There are few better ways to spend a weekend than leisurely trolling up and down your favorite river or reservoir, which catching one fish after another and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
However, you’ll need more than just a trolling motor and tacklebox worth of lures to do so – you’ll also need a high-quality battery to keep your trolling motor turning.
There are an array of trolling motor batteries on the market, which can cause many people to become overwhelmed when trying to pick out a model. We’ll try to help make this process easier by explaining the things that you’ll want to look for and making a few specific recommendations.
The 8 Best Trolling Motor Batteries of 2020: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best cheap #1: ExpertPower 12 Volt 18 Ah Rechargeable Battery
- Best cheap #2: Mighty Max ML35-12
- Best small and lightweight #1: VMAXTANKS V35-857
- Best small and lightweight #2: Interstate Batteries DCM0035
- Best overall #1: Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr 125
- Best overall #2: VMAX MR127
- Best value #1: Mighty Max ML55-12 SLA
- Best value #2: Power Sonic PS-121000
|Category||Best cheap||Best value||Best overall|
|Product|| || ||
|20Hr Capacity||35 Ah (Amp Hour)||100 Ah||100 Ah|
|Weight||23.15 lbs||61 lbs||68 lbs|
|Length||7.68 in||12.05 in||6.7 in|
|Width||5.16 in||6.61 in||12.1 in|
|Height||7.13 in||8.27 in||8.2 in|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Although many people seem to think that batteries are interchangeable products, which don’t differ very much from one another, this is actually a mistaken assumption. In fact, batteries vary in a number of ways, including size, weight, performance and cost.
We’ll not only recommend eight of the best models available below, but we’ll also identify the best and second-best option for various buyer categories.
This includes those who are looking for an affordable battery, those who want the smallest or lightest battery available, those looking for batteries that provide exceptional value, and those who simply want the best battery money can buy.
1. Best Cheap #1: ExpertPower 12 Volt 18 Ah Rechargeable Battery
The ExpertPower Battery is a sealed lead-acid battery that comes with all of the nuts and bolts you’ll need to install it. This battery is not only very affordable, but it is also very user-friendly and easy to install.
- 20-hour life
- Utilizes Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology and has a wide temperature range
- Very rugged construction
- Battery case made from non-conductive ABS plastic
- Most customers who selected this battery were very pleased and rated it highly
- It appears to work well for a variety of applications, including powering a trolling motor
- Terminals are positioned in a manner that helps avoid short circuits
- A few customers complained that the battery did not pass an amp hour rating test upon arrival
- A small number of buyers reported that the battery did not last very long
This is the ideal battery for budget-conscious boaters and kayakers, who need to power their trolling motor without spending a fortune. It is also a good option for those who are new to trolling motors, as it is easy to install.
2. Best Cheap #2: Mighty Max Deep Cycle AGM Battery ML35-12
The Mighty Max Battery is a durable and budget-friendly option that has a 35-hour amp hour rating. It is designed to work in a wide range of temperatures and provide a long service life. Additionally, this battery is designed to have a high discharge rate, as well as a deep discharge recover.
- Can be mounted in any position
- Backed by a 30-day refund policy and a full one-year warranty
- The sealed design prevents spillage
- Features a built-in carrying handle
- Most buyers were very happy with the Mighty Max, including several who used it to power a trolling motor
- A number of customers were surprised that such a small battery was so powerful
- Easy to install and fit into tight spaces
- A few customers who purchased the battery complained that it didn’t last very long
- Does not come with any mounting hardware or a wire harness
- Recharging can take quite a bit of time (12 hours according to some customers)
If you are interested in finding a battery that has a long amp-hour rating, yet is still affordable, the Mighty Max ML35-12 may be exactly what you need. This is a straight-forward, affordable and durable option, which should work very well for kayakers and those with small boats.
3. Best Small and Lightweight Battery #1: VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857
The VMAXTANKS VMAX battery is a small, yet powerful powerhouse, which is specifically designed for marine use. According to the manufacturer, it is ideally suited for 18- to 35-pound trolling motors. This battery is great for those looking for a lightweight battery, as it weighs only 25 pounds.
- The manufacturer recommends using this battery with the VMAX BC1204 12V 3.3-Amp charger
- The VMAX heavy duty lead-tin alloys provide an extra margin of performance and service life
- Maintenance-free battery – no need to check the specific gravity or add water
- Also available as a complete battery kit
- Several customers specifically reported that this battery is perfect for powering a small trolling motor
- A few owners reported that this battery outperformed larger and heavier wet cell batteries
- Battery’s small size and low weight elicited plenty of praise from owners
- Most buyers found that it held a charge well and was easy to recharge when necessary
- Included screws are not stainless steel, so they’re likely to rust
- A small number of buyers reported that the battery stopped holding a charge within a few months
If you are interested in powering a small kayak or boat, but you don’t want to lug around a large, heavy and awkward battery, the VMAXTANKS V35-857 is a great choice. This battery is not only very light, but it also features a compact design, which makes it easy to fit into tight spaces.
4. Best Small and Lightweight #2: Interstate Batteries DCM0035
The Interstate Batteries DCM0035 is a compact battery that should work well for powering your trolling motor. Small, lightweight and easy to carry (thanks to the built-in handle), this is a convenient battery, which is a great option for those with kayaks or small boats.
- Weighs only 23.8 pounds and measures 7.7 x 5.2 x 6.3 inches
- According to the manufacturer, this battery is not suitable for powering golf carts
- Maintenance-free design eliminates the need to check water levels
- Requires bolts (included) as this battery does not come with threaded terminals
- Most owners raved about this battery’s small size and weight
- The majority of boaters reported that it worked for several hours at a time, and a few stated that it held a charge all day long
- Several buyers reported that it was still functional after several years of use
- Most buyers felt that this battery was competitively priced and provided great value
- A few buyers found it slightly difficult to install
- The handle reportedly broke for several customers during normal use
The Interstate Batteries DCM0035 is one of the lightest trolling motor batteries around, making it easy to carry from your charger to your boat. It is also very compact, and it even comes with a built-in carrying handle, which makes it even easier to haul from place to place.
5. Best Overall Trolling Motor Battery #1: Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125
The Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr 125 is a very high-quality battery which is built to work in a variety of applications, but it is ideally suited for powering trolling motors.
One of the best batteries available from one of the best manufacturers around, the Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 is a great choice for those who prize performance and are willing to pay for it.
- Features military-grade custom-manufactured plates
- Float service lifespan of 8 to 10 years
- Designed for 99% recombination capabilities; no dangerous fumes or gases.
- Rated for 125-amp hours
- Most buyers were extremely happy with this battery and found that it worked exactly as they’d hoped
- Appears to work well for a variety of applications, but several owners specifically praised its performance when powering a trolling motor
- Several buyers found that this battery out-performed the model they’d been using previously
- A few buyers reported receiving relatively old batteries, which were manufactured several years before the purchase date
- A few owners complained that the included carrying handle wasn’t terribly durable
- This is a heavy battery, which weighs 75 pounds
Simply put, the Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 is one of the best batteries around for powering trolling motors. It certainly isn’t cheap, but premium-quality batteries rarely are. Just be sure that you are comfortable carrying a relatively heavy battery around before making your purchase, as this model weighs about 75 pounds.
6. Best Overall Battery #2: VMAX MR127
That’s right – we selected another VMAX battery as one of the best overall models on the market. The VMAX MR127 is similar in many ways to the 125, but it offers a bit more muscle for your battery-buying dollar.
Like the 125, the 127 comes with a number of premium features and it is perfectly suited for powering your trolling motor.
- Utilizes Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology
- Made with heavy-duty lead-tin alloys to provide an extra margin of performance in any application
- Contains no silica gels or other contaminants
- Fits any group 27 battery box
- By and large, owners praised this battery effusively
- Most owners found that the battery held a charge well and was easy to recharge when necessary
- Appears to hold up to years of use without problem
- Several owners reported that it was much better for powering a trolling motor than conventional batteries
- There were very few complaints about this battery in general
- This is a heavy battery, which makes it somewhat difficult to carry and install
The VMAX MR127 is the ideal choice for owners who don’t mind paying for quality and want one of the best batteries on the market. It is particularly effective for those who operate power-hungry trolling motors, but it received good reviews from owners who used it in a variety of applications.
7. Best Battery For The Money #1: Mighty Max Battery Deep Cell ML55-12 SLA
The Mighty Max ML55-12 SLA is a powerful and durable, yet reasonably priced battery. In fact, although this battery compares favorably to several high-end batteries, it is available for about half the price of most “premium” models.
Designed to function in any position, this spill-proof battery is maintenance free and operates at a wide variety of temperatures.
- Designed to provide a long service life and deep discharge recover
- Weighs less than 39 pounds
- No wire harness or mounting screws included
- Backed by a 30-day refund policy and a full one-year warranty
- Several buyers reported that it powered trolling motors ranging from 30 to 55 pounds
- Most buyers who used it for powering a trolling motor reported that it lasted for longer than they’d expected
- Relatively lightweight for the amount of power it provides
- Several owners were very happy with the cost-to-performance ratio
- May require you to purchase terminal connectors depending on the trolling motor you use
- There were a few complaints about the manufacturer’s customer service department
If you want a high-quality battery, but you can’t quite afford one of the premium models, the Mighty Max ML55-12 SLA may be the perfect option for you. It not only provides excellent performance for a reasonable price, but it is also relatively lightweight, making it easy to transport and install.
Additionally, the one-year warranty should help you buy with confidence.
8. Best For The Money #2: Power Sonic Deep Cycle PS-121000
The Power Sonic PS-121000 is a premium-quality battery that is designed to work in a variety of different applications. However, it is perhaps best-suited for powering your boat or kayak’s trolling motor. Rated for 100 amp hours, this battery should allow you to remain confident while fishing at your local reservoir.
- Maintenance-free battery doesn’t require you to check water levels
- Features a built-in carrying handle for convenience
- Long service life and deep discharge recovery
- Valve-regulated, spill-proof construction allows this battery to be mounted in any position
- This battery received incredibly positive reviews from almost all users
- Unlike some other batteries with built-in handles, the Power Sonic’s handle is strong and built to last
- Most buyers found this battery was very easy to install
- The rugged outer case helps make this battery very durable
- Generally speaking, buyers have very few complaints about the Power Sonic PS-121000
- Several buyers complained about the battery’s excessive weight
If you are looking for a no-fuss, easy-to-use battery that is not only powerful but affordable too, the Power Sonic PS-121000 may be the ideal option. This battery is not only a good value, but it is built like a tank and features a heavy-duty carrying handle.
Benefits and Importance of Buying a Good Trolling Motor Battery
Although everyone is limited by their own budget, and most boaters want to spend as little as possible on their trolling motor battery, it is important to understand the importance of buying a good trolling motor battery.
So, while there is certainly nothing wrong with choosing a battery that fits within your budget, you should be sure to select a high-quality model, which will work the way you need it to.
A few of the most important reasons to do so include:
- You want to know that your battery will be ready to go every time you hit the water. If you purchase a sub-standard battery, you may get out on the water and find that your battery won’t power your trolling motor.
- You want to ensure that the battery won’t pose any safety hazards. Poorly constructed batteries may become damaged, which can result in a cracked casing. This could cause skin-damaging battery acid to leak into your boat.
- You don’t want to select a battery that may end up polluting your favorite lake. Leaking battery acid isn’t only a problem for your skin – it may also pollute your local waterways. Accordingly, it is imperative that you select a battery that is durable and well-made.
- You don’t want to become stranded if your battery dies. One of the worst possible outcomes of using a poor-quality trolling motor battery is that you could become stranded. This shouldn’t be a problem for anglers who also use an outboard motor, but for kayakers who rely solely on their trolling motor for propulsion, this could cause you to become stranded miles from the boat ramp.
- You want a battery that will last for years of use. From a value standpoint, you don’t want to buy a battery that will require replacement in six months. Instead, you want to purchase a high-quality battery, which will function well for years. This will not only ensure that you get better value for your dollar, but it will also help you avoid having to repeatedly shop for replacements.
How to Choose Your Next Trolling Motor Battery
Whether you choose one of the batteries listed above, or you select some other model, you’ll want to consider a few key criteria when purchasing your next trolling motor battery.
There are a variety of different battery types available, but two types are typically used to power trolling motors: lead-acid wet cell batteries and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.
The former are typically more affordable, but they require the user to add water periodically, while those in the latter category require no maintenance and typically last longer. However, AGM batteries are typically more expensive than their lead-acid counterparts.
Trolling motor battery weight isn’t always a factor for anglers. Some individuals won’t mind lugging around a 70-pound battery and wrestling with it during installation or removal. However, most anglers will appreciate the convenience lightweight batteries provide.
No matter which camp you fall into, just be sure to note the weight of any battery before you make your purchase.
Amp Hour Rating
A battery’s amp-hour rating essentially indicates the length of time a battery will work for at a given amperage. For example, if you select a 100 amp-hour battery, it should provide 4 amps for about 25 hours.
This is one of the most important characteristics to consider for many anglers – particularly those who like to go on long trips or use trolling motors that draw a lot of amps.
Cold Cranking Amps
Cold cranking amps are an important consideration for many applications, but this rating is not terribly important for those seeking a trolling motor battery. Instead, you’ll want to primarily focus on the battery’s reserve capacity.
If you enjoy fishing frequently, and you like to take multiple trips in the same day, it is imperative that you select a battery that features a brief charging time. Otherwise, you may find it necessary to remove the battery before it is completely finished charging.
On the other hand, if you only fish on the weekends, charging time isn’t a terribly important selection criterion, as you’ll have several days to recharge your battery between uses.
Although there are a number of battery manufacturers and brands, the majority of those used by anglers and boaters are produced by a relative handful of companies. This is actually beneficial to buyers, as it makes it easier to narrow down the number of brands you’ll need to consider when making your choice.
We’ll discuss three of the most noteworthy trolling motor battery manufacturers below.
Interstate Batteries is one of the leading manufacturers in the battery category. They make batteries for just about every application available, ranging from golf carts to farm tractors to trolling motors.
The company produces both budget-priced and high-end options, so they can represent a great source for buyers at all ends of the price spectrum.
One of the nice things about this manufacturer is that they maintain retail locations in many metropolitan areas. This can make it easier to deal with warranty issues or battery problems, as you won’t need to ship the battery for repair (which can be expensive).
Mighty Max produces a range of products, including not only trolling motor batteries but chargers and solar panels too. However, batteries do represent the bulk of their product line. They produce batteries designed for a variety of applications, ranging from two-way radios to vacuums to remote-control toys.
Most of their trolling motor batteries are rather affordable, and several provide excellent value for their price. Mighty Max offers a number of multi-battery packages, which enable buyers to enjoy additional savings. Given these factors, Mighty Max is a great manufacturer for budget-limited buyers to consider.
Vmax prides themselves on producing “tough batteries for tough applications,” which makes them an ideal manufacturer for trolling motor batteries. Unlike some other companies, which try to produce low-cost batteries for cash-strapped buyers, Vmax primarily focuses on producing high-quality batteries, which are built to last.
Vmax produces batteries designed for a variety of applications. They offer batteries for forklifts, cars and jet skis, as well as trolling motors. Many of their batteries boast high-end, innovative features, and they are typically some of the best batteries available for any given application.
Trolling Motor Battery FAQs
A lot of anglers and boaters have questions about trolling motor batteries. We obviously can’t answer all of the questions potential buyers may have, but we’ll try to address a few of the most common ones below.
What size battery do I need?
Different trolling motors require different batteries for optimal operation, so consult the information your trolling motor manufacturer provided before you start shopping. Additionally, it is important to consider the space you have available, as trolling motor batteries vary significantly in terms of size.
Of course, you’ll also need to consider the amount of power you need the battery to deliver, as well as the amp-hour rating it bears, which will help you determine how long you can operate it between charges.
Can a trolling motor battery get wet?
Trolling motor batteries designed specifically for such use can become wet from splashing water or rain without issue. However, this does not mean they can be safely submerged – particularly if the battery is not sealed.
Do I need any hardware or connectors to use a new battery?
Some trolling motor batteries may feature terminals that won’t match up properly with your motor. You’ll simply need to inspect the motor’s terminals and select a battery with compatible terminals. However, it is usually not very difficult to purchase conversion kits, which make it possible to account for differences in terminal style.
Should you let a lead-acid battery discharge completely between charges?
No. This is based on a myth that batteries have a “memory.” This is not true at all, and it may cause your battery to fail prematurely. Instead, charge your battery regularly and slowly for best performance. Most people who believe this myth probably do so because of a bad experience with a poor-quality battery.
There are a number of very high-quality trolling motor batteries on the market, but we encourage our readers to start their selection process by considering the eight models described above. Each of the ones we recommend should work well and give you the chance to enjoy hours of problem-free trolling fun.
Just be sure that you select one that is designed for your specific trolling motor and will fit in the space you have available.