Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor Skip to content
Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

Any long-time boater will remember when the lead-acid battery was the standard. If you wanted a battery for your trolling motor, they were lead-acid types. 

While these batteries served their purpose, they were problematic. A lead-acid battery can only hold so much energy, so it cannot support long hours of fun cruises. Also, maintaining these cells was pretty stressful. 

Today, boat owners have a few better options to choose from. What is the standard battery for trolling motors today? We'll see. 

The Types of Trolling Motor Battery

You can still find a lead-acid battery on a trolling boat. But they have mostly been replaced by more modern battery types, such as:

  • AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat)
  • Lithium-ion
  • Gel

What do the batteries do on a trolling boat, and which is best for you?

Definition and Basic Functionality

You'll need electricity to manage your work on a boat. Since a boat operates off the grid, most electricity must be stored in a battery. 

So, imagine that you want to enjoy a boat cruise or go fishing. You'll need an adequate battery for that. A good battery will help you enjoy your experience better. 

However, we should separate between a deep cycle and a starting battery. 

Deep Cycle vs. Starting Batteries

A deep cycle battery is what you use everyday on the boat. We design them to give you steady power to move around. 

In contrast, a starting battery helps you start the boat. They can deliver short, high energy to the boat to make it start. They are not practical for prolonged use. 

When discussing batteries, we will mostly talk about the deep cycle types of batteries for a trolling motor. 

Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) Trolling Motor Battery

AGM or Absorbent Glass Mat batteries were an improvement over lead-acid ones. While lead-acid batteries use hydrochloric acid and lead plates, AGM uses a glass mat and a gel. The gel helps with the chemical reaction that stores and discharges electricity. 

This construction creates better-performing batteries. Also, AGM batteries are well-sealed, making them safe from leakage and wetness. 

Advantages of AGM Over Lead-Acid Batteries

AGMs are like advanced lead-acid batteries with these advantages:

  • It has a longer lifespan compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. 
  • The cell is practically maintenance-free, saving you stress. 
  • AGM batteries can resist shock and vibration caused by waves or obstacles during movement. 
  • The battery can handle deep discharges. Some models can be used as starting batteries. So, they can crank up a high charge to start your boat or support your fishing needs. 

Considerations for Purchasing AGM Battery

AGM wins lead-acid in terms of trolling motor batteries. But there are some points to consider before buying them:

  • Battery Capacity: AGM is not particularly known for its energy capacity. This measures how much charge a battery can store in amp-hour, Ah. Every trolling motor has a different capacity. So ensure the battery can support the motor requirements and your energy needs. 
  • Size and Weight: If you own a small boat, you likely have size and weight limitations. In such a case, avoid oversized batteries. Instead, choose a compact and light AGM battery. 
  • Cycle Life: A battery with a high cycle life can withstand several charges and discharges before its capacity reduces. AGM batteries have a better cycle life than lead-acid ones. But its cycle life (~500) is lower than gel or lithium-ion batteries. 

How to Maintain AGM Battery

To get the most value from your battery, you should keep these practices:

  • Charge Regularly: It matters how much charge is on an AGM battery. They perform best when fully charged. 
  • Avoid Deep Discharge: If possible, do not let the battery discharge fully always. Although AGM batteries can handle such deep discharges, it will soon reduce the battery's capacity and lifespan. 
  • Check the Temperature: Avoid exposing the battery to extreme temperatures when it's stored or in use. 
Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor


Lithium-Ion Trolling Motor Battery

If you tried shopping for a battery for your trolling motor now, you must have noticed the predominance of lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries. A popular li-ion battery is LiFePO4 (LFP or Lithium Iron Phosphate). These batteries recharge and discharge by conducting lithium ions to and from the cathode. 

Of the battery types covered here, LiFePO4 is a superior technology. However, this quality is reflected in its price. 

Advantages of Li-Ion Battery

Here are some reasons why li-ion batteries are popular:

  • It offers a longer cycle life (~2500) than lead-acid or AGM batteries.
  • It's lightweight and compact and can fit in a small boat without impacting its weight. 
  • It's maintenance-free. Just recharge and use. 
  • It can handle deep discharges without negatively affecting performance. 

Cost Considerations of Li-Ion Battery

LiFePO4 batteries are high-end. So they may be beyond bargain for a budget-conscious angler. However, its price has reduced from when it first launched. Also, buyers will get superior value for their money with the advantages we discussed earlier. After all, a high-quality LiFePO4 battery can last up to 8 years of use. 

Safety Precautions When Handling Li-Ion Batteries

Follow the below steps to get maximum value from your battery:

  • Avoid Overcharging: Overcharging can destroy your battery's chemical structure, leading to overheating or thermal runaway. You can use smart chargers that will disconnect when the charging is complete. 
  • Avoid Very High or Low Temperatures: Do not store, charge, or use li-ion batteries in extreme cold or heat. This will damage the battery and may cause a fire. 
  • Store Li-Ion Batteries Properly: When they are not in use, ensure to store your Li-Ion battery carefully. Keep it in a cool, dry place and remember to recharge it occasionally. 
Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

Gel Trolling Motor Battery 

Some people refer to them as gel, gel cells, or sealed gel batteries. They are rechargeable batteries made from gelled electrolyte or sulfuric acid mixed with silica. The plates are made from lead. Gel batteries are fully sealed. This construction allows you to use them with minimal maintenance or monitoring. 

Benefits of Gel Batteries

These are the benefits of gel cells: 

  • By using a gel electrolyte, the battery remains stable despite boat turbulence. 
  • Unlike lead-acid batteries, they are 100% maintenance-free.
  • They can endure higher temperatures than AGM batteries. 
  • Gel batteries have a slightly longer cycle life (~750) than AGM or lead-acid alternatives. 

Drawbacks of Gel Batteries

There are a few disadvantages to this battery type:

  • They are a bit more expensive than AGM cells. They may require you to dip into your finances more. This may be impractical if you want cheap batteries. 
  • Gel batteries are one-third the cycle life of LiFePO4 batteries. So, they are not exactly the most durable batteries out there. Still, they can power your trolling motor. 

Charging and Maintenance Guidelines for Gel Batteries

Do the following for optimal gel batteries:

  • Charge Gel Cell Regularly: Remember to charge your gel cell regularly, especially if you use the boat daily. Charge the cells every few months if in disuse. 
  • Avoid Deep Discharge: Discharging your battery to 0% is bad for its health and longevity. 
Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trolling Motor Battery

There are a few points to remember when choosing a battery for your trolling motor:

Battery Capacity and Voltage Requirements

Pay attention to the power and voltage needs of your trolling motor. Most motors operate on a 12V battery. Larger boats may need a higher rating. In that case, you can combine 12V batteries. Our 12V 200Ah, 2560Wh LiFePO4 battery will handle all your energy needs. Low-energy users can shop for lesser battery specifications. 

Size and Weight Considerations

LiFePO4 batteries are pretty compact and lightweight. So, if you care about reducing the weight on your boat, they’re your best bet. Meanwhile, gel cells are a bit heavier than AGM. 

Durability and Lifespan

Here are the range of charge and discharge cycles for the three batteries:

  • AGM: 300 to 600 cycles
  • Gel: 500 to 800 cycles
  • LiFePO4: 2000 to 5000 cycles

LiFePO4 is the more durable option. 

Budget Constraints

You can see why LiFePO4 batteries cost more. However, these batteries provide value for your every cent. Still, you can buy the cheaper AGM or Gel batteries if you are on a lower budget. 

Compatibility with Trolling Motor Systems

Some boats may be incompatible with certain battery types. In such instances, you may have to return the battery and order a suitable one instead. You can avoid this hassle when you order compatible batteries from GoldenMate Energy. 

Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor

Case Studies: Real-World Applications

Many customers find our solution when seeking batteries for their off-grid solar systems or trolling motors. A customer who bought a trolling motor battery recently reviewed how our LiFePO4 battery “felt like owning a new boat.” 

Whether you enjoy boat cruises or are a professional angler, we’re eager to transform your boating experience. You can enjoy your pastime more with high-energy batteries from GoldenMate Energy. 

Maintenance and Care Tips for Trolling Motor Batteries

Maintenance and Care Tips for Trolling Motor Batteries

No matter the battery you choose, caring for the battery will squeeze extra value from your purchase. Below, we discuss some tips to help you care for your battery:

Proper Charging Procedures

Use a charger that matches your battery's volt requirement (usually 12V). A smart charger will disconnect when it's full, preventing overcharging. Finally, avoid charging in extreme heat or cold. 

Storage Recommendations

Store batteries in a cool, dry place with some charge in them (around 80%) to avoid deep discharge. When not in use for extended periods, it's best to disconnect the battery from the boat. 

Inspection and Troubleshooting Techniques

Cracks, bulges, and leaks in the battery case show that it is faulty. Ideally, you should intervene before the situation worsens. Check your battery management system (BMS) for important warnings or notifications. 

Environmental Considerations

Be careful to dispose of dead batteries. Often, these cells contain toxic chemicals. Take dead batteries to a recycling center or disposal facility.

Choosing a Battery for Your Trolling Motor


LiFePO4 is the best battery for your trolling motor. They are lightweight and can pack more energy than AGM or gel batteries. Although it costs more, this is nominal compared to the value you will get for several years. 

You can order genuine LiFePO4 battery's from the leading battery maker, GoldenMate Energy. Let's help you choose superior batteries for your trolling motor.
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