Using the wrong battery can make your weekend trolling adventure into a nightmare! Before that ever happens, you need the best trolling motor battery. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled and reviewed a list of the top 6 trolling motor batteries in the market today. We even found a battery with a mobile app for wireless battery condition monitoring.
What Should You Consider When Buying a Trolling Motor Battery
When picking a new trolling motor battery, you should always start by determining your motor’s power requirements. A good rule of thumb is to get as many Amp Hours as you are able or willing to pay for.
Types of Trolling Motor Batteries
Wet Cell Lead Acid
This is the old-school flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery we are all familiar with. While they work fine, they do require regular maintenance. They can also be a safety issue since the acid can spill if tipped. Plus, the lead plates are very susceptible to vibration damage. For those reasons, they did not make our list.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
AGM batteries are an improved version of the FLA battery. They are sealed, spill-proof, and have mesh mats between the plates for durability and improved vibration resistance. They are ideal for all types of vehicles.
Gel Cells are essentially another improvement on FLA technology. They have a silica material in the battery fluid to create a gel that provides a stable internal structure. Gel cells are generally excellent; however, they have a higher price tag than AGMs.
This is the latest and greatest battery on the market. Li-Ions store more energy in a smaller, lighter package. The chemistry also enables a deeper state of discharge and faster recharge times. Moreover, their solid construction allows mounting in any orientation and combats vibration issues.
The lifetime of this new technology is usually two to three times that of conventional batteries. These improvements come at a price, costing up to three times an equivalent AGM. If you consider a Li-Ion battery, be aware that SOME require specific chargers and inverters.
Amp Hour Rating and Run Time
Amp Hour (Ah) Rating
This value represents how many amps the battery can supply for a given time in hours. The best trolling motor battery must have a rating of at least 100 Ah. A little secret: an FLA battery’s depth of discharge (DOD) is typically 50% of the Ah rating. The battery will provide power beyond this point, but it will shorten its life. Li-Ion batteries have a DOD up to 90% of their Ah value.
To calculate how long a battery can power a motor, use the following equation:
Amp Hours Available / Amps Required = Hours of Run Time
A Lead Acid battery of any type:
50 Ah / 30 Amp Draw = 1.67 hours
With a Li-Ion battery, the equation will look more like this:
90 Ah / 30 Amp Draw = 3.0 hours
Note: Remember, acid-based batteries can only supply 50% of their Ah value. Li-Ions can provide 90%.
Battery Size and Power
In most cases, the physical size of a battery reflects the power it can provide. Size 24, 27, and 31 are commonly used for trolling motors. There are trade-offs when selecting larger batteries. As the Ah rating increases, so does the size and weight of the battery.
|Battery Size||Ah Rating Range||Weight|
Note: Li-Ion batteries of these sizes weigh approximately HALF as much as lead-acid.
Some batteries specify a Reserve Capacity (RC) value, while others do not. But what is it? It represents the time a fully charged 12-volt battery can provide 25 amps of current. If a battery has a 160 minute RC, it can provide 25 amps for 160 minutes. It will then reach 10.5 volts and be depleted.
If a heavy hand on the throttle causes your motor to draw over 25 amps, the RC time will decrease at a faster rate. If you troll slow, your RC will last longer than expected.
What Is the Best Trolling Motor Battery?
There are many trolling motor batteries that you can buy today. But, based on our research, you should be only looking at these six trolling motor batteries.
1. VMAX MR127 Battery – Best Deep Cycle Battery for Trolling Motor
This Group 27 AGM Deep Cycle is rated at 100Ah and 200 RC minutes to drive most motors at medium or slow speeds. Plus, moving and transporting this trolling motor battery is convenient, safe, and mess-free due to its 68 lbs weight and rugged and sealed case.
The VMAX will last 8 or 10 years with care and good charging practices.
2. Ionic Lithium-Ion 12V30-EP Deep Cycle Battery – Best Lightweight Trolling Motor Battery
At only 11 lbs, the Ionic Lithium packs a lot of punch in a small package. Since the unit is only rated at 30Ah, it is the best suited for small rigs using lower-powered trolling motors. Of course, the small package and lightweight make it ideal for wiring 3 or 4 in parallel to multiply the power.
The slickest thing about the Ionic EP line of batteries is the Bluetooth monitoring software. That means you can quickly check the battery’s condition directly on your phone! Plus, with a life expectancy of 10 years, 4000 charge/discharge cycles, and a 5-year warranty, this may be the last battery you buy.
3. Universal Power Group UBU12100 Battery
Universal Power Group provides trolling motor batteries at a budget-friendly price point. The UBU12100 model is a Group 27 AGM cell that gives you 100Ah of power. However, the lifespan of these units is the biggest drawback. Users generally claim 2 or 3 seasons of use. But, for that period, they are a reliable and economical choice. They do come with a 30-day money-back policy and a 1-year warranty.
4. Optima OPT8016-103 Battery
Optima Batteries have a long-standing reputation for their rugged, reliable batteries like the OPT8016-103 model. This battery provides 55Ah of power with 120 minutes of RC. It also has a unique wound plate construction, making it extra durable against vibration. Furthermore, its ultra-pure plate materials and precision construction enable faster charge times, greater DOD capability, and long life.
5. NorthStar NSB-AGM31M Battery – Best Marine Battery for Trolling Motor
This Advanced AGM technology beast provides 220 minutes RC in a Group 31 sealed case. With a life expectancy of up to 900 discharge/recharge cycles, this unit will last 4 to 8 years. Plus, it functions well as a high output deep cycle trolling motor battery but can crank your outboard if necessary. NorthStar builds all of its batteries in the USA, which is rare these days. A 3-year warranty attests to NorthStar’s dedication to quality.
6. Ampere Time 12V200Ah Plus Battery – Best Lithium Battery for Trolling Motor
At only 50lbs, you would expect this Ampere Time battery to be inefficient. But, it can give you 200Ah of power. It even has a high-tech Battery Management System (BMS) that enables quick recharge times. This feature also protects from overcharging, over-discharge, and short circuits. And, remember, you can use 90% of the storage capacity with no fear of damage.
Of course, all this performance comes at a price – it is expensive! Plus, Ampere Time recommends using a Li-Ion-specific charger. The extra investment is worthwhile, though. You get a reliable lithium battery for trolling motor with an expected lifetime of 10 years, over 4000 charge cycles, and a 5-year warranty.
7. Mighty Max Battery
If you are only using smaller trolling rigs, the Mighty Max can be enough for your needs. It has a 55Ah rating which can drive a 50lb motor for 8 hours of light trolling. Plus, it has a rugged Sealed AGM construction for additional reliability and less maintenance.
Shopping for the best trolling motor battery can be intimidating. But once you know what your needs are and, of course, have a budget in place, finding a trolling battery can be second nature!