Best Trolling Motor Battery in 2021

Last Updated on April 25, 2021 by KayakPro

Finding the right kind of batteries for trolling motors can be a hassle, and it can easily get overwhelming when you start getting into terms like “AGM”, “Deep Cycle”, “Amp hours”, and all the other technical jargon associated with these batteries.

This article is here so finding the right trolling motor for you doesn’t have to be a complicated process, as we explain the most commonly used jargon and technical terms simply and clearly, and then give you a list of some batteries you might find helpful in your search.

Keep in mind, this article is not an exhaustive list of everything there is to know about trolling motor batteries but is simply a beginner’s guide meant to arm you with the right knowledge so you can make an informed buying decision. So let’s jump right into what terms you need to know.

Trolling Motor Jargon: A Beginner’s Guide

While there isn’t much you need to memorize in order to understand this article, there are some technical words that the average reader may not be familiar with due to the article’s technical nature. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more common words or phrases you might read throughout this article.

Ampere hours(Ah)

All of the batteries we review here have an Ampere hours(Ah) value attached to them. All this means is how many Amps the specific battery can draw in the span of one hour. The reason why this is important is that it’s this number that allows you to calculate how long your battery is going to last you.

For instance, let’s say you have a battery that’s rated for 100 Ah, and you also have a trolling motor that draws 25 Amps.

The calculation is simple. All you have to do is divide your battery’s Ah rating by how many amps your trolling motor draws, and the result is how many hours your battery will last you. In this instance, we divide our 100 Ah rating by the 25 Amps our trolling motor draws to find out that our battery will last us approximately 4 hours on the water. Pretty useful information!

“Maintenance Free” Batteries

When you see a battery that claims to be “Maintenance Free”, all these means is that you don’t have to do anything to the battery after you buy it to increase its longevity or effectiveness.

This is an important distinction because it lets you know that the battery you’re buying isn’t a “Flooded” or “Wet-cell” battery(which we cover later on this article!), as those types of batteries require you to monitor and add distilled water into them from time-to-time.

Battery Voltage

By-and-large, the most common battery voltage you’ll see for trolling motors is going to be 12 volts, as most trolling motors run at 12 volts. However, check your specific trolling motor’s specifications, as your motor may run at 24 or 36 volts, in which case you’d need to buy 2 or 3 of the same battery to run your motor.

If this is the case, make sure the batteries are both the same type of battery(AGM, Flooded, or Lithium-ion), and that they’re both of the same charge. Mixing battery types or batteries of different charges can lead to your batteries potentially damaging each other, so always make sure your batteries are exactly the same before connecting them together!

Deep Cycle vs Float Cycle

When referring to a battery as a “deep cycle” or “float cycle”, this is simply referring to how the battery is being used.

For instance, a float cycle battery would be one that isn’t seeing a lot of draining and recharging and is most likely there as a backup or a one-time-use battery. Some common uses for float cycle batteries would be for things like generators or for power backup systems.

On the other hand, deep cycle batteries are ones that are constantly in use as the main source of power, such as the battery in your car or in your phone.

When it comes to trolling motors, you’re going to want a deep cycle battery, as the battery you choose is going to be charged and drained as frequently as you use your trolling motor, so it’s important to know that your battery can handle that.

Charging your Battery

Properly charging your battery is extremely important when it comes to trolling motor batteries. Most trolling motor batters are what’s called AGM batteries(which we get into more in the next section), and these types of batteries require you to charge them a specific way using a specific charger, otherwise, you run the risk of significantly decreasing the lifespan of your battery.

In order to properly charge your battery, you just need to make sure of two things.

One: Make sure you’re using the right battery charger. If you’re not sure which one to use, look up your battery specifications online and what charger works best with it

Two: If you don’t get a “smart” charger that automatically shuts off when the battery is charged, you run the risk of overcharging the battery, which does a great deal of damage to AGM batteries. Always check how long your battery is supposed to charge for and follow those guidelines to the tee.

So long as you keep these two things in mind when charging your battery, your battery will live its expected lifespan and you shouldn’t run into any major problems with it.

Types of Batteries to Consider

There are many different types of batteries you can use for your trolling motor, and the most common types are AGM, Wet-cell, and Lithium-ion. Let’s take a look at how these compare to each other.

Wet-Cell Batteries

Wet-cell batteries (or “flooded” batteries) have the unique advantage of often being the longest-lasting and most efficient batteries you can buy while still managing to be some of the cheapest on the market. These batteries are also excellent at withstanding frequent charging and draining

However, the major reason these types of batteries are so cheap is that they are non-sealed. This means a couple of things for you as a buyer.

One: This battery requires monthly maintenance, as you’ll have to monitor and add to the distilled water inside the battery as it goes through its lifespan.

Two: Because the battery is non-sealed, the chance of leaks happening is high. This battery is best used in an environment where it stays completely upright and motionless, as any knocking around or jolting of this battery not only damages its interior but also results in the contents of the battery escaping and leaking, proving to be potentially harmful if any battery acid leaks out.

For these reasons, most of the batteries you’ll find on the market today are AGM batteries, which we’ll cover in the next section.

AGM(Absorbent Glass Mat) Batteries

The most popular trolling motor battery, Absorbent Glass Mat batteries, or AGM batteries, differ in a variety of ways from Wet-Cell batteries. The most notable of these differences is that while Wet-Cell batteries are considered “non-sealed” and have the potential to spill, AGM batteries are sealed, which means two things for you:

One: You can put the battery in any orientation you like anywhere you’d like and it won’t spill.

Two: Because you can’t access the inside of the battery, there’s no need to refill any of the liquid inside!

This means next to no risk of battery acid flying out of your battery if you hit a wave too hard, and that you can put your battery anywhere you want in whatever way you want, exponentially increasing your options for placing your battery on your boat or kayak.

AGM batteries are also faster to charge than wet-cell batteries and typically last almost twice as long on a single charge. These types of batteries also do extremely well in the cold.

However, this battery isn’t without its faults. Because of all of the luxuries an AGM battery affords you, you’re going to see a significant increase in price from a wet-cell battery, as well as a sharp decrease in battery lifespan.

These types of batteries also don’t fare very well in the heat and are prone to overheating if left exposed long enough.

Lithium-ion Batteries

You’re probably already familiar with lithium-ion batteries and don’t even know it! These types of batteries are the ones that power your phone and most smart devices today but are also popular choices for more heavy-duty work like powering trolling motors.

Lithium-ion batteries are in almost every way an upgrade from AGM batteries. As with AGM batteries, there’s little-to-no maintenance to be done here, as this battery is sealed as well.

Lithium-ion batteries are also much more efficient and durable than AGM batteries. They last quite a bit longer as well, averaging around 3-4 times the lifespan of your typical AGM battery, while also taking about only 2-3 hours to charge.

However, the big reason these batteries are a top pick is because of their weight. Typically, your average lithium-ion battery is going to weigh about 2-4 times less than your average AGM battery, and when your AGM batteries start weighing into the 30-70 pound range, that difference in weight can be huge.

But, as with all things, this battery also has its downfalls. Its biggest disadvantage, as I’m sure you already guessed, is going to be its price. If you’re comparing an AGM battery and a Lithium-ion battery with the same voltage and Amp-hours, the Lithium-ion battery is usually going to be somewhere between 3-6 times more expensive than the AGM battery.

Other than price though, there really isn’t any other significant disadvantage to lithium-ion batteries, but its extreme cost is what makes most people choose AGM batteries most of the time over Lithium-ion.

However, if it’s a luxury you can afford, then the money you spend on the battery will pay itself back over time as you have a longer-lasting, more durable, more efficient, and lightweight solution

Dual-Purpose Batteries

During your search for trolling motor batteries, you may have asked yourself “Why can’t I just use my boat’s starting battery instead of having to buy a completely separate battery?”

Well, the main reason you can’t use your boat’s battery lies in its name, it’s a starting battery. This means that the battery is meant to expend a large amount of charge in a short amount of time to start things like boat motors and car engines.

However, the type of power you need for a trolling motor needs to be more of a controlled, slow release of energy over a longer period of time from the battery to your motor. This type of battery is typically referred to as a deep cycle battery, and it’s what almost all trolling motor batteries are.

But, if you’re in the market for a battery that can both start your boat motor and power your trolling motor, then you’re going to be looking for what’s called a dual-purpose battery because, as the name implies, this type of battery can act as a starting battery as well as a deep-cycle one.

As usual, this battery can be in the form of a Wet-Cell, AGM, or Lithium-ion battery, but, because it is a dual-purpose battery, you’ll find it’s not as efficient as a purely starting or purely deep-cycle battery as it has to both jobs at the same time.

Popular Batteries on the Market

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge necessary to make a smart and informed decision on what type of battery is best for you, let’s take a look at some popular trolling motor batteries on the market today, in no particular order.

#1: ExpertPower EXP12180 Lead Acid Battery, 2 Pack

ExpertPower 12 Volt 18 Ah Rechargeable Battery With...
223 Reviews
ExpertPower 12 Volt 18 Ah Rechargeable Battery With...
  • Genuine ExpertPower Battery - The Most Trusted And Highest Reviewed Sealed Lead Acid Batteries On Amazon
  • Battery Type - 12 Volt 18 Amp 20 Hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery With "L" Style Terminals
  • Ease Of Mind -All Of Our Batteries Are MAINTENANCE FREE and VALVE REGULATED
  • AGM Tech - Utilizes Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Technology And Has A Wide Temperature Range
Main Features:
  • This battery sports 12 Volts at 18 Amp-hours each, making them ideal for backup batteries if you find yourself unexpectedly far from shore
  • Because you get two batteries, you can hook them up in series to one-another to power a 24-volt trolling motor
  • AGM, sealed, maintenance-free design means you can place this battery anywhere in any position without worrying about any harmful liquids leaking out
  • Deep Cycle design allows the battery to withstand a high volume of discharging and recharging
  • Compared to other batteries on the market, this pack’s biggest advantage is its price, coming in extremely lower than other batteries of the same rating
Pros:
  • Because these batteries come in a pack of two, this makes them ideal to bring along with you on those riskier expeditions, as these can serve as excellent backup power-sources should you find yourself in an unfavorable position out on the water.
  • These batteries are some of the cheapest on the market, as you get two of these batteries for almost half the price of a regular battery
  • These batteries work extremely well as a backup power source if you find yourself in a sticky situation, but also work extremely well when paired together as the main power source
Cons:
  • As the main power source, these batteries fall significantly behind other batteries in the market, as the 18Ah rating for these batteries means only about 1 hour of power each, which is far under what most people expect out of their trolling motor expeditions.

#2: Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop

Optima OPT8016-103 Batteries D34M BlueTop Starting and...
923 Reviews
Optima OPT8016-103 Batteries D34M BlueTop Starting and...
  • 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches tall, Weight: 43.5 pounds, Dual SAE & 5/16 inches Stainless Steel...
  • Optimal starting power even in bad weather
  • Mountable in virtually any position. Works well as a boat battery or RV battery
  • Fifteen times more resistant to vibration for durability
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 55 Amp-hours 750 Cold Cranking Amps(CCA), this AGM dual-purpose battery is ideal as both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery
  • Designed to perform exceptionally well in colder weather, while also claiming to be able to withstand up to 15 times as much vibration as competing batteries in the same rating
  • Boasts a reserve capacity of 120 minutes, allowing you to maintain optimal energy efficiency for much longer than competing batteries
Pros:
  • Comes with a nice 55 Ah, giving you plenty of time out on the water no matter the trolling motor.
  • This battery also sports a nice 750 Cold Cranking Amps, making it ideal to start your boat with, and its durable and resilient design makes this battery ideal for starting in cold weather.
  • Has been noted to charge extremely fast and hold a charge for longer than other batteries of the same rating
  • AGM design means you can put this battery anywhere in any orientation on your craft
Cons:
  • This battery will see a significant increase in price from your usual trolling motor batteries of the same rating due to its dual-purpose design.
  • While its 55 Ah rating makes it ideal for trolling motor use, this battery wouldn’t fair well to power any of your other on-board electronics.

#3: Universal Power Group 121000

Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM SLA DEEP...
1,218 Reviews
Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Solar Wind AGM SLA DEEP...
  • UPG #45978 UB121000 12V 100Ah
  • Dimensions: 12.17 inches x 6.61 inches x 9.16 inches. Weight: 63.93 Lbs
  • SLA/AGM maintenance free, spill proof battery
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 100 Amp-hours AGM Deep Cycle Battery weighing in at 60 pounds
  • This battery’s Deep Cycle design makes it cheaper than dual-purpose batteries of the same rating, while at the same time giving you more Amp-hours for your money
  • At 100 Ah, on average this battery can be used for your trolling motor for about 3-6 hours, giving you plenty of out on the water
Pros:
  • 100 Ah rating makes this battery ideal as the main power source for all of your boat’s electronics, not limiting its use just as a trolling motor battery
  • This battery’s weight of 60 pounds makes it ideal for smaller boats and larger boats alike
  • This battery has been noted to charge faster and hold that charge significantly longer than its competitors
  • At under $200, this battery is an exceptional value for its 100 Ah rating
Cons:
  • A few users have noted that, on occasion, this battery potentially only last them about a couple of months to a year, severely under its expected lifespan

#4: VMAX V35-857

Sale
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Marine...
455 Reviews
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Marine...
  • Dimensions: L=7.7" W=5" H=6.1"
  • Also avilable as a battery kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HOUCLWE
  • Heavy Duty Grids: VMAX heavy duty lead tin alloys provide an extra margin of performance and service life in either float or cyclic applications, even...
  • Maintenance Free Operation: There is no need to check specific gravity of the electrolyte or add water to VMAX tanks during float service life. In...
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 35 Amp hours AGM Deep Cycle Battery
  • This battery pairs well with Minn Kota trolling motors and is designed specifically for their motors
  • This battery is designed to charge quicker and retain more power than other batteries of the same rating
  • The plates inside the battery are military-grade and thicker than your average AGM battery, resulting in higher quality, longer-lasting, and heavier battery
  • Designed to last longer than other 12 volt batteries of the same rating
Pros:
  • This battery was built with durability and longevity in mind, as it sports high-tier military-grade plates inside meant that hold charge for longer and can withstand more of a beating
  • This battery pairs extremely well with Minn-Kota motors as, despite its low Amp hour rating, users can expect to see anywhere from 3-6 hours of use from one battery.
  • Extreme lightweight at under 30 pounds makes this battery ideal as a kayak electric motor battery.
Cons:
  • If you aren’t using a Minn-Kota motor, or you’d like to use your battery to power other onboard electronics, then this battery will most likely fall under expectations, as its low Amp hour rating doesn’t pair well with higher-rated trolling motors

#5: Mighty Max ML55-12

12V 55Ah Power Boat Pontoon Electric Trolling Motor...
652 Reviews
12V 55Ah Power Boat Pontoon Electric Trolling Motor...
  • ML55-12 SLA is a 12V 55AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance free battery
  • Dimensions: 9.02 inches x 5.43 inches x 9.13 inches. Listing is for the Battery and Screws only. No wire harness or mounting accessories included
  • SLA / AGM spill proof battery has a characteristic of high discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service life and deep discharge recover.
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration. Long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures
Main Features:
  • Rated at 12 volts 55 Amp Hours, this battery is made with a great balance of price, weight, and charge
  • At just under 40 pounds, this battery is perfect for most 30-40lb trolling motors
  • Compared to other batteries of the same rating, the MightyMax offers more Amp hours for little difference in price
Pros:
  • For most motors, this battery’s 55 Ah rating makes it ideal for a nice 3-6 hour trip on the water
  • This battery is designed with durability and sturdiness in mind and is designed to operate efficiently in high and low temperatures
  • This battery boasts a modest price for its value, filling the spot right in the middle of value and performance
Cons:
  • If you’re looking for a high-intensity battery or one that you want to last all day, this battery’s 55 Ah rating makes it a less-than-ideal choice.

#6: Interstate Batteries DCM0035

Sale
Interstate Batteries 12V 35AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA)...
647 Reviews
Interstate Batteries 12V 35AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA)...
  • Interstate Batteries Deep-Cycle mobility product, our DCM0035 Replacement battery fits many products such as Jazzy Chairs, Leisure lift, Pride...
  • Rechargeable, Maintenance-free and spill proof because of the AGM & VRLA (valve regulated) technology that eliminates spills and overpressure.
  • Professional-grade quality product developed specifically for wheelchairs and scooters. Long life for deep discharge usage: the best performer for...
  • 12volt 35 ah sealed lead acid battery. Dimensions: 7.68 inches (L) x 5.16 inches (W) x 6.42 inches (H) Terminal: INSERT W/BOLT REPLACES FLAG TY
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 35 Amp hours AGM Deep Cycle Battery
  • Weighing in at just 23 pounds, this battery is the smallest on our list. Combine this with the fact that its non-spillable, this battery will fit just about anywhere you can put it on your boat or kayak
Pros:
  • This battery’s biggest strength lies in its weight. Being the smallest battery on this list, this makes it perfect for smaller craft where weight distribution is important, or even if you’re just running out of space and you need a small, yet extremely reliable battery for your motor.
  • When paired in series, this battery performs exceptionally well as the main power source and can more than satisfy your all-day trolling motor needs
Cons:
  • This battery’s small weight is also its biggest downfall, as its low Amp hours rating of just 35 Ah makes it more useful as a backup battery rather than the main power source. But, if you hook up 2 or 3 of these in series, these batteries can perform exceptionally well, pushing up your Amp hours from 35 to 70 or even 105.

#7: WindyNation BattaMax

WindyNation 100 amp-Hour 100AH 12V 12 Volt AGM Deep...
307 Reviews
WindyNation 100 amp-Hour 100AH 12V 12 Volt AGM Deep...
  • WindyNation 100 amp-hour, 12 Volt heavy duty deep cycle AGM sealed lead acid batteries with heavy duty plates are designed for deep, repetitive...
  • Ideal for all types of off-grid power: Solar Systems, RV's, UPS, Off shore Marine power, Telecommunications, Portable tools, etc.
  • 99.995% pure virgin lead allows for an extremely low discharge rate and maximum power storage (lower quality batteries often use recycled lead). Float...
  • Technical and physical specifications can be viewed in the photo gallery (image #2)
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 100 Amp Hours AGM Deep Cycle
  • Designed with extremely heavy-duty plating, made to withstand more cycles of charging and discharging than other batteries of the same rating
  • At 66 pounds, this battery is made with durability and longevity in mind
  • Multiple customers list this battery as being a better deal than you might find from other big-name distributors
  • Battery has been stated to keep charge much longer than consumer expectations, as well as having a much faster recharge rate than expected
Pros:
  • The heavy-duty plating inside this battery means that this battery is more durable than other batteries of the same rating, while at the same time being able to withstand much more charges and discharges than its competitors.
  • Besides just durability, this battery’s 100 Ah rating means it’ll last you anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on your motor If you’re looking for durability and longevity combined with a decent value, then this battery is a great affordable pick.
Cons:
  • The biggest downfall of this battery is its weight. At 66 pounds, this battery is ideal mainly for mid-to-large sized boats/craft, and isn’t an ideal option when it comes to something like a kayak or any other small boat.

#8: Odyssey Trolling Thunder

Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual...
34 Reviews
Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual...
  • Cold Crank Amp (CCA)- 1150. Better warranty: Limited 3 and 4 year full replacement warranty: not pro rata; Longer service life: 3-10 years of service...
  • Longer cycle life: 70 percentage longer cycle life compared to conventional deep cycle batteries, up to 400 cycles at 80 percentage depth of...
  • Recharge: Highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery on the market, capable of 100 percentage recharge in 4-6 hours; Mounting flexibility:...
  • Vibration resistance-design protects against high impact shock and mechanical vibration; Extreme temperature tolerant- Operating temperatures from -40...
Main Features:
  • 12 volt 100 Amp hours 1150 Cold Cranking Amps Dual Purpose Battery
  • At 78 Pounds, the heaviest battery on this list, this battery is built like a tank, and is meant to withstand the toughest conditions you can throw at it
  • With a 4-6 hour recharge rate, this battery boasts one of the highest recharge rates of any marine battery on the market
Pros:
  • As a dual-purpose battery, the Odyssey Trolling Thunder is truly a jack of all trades, as it’s high 100 Ah rating makes it ideal for more than just your trolling motor. This battery also works great as a starting battery and as a continuous-use battery for most of your boat’s on-board electronics.
  • The battery’s recharge rate is also claimed to be one of the best on the market at 4-6 hours, which means you could possibly use this battery multiple times in one day.
  • This battery is also extremely well-built and is arguably the toughest battery on this list, able to withstand extremely adverse conditions, and operates within a temperate range of -40 degrees Celsius(-40 Fahrenheit) to 80 degrees Celsius (176 Fahrenheit).
Cons:
  • Despite its extreme durability and excellent performance as a multi-purpose battery, these luxuries come at an extremely significant price increase from other batteries of the same rating, often costing as much as 2 to 3 times more than its competitors.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, after reading through this article, you feel a bit more prepared in your search for the battery that's right for you, as I'm sure there are a lot more options, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages, than you may have initially thought.

Because we're at the end, we'd like to take this time to recommend to you what we think is the best trolling motor battery on this list. The best battery, in our opinion, needs to be the best choice for almost all trolling motor needs, one that combines power and reliability with an affordable and long-lasting design. In our opinion, the best trolling motor battery of this article is...Drum Roll Please...

THE WINDYNATION BATTAMAX!
WindyNation 100 amp-Hour 100AH 12V 12 Volt AGM Deep...
307 Reviews
WindyNation 100 amp-Hour 100AH 12V 12 Volt AGM Deep...
  • WindyNation 100 amp-hour, 12 Volt heavy duty deep cycle AGM sealed lead acid batteries with heavy duty plates are designed for deep, repetitive...
  • Ideal for all types of off-grid power: Solar Systems, RV's, UPS, Off shore Marine power, Telecommunications, Portable tools, etc.
  • 99.995% pure virgin lead allows for an extremely low discharge rate and maximum power storage (lower quality batteries often use recycled lead). Float...
  • Technical and physical specifications can be viewed in the photo gallery (image #2)

In our opinion, this battery is the ideal choice for almost every trolling motor scenario. Even though it isn't a dual-purpose battery, at 100 Ah, this battery absolutely over-performs not just as a trolling motor battery, but also as just your main onboard power source for any other electronics you may want.

This battery is also extremely durable. Built with military-grade plating, this battery can withstand the most severe bumps and knocks you may throw at it out on the water, while still managing to last longer and hold more charge than most other batteries on the market today.

Now, despite this being our Number 1 recommendation, we encourage you to go out and do your own research on other batteries on the market using all of the new-found knowledge you've learned throughout this article, as the main point of this article is to make sure that you, as a consumer, can make an informed and educated decision on what battery is best for you despite all of the technical wording and jargon that comes along with these sort of things.

Again, we hope you've taken away something useful from this article, and wish you the best of luck in all of your trolling motor needs!

 

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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