Best Kayak Trolling Motor Batteries – Power to Spare
A trolling motor of exceptional quality requires a battery that is just as durable as it is capable. It’s not worth spending a lot on a motor but then having power delivered by a third-rate source.
Kayak anglers will need lightweight, long-lasting, and small batteries that don’t cost a lot.
This is a huge task!
We’d love to assist you if you don’t know where to begin. Here are reviews on the top kayak trolling batteries. We also have a buying guide for you to help you get started.
The Best Kayak Trolling Motor Batteries – Reviewed
Lithium ProsTM133 12.8V 33Ah – The smallest and lightest trolling motor battery for kayaks
Size5.12″ x 7.75″ x 6.37″
Lithium Pros is exactly what its name implies: experts in lithium battery manufacturing. The TM133 is the ideal choice for kayakers looking for the smallest and lightest possible battery.
This battery is smaller than most and can be placed in tighter places than comparable AGM models while still providing plenty of power. The real magic lies in the weight. just 10 pounds!
This is a game-changing kayak move!
As you would expect, those magical dimensions and featherweight come with a high-performance price. The TM133 has a reserve capacity of just 65 minutes, which means it can discharge faster than larger, heavier power sources.
It’s not surprising that you can’t cheat the laws of physics.
In the real world, an RC of 65 isn’t much to be sneezed at. For most kayak anglers this battery will provide enough juice for a full day of fishing. The good news is that lithium batteries are more durable than AGM technologies.
This battery is powered by lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). According to Minn Kota experts, it’s compatible with trolling engines.
- Crazy light!
- Very little!
- Competitively priced
- The service life of many years
- Our lowest RC
RC: 165-170 min?
SizeGroup 27: 6.61″x12.17″x 9.16″, (with terminals
UPG is a respected battery manufacturer. Their no-nonsense designs, performance, and reputation have earned them a huge following.
Although the 12v trolling motor battery isn’t equipped with flashy tech, it provides plenty of power. UPG will not report exact numbers on its reserve capacity. However, independent testing revealed a range of 165-170. This is a respectable number considering the battery’s size and weight.
This heavy 64-pound battery is definitely not lightweight. You’ll need to assess the size of your ‘yak with this large guy in place and check its trim. You might not be able to fit the Group 27 battery in the space you have planned. Measure carefully.
This trolling motor battery is a reasonable price and recharges quickly.
- Good RC
- In the real world, durable and reliable
Size5.5″x9.2″x8.38″ (with terminals).
VMAX produces some of the most powerful dedicated trolling motor batteries available, with the MR96-60 being the best. It is lighter and smaller than many, but still packs plenty of power.
The AGM battery is only 43 pounds in weight, which is very small by battery standards. Because of its slim dimensions, it’s much easier to find a place for than other AGM batteries. It’s still a very different world to the Lithium Pros TM133. If weight and size are important, it’s difficult to recommend any other.
The MR96-60 is almost twice as powerful as its lithium counterpart and has a much higher RC. This might be the best option if you need to really charge your battery.
If you are concerned about lithium battery compatibility and trolling motors, this AGM option is the best.
The MR96-60 is an excellent battery. It can be used with a trolling motor to produce maximum thrust for hours.
- Excellent RC
- In the real world, durable and reliable
- High thrust motors and high throttle settings are ideal for these engines
- It is much heavier than the TM133
- More than the TM133
VMAX AGM Deep Cycle VMAX MR127 AGM Deep – The Most Powerful Trolling Motor for Kayaks
SizeGroup 27; 6.75″x 12.1″x 8.2″, (8.46″ with terminators)
If you have the space and weight, the VMAX MR 127 battery is a great choice. This battery is ideal for trolling motor power sources. Many anglers love the fact that it has very low power consumption and can be set to a reasonable throttle setting.
This gives you up to 200 minutes of battery reserve, which is a high level of battery performance. The VMAXMR127 will give you a full fishing day no matter how powerful or high-powered you’re trolling motor is.
The Group 27 battery isn’t lightweight, as a result of its thick plates. But that’s the tradeoff for this level RC. This battery weighs in at 68 pounds. Many kayaks will find it to be the maximum acceptable weight.
The MR127 battery is for kayak anglers who have to work hard every day.
- Amazing RC
- Reliable and durable in real life
- This is the ideal choice for powerful trolling motors that can run at high throttle settings throughout the day
- Very heavy
How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor Battery For Your Needs
It would be easy to believe that each battery is the same, but it’s not true!
Specific applications can determine which battery type is best for you. Deep cycle batteries that are used to power RVs can’t withstand the heat and pounding waves of the summer sun.
This is just the beginning.
There are three types of batteries that are most commonly used: dual-use, starting, and deep cycle. They all have very different power outputs. A great starting battery, for example, will fail when it is connected to a trolling engine. If you don’t use the battery to start an outboard, a dual-use one is a waste of money.
It is essential to know which battery you require!
Learn the Difference Between Battery Types
- Deep cycle batteries are made with thick plates that have been coated in a catalyst medium. This means they don’t generate instantaneous power to turn an outboard motor. They are capable of delivering low, constant power for a long period of time and can withstand deep discharge and recharging cycles very well.
They are called “deep cycles” because they can withstand repeated deep discharges (20% maximum) without sustaining damage or reducing efficiency.
These are trolling motor batteries that you need.
- Starting batteries –They are fitted with sponge-like plates which offer a maximum surface area for the catalyst bath. They can produce plenty of power immediately to crank an engine. However, without large plates, they won’t be able to sustain that output for long.
They are only used to start a gasoline-powered engine.
You know that starting batteries require constant charging through an alternator. They quickly discharge without that constant tickle and can’t run an alternator or a car’s electrical system.
- Dual-use batteries –They are a compromise of a starting and deep cycle battery. They have enough surface area to allow the catalyst to produce an engine-starting burst, but they are thick enough to supply reliable electricity to your trolling machine.
These batteries are not suitable for trolling motors as they lack the long RCs and deep cycle capabilities of true deep-cycle batteries. They will also be less efficient at storing energy.
These batteries are intended for anglers who only require one battery for all their needs. They are not the best option for a dedicated trolling battery.
- Marine batteries are sometimes referred to as “deep cycle” but can also include any other types depending on their intended use.
Battery Tech: SLA/VRLA/AGM and Wet-Cell vs. Lithium-Ion
The days of wet-cell batteries are fading away. You’ll replace them with a new generation of lead-acid batteries, and innovative tech like lithium-ion.
These technology options will help you make the right choice for your specific needs.
- Sealed Lead-Acid, Valve-Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA), Absorbed Glass Mats (AGM), and Sealed Lead Acid (SLA)SLA/VRLA batteries are basically three terms that refer to the same chemical system. They use lead plates and acid for their basic components. AGM batteries also have an additional chemical trick. This tech results in AGM batteries that are all safe and heavy, and don’t need to be maintained like traditional wet cells.
These batteries are more durable than wet cells, but they can be damaged by excessive charging.
- Gel batteries– Gel batteries are also made from lead plates and acid. However, silica is added to the electrolyte to make it thicker. They have a superior long-term storage capability and, like AGM batteries, are very safe and easy to maintain.
They don’t like strong, sudden discharges which could cause damage to the plates. They must be charged carefully and not exceed their maximum charge.
- Lithium-Ion, also known as Li-ion.These batteries convert the lead and acid in traditional tech to carbon and lithium salts. They are smaller and lighter than comparable SLA and AGM batteries.
However, trolling motor manufacturers insist on delivering a higher voltage than their stated rating. A lithium 12v might deliver 14 to 16 volts.
Minn Kota had this to say. Minn Kota trolling engines can be run on a Lithium-Ion battery. They are designed to work with traditional lead-acid batteries (flooded AGM, GEL) but they can also be used on AGM, flooded, and GEL. Lithium-Ion batteries can hold higher voltages for longer time periods than lead-acid. A Minn Kota trolling engine running at higher speeds than 85% for prolonged periods could result in permanent motor damage.”
Newport Vessels also shares this concern. We advise against using lithium batteries in our products, just like all trolling motor brands. The voltage of lithium batteries is higher than that of lead-acid batteries (13V), and it lasts for longer periods (14-16V). Trolling motors can only be used with batteries that produce around 13V, and then primarily 12V. A higher voltage can cause motor wear, damage to internal components, and even ruin the motor.
Minn Kota approves lithium iron phosphate, (LiFePO4) as a power source for the lithium battery. Our motor can use the LiFePO4 Lithium battery. The maximum continuous output current ratings for LiFePO4 batteries must be greater than that of the trolling motor, or the battery will shut off.
- Wet-Cell BatteriesSince their inception in the late 19th century, wet-cell batteries have remained relatively unchanged. They are affordable and can withstand many charging cycles if properly cared for. They are also resistant to overcharging, and they weigh a little less than other SLA or AGM options.
They require ventilation and can spill acid and leak, they don’t retain a charge well in storage and can be damaged from the vibrations that are typical of marine use.
We do not recommend using a wet cell for your trolling motor.
How to Choose a Trolling Motor Batterie
As Simon Playford of Hunkerexplains, “Reserve capacity is defined as the number of minutes a fully charged 12-volt battery at 80 degrees Fahrenheit can provide 25 amperes at 10.5 volts until the voltage decreases.” That definition can be hard to wrap your head around, so let’s keep it simple: reserve capacity is just a measure of how long a battery can supply constant, continuous power at 80F.
Many people believe that RC is a “number.” However, there are some truths to this statement. The RC rating of a battery can’t tell how long it will last because there are many variables beyond that number such as temperature, draw, basic maintenance, and so on.
However, all things being equal, higher RC numbers will mean longer run times for your trolling engine.
You should look for the highest RC batteries you can afford. However, you must be aware of the trade-off between weight and size when you move up in RC. Although larger, heavier batteries are more powerful over time, their weight and size can quickly become an issue for a ‘yak.
Battery performance is affected by heat and vibration. A good trolling motor battery will be built to withstand both.
Our list of batteries is tested and proven to withstand the heat and jostling waves. My experience is that kayaks don’t take as much abuse on batteries as a bass boat, so you have less to worry about.
Ratio Price to Performance
You usually get what you pay for and this is true for batteries as well as for other items.
Higher prices mean longer RC times and lighter batteries.
Maximum RC is not critical for a kayak trolling motor. However, size and weight are important considerations.
I recommend you purchase the smallest and lightest possible battery that will provide enough power to allow you to operate your trolling motor at the settings you prefer and for the time you need.
All batteries require reasonable maintenance.
- After each use, charge your battery
- Don’t ever fully drain your battery
- Multi-stage chargers are a great way to get the right voltage at the right moment
- Keep your batteries cool but not ice cold.
- Never keep an uncharged battery in your car.
- Maintain cleanliness at the terminals
Comparison of weight and performance Performance
Bass boats do not need to be concerned about battery weight. However, even a large bank of batteries can cause problems.
A large, heavy battery might not be an option for a kayak with limited space and capacity.
A heavier, larger battery will typically produce more power over time because more plates provide more electricity. However, if you have a kayak that weighs 60 pounds, it can impact the handling and trim of the boat. You may also find that the best battery for your boat is not the right one.
When comparing performance, instead pay attention to size and weight. Although a lighter, smaller battery might not be as powerful, it may still be the best choice for you.
Size and placement
Be sure to plan where the trolling motor battery will be placed before you purchase it.
There will be enough space to store the battery and the cables that reach the motor.
Do not guess, measure!
Measure carefully, a battery that isn’t right-sized won’t work. Don’t forget to measure the space around the battery’s body. Also, take into consideration the terminals!
There are many sizes of batteries, called “groups”, but the dimensions can vary.
Batteries within a group may have slightly different dimensions in practice.
Although we cannot tell you which type of battery is best for your ‘yak or your needs, we can guarantee that all products we have reviewed offer outstanding performance.
The Lithium Pros TM133 will serve most kayakers unless the trolling motor doesn’t work with any other type of lithium battery. It’s smaller than the competition, lighter than expected, and easier to locate a power source.
We hope that you find this article helpful, regardless of your choice. However, if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear them.
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