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Best Trolling Motor Batteries Reviewed
Nothing spoils a day of red-hot fishing like a dead trolling motor battery. Fishing gear is all about performance, and gear that doesn’t perform in the role we bought it for is prime for replacement. A trolling motor battery is no different.
Finding a good trolling motor battery isn’t a wildly complicated task, but there are a few details to consider when looking for the best trolling motor battery for your boat.
Which battery will best meet your preferences and make for a reliable combination with your trolling motor will depend on your fishing set up. For most anglers, the primary factor to consider is how long you want to run your motor, and then finding a battery that delivers the goods.
Trolling motors are used in a variety of applications, so finding the right trolling motor battery will hinge on how you want to use your particular equipment. Every angler knows trolling motors are used on bass boats, but they’re commonly found on inflatable dinghies as well. Mounting a trolling motor on a fishing kayak is becoming a more and more common application.
Trolling motors are really versatile, and with such widespread use we want to help you get the most power out of your motor by pairing it with one of the top trolling motor batteries for your boat.
We reviewed 5 of our favorite marine batteries and offer some helpful ways to figure which battery will provide for your power needs. We also designed a comparison chart of marine batteries so you can see the details and get some quick answers.
Top Trolling Motor Battery Features To Consider
- Battery Size – Some trolling motor batteries can be quite large and others fairly small in size. Getting the right combination with your boat and power requirements is a balance, but one you’ll want to figure out prior to making a purchase. Fitting a huge and heavy trolling motor battery in a fishing kayak isn’t going to work. Likewise, a smaller battery suited for a kayak or canoe won’t last quite as long as those larger batteries will.
- Voltage – Trolling motors require either a 12V or 24V battery depending on power requirements. Higher thrust motors will sometimes require the higher 24V. If you want a high thrust option then you might need two trolling motor batteries. Anglers sometimes wire two 12V trolling motor batteries in series to produce a 24V power source. But regardless of how you get there, making sure to check the voltage requirements for your trolling motor will provide the best performance and avoid damaging your motor.
- Peak Power Draw – This aspect of battery selection is going to depend on the power needs of your electric trolling motor. Many of today’s motors have a peak draw between 30-50 amps, but you will want to know the peak power draw of your particular trolling motor to get the necessary amp-hours you will need. Most trolling motors make that information readily accessible with a little snooping on the internet.
- Run Time – This is where your preference dictates which battery you should ultimately purchase. One of the most important details to choosing the right trolling motor is to consider how long you intend to run your particular trolling motor.
Consider the following example:
Lets say you run a 86 lb thrust trolling motor that has a peak power draw of 50 amps. If you use the trolling motor at 50% thrust it would draw 25 amps. If you run the motor 4 hours with that 25 amp draw, the trolling motor will require a battery load of 100Ah. Here is what it would look like: 4 hours x 25 amps= 100 amp hours. Plug your numbers into the equation to get a sense for which trolling motor battery you need.
Top Trolling Motor Battery Comparison Chart
Best Trolling Motor Batteries
Finding a trolling motor battery that will actually perform week after week is no easy task. Trolling motor batteries are notoriously temperamental, losing their ability to charge and discharge after relatively few cycles.
Optima batteries BlueTop Marine Battery is designed to be different from the run-of-the-mill. The company has designed it with a unique battery technology that means that you’re able to charge and discharge it around three times more than the average marine battery, making it ideal for the angler who wants to move across open water, regularly throughout the year silently.
Optima is relatively quiet on how long the battery will last, but with claims such as “three times as many deep cycles of traditional batteries,” it’s safe to say that this product will likely last for many years. The reason that Optima has been able to do this has to do with its manufacturing process. Unlike many battery manufacturers who must source their batteries from third parties and then repackage them with their brand, Optima has its own production facilities. The company doesn’t have to rely on Panasonic or another vendor to send it generic batteries, which it then tries to adapt to marine purposes. It can construct its cells from scratch, which is useful.
At the heart of every Optima battery pack is lead-acid technology. But the company uses a unique “SpiralCell” design, which it says brings down the costs and improves reliability. Since the company went into business, it has made more than 100 million cells, making it one of the most successful in the whole of the marine battery industry.
So who is this battery for? Mostly, it’s for anyone who goes out fishing regularly. Pair it with a suitable trolling motor, and you should get months, if not years, of stealthy performance from it.
Universal Power Group wanted to create a heavy-duty battery that could provide ample charge for trolling motors for long expeditions on the lake. The company’s UB121000 certainly delivers on the total power supplied front. The battery weighs more than 63 pounds, making it one of the heaviest in our roundup. It’s designed to provide hours of power, even for relatively large fishing boats, and will give users more than 100 Ah, which is a considerable amount if you only need a battery for low-speed trolling.
One of the benefits of this battery is the quality of the seal. Universal Power Group works closely with Chinese manufacturers to ensure that the edges of the battery all comply with waterproofing standards, making this one of the safest lead-acid batteries on the market. The design means that it is highly unlikely that lead-acid will escape or water will get in. It is all backed up by a one-year warranty – something that is relatively unusual in the battery market.
The size of the battery means that the thrust is good. While this is a trolling motor, many anglers have been able to use it to crank up their speed from time to time. The only real concern with this battery is for smaller boats. The weight of the unit, combined with your body and fishing equipment, could take you over the recommended limit.
This battery should last for around four days of regular use before you need to recharge it. Recharging is relatively straightforward, so long as you have access to a regular power outlet.
The Mightly Max Electric Trolling motor is essentially a smaller version of Universal Power Group’s product. The battery is 55 Ah, meaning that it will supply 12V electricity for up to two days of regular use before you need to plug it in.
The battery is also something of a lightweight for lead-acid batteries in its class, weighing around 40 pounds, or a third less than a similar Universal. It, too, comes with a refund policy and a one-year warranty, giving owners the chance to swap it out for something else if they don’t get on with it.
Not that that is likely: the battery exceptionally well constructed and sealed, providing excellent shock and vibration resistance, even over long-term use. Mighty Max uses its engineering prowess to ensure that it packages its batteries in such a way that they can survive for long periods in mechanically active environments. The company does an enormous amount of research and development into the best way to construct and orientate then cells within the chassis of the battery.
Why might you want to choose the Might Max over other batteries in this roundup? The main reason is the temperature range over which the battery performs. Not all fishing days will be at an optimal 70 F. Sometimes, you’ll want to fish at 45 F and at other times of the year, 105 F.
Batteries have a nasty habit of losing performance the more you go up or down the temperature range, leading to lower power output and fewer overall cycles. Mighty Max, however, has developed a variety of technologies for its trolling motor battery that enables it to withstand both hot and cold temperatures. Thus, it’s great for people who live in colder northern areas or warmer southern areas who want to go fishing at all times of the year, not just when the weather is optimal.
The VMAXTANKS VMAX Marine Performance Battery: the quality of its lead-acid battery cells and its affordable price point.
VMAXTANKS knows that anglers want high-performance batteries that not only provide ample power but will retain their performance over the long-term, allowing them to enjoy fishing year after year. Finding batteries on the trolling motor cell market that fit the bill, however, can be a significant challenge.
The VMAXTANKS VMAX Marine Performance Battery breaks the mold. The primary feature of the cell is the unique chemical structure of the plates. VMAXTANKS uses a special proprietary process that enhances the charge-holding properties of the elements in the plates, allowing them not only to hold more charge but to withstand more discharge cycles. Although outwardly, the battery looks similar to other products in its class, on the inside, the technology is remarkably different.
VMAX claims that its Marine Performance Battery is a 100 percent maintenance-free package. The thing that sets the battery apart from the others on the market is its ability to withstand repeated deep discharges – or running the battery until it is flat before charging it up again. Most manufacturers recommend that anglers avoid this at all costs, as it can dramatically shorten the life of the battery. VMAX, however, says that this is not true of its cells. Users are free to run them down as much as they like, and it will not lead to any negative impact on performance.
VMAX, therefore, has created a hassle-free AGM battery that users can install and then forget about. Not only does it come with excellent seals, but VMAXTANKS also says that you can run it down as low as you like before having to remove it and charge it up. For many anglers, that’s a massive benefit.
Interstate Battery’s Seal Lead Acid deep cycle trolling motor battery is primarily designed as a quick replacement battery for an existing cell that has come to the end of its life.
The battery is much smaller than the other products we’ve so far considered here, weighing in at just 23.8 pounds. This makes it suitable as a kayak trolling motor battery or any other smaller vessel. It’s worth noting that due to this battery’s smaller size, it cannot perform in the same manner as the specialist marine trolling motor batteries we’ve considered so far in this review. This battery is not one that will provide your trolling motor with power on multi-day expeditions. It’s simply too small.
This battery is for a different kind of user: someone who plans on fishing for an afternoon or evening and then going home afterward to recharge their kit. The battery will also power a campervan, but again, the duration of the power provision will be less than a larger battery. Of course, what you lose in total power capacity, you make up in affordability. This battery is the least expensive in this review.
The manufacturer of the battery, Interstate Battery, is one of the best-known and highest quality manufacturers on the market. While the Sealed Lead Acid battery is excellent for use on trolling motors in general, many people link units together to create bank electricity storage for their homes too. What’s more, the battery also charges rapidly, meaning that it has a fast turnaround time if you want to get back out on the water soon after your first excursion.
Fundamentally, therefore, this battery is for the day-tripper: somebody who needs a vibration-resistant trolling motor battery, but who doesn’t plan on going on a long expedition. It is best for smaller boats.