So you’ve invested good money in a trolling motor, an indispensable item for fishermen using small boats or kayaks. Now you need to ensure that money isn’t wasted by buying the best batteries to back up your motor.
Skimping in this department is a false economy, ending your fishing trips early. It doesn’t matter how flash your trolling motor is, it’s the correct batteries that fulfill its true potential.
Whether you are a novice fisherman or a seasoned pro, it’s vital to get the best trolling motor battery for your needs. In this article, we will layout the fundamentals of buying a trolling motor battery and then go on to review 8 of the best currently on the market.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect one for you…
Picking the right trolling motor…
You might think that selecting batteries for your trolling motor should require little thought. Well, we’re here to suggest otherwise. Here are a few tips to remember when looking for the best marine battery for trolling motors.
Wet or flooded lead-acid
A more old fashioned design, not made so often these days. They require regular maintenance and are generally much heavier than newer designs. They also have a shorter lifespan. Consequently, they are cheaper than newer AGM designs.
Absorbed Glass Mats (AGM)
AGM’s designs incorporate electrolyte absorbed mats and are completely sealed systems. This means it can be mounted at different angles without any fear of leakage. The other main advantages are a significantly increased lifespan, the constant charge over a longer period of time, and the zero maintenance hours.
These are the main reasons the vast majority of anglers pump for an AGM battery even though they are generally heavier and more expensive. We will, therefore, be focusing on AGM batteries in this review.
More information on AGM batteries can be found here.
Dual Purpose Batteries are designed for people who only want to carry one battery aboard their boat. It’s responsible for both starting the motor and deep cycling, which means it’s performance when powering the engine suffers.
Deep Cycle Batteries are solely focused on providing power for your trolling motor and therefore last longer than dual purpose batteries. This equates to improved performance even when using a smaller battery size.
Basically, if you have limited space and need a battery that does everything, then a dual purpose would fit your needs. If you just need a battery to power your trolling motor, then a deep cycle trolling motor battery is the sensible choice.
This is a consideration, especially on boats or kayaks that are reaching their full capacity. Most angling trips don’t require too much extra weight on the boat, so a heavier battery probably wouldn’t be an issue. Batteries range in weight from 20-50lbs. Most kayak fishermen opt for a battery under the 30lb mark.
A lighter battery would also be preferable if you need to carry it around every time you need to recharge. Overall, the weight of the battery shouldn’t bother you too much unless it’s really slowing you down.
The longevity of your battery will differ considerably depending on the type bought. Wet cell batteries generally don’t last more than a maximum of two years whilst requiring regular maintenance.
AGM batteries will give you a longer lifespan, anywhere from 3-5 years. As a result, they are more expensive but generally more cost effective than buying two or three wet cell batteries over a five year period.
There are no guarantees when it comes to battery lifespan. Simply put, some outperform others. The best way to get reliable information on average lifespan is to read online customer reviews.
Amp Hours (Ah)
This metric lets you know how much total electricity the trolling battery can store. This is the main factor relating to how long the deep cycle battery will last on a single charge and is, therefore, a big consideration when buying.
If you’re planning on longer trips, then you will need a trolling motor battery with higher amp hours.
A fuller explanation of Amp Hours can be found here.
Cold Cranking Amps
This spec is only important if you are running a dual purpose battery with your trolling motor. It refers to the total amps a battery releases in the first 30 seconds of being connected from a cold start and is essential for starting motors. If buying a dual purpose battery, you’ll need to know about CCA’s.
The majority of trolling motor batteries run on a 12-volt system, which may not match up to the power system of your motor. Be sure to check this detail before you make a purchase. 24-volt motors will require two 12-volt batteries.
Ease Of Use
Make sure your trolling battery is easy to install by checking out what other buyers have to say. Was mounting the battery a problem for them and was the user’s manual a help or a hindrance.
Once installed, AGM batteries require no maintenance, making them extremely easy to work with. Wet cell batteries need lots of attention. Do you have the time to maintain your battery properly? If not, stick to an AGM.
The quicker you can recharge your battery, the more time you can spend out on the water. AGM batteries offer the fastest recharge times.
A good charger is an essential purchase to compliment your battery. Why does this matter? The wrong kind of charger will shorten single use and lifespan durations as it will never fully charge the battery. Regardless of how much you spend on your battery, make sure you pair it with an outstanding charger.
Now let’s take a look at some of the best trolling motor batteries on the market…
13 x 6.8 x 9.4”
13 x 6.8 x 8.8”
11 x 6.8 x 8.8”
12.2 x 6.6 x 9.2”
10 x 6.9 x 7.8”
7.7 x 5.2 x 6.2”
13 x 6.8 x 9.2”
Trojan T31-AGM Marine Battery
13 x 6.8 x 8.3”
1 Odyssey 31m pc2150st-m Trolling Thunder Dual Purpose Battery.
This has to be one of the most powerful dual purpose batteries on the market. Not only does it supply an impressive cold cranking amp of over 1000, it still has plenty of power left over to give your trolling motor a lengthy run out. Not needing a starter battery frees up space and load capacity on your boat. It’s so powerful enough to be used to run other electrical devices too.
The Odyssey is very simple to install due to the AGM sealed design, allowing for different mount positions and angles. It is also built to resist the shock and vibration caused by trolling motors and has been tested in extreme temperatures.
Expensive, but long-lasting…
Although this is the most expensive battery on our list, it also has the longest lifespan of up to 10 years. This means less time and money spent on replacements. You can be safe in the knowledge that with correct treatment, this battery will not have to be changed for years. The battery comes with a 4-year warranty, indicating the manufacturers confidence in their product.
Recharge time is also extremely efficient, taking only 4-6 hours for a full recharge – pretty fast, fair play!
This battery is most suited to be a permanent fixture on larger boats, as it is quite heavy. Not so great on smaller boats or if you have to carry it after every use.
An extremely versatile trolling motor battery with a price tag to match.
- Very long lifespan up to 10 years.
- Starts and powers the motor well.
- Quick charge time.
- Simple to mount.
- 4-year warranty.
- Works well in temperature extremes.
- Quite expensive.
- Very heavy.
- Suited to bigger boats only.
2 VMAX MR137 AGM Marine Battery
VMAX batteries are known for their rugged durability, and the MR137 is no exception, at home in both extreme heat and cold. The MR137 is the most powerful AGM deep cycle trolling battery VMAXTANKS produce, with an impressive 120 amp hour rating. This means it can comfortably power motors with 50-110lb thrust on the longest of day trips.
The non-leak AGM design allows for flexible mount positions, and the sturdy build makes it resistant to any bumps and vibrations it may encounter. Being an AGM design, it is also maintenance free.
Only a 12-months?
The manufacturer says that when used with the right charger, this battery will last between 8-10 years. However, they only back it with a 1-year guarantee, which doesn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence when compared to the 4-years offered by Odyssey.
Once again, the 75lb weight makes this unsuitable for smaller kayaks and boats, especially as you will have to carry an extra battery to start the motor. However, it does come with a solid strap making it easier to move that weight around.
Overall a potential contender for the best trolling motor battery.
- Exceptionally powerful battery.
- Extra time on the water.
- Well priced.
- Fast recharging ability.
- Potential 10-year lifespan.
- Big and heavy.
- Too large for most kayaks.
- Only a 1-year warranty.
3 Cabela’s X-900 31 Dual Purpose Pure Lead AGM Battery.
This dual purpose battery from Cabela’s has become very popular amongst the angling community in recent years. It comes into its own when used with larger engines that need more grunt to get going.
This deep cycle battery is capable of providing constant power for both your trolling motor and other on-board electronics. Its 1150 amp CCA rating is the highest of our contestants. Fanatical anglers have proven that this battery will not fail to start up your motor every time, in any conditions. The 101 amp-hours will be enough charge for a long days fishing.
Built to last…
It’s not one of the cheaper batteries on our list, but it does come with a 4-year warranty. Always a good sign. The manufacturers also claim this battery is capable of 900 recharge cycles, after which there would be a 50% drop in power. That’s an impressive lifespan right there. It’s also a fast recharger in comparison to others in its class, making it a front runner for the best battery for trolling motor
Again, this isn’t the lightest of batteries. Better equipped for larger vessels with extra electronic appliances than a kayak.
Overall, a versatile and high-performance best trolling motor battery.
- Reliable in all conditions.
- Impressive cold cranking amp rating.
- Long lifespan.
- Dual purpose versatility.
- 4-year warranty.
- Too heavy for smaller boats and kayaks.
- Relatively expensive.
4 Universal Power Group UB121000 Deep Cycle AGM Battery
This trolling motor battery is on the lower end of the price spectrum, a full 70% cheaper than the Odyssey, for example. Producing a solid 100 amp hours, this battery should be powerful enough to provide a good charge for both small and larger boats and motors.
The AGM design means zero maintenance outside of keeping the contacts clean and makes it easy to mount at any angle.
Takes a while…
Recharge times are not quite as impressive as others in this review, but most users didn’t find this to be a problem. The lifespan is also shorter than its competitors, with a maximum upper limit of 4-5 years. The low discharge rate of this battery also means it can be stored unused for long periods of time without losing too much charge.
The manufacturer provides only a 1-year warranty, significantly less than the 4-years Odyssey and Cabela’s offer.
But, there’s a catch…
A number of customer reviews indicate that they had problems fully charging the battery not long after purchasing.
For the low price, this battery fulfills the needs of most trolling anglers.
- Value for money.
- Zero maintenance AGM design.
- Vibration and shock resistant.
- High amp-hour capacity.
- Relatively heavy.
- Only a 1-year warranty.
- Shorter lifespan.
- Questionable reliability.
5 Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M Dual Purpose AGM battery
The Optima D34M AGM battery comes in at a lighter 44lbs and is significantly smaller than all but one other battery on this list. This, combined with the 55 amp-hour rating, makes it a good choice for small to medium-sized craft and motors.
The superior SpiralCell design technology used by Optima delivers energy more efficiently and helps protect against bumps and vibration. The spiral plates, rather than traditional flat plates, create a far more resistant battery, capable of many more charges. Basically, it should outperform other 55Ah trolling motor batteries, whilst not quite providing the length of deep cycle needed for bigger motors and boats.
Quick as a flash…
The recharge rate is another big plus, the best of any 55Ah battery. Less waiting means more fishing, and with the ability to recharge to 85% in an hour, you get just that.
It’s a dual purpose battery, generating an adequate 750 CCA, so starting in the cold shouldn’t be a problem.
Superb for its size…
Coming in at a mid-range price on this list, it packs a lot of punch for its size. A good choice if you’re looking to power a small to medium motor with a dual purpose battery.
- Relatively light.
- Efficient patented SpiralCell technology.
- Capable of more charges.
- Quick recharge times.
- Perfect for smaller craft.
- 55 Amp Hours only.
- Won’t power larger motors for long.
- Unsuitable for larger vessels.
6 Interstate DCM0035 AGM Deep Cycle battery – Best Cheap Trolling Motor Battery
By far the smallest deep cycle battery we are reviewing here. It’s also the lightest on our list at 23lbs. If you’re looking for a trolling motor battery for a small motor and you’re on a budget, this would be a great choice for you.
Motors with 18-30lbs of thrust are served very well by the 35Ah supply, with up to 5-hours of power at average speeds. Solo kayaking trips are where this battery really comes into its own.
Forty-eight months of maintenance-free bliss…
As with the other models, it’s an AGM design, so there’s no maintenance. Most users report you can expect to get at least 4-years regular use before encountering any problems. This is notable considering just how cheap this battery is. It’s the cheapest on our list, almost 50% less than the next model up, the Universal.
For the kayak trolling fisherman, the longevity and the low price tag on this battery mean you’d be foolish to look any further than the interstate. Don’t even entertain the idea for powering motors over 55lbs of thrust. You’ll have a very short trip.
Definitely, the best value trolling motor battery on the market.
- Low cost – Almost anyone can afford this.
- Long lifespan when considering the cost.
- Light and compact.
- Ideal for powering small motors and kayaks.
- No maintenance.
- Not enough capacity for larger motors.
7 NorthStar NSB AGM 31M Dual Purpose Battery
Another dual purpose battery designed to start and run larger trolling motors on bigger boats. The 1150 cold crank amps it produces will start your motor in the coldest of conditions. The 102 amp hours capacity is big enough to keep larger trolling motors going for hours and power other appliances on your boat.
As with all AGM batteries, maintenance isn’t an issue and is capable of holding a charge when stored over a long time.
NorthStar is confident enough in this model to offer a 3-year warranty. This means it should run effectively for considerably longer than that. Like its competitors, the NorthStar is made to last using advanced plastics for strong shock and vibration protection and increased durability.
It’s a heavyweight, tipping the scales at 76lbs so definitely more suited to permanent installation on bigger vessels. Not one to lug around.
Takes on the Odyssey…
It’s closest competitor on this list would be the Odyssey, both being dual purpose with similar specs. The NorthStar packs slightly more capacity and with the lower price point and similar warranty, would probably be the more sensible choice.
- Durability and reliability.
- 3-year warranty.
- Long lifespan.
- Will start your motor in all temperature extremes.
- Slightly cheaper than comparable models.
- Zero maintenance.
- A heavyweight.
- For use with larger motors only.
8 Trojan T31-AGM Marine Battery
Famous for their strong performance over long time frames, Trojan batteries have been producing quality batteries for almost 100 years. This reliable battery will not let that reputation suffer.
The Trojan can be used as a dual purpose battery, but we would advise against it on larger motors due to the comparatively low CCA rating. It works well used solely as a deep cycle battery to power the motor, supplying 100 amp-hours of capacity.
A major downside is the high price point…
It’s as expensive as the Odyssey whilst not being quite as versatile. However, users report a long lifespan, although we struggled to find any accurate warranty information on this model, which I would find frustrating as a buyer.
As usual, the AGM design takes away any need for maintenance and means it can be positioned at virtually any angle.
Overall, a solid performer but not as adaptable as others on this list of best trolling motor batteries.
- Long lifespan.
- High Amp hour capacity.
- A respected brand with decades of experience.
- Maintains itself.
- Low CCA rating.
- Not advisable for use as a dual purpose battery on larger motors.
- Too heavy for smaller craft.
So with all that in mind, let’s find out who will take the crown…
For its dual purpose versatility, high performance, longevity, comparatively low price and impressive 4-year warranty, our overall winner has to be the…
Cabela’s X-900 31 Dual Purpose AGM Battery
It was really the lower price point that gave it the nod over the Odyssey Trolling Thunder model. Performance wise, they were similarly matched.
If you don’t need a dual purpose battery and you also want to power a large trolling motor, the…
….would be the right choice. Significantly lower priced and with a larger capacity, it would win hands down if it had more uses.
A special mention goes to the…
…as this is the only battery truly suitable for solo kayak fishing or similar sized boats.
Now all you have to do is buy one!