the case of pontoon boats, installing a bow-mounted trolling motor can be difficult due to lack of space. That’s why many pontoon boat owners choose engine mounting.
The Motor Size
The size of the motor will determine the thrust generated. The first thing to consider is the weight of the boat.
Generally, for every 100lbs. of fully-loaded boat weight 2 lbs. of thrust is needed. However, it’s best to add some extra thrust to compensate for wind and current forces. In case the motor lacks thrust, it will be difficult to move through windy or choppy conditions. That’s why many experts suggest picking the largest motor within your budget.
If you need 55 lbs. of thrust or your boat is around 16 feet, a 12 Volt motor will suffice. For delivering between 68 and 80 lbs. of thrust, you will need a 24 Volt motor. Anything higher than that should need 36 Volts.
Also, you will need one battery for every 12 Volts in the trolling motor. So, make sure you have enough battery space. Charging considerations for 24 V and 36 V battery systems should also be kept in mind.
The next thing to consider is the shaft length. A short shaft will not keep the motor properly submerged. Minn Kota mentions that the center of the motor section should be submerged by a minimum length of 12 inches.
Minn Kota trolling motors come with multiple additional features that can add to the overall convenience. This includes the GPS-based i-pilot feature that tracks a wide range of data including fishing spots, record, and retrace paths. The system is operated through a wireless remote and uses an LCD screen.
Note, Minn Kota has also introduced motors with active sonar. This can help in locating the fish and is an excellent option for the pros. That said, these units come with a high price tag. We wouldn’t recommend them for occasional boaters or budget buyers.
Saltwater vs Freshwater
Minn Kota has separate trolling motors for saltwater and freshwater use. To withstand the corrosive effect of seawater, saltwater motors are designed with special coatings to reduce corrosion. So, if you venture out to the sea, these are the best options.
How to Mount the Trolling Motor?
The mounting process of a trolling motor will vary depending on the location. Let’s take a look at each of the processes.
Mounting on the Transom
- These types of motors come with a mounting bracket that has one or two clamps that holds the motor in place. The first step is to open these clamps.
- Next, slip the motor unit over the transom and keep the mounting bracket flush with the stern top. Ideally, the trolling motor should be kept at the center of the stern but sufficiently away from the primary motor.
- To ensure the motor stays fixed, turn the clamps clockwise and tighten them as much as possible. The motor is fixed.
Mounting on the Engine
- For this type of mounting, place the bracket on the top of the anti-cavitation plate of the outboard motor. The outboard’s cavitation plate should be at least 13 inches below the waterline. This is necessary to allow the trolling motor at a sufficient depth and prevent cavitation in it. Also, check if the cavitation plate has sufficient space to accommodate the motor. In some cases, a spine in the cavitation plate can obstruct the mounting.
- Mark the location of the motor fixing holes on the anti-cavitation plate. Drill the required number of holes on the plate for the mounting bolts.
- Insert the insulation plate between the cavitation plate and the trolling motor and align the motor properly. Insert the bolts and tighten them from below.
- While routing the cable, make sure to have sufficient slack. This will allow the raising and lowering of the outboard if needed.
Mounting on the Bow
- A trolling motor needs to be mounted in a perfectly horizontal position. So, a bow with a “lip” or raised surface isn’t the best choice for mounting. Bass boats that come with a flat bow are the ideal options for bow mounting.
- In case there’s a raised edge, you can use rigid foam or rubber sheeting or aluminum or steel plates to create a level mounting surface. These can be used as a wedge between the motor base and the bow. Make sure the material is water-resistant and durable. When you use extra material, the supplied bolts may not be long enough for mounting. Buy marine-grade bolts that are long enough to compensate for the additional thickness.
- While selecting the spot for mounting, make sure there is enough space for stowing it when the main motor is being used. Also, the mounting screws should not penetrate the hull.
- The first step is to mark the fixing holes on the deck and drill them. For fiberglass boats, countersink the holes.
- Place the bolts through the holes and add washers to each bolt. The washer should be placed below the mounting plate.
- Position the mounting plate over the holes and makes sure it’s level with the deck. Now slip in the nuts and tighten the base to secure it.
The Top 5 Minn Kota Trolling Motors
We went through the whole range of Minn Kota motors to pick the best ones. Here are the 5 best options you can choose from.
The Endura series of motors from Minn Kota is designed for durability and reliable performance. The C2 is one of the best trolling motors from Minn Kota for transom mounting.
This 12 V freshwater motor is designed for hand-steering and delivers a maximum thrust of 30 lbs. It has 5 forward speed settings and 3 reverse speed settings. The specially designed propeller can push through heavy vegetation if needed.
What makes this motor special is the high-quality composite shaft. Minn Kota mentions that the alloy is stronger than steel and the shaft is unbreakable. No wonder Minn Kota offers a lifetime guarantee on it.
In addition, the motor comes with a 10-position bracket with a quick-release lever lock. The use of composite material increases durability and prevents UV damage. With large windings and commutators, the motor can dissipate heat effectively. These results in longer life and a quiet operation.
Users mentioned that this motor could withstand heavy abuse and offers great energy efficiency.
Admittedly, at this price, the product offers excellent value. We feel it’s a great choice for small boats operating in relatively calm waters.
- Excellent durability
- Energy-efficient performance
- Heavy-duty propeller
- 10-position bracket for easy installation
- Limited thrust
- Not the best performer in reverse speeds
The Edge series of motors from Minn Kota delivers steady power in a compact size. This is a 12 V bow-mount trolling motor that offers 45 lbs. of thrust. The unit is designed for freshwater use, and the control is via hand steering.
As expected from Minn Kota, the overall durability is top-notch. It comes with a high-quality power propeller that can steer through underwater vegetation. The composite shaft is unbreakable and is resistant to corrosion. Besides, the system is designed for staying cool even after long hours of operation.
The mounting is via a latch and door bracket mechanism that offers solid hold but is easy to use. The hand steering comes with a tilt steer and has 5-speed settings. The composite head is impact resistant, and the mount is made from anodized aluminum for enhanced durability.
Users loved the smooth performance and the low-noise levels of the motor. If you’re looking for a top-performing bow-mount motor, this unit deserves a closer look.
- High-grade materials used
- 5-speed hand steer
- Heavy-duty power propeller
- Bracket system for easy mounting
- Not for larger boats
This is another trolling motor from the Edge series that delivers 70 lbs. of thrust and operates at 24 Volts. The operation is through an ultra-responsive foot pedal that’s designed for smooth operation. You also get a top-grade power propeller that will thrust you effectively through swampy waters.
In terms of material quality, the motor lives up to Minn Kota standards. The highlight is the composite shaft that offers excellent impact and corrosion resistance. The foot pedal is made of composite materials that offer solid durability. Even the mount is made from anodized aluminum and feels rugged.
For mounting, there’s a latch and door bracket that keeps the unit stable at high power levels. Users noted that the power delivery is good enough for tackling choppy waters and 15 to 20 mph winds. The controls offer a 5-speed setting. However, some users found the power levels too low at the first and second settings.
Overall, this motor is a solid performer for heavier boats. We think it offers the right balance of price and power output
- 70 lbs. of thrust
- 5-speed foot pedal
- Top-notch durability
- Comes with a directional indicator
- It’s pricey
The Riptide series of trolling motors from Minn Kota are specially designed for saltwater performance. The lower unit of each motor is grit blasted steel with an aluminum coating for durability. Then, an additional layer of powder coating is applied to prevent oxidization and rusting,
This 12V motor delivers 55 lbs. of thrust and has a specially designed Weedless Wedge 2 propeller. The blades are swept back and flared to cut through almost anything. It also contains a Digital Maximizer for conserving battery life. It can also be operated through a wireless, waterproof remote.
The Riptide PowerDrive comes with plenty of advanced features. You get the i-Pilot GPS trolling system for accurate boat positioning and speed control. There’s an autopilot mechanism that can correct the boat’s directions based on wind, waves, and current. A Spot-Lock feature will guide you automatically to your favorite fishing spot.
Users liked the fact that the unit is easy to mount, and the performance was super quiet.
With its advanced features, the PowerDrive is an expensive option. However, if you want the best of technology and reliable performance, it’s a solid option.
- 55 lbs. of thrust
- Excellent battery performance
- Designed for seawater
- Comes with i-Pilot features
- An expensive choice
What makes the Tereva trolling motor unique is a spring-assisted assembly. By simply pushing the deploy lever, the motor slides smoothly into the water through a system of fallaway ramps.
This is a 24V freshwater motor that delivers 80 lbs. of thrust. It has a series of advanced features including the i-Pilot GPS trolling system. This includes features like Spot-Lock and autopilot. You also get dual steering options- a heel and toe pedal and steering buttons.
In addition, the Terrova also has Universal Sonar 2 for optimized sonar performance and locating the fish. The Digital Maximizer feature extends battery life. You can also control the i-Pilot features through an Apple or Android mobile app.
Most users loved the Spot-Lock and autopilot features that make the motor super-easy to operate. They also praised the long battery life of the motor.
While this Minn Kota trolling motor is priced high, it’s a real game-changer considering the advanced features.
- GPS with autopilot
- High-quality Weedless Wedge 2 propeller
- Comes with sonar
- Compatible with mobile app
- An expensive motor
- Not for occasional boaters
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Minn Kota has introduced a new series of trolling motors that offer 112 lbs. of thrust. These are available in Fortrex, Terrova, and Riptide series of motors.
Answer: Not necessarily. Since thrust is a measure of the pushing or pulling power of the motor, it doesn’t relate directly to speed. The speed of the boat will depend on factors like propeller pitch and the motor RPM.
Answer: Most trolling motors will deliver a maximum speed of around 5 miles/hour, irrespective of their thrust. While that seems low, it’s perfect for activities like fishing.
Answer: The horsepower and thrust of a trolling motor aren’t directly related. The process of conversion isn’t simple and isn’t advised by Minn Kota.
These are the top 5 Minn Kota trolling motors we have picked from the wide range of motors from Minn Kota. You need to make a choice based on the size of your boat, requirements, and budget. The quality and reliability of the products differentiate Minn Kota from other brands.
For small boats running in freshwater, we recommend the Endura C2 motor. It’s an easy-to-use and affordable trolling motor that offers excellent durability and 30 lbs. of thrust. This trolling motor offers excellent value with multiple forward and reverse speed settings and a quiet operation.
Without a doubt, trolling motors can make your fishing trips more fun. So go ahead and try one.
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