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Updated Mar 10, 2023 4:20 PM
Choosing a trolling motor batteries comes down to more than just looks. It also has to work well. A great battery will fish all day without complaint, while the wrong battery could leave you dead in the water. To narrow down the best trolling motor batteries, we considered the cost, construction, and performance under the toughest fishing conditions.
How We Made Our Picks
To determine the best battery for trolling motor, we looked at construction, performance, and cost. Bouncing around in a boat and rolling through waves, a marine battery takes a lot of abuse. A deep cycle battery with beefy lead cells and a sturdy case will avoid damage and corrosion. We also compared batteries from many manufacturers for the longest reserve capacity, highest cold-cranking amps, and best recharging profile. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the best trolling motor battery isn’t the most expensive. Many of the best features are available at a great value. You’ll appreciate our picks for the best battery for trolling motor when you are fishing all day.
The Best Trolling Motor Batteries: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Optima OPT 8016
Why It Made The Cut: Spiralcell and Pureflow technology makes the battery 15 times more vibration-resistant with three times more recharges than similar batteries.
- Weight: 43.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 6.88 x 7.8 inches
- Materials: Absorbent Glass Mat
- 120-minute reserve capacity
- 55 amp hours
- 15-times the vibration resistance
- 3-times the number of recharges
- 99-percent pure lead
Our pick for the best trolling motor battery overall, Optima batteries are the top choice for reliable power under the worst conditions, from professional racecar drivers to tournament anglers. A dual-purpose marine battery has two jobs: start the boat motor and keep it running. Optima’s OPT 8016 battery is best at both tasks.
The famous blue-top battery uses proprietary Spiralcell and Pureflow construction to improve the battery’s performance. Spiralcell uses stronger links between the battery’s cells to increase vibration resistance. For optimum power efficiency, Pureflow employs the highest-quality lead cells.
The Optima 8016 is completely sealed so that it can be mounted anywhere. The battery is also maintenance-free for years of reliable power. When it comes to deep-cycle marine batteries, AGM batteries, Optima 8016 is hard to beat.
Best Deep Cycle: Bass Pro Shops Power Series AGM
Why It Made The Cut: The Power Series AGM is the top-of-the-line marine battery for storage, vibration resistance, and power.
- Weight: 65 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.44 x 6.77 x 8.75 inches
- Materials: Absorbent Glass Mat
- Excellent warranty
- May not store as long as other options
No one knows batteries better than Bass Pro Shops. The Power Series AGM is their top-of-the-line Group 27 deep cycle battery. With improved efficiency and storage, this battery is rated to fish all day and take a beating. The AGM has a higher cold cranking rating and longer reserve time than lower-priced models. Although it is also capable of deep cycle usage, adding a little versatility to this package. At $249 for the Group 27 model, this is one of the more affordable batteries on the market right now for trolling motor use.
Best Lithium: Tracker Marine Super High Output
Why It Made The Cut: Tracker Lithium has a higher output and longer run than other lithium batteries.
- Weight: 29.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.95 x 6.77 x 8.39 inches
- Materials: Lithium iron phosphate
- 5000 recharge cycles
- Higher peak and continuous discharge
- Weighs 50-percent less
- More recharge cycles
- Continuous power output
- Faster charge rate
The latest trend for high power and low weight is lithium batteries. The Tracker Lithium Super High Output Battery is ready for action. Compared to a lead-acid battery with an average of 270 recharges, the Tracker Lithium can be powered over 5000 times. This trolling motor battery also runs a steady output through its range, so it doesn’t lose power as the capacity goes down. Best of all, a lithium battery weighs almost half a similar lead-acid battery making it easier to handle and improving boat performance.
Best Budget: VMAX MR127
Why It Made The Cut: At 100 amp hours, the Group 27 deep cycle battery can power a trolling motor all day.
- Weight: 68 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.1 x 6.7 x 8.2 inches
- Materials: AGM Lead Acid
- 100 amp hours
- Improved power
- Rugged construction
- Lower cost
The VMAX MR127 has the power, performance, and construction found in more expensive AGM batteries at a lower cost. The AGM has the same recharge and discharge rate and cold-cranking amps as similar batteries. With 200 minutes reserve capacity, the VMAX has plenty of power for trolling motor, electronics, and starting. The electrolyte suspension system absorbs electrolytes without contaminants for pure power transfer. Heavy-duty, tin-alloy cells improve performance in floating or cyclical charging.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Trolling Motor Batteries
To power a trolling motor, first choose a 12-volt deep-cycle battery. A deep cycle battery will hold a charge longer and discharge power consistently until it is almost dead. This makes a deep-cycle battery perfect for running a trolling motor at the same power all day.
Deep-cycle trolling motor batteries fall into three categories: flooded wet-cell, absorbent glass mat (AGM), or lithium-iron-phosphate. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Flooded wet-cell batteries are less expensive, but they don’t perform as well as the other choices. Wet cell batteries can spill acid, so they don’t stand up to vibration well and have to be mounted in a level position.
AGM batteries are similar to flooded, except they use a fiberglass mat to hold the liquid in place. This allows the best AGM battery to be sealed against leaks. AGM batteries also have more mounting options, and they can take a beating. Performance is better, too. In fact, the best AGM battery discharges power more efficiently than a flooded wet-cell battery.
The latest and greatest trolling motor batteries are made of lithium-iron-phosphate. Unlike heavy, bulky lead-acid batteries, lithium is lighter and more compact. The compound also handles power more efficiently and lasts considerably longer with a greater tolerance for recharging. The downside is lithium batteries cost three times as much as a lead-acid battery. For serious anglers, the cost is worth the payoff.
To choose the best trolling motor battery, think about how you will use it. For a low-power trolling motor on a small boat, a wet-cell battery should get you around. The AGM battery is the best choice on a larger boat that will experience rolling and pounding. A bank of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries is the way to go for anglers running multiple batteries to power a full bevy of electronics and a trolling motor.
Q: What is the best battery type for trolling motors?
Powering a trolling motor requires a 12-volt deep-cycle marine battery that discharges over a longer period without losing power. Furthermore, a deep cycle battery is designed to recharge regularly. There are three types of deep cell batteries for trolling motors: flooded wet-cell, AGM, and lithium-iron-phosphate.
Q: What’s the difference between a marine battery and a deep cycle battery?
Boaters use a deep-cycle marine battery to start and run outboard motors or to power a trolling motor. Any deep-cycle battery will power a trolling motor, but a marine battery tends to be built tougher for use on a boat.
Q: How long will a deep cycle battery last with a trolling motor?
The trick to rigging a boat with the best trolling motor battery is ensuring the system will last for a long day of fishing. Follow the trolling motor manufacturer’s instructions for the amp-hours, group, and the number of deep cycle batteries required to power the motors all day. Then, be sure to fully charge the batteries between each use.
Final Thoughts on the Best Trolling Motor Batteries
Balancing performance, construction, and cost, the Optima OPT 8016 takes the prize for the best trolling motor battery. Look under the hood and in the hatch of many of the top professional drivers and anglers, and you’ll find one or more of these iconic batteries. With the beefiest construction and best performance, the Optima OPT 8016 provides reliable performance as the best trolling motor battery.
Why Trust Us
For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.