A trolling motor system is an electric unit that you find on an angler's boat, which has the job of allowing the fishing boat to move through the water silently. This will prevent the fish from becoming spooked and fleeing from that area underwater.
They usually feature a propeller, motor, and controls. Obviously, this is a very beneficial piece of gear for fishermen, and you’re going to need a high-quality battery to allow it to work as efficiently as it possibly can.However, how do you find the best trolling motor battery for your system? This may seem like a daunting task thanks to the overwhelming amount of options available on the market, all with different uses and features.
It can be rather confusing to choose the best option, particularly if you’ve never done it before or are new to trolling motor systems.
Fortunately, we’ve created this article with a number of the best batteries for your trolling motor that are available, as well as a handy buyers guide and a few frequently asked questions.
Hopefully, this article will give you a better understanding of the different batteries you can get and make your job a little easier.
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This battery is an AGM deep cycle model which is excellent for boats where you’re short of space and need a compact yet powerful battery. An excellent example of this is for a kayak where there is very limited space to keep all your equipment, especially for a battery. The Interstate Batteries model measures in at 7.68 x 5.16 x 6.14 inches and weighs 23.1 pounds, allowing it to not add too much extra weight to your vessel.
This AGM battery offers 12 volts and delivers 35 amp hours, making it ideal for a trolling motor. You have the ability to mount this battery at any angle without it leaking or reducing its efficiency, which is an added advantage of mounting it in the best position to use as little space as possible. Overall, this is an excellent trolling motor battery for your small vessels where space is limited and a luxury.
This BlueTop Marine Starting Battery is 12V with 50 amp hours and a very impressive deep cycle performance. It has been specially designed for use around water and performs just as well in colder temperatures, which can be very beneficial when fishing in spring or autumn, or fishing in the late evening into nighttime. What’s more is that the reserve capacity is 100 minutes.
Much like the Interstate Batteries model, you can mount this battery in any position or angle due to the spill-proof design. It does not need any maintenance from you either, so feel free to mount it however is most convenient for you and your boat. Another great benefit is that it is durable and strong, and is resistant to heavy vibrations.
Thanks to the beneficial amount of amp hours and the long lifetime, you’ll be able to power your trolling motor system for at least a couple of hours without having to stop and recharge the battery. It measures in at 10 x 6.88 x 7.81 inches and weighs 38.4 pounds, making it slightly heavy and therefore not the best choice for kayaks and light boats.
This battery from Mighty Max is a durable 12V deep cycle battery that gives the user 55 amp-hours. The grid is made from calcium alloy to both keep its lifespan long and keep it performing well throughout many uses. This is an excellent battery to use for a number of things, and it can even be used in below optimal conditions. For example, you can use it in hot or cold temperatures without worrying about the performance faltering.
Some batteries can really suffer in subpar temperatures, so the fact that you can use this battery no matter the climate is a really good benefit. Another battery that can be positioned in any different way, it’s easy to use this model in smaller vessels such as a kayak. The exterior is sealed so you won’t need to keep up with much maintenance, so you can mount it wherever you want and all but forget about it until it needs recharging.
Although you can mount it in a small vessel thanks to the lack of leaking, it weighs quite a bit at 38.58 pounds so it may not be the best if you don't have much weight capacity left after all your gear is loaded into the vessel. The Power Boat Pontoon measures in at 9.02 x 5.43 x 9.13 inches.
The Vmax857 Marine is another 12V deep cycle battery that gives you 35 amp hours between charges. The casing is super durable and protects the battery from high vibrations with the Vmax plates. This allows you to position the battery almost anywhere in the boat without having to worry about whether or not your battery is going to be too exposed to the movements.
This extreme durability keeps the performance of the battery high and impressive, and also allows the lifespan to be longer than other models. This AGM battery will last you a long time and be able to withstand even harrowing fishing trips, even when you’re continuously recharging it.
It measures in at 7.7 x 5 x 6.1 inches, making it reasonably compact to be able to be mounted wherever you want. As it is a sealed AGM battery that doesn’t require any maintenance, you can mount it almost anywhere without having to be conscious about how you’re going to reach it for frequent checkups.
ExpertPower actually offers this battery in multipacks so that you can use it with different voltages of trolling motors. We’ve selected the two packs, allowing you to use it with a 24V trolling motor. These batteries are AGM sealed models, so you can position them freely almost anywhere on your boat.
The ExpertPower EXP121880 batteries offer 18 amp hours and, if you only have a 12V trolling motor, it’s an excellent option for you to purchase if you want to keep a spare battery with you. Switching between the two could double your time on the water, allowing you to enjoy your trip for longer.
Both of these batteries weigh 24 pounds, measure in at 7.1 x 3.1 x 6.6 inches, and don’t require any maintenance. This allows you to use them wherever they fit, no matter what angle they’re positioned in.
WindyNation offers a 12 volt AGM battery that offers 100 amp hours, allowing a long-lasting power source to keep you fishing for longer. It is a deep cycle battery that works well despite being put through constant recharging, making it an excellent choice for long trips.
Its total weight is 63.5 pounds, which is rather a lot and probably makes it not suitable for smaller vessels and kayaks. It measures in at 13 x 6.8 x 8.7 inches, which is slightly larger than other models we’ve looked at on our list.
The reserve capacity is 240 minutes and it is impressively durable, making it an excellent choice for trolling motors. Just make sure that your boat is able to withstand the added weight before committing to this battery.
Similar to the WindyNation model we just discussed, the VMAX MR127 also offers 100 amp hours as a 12V battery. This makes it a great choice for people who want to spend a long time on the water rather than worrying about your trip being cut short thanks to a lower number of Ah.
This battery is designed for deep cycles and doesn’t require any maintenance. It features grids that are extremely durable which will offer you a longer lifespan and a better overall performance. It recharges very quickly and is sturdy and strong enough to withstand even the heaviest vibrations.
It measures in at 12.1 x 6.7 x 8.2 inches and weighs 68 pounds, making it larger than typical AGM batteries and therefore it may not be suitable for smaller boats and kayaks.
This is the second installment of Optima on our list, thanks to the high performance of their products. This battery is a 12V deep cycle AGM model that requires very little maintenance on your part. It offers you 55 amp hours and perhaps the standout feature is the fact that it can be recharged up to three times more than other marine batteries.
You can mount it in any position which is very useful when you don’t have much extra space for a bulky battery. This is good for smaller vessels, however, the weight of 43.5 pounds may not be as lightweight as you need. The battery measures in at 10 x 7 x 8 inches.
This battery can be used in many different temperatures and is not phased by the climate being too hot or too cold. It offers a reserve of 120 minutes, allowing you to use it at 25 amps for two hours before the amp usage is reduced to a lower level. Optima batteries are very durable and resistant to vibrations, offering you a good lifespan.
Finally, this is a case for you to store your battery if you’re on a small vessel with not much space. This is not a battery, just a case designed for boats that don’t house a battery compartment. There are places that allow easy access to your battery, and a battery meter built-in that tells you how much power your battery has left.
Moreover, there are two manual circuit breakers - one 15 amp and the other 60 amp - which are designed for accessories. Overall, this is a great accessory to purchase alongside your battery to make your trip more fulfilling and easier.
Best Trolling Motor Battery - Buyers Guide
Types of Batteries
You can use a number of different power sources with your trolling motor, but batteries are by far the best and most used source. There are three types of batteries that are considered the best for trolling motors, which are lithium-ion, AGM, and wet-cell batteries.
Below we’ll be talking about these three popular batteries and how they excel, as well as their downfalls. This should give you a better understanding of which battery you want to choose for your trolling motor, depending on your personal preference and the size of your boat.
Using a lithium-ion battery is an excellent way to reduce the added weight for your boat. This is by far the lightest type of battery, however, this does make them more expensive than AGM or wet-cell batteries. Lithium-ion batteries were traditionally not used for trolling motor systems, but thanks to their high-quality and great performance, they are becoming more and more popular among fishermen.
Instead, lithium-ion batteries are most commonly used for laptops, smartphones, and other electronics. They are fast charging and long-lasting, making them good choices for equipment that you need to use for a prolonged period of time. Having said that, it is advised that you do not use them uninterrupted for too long as they sometimes are prone to overheating.
Lithium-ion batteries are mostly used in trolling motor systems by anglers who compete in tournaments. This is because of the lighter weight allowing you to pick up more speed quicker. Moreover, the quick charging time allows you to fish for longer without having to stop and recharge. This allows you to increase your bounty in less time.
Absorbed Glass Mat batteries, or AGM for short, feature fiberglass matting within their construction, which is where they get their name. AGM batteries are sealed and free from leaking acid, making them safe to use at any positioning. Thanks to the sealed exterior, you don’t need to use a ventilated case with this type of battery as the gases cannot escape from within the battery.
This means that you can use a fully enclosed case with AGM models, making it safe and easier to mount them upside down, on their sides, or at a diagonal. This makes AGM batteries particularly useful for smaller boats in which you need to use your limited space wisely.
These batteries charge very fast and last for an impressive amount of time. In fact, they can actually last twice as long as wet-cell batteries, despite the more compact size and weight. If you’re looking for a small but mighty battery for your trolling motor, AGM batteries may be the way to go.
You won’t need to spend any time conducting maintenance on this type of battery, and they work well as deep cycle batteries due to the length of time you can go in between charges. A deep cycle simply means that the battery is being continuously used, so AGM models are a good option if you’re going to be using your trolling motor system for a long time without having a break.
AGM batteries also work very well in suboptimal conditions, such as cold temperatures and high vibrations. This makes them highly sought after due to their great durability. Having said that, they don’t work as well in hotter temperatures. Leaving your battery in high heat might damage them.
Expanding on this, it is also very easy to overcharge an AGM battery and therefore damage it. Having said that, there are chargers that you can buy to prevent this, as they’ll stop charging your battery once it’s reached 100%. AGM batteries often have quite a high price point, which can put people off opting for them. However, the large number of advantages usually overpowers this drawback.
Wet-cell batteries get their name from the fact that they have liquid acid within the battery itself. You also may have heard of them be referred to as flooded cell batteries. They’re most commonly found in cars and that’s why they have been designed to withstand frequent charging and draining. Wet-cell batteries are the most affordable option when looking for motor trolling batteries, but this does come with some disadvantages.
One of the drawbacks of wet-cell batteries is that they require a lot more maintenance than AGM or lithium-ion batteries. The battery acid needs to be kept at the correct level and you may need to add distilled water to them to keep this level steady. The other main drawback is that they are not sealed, making them more likely to leak acid all over the place.
Due to the potential leakage, wet-cell batteries are also more likely to corrode easily and wear prematurely. This makes this type of battery more susceptible to damages to the performance, which may reduce its lifespan by a considerable amount. For this reason, maintenance is essential, especially if you’re about to take it out on the water.
Fishing boats sometimes have to deal with heavy vibrations, which could further damage a wet-cell battery. The battery acid within this type of battery is sulfuric, a corrosive liquid. Obviously, a corrosive acid pouring over your boat is not desirable. Wet-cell batteries also need to be kept somewhere with good ventilation as they release hydrogen gas into the air.
Due to these reasons, we would not recommend choosing a wet-cell battery for your trolling motor. However, if you are on a budget and this is all you can afford, there are safety measures that need to be taken when using a wet-cell battery. If you follow these rules properly, it should be fine to use with your trolling motor system.
What To Look Out For When Purchasing Batteries
Let’s start off looking at ampere-hours, commonly known as Ah or amp hours, as this is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your new model. Different people will need different amounts of amp hours, depending on their trolling motor and how much current it needs to power it up. Make sure you check the requirements for your motor and choose the right amount of amp hours accordingly.
Next up is the voltage. Most batteries come in 12 volts, which works well with trolling motors as most models are also 12 volts. Make sure to check your trolling motor for how many volts it needs, but 12V should be sufficient, especially if you’re using it on a smaller vessel such as a kayak.
Having said that, some trolling motors require 24 volts which means that you’ll need to use two 12V batteries. Similarly, a trolling motor that requires 36 volts will need three 12V batteries. If you have a more demanding motor and don’t necessarily have the space or weight capacity for three batteries, lithium-ion batteries tend to have a higher voltage and therefore will only require you to use one.
If you need more than one battery, you should remember that they need to be the same type as you shouldn’t mix batteries. Wet-cell batteries do not mix with AGM batteries and AGM does not work well with lithium-ion batteries.
Moreover, both the batteries need to be the same charge and age, as an older battery working alongside a new battery may reduce the lifespan of the newer model. This will force the new battery to only work as fast as the older battery, which will reduce the overall performance of both of the batteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I store my battery?
Once you’re finished with the battery for a while, perhaps you’ve just come back from a fishing trip and don’t know when the next one will be, it’s important that you recharge the battery fully before storing it away. Leaving the battery flat for too long may cause it to die and become useless by the time the next trip comes around.
Similarly to a car battery, these types of batteries may not recharge if they haven’t been used for too long. This is why it’s vital that you leave it with a full charge so that you know that you can use it. This is especially important if you’re not going to be using the battery for a long time or are going to be leaving it in a cold place for the duration of it being stored away.
Of course, having a fully charged battery will also allow you to use it straight away when you next need it, making it more convenient for you. How many times have you had to do something and thought to yourself “I wish I’d done that beforehand”? A ready to go battery is much better to store away than a flat one.
Make sure that you choose a dry and cool place to store your battery when you’re not using it to preserve its life. Wet-cell batteries will need to be filled up with distilled water every now and again so that the fluid level remains correct. Make sure your battery won’t get too cold as this could deteriorate your battery’s lifespan and efficiency.
We would advise you to check your battery regularly to ensure that they’re not suffering from subpar conditions. Your battery will most likely come with a manual that tells you how to store it properly, so make sure that you read this as the manufacturer will know best how to store your individual battery.
What is the lifespan of a battery?
This depends on the individual battery as different manufacturers test them differently. You should check your battery for a more definitive answer, but below we’ll look at a general consensus of how long batteries should last you.
Wet-cell batteries should have a lifespan of 2 and a half years if they’re used frequently. AGM batteries should last between 3 and 4 years, and lithium-ion batteries tend to last much longer at 10 years. Having said that, remember that this is only an estimate.
Storing your batteries correctly will ensure you get a longer lifespan from your battery, and batteries used for float cycles will usually last longer than those used for deep cycles. This is because float cycles are not as demanding as deep cycles, and they don’t require as much recharging and draining.
Batteries used for trolling motors will usually be used for deep cycles, unless you’re carrying a spare and switching between the two regularly. If you’re only using one, expect the lifespan to be reduced due to how much stress the battery is going through without any proper breaks.
How long do batteries last of each charge?
Again, this all depends on the type of battery you have and what kind of motor you’re using it to run. Other factors will affect this as well, such as the speed that you’re going and how heavy your boat is. This is because the faster you’re going and the heavier your boat is, will force your battery to work harder and therefore drain it of charge quicker.
Having said that, you can figure out how long your own battery will last by working out the amp draw of your motor. Once you have this figure, divide the Ah in the battery by the amps in the motor. This will give you the amount of hours you have before you’ll need to recharge your battery again.
For example, a battery with 100 amp hours working with a motor that is 20 amps will last for five hours before running flat. Bear in mind that this is at a medium speed, if you go faster or slower the amount of time will differ slightly. Essentially, the higher the Ah of a battery, the longer it will last during one charge. Similarly, the larger amount of amps that the motor needs will cause the battery to drain faster.
How long do batteries take to charge?
Ultimately this will depend on the amps of the charger that you’re using, however, it’s worth noting that AGM and wet-cell batteries will take much longer to charge than a lithium-ion battery. In fact, the former two options may take up to a couple of days to fully recharge.
Going back to the amount of amps within your chosen charger, the more amps simply means the faster the charge time will be. Typically, you may expect to see your battery charge in around 12 hours if you’re using a 5 amp charger. This makes them handy for you to leave them on charge overnight so that they’re ready for the morning, but you have to be careful not to overcharge them as this could affect the performance and lifespan.
Wet-cell batteries are particularly susceptible to overcharging, and this can lead to corrosion and potentially fatal faults. Too much corrosion can make you have to buy a whole other battery and render your current one useless, so it’s important that you clean the corrosion off as soon as you spot it with a wire brush and a water and baking soda paste.
We’d suggest choosing a smart charger which turns off automatically once the battery is fully charged, as this prevents overheating or overcharging. Overall, these chargers are lifesavers when you accidentally forget to unplug the charger, and prevent catastrophic incidents that may require you to buy a new battery altogether.
How much charge your battery currently has when you start to charge it will also affect how long it takes to fully revive itself. Of course, if it is only half drained you won’t have to wait as long for it to bounce back up to 100%. However, if it is completely flat when you begin to charge it, expect to wait for a much longer time. Leaving your battery without any charge for too long may affect its lifespan, so we’d recommend keeping it charged as much as possible.
Make sure you charge it completely when recharging your battery, as only charging it halfway can also affect its lifespan. Batteries sometimes develop a memory of sorts that tricks it into thinking that the undercharged level is its maximum capacity if you tend to undercharge it too much.
This means that you’ll only be able to reach a fraction of the capacity the battery should hold. You’ll also not be able to reach the amp-hours you’re supposed to be able to achieve from one charge, meaning that you won’t have as much time out on the water during your fishing trip.
Compared to AGM and wet-cell batteries, lithium-ion batteries are much faster charging and will only take about two hours to charge to their full capacity. If you’re worried about your battery running flat while you’re out on the water and don’t want to have to cut your trip short, you can choose a portable charger that you can keep in your vessel for emergencies.
Solar chargers are often opted for as they are lightweight, easy to carry, and effective enough to use while you’re off the grid. 12V batteries used for trolling motors won’t particularly gain a lot of charge from a solar charger once it’s flat, so you might find it easier to keep the solar charger hooked up to the battery while you’re using it. This will keep the charge level relatively steady or allow it to drain slower.
As long as it’s a sunny day, you may as well use your surroundings to aid your fishing trip and keep your boat up and running for as long as possible. Without this your fishing trip may have to be cut short, so we’d recommend looking into portable solar chargers for your battery.
And that concludes our article on the best trolling motor batteries, we hope that you have learned some valuable knowledge and now know a little more about what to look for when purchasing your new battery.
While choosing the right battery can sometimes feel like a difficult task, we’re here to show you that it can actually be easier than you think. As long as you know the requirements for your individual trolling motor systems, you should be able to make an informed decision with our article.
Make sure you choose the right battery for your individual situation. If you’re using a kayak, you’re going to need a battery much lighter and smaller than a battery that could be used on a large fishing boat. Your battery will be pretty useless if your weight capacity doesn’t allow for it, so bear this in mind when choosing one.
Similarly, the heavier the battery is will affect the top speed you can reach and will also cause the battery to drain faster. Just because you can get a heavier battery doesn’t mean that you should. Overall, remember that different types of batteries will affect the time you can spend on the water, so choose wisely.