What is a Trolling Motor
Every trolling fisherman knows that fish are timid beings and can be frightened by the slightest noise, not to mention gasoline motors. But then, what should be the best solution to this problem? Trolling motors are the perfect answer. They are noiseless and don’t scare the fish. Having put such a motor on your boat, you will be able to change your fishing place and troll effectively. Thanks to a simple installation and small size, the trolling motors gain more popularity among people that have small boats or just like to have a rest on the river or lake. In this review we will consider 5 best trolling motors and analyze the key points which are worth your attention when choosing the one.
What Features to Compare
Design and Mounting Location
You can easily get confused in the wide variety of trolling motors available today. First of all, you should consider its mounting location and the materials of a trolling motor. They are usually mounted on the boat bows or transoms. The transom-mounted trolling motors are the most widespread now. Installation of these motors is very easy and they can be mounted on any boat, including inflatable models. The bow-mounted trolling motors are usually installed on the fores. Such motors provide a high maneuverability and minimize the probability of running aground. The bow-mounted models serve well as supplementary drives for sailing boats. The materials featured in a trolling motor will be vital for its durability and type of water. The motors which heads are made of painted steel or composite can be used only in freshwater since these materials are vulnerable to salt contained in the seawater. Moreover, the composites can be damaged by corals or stones that may result in the motor failure. The motors which cases and propellers are made of stainless steel or aluminum alloys will be suitable for both fresh and salt water.
Once you determine the mounting method of a trolling motor and the water it's best used for, next to be clarified is the performance. It depends on several factors which include thrust, consumed energy, and the shaft length. The thrust is the main indicator of the performance and it is measured in pounds or pound-forces. The higher the thrust is, the bigger boat a motor can propel. It is better to pick a motor with a high thrust as it may come in handy in tough situations. They may occur when the boat is heavily loaded or you sail against the headwind. The energy consumption determines the type of battery and operating time on a single charge. The 12V trolling motors are the most common on the market. They usually feature 12V batteries of 50-60Ah. For example, the motor consuming 50Amp is able to work for about 1 hour powered by a 50Ah battery. So, take into account the battery capacity when you choose a trolling motor. The shaft length shows how deeply a propeller sits in the water, so you should consider the distance from waterline to the main deck of your boat. This distance is usually called a freeboard. The higher the freeboard is, the longer the motor would be; otherwise, the motor might not reach the water or interfere with the boat deck. If the freeboard of your boat is of a medium height, you should look for the motors with medium shafts accordingly.
Don’t forget to explore the features of a trolling motor that improve its usability. The adjustment of the shaft allows you to fix the motor at your desired angle to overcome the shallow water. A telescoping handle will provide a comfortable motor controlling and steering. The variable speed allows you to set the optimal velocity for specific locations. The accessory control elements like foot pedals help you navigate with no digressing from fishing. Last but not the least, the battery charge indicator will notify you of the condition of the battery and remaining charge.