Trolling Motor Buying Tips

Electric Trolling motors aren't what they used to be. The trolling motors of years past were simple and straight forward in their design. Hang it off your transom and clamp it down tight and you're ready to go!

Not so anymore. Today's electric trolling motors are more complex in their designs and their purpose. They're also much more durable and reliable.

Fishing has evolved in so many ways and trolling motors have had to keep up with the changes in fishing tactics and the demand for better motors.

Electric trolling motors used to start out at about 10 lbs. of thrust and top out at about 40 lbs. or so. Today, it's tough to find a motor as small as 10 lbs. of thrust, and the high end motors will pump out over 100 lbs. of thrust, using 36 volts of power.

Before you make your trolling motor purchase, here are some tips to help you choose the right motor for your money.

First and foremost, always buy more lbs. of thrust than you think you'll ever need. If you have a 10 foot boat, or smaller, don't think that you should just buy the very smallest trolling motor available. Doing so is asking for trouble and disappointment. The smallest motor might seem like a good deal until you're on the water one day and the wind kicks up and the motor has a hard time moving the boat or holding it where you want to fish. Remember that electric trolling motors can't be tweaked or tuned to give you more power. What you buy is what you'll get, in terms of power and functionality. The only way to upgrade electric trolling motors is to replace them.

The same goes for larger boats. If your boat is 17 feet in length, don't think that a 32 lb. thrust motor will be sufficient. Even a 40 lb. thrust trolling motor will be barely enough. Go for all the motor you can afford to buy. You obviously don't want to go broke buying an electric trolling motor, but do yourself a huge favor and get the best you can afford. You won't be sorry later on.

The other area where you need to make an important decision is whether to buy a bow-mount or a transom-mount motor. This is 100% dependent on the type of boat you'll be using it on and what type of fishing you'll be doing, if any.

Small jon boats and skiffs will usually be best with a transom mount trolling motor. They're quick and easy to mount on the boat and put into use.

If you have a larger boat with a front deck, such as a bass boat, the bow mount motors are usually better-suited.

Bass boats usually have large front decks where the angler will stand or sit to fish, making it much easier to use a motor mounted on the bow.

If you do decide to buy a bow-mount electric trolling motor, you'll also need to decide whether to buy a hand-controlled motor or a foot-controlled unit. There are two factors to take into consideration here; price and functionality. Foot-controlled electric trolling motors are absolutely the way to go if you can afford one. They keep your hands free for fishing and make maneuvering the boat much more enjoyable vs. having to constantly reach down to make adjustments in your motor's position to compensate for wind, etc.

So when you make your trolling motor purchase, do yourself a huge favor and buy the best you can reasonably afford and do your homework ahead of the purchase, comparing many different models and reading reviews from people who have actually bought one of the motors you're considering. It'll save you a lot of frustration and make your fishing and boating time much more enjoyable.