Hello there, and welcome to my review of the best trolling motor batteries! Whether you’re an avid angler or a weekend boater, a reliable trolling motor can make all the difference in your on-the-water experience. But for your trolling motor to perform, it’s essential to have a reliable power supply, and that’s where we come in.
With so many options on the market, choosing the best trolling motor battery can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the world of marine batteries. After 15 hours of research, I’ve confidently sifted through numerous options and come up with this list.
The VMAX MR127 12V 100 Amp Hour Deep Cycle Battery is our best overall pick. The VMAX is an AGM (absorbed glass mat) deep-cycle lead acid battery requiring no maintenance. With 100 Amp Hours, you’ll have enough power to motor around the lake all day and run whatever accessories you wish.
This battery gave me more than 8 hours of play. Then, once I reached home to put the battery on charge, it was still well above 90% power. If you’re looking for a deep-cycle battery, this is the best there is.
Now load up and pack the bait; here are the 6 best trolling motor batteries on the market today.
Our Top 6 picks
The 6 Best Trolling Motor Batteries
Below are six batteries with different capabilities we reviewed and thought were worth sharing with you. We’ve placed these in numerical order from our favorite down.
- Battery Type: AGM Deep Cycle
- Amp Hours: 100 AH
- Weight: 68 pounds
- Dimensions:12.1 x 6.7 x 8.2 inches
- Warranty: 1 Year
The VMAX MR127 12V 100 Amp Hour Deep Cycle battery is our best overall pick. This is an AGM (absorbed glass mat) deep-cycle lead acid battery. These are often used when a reliable and maintenance-free power source is needed, and the VMAX is precisely that. With 100 Amp Hours, you can motor all day and be equipped with your favorite accessories. There’s even 200 minutes of reserve capacity.
As mentioned earlier, I brought this motor out to sea for 8 hours straight. Then, once I got home and put the battery on charge, it was still well above 90% power. If you’re looking for a deep-cycle battery to run your trolling motor all day, there’s no better battery than this.
This battery weighs 68 pounds with dimensions 12.1×6.7×8.2 inches. Frankly, the size was somewhat of an issue for me, as this battery is rather bulky. Nevertheless, the above-average runtime, huge reserve capacity, AGM design, and price still make this battery the cream of the crop.
- Battery Type: Dual-Purpose
- Amp Hours: 55 AH
- Weight: 43.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 6.75 x 7.8 inches
- Warranty: 3 Years
Up next, the Optima OPT 8016 dual-purpose marine battery is the perfect medium for every angler.
This battery has innovative spiral technology that protects it from vibrations. These internal spirals create better efficiency during trolling use by minimizing internal disturbance.
Staying with the internals, the AGM design allows for little to no maintenance with a spill-proof design. Not to mention, the center-placed terminals allow you to mount this battery in almost any direction. This means no more hassle trying to get negative terminals on one side and positive terminals on the other.
When you’re purchasing a dual-purpose battery, cranking amps (the power to start an engine) are essential. You’ll be glad to know even with a smaller design, the Optima still outputs 750 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps/Power To Start an Engine). This means a chilly spring morning is no challenge to start your outboard. The 55AH also shows its worth on long days of trolling motor boating. If you do run the battery low, the 120-minute reserve capacity will give you plenty of time to get to a charger.
On top of that, the size is smaller and more portable, allowing for use in almost any boat. The weight is 43.5 pounds, and the dimensions are 10×6.75×7.8 inches.
The cons are the price tag and it being dual-purpose. If you’re not in the market for a dual-purpose battery, steer clear of the Optima. But if you are, the lesser AH (runtime) is offset by the high CCA (power to start the engine) and the almost 20-pound downsize compared to the VMAX.
Check out the Optima if you’re looking for an easily mountable dual-purpose battery for your boat.
- Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
- Amp Hours: 54 AH
- Weight: 17.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.01 x 5.43 x 8.38 inches
- Warranty: 11 Years
The Dakota Lithium 12V 54AH Deep Cycle Battery is a top-of-the-line trolling motor battery. Its Lithium-ion cell allows for high energy density in a small package. As a result, lithium batteries are ideal for boats where weight and space are a concern.
For example, in kayak fishing, it’s vital to have balance and stability in the boat. With the Dakota weighing a mere 17.6 pounds, with dimensions 9.01×5.43×8.38 inches, this easily fits your kayak. And even with its smaller size, the Dakota still has 54 Amp Hours (run time), allowing for almost the same runtime as the Optima OPT 8016.
The Dakota Lithium Battery has a lot of pros. If you’re in a pinch and need to recharge, you can have the Dakota back to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. With the completely sealed casing, you also lose the maintenance factor and prevent future spills or outdoor damage.
So far, so good, but the price of lithium-ion batteries is always the most significant downside. With the Dakota hovering around $500, this can be a burden on the wallet. But have no fear; we still have three more batteries under $200!
If you’re looking to splurge and get the best of the best, the Dakota Lithium 12V is the best choice for you.
- Battery Type: SLA/AGM
- Amp Hours: 35AH
- Weight: 23.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.68 x 5.12 x 6.10 inches
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Weize 12V 35AH Deep-Cycle SLA/AGM battery is the cheapest option on our list.
A sealed lead acid battery (SLA) is a battery that uses liquid electrodes to operate in a completely sealed casing. Luckily, in the Weize, it doesn’t omit gas or burn off liquid, so refilling isn’t required.
The Weize weighs 23.1 pounds with dimensions of 7.68 x 5.12 x 6.10 inches, making it small and portable. This battery also has 35 Amp Hours (run time), the lowest energy output on our list. But it will still get the job done for a small kayak trolling motor.
While searching for your trolling motor battery, consider your fishing style. If running a 14-foot Jon Boat with four people on it is your goal, one of these batteries won’t perform as you want. But if you are moving around a backyard lake or pond, solo fishing, then the Weize could be perfect for you.
This battery costs just $74.99 and comes with a one-year warranty. If you’re searching for a small, budget-friendly AGM/SLA battery, consider purchasing a Weize.
- Battery Type: SLA/AGM
- Amp Hours: 100AH
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.17 x 6.61 x 9.16 inches
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Universal Power Group 12V Battery is a sealed lead acid battery with an AGM design.
Inside the deep-cycle battery housing are lead dioxide plates. They’re submerged in an electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid, which produces electrical energy. The design allows for maintenance-free use, so there is no need to worry about distilled water.
The 100 Amp Hours (run time) of this battery are ready to run a trolling motor and accessories for eight-plus hours.
Although this battery can power almost every trolling motor on the market, this may not be the right choice if you’re a kayak fisherman. The Universal weighs 60 pounds with dimensions 12.17 x 6.61 x 9.16 inches. Thus, creating a tipping or balance hazard. But if you’re on a bass boat with plenty of stability, this won’t be an issue.
Another downside of the universal is the one-sided terminals. Mounting and linking other batteries may be more challenging than batteries like Optima.
On the positive side, the Universal could be valid if you’re looking for a basic SLA (sealed lead acid) battery with a large capacity. You’ll get plenty of power and play for a reasonable price.
This battery comes in as one of our cheaper options landing under $200.
Best SLA For Kayaks
- Battery Type: SLA/AGM
- Amp Hours: 35AH
- Weight: 22.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 5.16 x 6.42 x 7.68 inches
- Warranty: 1 Year
The Interstate 12V DCM00 is an SLA/AGM Deep-Cycle battery. This model is on the smaller size of batteries we’ve discussed today. This makes it ideal for smaller fishing boats, such as kayaks.
The sealed lead acid design is necessary when you start venturing into the world of kayak fishing. The non-spill, no-maintenance features let you worry more about fishing and focus less on battery issues.
This lightweight and compact battery weighs only 22.9 pounds with dimensions of 5.16 x 6.42 x 7.68 inches. This small size allows for mounting and battery placement virtually anywhere on the vessel. With a smaller size, you are losing some power and capacity. But Interstate went above and beyond creating the 35AH 12V. This compact battery will run your trolling motor for an entire day on a single charge.
The Interstate is only a bit over $100, making this the second cheapest option on our list. The Interstate could just be what you’re looking for if you’re a solo fisherman on a budget.
Marine Battery Types For Trolling Motors
There are three types of marine batteries.
The first and most common is the lead-acid-wet-cell battery. Second are the absorbent glass mat or AGM batteries, which is an updated version of lead acid. Lastly, we have the newest and most improved lithium battery. Below, we’ll get into the specifics of each, making your decision easier.
Lead Acid Wet-Cell
Lead Acid Wet-Cell is the most common type of marine battery. This battery’s performance is the best. It’s also affordable and reliable. However, it does need regular maintenance.
Lead-Acid Batteries must have the proper amount of distilled water and have regular checks for corrosion on the terminals. These batteries usually don’t have enough power to crank over an engine (cold cranking amps). So it’s best to have a separate cranking battery (starting the engine) and a deep-cycle for running batteries for a while.
AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat)
Absorbent glass mat or AGM batteries are the new and improved deep-cycle marine batteries. AGM batteries have lead-acid plates that use a fiberglass mat between each one.
This design provides several advantages. These include a longer lifespan, higher cycle life, and better resistance to vibration and shock. AGM batteries are also maintenance-free, meaning you won’t have to refill them like a Lead-Acid wet cell.
Lithium Iron Phosphate
Lithium iron phosphate, or lithium-ion batteries, are the newest advancement in the battery world. They’re lighter than other deep-cycle batteries and have a longer lifespan. Plus, they charge quicker and have longer battery life. These factors make them the ideal match for anglers looking to get into electric-powered vessels.
Unfortunately, lithium iron phosphate batteries also the most expensive battery, which is why they aren’t on every fisherman’s boat.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Trolling Motor Battery
While researching and comparing batteries, you should have a few things in mind already to help with your decision. For your leisure, we’ve gone ahead and created this buying guide with the most important factors that you should be considering.
Everything with boats is about space and distribution. Whether you’re a bass boat fisherman or a kayak fisherman, the size of the battery is essential.
When skimming through this reading, remember flooded lead-acid batteries are the biggest and take up the most room, followed by AGM batteries, then the smallest and most kayak-friendly lithium marine batteries.
A boat performs in a few different ways. Whether we’re talking about the motor running it, the trim of the motor underway, or weight distribution, each plays a factor in how the boat will drive.
Batteries are pretty heavy, ranging from 20-60 pounds, and on a fishing vessel, chances are you’ll have at least two.
With that said, you must be conscious about battery placement and weight. If you have two 50-pound batteries on a Jon Boat, plus you in the stern, the boat will run with the bow in the air. You’ll need to find a proper place for the batteries to act as a counter balance.
On the flip side, if you’re running a kayak which isn’t the most stable vessel, a 50-pound lead acid battery creates a tipping hazard which could put you and your gear in the water.
When making your final buy, think about where you’ll be placing the battery and whether you’ll have to add or remove weight to your boat.
Considering the lifespan of a battery is between 3-5 years, it is an investment. Whenever making a significant buy, you should consider a warranty. Most batteries come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a prorated time frame.
,That said, returning batteries can be tricky; you’ll often need to mail them out to redeem the warranty. So if you need a battery 24/7, choose a company with reliable services, so a replacement is never on your mind.
A deep-cycle battery can run for an extended time and consume only a small amount of energy. The higher the amp hours (capacity of your battery), the longer your battery will perform.
A deep-cycle is primarily used for maritime activities because of its capabilities. Lithium-ion, AGM, and SLA are all considered deep-cycles. When looking into deep-cycle marine batteries, consider lithium marine batteries first, then AGM batteries, and SLA wet cell batteries last.
Another consideration is price. SLA wet cell batteries have been around longer, which makes it a cheaper option. However, AGM batteries have better qualities, making the extra couple of bucks worth it. Lastly, the lithium battery is supreme due to its quick charge, lengthy runtime, and lightweight.
A deep-Cycle battery can run at full capacity for 4-6 hours (depending on size and brand). But when using them with a trolling motor, they’re not recharged by an alternator like an engine.
Since that’s is the case, you’ll need to invest in a battery charger. Hear me out. In my 20 years of fishing; this is the one item you do not want to cheap out on.
Consider how often you run your batteries, and how often you’ll need to charge, and where you’ll be charging. Carrying a 50-pound lead-acid battery to and from your truck could get aggravating. Look into solar chargers, portable chargers, and house outlet trickle chargers.
Run Time/Amp Hours
Each battery has its own run time specific to make and model, but these are just estimated numbers. Everything is specific to each angler and what they’ll be running on the battery. If the manufacturer says 8-hour run time, chances are that’s on a low setting. Always put your fishing style into perspective before making a purchase.
When searching for a battery the bigger the AH (amp hours), the more run time you’ll have.
As we move forward into the future, battery maintenance is becoming less heard of. A few important things to consider are battery storage, battery water levels, terminal corrosion, and voltage.
The water levels are only necessary for non-sealed lead-acid wet cell batteries. The rest are imperative for all and any batteries.
Corrosion on your battery terminals can cause total power loss. So be sure to do a preventive maintenance check each time before using. Also, check for battery capacity and voltage output. If your battery isn’t running at full strength, you’re losing out on power.
Let’s face it; batteries are not the cheapest item on the market. You must consider the battery’s brand, make, model, and core charge. The core charge is a charge before the sale to ensure you return the battery for proper disposal after its lifespan.
When purchasing, come into your search with a price range and a few characteristics in mind. With a lower price, there’s a chance you’ll lose some advantages. Especially when compared to a more expensive battery, which has endless possibilities. At the end of the day, you pay for what you get.
Amperage Hour Rating
This may be slightly more advanced for some readers. Yet, understanding this information will make your battery hunt that much easier.
The amperage hour (Ah) rating is a measure of the capacity of a battery. It represents the electrical charge a battery can deliver over a particular time. For example, a battery with a 100 Amp-hour rating can deliver a current of 1 ampere for 100 hours or 10 amperes for 10 hours before the battery discharges.
The Amp-Hour Rating determines how long a battery can provide power to a trolling motor before recharging or replacing it. The higher the Ah rating, the more charge the battery can store and the longer it can power the motor.
It’s important to note that the actual capacity of a battery may vary on various factors, such as temperature, discharge rate, and age. Consider these factors and follow the battery maintenance tips when making a selection.
Since marine batteries aren’t the easiest to understand, we’ve gone ahead and answered some frequently asked questions to make your life easier.
What other battery types can I use for my trolling motor?
You can use either a deep-cycle marine battery or dual-purpose marine battery. However, stay away from car batteries.
A car battery has one job: to start an engine. The way a battery does this is with cranking amps. Their design provides a large amount of power for a short time. In other words, the opposite of running a trolling motor.
When running your electric motor, you use a small amount of power for an extended time. This translates to deep-cycle power.
Note that car battery needs to be inside an enclosed, protected environment, such as under the hood of a car. They’re not designed to be in the open, taking on extra vibrations. Plus, they’re not sealed and can’t be exposed to saltwater. As we know, this is synonymous with a boating environment.
On the other hand, dual-purpose marine batteries give you the best of both worlds. With this battery type, you’re receiving cold-cranking amps and deep cycle power. Theoretically, this battery can do anything you need it to. But it also comes with some disadvantages.
Since a dual-purpose battery does two jobs, its lifespan isn’t as long as a deep-cycle marine battery. Dual-purpose batteries are more for long-term use and quick power. You’re limited in how much power you get, taking away some potential of your boating accessories.
Also, the battery’s capacity can be limited. This is no surprise since you’re splitting the battery in two to perform both a cranking battery and a deep-cycle’s job.
All things considered, dual-purpose marine batteries can be used for your trolling motor, but stay away from car batteries.
How often should I charge my trolling motor battery?
Every angler is different, and their surroundings differ. It’s impossible to gauge battery use for individual anglers.
Pay attention to your power use every trip and gauge how long you should wait until recharging. To do this, buy a battery level indicator and maintain 50% or higher. If possible, you should recharge your battery to 100% after every use.
How many years do deep-cycle batteries last with trolling motors?
The lifespan of a deep-cycle battery can vary depending on several factors. These include the battery’s quality, discharge depth, use, frequency, and maintenance.
On average, a high-quality deep-cycle battery with a trolling motor can last between 3 and 5 years. Yet, this can vary depending on the abovementioned factors. If the battery discharges frequently or incorrectly, its lifespan will be shorter. The better your maintenance, the longer your battery will perform.
Trolling Motor Battery Maintenance Tips
Taking care of your batteries is pretty straightforward.
Below, we’ve listed some tips for storing and maintaining your battery.
- Never mix battery types or old batteries with new batteries. Firstly, old batteries have lower voltage and capacity compared to newer batteries. When you mix old and new batteries, the new batteries will provide more power than the old ones. This will cause an uneven distribution of power that can damage both the new and old batteries. Second, we recommend replacing all the batteries simultaneously and never mixing brands/sizes. Like old batteries, you’ll risk mixing volts and damaging your brand-new battery.
- Keep your batteries protected from extreme weather (freezing and high heat). When the cold weather arrives, you must store your batteries at a stable temperature. When batteries stay out in the cold, it can cause them to lose their capacity and operate at a lower voltage. This will eventually result in reduced performance and shorter lifespan. In contrast, with extreme heat, a battery’s internal components can break down faster. This can cause it to lose its charge capacity and become unstable. This could lead to swelling, leakage, or even rupture.
- Never store your battery dead or discharged. If stored improperly (dead/discharged), you can cause irreversible damage. If you have to store it not fully charged, be sure it’s no lower than 40% – 50%. Otherwise, over time, a phenomenon called “battery memory” will occur. This is when your battery starts to believe its total capacity to be lower than it actually is.
- Store batteries in a cool, dry place in the off-season and maintain a trickle charge. You never want your battery completely dead, especially for a long time. Be sure to invest in a trickle charger. This battery charger charges at a set speed and keeps your battery healthy and whole. Also, when looking for a place to store your battery, make sure it’s cool and dry. If stored in a wet place, you’re susceptible to corrosion and a leaky battery.
- Be sure to check terminal connectors often for signs of corrosion. One of the leading causes of battery issues is corrosion on the connection terminals. What happens is the gunk blocks the cable connection from creating a circuit. When the current/circuit doesn’t get to the cables, you won’t receive power. A simple fix for this problem is using a tablespoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. Stir well, then spread/scrub with an old toothbrush. If that doesn’t work, use a metal wire brush.
- Periodically check wet-cell battery fluid levels and top-off as needed. If you didn’t know, batteries work together with water, acid, and lead. If you buy a non-sealed battery, after a while, you’ll need to top off the battery’s water level. This improves the current passing through the lead cell plates inside. Located on the top or side, you’ll find a cap. Open the top with safety glasses on and take a look inside. There is a water level indicator on the side or tip of your battery, similar to a cup of ramen noodle soup. Fill it to the line and enjoy your fresh topped off battery.
Throughout this article, we’ve covered four different types of batteries. Car batteries, Sealed lead acid deep-cycle, absorbed glass mat deep-cycle, and lithium-ion deep-cycle. We’ve digested the pros and cons of each and why they would be a good fit or not such a great one.
If you’re still having trouble making your mind up, let me leave you our best overall pick. The VMAX MR127 is the most versatile trolling motor battery out there. Whether you’re looking for a battery to run a kayak or one to use on your bass boat, the VMAX has the power and ability to run anything on your vessel. Always put your fishing style into perspective first before buying a new battery. Compare, contrast, and happy fishing!
P.S. In case you need a trolling reel, here are the best ones.