If you’re reading this article then you obviously understand the importance of having a reliable battery for your trolling motor. The battery you pick will either help you make the most of your fishing trip or cut it short. To ensure the smooth running of your vessel, a high performance battery is what you need. And a marine battery will provide you with exactly that.
So which brand are you buying? Given the countless models at your disposal, narrowing down your options in order to select the right model is the tricky part. But we’ve got you covered. We’ve reviewed over 20 products in order to single out five options of the best battery for trolling motor on the market. From these five, the Universal UB121000 leads the pack as our Editor’s Choice. Besides providing reliable and consistent power, you don’t have to break the bank to own this model. The rest of the models on our list are pretty stellar too. Compare them for yourself and pick the best one for your needs.
Top 5 Batteries for Trolling Motors Review 2020
We’ve spent over 180 hours researching this information which we’ve gathered from different customer reviews on reputable sites. After all, who better to tell you the ins and outs of a product than someone who has used it before? The marine batteries that made our list were reviewed based on major features such as the type, amperage, performance, group-size, dimensions and warranty. These specs largely determine durability and reliability of the products. For easy reading, the information is categorized into a comparison table, detailed reviews of each product and short buying guide. Let’s dive right into it.
Universal UB121000 – Editor’s Choice
- Type: SLA, AGM
- Amperage: 100 Ah
- Performance: 100 Ah at 20-hour rate
- Group size: 27
- Dimensions: 12.17 x 6.61 x 8.30 in, 63.93 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year
Other features: 170 min reserve capacity, resists shocks and vibration, spill proof battery, can be mounted in any position, rechargeable
If you thought owning a battery for your trolling motor meant spending a fortune, this product will prove you wrong. For a reasonable price, you can get this AGM battery that provides reliable and consistent power. The impressive 100Ah rating is proof of this. It’s not surprising why we consider this model as the best battery for trolling motor.
This unit is both shock and vibration resistant, which contributes to its overall lifespan.
Because this is an AGM type of battery, it’s spill-proof. This means you can expect zero acid leaks so it maintains a charge for longer. Also, this makes it a maintenance free unit.
The battery arrives fully charged and ready for use straight out of the box. Installation of the unit is a relatively hassle free process. It can be mounted in any position. We’ll have to warn you that weighing over 60lb, it’s not the lightest model on the market.
It’s a rechargeable battery so be sure to charge it after every use. Either that or it might not power your trolling motor for long during your next fishing adventure.
The 170 reserve capacity is a nice touch. You’ll have more than enough reserve power to keep your boat moving if the alternator fails.
The major downside to an AGM battery is that it’s prone to overcharging which may prematurely damage the unit. It’s not surprising that most users have complained that their batteries died after a few months. Always make sure you use the unit as recommended by the manufacturer to avoid this.
If the unit does fail a few months after purchase, make use of the one year warranty provided.
- Easy to install
- High reserve capacity
- Prone to overheating
Mighty Max ML55-12 – Best Value
- Type: SLA, AGM
- Amperage: 55 Ah
- Performance: 58 Ah at 20-hour rate
- Group size: 22NF
- Dimensions: 9.02 x 5.43 x 9.13 in, 38.58 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year
Other features: high discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service life and deep discharge recover, rechargeable, can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration, long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures
Next up on our list is another AGM battery from the manufacturer Mighty Max which we’ve voted as our Best Value pick.
What impressed us with this product is its rugged construction. This marine battery for trolling motor is made up of high quality material which contributes to the unit’s durability. You’ll appreciate that the manufacturer covered the battery in a high-impact resistant case. If your boat hits a few bumps along the way, the impact will in no way damage the battery.
Exposure to extreme heat or chemicals also won’t damage the unit.
It’s safe to say you won’t be making a repeat purchase any time soon if you opt for this model since it’s built to last.
Like the model reviewed above, this battery also comes fully charged. Simply un-box and install the unit.
Weighing just under 40lb, it’s slightly lighter than the model reviewed earlier.
Best of all, you don’t have to part with too much money thanks to the reasonable price tag.
However we’re concerned that the amp rating may be slightly lower than what the manufacturer claims. Testing this model on a Battery Life Tester reveals that the unit produces 12amps per hour as opposed to 18. As such it may have a lower life expectancy than expected.
If you do experience any challenges with the battery, make use of the one year standard warranty provided.
- Sturdy construction
- Arrives pre-charged
- Relatively lightweight
- Shock and vibration resistant
- May have low life expectancy
- Lower amps per hour
ExpertPower EXP12180 – Budget Pick
- Type: SLA
- Amperage: 18 Ah
- Performance: 18 Ah at 20-hour rate
- Group size: T1
- Dimensions: 7.12 x 3.03 x 6.3 in, 11.68 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year
Other features: life span of 3 to 5 years, AGM Tech, user-friendly, strong resistance to shock, vibration, chemicals and heat
And now for our Budget pick. We present to you this Sealed Lead Battery (SLA) from the manufacturer Expert Power.
SLA and AGM batteries are one and the same so hopefully that clears up any confusion. Because it’s an AGM battery, the unit is spill-proof and maintenance free. If you don’t want the hassle of always checking your battery fluid level, this is the model to pick.
The amp rating on this unit is much lower compared to both models reviewed earlier making ideal to power a smaller boat.
But don’t be fooled by the low amp rating, this battery is designed to offer exceptional performance in both low and high temperatures.
This is a rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, so installation of this unit is a breeze. Note however that while the manufacturer includes screws for installation, they don’t include the mounting harness. You’ll have to make a separate purchase.
On the up side, you’ll appreciate that this deep cycle battery for trolling motor is also shock and vibration resistant. Plus, it’s extremely user friendly. You don’t need to be a battery expert to operate this unit.
Handling it is hassle free. Weighing only 11lb, it’s one of the lightest models on our list.
It does tend to overheat especially during the high duty cycle. But any problems you may face with the unit will be taken care of by the manufacturer thanks to the one year warranty provided. In fact, the manufacturer took it a step further by offering a 30 day refund policy on the product if you’re not happy with it. No questions asked.
- Long lasting
- 30-day refund policy
- Lower amp rating
- Heats up
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 – Best Portable Battery
- Type: AGM
- Amperage: 30 Ah
- Performance: 35 Ah at 20-hour rate
- Group size: U1
- Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 6.6 in, 25 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year
Other features: built-in handles, life span of 8 to 10 years, military grade plates, maintenance free operation, non-spillable and non-hazardous
If a portable battery for your trolling motor is what you’re after, look no further than this VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 model. Because it’s compact, the unit is ideally suited to fit in small spaces making it the best battery for kayak trolling motor. It weighs only 25lb making it one of the lighter models on our list. And the manufacturer even included handles to carry it around with ease which you’ll find very convenient.
For such a compact battery, this unit is designed to last anything between eight and 10 years—provided that you use & store it properly. This means you must avoid overcharging the battery or carelessly leaving it lying around.
The unit is made using heavy duty lead tin to guarantee exceptional performance. It’s not likely to suffer premature damage even after repeated discharges. For this reason, it’s an ideal battery for electric trolling motor.
This high performance battery is versatile. You can use it on a Cobra, Sevylor or Minn Kota motor. Just make sure you confirm that it’s recommended for use on your trolling motor by the manufacturer.
Because it’s an AGM battery you don’t have to worry about maintaining it. It’s spill-proof so there are no acid leaks to keep in check.
Like the products reviewed earlier, this unit is also covered with a standard one year warranty.
Overall you’ll be happy to know that this battery has no issues whatsoever when it comes to holding a charge. Just make sure you use it with the recommended charger or else you may experience compatibility issues.
- Easy to handle
- Lasts long
- Only used with provided charger
Optima 8016-103 D34M – Best Warranty
- Type: AGM
- Amperage: 55 Ah
- Performance: 55 Ah at 20-hour rate
- Group size: BCI – 34
- Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 in, 43.5 lbs
- Warranty: 3-year – residential, 1-year – commercial
Other features: 120min reserve capacity,15 times more resistant to vibration for durability, spill-proof, mountable in virtually any position
We round up our top five recommendations with this AGM battery from Optima.
What caught our attention with this unit is the impressive three-year warranty offered on the product, provided you don’t use the battery for commercial use.
Performance-wise, the unit has a wide range of features you’ll find useful. Firstly, it’s the only unit on our list that produces 750 cold cranking amps. Getting your boat up and running with this battery—even in extremely cold weather—is effortless.
Also, it has a sizeable 120 minute reserve capacity. That’s more than enough reserve power to ensure that the battery doesn’t drain before you’re done with your boating adventure.
Compared to the rest of the models on our list, this unit is 15 times more resistant to vibrations.
Installing the battery is straight forward. The fact that it can also be mounted in any position makes the installation process much simpler.
You’ll appreciate how versatile this battery is. Aside from using it on your trolling motor, you can also use it as an RV battery.
While the features outlined are nothing short of impressive, there are mixed reviews regarding the battery’s durability. Some customers reported that it stopped functioning after a few months thereby questioning its durability. This is rather disappointing considering the unit’s high price.
- Three year warranty
- Easy to install
- High reserve capacity
- Starts easily in cold temperatures
- Durability questionable
Did you find the best battery for trolling motor reviews helpful? Are you ready to make your pick or are you still uncertain? If you still need further clarity, we’re positive that going through this buying guide will help put things into perspective. Included in this section is information you need to know when picking a marine battery to make your selection process easier. We’ve also answered a few questions you may have regarding marine batteries.
Features to consider when choosing a battery for trolling motor
Let’s start by outlining the key features you need to keep your eyes peeled for when comparing one model to the next. Don’t be scared by the technical terms and various numbers under each model; allow us to clarify what these mean for you.
When deciding on a battery for your trolling motor, you have three options. AGM, Lead Acid Wet Cell and Gel batteries. Each type influences durability, price and ease of maintenance as we’ll explain shortly:
- Lead Acid Wet Cell Batteries: These are undoubtedly the most common—and affordable—of the three types. They’re known to last between two to three years. Unfortunately Lead Acid Wet Cell batteries are susceptible to vibrations and acid spillage. Plus, they require regular maintenance if you expect them to last long. Why? Wet Cell batteries have their plates submerged into water and sulfuric acid. Overcharging these batteries drops the water level thereby affecting performance and reducing lifespan. This means regular top-ups with distilled water are necessary with this battery type to maintain the water level.
- AGM batteries: AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. This mat is designed to trap electrolytes found between the plates located inside the battery. Simply put; this is a huge safety feature which prevents acid from leaking inside the battery—even if it breaks. All batteries reviewed on our list are AGM types. Unlike their Wet Cell counterparts, AGM batteries are completely sealed and designed to maintain their charge for longer. Plus, they’re maintenance free and less susceptible to vibration damage. This makes them slightly more expensive than Wet Cell batteries.
- Gel batteries: As the name suggests, these batteries are built with gel electrolytes and can be used in a wide range of applications. This type lasts much longer than both Wet Cell and AGM batteries. As such, they’re the most expensive of the three.
Amperage and Performance
Pay attention to the amperage rating stated on the battery because it largely determines the unit’s overall performance. This makes it one of the most important metrics to consider before making your final purchase.
Manufacturers rate battery performance in amp hours. The number displayed on the unit is an indication of how much electricity the battery can store. In short, this rating indicates how long the battery in question will power your trolling motor for. The higher the amp rating, the longer the battery can power your boat and other appliances.
Small batteries usually have an amp rating of between 25 and 50Ah. Do you prefer a larger battery? It’ll have a rating of up to 100Ah. The Universal UB121000 model is one such example that has a 100Ah rating on our list.
Cold Cranking Amps
Do you live in a cold climate area? Then you’re very much aware of the hassle involved when trying to start your boat’s engine during such weather conditions. The last thing you need is to spend hours trying to crank up your boat’s engine before it actually starts. This is why you need to consider the battery’s cold cranking amp (CCA) before you buy it.
So should it be high or low? Opt for a battery with a higher CCA rating because that means it has greater starting power and won’t give you any problems.
With a 750 CCA rating, the Optima 8016-103 D34M is one of the few products on our list that’s designed to power up your boat effortlessly in cold weather.
Much like cars, trolling motors are available in varying makes and models & have different engine types. As such, each trolling motor will have different physical dimensions and terminal locations. You want a battery size that matches those exact specifications.
How will you ascertain this?
But there’s no need for guesswork, simply pick the group size recommended for use on your trolling motor as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
To avoid disappointment, you must ultimately ensure that the battery you pick fits inside your boat before making any purchases.
Durability and Design
It’s difficult to determine the overall lifespan of a battery because this is dependent on many factors. What’s the battery design? How are you using, maintaining and storing the battery? What temperature conditions will the battery be operating under?
As previously stated, Gel batteries last very long; between 10 and 20 years. AGM batteries last approximately four to eight years. And Wet Cell batteries will last at least two years.
Maintenance and storage of your battery determine how long it’ll last. We’ll give you a few storage tips a little later in the article that you can incorporate to ensure that your battery lasts long.
Regardless of the type you pick, consider the warranty period covering the unit. This way you can take it in for repairs if you happen to experience any challenges with the unit. The VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 is one of the more durable models on our list and is designed to last between eight and ten years.
Some manufacturers add additional features onto their batteries. Granted, this may increase the product’s price, but certain extra features are worth paying for such as:
- Built-in handles: Handles certainly make carrying the battery around much easier. The VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 is the only model on our list that has handles.
- Mounting position: Some batteries can be mounted in any position making installation much easier. Most of the batteries on our list have this characteristic.
- Vibration and shock resistant: Your boat is likely to go through a few bumps as you cruise thereby affecting the trolling motor. This can make your battery subject to shock and vibration impact. Picking one that can withstand such impact prevents premature wear and tear of the unit.
- Reserve capacity: Check the battery’s reserve capacity. Know this; each time you start your engine, the battery generates power to run the alternator. Your alternator then steps up to power your boat while the battery powers other items such as the lights and stereo. But alternators can fail. When this happens, the battery is solely responsible for powering the boat meaning more power is drawn from it. Picking a battery with high reserve capacity minutes will reduce the chances of your battery running out of power if the alternator fails. The Universal UB121000 is an example of a product with an impressive 170 minute reserve capacity.
Handy Tips When Handling Your Battery
The goal is to ensure your battery lasts as long as possible, right? Follow these handy tips to ensure this:
- Don’t mix battery types as this may negatively affect performance. If you use an AGM battery for your trolling motor, stick to that. When it’s due for replacement, don’t opt for a Wet Cell battery simply because it’s cheaper.
- Always charge the battery immediately after each use. This way it’s ready and fully charged for your next boating trip.
- If you opt for the Wet Cell battery, always check the fluid level regularly. Top it up with distilled water if the levels are low.
- Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion at least once a month. Corrosion on your terminals is never a good sign as it negatively affects the power output of the motor. Clean the terminals with baking soda or toothpaste if you notice any signs of corrosion.
- Keeping your battery in an acid-proof storage location will significantly lengthen its lifespan. Be sure to store your batteries in a cool and dry place. And make sure the unit is always connected to a trickle charger so that it doesn’t drain completely.
Yes, you can. Depending on the brand, you can use the battery for other applications such as solar generators or RVs.
This depends on the brand and life cycle of the battery as previously stated.
You’ll need a discharge rate calculator to calculate the battery discharge figure. The discharge rate is the Ah rating divided by the current. For example, if you have a 2200mAh battery and a load that draws 300MA, you divide 2200 by 300 and the answer is 7.3 hours.
Let’s conclude this article by highlighting our top three favorite models. We’ll start with the Universal UB121000 battery which we’ve awarded a 9.8 rating. Despite the reasonable price, it’s the most powerful model on our list thanks to the high amp rating. Plus, it has the highest reserve capacity.
Following closely behind with a rating of 9.6 is the Mighty Max ML55-12. It’s designed to provide exceptional performance regardless of the temperatures it’s operating under. The heavy duty case covering the battery makes it a long lasting unit.
In third place with a 9.4 rating is the ExpertPower EXP12180 which we’ve voted as our Budget pick. It’s the lightest model on our list so you can expect easy handling. Despite the compact design, the unit is designed to produce reliable and consistent power. And it also performs well in both low and high temperatures. But the final decision lies with you. Tell us: in your opinion, which model is the best battery for trolling motor?